Link to Classic Fiddling Ant

Friday, December 23, 2016

Why "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Almost Wasn’t


A Charlie Brown Christmas begins it's 51st year this year. It's on everyone's Christmas classics list. 

It almost never happened.

In today’s entertainment culture, no one would ever make a prime time TV cartoon where the highlight of the program is having a main character recite the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke. One might guess that 50 years ago, this would be no big deal. It was a big deal and A Charlie Brown Christmas almost wasn't.

By 1965, Charles Schulz had turned down offers to make Peanuts into animated movies or TV programs. Schulz finally consented to do A Charlie Brown Christmas, but he maintained strict control over the content. It was to have a message about how Christmas was being commercialized that would play on commercial television. In an era when all cartoons used a laugh track, he insisted on no laugh track. He decided that he would use real children to do the voices, not adults imitating children’s voices.

Most importantly, Schulz wrote a script where Linus spent one whole minute reciting St. Luke’s Christmas story. CBS executives were not pleased. One said, “The Bible thing scares us.” Another thought the show was too slow and too innocent . Schulz was adamant that the Gospel story would stay in.

The program first aired on Thursday night, December 9, 1965. Half the people watching television in America tuned in.

The next day reviews across the nation recognized it as an instant Yule classic. Audiences loved Linus’s touching speech which brought tears to many. The next year A Charlie Brown Christmas won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Programming.

We can thank Charles Schulz for sticking to his values and giving us a Christmas special that is actually about the real meaning of Christmas. When his co-producer tried one last time to get him to drop the St. Luke section, Schulz told him, “If we don’t do it, who will?”

For a comprehensive biography of Charles Schulz, read Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis.


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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

3 Books Reveal the Pearl Harbor Attack You Don't Know


The Pearl Harbor attack was 75 years ago today.

First of all here are three books that will give you the basic story of the Pearl Harbor attack:
  • At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange
  • Infamy by John Toland
  • Day of Infamy by Walter Lord 
I think Lord's book is the easiest to read, with more you-were-there type stories, but all three do a great job of telling the familiar Pearl Harbor story.

Here are three books that will give you more insights than the average armchair student of history.
  • God's Samurai: Lead Pilot at Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange
This is a biography of Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese pilot who lead the attack on Pearl Harbor. He gave the order to drop the bombs that started the war. His story would be far fetched if presented as a novel. The many times he avoided death are a regular occurrence throughout the book. After the war he became a well-known Christian evangelist.

  • Operation Snow: How a Soviet Mole in FDR's White House Triggered Pearl Harbor by John Koster
When 80% of America wanted to stay out of the war and Japan was willing to make concessions to scale back their war efforts in China and Indochina, Harry Dexter White, a senior treasury official, Asian expert and Soviet mole took steps to move American's position against Japan to an extreme hard line position that he knew Japan would not be able to accept (including turning over most of their navy to America). Japan felt they had no choice but to make war with the U.S. This was to Russia's advantage because once Japan was at war with America they could not fight Russia.

  • Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor by Robert B. Stinnett
According to Stinnett's book, perhaps the biggest surprise of the Second World War is that there is strong evidence Franklin Roosevelt and his most senior military and political aides knew the Japanese attack was coming and purposefully looked the other way, knowing Japan's "surprise" attack would turn a reluctant America into a nation fully supportive of joining the world war.

In the 1930s, as the world became more and more engaged in wars, the people of the United States remained isolationist. Roosevelt was a dedicated Anglophile who took active steps to aid England fight against Nazi Germany. He also took steps to ramp up preparations of the army and navy. Despite these steps, even with Roosevelt's superior persuasive powers, there was no way he could convince American citizens to join England in its war against Germany.

If you are looking for a smoking gun, you won't find it. The historical records have been destroyed or kept from public view. What you can find is a pattern of missing records that point to advanced knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack by President Roosevelt that was not passed on to local army and navy leaders in Hawaii.
  1. Most students of WWII history are aware that the US had broken the Japanese naval communication codes prior to the battle of Midway, and it helped contribute to the victory. What is not well known is that the various Japanese communication codes were broken as early as the 1920's. Intercepted communication codes in 1941 were forwarded to the English base in Singapore and the American base in the Philippines. The same communication intercepts were supposed to go to Hawaii, but the transportation was delayed until after December 7. Had they arrived in time, the Hawaii cryptographers would have learned of the pending attack in advance. An explanation for the delay is missing from the historical record.
  2. Early in 1941 a known Japanese spy, Tadashi Morimura, arrived at the Japanese consulate in Honolulu and was allowed to spend months casing out the Pearl Harbor facilities. The FBI had planned to track and deal with Morimura, but the Navy Intelligence told them to stand aside. Why this unusual action? It resulted in Morimura sending key intelligence that the Japanese used in planning the Pearl Harbor attack, even to the extent of plotting the bombing runs. The reason this was allowed remains unknown. An explanation is missing from the historical record. Navy Intelligence was intercepting Morimura’s reports on a regular basis. The information was sent to Washington, but not to Admiral Husband Kimmel, the top navy admiral in Hawaii.
  3. In the later half of November 1941, Admiral Kimmel ordered a practice mission for his fast carriers in the ocean northwest of Hawaii. The carriers were actually in the vicinity of where the Japanese would launch their planes on December 7. Washington ordered the ships back to Pearl Harbor early. Washington also ordered all vessels to vacate the ocean in the area that would be crossed by the Japanese attack fleet. They even diverted two Russian merchantmen -- one was rerouted on a southern route and the other was made to stop in Portland until there was no risk it would run into the Japanese navy.
  4. FDR was provided with regular reports with details of the Japanese naval movements running up to 15 pages per report. The navy maintained a log, so we know how many messages there were. Of the 70+ messages, only five remain. The others are all “lost,” The National Archives has no explanation for the missing documents. 
  5. On November 15, General George Marshall, the top general of the army, called a secret press conference with key journalists. He told them that the United States could read Japan’s encrypted messages. He told them that war would break out during the first 10 days of December. He provided no such message to his top general in Hawaii, Walter Short.
  6. At the end of on November 1941, Roosevelt and his war cabinet drafted a message to Emperor Hirohito asking that he take steps to avoid war. The message was not delivered to the Imperial Palace until the night before the Pearl Harbor attack, three hours before the attack planes launched. It was a nice cover to show Americans wanted peace, but delivery was delayed until it was too late to matter.
  7. During the first week of December, the SS Lurline, a merchant ship, sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu. The assistant radio operator Leslie Gorgan was surprised to hear Japanese radio signals coming from the direction northwest of Hawaii. Normally, this would not have been possible, because they were broadcast at a frequency that usually had a short range. However, a sun storm had interfered and made it possible to receive the transmission from farther away. These short range messages were sent by the Japanese fleet because they had just gone through a storm that dispersed their ships and they needed to send the signal to regroup. Grogan gave the radio messages to Lieutenant Commander George Peace of the navy when he got to Hawaii. Admiral Kimmel never heard about it. When the Lurline returned to San Francisco, its radio logs were confiscated by the Twelfth Naval District intelligence unit.. A search by the author for the log in the 1990’s had found that it had been checked out and not returned. The checkout slip had no name or date.
  8. Intelligence reports usually included a section for radio direction finder (RDF) reports. The copies that were sent to Kimmel have been mutilated and the RDF sections are missing.
  9. Days before the attack was to occur, Kimmel received an order to sortie the carriers and all the newer ships to deliver planes to outlying bases. The orders made sure only the older, more obsolete ships remained in Pearl Harbor for the attack.
  10. The final diplomatic orders from Tokyo, sent in four parts to its outlying embassies, were received and read by President Roosevelt and his told aides 15 hours before the attack. Japanese orders to destroy all codes and cryptography equipment were a clear sign that war was imminent. This revelation, which would have allowed the army and navy in Hawaii to go on full alert, was not sent to General Short or Admiral Kimmel in time for them to take action.
The results of the Pearl Harbor attack are well know. Americans rallied behind President and Congress supported a declaration of war with only one No vote. While it is disappointing that these actions have been lost to history after 75 years, it was probably a good thing that America joined the war when it did. Without America’s help, Germany may have won the war. And if they lost, the Soviet Union could have dominated western Europe.


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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wolfe Mauls Darwin


Tom Wolfe's latest book, The Kingdom of Speech, is going to upset a lot of people.

Wolfe is generally in good standing with the liberal defenders of evolution who are for the most part all for his criticism of investment bankers (The Bonfire of the Vanities) or big business (A Man in Full). When he decided to tear down liberal icons Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky, the reaction has been less than kind.

When I learned about this book, I was eager to read it, although Wolfe's tendency to write massive tomes meant a big time commitment. It was a pleasant surprise to find it was only 169 pages long. Maybe when you are 86 years old, you write shorter books.

Wolfe's conclusions will be applauded by those like myself who advocate for Intelligent Design. The reaction from Darwiniacs is, as can be expected: wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Any Darwin worshipers, be forewarned; Wolfe portrays him as overrated and none-too-bright -- also a borderline plagiarist. 

One of the objections to Darwin's theory of evolution raised during his lifetime was the inability for evolution to account for the development of language. Darwin claimed it evolved, but had no persuasive evidence; he spun fables a la Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Jump 100 years and Noam Chomsky took up the fight that language evolved due to 'universal grammar' made possible by some unidentified part of the brain. Another 50 years and no such organ has been found. If fact, field research by Daniel Everett in the Amazon jungle leads many to concede that Chomsky was all wrong and Darwin all was wrong. 

We don't know how man developed language, but we do know it was not a product of evolution. 

To most people this is no big deal. Those who consider man is made in the image of God find it natural that language is God given. To atheists and die-hard Darwiniacs, this is a big deal. They don't like cracks that undermine their faith in their religious-like devotion to Darwin.

Quotes I enjoyed from the book:

Regarding Darwin position when he put forth his theory of evolution: "There was no scientific way to test it. Like every other cosmogony, it was serious and sincere story meant to satisfy man's endless curiosity about where he came from and how he came to be so different from the animals around him. But it was still a story. It was not evidence. It short, it was sincere, but sheer, literature." (27)

In Germany, on the other hand, The Origin of Species was an immediate sensation. By 1874 Nietzsche had paid Darwin and his theory the highest praise with the most famous declaration in modern philosophy: "God is dead." Without mentioning Darwin by name, he said the "doctrine that there is no cardinal distinction between man and animal" will demoralize humanity throughout the West; it will lead to the rise of "barbaric nationalistic brotherhoods" -- he all but called them by name: Nazism, Communism, and Fascism -- and result within one generation in "wars such as never have been fought before." If we take one generation to be thirty years, that would have meant by 1904. In fact, the First Word War broke out in 1914. This latter-day barbarism, he went on to say, will in the twenty-first century lead to something worse than the great wars: the total eclipse of all values. (51)

Max Muller: "The Science of Language will yet enable us to withstand the extreme theories of evolutionists and to draw a hard and fast line between man and brute." (54)

The power of the human brain was so far beyond the boundaries of natural selection that the term became meaningless in explaining the origins of man. (61)

Language in all its forms advanced man far beyond the boundaries of natural selection, allowing him to think abstractly and plan ahead (no animal was capable of it); measure things and record measurements for later (no animal was capable of it); comprehend space and time, God, freedom, and immortality; and remove items from Nature to create artifacts, whether axes or algebra. No animal could even begin to do any such thing. Darwin's doctrine of natural selection couldn't deal with artifacts, which were by definition unnatural, or with the month of all artifacts, which was the Word -- speech, language -- was driving him crazy ... (64)

Kipling's intention from the outset was to entertain children. Darwin's intention, on the other hand, was dead serious and absolutely sincere in the name of science and his cosmogony. Neither had any evidence to back up his tale. Kipling, of course, never pretended to. But Darwin did. (70)

Language was the crux of it all. If language sealed off man from animal, then the Theory of Evolution applied only to animal studies and reached no higher than the hairy apes. (75)

Mendelian genetics overshadowed the Theory of Evolution from the very beginning. This new field had come straight out of purely scientific experiments that agronomists and biologists everywhere were able to replicate. The Theory of Evolution, on the other hand, had come out of cerebrations of two immobile thinkers, ... thinking about things no man had ever seen and couldn't even hope to replicate in much less than a few million years. (80)

Language had not evolved from anything. It was an artifact. Just as man had taken natural materials, namely wood and metal, and combined them to create the ax, he had taken natural sounds and put them together in the form of codes representing objects, actions, and ultimately, thoughts and calculations -- and called the codes words. (141)

"I have no time for Chomskyan theorizing and its associated dogmas of 'universal grammar.' This stuff is so much half-baked twaddle, more akin to a religious movement than to a scholarly enterprise. I am confident that our successors will look back on UG as a huge waste of time. I deeply regret the fact that this sludge attracts so much attention outside linguistics, so much so that many non-linguistics believe that Chomskyan theory simply is linguistics ... and that UG is now an established piece of truth beyond criticism or discussion. The truth is entirely otherwise." Larry Trask, linguist at England's University of Sussex (144)

"The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma." (Chomsky)
An enigma! A century and a half's worth of certified wise men, if we make Darwin the starting point -- or of bearers of doctoral degrees, in any case -- six generations of them had devoted their careers to explaining exactly what language is. After all that time and cerebration they had arrived at a conclusion: language is ... an enigma? Chomsky all by himself had spent sixty years on the subject. He had convinced not only academia but also an awed public that he had the answer. And now he was a signatory of a declaration that language remains... an enigma? (150)

"In the last 40 years there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved." (Chomsky) (156)



As I have noted before, I recognize that I have higher than normal interest in this subject. As a student of history, I see the rise of acceptance of evolution has coincided with a lowering of cultural standards. After all, if evolution proves that there is no God and no scriptural right and wrong, then you are excused to create your own morals, or lack of them. I wrote my play Inherit the Wind Overturned by Design back in 2009 as a vehicle to contrast the positions of ID and evolution in an entertaining format so people can consider the argument for the ID position. Those interested in the ID subject should enjoy the contrast to the popular 1950's era play it satires.


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Top 10 All Time Prager U Videos

If you are not already a fan of Prager University videos, why not?

They are less than 5 minutes long. They are presented by experts in their fields. They present a rational, conservative perspective on many of the most important issues of the day.

Here are the top ten Prager U videos as of today:


TitleViewsPresenterTopicLink
1Do You Understand the Electoral College49,841,474Tara RossPolitical Sciencehttps://www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/do-you-understand-electoral-college
2Was the CIvil War About Slavery8,592,312Ty SelduleHistoryhttps://www.prageru.com/courses/history/was-civil-war-about-slavery
3Who NOT to Vote For7,678,125Adam CarollaPolitical Sciencehttps://www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/who-not-vote
4Every High School Principal Should Say This7,458,743Dennis PragerLife Studieshttps://www.prageru.com/courses/life-studies/every-high-school-principal-should-say
5Why Do People Become Islamic Extremists?6,107,249Haroon UllahForeign Affairshttps://www.prageru.com/courses/foreign-affairs/why-do-people-become-islamic-extremists
6Are the Police Racist?5,183,331Heather Mac DonaldRace Relationshttps://www.prageru.com/courses/race-relations/are-police-racist
7The Middle East Problem5,154,425Dennis PragerForeign Affairshttps://www.prageru.com/courses/foreign-affairs/middle-east-problem
8Don't Judge Blacks Differently5,084,090Chloe ValdaryRace Relationshttps://www.prageru.com/courses/race-relations/dont-judge-blacks-differently
9War on Boys4,753,118Christina SommersPolitical Sciencehttps://www.prageru.com/courses/political-science/war-boys
10Why is Modern Art so Bad?4,073,899Robert FlorczakHistoryhttps://www.prageru.com/courses/history/why-modern-art-so-bad

Do you have a favorite Prager U video from this list or any of the nearly 200 videos that have been created so far?


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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fiddlin' - Sing Along "Fidel in Hell"


The recent death of the dictator Fidel Castro is cause to celebrate. Many leftists have been giving him a pass, but Castro is an evil-doer on par with Stalin and Mao. The only reason that fewer people were killed or imprisoned by Castro is because Cuba is a lot smaller country than Russia or China.

A song to recognize his belated death...

Fidel

(sing to the tune Michelle Ma Belle by Paul McCartney)

Fidel, in hell
These are words that go together well
Fidel in hell

Fidel, in hell
Era un hombre muy horrible
Muy horrible

I loathe you, I loathe you, I loathe you
That's all I want to say
Until I find a way
I will say the only words I know that
You'll understand

Fidel, in hell
Era un hombre muy horrible
Muy horrible

I need to, I need to, I need to
I need to make you see
That Cuba still ain’t free
Until it is I'm hoping you will
Know what I mean

I loathe you

I loathe you, I loathe you, I loathe you
I think you know by now
You’ll burn in hell I’ll vow
Until you do I'm telling you so
You'll understand

Fidel, in hell
Era un hombre muy horrible
Muy horrible

I will say the only words I know
That you'll understand, Fidel in hell


For an index of all Fiddling Ant parody songs, click here.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Beer and the Five Miracles of Thanksgiving


The Five Miracles of Thanksgiving

For the average American, images of the first Thanksgiving are dour Englishmen with drab clothing and funny hats and shoes. The truth is more colorful and in fact miraculous.

A group of Bible readers (known as Separatists and not pilgrims), having recognized that the Church of England showed no similarities to the church of the New Testament, were forced to leave England for Holland or suffer fines and imprisonment. Life was hard for the exiles in Holland, so they decided they would be better off moving to America.

  1. The first miracle was the loss of the Speedwell, the Mayflower's smaller sister ship. Twice the two ships left England only to turn back because the Speedwell was not seaworthy. They decided that there was no hope to repair the smaller vessel so those least committed to the enterprise stayed behind. Had those who stayed behind joined the company it may have changed the composition of the first community and lessened its chances for success.
  2. The original plan was to find a site somewhere up the Hudson River. However, after their first landfall in Cape Cod, their attempt to continue on to the Hudson was halted by stormy weather. The Separatists took this as a sign to not continue and they landed at New Plymouth instead. Had they tried to settle in the Hudson region, they would have had to deal with natives already living in the area who would not take kindly to accommodating these European strangers.
  3. The Patuxet tribe, who had lived in the area, had all recently died off from diseases. The neighboring tribes stayed away from this empty land, afraid that moving in would result in death. This small band of a hundred Englishmen had found what was likely the only unclaimed land along the entire Atlantic seaboard.
  4. After surviving a brutal winter where death claimed half their numbers, the Separatists were not in a good condition to thrive in their new land. They had no knowledge of what crops were best for the region, or how to plant them. They had proved totally inept as fishermen, despite the reputation of the region as a rich fishery. In the early spring they were contacted for the first time by two English speaking natives. How surprising must it have been to see a native warrior walk into their compound speaking these words in English: "Welcome! Have you any beer?" This first native, Samoset, had learned English from fishermen visiting the area, but the second one, Squanto, had actually lived in England for many years. Squanto taught the separatists how to farm and fish.
  5. The neighboring tribes could have wiped out the Separatists at anytime. Squanto served as their main contact with the closest native tribes and helped the Separatists negotiate a peace that lasted for more than forty years.
It would be easy for the skeptic to claim that all these "miracles" are only fortuitous coincidences. The Separatists did not think these were coincidences. They chose to thank God for these miracles that allowed them to establish a God fearing community. Without these miracles, their experience would have ended in disastrous failure.

A coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain anonymous.


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Taking the Axe to Darwinism


Douglas Axe is a heretic. He's a molecular biologist who did his doctoral work at Caltech and went on to postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge. As such, he can't be dismissed as some uneducated Bible thumping Luddite.

In his book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life is Designed, Axe is arguing that evolutionary science is closed to any other explanations for the origin and development of life despite the inadequacies of natural selection to explain how life began and how natural selection is able to result in entirely new life forms.

Advocates of Intelligent Design are like the ugly step child. On the one hand the pro-evolution community dismisses them as creationists. On the other hand there are many people that believe the Bible says the earth is 6,000 years old, so that is good enough for them. They don't like ID'ers either because they seem to reject the correctness of the literal Bible. Axe can expect poor reviews from both these camps, but for those who are not already set in their beliefs, the book is a great read.

Axe's main theme is that when something appears to be designed, it is likely to be designed. He gives examples of how we can view small segments of written pages vs jumbled letters or photos vs jumbled pixels and from these small segments it is easy to see which is designed and which is not. Because life at the basic building blocks level also displays elements of design, it follows that a designer is involved.

Axe's position is that the biological sciences community is adamant to defend Darwinism even when advances in science prove Darwin to be more wrong than ever. He points out that others who make the same criticism of Darwinism as he does are still welcome in the church of evolution because they propose new ideas that also build on undirected evolution.

Critics of Axe are upset because he openly professes to be a believer in the Christian God. As if that were a bad thing. I guess it is a bad thing, at least if you are an evangelizing atheist with a mission to tear down religion and replace it with Godless science. Axe even gives an example of a scientist who used the "G" word in an article and the publication received complaints and had to withdraw its approval, even though there was no criticism of the contents of the article itself.

Axe's belief system should not discredit his science. A scientist who wants to cure cancer would not be criticized for his position or have his views questioned. Axe should be given the same level of recognition.

Critics of ID are fond of saying that it is not science because it doesn't get published in peer reviewed papers. This can largely be explained by the wall put up by the defenders of Darwiniac dogma. Nobody is allowed to criticize the establishment viewpoint. It would be easier to believe that the New York Times would hire Rush Limbaugh as their editor. Don't expect that to happen.

In the meantime, readers can consider Axe's well argued pro-design book and come away with a logical understanding of why design is a more likely explanation for our existence than the blind chance that evolution is build on.

I recognize that I have higher than normal interest in this subject. As a student of history, I see the rise of acceptance of evolution has coincided with a lowering of cultural standards. After all, if evolution proves that there is no God and no scriptural right and wrong then you are excused to create your own morals, or lack of them. I wrote my play Inherit the Wind Overturned by Design back in 2009 as a vehicle to contrast the positions of ID and evolution in an entertaining format so people can consider the argument for the ID position. Those interested in the ID subject should enjoy the contrast to the popular 1950's era play it satires.

Quotes I liked from Undeniable:

Evolution seems to be an inadequate replacement for knowledge. Indeed, if our design intuition holds true, nothing is an adequate replacement for knowledge.

Dan Tawfik hit the nail on the head: Nothing evolves unless it already exists. (p 97)

With respect to the invention of living things, then, a commitment to materialism is a commitment to accidental explanation, and a commitment to accidental explanation is a commitment to coincidence, and a commitment to coincidence is a commitment to the power of repetition. (p 103)

Blind causes are so fundamentally unlike insight that any instance of them looking insightful would be coincidental. Coincidences do happen, of course, but we know from experience that major ones are much more rare and therefore more surprising than minor ones. (p 152)

The implications for invention are clear. If the invention of a working X is a whole project requiring extensive new functional coherence, then the invention of X by accidents of any kind is physically impossible. Why? Because for accidental causes to match insight on this scale would be a fantastically improbable coincidence and our universe simply can't deliver fantastically improbable coincidences. (153)

Natural selection happens only after cells are arranged in ways that work to keep the organism alive, so selection can hardly be the cause of these remarkable arrangements. Darwin's simplistic explanation has failed, and the millions who have followed him have nothing but his outdated assumption to stand on. (192)

Dutch botanist Hugo De Vries "Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest." (220)


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cruz on Supreme Court Through 2060?


With an existing opening on the Supreme Court, people are wondering who President Trump will appoint to take Justice Scalia's place. Ted Cruz's name is coming up and would make an excellent choice for many reasons.
  1. It would shore up Trump's support from conservatives.
  2. It would gain immediate support from the Senate. Senator Cruz is obnoxious and disliked, you know that sir. He has few friends in the Senate and they would be glad to see him go.
  3. It would take out any chance that Trump's most serious Republican 2016 challenger would be a possible 2020 challenge. Obama made Hillary Clinton Secretary of State for much of the same reasons.
  4. No one can doubt Cruz's impeccable qualifications for the job. He has argued multiple successful cases before the Supreme Court.
  5. Cruz is scary smart. He could effectively argue for Constitutional principles with less principled justices.
  6. Cruz is 45 years old. Realistically, he could still be on the Supreme Court in 2060 when he would be 89 years old. That is 11 presidential election cycles. Going back 11 cycles is 1972. That's a wonderful long time and would lock up a conservative seat on the court for decades. William O. Douglas holds the record having served for 36 years after taking the bench at age 40. With advances in live expectancy, Cruz making headlines in 2060 is not far fetched.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Election Modeling Bad, But Global Warming Modeling Good?


The day before the presidential election nearly all the sophisticated models were predicting an easy win for Hillary Clinton. The models got it wrong. Big time. And now there is political climate change on the horizon.

Modeling of the climate is many times more complicated than measuring a binary choice between two candidates. What confidence should we give to global warming models when we can't even get simpler models right? Getting it wrong would cost the world economy billions and probably trillions, all for naught.

I recently heard a climate change disciple claim that we should take action to fix climate change since 95% of scientists believe it to be true. He supported this by saying that if you had a child diagnosed with a serious illness by 95% of doctors, you would get it taken care of. The goal of this comparison is to get people to act all emotional and conclude, ¨I would never allow my child to go without medical attention to address a serious illness, so we must take action to address climate change.¨ Besides the possibility that these doctors are using a poor predictive model, where this analogy fails is that the climate change doctors have a cure that is worse than the disease - the destruction of our free-market economy.

A better comparison is to ask yourself, would you get on an airplane that had a 95% chance of reaching its destination? I think I would pass. Americans can change their light bulbs and start driving electric cars, but since we only occupy 5% of the globe, our actions are pretty much futile. No wonder no more than 40% of Americans buy the global warming Chicken Little argument. Thank goodness Donald Trump is not one of these fools.

I think P. J. O'Rourke said it best:

¨There's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. Maybe climate change is a threat, and maybe climate change has been tarted up by climatologists trolling for research grant cash. It doesn't matter. There are 1.3 billion people in China, and they all want a Buick. Actually, if you go more than a mile or two outside China's big cities, the wants are more basic. People want a hot plate and a piece of methane-emitting cow to cook on it. They want a carbon-belching moped, and some CO2-disgorging heat in their houses in the winter. And air-conditioning wouldn't be considered an imposition, if you've ever been to China in the summer.

¨Now I want you to dress yourself in sturdy clothing and arm yourself however you like - a stiff shot of gin would be my recommendation - and I want you to go tell 1.3 billion Chinese they can never have a Buick.

¨Then, assuming the Sierra Club helicopter has rescued you in time, I want you to go tell a billion people in India the same thing.¨


My advise is to stop wasting time on stuff you can't change and focus your efforts on the real climate change - let's work on making our culture less toxic and harmful to children and families.


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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 3 People Who Guaranteed Trump's Win


In Donald Trump's first speech as President-Elect he thanked a bunch of people who helped him win the election. He failed to thank the three people most responsible for his victory.

1. Hillary Clinton. Trump was the most disliked candidate ever nominated to be President, even more disliked than Clinton. However, enough voters decided it was better to vote for someone they did not like than to see "Crooked Hillary" become President. Clinton never connected with the voters she needed because she came across as phony and untrustworthy. She brought with her a record of negative or inconsequential accomplishments. Her decision to put the greed of the Clinton Foundation above the security of state secrets exposed by a private email server was the scandal that she dragged with her for the whole campaign.

2. Barack Obama. Obama was elected by a nation sick of war and shocked by an economic catastrophe. He had overwhelming power with a Democratic Senate and House. He had a chance to repeat Franklin Roosevelt's start to nearly 40 years of Democrat dominance. Instead, he lost the House, then and Senate, and now the Presidency. Instead of focusing on the economy to get the nation growing again, Obama decided to spend his political capital on health care reform. His program has proved to be a fiscal failure. So people who have been damaged by their poor earnings and high health insurance premiums either voted for Trump or stayed home.

3. Anthony Weiner. Some people would say FBI Director James Comey should be the third person to thank. The credit should go to Anthony Weiner. When his laptop was confiscated by the FBI, they found emails related to Hillary Clinton. Comey's decision to reopen the investigation turned the tide. He had no choice. Had he failed to mention it and it turned out that the emails were material, he would have been accused of covering up material information to protect Clinton. Without Weiner's texting troubles, Trump would have lost.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Must Read Book of the Year


This book covers many of the political scandals that have come to light during the Obama presidency. Of note is that many of these scandals would never have become known to the general public without the work of Judicial Watch to request government records through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Despite a promise that his would be the most transparent administration ever, Obama has done the opposite and has fought every effort to reveal actions that have been against the best interest of the general public.

There are chapters that cover Benghazi, Hillary's email cover-up, Fast and Furious, voter fraud, Obamacare, The IRS actions against conservative groups, immigration and border enforcement, and terrorism.

Those who follow politics will be familiar with much of the information covered, but it is sobering to realize that without the work of Judicial Watch, much of the government corruption would go uncovered and unnoticed.

One story that I was not familiar with was the steps taken by someone in Congress on behalf of their 20,000 employees to make them eligible for Obamacare subsidies that were only supposed to be used by small businesses with less than 50 employees! At least $77 million in funds that were supposed to be used by businesses with less than 50 employees were instead used by employees who work for Congress. This is a perfect case of insiders not needing to follow the laws that everyone else follows. Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request to see who originated this fraudulent action. When the document came back, the approver's name was blacked out. When Judicial Watch took further steps to find out whose name it was, their efforts were denied by all the Democrats on the approval committee joined by enough Republicans to end Judicial Watch's efforts to discover who was the instigator of this fraud. Judicial Watch is still pursuing this travesty through the courts.

This is a book that all voters should have to read to recognize the corruption that seems to be rampant in Washington.

Highly recommended. Put it on your reading list. You won't be sorry.


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Friday, October 28, 2016

Top 10 Differences Between Real Mafia and #MormonMafia


Fox News commentator Lou Dobbs caused a stir the other day when he tweeted that independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin (who is challenging for the lead in Utah) was a tool of the "Mormon mafia."

We know that the real Mafia has a reputation for scary actions. How does the Mormon Mafia compare?


Mafia
Mormon Mafia
Puts the head of a horse in your bed
Puts a Book of Mormon in your bed
Takes you down to the river and drowns you
Takes you down to the river and baptises you
Sends two guys to your house to “teach you a lesson”
Sends two guys to your house to teach you a lesson - really, teach you a real lesson
Forces you to pay 10% protection money to keep your business open
Invites you to pay 10% tithing to use for charitable purposes
Tell you to say your prayers before they take you to your funeral
Tell you to say the prayer before they serve you funeral potato casserole
The Godfather invites you over for wine and pasta
The bishop invites you over for milk and cookies
Donnie Brasco
Donny Osmond
Brings a shovel to dig your new grave
Brings a shovel to dig your new flower garden
Has a body in the trunk
Has a 72 hour emergency supplies kit in the trunk
Two guys at your door: “We have an offer you can’t refuse”
Two guys at your door: “We have an offer you can’t refuse”


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Monday, October 24, 2016

Secrets to Democrat Campaign Success



11/4/2016
Donald Trump is making his claim that "The election is rigged" a standard part of his stump speech. The main stream media is quick to dismiss his whining, but Trump is not entirely wrong. Democrats have made an art of adding questionable votes to the ballot box for years. This record of election fraud has been carefully documented by John Fund in a series of books including: Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy (2008), and Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk (2012)

Election fraud was also a chapter in Tom Fitton's Clean House: Exposing Our Government’s Secrets and Lies (2016) which I rate the Must Read Book of the Year.

Let's hope the election is not close so that Democrats won't be able to tip the scales with their election manipulations that allow the counting of illegal ballots.


10/24/2016
In a year when all economic and foreign relations markers should point to an easy Republican presidential race victory, the Republicans stand a very good chance of losing.

When the history of the 2016 election is written, the main blame for the under-performing of the Republican party will be the horrible selection of Donald Trump as its presidential candidate.

In 2012, Republicans picked a candidate of impeccable character. The Democrat had to tell the lie that Romney was an out-of-touch robber baron when in reality he was a generous philanthropist.

In 2016, Republicans picked a candidate of immoral character. The Democrats only had to tell the truth to turn off voters. The lewd bus recordings may prove to be the straw that broke Trump's back if the election results show he lost big tie with women voters. The Democrats will be able to thank their allies at NBC for sitting on this story until October instead of releasing it when Trump was running for the Republican nomination so voters could have picked someone else.

For the first 33 Republican primaries Trump couldn't break 50% of the vote. In other words, the majority of Republicans wanted someone else. Could it be that the voters in the majority of the states knew that Trump would be a disaster?

Trump may still win, but it won't be because he earned it. He'd be the most despised person ever elected to be president.


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Hello Hillary Justice, Goodbye Blind Justice


With all the attention on Trump not promising to recognize the results of the election, there has been less attention on some of the other things we learned from the third debate. One of the most disturbing was Hillary Clinton's views of how to select a Supreme Court Justice.

"And I feel strongly that the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy. For me, that means that we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community ...

"That's how I see the court, and the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on behalf of our rights as Americans."

It is clear from what Clinton says that she wants judges that have already decided how they will judge. What ever happened to blind justice?

Part of the question from moderator Chris Justice was "what's your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders' words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances?" 

Clinton ignored these questions in her answer.

Clearly the judges she will appoint will be pursuing social justice, not fair justice. She says she wants judges to stand up to the powerful. Does this mean the powerful are always wrong and should always lose in the courts?

Senator McCain is flouting the idea that the senate block any Clinton nominations to the Supreme Court. Based on here standards for what qualifies as a judge, McCain has a smart idea.


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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Utah Gets It Right


What happens when you give the voters the choice of unfit, unqualified, and unlikable candidates? In Utah they find someone else.


What's wrong with the rest of America?


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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

McMullin Now in Statistical Tie with Hillary and Trump in This State


A new poll in Utah, completed after the second debate and the release of the Trump lewdness recording, shows that independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is in a statistical tie with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with each having a quarter of the vote. Utah could become the first state since 1968 to give its electoral college votes to a third party candidate.

This should not be a surprise. Trump finished a distant third in the Utah Republican caucus with only 14% of the vote. Hillary Clinton is not likely to see much of a surge of support in the few weeks leading up to the election. Her husband actually finished in third place in the 1992 election behind both George Bush and Ross Perot. Utah does not suffer fools like the Clintons wisely.

I think McMullin now has to be the front-runner in Utah, especially since he is still unknown to half of the voters. As the election date gets closer, the anti-Trumpers who first backed Johnson (now polling 16%) will move to McMullin who is a better match for Utah values. Leading Utah Republicans, including the governor were among the first in the nation to abandon Trump. Look to more Republicans who were only supporting Trump as an anti-Hillary vote to move to McMullin now that he is seen to be in a better position to win.

Nationwide polls show that voters are negative about both Trump and Hillary. Most people are voting against the candidate they like worse, rather than for the one they like best. Now it looks like at least one state is going to show these unqualified deplorables that they should both lose.

Way to go Utah.


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Friday, October 7, 2016

The Real Climate Change Caused by Liberals...


Hillary Clinton is blaming Hurricane Michael on climate change. 

This is nothing new. 

For at least a generation, the liberal establishment has been preaching the doom and gloom message of first, global warming, and when evidence proved missing, climate change. They claim that over the past century, due to the damaging actions of man, the world is on a path to ruin. They want to force people to stop using fossil fuels and use carbon taxes to collect revenue from those they perceive as using too much energy. They think that getting people to drive electric cars and stopping the development of third world countries will stop climate change. Fortunately, most people recognize that any action taken is unlikely to have measurable results, besides making one feel better. 

However, I must agree that there has been a climate change, only it is not the one liberals usually worry about.
  • Eighty years ago, homes had married couples living together and raising children together. 
  • Eighty years ago, the vast majority of young people did not think promiscuity was acceptable. 
  • Eighty years ago, music was family friendly and not laced with profanity. 
  • Eighty years ago, movies were geared to all audiences and not filled with offensive material. 
  • Eighty years ago, families had books, pianos and radio programs for home entertainment instead of violent, time-wasting TV and video games. 
  • Eighty years ago, people lived within their means and elected a government that did the same.
Sadly, this is the real climate change we have seen in America. Liberals like to say that we have the capacity to change, to protect ourselves, to use our intelligence for the good of the planet and its inhabitants. Good point, but let's not waste resources trying to control the weather. Let's focus on addressing moral climate change, where our actions can have real results.

Please share this post if you agree.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

School Bus Stopped From Playing Christian Music


As first reported by the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a Siloam Springs bus driver has been banned from playing the bus radio on a Christian music station. Rack up another win for the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation which forced the school district to stop school children from listening to the "harmful" music of popular Christian singers.

Music has long been a favorite pastime of youth. Parents have been concerned for years about the messages that are prevalent in popular music. Top forty songs promote promiscuity, immodesty, drug use, drinking, misogyny, and many other questionable and debasing behaviors. Christian music is a breath of fresh air with messages of hope, charity, and faith. Based on the action of the school district, listening to Christian music is a dangerous activity that must be suppressed at all cost.

What is next, finding a bus route that will avoid passing churches with message signs out front? Will a bus driver be forced to remove an heirloom cross worn around the neck? Will the children who "suffered" from listening to Christian music be provided with counseling to help recover from the "damage"?

How disappointing that the spineless school district surrendered without a fight. Religion should not be banned from the public square, especially in the form of generic music with a positive message for all. Whenever stuff like this happens, the future of America is darkened.


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