Friday, February 12, 2016

Where will you run to?

By Donald Sensing

The Cleansing of the Temple statue at a Liverpool art gallery
The Rev. Richard Hall explains this photo:
Visitors to a Liverpool art gallery are being shaken by the sight of a new statue of Jesus. Called ‘The Cleansing of the Temple’, I don’t suppose it is meant to represent ‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild’, but reactions have been even more extreme than the artist intended. Some are convinced the statue is evil and recoil in terror. Others fall to their knees in prayer. Some say they see sparks coming from the statues eyes.
Gerard Van Der Leun quotes the lyrics of 16 Horepowers’ song, “Sinnerman.”
o sinnerman where will you run to
sinnerman where will you run to
sinnerman where will you run to
All on that day
Run to the mountain
The mountain wont hide you
Run to the sea
The sea will not have you
And run to your grave
Your grave will not hold you.
All on that day
Gerard explains,
Many years ago, I was flipping through the pages of a newsmagazine and came upon a photograph of the machete-hacked corpse of a child floating like some half-chewed chunk of jetsam in a backwater of Lake Victoria. This was during what we now think of, because we have to think of it as something distinct from our normal run-of-the-mill massacres, as the Rwanda genocide.
It was a crystal clear photograph showcasing an act of genocide like any other, only the meaningless details changed: children, machetes, an African lake. As a professional in the pornography of violence, the photographer had gotten in close. The child’s eyes could be seen. They were without pupils, a dead fish-belly white; the white of clotted milk. …
The child was long since buried or left to dissolve as mere carrion. What had disturbed me was only the abstraction of a child snagged out of the world with photographic film, transmitted across the oceans via orbiting satellites. printed up on sheets of flimsy paper, and delivered to me and millions of others on a weekly basis…. to what purpose? To. What. Purpose.
Because I needed to know? What did I know? That we are, each and every one of us, capable of the darkest evil? This much I’d known long before I’d known it. Did I see it because I needed more confirmation? I’d long been confirmed. And yet the image stuck in my mind, not as an obsession, but as an unbidden harbinger. And in time, I came to know it’s purpose.
It’s purpose was to teach me to hate God. …
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted! 

(Johann Heermann)
Gerard continues,
Childhood leukemia? God’s on the job.
A close friend is shot-gunned on 14th street in a mugging? God’s there pulling the trigger.
Yet another mass grave in yet another subdivision of Hell in Europe, Africa, the Middle East? God’s working the back-hoe.
It’s all a tough and dirty job and nobody but God has the moral clarity to do it. He’s the original Bastard. A real Professional. To top it all off He had billions of fools convinced of His mercy and His goodness. They were ready to tell you that “God so loved the world. …
O sinnerman where will you run to
O sinnerman where will you run to
O sinnerman where will you run to
All on that day
There wasn’t any kind of great switcheroo where my hatred was replaced with love and the peace that passeth all understanding. It wasn’t a replacement, but it was a departure.
I did not forget the photograph. I would never forget the photograph. But I did let go of the idea that the evil it embodied was an Act of God. It took me a long time, a lot of hate, and a very simple song before I understood that every act of evil is an Act of Man.
Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
God interceded.
There was a day when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, where he said,
“This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” …
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.
O sinnerman where will you run to …
Run to the mountain
The mountain wont hide you
Run to the sea
The sea will not have you
And run to your grave
Your grave will not hold you.
So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Your grave will not hold you
all on that day
run to the lord
The Hebrew Scriptures say that the word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.
O sinnerman where will you run to
O sinnerman where will you run to
O sinnerman where will you run to?
Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. … The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard … .
O sinnerman where will you run to?
Run to the sea
The sea will not have you
And run to your grave
Your grave will not hold you
all on that day.
Where can we run to? The Psalmist asked that question: “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Jonah surely did not think he could escape God. He instead sought to disqualify himself from carrying out God’s command by running away from what God wanted him to do.
Is that the escape we try to make, too? To run away from our God-commanded responsibilities? Why on earth do we think we can succeed? Not even the grave can hide us when the Lord comes again. The prophet Malachi had words to say about that:
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire … And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the children of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may give offerings to the LORD in righteousness.
O sinnerman where will you run to?
Run to the mountain
The mountain won’t hide you
Run to the sea
The sea will not have you
And run to your grave
Your grave will not hold you
all on that day.
Run to the Lord.
When you gonna stop running?
When you gonna cease fleeing?
When you gonna stop hiding?
When you gonna start heeding?
O sinnerman, Jesus is calling!
O sinnerman, Jesus does see you!
O sinnerman, Jesus is coming,
all on that day!
O sinnerman where will you run to?
Run to the Lord!
For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.

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Europe’s non-European future

By Donald Sensing

reposted from Feb 17, 2006, at my previous site (no longer online)

Don't say no one foresaw what was going to happen to Europe once the Middle East figured out that the continent - or at least its political class - was not really interested in remaining European.

With the demographics of ethnic Europeans apparently at the cusp of an irreversible death spiral because 17 countries of the continent have birth rates of 1.3 or lower, here’s a peek inside one of Europe’s chief problems by Bruce Bawer, author of the forthcoming book, While Europe Slept : How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. Writing in the Hudson Review last fall after living in Europe for several years, Bawer observed:
Living in Europe, I gradually came to appreciate American virtues I’d always taken for granted, or even disdained—among them a lack of self-seriousness, a grasp of irony and self-deprecating humor, a friendly informality with strangers, an unashamed curiosity, an openness to new experience, an innate optimism, a willingness to think for oneself and speak one’s mind and question the accepted way of doing things. (One reason why Europeans view Americans as ignorant is that when we don’t know something, we’re more likely to admit it freely and ask questions.) While Americans, I saw, cherished liberty, Europeans tended to take it for granted or dismiss it as a naïve or cynical, and somehow vaguely embarrassing, American fiction. I found myself toting up words that begin with i: individuality, imagination, initiative, inventiveness, independence of mind. Americans, it seemed to me, were more likely to think for themselves and trust their own judgments, and less easily cowed by authorities or bossed around by “experts”; they believed in their own ability to make things better. No wonder so many smart, ambitious young Europeans look for inspiration to the United States, which has a dynamism their own countries lack, and which communicates the idea that life can be an adventure and that there’s important, exciting work to be done. Reagan-style “morning in America” clichés may make some of us wince, but they reflect something genuine and valuable in the American air. Europeans may or may not have more of a “sense of history” than Americans do (in fact, in a recent study comparing students’ historical knowledge, the results were pretty much a draw), but America has something else that matters—a belief in the future.
 This is the continent that is the very front line against Islamism. Whatever one might say about Osaama bin Laden, et. al., that they lack faith in the future isn’t it. They are convinced to the marrow of their bones that Islam is mere years away from dominating not just Europe, but the entire planet.

Will Europeans succumb without a fight? Well, their governments certainly will, but that the people will is not at all certain. After the brutal, Islamist murder of Theo van Gogh in Holland, some ethnic Dutch torched some mosques, which was decried as a terrible thing at the time but which we realize from the cartoon protests is actually a valid response to being made angry. In The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?, Tony Blankley speculates that the coming years in Europe may be bloody as ethnic Europeans (my term, not his) realize that their governments are determined to surrender to the Islamists. The masses, he says, may suddenly decide not to stand for it and the prospect of open battles in the streets of major cities may become reality. Or maybe not, Blankley says, because it’s far from certain as well that the masses of Europe have that kind of energy or fight left in them.

But even if they do, they will still lose. The death spiral is real, not speculative. Unless the European masses decide to accept 20 years of a dramatically lower economy so that women can leave the work force to have 2-3 babies apiece, Europe, as a European continent, is done for. What do you think the odds of the masses deciding to do that are?
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lying down with dogs and Marxists holding elections

By Donald Sensing

Daily Caller: "After Crushing Defeat, DNC Quirk Still Gives Hillary More New Hampshire Delegates Than Sanders"

In fact, even though Sanders won the N.H. primary with 60 percent of the Democrat vote, Hillary Clinton was allocated two delegates more than he was.

... thanks to the Democratic Party’s nominating system, he leaves the Granite State with at least 13 delegates while she leaves with at least 15 delegates.

New Hampshire has 24 “pledged” delegates, which are allotted based on the popular vote. Sanders has 13, and Clinton has 9, with 2 currently allotted to neither.

But under Democratic National Committee rules, New Hampshire also has 8 “superdelegates,” party officials who are free to commit to whomever they like, regardless of how their state votes. Their votes count the same as delegates won through the primary.

New Hampshire has 8 superdelegates, 6 of which are committed to Hillary Clinton, giving her a total of 15 delegates from New Hampshire as of Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Neither Sanders nor Clinton can possibly be surprised by this and I hardly see how Sanders could think it "unfair," nor could Hillary were the delegate count the other way round.

Hillary: "You know I stabbed you in the back and robbed you blind on delegates, right?
Sanders: "Of course I know. You are cheating better than I am. But just wait."
Way back in 1980 a Marxist writer explained how elections work - and are supposed to work - in a bourgeoisie country (and the USA is definitely that). After delineating the tedium and manufactured excitement of the primaries and delegate counting and national political conventions and all the rest of American politics, writer Paul Saba explains how the elections were "Reaffirming the Marxist Theory of the State":
What is the purpose of this elaborate extravaganza? Marxists have long noted that insofar as its stated purpose is concerned–determining the question of political power in modern society–it is no more than a charade, a political sleight of hand in which the more things seem to change, the more do they remain the same. But Marxists do not deserve any special credit for making such an observation. One hardly has to be a Marxist to grasp the fact that bourgeois elections do not, in any way, impinge upon or alter questions of power. The general cynicism among the masses toward politics and politicians–a cynicism which runs far deeper than can be measured solely by noting the large numbers of people who do not bother to vote in elections–is itself proof that the futility and corruption of bourgeois politics has become a part of U.S. folklore.
In Marxist theory the whole point of elections is to give the proles the illusion that they have a say in the outcome and how the country is run. But they don't and they shouldn't. At least, not by the bourgeois world view.

What Marxists should do about this was debated quite a bit before the Russian Revolution. On the one hand, a faction believed that once the workers had cast off their chains and appropriated the means of production (the industrial plant), then the proletariat would be able to vote truly and well because the capitalist bourgeoisie would not be allowed or able to blinker them and the natural purity of their proletariat hearts. Hence, right away elections could continue to be hled and this time, dadgummit, they actually would mean something.

The competing view, held by the Russian Bolsheviks, was that they were the "vanguard of the revolution" and that therefore Marx's instruction of the necessity of a temporary dictatorship of the proletariat -- meaning by Lenin and his gang, not the general proletariat - was the key to bringing forth True Communism.
In Marxism-Leninism, true communism was a state in which material production was so great that all human needs were met without shortage. Greed would therefore disappear and the inherent but capitalist-suppressed natural nobility of men and women would emerge. They would be transformed into true communists - altruists who worked each day for the good of the people, not for crass, selfish profit. 
The vanguard revolutionaries understood that to leap from workers in chains, unaware of how deluded and ignorant they really were, and in political infancy, to the status of the True Communist Man was stupidly unrealistic. So their own dictatorship was a deplorable but critically-important step to bring the long-oppressed and unenlightened proles to political maturity and understanding. Truly fair, honest and meaningful elections certainly would be held - eventually. Just not yet. But trust us, it's right around the corner, any day now. Forever.

So Soviet elections - and those of every other socialist country ever -- were a complete sham and were supposed to be a sham. The education and political training of the general proletariat was not quite complete and if we let them have a real say in matters, they will only enchain themselves once again. So for the proles' own good the vanguard of the revolution (maybe in its fourth generation by now!) must also be the conservators of the revolution.

Since the Democrat party is utterly dominated by a Marxist world view, it's no surprise that the system is (a) rigged like this, and (b) Sanders knows it is and says so. But don't think for a minute that he thinks it is unfair.

When you lie down with dogs don't be surprised that you get up with fleas. And when socialists hold elections, don't be surprised that they are the most crooked elections ever.

Here is an explanation of the competing Marxist view of elections, but this view did not prevail:

Update: That US elections are rigged has long been a staple of Leftist thought, but now is very solidly established on the far right as well. FOFB just today. Funny how this summarizes what Marxist Saba said 36 years ago.

Update: Heh!

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Perma-Pizza Paradise!

By Donald Sensing

An Army lab figured out how to make pizza that lasts 3 years!

Sometime in 2017, soldiers will be opening up MRE #37 and tearing into the pizza pouch, scarfing down a slice of pie that Oleksyk says tastes like "day after pizza" or the kind you'd find in a school cafeteria.
Um, uh.... Hey! It's PIZZAAAAA! In a bag!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Let's make it simple

By Donald Sensing

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Who needs evidence when we got feelings?

By Donald Sensing

Evidence Mounts: Minimum Wage Hikes Cost Jobs - The American Interest

It may be that minimum wage boosters will ultimately be forced to the argument enunciated by Robert Reich, a sharp thinker and a sometime TAI contributor: Yes, dramatic minimum wage hikes might risk destroying large numbers of jobs, but that is a sacrifice worth making so that all workers can be safely out of poverty without government assistance. But that position still doesn’t fly: Severing low-skilled workers’ connection to the labor market—where they could ideally attain the skills they need to earn a higher-paying job—is cruel, even if it is undertaken with the best of intentions.
I deny that the Left has best intentions. That aside, how exactly can Reich argue that "destroying large numbers of jobs" is the avenue to lead "all workers can be safely out of poverty"? To be a worker to begin with, don't you have to actually go to work? And if the jobs are destroyed, how do you do that?

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

How good is socialism?

By Donald Sensing

Because after all,

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"The real world is not going along with rapid warming"

By Donald Sensing

Climate Scientist Debunked Claims Satellite Data Is Flawed

In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming th an surface thermometers.

“That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere,” Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee.

“When a theory contradicts the facts” you need to change the theory, Christy said. “The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board.”
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Finnish rape prevention is sadly not a joke

By Donald Sensing

I have commented before that it is getting increasingly difficult to distinguish reality from satire. Now from Finland is a state-made video advising women on how to ward off sexual predators.

I have tried and tried to make sure that this is not a satire video, but sadly, it is, as best as I can ascertain, genuine. And it is appalling.

Honestly, my first reaction seeing this was, "The Force is strong with this one!" I am sure the "Stop!" technique would be even more effective if the woman says, "I am not the rape victim you are looking for."

Then there is this smartphone video made by an attendee at a town meeting in Germany. One gathers from the video (English subtitles) that there is a Muslim migrant camp in or on the edge of town. The townspeople want to know what the mayor is going to do to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, especially girls, who walk near the camp on the way to and from school. There were events recently that caused real concerns among families.

The mayor's answer? "Don't provoke them and don't walk in these areas."

Needless to say, this does not go down well with the town's families.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The math of coin tossing in Iowa

By Donald Sensing

Ah, the Bernie Sanders camp is crying Foul this morning:

Then there is the fact that in at least six precincts (that we know of so far) Hillary attained a bare majority of votes literally on a coin toss. Which is to say that the Clinton side called the coin flip accurately six times, the odds of which are 64:1 against. Which is to say a 1.5 percent chance.

However, that calculation would seem valid only if the same person (or candidate's rep) made the call all six times. But Hillary-camp did not make all six calls. The WaPo mentions one toss that was called (wrong) by Sanders' side and presumably there were others.

If each side got to call three tosses, then what are the odds that Clinton would still win all six? Another way of asking is, What are the odds that Sanders' side would choose wrong three times and Clinton's choose right three times?

For Sanders' side to choose wrong the first time is one chance in two, or .5. The same chance pertains for the other two flips, also, so the odds stack thus in getting all three flips wrong: .5 X .5 X.5, which equals .125, or 12.5 percent (8:1). That does not seem to dauntingly out of the realm of possibility. In fact, if the Powerball lottery had winning odds of 8:1, I'd buy nine tickets every time! Of course, the same calculation is used for Hillary's odds of choosing the winning toss three times.

So there is a one in eight chance that Sanders will choose his three flips wrong, and the same that Hillary will choose her three flips right. Combined, the chance of Hillary winning all six tosses are .125 X .125=.015, right? So doesn't that put us back to where we started?

Nope. Each toss is an independent event: one toss coming up heads neither increases nor decreases that chance that a subsequent toss will land either way, nor does it affect the probability that the next call will be more or less likely to be right or wrong. There were six separate tosses, each with a .5 chance of landing as called.

The second reason is that while it might make sense to link each candidate's prediction together to multiply probabilities, I do not think you can cross from Sanders to Hillary and link their respective probabilities together. There were, in a sense, not six coin tosses that Hillary won, there were two sets of three tosses. Hillary won one set and Sanders lost the other, and those two outcomes are not necessarily probabilistically related, even though they are politically related.

Further complicating this is the fact that the actual calculation needed is not the odds of the coins falling heads or tails. The coins landed sometimes one, sometimes the other. The odds that need to be calculated are not those of heads or tails, but the odds that the caller will accurately predict which.

And this teaches us why intuition is not reliable when calculating probability. There is a 50-50 chance that a toss will fall heads. But there is also a 50-50 chance that a caller will call heads in advance. So intuitively, it would seem that you have right off the bat a .5 X .5 = .25, or 25 percent chance that the call will be accurate. And then for three calls in a row, .25*.25*.25, or .015 chance that all three calls will be right, meaning that Hillary's win of all tosses is a truly astounding .015*.015, or 0.000225 (0.0225 percent)!

Except it isn't. You can see why easily by charting the pairing of possible calls and with possible outcomes:

You can see that the chance remains 0.5 to make the correct call. There are four possible call/fall pairings and the caller wins two and loses two.

Update: Is it an error to connect these coin tosses as a sequence? I could argue that they are not. They were in fact independent events that each had nothing to do with each other - separate coins, separate players, separate locations, different times. Hillary's team called some and Sanders' team called others. Hillary in fact did not win six tosses; she won some and Sanders lost the others, as I explained above. There's a difference.

There may be no more reason to chain these together as a mathematically-linked sequence than to link her correct calls with the odds that a NY cabbie could make a run through three or four consecutive green lights.

But someone out there with actual training in probability and statistics, leave a comment!

Update: Now news media are reporting that there were many more coin tosses than just these six. The WaPo:
The initial 6-for-6 report, from the Des Moines Register missed a few Sanders coin-toss wins. (There were a lot of coin tosses!) The ratio of Clinton to Sanders wins was closer to 50-50, which is what we'd expect.

And remember:

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Why is this man pointing?

By Donald Sensing

A long time ago, Gerard Vanderleun made the pages of the Saturday Evening Post, which was at the time is America's oldest still-extant periodical. (Alas, it is extant no longer.) Correction: Gerard emails, "Saturday Evening Post is still being published. My mother is a subscriber and an old friend, Steve Slon, is the editor."

Gerard was a Leftist radical back in the day, 1966, and IIRC was actually a founding member of the U.C. Berkeley Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, whose most important training slogan to raise up more young radicals was, "The issue isn't the issue." In 1966, Berkeley was the unchallenged place to be to join the vanguard of the revolution to remake America into a fairer, more just, more equitable society, blah, blah, blah.

If you keep up with Gerard these days at his American Digest blog (and you really, really should) you know that he long ago abandoned the empty plate of leftism and is one of the strongest proponents you'll find for personal liberty flowering within a constrained state. I grabbed the photo above from this post.

It used to be used to be an annual tradition of Esquire's January edition to ask, "Why is this man laughing?" - same photo every year:

Why is this man laughing?
Sorry, Gerard, I cannot resist ripping off that theme for this penetrating, important question:

Why is this man pointing?
Which, of course, makes this post a caption contest. Leave your caption as a comment, please read commenting rules which are fiercely enforced.

I'll start:

1. "No, the Bernie Sanders statue should be erected over there by our grandkids. Or maybe Trump's. We'll have to wait and see."

2. "There wolf. There castle. What big knockers you have!"

3. "No, this is UC Berkeley, not Liberty University. It's that way. You should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque."

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