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Archive for the ‘on the radio – ooo oh oh oh oh’ Category

What is in a word? Apparently a lot of the recent hullabaloo over Rush Limbaugh‘s use of the word ‘slut’ in describing women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke.

Some time ago, I ran into a usage of the word ‘slut’ that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I tried to find the reference, but the Fluke/Limbaugh/contraception story is so out of control at the moment, any searches I try to do on google either bring up that story or a whole slew of pornography. The essence of the usage was akin to that of ‘bitch’. The references I had seen attributed the use of the word ‘slut’ also to that of breeding classes of animals. i.e. on a farm, a female animal considered to be well suited to mothering more animals of the breed was referred to as ‘the slut’ in much the same, non-negative manner that we call a female dog used for breeding ‘the bitch’.

Cow Slut

The etymology of the term is a bit cloudy, it’s origins most likely pointing to a word meaning something akin to ‘mud’ or otherwise un-pure liquid. And it appears it’s usage in application to women of ‘loose sexual morals’ (as defined at wikipedia) goes back about as far as it’s usage when referring to farm breeding stock or dogs – possibly farther. But the term appears to have parallel usage in both aspects going back at least as far as most etymological sources I can find can speak for. It would be my guess that the existence of one usage helps support the usage of the other and vice versa.

So let’s examine the usage of words like ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ in relation to breeding stock. What would be considered the most desirable traits of an animal you wish to breed. It should have desirable attributes — attributes consistent with what you want from that particular type of animal. If it’s a cow, you might want an ability to produce lots of milk or perhaps to produce the best cuts of meat. For a sheep you might instead prefer an animal capable of producing a thick coat of wool. On a pig you might want the biggest backstrap to make bacon. But all-in-all, it boils down to ‘desirable characteristics’, whatever they may be.

Another big requirement of a slut or bitch, is a lack of resistance to sexual activity. If you are going to be breeding an animal, you aren’t going to want to go through a lot of fuss any time you seek to sire the female. Any good slut would not be resistant to the advances of the animal you bring to ‘stud’ her with or from.

Thus is why I think these two usages support one another. When applied to a female, it applies to a woman who is generally presumed to not be too resistant to having sex with anyone. In essence, to quote an old musical, “she’s just a girl who can’t say no!”

So no everyone is getting offended because ole Rush, a radio talk show host, said something sensational! Isn’t that kind of like getting upset because the sun rises? OH MY GOODNESS, a person who makes their living by being sensational was BEING SENSATIONAL!!! Call out the national guard!  But was what he said really ‘offensive’?  Was what he said, a response to something equally or of greater offensiveness?  Well, why should I say anything, Rush is more than capable of speaking about such things for himself:

Listen to Rush Limbaugh“What is she 30 years old? Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.

And thus, a new welfare entitlement must be created so that society will pay for it. You know, somebody asked me, “Why are you so insulting?” Me? Can anybody understand that a whole lot of us are insulted by this? Here we are, we’re minding our business one day. We’re bothering nobody. We can’t anyway! We can’t inspect your kids’ lunch box. We can’t raise your taxes. We can’t send your kids off to war. We can’t make you buy a certain kind of car. We can’t do anything. And all of a sudden we’re told that people who want to have sex without consequence, sex with no responsibility, and we have pay for it! We’re told we have to pay for it — and if we object, that somehow we’re Neanderthal. Just out of nowhere this comes up.

Now, that, to me, is insulting.

It’s no different than if somebody that I don’t know knocked on my door and said, “You know what? I’m outta money. I can’t afford birth control pills and I’m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.”

“Well, why are you coming to me?”

“Well, because you’ve got the money.”

“Well, have you ever thought maybe you shouldn’t? If you can’t afford it, you can’t do it.”

Where is it written that all of a sudden, if you want something and don’t have the money for it, somebody else has to pay for it. I think the whole notion of being insulted here is misplaced. There are a lot of us insulted by this whole idea that is growing throughout the Obama administration, that the people who make this country work are somehow not doing their fair share. Not paying their fair share. We’ve gotta be punished even more. And here’s the latest example of it.”

(From Transcript)

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Mitch Albom at WJR 760am

Well, once again good ole Mitch Albom set off my ‘critical thinking bullshit detector’ on my commute home. Today he had on a guest who was discussing some research he was apparently trying to collect on the Michigan Concealed Carry law as part of the acknowledgement of it being passed 10 years ago.

Among some of the other things that were discussed, the guest had pointed out some of the things that the law proposed to do.  Obviously, it established a legal process for a ‘no fault’ CCW. (‘no fault’ in this instance refers to the fact that instead of having to prove a ‘need’ to have such a permit, the responsibility instead falls upon the issuing body to prove cause not to provide one to anyone applying) It also established anonymity protection for the applicants, i.e. not adding their names to some kind of publicly accessible registry.  But apparently, it also established reporting guidelines to better assess any impact on illegal activities that permit owners might be involved with in any way.

Apparently, one of the beefs that Mr. Albom wanted to highlight is that this reporting standard did not carry with it any penalties for non-compliance.  And also apparently, many jurisdictions have not been complying with these reporting guidelines.

Now at this point let me say that I agree with both Mr. Albom and his guest.  If there is a requirement in the law that crimes related to CCW permit holders be reported, they should be.  If, for whatever reason, jurisdictions are not reporting these statistics then that is a legitimate beef to take up with those jurisdictions.  But that is where my agreements end.  And the fact that Mr. Albom felt the need to make this ‘news’ at all reminded me all to clearly of the non-issue news about the potential hazards of Reardon metal in the book Atlas Shrugged.

I’ll give Mitch credit that he did present both sides of the arguments.  He did point out at least twice that you can neither say that crimes are occurring as a result of increased handgun carrying by-way-of legal CCW permit carrying citizens nor can you say that crimes are being prevented by CCW permit carrying citizens when such statistics are not reported.  But he then went on at least half a dozen times to suggest that the statistics on CCW related crimes are under-reported.

If you cannot determine either way, then that is nothing more than an assumption.  You could just as easily assume that these statistics are not being reported because these jurisdictions in question have little or nothing to report!  With that said, the latter is still an assumption, but I would argue it is a safer assumption than the one he is alleging by way of suggesting an under-reporting of CCW related crime.  He also added to this suggestion that ‘there’s not way to tell’.  But I think there is.

There are organizations with political motives on both sides of the debate that could benefit from news one way or another.  (he tacitly eluded to this as well but did not correlate it as it would have no doubt damaged his presumption of ‘under reported crimes)  Both sides have people who monitor the news and would report on any and all successes and/or abuses (respective to their political motive) that benefited their side of the debate.  BUT….. the media tends to reverberate the negative, anti-gun sentiments wider, farther and longer than any pro-gun news.

If in fact there were known abuses of the law by CCW permit holders, the media would pounce on that like a bunch of blood crazed hounds.  Witness the case of Bernie Goetz as a gleaming example of the kind of media bias I am referring to.  Although not a legal-CCW related case, the media went crazy over the coverage of the criminal charges against Mr. Goetz and almost entirely glossed over the criminal acts being committed against him at the time.  (they also grossly under reported the ‘effects’ of his actions on the crime statistics in the NY subway in the weeks following his criminal act of self-defense)

To say there is ‘no way to know for sure’ simply because statistics are under-reported to support either claim, is to over look the media blood-lust for anti-gun rhetoric, in the midst of perpetuating more anti-gun rhetoric!

Unfortunately Mr. Albom, I must say yet again….

Critical-Thinking Bullshit Detector

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On the way back from the store, I managed to catch the last few minutes of a prolonged rant by radio talk host Mark Lavin.   He was all worked up in his typical lather, this time because President Obama decided not to release photos of Osama Bin Laden taken after the recent raid leading to his death.

Among other things, Mr. Lavin alleged that we wouldn’t have hesitated to post such photos in World War II or worry about hurting the feelings of the Japanese or the Germans in that war, saying “I don’t give a damn!” in regards to any offense caused to combatant Muslim fundamentalists who qualify as terrorists.

While I am in agreement about not worrying about offending terrorists, and while not wanting to make anything akin to a ‘moral equivalence‘ argument, I have to disagree with the nature of his comments in regards to the photos.  I will avoid making it a moral equivalence argument by refraining from phrasing it as ‘how can we say…’ type statements but instead focusing on ‘why’ we have made some arguments in the past in support of my view as to why we ‘should not‘ release any photos of Bin Laden’s dead body.

Nick Berg

Almost exactly 7 years ago on May 7th, 2004 we learned of the gruesome death of Nicholas Evan Berg when not only was the news released of his being captured and held by terrorists, but the terrorists themselves released a video of his being beheaded that went viral on the internet.  At the time we were outraged not only by the act itself but by the superfluous act of releasing the footage.

9/11

Then of course there was 9/11, when we saw Palestinians celebrating in the streets of Israel  with reports of celebration in other regions known to be less friendly to the US and western nations.

Al Jazeera

We expressed outrage at news sources like Al Jazeera for continuing to be a mouthpiece for Bin Laden and other pro-terror leaders who were doing little less than gloating following various attacks on pro-western targets.

It’s not Moral Equivalence.

I am not making an argument that ‘we are no better than them’.  We clearly are.  There are ongoing complaints that we often go ‘too far’ in trying to promote the ‘rights’ or at least to take great care in protecting the rights of innocents in our efforts to put an end to terrorism.  (Mark Lavin’s argument is just another example of one of these)  We are better because we do not act without reasonable cause and without seeking input and even assistance from our allies and the international community in general.

And, as I already stated, I am not going to frame this from the perspective of ‘how can we possibly …. in the future if…‘.  Instead, look at why we were outraged by the prior events mentioned.  We do follow reason and there were reasons to be outraged.

Our leaders may use reason and consultation in coming to solutions, but our leaders are practically guaranteed airtime whenever they speak of our achievements to destroy our enemies.  Because our leaders use reason and wisdom, and because our nation bears global influence, there is nothing wrong with that.  And we support freedom of the press.  And our leader has already spoken of the death of this enemy to our freedoms.

Again, Obama was far more justified to go on media sources to break the news.  Our action was a response to specific acts recognized worldwide as unprovoked attacks on innocent citizens.  While an Islamic extremist could probably raise many events relating to specific acts of the west that are worthy of question and even condemnation, they do not seek acceptance or agreement with their ideas in the global community but instead act hastily and recklessly and cheer the deaths of innocents and combatants alike.

We’ve already seen footage that has made the news wires of celebrations in Washington DC and New York city following the announcement by our president.  Many news sources and political figures are quickly trying to point out that the celebrations ‘probably’ reflect a celebration of justice having been done.  And whether or not there are vindictive, vengeful faces in those crowds, I do not think it wholly unreasonable that most in the crowd would concur with that assessment of their motives.

(consequently, there were also large scale celebrations in the Arabic community here in Dearborn, MI – and they are essentially saying the same thing, that they are celebrating justice having been done.  They point out the fact that Bin Laden has killed more Muslims than Americans.  But additionally many of the former middle eastern Muslims here are also saying they are glad to see him gone because of the damage he has done to the reputation of non-extremist followers of Islam)

Finally, do we really want to cross the last border of those things we have previously condemned (with good reason) by making public the pictures of a dead leader of our enemies?  What would it achieve?  Lavin eluded to things such as ‘showing our resolve’ or making it clear to our enemies ‘what we are capable of’.  But was not tracking down and killing him sufficient to do that?  What necessity is there to release the photos that would not qualify as braggadocio or overkill?

Justice was served when we sent in the seals and they got the job done.  There is no necessity of heaping on gratuitous releases of macabre photos and putting us in the same camp as our enemies when it comes to how we behave as a civilized nation.

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South Moreland High SchoolFetal Matter Found In Westmoreland County School

Blood Discovered In Southmoreland High School Stairwell

SCOTTDALE, Pa. — The Westmoreland County coroner says that no criminal activity is suspected after the discovery of blood and fetal matter in a Southmoreland High School stairwell.
[..]
Police said a janitor first noticed blood in a restroom, with more drops leading to the stairwell where the fetal matter was found.

No, this is not one of my typical ‘mock’ news stories.  I found this initial news story that was released shortly after finding the material in the stairwell.

The story goes on to say that police were called and the Westmoreland Coroner brought in to examine the fetal remains.  Initial estimates by the coroner stated that “it appears to be about seven weeks old“.

They mention that an all out search was launched at the school to find what they presumed to be a student related to the discovery.  At least one telling of the story I heard on the radio mentioned that ‘Right to Life’ groups were considering demonstrations at the school to try to promote their values to the students.

There is a lesson in this

The reason, of course, that they went to such extremes so quickly and why the right to life groups were prepared to mobilize is not simply concern for the student.  Issues involving teen pregnancy and the abortion issue in general are highly emotional issues.

The emotions around these issues lead from the fact that the “Right to Life” movement believes that a mass of fetal tissue is what amounts to a viable human life and therefore should be afforded the same rights.  That to abort such a ‘viable’ life with a ‘soul’ is akin to murder, and not only a sin before God but should be not only forbidden under law but prosecuted as murder.

Of course, this was not from an abortion.  The story mentions that the police stated that “because the matter appears to be related to a miscarriage, police said no charges are expected.”   But still, based on their beliefs, the right-to-lifers were ready to march into an already sensitive situation and put on demonstrations for this ‘dead human life’ and this ‘lost soul’.

So why do I say there’s a lesson in there?  Read the follow-up story that came out the following day after the Coroner had a chance to examine the ‘remains’:

Found ‘fetus’ in Southmoreland High School veggie matter

ALVERTON, Pa — An analysis has determined that a suspected 7-week-old fetus discovered in a stairwell at Southmoreland High School was some sort of “vegetable matter and not human remains,” according to forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht of Pittsburgh.
[..]
Wecht said he couldn’t be sure of the exact origin of the material because that would require too many unnecessary tests.

“The important thing is that it is not human fetal tissue,” Wecht said.

This is not to say that under the circumstances the school was not well founded to contact authorities for a proper examination.  But the news stories, the controversy, the potential for ‘demonstrations’ – all based on speculation.  Speculation within a speculation!

Based on the belief of the Janitor in finding a small amount of what ‘appeared’ to be blood in a women’s restroom at the school (gee, is there anything that might cause an appearance of ‘blood’ in a women’s toilet?) and the discovery of what was then assumed to be fetal remains by the janitor, the school administrator contacts authorities.

The authorities, going on the assumptions of the janitor, collect the alleged remains and turn them over to the coroner. Based on the ongoing assumption and what amounts to a quick glance at the material, the coroner is then asked to make an estimate on what was found.  Nothing more than a precursory collection and a chain of assumptions has taken place and the Lifers are ready to march into a sensitive situation to offer their ‘support’.

Ya gotta love the ‘believers’!

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As we draw near the annual ‘election day’, most of us are getting bombarded by political campaign advertisements and candidate interviews. I found myself considering a couple such instances the other day and caught my ‘critical thinking’ mode kicking in and thought they would make for worthy examples of the topic.

The first time I noticed myself doing it was after hearing an advertisement for two Michigan justices, Robert Young and Mary Beth Kelly.

The ad starts out commenting about the ‘wrongs’ of ‘legislating from the bench’. But then in the middle of the ad they extol as a virtue the fact that Young fought to keep a man behind bars who was being let off on a technicality. Although this is not an immediate sign of a hypocrisy, it is cause for question. i.e. if someone is facing a technicality that may overturn their verdict, those are generally resulting from laws that protect everyone against violations of rights. To seek to circumvent such ‘technicalities’ may well constitute ‘legislating from the bench’.

Shortly after I heard this and drew those conclusions, the morning host Frank Beckmann was interviewing the democratic candidate for Michigan’s attorney general post, former Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.  Leyton drew criticisms upon his opponent, Court of Appeals Judge Bill Schuette, for ‘lack of legal experience’.  He then went back to the same theme condemning Schuette for throwing out a confession for a conviction made by Leyton while prosecutor resulting in the charges being overturned on a murder charge.

The thought then struck me that ‘Court of Appeals’ is not only ‘legal experience’ but a problem with a confession is not a flaw of an appeals court judge.  A judge on the appeals court that overturns a conviction based on a technicality is doing his job.  (no where in the example did Leyton say that the ruling of Schuette was overturned by a higher court)

On the contrary, a problem with a confession used in getting a conviction that can be judged as subject to a violation  of the defendants rights (a ‘technicality) is a prosecutorial error.  He was condemning himself by the statement.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many people would have caught either of those two issues.  Thus I bring them up as example.  That thing on your shoulders is meant for more than a great place to put hats!  Use it!

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( related reading: Hot! )

A few weeks back I heard Glenn Beck make a comment in regards to the legalization of drugs.  He acknowledged in essence that a truly free society would have no such restrictions on so-called ‘controlled substances’ but added that we have such laws (against addictive substances) because Americans don’t really have the stomach to be “Stepping over the Bodies” of those who would inevitably destroy themselves with such substances were they readily available.  I have been pondering those words in my head ever since and realizing that such an attitude is central to the debate on the proper role and function of government.

I just finished posting the following to my facebook page before realizing it was a twist on the old cliche about ‘teaching a man to fish’:

Fulfilling someone’s immediate needs does not necessarily equate to compassion. Helping enable someone to fulfill their own long term needs (that facilitated the immediacy) does.

The primary functions that we assign to government, especially those (limited powers) assigned by the country’s founders in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, are more directly related to limiting government to the enforcement of protecting fundamental rights.  The role of government, as a result of the progressive era, has been steadily increased into ‘social welfare’ on the basis of it being the ‘compassionate thing to do’.  It revolves not around the limitation of government power foreseen as necessary by the founders, but the ‘responsibility’ of government to it’s citizens (which the founders actually warned against).

I have stated in previous posts that the notion of ‘positive liberties’ (government’s responsibilities to it’s citizens) were not absent from the founding documents, they were just extremely limited; providing for the common defense, promote the general welfare, establish Justice and insure domestic tranquility.  The former assigns to government the role of diplomacy and warfare (if necessary) with foreign powers, the latter concepts relate to the legislation, enforcement and adjudication of laws governing the interaction between the citizens and other citizens, citizens and incorporeal entities (e.g. businesses) or the citizens and government.

When you introduce additional governmental responsibilities as to the welfare of it’s citizens, and when you do so under the banner of it being the ‘compassionate’ thing to do, facilitating such responsibility by fulfilling immediate needs of the citizens does not (necessarily) equate to compassion.  Thus the premise is flawed and the responsibility (of government) invalidated.

[On the other hand, if the nature of such programs is to better enable the citizens to fulfill their own needs by increasing their access to opportunities which allow them to ultimately provide for their own immediate needs, that would be much easier to equate with a compassionate act that more people might be willing to support.]

But of course this has not been the method put into practice.  The existing social welfare programs have (rightfully in my opinion) been criticized as inspiring an ‘entitlement’ mentality and increasing dependency on the ‘state’.  And it is not a stretch to say that anyone who is dependent on another is not independent and therefore is not truly ‘free’.

The dirty secret that all the alleged ‘compassionate’ talk by social progressives avoid is that freedom is irrevocably tied to two things; responsibility and accountability.  To be truly free one must be responsible for themselves, and accountable for their own actions in fulfilling that responsibility.  (accountability also means they maintain sole propriety and dominion over the results of their behavior, both good and bad)

Without going into a long treatise on the lack of or subsequent loss of those concepts  in our society, (most of you can observe it for yourselves) I thought it more pertinent to reflect on what ‘returning’ to that way of thinking might actually mean.  Back to the man with the fish…

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.

Well what if the man refuses to fish or does not desire to learn?

As heart wrenching as it may seem, if someone is unwilling to help themselves, all the acts of alleged compassion in the world will not improve his condition and will likely make that man dependent on the acts of others and therefore only encourage his refusal to act on his own behalf.  Great for anyone desiring dominion over others, not great for a free society.

In essence, the concept of a free state requires not only that we allow people the right to their own “pursuit of happiness” but requires that we allow them to fail in that pursuit when necessary.  This does not mean that we cannot exercise compassion in those times of failure to help the person get back on their feet to try again, but for the man who refuses to get on his feet no matter how much ‘true’ compassion, encouragement and support they are offered – well, sorry to say it but we all need to gain the stomach to ‘step over their body’.

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