Let’s Argue Substance For A Change

In a world where narratives count more than facts and data, we may be evolving to a time people armed with actual knowledge are in a place to shut down those too lazy to ground their positions in something other than personal prejudice. Take the Trump true believers claiming election fraud. They’ve yet to produce anything when challenged to show us the basis for their claims. The other side has placed their goods on the table. Only the like-minded listen to these people. Others cast their votes against “Trump Won” candidates.

We can deal the same fate to those claiming the world is ending because of overpopulation, climate change, or a combination of the two. Adherents of “the science” tell us Covid came from a “wet Market,” locking everyone down, including children, prevents the spread, and mandating vaccination for everyone numerous times is necessary. Our nation’s history is really what “The 1619 project ‘ claims. The gap in the U.S. between rich and poor has grown to an all-time high.

We know from the Russian Collusion and The Biden Laptop fiascos those without facts turn to suppress those that do. Unless you’re the Chinese Communist Party, facts ultimately will come out. We can extend the growing embarrassment of elites in politics and media taking this route to their followers.

Simply asking for the basis of their position on any of these subjects may result in a blank look. How can you question dogma? Everyone knows this is true. I read it in the N.Y. Times or The Washington Post. O.K., but where are the facts? Could you show us the data? Volunteer to read whatever they can provide, but in return, they have to read your sources. 

Of course, you need to have sources to offer. If you don’t readily have them, may I suggest a few easily accessible books and articles that skewer many progressive, most cherished themes?

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Cancel Culture is Alive & Well

Standing up for Roseanne Barr when she made some nutty comments wasn’t a popular stance. Rather than losing the program she created, I felt an apology was sufficient. My rationale is that people in the humor business must test boundaries to hold a mirror up to us. Sometimes the humor falls flat. Often it takes off-kilter people to have to view things differently. As Jay Leno often said, “this comedy thing isn’t so easy.” Still, we need George Carlins and Jerry Seinfelds to make us aware of ourselves in a humorous way.

Now we have Dilbert cartoon creator Scott Adams having his work dumped across the board. His sin, citing a Rasmussen Poll showing approximately half of the blacks unable to agree that it’s alright to be white. Adams took this to indicate racism. If every other black you meet views you negatively simply because of your skin color, that is the definition of rampant racism.

My first reaction is Adams is kidding us on the square. He went on to say you should stay away from blacks. The inference is an interaction with people unfavorably viewing you might end badly. Many whites, including myself, avoid interactions with blacks for fear of inadvertently saying something that could ruin their life. The situation is different t when traveling abroad. You must cut others’ slack and hope they do the same with you there.

If a poll instead showed half the whites could not agree that being black is alright, would that indicate racism? In today’s climate, I think most would agree it is racist. It would lead on CNN and MSNBC. “Half of the whites won’t say it’s alright to be black,” proving widespread white racism.” You know it’s true.

The formula is the same. Adams says 50% of a population (P) polled (in his case, blacks) won’t agree with the proposition. In his case, it’s 50%P=racism. In the latter case, 50%P (White)=racism. How is this different? How is Adams wrong? Has he held the mirror up to us?

Adams told us on what he based his statements, a poll. Some have said Rasmussen is right-wing or unreliable. Still, it’s included in the Real Clear Politics averages and ranked for accuracy like CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Your beef is with the poll, not Adams.

 To survive, we must give people, especially humorists, room to ply their trade here at home. You can’t be friends with someone you fear is looking to get you. Stay away from Blacks and anything relating to them is excellent advice. Sadly, Adams’ cancellation supports his advice to avoid anything Black.

If you can no longer find this blog, WordPress probably canceled me.

The Right To Shoot Back Doctrine

The Ukraine War has reached a crucial moment. Russia is trying to advance in the East while threatening an attack through its client state, Belarus. The Ukrainians have battled the Russians into giving up some territory, but their civilians are taking a beating. Ukraine needs more and better weapons to maintain momentum.

There can be only one winner in this war. It would seem a no-brainer for the U.S. and its allies to go all in to ensure a Ukrainian victory. If Ukraine drives the invaders out of their country, Russia no longer threatens our NATO allies, and we will avoid direct involvement in a European war. If Russia doesn’t lose, given time, it will rebuild its military to resume aggression towards Ukraine and its neighbors. 

Recently, Ukrainians arrived in the U.S. to train on the Patriot air-defense system. The question is, why can’t we give Ukraine the tools to win in a timely fashion? Instead of shipping needed tanks today, we’re witnessing Germany refusing to O.K. the transfer of German-made Tiger tanks unless the U.S. contributes some of its Abrams tanks. 

The Russians pummel civilians and infrastructure with drones and rockets sent from bases out of the range of Ukraine’s present weapons while the Ukrainians wait. Many of these bases are in Russia. 

The situation calls for a simple logical policy change. You don’t restrict your friends to knives in a gunfight. Just give Ukraine weapons to shoot back. If someone shoots at you, the right of self-defense says you can return fire. You’re not escalating, just leveling the field to protect yourself. If bad guys have guns, law enforcement has to have them, too, if they’re to be effective.

A simple solution is to give Ukraine the means to hit back. If Russia sends rockets or drones from bases in Russia or Crimea, give Ukraine drones and rockets to take out whence they come. Do the same with planes. 

An agreement with Ukrainians to only use long-range weapons to take out these bases is quite doable. With our satellite and trajectory computing, we know exactly where the Russians are launching attacks. This action is only returning fire. The Russians are placing the bullseye on these locations—no attacks from there, no return attack.

Early in the war, it was reasonable to fear that any long-range weapons provided to the Ukrainians might result in hitting Moscow. After a year of close cooperation, an agreement only to assail identified targets are reasonable. The deal is in the interests of both the U.S. and Ukraine. A resulting irrational response from Putin isn’t in anybody’s interest.

Lessening or eliminating air, drone, and rocket attacks from the previously out-of-range bases gives the Ukrainians military, economic, and morale boosts., while having the opposite effect on Russia.

Facing losses in people and equipment, an unpopular Belarus government might find getting involved in Russia’s war unattractive. Knowing you’re getting hit back focuses the mind.

Older planes, drones, and long-range HIMARs exist in our inventory—only a short time is needed to bring them to bear in the field. The Ukrainians have proven very adept at mastering a wide variety of arms.

Once available, we establish a website showing where attacks on Ukraine originated. Then we have a choice of immediately retaliating or warning Russia and Belarus to expect to be hit wherever an attack on Ukraine emanates. 

The first option would yield immediate results. The second option puts Putin on the horns of the dilemma. He could divert resources to protect his bases and continue using them or cease using them, thereby avoiding heavy losses, resulting in a significant plus for the Ukrainians.

If Russia opts for the second choice, the new equipment can return fire anywhere within Ukraine. For instance, the Crimean area lies within Ukraine’s recognized borders and is the main staging ground for drone attacks. Only lack of range has prevented this in the past. 

The beauty of this “Right to Shoot Back” doctrine is that it leaves it up to Russia and Belarus whether the war widens geographically. Just returning fire isn’t escalation. It simply matches what your opponent does. Whatever Putin decides, Ukraine is in a much stronger position. Without safe bases, we’ve significantly weakened Russia and Belarus. We get this result without endless discussions with our allies. This policy is a win-win any way you look at it.

He’s Back!

The new year is off to a bizarre start. My last post featured Paul Erlich’s debunked “Population Bomb” theory as an example of a phony crisis. The book was published decades ago, so I was going back in history to make a point. I later learned that Paul Erhlich appeared on 60 Minutes simultaneously with my post. Here he is on the nation’s best known News Show, again spouting that the sky is falling. Too many people doom us at a time of Global Warming.

Winner of multiple Emmys and writer’s guild awards, Scot Peely, conducted the interview. The 60 Minute anchor intently listened while Erhlich told us we faced extinction. Peely, as an example of species extinction, cuts to an interview with a Native American lamenting salmon extinction. Charged with grilling Salmon for our non-meat eaters on Christmas Day, I found no lack of Salmon choices. Just the opposite, plenty of steaks and fillets. Somehow this had something to do with our causing biodiversity loss, dooming us.

Species are always going extinct. Sometimes humans are responsible. If early North American inhabitants hadn’t hunted horses to extinction, they might not have had to wait for Spaniards to reintroduce them. 

The interview highlighted every point I attempted to make in my last post. Propagandists posing as journalists with awards attesting to their abilities continue disproven narratives.

 Wikipedia devotes a whole section to the bet, but this supposed great journalist couldn’t find it? Scott Pelly should have made more effort to provide Erhlichs’s challenging back history. No mention of his humiliating wager loss to Julian Simon.

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Why Do They Lie and Suppress?

My last post noted leaders on both the left and the right tell whoppers, but only the right punishes. The left not only stands fast behind their lies but actively works to suppress embarrassing facts. What accounts for this disparity? The answer may reside in society’s historical makeup. 

My series on “The Long Journey To More” stated there were only three ways to gain”More,” take it from somebody else, trade, or innovate. Before the 15th century, the first two were prevalent. Innovation was a slow and uneven process. The wheeled axle took many thousands of years to develop. The idea only made it to the new world after Columbus.

As people became agrarian and settled out of necessity, humankind across the world formed stratified societies. The lack of materials limited the ability to read, write and use numbers to less than 10% of any population. Because they knew the literate dominated. 

The educated group was mostly hereditary and governed, ran the military, and performed religious functions. As a result, most of the good things in life accrued to them. The rest of humanity led near-subsistence lives. 

The exceptions to this elite-peasant split were artisans and traders. Reading, writing, and arithmetic likely started with these people. The necessity to record and total transactions or make measurements demanded a specific literacy.   

Change threatens the stability of privileged positions; it enhances the prospects of others. Of course, this meant tension between the relatively comfortable elite and those striving to do things better and more profitable. Accommodations between these classes were constant to reduce friction. Still, the two made up the literate one in ten.

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