Friday, October 29, 2010

Reflections on Family Life in the Workplace

OneSTDV has recently had a great post about women and men.  Also I've been in a gender-oriented thread with Cassandra of A Letter to the Times, so I was inspired to make a short (and largely unrelated) one of my own.

One of my coworkers at work rarely talks about her children.  She occasionally talks about an ex-boyfriend of hers who was a hockey player, but mostly, when she deigns to talk about men, she talks about Edward the vampire.  She has an enormous poster of him gracing her desk (she is in her thirties), and she brings up him up whenever she can fit him in.

Today I found out she has a husband.  Is still married to him.  They met in high school.  I saw their picture - they looked like typical fresh-faced high school sweethearts.  She mentioned that she wished he still "looked like that".

An outgoing married woman at an institution populated by grownups, and she talks about a vampire from a fantasy movie easily twenty times more often than she talks about her family.  I figured she was divorced or widowed, or maybe just never married (never loved?) the man who fathered her children.  It turns out that, if she is divorced, it is only in a metaphorical sense.

I think that attitude towards the family is becoming more common.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

B Lode Goes Emo

Since I have broken my pledge not to spend any time typing that isn't absolutely necessary to pay bills, etc., I guess I'll "go for broke".

I want the troops home safe now.

I want it so badly it is distracting and depressing.  I alternately avoid and devour news of the Afghan and Iraq wars; I never get used to the pictures of the carnage.

My countrymen are over there and they are hurting and I can't figure out what I can do to get them out.  This is a more emotional issue for me than immigration (though I don't believe any issue is more important than immigration), and until now I have said little about it online because I have so little to offer.

I want an American pullout from Iraq and Afghanistan to begin this very minute, and taking only enough time to get out all of our people and equipment.  I know it will take a long time ... all the more reason to not delay.

There.  That is enough online emoting, and wrist-straining, for one night.

... An Ethnic Slur

Hat tip: Moonbattery

In the mouth of Rob Reiner, "Hitler" has a new meaning: it is an ethnic slur against goyim.  Having kicked off his career by collaborating with a co-ethnic on a TV show designed specifically to degrade and insult gentiles, Reiner has followed up by insulting a movement aimed at limiting government and increasing personal freedom.  In fact, the Tea Party and the NSDAP have nothing whatsoever in common, other than that both parties were made up mostly of gentiles opposed to the sort of left-wing globalism that Reiner loves.  The fact that one was composed of Jew-hating, Slav-hating socialist murderers intent on stretching government involvement into every sphere of society, and the other is made up of assorted Americans opposed to income taxes and socialized medicine... doesn't really matter.

Any mostly-gentile organization not taking orders from Reiner's Hollywood establishment is evil?  Reiner is a loxist bigot who hates the majority of America's population.

Addendum (10/28):
Not everyone is cheering Reiner's slur.  Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League has condemned Meathead's comments:
Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.


I may not like Foxman's politics, but he is enough of a straight shooter to object to this kind of slander.  Also, I added the italics in there to point out that Foxman is also acknowledging that not all of Hitler's civilian victims were Jewish.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Skeptical Conservatives!

Hat tip to David Hume (either Razib Khan or John Derbyshire, never remember which) of Secular Right.

I'm about an inch from signing up!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Semi-hiatus

I've had a weird tingling in the index and middle fingers of my right hand.  My wife says it's carpal tunnel.  I'm not going to blog much for a while.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Popular vs. Unpopular School Subjects

Lately I've been thinking about why exactly the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects are unpopular.  The usual explanation is that they're harder than other fields.  Undoubtedly this is true, but it doesn't get at exactly why they are considered so hard, and why other fields haven't simply been concentrated so much that they equal STEM in difficulty.  It is conceivable, though not likely, that a sociology course could be graded as harshly as a STEM class.  Something else must also be a factor.

The next thought was: NUMBERS.  All the STEM fields are full of them.  Numbers are dry and not particularly laden with sex, violence, or emotion.  Fairly easy fields, like accounting, are full of numbers and they aren't very popular either.

Thinking back to college, I thought of another very unpopular field: logic.  Logic, in a way, is like math without the numbers.  So perhaps the logical thinking that is the underlying basis of math, engineering, symbolic logic, accounting, and many sciences is what causes people to dislike these fields.

Then I thought back to a demand that students always made in junior high and high school: that social studies and history teachers assure us we would never have to "memorize" dates.  Numbers again, but not really logic.  Something about learning dates would have sucked out all the (very limited) pleasure history could give the ordinary student.  One teachers assured us that we wouldn't have to learn dates, only to keep events in their proper sequence.  If you think the Thirty Years' War happened before Luther nailed his demands to the door of the church, you're simply wrong.

Then it hit me: any field in which you can be simply wrong is unpopular.  The reason social sciences are graded so much less harshly than STEM is that it is much easier for lazy and uncurious students to answer every question in generalities of marginally-acceptable grammar and thereby squeak by.  The notion that, while books may teach a certain answer to a history / social studies question, you can come up with the "real" answer on your own, gives license to every sophomore to give a postmodern (easy) answer to every question and expect praise in return.  (This is undoubtedly why so many young people have told me with a proud grin that "Hitler wasn't really a socialist" - they liked socialists and disliked Hitler, so they were "really" opposites.)

STEM fields could have been dumbed down to equal the social sciences, but they weren't, because even the squishiest hippy could stick by simply wrong in the face of the outraged reaction of a meta-hippy student (as lampooned wonderfully by Trudeau in cartoon recalled on p. 6 of this newsletter).  Eventually the students who were most allergic to right-and-wrong answer fields learned to avoid STEM entirely, and noted that they became cooler by doing so.  Then America became deindustrialized, the trade deficit ballooned, etc.


ADDENDUM: Ilkka has an article at The Fourth Checkraise on a similar subject.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm a Liberal Today (obligatory post on Geert Wilders)




Being a minarcho-populist ethnopluralist of the far right, I don't commonly identify with living liberals.  Geert Wilders is an exception.  He is on trial for his conscientious and principled stand against the Islamification of his country.  He is also, as many on the alternative right have mentioned, a modern liberal, more or less.  
According to some, his flatfooted support of Israel makes him too pro-semitic, his loyalties too divided.  I don't actually know if he supports monetary and/or military aid for Israel.  If not - if he stops at moral support - then I am right with him.  Israel - founded on "stolen land" like any country, with a government often said to be laden with power-hungry bastards like any country, whose military upsets pacifists like any country - has a right to exist like any country.  I'm not the slightest bit shy about declaring that.  (I certainly do stop short of material support for Israel; I am against all foreign aid.)
  
He is a proponent and defender of gay rights, women's right, and the Netherlands' welfare state.  According to some, this makes him too much of a squishy leftist to deserve our support.
I say nonsense.  The bodies politic of the West are easily broad enough to accommodate honest liberals as well as a variety of rightists.  I say "honest liberal" because that's what Wilders is - he is straightforward about his belief that encroaching Islam and Third World birthrates threaten a very Dutch conception of freedom.  That this conception doesn't equate one-to-one with a Anglo-Saxon minarchist conception is of little matter.  Gays and women are among the broad variety of people who would suffer under Islam; Wilders chooses to protect them for the same reason he chooses to fight Islam in the first place - his conscience.  
Only a very dishonest liberal (or more accurately, a multiculturalist and probably an extreme leftist) would say Islamification is compatible with liberal (or conservative) Western values.  If by considering Wilders my ally, I am a liberal by association, so be it.  
Today I am a pro-Western, anti-PC, blood-and-soil liberal.  
Several other writers have written on the subject as well:
Dennis Mangan (interesting discussion of Rousseau-style enlightenment liberalism versus Burke-style enlightenment liberalism versus modern "liberalism" in the comments thread)
And the gent who started it all, Randall Parker of ParaPundit, has written on the subject again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

WHY THE TEA PARTY IS DESTINED TO FAIL

Because they have never ever had one of their candidates win in a general election!  


Ever!

What's that?  You mean that they haven't been around for a whole election cycle, and thus haven't had the chance to prove themselves, so it's unfair to judge them so early?

Really?


Come on now folks, seriously, you can't use the extreme length of the American election season as an argument that the Tea Party is a failure.

Reasons to forget about the Tea Party - they're such big budget cutters that they will never get any votes, and they're not really big budget cutters so hardcore minarchists should ignore them.

Hmmm.

People are just tired of hearing of the Tea Party because they've been around so long (about a hundredth as long as the major parties!) so they are thinking of reasons to put them down.  That is my theory.  Otherwise I could never explain how people are so certain that a brand-new party is going exactly nowhere.