Monday, September 02, 2019

Christ's last lesson

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do"

At the very end of his life Jesus said the above.  For him to say that displayed a remarkably insightful heart.  He thought of their motivations as well as their deeds and in thinking of those motivations could not condemn their deeds.  It is a lesson to us all.  We need to forgive because we may not know what was/is driving the other person. Even under the most grievous provocation, we must keep that in mind. It is a most powerful teaching indeed.  Could we have forgiven in his situation?

Forgiveness can be so powerful.  It is particularly good at restoring relationships.  I have been married and divorced four times.  But there has never been any anger in me towards the ladies concerned.  We have remained on good terms to this day.  I didn't consciously forgive any of them anything.  I just did not judge or condemn their motivations at all in the first place.  I accepted that they had a motivation that was right in their eyes.

I gained so much by being forgiving.  And the wonder of it is that it is contagious. Any anger that they had towards me faded away too.  Christian teachings work.


The hypocrisy of the liberal Left

by Rep. Andy Biggs

The liberal Left is steeped in moral relativism and relies on its Platonic elitism to such a degree that it fails to recognize its blatant hypocrisy.

Leftists such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and even former President Barack Obama often tell us that the rich are too rich or that some people can have too much. Obama even suggested that "There's only so much you can eat," implying that any more than a full stomach is too rich within the United States.

But all of them are rich by any standard. Elizabeth Warren’s reported average net worth is $8.75 million. Bernie Sanders' net worth might be up to $2.5 million. Joe Biden has acquired almost $15 million in income since leaving office in January 2017. Certainly, to the rest of the world, the aforementioned folks are rich. Even by America’s high standard of living, Warren, Sanders, Biden, and Obama are considered wealthy.

So, why is it that they continually rail against the haves? Why do they insist on pushing an agenda of class warfare?

Their bankrupt political ideology demands division. Their theme is always “us vs. them.” Unity of purpose, culture, nationhood, and citizenship undermine the socialist dogma that permeates their respective interpretations of liberal political ideology.

Their first cause is always tolerance — tolerance of any who agree with them. Because they are elitists after Plato’s model, they believe they know better than anyone else. Plato’s ideal separated the elite, the guardians of society, from the dross below them. That is infused in the hearts and minds of the liberal Left.

Any who disagree are so undermining to the Left’s agenda as to be intolerable. Or, in Hillary Clinton’s vernacular, “deplorable.”

People on the Left are tolerant of only those in agreement with their positions. Their opponents deserve to be persecuted and ostracized. Thus, the justification for enforcing their beliefs through whatever means is born, because failure to conform to theliberal Left’s ideology is subversive and must be defeated at all costs.

This produces Rep. Maxine Waters' calls for verbal and mob attacks on conservatives. To the Left, this justifies Rep. Joaquin Castro’s doxing of Trump donors in order to publicly shame and ostracize them.

Similarly, the political elite of the Left excuse themselves for their hypocritical, do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do actions as acceptable because they are the Platonic guardians. They truly believe that they are better and thus deserving of the special dispensation that Plato afforded his elites.

This inherent failing of the liberal Left is why we see Bernie Sanders demanding an increase in the national minimum wage (that he wasn’t even giving his own campaign staff) but being forced to raise wages and cut hours to pay for it.

Then there's Obama telling the world that a person can have too much, while he and his wife gain a net worth over $100 million and purchase a $15 million mansion in Martha’s Vineyard.

It is why the Left wants to confiscate guns from everyday people while employing armed security guards. They build walls and live in bubbles of security but argue against a border wall.

It is why they argue against a parent having the right to choose the best school for their child while the leftist elites enroll their children in the best schools they can find.

The Left rails against money in political campaigns while raising hundreds of millions of dollars for their campaigns.

That is why Warren, Sanders, Biden, Obama, and others have no problem amassing wealth while demonizing others who are successful. I have no problem with these folks being wealthy or successful. I have a problem with their continued personal use and exploitation of the free market system for themselves, while trying to prevent everyone else from having the same opportunities.

The liberal Left, as evidenced by the modern day leading Democratic voices, is a bankrupt political philosophy that is inherently hypocritical. It claims to be based on tolerance but is only tolerant of those who agree with them. It asserts equality, except when the elites amass huge fortunes. And, in the end, it attempts to, by necessity, compel compliance with its redistributive and intolerant policies.



Google discriminates against conservatives and climate skeptics

We must understand how Google does it, why it is wrong and how it hurts America

David Wojick

Several months ago, Google quietly released a 32-page white paper, “How Google Fights Disinformation.” That sound good. The problem is that Google not only controls a whopping 92.2% of all online searches. It is a decidedly left-wing outfit, which views things like skepticism of climate alarmism, and conservative views generally, as “disinformation.” The white paper explains how Google’s search and news algorithms operate, to suppress what Google considers disinformation and wants to keep out of educational and public discussions.

The algorithms clearly favor liberal content when displaying search results. Generally speaking, they rank and present search results based on the use of so-called “authoritative sources.” The problem is, these sources are mostly “mainstream” media, which are almost entirely liberal.

Google’s algorithmic definition of “authoritative” makes liberals the voice of authority. Bigger is better, and the liberals have the most and biggest news outlets. The algorithms are very complex, but the basic idea is that the more other websites link to you, the greater your authority.

It is like saying a newspaper with more subscribers is more trustworthy than one with fewer subscribers. This actually makes no sense, but that is how it works with the news and in other domains. Popularity is not authority, but the algorithm is designed to see it that way.

This explains why the first page of search results for breaking news almost always consists of links to liberal outlets. There is absolutely no balance with conservative news sources. Given that roughly half of Americans are conservatives, Google’s liberal news bias is truly reprehensible.

In the realm of public policies affecting our energy, economy, jobs, national security, living standards and other critical issues, the suppression of alternative or skeptical voices, evidence and perspectives becomes positively dangerous for our nation and world

Last year, I documented an extreme case of this bias the arena of “dangerous manmade global warming” alarmism. My individual searches on prominent skeptics of alarmist claims revealed that Google’s “authoritative source” was an obscure website called DeSmogBlog, whose claim to fame is posting nasty negative dossiers on skeptics, including me and several colleagues.

In each search, several things immediately happened. First, Google linked to DeSmogBlog’s dossier on the skeptic, even though it might be a decade old  and/or wildly inaccurate. Indeed, sometimes this was the first entry in the search results. Second, roughly half of the results were negative attacks – which should not be surprising, since the liberal press often attacks us skeptics.

Third, skeptics are often labeled as “funded by big oil,” whereas funding of alarmists by self-interested government agencies, renewable energy companies, far-left foundations or Tom Steyer (who became a billionaire by financing Asian coal mines) was generally ignored.

In stark contrast, searching for information about prominent climate alarmists yielded nothing but praise. This too is not surprising, since Google’s liberal “authoritative” sources love alarmists.

This algorithm’s bias against skeptics is breathtaking – and it extends to the climate change debate itself. Search results on nearly all climate issues are dominated by alarmist content.

In fact, climate change seems to get special algorithmic attention. Goggle’s special category of climate webpages, hyperbolically called “Your Money or Your Life,” requires even greater “authoritative” control in searches. No matter how well reasoned, articles questioning the dominance of human factors in climate change, the near-apocalyptic effects of predicted climate change, or the value and validity of climate models are routinely ignored by Google’s algorithms.

The algorithm also ignores the fact that our jobs, economy, financial wellbeing, living standards, and freedom to travel and heat or cool our homes would be severely and negatively affected by energy proposals justified in the name of preventing human-caused cataclysmic climate change. The monumental mining and raw material demands of wind turbines, solar panels, biofuels and batteries likewise merit little mention in Google searches. Ditto for the extensive impacts of these supposed “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” technologies on lands, habitats and wildlife.

It’s safe to say that climate change is now the world’s biggest single public policy issue. And yet Google simply downgrades and thus “shadow bans” any pages that contain “demonstrably inaccurate content or debunked conspiracy theories.” That is how alarmists describe skepticism about any climate alarm or renewable energy claims. Google does not explain how its algorithm makes these intrinsically subjective determinations as to whether an article is accurate, authoritative and thus posted – or incorrect, questionable and thus consigned to oblivion.

Google’s authority-based search algorithm is also rigged to favor liberal content over virtually all conservative content; it may be especially true for climate and energy topics. This deep liberal bias is fundamentally wrong and un-American, given Google’s central role in our lives.

Google’s creators get wealthy by controlling access to information – and thus thinking, debate, public policy decisions and our future – by using a public internet system that was built by defense and other government agencies, using taxpayer dollars, for the purpose of ensuring the free flow of information and open, robust discussion of vital policy issues. It was never meant to impose liberal-progressive-leftist police state restrictions on who gets to be heard.

According to its “How we fight disinformation” white paper, Google’s separate news search feature gets special algorithmic treatment – meaning that almost all links returned on the first page are to liberal news sources. This blatant bias stands out like a sore thumb in multiple tests. In no case involving the first ten links did I get more than one link to a conservative news source. Sometimes I got none.

For example, my news search on “Biden 2020” returned the following top ten search results, in this order: CNN, the New York Times, Vice, Politico, CNN again, Fortune, Vox, Fox News, The Hill and Politico. The only actual conservative source was Fox News, in eighth position.

Of course conservative content would not be friendly to Mr. Biden. But if Google can prominently post attacks on skeptics and conservatives, why can’t it do so for attacks on Democrats?

The highest conservative content I found was one link in eight or 12 percent. About a third of my sample cases had no conservative sources whatsoever. The average of around 7% measures Google’s dramatic bias in favor of liberal sources, greatly compounding its 92.2% dominance.

The lonely conservative sources are more middle of the road, like Fox News and the Washington Examiner. Google never found or highlighted a truly conservative (what it would call “right wing”) source, like Brietbart, Townhall or the Daily Caller. It just doesn’t happen, and the algorithm clearly knows that, as does Google. As do other information and social media sites.

Of course, I’m not alone in finding or encountering this blatant viewpoint discrimination.

When coupled with the nearly complete takeover of UN, IPCC, World Bank and other global governance institutions by environmentalist and socialist forces – and their near-total exclusion of manmade climate chaos skeptics, free market-oriented economists and anyone who questions the role or impact of renewable energy – the effect on discussion, debate, education and informed decision-making is dictatorial and devastating.

No free, prosperous, modern society can survive under such conditions and restrictions. It’s time for citizens, legislators, regulators and judges to rein in and break up this imperious monopoly.

Via email


Japan's Naval Counterweight to China

Building up Japan's navy gives the U.S. an ally that can project power in the region.

With all the discussion of the G7 economic summit, there was other news that didn’t receive much attention but has to be causing some heartburn in Beijing. No, not the trade deal, but a United States Naval Institute report that Japan is willing to let the United States Marines operate F-35B Lightnings off Japan’s four “helicopter destroyers.”

Japan has four such vessels, two of which are the 13,500-ton Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers Hyuga and Ise, and two 19,500-ton Izumo-class vessels, Izumo and Kaga. While the reports center on the latter two vessels, the former two can’t be discounted for F-35B operations. It should be noted that vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft have operated off ships like the Italian Navy’s 10,100-ton Giuseppe Garibadi that saw combat service in 2002 during the Global War on Terrorism and in the 2011 Libyan intervention.

The Marines operating F-35Bs off these ships could be a preparation for Japan to bring back a fixed-wing carrier arm. Japan’s order of 100 F-35s reportedly includes some of the F-35Bs in the mix. While not as capable as a United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, this can still put some real hurt on the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Now, let’s be honest, Japan’s “helicopter destroyers” are really light aircraft carriers and were intended to be from the start. History has seen Japan play fast and loose with arms-control treaties in the past (its heavy cruisers flaunted the restrictions of the London Naval Treaty), so is it no surprise that euphemisms would be employed to allow the use of aircraft carriers.

What does this mean for America? It gives the United States an ally that can legitimately project power in the region. Given that the United States Navy is desperately short on hulls in the water, this is a good thing — two light carriers can, for instance, keep China off balance in the South China Sea. That’s just the beginning.

Japan is also acquiring the V-22 Osprey — the game-changing tiltrotor that has given the Marine Corps new advantages in combat and non-combat operations. Those will also be able to operate off these ships, as Marine Corps Ospreys already have. Japan has a trio of Osumi-class amphibious ships, which look like carriers but have no hangars; instead, flat decks provide landing platforms for helicopters — and helicopters used on naval ships can handle sea water for a bit.

Japan’s military growth is mostly very good news for the United States. The only hiccup is that neighbors of Japan, particularly South Korea, have been nervous about that, given what happened in World War II. South Korea has made a similar growth as a military power, and the chance that these American allies could have drama akin to that of Greece and Turkey from past decade is a little greater than America would like.

The Beijing regime already had to worry about the way Hong Kong has trapped Chinese President Xi Jinping in a tough spot, and President Donald Trump taking on China’s unfair trade practices with the aid of a militarily stronger Japan doesn’t make things easier for the red commies. So, despite the historic concerns with South Korea, the rise of Japan’s capabilities as a better-armed Asian partner of the United States is all-in-all a good thing.




For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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