Saturday, September 29, 2012
War BY women follows the pattern of affirmative racism
The Democrats have always been the party of racism. Long after fighting on the wrong side of the Civil War, they provided the bulk of the opposition to the civil rights movement and the ending of the web of Jim Crow segregation laws. Then as soon as they lost the battle for anti-black racism the party immediately switched to anti-white racism with its embrace of affirmative action (the race-conscious favoring of blacks in hiring and promotion). Their one constant: they never gave liberty a chance.
Now they are following the same path with feminism. "If you don't buy me $18,000 worth of birth control it's a WAR AGAINST WOMEN," says Sandra Fluke and her sponsors in the Obama campaign:
Sorry girls but trying to force taxpayers to provide for your outsized birth-control consumption is a war BY women, and yes, this really is politics as a substitute for war because the issue is force. That is what laws do. They use the state's monopoly on force to coerce individual behavior. Sandra and her ilk are trying to achieve a tyrannous majority, trampling the rights of others, grabbing other peoples' stuff for themselves.
But there is a problem even for the Sandra Flukes of the world with using the Orwellian language of "war on women" for a war by women. When you accommodate to these perversions of language it becomes impossible to think straight about the issues involved. Remember the wisdom of Confucius: "When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty." That is doubly true when the words whose meanings get perverted are our words for liberty, and liberty is important even for women.
Democrat discombobulation over liberty is evident in another of barackobama.com's e-cards for women. Check out this woman-voiced claim that "control of our own health care" comes from submitting to the paternalistic system of government-run medicine that is Obama-care:
Are Democrat women actually stupid enough to fall for this? Do they really think that having government choose what health care they receive will give them more control than when they were free to choose their health care for themselves?
Liberty is slavery! That's what Karl Marx said: free yourselves by submitting to totalitarianism! "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains," enslaved by economic liberty. Obama-care just adds a slight twist, just for the ladies: free yourselves by submitting to paternalism!
Of course Democrat women are stupid enough to fall for this, but only because they have lobotomized themselves by uncritically embracing whatever seems to support what they take to be their side. They are choosing to be stupid and there is no limit to how stupid a person can choose to be. They will give up all control but think of it as being in control because they are choosing to give up control. Brilliant (Democrat style).
To have any chance of pulling Democrat women off of this pitch for paternalism as a feminist utopia it is necessary to work around the Democrats' backwards-thinking cognitive style. Instead of following reason and evidence to arrive at conclusions they start with their conclusions and seek ways to avoid and dismiss any reason and evidence that seems to militate against "their side." Pointing out how stupid it is for Democrats to think that liberty is slavery has no effect because you are denigrating their side (the Democrats) and they are self-programmed to hate and ignore anything that denigrates their side.
But if you phrase it differently, if you point out that the ad denigrates women by depicting them as stupid enough to think that paternalistic socialist control of medicine is liberating (with 1950's-style ad copy as a lure no less), then you might be able to get these women's grotesque female bias to work against and cancel out their grotesque Democrat bias.
The fog clears and, for a rare brief moment, they are able to observe reason and evidence: "Hey wait a minute. Paternalism isn't liberty!"
... Until the next opportunity for anti-conservative bigotry comes up. Then they'll be back to full stupid again.
Hey all you mainstream Democrat leftists: to be conservative in the land of liberty is to value and fight for liberty, and if you're not down with that then you are scum. Observe that, while your minds are momentarily un-befogged.
Monday, September 10, 2012
9/11: New Park Service images prove the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 is unchanged
The original Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial (left) was laid out in the configuration of an Islamic crescent and star flag (right). The crash site sits between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic flag.
When this apparent symbol of Islamic triumph caused a national uproar seven years ago the Memorial Project (a public-private entity overseen by the Park Service) promised to change the design, but as demonstrated by the images below, they never did make any significant changes:
Above: original Crescent of Embrace design. Below: a frame from the Park Service's new virtual fly-by of the Circle of Embrace "re-design" as it is being built. (Comparison image thanks to MaxK.)
The most significant change is the few extra trees that are being planted outside the mouth of the original crescent (starting at the crescent tip on the right, where the flight path symbolically "breaks the circle," and continuing down behind the Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site). These few trees supposedly turn the crescent into a circle, but as you can see, they do no such thing, but only apply the most minor window dressing to what is still a bare naked Islamic-shaped crescent.
The circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design also remains completely intact
The Park Service web site explicitly describes the Circle of Embrace as a broken circle, proving that the terrorist-memorializing theme of the design is also unchanged. Way back in 2005 architect Paul Murdoch described his original Crescent of Embrace as a broken circle. The 9/11 attacks broke our circle of peace and the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent. The terrorist memorializing intent is obvious, or in the words of Tom Burnett Senior (father of flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Junior), "blatantly obvious."
The actions depicted in the memorial design are those of the terrorists. They break the circle of peace and the result is their flag planted atop the graves of our murdered heroes. Calling the design a broken circle instead of a crescent does not change this symbolism one whit. The unbroken part of the circle is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.
Instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, the half-mile wide crescent now points 3° south of Mecca
A crescent that points the direction to Mecca is a very familiar construct in the Islamic world. Because Muslims face Mecca for prayer, every mosque is built around a Mecca direction indicator called a mihrab, and the classic mihrab is crescent shaped. Here are the two most famous mihrabs in the world:
Left: the Mihrab of the Prophet, at the Prophet's mosque in Medina. Right: the mihrab of the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain. Face into these crescents to face Mecca, just as with the Flight 93 memorial.
As the Crescent of Embrace was originally designed, a person standing between the tips of the giant Crescent and facing into the center of the Crescent would be facing a little less than 2° north of Mecca (proof here). This almost-exact Mecca orientation was confirmed to the Park Service in 2006 by Daniel Griffith, a professor of "geospatial information" at the University of Texas who was brought in as a consultant by the Park Service.
Griffith's report examined the analysis of Politicalities blogger jonathan Haas, who had calculated that the crescent pointed.62° off of Mecca. Allowing some margin of error for the exact coordinates used for the crash site and for Mecca, Griffith confirmed Haas' calculation of the direction to Mecca ("the arctangent value is correct"), and he accepted Haas' calculation that the bisector of the giant crescent pointed a mere .62° off of this Mecca-line. The actual divergence is slightly larger—a bit less than 2°—but this is what the Park Service was told by Griffith: that the crescent pointed less than 1° from Mecca.
Even the Park Service realized this was bad but their response was pathetic, as Murdoch was only forced to make a slight change in the orientation of his giant mihrab. The conversation is easy to imagine: "How about if I change the orientation by five degrees?" Murdoch presumably asked. "Would that be enough?" So now instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, it now points 3° south of Mecca, both of which are highly accurate by Islamic standards.
For most of Islam's 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. (Many of the most famous mihrabs point 10, 20, 30 or more degrees off Mecca.) Thus it developed as a matter of religious doctrine that what matters is intent to face Mecca, which architect Paul Murdoch proves by elaborately repeating his Mecca orientations throughout the design.
They misled the public into thinking that the crescent was being removed
Images of the Circle of Embrace "redesign" that the Park Service released in late November 2005 were calculated to fool the public into thinking that real changes were being made. Here is a comparison between the original Crescent of Embrace (top) and the phony redesign (bottom). At first glance the Circle of Embrace actually does look more like a circle than a crescent, but if you examine closely you'll see that this is almost entirely due to re-coloring of the image. The only actual change is the addition of the extra arc of trees that extends from the circle-breaking crescent tip down the hill towards the crash site:
Because this extra arc of trees explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle it in no way alters the circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design. Neither does it affect the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent (the unbroken part of the circle) that is left standing in the wake of 9/11. It only looks like a real change, but the Memorial Project apparently decided that even this purely cosmetic alteration conceded too much to critics.
Look again at that screen-grab from the Park Service's new animated fly-by of the design as it is actually being built. The bold extra arc of trees that was the only actual change in the Circle of Embrace redesign has been taken out and replaced with a wispy wave trees:
These few trees, planted to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent, do not diminish in any way the crescent's functionality as a mihrab/Mecca-direction indicator. You can plant as many trees behind a mosque as you want. It is still a mosque, or in this case, a terrorist-memorial mosque.
Feel like complaining? Give Flight 93 Memorial Superintendent Keith Newlin a piece of your mind (and please pass along any response that you receive). There is also a petition you can sign, if you haven't done so already.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Permission-request for eco-fraud professor to say whether he contacted me
Dear Robyn Owens:
Professor Lewandowsky’s recently-accepted article likening global warming skeptics to moon-landing deniers says that he asked skeptical bloggers to post his climate survey and that five of these skeptics turned him down, but skeptical bloggers have been consulting each other about these claims and it seems that none were actually contacted by Lewandowsky. The most prominent skeptic bloggers all deny that they were contacted by him and a fortiori that they sent him any reply. Neither have any lower profile skeptic bloggers (like myself), reported being contacted.Lewandowsky is refusing to say who he supposedly contacted and who supposedly replied on the grounds that he is protecting these people's privacy so Lucia Liljegren is collecting links from climate bloggers who are are giving Professor Lewandowsky permission to publicize any correspondence with them. Many are also requesting that he do so, as I now publicly request.
It would seem that you have a case of academic misconduct on your hands, with fraudulent survey claims put forward in an attempt to malign political opponents. Truly bad behavior, not just academic fraud, but something approaching slander. I understand that you are in charge of academic misconduct investigations at UWA. Please proceed accordingly.
Palo Alto, California
My note to Lewandowsky, emailed today ("permission-request to publicize any contact between us re your climate survey"):
Dear Professor Lewandowsky:
I blog about climate at my own Error Theory blog and occasionally at the higher profile Watts Up With That. Possibly you tried to contact me with a request to do a post on your climate survey? I did not see any such request and did not reply to any such request but if you did send me such a request I not only give you permission to publicize this information (and any response you think you got from me), but I request that you do so.
Palo Alto, California