Sunday, October 6, 2019

Disagreeing with the premise proves you are wrong

That's not really how debate is supposed to work.  You have a premise, I provide good faith counter arguments, the people around decide who is more convincing.

In a scary turnabout, Critical Race Theory has been adopted by much of the left.  CRT provides postulates (assumed to be obviously true) that you can not reject since rejection just proves your racism.

Here are the basic tenets:

  • Racism exists today in both traditional and modern forms
  • Racism is an institutionalized, multilayered, multilevel system that distributes unequal power and resources between white people and people of color, as socially identified, and disproportionately benefits whites.
  • All members of society are socialized to participate in the system of racism, albeit in varied social locations.
  • All white people benefit from racism regardless of intentions.
  • No-one chose to be socialized into racism so no-one is bad, but no-one is neutral.
  • To not act against racism is to support racism.
  • Racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged. No-one is ever done.
  • The question is not Did racism take place? but rather How did racism manifest in that situation?
  • The racial status quo is comfortable for most whites. Therefore, anything that maintains white comfort is suspect.
  • The racially oppressed have a more intimate insight via experiential knowledge into the system of race than their racial oppressors. However, white professors will be seen as having more legitimacy, thus positionality must be intentionally engaged.
  • Resistance is a predictable reaction to anti-racist education and must be explicitly and strategically addressed.
Can you see the problem?  I can't say that I am not racist because the presumption is that I am.  Think back to Euclid's Elements, one of the earliest known texts on mathematics.  Euclid starts with definitions and postulates.  Neither are proven, they are just assumed.  You can't argue that a square doesn't have four equal sides and four right angles because that is a definition.  You can't argue that you can't draw a straight line between two points because that is a postulate and assumed to be obviously true.  Without the postulates the discussion breaks down completely because there is no way to prove them other than by experience and observation. 

Both Euclid and CRT use the same premise that you must assume some things to be true.  The result of Euclid's writings was a consistent and logical development of geometric proofs that last to this day and are born out in the physical world.  The result of Critical Race Theory is that no one can push back against their ideas for dramatic social change.

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Turns out that you only get one chance to be spontaneous.  Seems like that would be obvious but I've never thought about in those terms.

Doesn't always work out well for those of us who need to time to process.  Sometimes a situation comes along that might be exactly what we've been looking for.  Unfortunately by the time we process, the opportunity is long gone.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Neverending project list, ammunition shelf edition

Decided to dig into my ammo closet and reorganize, mostly cause I didn't have enough to do (ha!).  Actually mostly because I picked up about 5,000 rounds of various calibers from a friend's wife since he died recently and she is clearing out his stuff.

Problem 1: my ammo is mostly stacked on the floor in little plastic containers.  This causes...

Problem 2: to get at anything I have to unstack the containers to access the one I need and ...

Problem 3: my old house has a limited number of closets and they are all under the steeply pitched roof so all require a little bit of hunching to get into

Solution: build a dedicated ammunition shelf into a different closet, where nothing will be stacked.

With a little browsing I found this shelf project over on With A Bullet, completed in 2011 and shamelessly stole all his ideas, plus one of the suggestions in the comments.

Here are the results, followed by a couple comments.


Framed (two by four across the bottom is just to stabilize while I moved it around and came off before I put it into the closet)

Shelved with sanded maple. The 2 x 2s were a suggestion in the comments on the original post to increase shear load.  There is no way that this shelf needs increased shear load, but it looks a lot cleaner with the gaps filled.  Mine is also probably overbuilt compared to the original overbuilt version because my space only allows for three  wide cans versus his four.

This was basically the finished product except that it was four inches to long to go through the closet door and swing into position.  I had to take the small end apart, cut off four inches, then reassemble.

Here it is mostly loaded although I'm still working through some miscellaneous calibers plus cleaning supplies and leftover junk.  I'm also planning on printing nice labels instead of sticky notes which will fall off. 

I'm pretty pleased.  The safe is off to the right and once I get all the miscellaneous junk sorted this will have freed up a larger closet (I don't have many) in the master bedroom.  This is probably the best woodworking project I've ever done (I'm not much of  a woodworker) but followed the directions from With a Bullet pretty closely and other than the door issue came out nice.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

All I do is hit people

Not in real life, of course.  Dungeons and Dragons.  I am having a crisis of existence.  I designed this incredibly cool character, a monk/bard with a great back story.  He grew up in the monastery learning martial arts, history, music, and magic.  He travels the world learning about its peoples and cultures, eventually to return to the monastery to live out his days teaching others his accumulated knowledge and wisdom.

Only problem is the only skill he has found useful as he travels is to hit people.  A lot.  And very hard.  He can kill the average person with one blow, he can kill trained soldiers with three or four blows (which he can throw out in a fraction of a second).   He can stun huge monsters with his fists and feet.  He can heal himself but not others so he has never been in danger of dying.  He is immune to poison and disease and resistance to various charms.  He has a small list of spells through his music which allow him to calm people in tense situations (but the people always want to kill us so calming doesn't help).

So he has to hit them.  Again and again and again.

Sigh.  Being a Monk/Bard in a hostile world isn't nearly as fulfilling as I had hoped.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

So, do you think those boys could sing?

The Beach Boys, vocals only on Wouldn't It Be Nice, from the Pet Sounds Sessions.  You don't have to be a Beach Boys fan but this is worth a listen.  Amazing harmonies.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Five days without (mostly) internet

I did check email periodically, mostly to see if there were any organizational or business emails that needed to be addressed.

More importantly no politics, no browsing, no looking stuff up.

Five days on the motorcycle and in a camp site that didn't have service.

Other than being somewhat dirty when I got home, it was quite nice.  Now I am back on the internet but not feeling the need to actually browse around.  Huh.  Maybe I need to take these breaks more often.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

AKA "Strip Poor Countries of Their Best and Brightest" Act

As I've said before, I think we have enough people for now.  I think we need a moratorium on immigration in order to allow those here to assimilate.  The percentage of foreign born population is as high as it was 100 years ago.  In 1970 it had dropped to about 4% due to a moratorium that started in (I think) the twenties.

However, our needs aside, is it ethical to strip poor countries of their best and brightest?  Are they likely to become decent countries if we have hundreds of thousands of their motivated and smart people here?  Do I care?  Not particularly, I just wonder if the immigrationists have thought about that.