Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Odds and ends 4/8/2014

“I don’t know why we’re not having a revolution at this point.” –Opie Hughes

Because you don’t rebel against Big Mother.


College football is a big pie, and players are unionizing to get a piece of it. The NFL also is a big pie, and Raiderette “Lacy T.” wants a bigger piece.

But even as collective bargaining has caused players' salaries to skyrocket, cheerleaders are still treated with the expendability of borrowed college students. Of the 26 teams that employ cheerleaders, only Seattle publicly advertises that it pays its squad an hourly minimum wage. The tenuous position of NFL cheerleaders is exacerbated by the fact that six teams don’t fork out any cash for squads. The Packers occasionally employ the services of a local collegiate squad. Other teams, such as the Lions, Browns and Giants, rely on unofficial squads willing to finance themselves through public appearances and calendar shoots for the opportunity to dance in a high-profile setting. Beyond that, it boils down to a numbers game. There are more aspiring pros than there are slots on the sideline, so if one cheerleader slips up, there are hundreds of hopefuls waiting to take her place.

Like most performing arts, cheerleading is very competitive. This isn’t news.

Many former cheerleaders say the true perks of the job go beyond pay. Alumnae have leveraged the perch to find work as fitness instructors, dance studio owners, reality TV stars, even Playboy models. Jeanette Thompson, who cheered in the 1990s, ascended from the sideline to become the Raiderettes coach – a salaried team position (although earnings are undisclosed) – and a behind-the-scenes reporter for the Raiders’ website. Others find stability in the sports world through other means, like Paige Green, a Raiderette-turned-model who went on to marry John Elway. But for many Raiderettes, just making the cut was its own reward.

Opportunities for acquiring greater wealth are many for pretty girls chosen to attract male attention.

That being said, I hope Lacy T. fleeces the Michael Sam League for all it’s worth. The owners have it coming.


4wheelsnews.com reports (re: “$1 billion of prevention”):

Rear cameras are more effective than parking sensors in preventing collisions during a reverse, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. An IIHS study shows that around 292 people are killed and 18,000 injured annually by drivers reversing. Rear cameras were able to reduce the blind spots that could result to such collisions by up to 90 percent.

IIHS conducted the study with volunteer drivers in a parking lot where a pole was placed at varying points behind the vehicle. The pole was marked with different colored bands to indicate varying heights of children—with band representing a 12- to 15-month-old child being the hardest to see. Drivers could not see this band using glances and mirrors alone, even if the pole was 27 feet away from the vehicle.

“Right now cameras appear to be the most promising technology for addressing this particularly tragic type of crash, which frequently claims the lives of young children in the driveways of their own homes,” David Zuby, the institute’s executive vice president and chief research officer, said in a statement.

Do you spot the problem?

The pole is stationary. They didn’t test for objects moving in and out of the camera’s view.


At the Federalist, Georgi Boorman analyzes Duke porn star Miriam Weeks’s interview with Piers Morgan:

Read it carefully: “I think it’s extremely hypocritical that the same society that consumes me is also condemning me.”

Our Duke student is no dummy. She understands that as a porn star, she is a consumer good, a product on the market responding to the same laws of supply and demand as any lamp or can of beans. Feminists have fought for so many years against the subjugation and objectification of women, but Knox betrays the societal effects of the sexual liberation strain of feminism by freely admitting that society consumes her… she didn’t even refine her statement into something less obvious. For instance, she could have said, “The same society that enjoys my work is also condemning me.”

No, Belle Knox is self-identifying as the direct object, in multiple senses of the term.

Someone commented on Boorman’s piece:

Most of the time when Feminists say that they are choosing to degrade themselves so that makes it empowerment, they are simply rationalizing. I think there is an interesting trend of labeling everything “harmless.” Porn is “harmless,” pot is “harmless,” promiscuous sex is “harmless.” None of these things are harmless. And the increase in depression and suicide rates in our society is one consequence of the harmless lie. But if we told the truth, that in fact all of these things were harmful, less people would do them. And the Left wants people doing these harmful things because damaged people are easier to control than strong, empowered ones.

Bingo.

John Rogove writes at Ethika Politika:

[Weeks’s] strategy ... has been to present her decision as a way of reclaiming her autonomy from those who would shame her into conformity and submission to puritanical norms. It’s the classic libertarian “pro-sex” feminism, claiming “sex work” as the most daring way women can at once liberate their bodies and sexuality from patriarchal control and succeed as self-starting entrepreneurs in a market society, itself bursting with “norm-subverting” potential just waiting to be tapped by those daring and unhung-up enough to step up and “lean in”. The market wants to commodify women’s body parts? A poor but attractive women is “rich” in exploitable resources right at hand—the only thing that she needs to overcome are society’s hang-ups—and her own (any moldy old notions about dignity or intimacy, for example)! Her agency, her autonomy, is only that of the businesswoman willing and ready to leverage her resources at any cost. This liberal or libertarian ideal is behind this notion of “sex work” as “work” in the entrepreneurial sense, with the worker as CEO of the monadic start-up that is their own body and its raw capacities. In this way, it’s not fundamentally different from any other kind of work.

In reality, while this strategy of Knox’s might seem, in the short run, to neutralize the sting of her attackers’ bite, in the long run, the only thing it neutralizes is the very moral autonomy it claims to want to restore to womankind. “Sex work”—porn and prostitution—inherently negate the dignity of the worker, not only because it turns a subject, a person, into an object or commodity themselves, to be consumed, used up, and spat out; it turns one of the most intimate, vulnerable, life-giving and dependent parts of that personhood into a piece of meat, reducing a feeling, animated body capable of love to mere dead matter, a resource to be appropriated and dominated.

People as means to one’s ends is a terrible “advancement” feminists have brought us.


An allegory of technocracy? CNS News quotes Matt Briggs on a silly NASA study pushing centralized management of the economy. The bold is mine.

“The math is fine, it’s the interpretation that’s on top of it. There’s nothing empirical that went into these equations, if you understand me. There’s no observations that went into [them], all right, let’s look at the actual state of equality, whatever that is, let’s look at the actual sort of eco-dollars (I guess they call them, they never really quite define that), and let’s measure that somehow and then we’ll put these into an equation and then we’ll model that reality.

“They did none of that kind of thing. They just developed a set of equations and then said, ‘This is the way reality should look.’ And of course, reality doesn’t look anything like that, as I tried to point out.”


At Public Discourse, Christopher Spewock exposes the relative standard by which OB/GYNs decide they should or should not kill an unborn baby:

Doctors, regardless of what they claim their conscience dictates, are obliged to perform or refer for abortions if doing so promotes the mother’s “conception of well-being.”

Also in Public Discourse, Samuell Gregg makes some great points about inflation:

The short-term benefits—but also the long-term problems—associated with these approaches to money have been known for several centuries. In his 1597 Treatise on the Alteration of Money, the sixteenth-century Jesuit theologian Juan de Mariana stated that the equivalent of inflationary policies of his time—currency-debasement—was “like the drink given the sick person unduly, which first refreshes him, but later causes more serious accidents and makes the illness worse.”

Certainly, Mariana observed, depreciation may temporarily stimulate production and lighten the burden of debt. Nevertheless, Mariana also maintained, it would certainly result in inflationary price rises and undermine commercial productivity as more people turned their attention away from innovation in the real economy and toward the wrong types of financial speculation.

...

Looking at the present, even small levels of inflation help governments—and other debtors—to reduce the real value of their debts. If, for instance, a government takes on debt in the form of bond issues, but also insists on maintaining low interest rates and big spending programs, the inflationary effect will be to reduce the bonds’ real value. A 2012 analysis suggested this was precisely the path consciously chosen by successive British governments after 1945 to address the enormous debt burden taken on by the United Kingdom during World War II. As a result, close to 80 percent of the reduction of Britain’s post-war debt by 1970 was the result of inflation.


In the American Thinker, Janice Shaw Crouse reveals three truths about recreational sex. The bold is hers.

Recreational sex makes girls the losers. The bottom line is that only one third of girls who had early sexual activity describe themselves as “happy” as compared with over half among those who waited. More than a quarter of sexually active girls report depression, and they are three times more likely to commit suicide. As Dr. Miriam Grossman warns in her book, Unprotected, women are hardwired to attach through sexual behavior, and no condom will protect them from the psychological consequences of sexual permissiveness: empty relationships, feelings of self-contempt and worthlessness, and even depression.

A major contributor to today’s promiscuous culture is the unlevel playing field – 57% of students in college are women. In her Weekly Standard article about this situation, Charlotte Allen explained that the sexual revolution was supposed to do away with the double standard, but there is a harsher, more cruel double standard now – a supply-saturated, short-term sexual marketplace. Students at Yale University have a sad term for it now – SWUG-Nation, with “SWUG” standing for “Senior Washed Up Girls.”

I can’t believe I never thought of the sexual marketplace in these terms before. Imagine the demand and supply curves. By and large, boys are the demand, girls are the supply. The sexual revolution boosted supply by changing female nature. As supply has increased, prices have fallen. Women have been devalued.

I commented on “SWUG” last year at Red Pill Report.


Funny how the moneybags socialist Glenn Beck made a career of decrying agrees with him on soma. That’s the danger of thinking along a government/liberty paradigm. Libertarians can’t diagnose the rot, because they contribute to half of it. The virtue/license paradigm is superior.

The Washington Times reports:

With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere.

Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings.


I got a kick out of this:

In our search data from English-speaking searchers (mainly Americans, Canadians, and British), Blacks are the most popular ethnicity, followed by Asians, with no other ethnicity in the top 100 most popular sexual searches. I say “blacks” rather than African-American because “black” is the term people always use in their searches. Blacks and Asians also have the most porn sites devoted to them, though Latino sites are also well-represented.

Porn searchers don’t have patience for political correctness.


“For some who favor the redefinition of marriage, tolerance appears to have been a useful rhetorical device along the way to eliminating dissent.” –Ryan T. Anderson
“In the new dispensation, opposition to same-sex marriage disqualifies you from leadership and may legitimately be used to bring about the ruin of your career.” –Pat Buchanan
“We are now in the odd position of supposing that sex is too trivial to require virtue for its exercise, but that it is simultaneously so significant, so determinative of a person’s identity, that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity. It is at once nugatory and holy. We are at once to think nothing of it, and everything. It is at once like scratching an itch, and worshiping a god. It requires no sacrifice from its exerciser, and the sacrifice of everything else to it: the welfare of children and the family, public morals, the common good, and liberty itself.” –Anthony Esolen

I’ve dealt with same-sex marriage sufficiently for the time being, so my reaction to the Brendan Eich controversy is short.

Mark Steyn warns:

I don’t want to live in the world of “greater civility” that Michael Mann and Mitchell Baker are building for us. Oh, to be sure, it’s technologically exciting: There will be a thousand different apps on which to download Jessica Alba warning you about Antarctic sea ice. But there’ll be only one Thought App. And it will come pre-installed.

And eventually there won’t be any Jessica Alba apps, either. Because a society that imprisons opinion as tightly as Mann and Baker demand is a society that will cease to innovate, and decline.


“Gender-neutral” basketball isn’t really gender neutral.

“They should have been playing a long time ago. The game starts like this. First quarter there is three men and two women, second quarter there is three women and two men, and it goes back and forth. It’s an awesome concept,” Scott explained.

It’s a ridiculous concept. It’s hard enough to have talent at the various positions in your starting personnel and bench unit. Now you have to stock your roster with less talent to meet gender quotas.

You can’t make this stuff up.

A set of seating is being torn down outside the Plymouth Wildcats varsity boys’ baseball field, not long before the season begins, because the fields for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal.

A group of parents raised money for a raised seating deck by the field, as it was hard to see the games through a chain-link fence. The parents even did the installation themselves, and also paid for a new scoreboard.

But, after someone complained to the U.S Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, an investigated [sic] by the department determined the new addition was no longer equal to the girls’ softball field next door, which has old bleachers and an old scoreboard.


I’m listening to C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Letter 12 gave me a feeling of such sinking dread, the kind of dread I felt while I was reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I felt the irresistibility of sin, the devil’s snare that we fall into of our own free will, and the dark, lonely eternity of lost souls.

Anything is better than that he should realise the break he has made with the first months of his Christian life. As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago. And while he thinks that, we do not have to contend with the explicit repentance of a definite, fully recognised sin, but only with his vague, though uneasy, feeling that he hasn’t been doing very well lately. This dim uneasiness needs careful handling. If it gets too strong it may wake him up and spoil the whole game. On the other hand, if you suppress it entirely—which, by the by, the Enemy will probably not allow you to do—we lose an element in the situation which can be turned to good account. If such a feeling is allowed to live, but not allowed to become irresistible and flower into real repentance, it has one invaluable tendency. It increases the patient’s reluctance to think about the Enemy. All humans at nearly all times have some such reluctance; but when thinking of Him involves facing and intensifying a whole vague cloud of half-conscious guilt, this reluctance is increased tenfold. They hate every idea that suggest Him, just as men in financial embarrassment hate the very sight of a bankbook. In this state your patient will not omit, but he will increasingly dislike, his religious duties. He will think about them as little as he feels he decently can beforehand, and forget them as soon as possible when they are over. A few weeks ago you had to tempt him to unreality and inattention to his prayers: but now you will find him opening his arms to you and almost begging you to distract his purpose and benumb his heart. He will want his prayers to be unreal, for he will dread nothing so much as effective contact with the Enemy. His aim will be to let sleeping worms lie.

As this condition becomes more fully established, you will be gradually freed from the tiresome business of providing Pleasures as temptations. As the uneasiness and his reluctance to face it cut him off more and more from all real happiness, and as habit renders the pleasures of vanity and excitement and flippancy at once less pleasant and harder to forgo (for that is what habit fortunately does to pleasure) you will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday’s paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes but also in conversations with those he cares nothing about, on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, “I now see that I spent most of my life doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.” The Christians describe the Enemy as one “without whom Nothing is strong.” And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.

I can’t think of anything more terrible than the realization, at the end of life, that I’ve wasted my time on earth and followed my short-sighted will into mediocrity, into “a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them.”

It’s occurred to me that this blog is a distraction from my walk with God. Since almost everything I write about doesn’t matter, why consume my precious time continuing to write about those things? I should be writing about stuff that matters. I should be working on discipleship.

The world provides endless distractions. Look over here, write about this. Look over there, write about that. I used to consider it a blessing—“I’ll never run out of things to write about, yippee!” How futile it seems, as I come to a fuller understanding of the commission Jesus gave me. I will not allow the world to distract me from my task, to serve God and to serve my neighbors.

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