Irresponsible puppetry

The Responsible Puppet recently announced his support for the various school levies in his area. I have no doubt that they passed, few Minnesotans have ever seen a tax they didn’t like. Very well, let us consider his justifications:

1. Teachers are generally good people and they aren’t paid enough.

2. It is the government’s job to pay for schooling K-12. And our nation is better because it does.

3. There are poor or uneducated people who can’t home-school.

4. Our school systems need to be improved, and not funding them is not going to help.

1. Teachers are massively overpaid. Other than politicians, there is no group of people who work so little, to so little positive effect, and are so handsomely overcompensated.

2. It is not the government’s job to pay for schooling. The high priority that Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler placed on government-funded, government-controlled schooling should suffice to demonstrate that in this regard, our nation can only be considered better off if you are a Communist or National Socialist.

3. This does not mean that government schools are the only option.

4. The US public school system is one of the most richly funded in the world and also happens to be one of the worst performing educational systems in the world. This absurd logic is no different than arguing that the Vikings should cure their quarterback problem by increasing the salaries of Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger and Kelly Holcomb.

Can he get an amen?

Childress must go

It was a bad week for the Vikings and, more specifically, for coach Brad Childress. Off the field, the team suffered one of its biggest embarrassments this side of the Love Boat fiasco, thanks to the decision to dock receiver Troy Williamson a game check for being with his family after the death of his grandmother. On the field, the Vikings suffered their first-ever shutout at the hands of Green Bay — and their worst regular-season blanking in franchise history….

Along the way, Childress took an unnecessary shot at unemployed veteran quarterback Jeff George, who wanted to play for the Vikings, only to sign unemployed veteran quarterback Koy Detmer, who on his best day couldn’t deliver the pig with the same velocity as George.

But the clincher could have been Childress’ revelation to Jay Glazer of FOX that the second-year head coach had sought out the advice of Colts coach Tony Dungy in determining whether to reverse course and pay Williamson. Though I’ve got no problem with Childress seeking input from Dungy or any other NFL head coach, disclosing the fact he sought Dungy’s advice wasn’t the wisest P.R. move, because it invites criticism from folks who might wonder whether Childress is fit to be the head coach if he can’t make up his mind for himself.

Childress is the classic long-time administrator who is completely unsuited for an executive position. He should be canned immediately. It is sickening how the Vikings have had top prospects like Tony Dungy and now Mike Tomlin pass through their coaching ranks while hiring zeros like Tice and Childress. They should go after Jason Garrett and go after him hard, then give up a first for Brady Quinn.

In other, more important news, it sounds as if AP will be okay:

A league source tells us that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has an injury to the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, and that he is week-to-week.

The source says he won’t need surgery.

Mailvox: mixed reviews

This guy quite liked the article:

I am really surprised WND allowed your article! Is there a change in the wind at World Net? Inquiring minds would like to know. Good work!

WorldNetDaily publishes a wide range of views. It always has. Joseph Farah has resolutely defended my columns, even when he openly disagrees with them, and the one time he suggested that I write something was when there happened to be a news story which he felt was in an area of my expertise. WND’s regular columnists disagree on a whole host of issues, as my past columns devoted to Michelle Malkin and Ben Shapiro should serve to demonstrate.

This lady, on the other hand, didn’t like it at all:

You are seriously mistaken!! You are the Liar. Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris will withstand the darts from the workers of Satan of which you must be!!! Thank God for TRUE Christians who can spot a LIAR when they see and or read one!!! Besides your picture showing who you “really” are, one can see by your writing that Jesus doesn’t and can’t reside in you! I hope you find the truth. Look in the Bible. There is the truth, not from you or Illana Mercer’s mouths!!! You better check who you are really working for, cause it isn’t God, dear!!! True Christians can spot another True Christian, and they can also spot the wolves trolling around in sheep’s clothing, in which you and Illana Mercer, and Phyllis Shlavely (or however you spell her name) are.

And here I thought George W. Bush was supposed to be the compassionate conservative Messiah. Clearly, he is not even fit to wrap Mike Huckabee’s burrito.

Notes on a dead writer

Roger’s Rules sums up the shabby career of a recently deceased writer whose name deserves to disappear. He could have simply reduced it to this sentence:

In fact, like almost all of Mailer’s books, The Armies of the Night is badly written—almost preposterously so.

I tried reading two of the buffoon’s novels many years ago. They remain among the very small minority of books that made me snort with contempt and put them down, unfinished and quickly forgotten. Like Tom Robbins, Norman Mailer will be one of those once-popular writers whose works will be regarded with confusion by the few readers of the future who happen to be so unfortunate as to accidentally pick up a copy.

Naturally, Christopher Hitchens thinks he was just spiffy. It figures. Both of them are the sort of loud-mouthed public bullies that I occasionally regret my hermit-like existence precludes me from encountering.

No scientific basis for equality

This is only one of the many areas in which postulating the non-existence of God turns out to have seriously unpredictable ramifications. American rights are predicated on them being given by a Creator, in His absence, they do not exist. And there is absolutely no scientific evidence for equality of any kind:

Scientists, for instance, have recently identified small changes in DNA that account for the pale skin of Europeans, the tendency of Asians to sweat less and West Africans’ resistance to certain diseases. At the same time, genetic information is slipping out of the laboratory and into everyday life, carrying with it the inescapable message that people of different races have different DNA….

Such developments are providing some of the first tangible benefits of the genetic revolution. Yet some social critics fear they may also be giving long-discredited racial prejudices a new potency. The notion that race is more than skin deep, they fear, could undermine principles of equal treatment and opportunity that have relied on the presumption that we are all fundamentally equal.

Note the correct use of the term “presumption”. It is fascinating to see the way in which ideological equalitarians, including scientists, are reacting in precisely the way that they suppose the religious faithful will act when the scientific evidence appears to contradict their religious beliefs. “Stop,” they beg, “just stop.” And so much for that romantic notion that “many sociologists and anthropologists have argued for decades” about race being “a social invention historically used to justify prejudice and persecution”.

We are all equal before God. If God does not exist, then there is no such thing as equality. That is the reality.

Confirmation

I recently banned a commenter who had accused me of lying about Sam Harris and his suggestion that it may be ethically justifiable to kill people for their beliefs. The commenter insisted that I had mischaracterized Harris’s position and quoted it out of context, however, after a reader emailed me an excerpt from an email exchange with Harris, it is clear that my characterization of his position expressed in The End of Faith was precise and correct. In that email exchange, Harris answered the question “what ‘certain beliefs’ justify unprovoked killing?”

The beliefs that are rattling around the brains of people like Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri. When you ask why would it be ethical to drop a bomb on these two guys, the answer cannot be, “because they have killed so many people.” They haven’t, to my knowledge, killed anyone.

So, Harris’s position is exactly what I described previously, a justification for lethal preemptive self-defense. Harris readily admits that he is not referring to a reaction, but rather an unprovoked action in response to a belief he considers dangerous. While one could make the case that both bin Laden and al-Zawahiri are guilty of killing in the same way that George W. Bush or a mafia don are guilty, Harris’s explanation explictly precludes that argument.

By the way, I should note that I exchanged email with Sam Harris prior to posting this and received permission to quote him on this; I may vehemently disagree with the man but that doesn’t justify making what was a private statement public. As it happens, Mr. Harris explained that he has posted exactly the same statement on his own web site, so he had no problem with my quoting either the email or the site.

Discuss amongst yourselves