Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is 'Fair and Balanced' even Possible?

Fox News likes to use the slogan 'Fair and Balanced'. In truth, there is presently no such thing as a 'fair and balanced' news network, and there probably never was. Interestingly enough, what Fox News IS is approximately 50th percentile among the American population. This is almost certainly why it's the only major news apparatus that actually turns a profit on a regular basis. It is almost exactly what you'd expect to exist if a rational profit-maximizer were to establish a news network in the US. The other major networks are around 5th-15th percentile on the rough leftist-reactionary spectrum of the US population. Even Rush Limbaugh, that hated exemplar of knuckle-draggers everywhere, is probably only around 60th or so percentile. Can you imagine a news network that took the position that the wrong side won the Civil war? Or perhaps a network that took the position that mixed-race marriages were not in general a good idea (even leaving aside any legal sanctions against such)? Or one that questioned whether diversity was a good thing? Frankly you'd only need to get to approximately the 70th percentile of the distribution in the US for such a network. Yet it seems unthinkable, doesn't it?

A network that was actually 'fair and balanced' would be even more unthinkable. Can you imagine a network that didn't engage in histogram distortion? By this I mean it makes every attempt to ensure that the frequencies with which it reports issues, groups, etc match the frequencies in the actual real world. So, for instance, if it's doing a stories about outstanding young scientists, and X% of them are white males, then it shows approximately X% as, well, white males. Similarly, on crime reporting, over or undersampling any group of perpetrators would be avoided religiously. If blacks commit X% of the homicide, they'll get X% of the homicide coverage, no more, and no less. Existing networks do a truly awful job of this, which is why a recent study where people were asked to estimate the percentage of the population that was homosexual had an average answer of about 25%. Hell, even the homosexual activists have never claimed more than a tenth, and the actual answer is closer to 2.5%. There's a decided irony here---to be truly fair and balanced on issues of identity, be that identity racial, sexual, or ethnic, you have to take an almost mathematical notice of such. Otherwise you're going to easily fall prey to the temptation to distort the histogram by ginning up highly unrepresentative numbers of 'minority scientists' and 'great White defendants' and the like. But that's what fair and balanced would actually look like. Anyone smoking anything efficacious enough to be able to believe that such a thing would ever happen on this side of a political singularity?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 21st, 2011, What part of no man knoweth the day or the hour is hard to understand?

I see all manner of news and speculation about the Rapture and Final Judgment coming this Saturday. Pity, I was hoping for a nice outing with my wife and two little ones. :-)

Jesus was rather clear about the whole Second Coming thing---he said no man knoweth the day or the hour (excepting the Father). He said he thought that it'd be while some present were still alive, implying it'd be pretty soon, be that he himself had no certain knowledge of the same. So here some would-be prophets are claiming knowledge denied even to our Lord while he was here incarnate in the flesh. To this, I add that Jesus did not overturn the old covenant, he fulfilled it, and the old covenant has a very certain and severe injunction against false prophets. It involves getting stoned, and not in the way Californians have a predilection for. Pity the prophets of latter day doom have such horrid quality control by Old Testament standards.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Observations from a Steps For Life march last Saturday

On Saturday, I loaded up the wife and the two little ones and we went to downtown Portland for the 'Steps for Life' march, which is a fundraiser for the Pregnancy Resource Center. Being Christian, and a reactionary one at that, I consider being pro-life at least religiously obligatory. Does it pass the test of Scripture? Absolutely. Does it pass the test of Tradition---i.e. the faith as it's been practiced by the bulk on nonheretical Christians throughout the ages? Once again, absolutely. So even though the implications for demographic hegemony aren't at all favorable, there's no way for me to weasel out. It is the will of God. Deus Vult!

But the theological implications of this aren't what I'm here to talk to you about today. Rather, I want to talk a bit some of my other observations from this little rally in the middle of Portland's heathen heart. Also marching that day was the 'Doggie Dash', and in many other years, the Breast Cancer activists are also marching.
One rally had all the kids, more in fact than would be expected from the number of adults present. As you probably guessed, it wasn't the 'Doggie Dash', although I saw a lot of golden retrievers being used as child substitutes looking longingly at the happy children marching on the opposite side of the street. The little dogs seemed far happier with the state of affairs :-)

This called a single truth into clear focus:
The pro-life movement is tactically weak---their demonstrations rarely actually intimidate anyone, much less anyone with actual political power. Furthermore, it is also strategically weak---frequently failing to get the judges and decisions it needs even when it nominally controls the appointing branch of government. It is, however, logistically strong, because it, nearly alone among white demographics (and make no mistake, said movement IS a white thing), is more than replicating itself generation after generation. I saw a lot of the social markers of homeschoolers in the crowd also, which I found encouraging.

Is it enough to be logistically strong, with poor strategy and worse tactics? History says, if you've got the time, the answer is most certainly, yes. The Roman empire, when it was still a vital civilization, endured massive tactical and strategic defeats in the 2nd Punic War against Hannibal---culminating in the disasterous battle of Cannae, but they had the logistical might to make good their losses and carry on the struggle. Eventually the Romans smashed him in the Battle of Zama, and well, Carthago delenda est. The USSR similarly made good horrendous losses in WWII against the Germans, who had tactical and strategic superiority early on.

I suppose the take-away from these is that if you've got logistical superiority, you just have to prevent a knockout blow and you can outlast your opposition. Eventually, if only by luck or Providence, you'll get a sufficiently competent general and adequate NCOs. The only real question is, do you have the time?

Tactically and strategically, the means for victory are at hand. They do, however, require that those in the movement surrender being considered 'nice' by the mainstream media and those influenced by it. Were the pro-life movement half as ruthless as the pro-gun movement learned to be in the late 1990s, the battle would already be won. The pro-life movement, assuming that it can retain its logistical supremacy, CAN win whilst being 'Nice', but it'll be a very, very long struggle, probably at least 20-30 more years. Or it could roll the dice, declare 'Here I Stand'---truly an ironic declaration for a Pople, who is best situated to declare such, and perhaps achieve victory within the United States prior to 2016. Such, however, would require a willingness to fight, and a willingness to demand obedience of its followers by the various churches, particularly the Catholic one. It's still politically necessary in the US to at least pretend a banner of Christianity in order to hold most high political office. By ripping the veneer through excommunication and expulsion, Benedict, for instance, could probably doom a large fraction of pro-choice Catholic politicians. Their own cognitive dissonance would probably cause a fair number of them to genuinely change their positions as well, so there might even be a redemptive purpose in such a declaration. People don't like the mental narrative that they cowardly submitted to their higher authority. The redeemed sinner narrative is easier on the mind, and plays better in the box office and the ballot box. So what say you Benedict?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A special offer for Unions on May Day

Being as May 1 is a day of special significance to Unions, I thought I'd make a special, limited time offer, in their direction. Please note when I make this offer, I limit it to private sector unions only. It's a point of pride for me that I'll never make an offer to a group that isn't clearly in its best interest. What I have to say is extremely true for private sector union members but less so for public sector unionists.
Look, I recognize that your game is to reap an economic premium by creating an artificial barrier to entry in your respective vocations. That reduces economic efficiency overall in some cosmic sense, but you're not talking to someone who believes in economic efficiency over all else. I'm a reactionary, not some conservative or libertarian.
Your interests are not served by large-scale immigration into this country, be it legal or illegal. This represents competition for you, which has the ultimate effect of bidding down your wages and making the middle-class lifestyle you want to enjoy far more expensive to obtain. It's not an accident that union leaders such as Cesar Chavez fought hard against illegal immigration, using tactics that'd make the Minutemen blanch. Chavez clearly understood what side his bread was buttered on. So should you. Ask yourself this: are you served by a country with cheap land and expensive labor, or vice versa? Large scale immigration moves you away from cheap land/expensive labor towards expensive land and cheap labor. This is something you need to force your leaders to get behind you on, and if they won't bend to your will, you need to dispense with them until you can get someone willing to be called a racist, xenophobe, and a nativist and take it as a badge of honor.
I'm not saying you need to be Republicans. Hell, I'm not a Republican, I'm a demographic hegemony voter. What you really need to be is a constituency that all parties bid to appease. All the stuff your leaders bandy about in Washington is trivial by comparison to this issue in terms of long term importance to your interests, even if they're strictly monetary and you don't give a damn about demographic hegemony.