Leany on Life -- August 2011

On This Day in History

Meanwhile, over in an Alternate Universe

Lex injusta
I may have actually found a use for this blog.

This morning I was reading an article by Walter Williams wherein he postulated that "Decent people should not obey immoral laws."

As you recall, we've chatted about this before. I was examining my refusal to obey silly laws, and then trying to reconcile that with my unwavering belief in The Rule of Law. It dawned on me that they were absolutely compatible—that any other attitude would be a clash. Silly laws undermine The Rule of Law. Silly rules are to Law what rape hoaxes are to rape prevention. When a boy cries wolf, the wolf gains power.

Anyway . . . so that lead me to . . . hold it, am I the only one here that is bored to tears with this banal recounting of my pathetic intellectual excursions into areas normal people have long ago mapped? Did I ever tell you about the person that fell asleep while he was talking to me? No, he was talking. I've had people fall asleep while I was talking to them, but this guy was dozing off while he was talking. That's what I remind me of. This is so boring that I'm falling asleep here.

Anyway . . . years ago G. Gordon Liddy said something about law that is inherently moral vs. law that is just something man has written down. I was familiar with the concept and figured that I'd remember the terms, but I immediately forgot them. So I went to Uncle Google. I could never come up with search terms that were close enough to hit anything.

So a couple of weeks ago I heard the terms again (I can remember the exact spot I was standing when I heard them, but not what I was listening to so I could retrieve them) (Holy cats! Does it get any more boring than this?), and they were just logical Latin words for the concepts so I figured I had them down this time.

Immediately forgot them.

So this morning I went on another search. I was having the same luck I'd had before, but I did come across this article on the nature of law, which you undoubtedly have bookmarked already, that talks about (among other things) the dictum of Saint Augustine that: ‘lex iniusta non est lex’ (unjust law is not law).

It was looking futile again, until a fragment of the phrase popped into my head. Short story long, I found the phrases and at the same time found a use for this domain name and web site hosting that I pay for.

I can use it to store things I need to remember, like Malum in se vs. Malum prohibitum.

Or, I could just store that sort of thing on my phone or iPad like everything else.

Oops . . . oh, well. The search continues for a reason to keep this site.

As Promised
Last time we talked I promised I'd share with you the story of how I became an apostate from the Church of Oliver DeMille. I apologize for the anxious hours I've caused you checking back here constantly, heart in your throat, to see if I had posted that gripping tale.

Oliver DeMille is a very bright, very capable person who has come up with something called "A Thomas Jefferson Education." Among the things he teaches is something called The Seven Keys.

Among those Seven Keys is a principle called "Inspire not Require."

The idea is that kids learn when they are inspired to learn, not when they are forced to learn. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with, as you know if you've ever heard me pontificate on my theories about education.

During the years when my kids were young I participated in several workshops and seminars on TJEd. At the last workshop I attended I experienced a paradigm shift. It happened to be the same workshop where the grandmother tearfully revealed that her grandson had a make-believe medical condition. Someone was asking for clarification on "Inspire not Require." I was about to offer my helpful insights when the moderator gave us the church-sanctioned doctrine, that it meant exactly what it said: no student should be required to do anything.

That, as you know, is an educational principle known as Stupid.

See, this whole time I had been putting the emphasis on Inspire when it was intended to be on not require.

As I said, that was the last TJEd event I ever participated in. And, like any good apostate would, I wrote a rambling and pointless article expounding my viewpoints for anyone who's not interested. (Julia, maybe you could send me that article I wrote about this—"Common Sense, not Nonsense?" Save me the effort of pulling out my external drive and searching for the worthless prattle . . . )

(Yeah, like Julia would be caught dead reading this blog)

Anyway, I guess I ought to put a horizontal line here and continue my thoughts in a new post . . .

(There's something really liberating about having a blog no one reads—it's like the term paper that's never going to be graded. You don't care about spelling or structure or even content . . . )

I know what you mean
Someone once told me that the main challenge in non-fiction writing is changing what the person is convinced he already knows.

We go into any situation with pre-conceived notions that either get confirmed or modified. Our tendency is to want them confirmed, so a lot of times it doesn't matter what we hear, we're not going to change our mind.

Once I was trying to explain to a programmer what I wanted on the readout. "Can we get the lines that track ROP to stand out more against the rest of the data?"

So, like if I increased the resolution?

"Well, that might be okay, too, but what I want is for the actual graph to stand out more—so that when I look at it the ROP trend is immediately apparent."

So, if I made the data read at a higher resolution . . .

"Actually, the resolution's fine, as long as the data doesn't alias, but what I need is for the line on the graph to contrast with the rest of the data."

Okay, so . . . more resolution then.

A scene from Office Space popped into my head where Jennifer Aniston is saying: "So . . . more flair?"

Before I became an apostate we and some home-schooling friends got together at someone's house where we talked about the TJEd approach. Afterwards Debbie (I'm just going to call her Debbie) said to me "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I wasn't sure what she was thanking me for, so she explained. "Ron [I'm just going to call him Ron] always comes home and asks 'So, what did you and the kids do today?' and I never know what to tell him. Now I can explain this to him and tell him that we did nothing at all, all day long, and that's perfectly okay!"

Uh . . . what?

So Debbie (as I'm calling her) figured the best way to homeschool kids was to keep them home from school . . . period. What she got out of the discussion was that her way was scientifically proven to be right. I got out of it that I couldn't simply require, I had to work much harder to inspire them and the kids would learn more effectively that way. I was hearing "Inspire them to meet the requirements."

We both came out of the discussion with our individual viewpoint validated.

As it turns out, maybe Debbie's view was more what DeMille meant all along.

And, as it turns out, I'm well beyond bored with this topic. If you cared at all about this you would have figured it out long ago.

Earthquake News
Obama announced today that the east coast earthquake was apparently caused by a previously unknown fault line running through Virginia called Bush's Fault.

This confirms that it was an earthquake, and not just the effect of a 14.6 trillion dollar check bouncing in Washington, but it counters the theory that it was caused by the founding fathers rolling over in their graves.

Continued below
(Best viewed with a mind not clouded by the Kool-Aid)

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What to do until the Blog arrives

The Litter-ature novel is here. I update it regularly--every time Emmanuelle Vaugier tackles me and sticks her tongue in my ear.

Amazing Grace Choral Arrangement New!

Jordan's Eagle Project.

LoL Cartoons

Logic Primer

Duke Boys Car Chase

Pipe Intersections

Gymkhana Practice

Programmable Calendar

Compass Course Spreadsheet

Complete Orienteering Course Files Updated!

Things you may not know about Sarah Palin

Handy Units Conversion Utility

Amazing Grace on the Sax

Obama's Magic 8 Ball


The John Galt Society

It can be discouraging to look around at who's running the show these days and wonder "Where have all the grown-ups gone?"

Take heart. There are still some people who are not drinking the Kool-aid. Here's where to find them. I would suggest going gown this list every day and printing off the most recent articles you haven't read to read over lunch.

Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin is a feisty conservative bastion. You loved her book "Unhinged" and you can read her columns here.
Ann Coulter

Ann posts her new column every Thursday, or you can browse her past columns.
George Will
What can you say? It's George Will. Read it.
Charles Krauthammer posts every Friday. Just a good, smart conservative columnist.
If you want someone who gets it just as right, but is easier to read, try Thomas Sowell, who just posts at random times.
Jonah Goldbert seldom disappoints.
David Limbaugh carries on the family tradition.

Jewish World Review has all these guys plus lots more good stuff.

Or you can go to radio show sites like
 Laura Ingraham's or Glenn Beck's or Rush Limbaugh's..

If you'd like you can study The Constitution while you wait.

Then there's always TownHall.com, NewsMax.com, The Drudge Report, FreeRepublic.com, World Net Daily, (which Medved calls World Nut Daily), News Busters, or National Review Online.

For the Lighter Appetite

If you have to read the news, I recommend The Nose on Your Face, news so fake you'd swear it came from the Mainstream Media. HT to Sid for the link.
Or there's always The Onion. (For the benefit of you Obama Supporters, it's a spoof.)

Dave Barry's Column
Daryl Cagle's Index of Political Cartoons
About half of these cartoonists are liberal (Latin for wrong) but the art is usually good. (Fantastic, if you're used to the quality of art on this site.)

Or just follow the links above and to the right of this section (you can't have read all my archived articles already). If you have read all my articles (you need to get out more) go to my I'm Not Falling For It section.

Above all, try to stay calm. Eventually I may post something again.

Today's Second Amendment Message

Earlier Blogs

Is it that time already?

Sometimes I'll be minding my own business and the thought will occur to me "Oh, yeah, I have a blog."

You wouldn't know it by how seldom I post here. But honestly, anyone who has to listen to me could tell you it's a blessing to just check in here to NOT hear me spout my opinion.

Let's have dessert first and start out with the palette cleanser this time.

Obama's Back of the Bus Tour

Four Years of Bad Economy

Please Don't Eat the Daisies
I love Erma Bombeck's concept of "Please don't eat the daisies." There are certain things that you really shouldn't have to be explicitly told not to do.

To my own list of those things I would probably add "If you are a guest at my house, please do not torment my animals."

Is that so unreasonable?

I discovered that I can readily classify people as good or bad by how they treat animals. I'd like to say that same thing about people who ding my car with their doors. Trouble is, that's not true.

Every time I see a new ding in my car I have some distinctly un-Christian feelings. Now you and I both know that Satan smiles every time a car door is dinged, but I can't believe that it's very often done out of maliciousness. Probably mostly out of carelessness.

If you tell anyone that I said that door dingers aren't necessarily evil, I swear I will deny it. But that doesn't leave me any resolution, does it? The fact remains that someone has thoughtlessly damaged something I care about.

So I guess I can still despise them, I'm still a sociopathic schmuck, and the Universe is still in balance.

Phew! That was a close one.

Just Kidding
My brother ended up with an extra fridge and asked me if I wanted it. I told him "You know, just last week my wife was saying we needed an extra fridge in the house."

You'll recognize that as the prescribed answer that any self-respecting wiseacre gives when presented with a ridiculous question. So my brother said "So, 'no' then. I guess that was pretty silly. Just thought I'd offer."

The funny thing is that just last week my wife had said we could use an extra fridge. So we got the fridge and we greatly appreciated it.

Brilliant humorists like myself understand that in order for silly things to be really funny they have to be presented deadpan. So when they started saying "Bill Clinton has Sexual Addiction Syndrome" I just figured the liberals had finally developed a sense of humor.

But they were as serious about that as I had been about the fridge.

Really? Show me someone who doesn't suffer from that malady. The problem is that unless you have a syndrome you are responsible for your behavior. So what we have now is a fabricated syndrome or a malady that relieves you from accountability for anything you want to do.

I was at a training seminar once where everyone was "sharing" and this wonderful older lady started talking about the tough year her family had had. She said that her grandson had been diagnosed with . . . then she choked up.

I, along with everyone else in the room, held my breath to hear what awful disease her young grandson had been stricken with. Was it cancer? Muscular Dystrophy? Leukemia? It had to be Leukemia. How awful. What a terrible trial for the family.

She finally managed to gasp that he had been diagnosed with ADD.

I almost laughed out loud. Probably half of the response was just from relief. ADD? You don't get "diagnosed" with ADD. ADD is like Clintonian Sexual Juvenilitosis, which is diagnosed not by body chemistry, but by behavior.

Which brings us to the point of this post (and not a paragraph too soon): Behavior.

This is the same old thing I'm always flapping my jaws about: You've got what you were born with, and you've got your choices (and their consequences). So you have a condition that makes it easier to behave in a way other than what's appropriate. What does that mean, functionally?

Whatever condition you might have doesn't change what behavior is tolerable.

I became aware of this trick back in the 80's when some guy was on trial for killing people on the subway. His defense was "You're only prosecuting me because I'm black."

Maybe somewhere in The Law there is a comprehensive list of crimes that black people are allowed to commit that white people are prohibited from committing. (The black trash who were rioting in Philadelphia probably know right where that is.)

Similarly, maybe somewhere there's a list of atrocities a person can commit because a lazy doctor pronounced that he has ADD.

I have a sneaking suspicion that when the kid leaves home the cops that have to deal with him won't be familiar with that list.

Quote of the Day
Circumstances don't make the man--they reveal him.

Previews of coming attractions
And that's all we have time for today, kids. Tune in next . . . uh . . . year, when we'll talk about "Inspire not Require" and how I became an apostate from the Church of Oliver deMille.

I believe
In my own personal credendum there is a line that says "I can readily classify people as good or bad by how they treat animals."

Hey Norm!
Have you ever noticed how whenever someone gets caught by the cops it's the cop's fault?

To the guy in jail, who is the bad guy? That's right, it's the cop. It's all the cop's fault that he's sitting in this jail. That stupid cop, what a putz, he wouldn't be there if it weren’t for that stupid cop, all his fault, what a putz . . .

Am I right or what?

Years ago a biker named Francis (I'm not kidding) explained to me that in the American judicial system the accused is tried by a Jury of the Norm. He said that a true "Jury of your Peers" would never convict you. A jury that consisted of people who all had your exact outlook and experience would have done just what you did under the circumstances.

Maybe this is a follow-up to the Free Will postings of late. (Or maybe not.) Something happened, you reacted a certain way . . . given your experience and background you did exactly what you thought you had to do, like you had no real choice. Anyone with exactly your brain and your background and experiences would have done the same thing.

This is the classic case of evil people don't ever believe they are evil. It's typically called rationalization or justification. The part I want to talk about is the tendency of evil people to make everyone else the bad guy.

You also remember that I remember exactly one line from every movie. (From The Departed it was "I'm –ing Irish; I'll deal with something being wrong for my whole life." From A Beautiful Mind it was the scene where he gets confirmation from a student that a guy was standing there. Also the "what's the good of being nuts if you can't have fun with it?")

Well, here's the line I took away from Pretty Woman. In that movie Julia Roberts played a whore. I think that's the word for someone who has sex with strangers for money. Yes, I'm quite sure that's the word.

She played a whore who, in exchange for money, engaged in an act that could be defined as "A physical act that becomes a spiritual experience shared by two and only two people who love and are committed to each other." Richard Gere comes along and rents her services for a week, then he has to leave. So Julia Roberts gets all offended and says something like "That's the first time you've treated me like a whore."

Everyone in the theater was supposed to gasp and think how awful and what a prick this Richard Gere's character is.

I thought "Duh."

Hey, if you really don't want people think you're a whore maybe you should pick a different profession.

Obligatory new post section to prevent boredom
Speaking of whores and evil people . . . a renter who used to live in my neighborhood was recently evicted for not paying the rent. 'Turns out even the most lenient and patient landlord has his limit.

So she got hauled into court, but when she got there she magically had all the money that she owed for all the rent she had blown off. But she was in for a surprise. The judge asked the landlord if he was good with taking the money and letting her stay. He said nope, she had to go.

So she had all the money, but when she moved out she never paid a dime. In her mind that was completely justified because that dirty SOB of a landlord kicked her out.

Just an observation
Everyone knows people who fall into the category of "I don't care whether they live or die." Other people you might have developed some preference about . . .

This looks like a good place for a break
That "It's all the cop's fault" attitude isn't limited to people in jail. You might know a woman who's married to a guy with cranial recumitis. He's a total scumbag, and everyone knows it. But isn't it interesting that whenever he gets wind that someone knows he's a waste of skin, he's probably all over his wife. "Are you telling so 'n' so bad things about me?!"

You gonna' finish that?
So I'm walking by this big construction dumpster at work the other day, and I do what anybody else in that situation (see the theme?) would do. I look in it.


Why would I want to see if there's something I can take that someone else threw out?

'Cause it's free—it's easy. It's free for the taking. You can have it without any of the effort usually associated with acquiring things.

That's the gal at the party who's dressed like a slut. She's kinda' sorrry looking, but she's free for the taking.

Maybe you think that I just compared certain human beings to trash in a dumpster. Did you? Did you really think that?

Just making sure you were paying attention.

Senator Barack Obama on the debt limit.
This is rich. Honestly, I thought it was somebody making it up. It sounded like that deal that went around about Governor Bloggo and Obama—just too clean and simple and hypocritical to be true. I had to check it out. While a senator, Barack Obama said this:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Check out the link. As usual, some of the best stuff is found in the comments. You can't believe how the liberals—the same liberals who were at Bush's throat for everything—are saying that this is just an example of how we twist things around. Ann Coulter (among others—she likely didn't coin the phrase) was exactly right. To make a conservative look bad, make up lies about what they say. To make a liberal look bad, simply accurately report what they say.


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