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Posts by The_Reader_David

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • God is neither 'she' nor 'he' say Anglican priests

    06/02/2015 6:40:22 AM PDT · 42 of 46
    The_Reader_David to angryoldfatman

    You are right, but there is more to it than that. It is not just the unconscious nature of childbirth as distinct from the consciously willed act of creation, but that that which is born is of the same nature as the birthgiver. The created and the Uncreated are not only not of the same nature, but cannot be compared — anything one says about God using ordinary words applicable to created things is always insufficient and in some way inaccurate.

  • If Josh Duggar Did Certain Things & Had Salvation Can Someone Do Homosexual Acts & Have Salvation?

    06/01/2015 5:24:33 PM PDT · 96 of 125
    The_Reader_David to Quality_Not_Quantity

    Neither I nor Abba Sisoes contended any such thing. We must just get up again and again.

  • If Josh Duggar Did Certain Things & Had Salvation Can Someone Do Homosexual Acts & Have Salvation?

    06/01/2015 5:20:14 PM PDT · 95 of 125
    The_Reader_David to Laissez-faire capitalist

    Our Lord also said the only sin which is not forgivable is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

  • God is neither 'she' nor 'he' say Anglican priests

    06/01/2015 5:17:55 PM PDT · 18 of 46
    The_Reader_David to NRx
    Well, to be fair, standard Orthodox Christian doctrine, at least since the time of the Cappadocian Fathers (and On the Divine Names, attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite), has been that no created binary distinction is applicable to God.

    I think God's choice of revealing Himself under male images and names, so that we speak of the Father and the Son as two persons of the All-Holy Trinity, and the Divine Logos becoming Incarnate as the only-begotten son of the Virgin Mary, are conditioned not on any participation in maleness prior to the Incarnation -- a half of a created binary distinction -- but by a mercy to us. Conceiving of God in female imagery always leads to an unsound understanding, not because god is male, but because eventually creation is reconceptualized as birthgiving, abolishing the radical distinction between the created and the Uncreated.

  • Pat Sajak's 'Wheel of Fortune' fairness tweet sparks outrage

    06/01/2015 12:58:44 PM PDT · 29 of 69
    The_Reader_David to MrB

    It also reminded me of the classic SNL “Black Jeopardy” sketch.

  • Pat Sajak's 'Wheel of Fortune' fairness tweet sparks outrage

    06/01/2015 12:54:43 PM PDT · 26 of 69
    The_Reader_David to SMGFan

    So the folks who have destroyed our common culture are offended someone noticed?

  • Gun-Free Zones Are Not Safe

    06/01/2015 12:09:20 PM PDT · 3 of 13
    The_Reader_David to brucedavis

    One can point out the folly of gun-free zones without weakening the argument with hyperbole. It is almost certainly not the case that Gun-Free zones are becoming the main place where anyone has to worry about getting shot. Certain neighborhoods in major cities, which have not been designated at “Gun-Free zones” have a much higher incidence of gunshot wounds and deaths from gunfire. Of course, those who are not compelled by circumstance to live in those neighborhoods tend to avoid them.

  • If Josh Duggar Did Certain Things & Had Salvation Can Someone Do Homosexual Acts & Have Salvation?

    06/01/2015 12:05:02 PM PDT · 7 of 125
    The_Reader_David to Laissez-faire capitalist
    One of the sayings of the Desert Fathers bears on your question:

    A brother asked Abba Sisoes, “What shall I do, abba, for I have fallen?” The old man said to him “Get up again.” The brother said, “I have got up again, but I have fallen again.” The old man said, “Get up again and again.” So the brother said, “How many times?” The old man said, “Until you are taken up either in virtue or in sin. For a man presents himself to judgement in the state in which he is found.”

    The Christian life is a life of perpetual repentance. I also strongly suspect that many more will find themselves on the left hand on the Day of Judgement through my own besetting sins of wrath, self-esteem, and pride than through the more exotic forms lust.

  • You'll Never Guess Who's Building an Aircraft Carrier Now (Seriously... Try)

    05/31/2015 9:01:24 PM PDT · 35 of 52
    The_Reader_David to dp0622

    Why? Because NATO is still constituted as an alliance directed against Russia, and is now an aggressive anti-Russian alliance, rather than a defensive anti-Russian alliance. What makes you think that Sunni Muslims don’t make reliable allies for multicultural secularists when the enemy is a large Orthodox Christian power that is standing up to multicultural secularism and has Shi’ite allies of convenience?

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 9:41:51 PM PDT · 89 of 304
    The_Reader_David to Iscool
    It is a little too glib to assert

    They [the modern Baptist doctrines espoused by the author] certainly must have since those are the doctrines taught in the scriptures...

    Yes, all Baptist doctrines can be found in the Scriptures by reading the Scriptures in the context of Baptist hermeneutic tradition.

    The Scriptures are not self-interpreting and the hermeneutic tradition that gave rise to the modern Baptist doctrines is rather late in being applied to them, and largely defined to maximize the contrast with the hermeneutic tradition applied by the Latin church.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 9:29:57 PM PDT · 88 of 304
    The_Reader_David to grey_whiskers

    Actually, I think the most traditional among us, exemplified by Athonite monks, would point to the key differences separating you Latins from us Orthodox, in decreasing order of importance as:

    (1) differing conceptions of grace — the West never accepted the conclusions of the Palamite synods, and the notion of Purgatory is founded in a different conception of grace.

    (2) proceeds from the Father vs. proceeds from the Father and the Son

    (3) the difference between the Orthodox conception of Ancestral Sin and the Augustinian notion of Original Sin, which all Western confessions seem to use

    and

    (4) ecclesiological differences — the fundamental equality of all bishops, all bishops as successors to Peter, the “one chair” being the episcopate vs. the papacy

    The differences over Mary have to do with (3). The Immaculate Conception of the BVM is a sort of kludge needed to square the understanding of her purity (see the text of our Akathist Hymn to the Virgin) you and we share, with the Augustinian notion of Original Sin.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 9:19:59 PM PDT · 86 of 304
    The_Reader_David to ebb tide

    No. One may marry at most three times, period, the second is permitted as a condescension to human weakness, and the third, even moreso, and is considered more “tolerated concubinage” than a proper marriage by many of the Fathers.

    The Church may impose salutary disciplines on her children (as the canonical fasts, the prohibition on those in major orders (or even the subdiaconate) marrying after ordination, the requirement that bishops live in celibate chastity — usually this means they are drawn from the celibate priesthood, but there are widowers who were ordained as married men, and even, historically priests who parted from their wives so both could enter monastic life) that were neither copied from the Old Covenant Law nor imposed by Our Lord during His earthly ministry. That those married thrice may not marry again is one.

    You are drawing a rather strong inference from the fact that Our Lord only addressed the Sadducees’ denial of the resurrection, rather than objecting to the seven-fold marriage in their tale, to claim that the limit placed by canon law is contrary to Jesus’ word. Christians do not practice levirate marriage, indeed it is forbidden under canon law, and Our Lord did not object to that aspect of the Sadducees’ tale either.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 1:33:05 PM PDT · 58 of 304
    The_Reader_David to Da_Shrimp; expat2

    Ah, but expat2, to whom I was replying suggested that all of protestantism derives from Henry’s desire for an annulment. (Henry VIII was a scandalous monarch, much worse than Emperor Leo VI, whose fourth marriage roiled the Empire and the Great Church of Constantinople at the start of the 10th century, but his desire was for an annulment — indeed what Canturbury gave him was an annulment, which the Church of Rome insisted on calling a divorce only because they didn’t recognized it as a valid annulment.)

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 1:20:56 PM PDT · 54 of 304
    The_Reader_David to ebb tide

    But the Latins allow any number after widowhood. Our limit of three is absolute, and only the party judged innocent in a divorce by an ecclesiastical court is permitted to remarry. Truth be told, the Latins have been using annulment in manner functionally identical to our ecclesiastical divorces, using a fig-leaf of “defective intent” to keep the theoretical distinction up so they can still assert that “divorce is forbidden”. And we at least make the rite for the second and third increasingly penitential.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 1:09:18 PM PDT · 52 of 304
    The_Reader_David to Da_Shrimp

    But tracing English protestantism to the Lollards still grounds it in a theological dispute with Rome, not Henry XIII’s desire for an annulment.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 1:06:54 PM PDT · 51 of 304
    The_Reader_David to expat2
    I explained that in my original post to the thread: heretical triadology with the dual procession of the Holy Spirit (the filioque), heretical ecclesiology in the overthrow of the fundamental equality of all bishops, and a heretical understanding of grace -- the last of which underpinned many of the abuses the protestants originally protested against (see #13) for more details.
  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 12:55:53 PM PDT · 49 of 304
    The_Reader_David to expat2

    Actually, there is an odd asymmetry to the way the Latins and we Orthodox regard the split: they insist we are “Eastern Schismatics” but not heretics, while we (at least our traditionalists, but really most of use, leaving aside some who by Orthodox standards are modernists) do regard the Latins as having fallen into heresy.

  • Roman Catholicism is a medieval heresy...

    05/30/2015 9:07:00 AM PDT · 13 of 304
    The_Reader_David to expat2
    Medieval heresy? Hardly, the Roman Catholic church has been around a long time. The protestant churches are the heresies, born from an English King's desire to re-marry.

    You are staking out highly disputable position. First, most protestant churches are not derivatives of Anglicanism, but of continental Lutheranism and Calvinism -- even in the British Isles, the Puritan movement was imported Calvinism.

    Second, in asserting the "Roman Catholic church" has been around a long time, you are accepting without criticism the Latins' account of the schism usually dated to 1054 (the Latins' preferred date, though I could argue for either 1009 or 1098).

    We Orthodox find the description of the "Roman Catholic church" -- I prefer the Latin church, after the manner of the Orthodox Fathers since the 11th century, since we Orthodox dispute their claim to catholicity and have equal claim to Romanity -- as a "medieval heresy" perfectly defensible. It was during the Middle Ages that the Latins began confessing the heretical doctrine of the dual procession of the Holy Spirit, adopted their heretical monarchical ecclesiology, and espoused an erroneous doctrine of grace on which the notion of Purgatory and the superabundance of merits of the saints is grounded, which our monks usually describe as 'created grace' because it is understood to be essentially the same doctrine as espoused by Barlaam of Calabria, the opponent of St. Gregory Palamas. (Barlaam, after his anathamatization by the Council of Constantinople of 1341, entered the communion of Rome and died as Bishop of Gerace.)

    Of course, this position is hardly that staked out by the article, whose authors would doubtless, if they were aware of us Orthodox, accuse us of being a "medieval heresy" as well, and most likely take the same attitude toward the Copts and Assyrians, thus rendering their position absurd, since they would be accusing every Christian confession which pre-existed the Middle Ages of being a "medieval heresy", since no confession that existed before the Middle Ages confesses or ever confessed the modern Baptist doctrines espoused by the author.

  • What's the Basis for Disbelief that there is a Human Nature?

    05/29/2015 5:32:08 PM PDT · 6 of 12
    The_Reader_David to CharlesOConnell
    What's the Basis for Disbelief that there is a Human Nature?

    Desire. The left has never believed in human nature, not since they got that name from the seating arrangement in the French National Assembly. They are all Rousseauians, and believe that Man is a tabula rasa. The fancy that human beings can be made into anything they want (emphasis on want), because we don't really have a nature, just an aggregation of social conventions that can be changed.

    It's actually very funny the way they use neo-Darwinism as a creation myth and shibboleth -- and that's what they use it as, not as a real scientific theory. If they really believed it was a scientific account of human origins, they'd have to believe in what is says about human nature, things like human young requiring many years of upbringing it is biologically desirable to produce a lasting social bond between their biological parents so that they are raise by adult humans most genetically similar to them (traditional marriage is grounded in biology, not religion or social convention, something Jesus noted in His remarks on the subject). They'd know that it is absurd to expect ability distributions to be the same in human populations whose ancestors faced different selection pressures over tens of millenia, and would therefore not believe that all difference sin social outcomes between such groups must necessarily be due to racism. They'd also not spend so much effort on Darwinian dead-ends like homosexuality or "transgenderism".

  • Young Women Say No to Thongs

    05/29/2015 3:35:26 PM PDT · 62 of 110
    The_Reader_David to needmorePaine
    ... today fedoras are a basic accessory for your average hipster.

    Yes, but they wear them badly. A fedora goes well with a tailored suit or an overcoat. They look ghastly with a lumber-jack plaid flannel shirt or a logo-emblazoned t-shirt, as usually worn by hipsters.

  • Video: Carly Fiorina on how she would fight ISIS

    05/28/2015 8:54:27 PM PDT · 73 of 111
    The_Reader_David to ASA Vet

    You do realize that precedent now strongly favors “natural born citizen” being analogous to “natural born subject” in the sense of Blackstone’s reading of English common law, not “natives” in the sense of Vattel, so your continuing to dwell on the dual jus-soli/jus-sanguinis requirement is not particularly meaningful.

  • Tesla is apparently recharging ’emissions free’ electric cars with a diesel generator

    05/28/2015 12:38:56 PM PDT · 46 of 56
    The_Reader_David to Cincinatus

    Actually, I’m not sure whether the “emission free” electric car idea is an example of leftist stupidity or of urbanite stupidity. They are not identical. There are some ideas that are good in a densely populated urban environment and stupid everywhere else. Generic left-wing stupidity is a bad idea everywhere because it represents a revolt against human nature and the laws of economics. Urbanite stupidity consists in taking a good idea for cities and fancying that it is a good idea everywhere. Electric cars do not create emissions where they are driven, thus in an urban environment they have health benefits in comparison to internal combustion powered vehicles. I’m inclined to think this is urbanite idiocy, rather than leftist idiocy.

  • Conservatism 101: Who is Really a Conservative?

    05/28/2015 10:31:57 AM PDT · 22 of 61
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    Webster’s definition is the correct definition of conservative as applicable world-wide. American conservatism is peculiar in that much of what we wish to conserve is actually classical liberalism — the American Founding being the quintessentially classical liberal event in all of history — free markets, free speech, freedom of religion,... all being seen by the Founders as part of a natural (and humanly beneficial) whole. European conservatism, by contrast, is often monarchist and supportive of a paternalistic state.

    Incidentally this is the reason the American left hijacked the word “liberal” when the populace rejected anything labeled “socialist” or “progressive” — they want to seem (or even claim to themselves) to uphold the American Founding, which the American people as a conservative people, wish to conserve. In Australia the party that upholds the same ideals as American conservatism is called the Liberal Party (while the left-wing party is the Labor Party — yes, the Aussies also dropped the u from labour).

    Incidentally, I want the word “liberal” back. The left can have “fascist” as a descriptor, since they actually have no regard for liberty and since history has proven communism to be a non-viable expression of the left’s totalitarian impulses, the left, world-wide, has a program essentially identical to that of Italian fascism — the state should control everything broadly, some aspects of life minutely, while enough of a semblance of a market economy remains that the rich can be coopted rather than looted or killed.

  • The 4 percent-plus solution

    05/26/2015 8:53:50 PM PDT · 8 of 13
    The_Reader_David to Tolerance Sucks Rocks

    Of course the statement, “At a growth rate of a little over 4 percent per year, real incomes for all of our citizens will double in only 17 years,” is completely unsupportable. The mean real income of the citizenry will double, but one can rest assured that under current legal and social conditions, the incomes of those in the professional managerial class — government bureaucrats, investment bankers, corporate CEOs, CFOs and the like, and people holding analogous positions in academe and other non-profits — will vastly more than double, while the real income of everyone else will creep up only enough to avoid social unrest.

  • Bob Woodward: Bush Didn't Lie

    05/26/2015 5:44:19 PM PDT · 20 of 49
    The_Reader_David to Soul of the South

    The no-fly zones were a condition of the Gulf War armistice. The victorious belligerents, when not demanding unconditional surrender, are free to demand any terms for an armistice. As such, the Ba’athist government had ceded that part of its sovereignty to stay in power, and attacks on U.S. and allied planes enforcing the no-fly zones were a violation of the armistice and sufficient cause for the resumption of hostilities.

  • PM calls for ‘discussion’ on being Australian as well as laws to strip nationality from terrorists

    05/26/2015 5:25:29 PM PDT · 5 of 5
    The_Reader_David to driftless2

    To execute a terrorist you need to at least have said terrorist within range of a suitable weapons-system with adequate targeting coordinates. An Aussie dual citizen at an unknown location in, say, Syria can be stripped of his or her Australian citizenship.

  • Bernie Sanders Condemns Existence of 23 Different Deodorant Brands While Children Go Hungry

    05/26/2015 2:07:09 PM PDT · 99 of 104
    The_Reader_David to bryan999

    The suggestion that somehow curtailing consumer choice in the deodorant market would somehow free resources that could be used to feed hungry children is even more illiterate than what usually passes for economic discourse on the left.
  • Thad Cochran Marries Longtime Aide (Wife Died in December)

    05/26/2015 1:42:53 PM PDT · 7 of 29
    The_Reader_David to rarestia

    ...Webber is also 77...

  • Convert to Islam, or Die!

    05/25/2015 2:10:23 PM PDT · 51 of 56
    The_Reader_David to RoosterRedux

    I think not. Most people don’t flee their homes or die fighting when their country is conquered. Spain was majority Christian and had a large Jewish population all during the period of Muslim rule, likewise in all the countries of the Balkans after the Turkish conquest — even the Muslim Albanians and Bosniaks are descendents of Christians who stayed. Egypt was majority Coptic Christian for centuries after the Muslim conquest.

  • Kerry: Ben Franklin Could Not Be Confirmed to Office If He Lived Today

    05/25/2015 12:37:07 PM PDT · 13 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Cowboy Bob

    Blind squirrel finds nut. Kerry is right. Franklin could never be confirmed to a cabinet post or ambassadorship now. Why? Because he believed in republican virtue and limited government, and therefore the left would dig up stories about his womanizing and use them to vilify him in the media during his confirmation hearings, while every Democrat senator postured hypocritically about moral issues and bloviated that confirming Franklin would be a concession to the Republican “War on Women”.

  • Convert to Islam, or Die!

    05/25/2015 12:29:44 PM PDT · 47 of 56
    The_Reader_David to RoosterRedux
    The command to submit to islam or die will NEVER be a normal part of everyday life. Most humans just don't operate that way.

    You ignore long stretches of history in which that command was a part of everyday life in many parts of the world: in both what is now the Muslim world and in Spain, the Balkans and Sicily during the periods when they were under Muslim rule, the Christian or Jew who paid his jizya and kept his head down was left alone until some Muslim, any Muslim, not necessarily one in authority, felt an imagined insult or wanted some of his property, at which point a trumped up charge was brought before a Muslim court, which invariably found against the non-Muslim, but typically offered conversion to Islam as an alternative to the death sentence pronounced. This was an everyday occurrence.

  • GLOBAL WARMING? THE POPE IS WRONG

    05/24/2015 7:56:30 PM PDT · 15 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Dqban22

    One might have thought that the Latin church having come out on the wrong end of their last foray into taking an institutional position on scientific matters — the defense of Aristotelian celestial mechanics against Galileo et al. — might have learned a lesson.

  • Greece says it will default in June without aid from lenders

    05/24/2015 4:13:19 PM PDT · 14 of 52
    The_Reader_David to Leep

    Private profits, socialized losses. The longer the ECB and IMF play this game, the less exposure the banksters have to losses on Greek debt.

  • Greece says it will default in June without aid from lenders

    05/24/2015 4:12:05 PM PDT · 12 of 52
    The_Reader_David to SeekAndFind

    Anyone who, whether through stupidity or a desire to wield control over another country, lent money to the Greek state deserves to be repaid in new drachma, or not at all, perhaps especially the ECB and IMF, which (in the remarkably cogent description of the current Greek prime minister — one of the few times I have ever read a sound economic analysis originating on the left) treated an insolvency crisis as if it were an illiquidity crisis, the last time around, and gave more loans to the already bankrupt Greek state, not to help either the Greek people or the Greek state, but as a way of shielding private banking interests from their exposure to bad Greek debt.

  • GM Is Set to Face Criminal Charges Over Ignition Switches

    05/24/2015 1:25:42 PM PDT · 26 of 34
    The_Reader_David to Wolfie
    Sounds like somebody’s in for a hefty fine. And by somebody, I mean nobody the shareholders who are blameless in the matter, rather than those actually responsible.
  • Liberation Theology, a KGB Invention? That Is Way Too Simple...

    05/24/2015 9:30:19 AM PDT · 9 of 13
    The_Reader_David to Texas Eagle

    Yes, but Occam’s Razor is the principle that the simplest explanation that accounts for all the relevant facts is to be preferred. The point of the article is that there are facts that invention by the KGB does not account for, in particular a long history of similar ideas among the Latins, such that there were papal condemnations issued while the Tsar still reigned over Russia.

  • Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck

    05/23/2015 8:05:43 PM PDT · 15 of 74
    The_Reader_David to RightGeek
    Okay, you regard "basic income" schemes as wacky. You'd better come up with an alternative to address the problem to which this article points.

    It's not just truck-driving. There will come a point, if civilization doesn't collapse first, when every job that can be reliably and enjoyably done by a person of average intelligence or below can be done more cheaply by a robot or computer, heck there will come a point when the same will apply to any job that can be done by a person with IQ a standard-deviation above average, Flynn effect or no. Simultaneously the jobs that require intelligence will require fewer and fewer people to accomplish -- as an example, why have lots of people give lectures on general relativity when everyone can see the most articulate of the current generation of brilliant gravitational physicists give the lectures? LegalZoom already does routine legal paperwork without a lawyer. AI to write even complicated trust documents isn't all that hard to program, law being essentially a system of formal rules, so we'll need fewer lawyers.

    When the number of jobs that need to be done is far smaller than the number of people needed to do them, what do you propose? Let those without jobs or income from capital investments starve? A broad need-based dole that, unlike a basic income scheme, will discourage people from seeing the jobs there are?

    Those of us on the right had better think this through, because otherwise the left and the professional managerial class already have a vision of how such a society should look, and it's got most of the worst aspects of 1984, Brave New World and The Hunger Games all rolled into one.

  • Banks as Felons, or Criminality Lite

    05/23/2015 12:47:19 PM PDT · 9 of 11
    The_Reader_David to freedomfiter2
    These banks didn’t commit the crimes, individuals did.

    Hear! Hear! The criminals are the top managers who colluded to manipulate the forex markets. Instead of them being punished, the U.S. and U.K. have decided to punish the shareholders for whom the crooks were nominally working.

  • Krugman Proves He’s Super Smart By Doctoring A Chart (So It Agrees With Him)

    05/23/2015 8:22:55 AM PDT · 5 of 8
    The_Reader_David to lowbridge

    I understand Krugman has shown great insight into the dynamics of international business siting decisions. Perhaps he should stick to what he knows.

  • Walid Shoebat: The U.S. Will Lose To ISIS

    05/22/2015 6:15:15 PM PDT · 17 of 25
    The_Reader_David to MeshugeMikey

    No. The First Crusade pushed the Muslims out of the Holy Land and some parts of Eastern Anatolia. The Muslim foothold in Spain, which was their only presence in Europe at the time, was unaffected. All of the subsequent Crusades against the Muslims were generally ineffective attempts to stabilize, extend, or retake what the First Crusade had done, and the only fighting they did in Europe was against fellow Christians.

  • Walid Shoebat: The U.S. Will Lose To ISIS

    05/22/2015 6:11:18 PM PDT · 15 of 25
    The_Reader_David to EQAndyBuzz

    While it is probably the case that the Daesh is benefiting from the presence of some Iraqi ex-Ba’athists in their ranks, you seem to ignore the fact they are fighting against a Ba’athist government is Syria and to ignore the fact that any Islamist ideology is antithetical to Ba’athism.

    Ba’athism was, and is, a fascist version of secular Arab nationalism, which is why Arab Christians in the Middle East outside of Lebanon, if they are involved in politics at all, are almost to a man Ba’athists. In both Iraq and Syria the Ba’athist governments were amalgams of the religious minorities — in Syrian mostly Alawites, but with a smattering of ordinary Shi’ites, Christians and Druze; in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Sunni with some Christians (Tariq Aziz, the former Ba’athist Foreign Minister is a Chaldean Uniate).

  • Minimum Wage? How About a Maximum Wage?

    05/22/2015 7:29:08 AM PDT · 16 of 18
    The_Reader_David to Dalberg-Acton
    Not the proper role of government to decide “who” makes “what”.

    Quite right, but there is a problem with the way managers, especially top managers, are compensated: it is no longer under the control of those they work for, to wit the shareholders, and often has little correlation with delivering value to the shareholders (if you doubt that, just remember the meaning of the phrase "golden parachute").

    Compensation for managers is decided by other professional managers, who act in the guild interest of managers, against the interests of shareholders, consumers, and non-managerial employees. This phenomenon is not limited to commercial enterprises -- the same corruption is found in academe, other non-profits and government -- in all cases those with fiduciary responsibilities have come to regard their positions as existing for their own enrichment, rather than the benefit of those for whose good or goods they are in theory paid to oversee. I have dubbed the phenomenon the Era of the Bad Stewards, though I suspect it has been seen in previous Kondratieff Winters.

    At this point it should be the role of government to re-empower shareholders so that the owners of businesses have more say in the running of the business and deciding who makes what in terms of compensation, rather than it being entirely in the hands of the professional managerial class.

  • Are gays ‘born that way’? Most Americans now say yes, but science says no

    05/21/2015 8:18:23 AM PDT · 12 of 67
    The_Reader_David to xzins

    It’s an irrelevant and stupid question. It’s fairly clear that some forms of psychopathy are congenial, but that doesn’t mean that the behaviors they predispose the bearers of those genes to — lying, cheating, using other people, and even murder — are not wicked sins.

    The notion that it matters whether a predisposition toward a particular sin is genetic represents a failure of moral understanding, particularly when the conclusion drawn is based on the assumption that anything toward which there is a congenital predisposition cannot be a sin. Rather misses the whole point of the doctrine of Ancestral Sin (or the darker version held in the West called Original Sin). We’re all born with disordered passions, and thus a predisposition to sin, which particular sins varies from person to person.

  • What If Everybody Didn't Have to Work to Get Paid?

    05/21/2015 7:57:03 AM PDT · 65 of 71
    The_Reader_David to SoothingDave

    Actually, Milton Friedman pointed out that the only income redistribution scheme that does not create perverse incentives is a non-means-tested uniform payment, a “basic income” if you will. Anything means tested ends up subsidizing poverty, since the effective tax rate for passing through the earnings threshold to not qualify is very high, anything dependent on some other qualification (having a child as a single parent, to give a particularly baleful example) subsidizes the behavior that qualifies.

    One problem is it’s hard to figure out how much such a scheme would actually cost. The total payout for a $1000/month per adult citizen scheme (gets everyone to about the Federal poverty level if living alone), but that’s not the cost since implementing it would also involve abolishing all the poverty-alleviation programs and most social service programs (not child protective services or whatever it’s called wherever you are), and cutting Social Security payments by the same amount (since it’s being replaced it doesn’t break faith with those who paid the blasted taxes all those years), and the payments would be taxable income so everyone would return whatever percent their top marginal rate represented.

  • What If Everybody Didn't Have to Work to Get Paid?

    05/21/2015 7:04:37 AM PDT · 60 of 71
    The_Reader_David to ThomasThomas
    But who would ask me “Would I like fries with my order?”

    A very pleasant voiced robot, perhaps in the form of an attractive young woman.

    Why do you ask?

    Unless civilization collapses first, this will become a serious issue, probably within the lifetimes of younger FReepers. We are rapidly approaching the point where almost all jobs that can be reliably and enjoyably done by persons of average intelligence and below will be able to be done more cheaply by robots and computers. The use of technology will also drastically cut the need for human beings to do jobs that require significant intelligence -- do we really need more than one person to give lectures on general relativity when a video connection could let everyone get the lectures of the most articulate among brilliant physicists? LegalZoom has already cut down the number of man hours needed from lawyers to do routine things like simple wills or incorporation papers. AI to make valid trust documents, contracts for most matters and the like isn't really that hard to do.

    We on the right had better figure out how to manage the transition to a society in which far less human labor, both physical and intellectual, is needed to sustain a developed economy than there are people to provide it, and which will somehow sustain the traditional virtues and personal responsibility. The left and the professional managerial class have a way of managing the transition, and the result will look like the worst features of 1984, Brave New World and The Hunger Games all rolled into one.

  • Defenders of the Faith: Augustine, Aquinas, and the Evolution of Medieval Just War Theory

    05/21/2015 6:48:40 AM PDT · 7 of 13
    The_Reader_David to NKP_Vet

    Not surprisingly, I prefer the more ambivalent and atheoretical approach we Orthodox have to the matter: the old Trebnik has a prayer for the blessing of weapons and warriors, the Russians have a special panakhyda for fallen warriors, but there is still a canonical penance for killing in war.

  • Quantum physics: What is really real?

    05/20/2015 11:11:49 AM PDT · 27 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Reeses

    Essentially all of the “problems” with “interpretation” of QM come from the insistence of physicists of stuffing it back inside intuitions formed from the only-approximately-true classical physics of Newton, as if those intuitions were somehow more real that what is actually observed in 2-slit experiments, the EPR experiment (no longer a thought experiment, actually done verifying “spooky action at a distance”), and the like.

    I learned my physics backwards, learning quantum physics because it was related to mathematics I was doing before really learning classical physics by teaching diff eq and vector calculus. I see no need for an interpretation. The interesting thing is that classical physics emerges from quantum physics by decoherence and the statistical properties of large ensembles.

  • Is Higher Education A Leisure Pool?

    05/19/2015 10:31:05 AM PDT · 11 of 14
    The_Reader_David to Academiadotorg

    I remind my fellow FReepers that this rot is coming from the professional managerial class — in this instance university administrators, often aided and abetted by state legislators — NOT the professoriate. Professors nearly to a man think that the amount of money our institutions spend on student amenities is some combination of absurd and obscene, and oppose boondoggles like “leisure pools” and golf courses being attached to universities, but in vain, because except for Harvard and Yale there is not meaningful faculty governance any more.

  • Kerry: Internet 'Needs Rules to Be Able to Flourish and Work Properly' (Calls for UN regulation)

    05/18/2015 2:26:23 PM PDT · 29 of 33
    The_Reader_David to Zakeet

    The internet has rules, and is flourishing just fine. They’re called protocols, e.g http, DNS, SSH, PPP,...

  • Supreme Court: Maryland has been illegally double-taxing people who earn income in other states

    05/18/2015 8:43:13 AM PDT · 28 of 41
    The_Reader_David to null and void

    People yes, at least the ones who aren’t running the place. The government seems to be playing a game of catch-up with North Korea in the competition for country most like a prison camp.