“Spiritual Superstar” says “send’em back.”

In a recent interview with the BBC, the Dalai Lama has warned that Europe could become “Muslim or African” if refugees who have been taken in are not then sent back to their home countries. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, who has been living as a refugee in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959, said only a “limited number” of migrants should be allowed to remain. He added that refugees who have fled to Europe should be given skills before being returned. He said Europe was under an obligation to take in those who needed help, but ultimately they should be returned to their homelands.

When asked what should happen to those who want to stay in their adopted countries, he replied: “A limited number is OK. But the whole of Europe will eventually become Muslim country-impossible. Or African country, also impossible. They themselves, I think are better in their own land. Better to keep Europe for Europeans.” It is not the first time he has made such comments. In a speech last year in Malmo, Sweden, the D.L. said refugees should return to help rebuilt their own countries. The statistics said that 2.4 million migrants entered the EU from non-EU countries in 2017. There are thought to be around 70 million refugees worldwide.

This Buddhist monk has made India his home since fleeing the capital Lhasa in 1959 during the Tibetan uprising. He set up a government-in-exile in Dharamsala in northern India and launched a campaign to reclaim Tibet from China, which gradually evolved into an appeal for greater autonomy – known as the so-called ‘middle way’ approach. India, which granted him asylum in 1959, has supported the Tibetan leader but of late the government has maintained a distance, citing diplomatic sensitivities.

In 2015 he said that if he was succeeded by a female Dalai Lama she would have to be attractive, despite declaring himself to be a feminist. Speaking to the BBC he again said while laughing: ‘If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive.’ On international Women’s Day this year in March he called for more women to be given leadership roles instead of men who are ‘celebrated for killing their opponents’. He posted: ‘Women have been shown to be more sensitive to others’ suffering, whereas, warriors celebrated for killing their opponents are almost always men. When asked in the BBC interview about President Donald Trump he replied that his time in the White House ‘lacked moral principle’ and that his America first policy was ‘wrong’.

Can you be logically inconsistent (a kind way of describing a hypocrite) and willfully blind while being a “spiritual leader”, even a superstar one? Duh, I think we can find ample examples. If President Trump’s “America first” policy is wrong, what about Dalai’s “Europe is for Europeans” policy? Sounds suspiciously similar, to my ignorant ears. He calls himself a feminist, but has said multiple times that if he’s succeeded by a woman, he wants her to be attractive. Isn’t emphasis on looks the bane of feminists? Wanna bet he is attended by more than a few attractive women in his exile?

What attracts, what repels.

San Francisco City Hall lit with rainbow lights for Pride

In a recent hit single, “You Need to Calm Down,” Taylor Swift mocks people who stand firm in their beliefs about sexuality, asking that they stop their bigotry and “calm down.” The music video, which went viral, depicts conservatives as ignorant hicks who reject homosexuals and are driven by animus. They are ugly, dated, and lack basic hygiene. By contrast, the LGBTQ folks in the video are bright, happy, and boast perfectly coiffed hair. Moreover, the angry hicks are portrayed as a dwindling minority, while the upbeat LGBTQ folks are shown to be ascendant.

Whether it’s lawsuits for “bathroom rights” or lawsuits against Christian bakers who refuse to craft messages which violate their conscience, the LGBTQ agenda is not advocating “equal rights” but special rights that marginalize everyone else’s. This aggressive push for LGBTQ “equality” may actually be backfiring, causing even young people to feel discomfort and alienation. The LGBTQ agenda is now defined by fighting the truth of biological sex, demanding that gender-bending become an accepted new normal, and filing lawsuits so that biological males can use women’s restrooms. This kind of aggressive, entitled behavior is difficult to acquiesce to, especially when it infringes upon the rights of others who would rather not participate. Instead of hoping people would become more “comfortable” around the LGBTQ “community”, it may be worthwhile for GLAAD and the like to consider the effect their campaign is having on other people. Maybe they’re the ones that “need to calm down.”

Case in point, from Psychology Today, Karen Blair, Ph.D.: Under these hypothetical circumstances, which of the following people would you consider as a potential dating partner (check all that apply):

  • a cisgender1 woman
  • a cisgender man
  • transgender woman
  • a transgender man
  • a person with a non-binary gender identification

“Recently, my colleague and I asked this question of just under 1,000 participants and we published our findings in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Our results indicated that 87.5% of the participants who were asked this very question only checked off the cisgender options and excluded transgender and non-binary individuals from their hypothetical dating pool.” 1 Note: ‘cisgender’ refers to someone whose current gender identity is the same as the one they were assigned at birth, while ‘transgender’ refers to someone whose gender identity differs from the one they were assigned at birth.)

What does the author think about this? For a huge hint, look at how she defines cisgender. Using the term “gender identity” rather than biological sex, she calls gender “assigned at birth.” How did it get “assigned?” The parents and the delivery team looked at the sexual organs! How then, does separating sex from gender make sense? The author and her ilk condemn normal people for responding to their natural biological cues about what is attractive and what is repellant. Is it my fault that I am attracted to women who clearly value their femininity? Am I supposed to find a person of indeterminate sex attractive?

Answers In Genesis comments on that research: “The author writes that social support, namely romantic partnerships, are very important in overall health and longevity, and, therefore, it’s also important that society as a whole not exclude transgender people from the ‘dating pool.’ But, ultimately, what these individuals need is not someone to date or marry them. They need the new life that the Lord Jesus Christ brings! Only by realizing they (like everyone else) are sinners and only through repenting of their sin and trusting in Christ alone for salvation, can they find true hope, meaning, and purpose. The answer isn’t more people being willing to date transgender individuals—the answer is trusting Christ for salvation, receiving his gift of new and eternal life and building their thinking on God’s Word.”


The unconsciousness of virtue-signaling.

Sold Out…to what?

I just heard of Maren Morris yesterday, because two of my daughters are going all the way to Nashville for her concert. I decided to find out whether I too would like her music. One of the first things that came up via my search engine, DuckDuckGo (I highly recommend it, no tracking you) was this tweet: “Country artist who loves gay people, hates Trump agenda, adores capitalism at its finest, wants equal pay, education, and healthcare.” Hmm, I thought, lots of lessons here. The Twitter feed relating to this post was a microcosm of our societal fractures. Naturally, yours truly couldn’t just let this be, so here goes my children, a lesson from your curmudgeon dad.

The first lesson is about why people use Twitter at all. It’s the Id of culture, allowing anybody to broadcast to the widest possible audience—everyone in the world with internet access—their immediate emotionally driven……what? Thoughts? Feelings? Philosophy? Marketing image? They say, “cream rises to the top”, but that does not apply to tweets. Years ago, I operated a sewage treatment plant, yup and yuck, and I noticed that what always rose to the top was scum—a combo of grease, hair, body excretions which were too noxious for even the bacteria to dissolve—you get the gist. That applies to tweets; yes, that includes many of our President’s. While Ms. Morris’ tweet is not scummy—it’s kind of adorable—the main point is, she wants everyone to know where she stands, but using Twitter to do so is a mass marketing campaign, and that’s what her tweet was.

Virtue signaling point #1: Regardless of what you actually write, the use of Twitter itself is usually a giveaway that you are about to signal your virtue. If I were to build a home for a family via Habitat For Humanity, I could do it quietly, or I could broadcast it via Twitter. One way is virtuous, the other signals “I’m virtuous.” One of my favorite people, Marcus Mariota, not only builds H for H homes, but enlists his parents in the endeavor. He doesn’t have any social media accounts. I only found out about it through the Tennessee Titans website, and it was someone else writing about it.

Point #2: Ask yourself, “if I were to interpret this action, the tweet, in the most positive way, was the tweet even necessary?” By saying she’s a country artist and loves gay people, given that virtually everyone who receives her tweets knows what she does, the tweet would serve no purpose. But by juxtaposing country artist with loving gay people in the same sentence, the implication is that most country artists are either dismissive of or hostile to gay people. This is borne out by other statements she has made. She is big on trying to make them feel included in country music. Okay, fine, write songs about homosexual romance then, kiss a girl onstage, use the men’s bathroom (never mind this last one, she’s welcoming gays, but not trans). Has she done either? I don’t know, but I doubt it. That’s not the kind of behavior that country music fans applaud. Who exactly is her tweet playing to?

Point #3: Whom or what you hate determines what audience you are playing to. The part about hating Trump’s agenda, without specifying what his supposed agenda is nor what she dislikes about it is what raises her tweet from a short statement of sympathy for a specific group to the level of virtue signaling. Her statement was gratuitous, and actually contradicted by her adoring “capitalism at its finest”, whatever that means. Does she think that means “equal pay, for education, healthcare?” Equality of outcome is NOT capitalism, it’s totalitarianism. People do not have equal abilities, ambition or perseverance. I have said enough about her tweet and about virtue signaling. Rather, I want to examine her last point about “Trump’s agenda.” There are a lot of things that lots of people dislike about Trump, but the ones the big money media “axis of asinine”—CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NY Times, LA Times—harp on are what uninformed folks like Maren hate. None is more vituperative than the treatment of immigrant children, so let’s take a closer look at the cage controversy.

For those still trying to blame President Trump, Barack Obama’s former ICE chief, Thomas Homan, has a reality check for them. Homan, who ran Obama’s successful deportation operation, gave Democrats a reality check, when they question Trump immigration officials on the Obama-era idea. He cited one Democratic chairman who asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?” Homan, at the conference hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.” Homan explained that the fencing that separates kids from adults is done for safety reasons. “It’s chain link dividers that keep children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children,” he said. He also added it’s only temporary accommodations until they are moved elsewhere by the Department of Health and Human Services. These uninformed “useful idiots” (Lenin’s term, not mine) who are moaning about cages don’t even realize that many of these kids were deliberately separated from their parents, in their country of origin, and used like “human shields” to enable narco-criminals and terrorists to try to force their way into our country. More are being separated from their captors than from their parents.

Translating Julian Castro.

Spanish for WTF

“I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice. And, you know, what that means is that just because a woman or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, if poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion. More than that, everybody in this crowd and watching at home knows that in our country today, a person’s right to choose is under assault in places like Missouri and Alabama, in Georgia. I would appoint judges to the federal bench that understand the precedent of roe V. Wade and will respect it and in addition to that make sure that we fight hard as we transition our health care system to one where everybody can get and exercise that right.” So says previously invisible Democrat presidential wannabe Julian Castro. He isn’t invisible anymore. That comment, and others like it during the “debate” garnered money and expressions of support on his Twitter feed.

This guy must have worked in the Ingsoc Ministry of Truth, because his statement reads like something out of 1984, from which the following quote is taken: “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink. The ministry of Truth spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak, in which, for example, “truth” is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is thus aptly named in that it creates/manufactures “truth” in the Newspeak sense of the word.” For those of us who are too dense to understand his statement, allow me to translate into plainer English.

“I believe in the freedom to kill your preborn child while calling the act reproductive freedom, even though it actually terminates reproduction. But there are some barriers to extending this sacrament choice that need to be eliminated. Barrier one is the prejudice of narrow minded bigots against women who don’t have a uterus and who actually aren’t carrying babies fetuses but still want the sacrament choice of reproductive freedom. That includes transsexual former males who now superficially look female, and former females who had their uterus removed and/or took hormones to make their uterus nonfunctional. Why should they be denied?

The second barrier—and here’s where true reproductive justice resides—is the financial cost of the choice sacrament. Every woman, pregnant or not, biologically female or not, deserves to get money from the taxpayers government for this secular sacrament, and I misspoke when I said “I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion” because I am not using my own money, but using other people’s money, that’s OPM, to fund reproductive freedom. Since the “other people” are you all, that will confer an honorary reproductive justice champion medal for every taxpayer, whether you want it or not. (We know what’s good for you, even when you don’t).” But I won’t stop there in the long march for reproductive justice. Women who are not pregnant, and lack a uterus, should not be left out when it comes to fleecing the taxpayers. Whatever our favorite charity—Planned Nonparenthood—charges for aborting the preborns, the unpregnant trans woman(?) should receive the same amount from government.

”I would appoint federal judges who will anoint a judicial version of Sherman’s March, through those regressive, oppressive states like Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia, because Roe V. Wade is the Old Testament Book of Judges—my favorite—writ large. Those people really understood freedom and justice. After, doesn’t it end with “everyone did what was right in their own mind?” That’s what we need more of!”

Are these blatantly stupid ideas ushering in a new “ruling elite”?

If you can’t stick your head up your butt, the next best thing…

LGBTQ issues: A new poll suggests the younger generation might be trending in a more conservative direction. John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, which conducted the GLAAD-backed survey, said the findings are “very alarming and signal a looming social crisis in discrimination.” Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton, sees the data differently. He told Christian Headlines the survey’s results could indicate a new trend. “The gay movement continues to over-play its hand,” he said. “Rather than simply being ‘live and let live,’ they are forcing Americans to embrace their politics, and often with overwhelming muscle and the life-crushing public accusations of a person’s so-called ‘bigotry’ and ‘hatefulness’ if they dare disagree.

Who is right? Further analysis of the data shows that the majority cisgender people of both (biological) sexes would not date a transsexual and are not attracted to them. GLAAD says that is due to rising “prejudice” and Trump’s LGBTQ unfriendly policies. Really??? What do you think?

Student loan forgiveness: Conservative commentator Katie Pavlich responded on Tuesday to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) legislation calling for taxpayers to take over the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, saying individuals should be responsible for their own college expenses.Ocasio-Cortez said she was a 19-year-old college student herself when she was trying to advise Andrea, then a 17-year-old high school student, whether it would be a good idea to go to her dream college in light of the cost. I think that, in an of itself, illustrates the absurdity of our educating financing system. That alone illustrates it,” said AOC. Pavlich, 30, was not buying it. In a Twitter post, she wrote: “Not my responsibility to pay for your ‘dream college.’ Your dream, your choice, your debt. Not mine or anyone else’s. It’s called personal responsibility.” Who is right? Let’s see what each woman chose for herself.

Pavlich attended the University of Arizona (a public college in her home state), graduating in 2010. According to U.S. News & World Report, the in-state tuition and fees are now approximately $12,000 per year. In 2010, tuition was about $7,000 per year. By contrast, AOC graduated from Boston University in 2011, a private school where the tuition and fees now run about $54,000 per year. In 2011, tuition was about $40,000 per year. Guess which one has the college debt?

Slavery Reparations: Is your position on reparations like where you stand on immigration? Is your stand on such issues related to the merits or wisdom of a given policy, or an indication of whether or not you are a good person? Leftists, Democrats and media pundits say “If you oppose reparations—just like if you oppose immigration or gay marriage or transgenderism—you are not a good person. In fact, you are part of the problem. You are helping to perpetrate the injustice at the heart of America, and therefore culpable. At a minimum, you can’t be allowed a say in how the country is governed, not anymore.” But this won’t be enough, because reparations aren’t really about outcomes or disparities or public spending. They are about sorting out Americans, separating the good from the wicked and making sure everyone knows the difference. Are they really about ushering in a new regime and new ruling elite? Or are these fools merely Dunning-Kruger puppets?

Heuristics and Metacognition: Why people accept plainly idiotic ideas.

Low performers are unable to recognize the skill and competence levels of other people, which is part of the reason why they consistently view themselves as better, more capable, and more knowledgeable than others.

“In many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious,” wrote David Dunning in an article for Pacific Standard. “Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.” Hmm, does that sound like anyone you know? You, perhaps? If you say “yes” you are probably much more intelligent than those who would say “no, that doesn’t apply to me.” Why? Everyone tends to project their thoughts and feelings on to others; if you think “I can stand to learn more” and you assume others harbor similar thoughts, you will be oriented to learning. When will you learn that many others are not?

The Dunning-Kruger effect is also related to difficulties with metacognition, or the ability to step back and look at one’s own behavior and abilities from outside of oneself. People are often only able to evaluate themselves from their own limited and highly subjective point of view. From this limited perspective they seem highly skilled, knowledgeable, and superior to others. Because of this, people sometimes struggle to have a more realistic view of their own abilities. Other factors that can contribute to the effect include our use of heuristics, or mental shortcuts that allow us to make decisions quickly, and our tendency to seek out patterns even where none exist. Our minds are primed to try to make sense of the disparate array of information we deal with on a daily basis.

This list of a few of the most common types of cognitive biases that can distort your thinking came from Verywellmind.com:

  • Confirmation Bias: This is favoring information that conforms to your existing beliefs and discounting evidence that does not conform.
  • Availability Heuristic: This is placing greater value on information that comes to your mind quickly. You give greater credence to this information and tend to overestimate the probability and likelihood of similar things happening in the future.
  • Halo Effect: Your overall impression of a person influences how you feel and think about his or her character. This especially applies to physical attractiveness influencing how you rate their other qualities.
  • Self-Serving Bias: This is the tendency to blame external forces when bad things happen and give yourself credit when good things happen. When you win a poker hand it is due to your skill at reading the other players and knowing the odds, while when you lose it is due to getting dealt a poor hand.
  • Attentional Bias: This is the tendency to pay attention to some things while simultaneously ignoring others. When making a decision on which car to buy, you may pay attention to the look and feel of the exterior and interior, but ignore the safety record and gas mileage.
  • Actor-Observer Bias: This is the tendency to attribute your own actions to external causes while attributing other people’s behaviors to internal causes. You attribute your high cholesterol level to genetics while you consider others to have a high level due to poor diet and lack of exercise.
  • Functional Fixedness: This is the tendency to see objects as only working in a particular way. If you don’t have a hammer, you never consider that a big wrench can also be used to drive a nail into the wall. You may think you don’t need thumbtacks because you have no corkboard on which to tack things, but not consider their other uses. This could extend to people’s functions, such as not realizing a personal assistant has skills to be in a leadership role.
  • Anchoring Bias: This is the tendency to rely too heavily on the very first piece of information you learn. If you learn the average price for a car is a certain value, you will think any amount below that is a good deal, perhaps not searching for better deals. You can use this bias to set the expectations of others by putting the first information on the table for consideration.
  • Misinformation Effect: This is the tendency for post-event information to interfere with the memory of the original event. It is easy to have your memory influenced by what you hear about the event from others. Knowledge of this effect has led to a mistrust of eyewitness information.
  • False Consensus Effect: This is the tendency to overestimate how much other people agree with you.
  • Optimism Bias: This bias leads you to believe that you are less likely to suffer from misfortune and more likely to attain success than your peers.

My next post will apply this information to the classroom and politics.

Lessons on the ground, lessons from the air.

On October 3, 1993, Task Force Ranger, composed of elite U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy special operations troops, launched a mission intended to capture warlord Mohamed Far Aidid and two top leaders of his Habr Gidr clan. Task Force Ranger consisted of 160 men, 19 aircraft, and 12 vehicles. In a mission planned to take no longer than one hour, Task Force Ranger was to travel from its camp on the outskirts of the city to a burned-out building near the center of Mogadishu where Aidid and his lieutenants were believed to be meeting.

While the operation initially succeeded, the situation quickly spiraled out of control as Task Force Range attempted to return to headquarters. Within minutes, the “one-hour” mission would turn into a deadly overnight rescue campaign that became the Battle of Mogadishu.

One of my favorite movies was Blackhawk Down. I have written before of the Christ-like sacrifice of Gary Gordon and Randy Shugart, Delta Force snipers who volunteered to defend the crew of a downed Blackhawk helicopter, and understood they would probably pay with their lives, which they did. In watching the movie again, I paid attention to the planning side of the ill-fated mission. Our armchair generals in D.C., concerned with PR, decided not to use AC-130 gunships to provide air cover for our troops. Colonel McKnight, who was responsible for ground exfil, was unhappy with the mission planning. When asked why by the command and control officer, whose job was to “supervise” the mission–from high in the air–he said, “no gunships, broad daylight, the one district in Mogadishu where the enemy can field all their troops, what’s not to like?” The C and C officer replied, “conditions are never perfect.” McKnight’s comeback, “from 500 feet in the air, it’s imperfect. On the ground, it’s impossible.”

McKnight is soon trying to evacuate wounded by Humvee, on the ground, through hostile territory. C and C tells him to drive slower. Why? Because of the delay involved with the mission commander having to report to Joint Operations Command (in the U.S), and receive orders back from JOC. Brilliant idea, courtesy of the politicians who liked micromanaging. Civilian control of the military does have some drawbacks.

Whether or not that lesson was learned, many other lessons were learned in the Battle of Mogadishu, the first sustained urban warfare US troops had experienced in many years. It’s easy for current soldiers to see the past two decades of near-constant deployments as the norm. But for troops from the late 1970s until the late 1990s, actual combat operations were rare and brief.

In later operations in Afghanistan, Rangers flew into areas from ships offshore for raids rather than establishing ground bases in or near large cities, such as in Mogadishu. After Mogadishu, Rangers added more close-quarters combat training to their marksmanship drills and strove to have every Ranger certified as a combat lifesaver since the ratio of troops to medics was 48-to-1. They also found problems with planning for contingencies. The Mogadishu raid was expected to be a one- or two-hour operation, so many soldiers brought only a basic ammunition load, no night vision goggles and one canteen of water.

A larger tactical shortfall, though, was more due to operational or even strategic miscalculations. The Rangers had no armored vehicles, and even their Humvees lacked firepower beyond .50-caliber machine guns. They had no grenade launchers, and due to the civilian-packed urban terrain, fire support was limited to close-air support from helicopters.

High level plans lacked thorough analysis, noted another study out of the Combat Studies Institute Press, titled “Understanding the ‘Victory Disease’ From the Battle of Little Bighorn to Mogadishu and Beyond,” by Maj. Timothy Karcher. Karcher points out that Task Force Ranger had six times conducted missions using similar tactics to those used in the Battle of Mogadishu before the incident. That established a pattern that enemy forces could recognize and exploit. “If you use one tactic twice, you should not use it a third time, and the Americans already had done basically the same thing six times,” a Somali militia commander told the Washington Post after the battle.

Even to date, only a handful of battles over the past two decades even come close to matching the sustained intensity of that 15-hour fight in Mogadishu. Most enemy contact in recent years has been through improvised explosive device attacks or short-term ambushes that last minutes before adversaries retreat. Mogadishu was an ambush that went “on for hours.” I will discuss some of the many cognitive biases exhibited by this battle, in a future post.