The really smart people

That nurses became sick “shows there was a clear breach of safety protocol” – but they are able to draw this conclusion without knowing what the breach was.

Ebola demon

The underlying reasoning is clear:

Quarantine is racist.

Therefore ebola is not very infectious.

Therefore business as usual.

Oops. Two nurses are infected with ebola.

Obviously the nurses’ fault. They must be racist. This is a tragedy because it makes people think forbidden thoughts about Africans.

96 Responses to “The really smart people”

  1. red says:

    Obviously the nurses’ fault. They must be racist. This is a tragedy because it makes people think forbidden thoughts about Africans.”

    They use different words on reddit but the level of hatred towards these nurses indicates that you’re correct.

  2. rightsaidfred says:

    I’m tired of noticing things. I’m going to go with the progressives.

    Africa is poor because…racism.

    Ebola spreads because…racism.

    Patient not cured in US hospital…racism.

    Ebola spreads in US…racism.

    I now have all the answers.

    • Redneck Esq. says:

      No, sir, this won’t do. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, is black and she’s from the North. Therefore the fact that she got ebola cannot possibly be attributed to any conduct of hers, and asserting that she may have breached some protocol or other is racist. Therefore, blame must rest upon the protocols themselves (designed by honkeys to let nurses — many of whom are women of color — get sick) or upon Texas Presbyterian (whitey religion! what more proof is needed?) for failing to implement the protocols.

      I’m sure Nina Pham is relieved, because for a moment she was really on the cusp of being declared an honorary cracker and blamed for the whole racist fiasco. After all, she’s from Fort Worth, she’s a churchgoing Catholic and she probably had an uncle or grandfather in ARVN or something.

    • Adolf the Friendly Wolf says:

      If you want to make those phrases accurate, simply replace “racism” with “niggers”.

    • rightsaidfred says:

      Yes, but I’m a progressive now…I care not for accuracy.

  3. cazalla says:

    Good luck Ebola!

  4. Reader says:

    As soon as I read that a nurse (and now a second) had become ill with Ebola, my first thought was that it was a black nurse – an affirmative action hire who would not have the sense to strictly follow the rules.

    I was close – it was a Vietnamese nurse.

    Then the second nurse got sick and it comes out that she flew on an airplane when she had a fever…her name didn’t sound black (“Amber” somebody) but this morning I see her photo and she’s black.

    So the two nurses who got sick so far are both minorities.

    The CDC people who said we didn’t need to worry about Ebola probably would have been right if we still had the racial demographics of 1960, with a health care profession virtually entirely staffed with white men and women hired for their qualifications instead of their race.

  5. Barnabas says:

    Asian nurses are very competent.

    • Red says:

      She’s not a very good nurse if she’s working in 3ed world portion of Dallas.

      • jim says:

        If one nurse, likely the nurse. If one nurse, and that nurse black, almost certainly the nurse.

        Two nurses, it is the protocols.

        Obama kisses the nurses. It is the protocols, because obviously, thinking ebola is infectious is raaaciiiiisssst

  6. Adolf the Friendly Wolf says:

    A significant reason to limit immigration and international travel is disease. Of course, that’s racist, too.

    The US used to turn away the diseased at Ellis Island.

  7. Just sayin' says:

    Vietnamese nurses are probably reasonably competent but the ethnicity of the nurses still drives home the fact that Dallas is already a third world country.

    This will help ebola spread.

    As of the census[1] of 2010, the racial makeup of Dallas was 50.7% White, 25.0% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 17.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 42.4% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non Hispanic whites made up 28.8% of the city of Dallas…
    Almost 25% of Dallas’ population is foreign born

    Quarantining West Africa is good, but quarantining Dallas would be better.

    • Red says:

      All very good points. It’s easy to forget what’s happened to the demographics of Texan cities over the last 15 years.

  8. Wyrd says:

    If Obama can hug and kiss Ebola-Chan nurses, why can’t you find it in your heart to do the same?

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/10/should-barack-obama-be-isolated-and-monitored-after-kissing-hugging-ebola-nurses-video/

  9. Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

    Oh, Jim. You might find this interesting. Sola Scriptura for Muslims.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quranism

    • jim says:

      I don’t think they are reading the Koran. They are reading the progressives new testament.

      • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

        Sola Scriptura is a way to substitute your own interpretation over the Traditional consensus. Progressives are going to be at the forefront of that.

        You’ll notice the names of major Quranist intellectuals contain a bunch of people who live in the US/Europe.

        The Quranist organizations appear to be left-wingers attempting to subvert Pakistan, Nigeria, et cetera.

        The particularly awesome passage is:
        >Quranists believe that slavery is never permissible and that it should be immediately abolished where it exists.
        Yet Muhammad owned slaves.

        • jim says:

          Honest Sola Scriptura is Sola Scriptura. I can read the holy texts, and they say what you would think they say. Sola Scripture can be done honestly, and the resulting religions are entirely unsurprising. For the old testament, Hebrew theocratic nationalism, for the New Testament, old fashioned Christianity pretty much resembling the Church of England around 1750. The Church of England was the King James New Testament made flesh. For the Koran, you get something like Wahabism, Islamic State and Boko Haram – Islam is to be imposed universally at swordpoint. Muslims are required to make war without end, till the whole world submits.

          This is not Sola Scriptura. Instead of reading what the Koran says, they are reading what progressives think the New Testament says.

          What makes Islam objectionable is not the Hadiths, but the Koran itself. The Hadiths are in substantial part a pile of excuses and rationalizations for not being as aggressively vicious, warlike, and evil, as the Koran commands.

          For example, the Koran says that any peace treaty must be broken in months. The Hadiths say that this is just a hyperbole, that “months” mean “as soon as is reasonably practical”, and that “months” can actually be many years, or even decades. Which on the whole is clearly a reasonable and plausible interpretation, and we surely don’t want any Muslims going by the literal wording of the holy text.

          Just as the Talmud is a big pile of excuses and rationalizations weaseling out of the more brutal and bloodthirsty bits of the old testament, the Hadiths are in substantial part excuses and rationalizations for not being twice as talibanic as the taliban.

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            Zing!

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >Sola Scripture can be done honestly, and the resulting religions are entirely unsurprising.
            No. All interpretation depends on assumptions.

            Some people interpret texts by their hyponia. Other interpreted them in the historical-grammatical method (i.e. you). Others use the historical-critical method. These differences partially explain the theological differences between Protestants.

            http://www.bible-researcher.com/mccartney1.html
            >Celsus and Origen agree that non-divine texts can only be interpreted “literally,” and only divine texts have a hyponoia, a deeper sense. But where Origen sees the Bible as having allegorical meanings, Celsus finds them only in Homer. But, the apostles and their Jewish contemporaries all understood the Bible to have divine meanings because it was a divine book.

            >What you, and conservative Protestants use
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical-grammatical_method

            >What theological liberals use
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_criticism

            Most modern Protestants use a synthesis of historical criticism and the historical-grammatical method. Catholics traditionally used a synthesis of the hyponia and historical-grammatical method.

            Of course, it is not clear that the Quran is supposed to be interpreted using the historical-grammatical method alone, as you want to do.

            >for the New Testament, old fashioned Christianity pretty much resembling the Church of England around 1750
            Anybody can tell you that the Apostles (or whoever wrote the New Testament) were far, far more mystical than the Church of England around 1750.

            Around 1750, the Russian/Greek Orthodox would be closer. Possibly Ethiopian Orthodox, but that’s a complex discussion.

            The Church of England in 1750 was just a version of non-progressive Christianity, which is what you’re focusing on. Actually, it was anti-progressive, in the sense that it was actively suppressing leftists. The Russian Orthodox church didn’t have anything similar to modern leftism in 1750.

            >The Hadiths are in substantial part a pile of excuses and rationalizations for not being as aggressively vicious, warlike, and evil, as the Koran commands.
            Of course, leftists are aggressively vicious, warlike and evil. The difference is that Muhammad targeted Jews and Christians, and Quaranists target … Jews and Christians. Well, actual Jews and Christians. They ignore the Progressive ones.

            Quaranists are not consistent with a historical-grammatical approach, but they do not seem to pretend they are. They clearly use the historical-critical method, and interpret Muhammad through the lens of a broad (generally progressive) narrative.

            • jim says:

              Your link tells us:

              “Note that both Beale and Longenecker, and just about everyone else outside of postmodernism, simply assume that a grammatical-historical exegetical method is the correct and only correct way to go about the task of interpretation. ”

              Well, yes. Because it is.

              Anybody can tell you that the Apostles (or whoever wrote the New Testament) were far, far more mystical than the Church of England around 1750.

              Not sure what “mystical” means. The apostles claimed to have a direct pipeline to divine revelation – and the eighteenth century Church of England pretty much accepted that the apostles did and the Church did not.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            As much as I hate to say it, your Western bias is showing.

            The link was talking about modern Protestantism, especially evangelical Protestantism. That faction of Christianity primarily uses the historical-grammatical method. It is a non-mystical as Christianity can be, short of denying miracles like the virgin birth.

            __________________

            >The apostles claimed to have a direct pipeline to divine revelation
            The Church Fathers also generally believed in a mixture of hyponia and the historical-grammatical method.

            To give an example. Gnostics did not believe God created the world, because matter is evil. Conservative Protestants believe God created the world 6,000 years ago, because they understand Genesis 1 as a scientific description of creation. The church fathers generally understood Genesis 1 as a spiritual description of creation. They held varying beliefs about the age of the earth. For some of the spiritual elements of Genesis 1:

            1) Creation ex nihilo
            2) Creating by “speaking”
            3) Repeating special words/phrases 7, 14, or 21 times each, to indicate the significance of those words (7, and it’s multiples were special numbers)
            4) The creation of “the grave” (Sheol) beneath the earth in verse 1:7

            I could go on, but I assume you understand what I mean.

            Around 1750, the English church tended to understand Christianity in a rationalistic way, not a mystical way. Though it was probably less rationalistic than the Puritans.

            __________________

            I’ll give a specific example of three methods I mentioned. Take slavery and the Koran.

            A person searching for a deeper meaning (hyponia) in the text might understand Muhammad’s statements about slavery as being about more than just slavery. They are certainly commands about slavery, but also have significance in how a Muslims submits to Allah. As a slave submits to their master, so a Muslim submits to Allah. (that’s shitty Muslim theology, but you get the method)

            A person searching for the historical-grammatical meaning of Muhammad’s ideas on slavery, will interpret them as you do. As a series of rules and principles telling us how to approach slavery.

            A person using the historical-critical method, may interpret Muhammad’s restrictions on slavery, as part of a gradual attempt to abolish it. Obviously, Muhammad couldn’t abolish it outright, so he restricted it. And we’re supposed to finish the job. (So please join my activist organization)

            • jim says:

              The Church Fathers also generally believed in a mixture of hyponia and the historical-grammatical method.

              No they did not believe in a mixture. They quite correctly believed in both simultaneously. Thus, for example Paul’s statements about marriage are an allegory and metaphor about the relation of Christ and the Church, and they are also plain speaking about how men and women are to get along together and raise children. If you, quite correctly, say that Paul is talking about Christ and the Church, he is nonetheless primarily talking about actual flawed husbands and their actual flawed wives. If you deny that Paul is talking about actual men and women, telling actual men how to deal with actual women, and actual women how to deal with actual men, and claim he is only talking about Christ and the Church, then that is simple plain old fashioned heresy. Both meanings are true, and both meanings were intended by Paul. By making marriage, the earthly family, an image and metaphor for the divine, he imbued marriage with sacredness, making it easier for men and women to stick together when the going got tough. It is perfectly clear what he was doing, and that this is what he meant to do. The divine meaning was intended to strengthen the earthly meaning, not substitute for it.

              Similarly, when Mohammed talks about slavery, he is talking about the relationship between the believer and good, but he is still talking about actual slavery, and to the extent that he is telling us about the relationship between believers and God, he is telling us that a Muslim society without slavery cannot be authentically Muslim, just as a Christian society without patriarchy and indissoluble marriage cannot be authentically Christian.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            Most conservative Protestants believe “wives should submit to their husbands”. However, most also believe “women are equal to men”.

            These two are inconsistent. (using the typical definition of “gender equality”)

            They reconcile them by gutting the Traditional understanding of “submit”. They define “abuse” widely, or say that a marriage is built on “compromise”, and a man should not use his authority without his wife’s approval.

            They do this, in large part, because their understanding of “submission” is the abstract theological term, not the experience of it in a relationship.

            Good religion is built on both abstract teachings, and the experience of holy things. Modern Western Christianity is bad religion.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            If you want an example of the experience of female submission, look at how the Orthodox and Traditional Catholics portray Mary.

            http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/vierge-2.jpg

            From the Orthodox Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
            >It is truly right to bless you, Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word. We magnify you, the true Theotokos.
            (Theotokos is a Greek title for Mary, meaning God-bearer)

            A female who takes Mary as a role model is not likely to become a feminist, given how she is portrayed.

          • William Newman says:

            “No. All interpretation depends on assumptions. Some people interpret texts by their hyponia. Other interpreted them in the historical-grammatical method (i.e. you) […]”

            A cultural relativist at 30k feet is a hypocrite, and anyone parroting absolutist “all interpretation depends on assumptions” talking points *over* *TCP/IP* *fercryinoutloud* is a hypocrite too.

            There are limitations to the precision of communication. How binding are those limits in practice? The IETF RFCs that underlie Internet interoperability are an absurdly conspicuous and successful existence proof of objective communication that succeeds exceedingly well despite those limitations. Read the specs, implement the specs, go to a bakeoff, and interoperate. It happens publicly and utterly routinely, it’s fundamental to how your blathering reaches us, deal with it.

            Of course in many cases, multiple parts of many documents are indeed so vague and assumption-laden that reasonable people can honestly interpret them in inconsistent ways. And sure, in cases *when* *that* *condition* *holds* relativist conclusions like your may indeed follow. But strong statements like yours that take it for granted that that condition necessarily holds for all statements in all documents? Commonly, such statements are dishonest insincerely universal claptrap which is fashionable because it can be selectively applied to disqualify communication. Sometimes, though, of course they are innocent, ordinary thoughtlessly wrong claptrap for crackpots who are stunningly pig-ignorant of the world, somewhere in the range of “things in motion come to rest” or “all things are bound to the earth” or “all diseases are spread by miasmic vapors” or “the Bible is obviously a fraud because the English language hadn’t even been invented yet when Jesus parted the English Channel.” (And possibly that is a false dichotomy, and I will run into a third alternative someday. Holding breath commencing in 3… 2… 1…)

            E.g., read the “wise latina” speech http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html?pagewanted=all . Notice how Sotomayor freely uses and approvingly quotes interpretation-rich terms throughout without needing to worry about the well-known supposed principle that words have no objective meaning, only invoking the universal principle when it’s convenient to apply it selectively: “Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise.” Deep, right? Telling us something deep about the fundamental limitations of language and thought and truth itself. Wow. “Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” So, um, no, wrong. Evidently it was telling us who is the witch whose words are fundamentally illegitimate because of the universal principle well-known to wise people like La Raza that All Words Are The Malleable Tool Of Satan Zazself, and who is the legitimate witch-hunter who can legitimately continue to legitimately express legitimate ideas using language in the ordinary way.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            I fail to see your point. I didn’t deny that communication can be objective. I did deny that Scripture can be read in an objective way.

            And all interpretation DOES depend on assumptions. Even if you clearly outlined the assumptions beforehand, and wrote them into software. Standardized assumptions are still assumptions.

            Scripture, of course, did not provide a clear list of standardized assumptions. So people use different assumptions.

            • jim says:

              I did deny that Scripture can be read in an objective way.

              Why should scripture be any harder to read than anything else? If scripture can be given any meaning the reader wants, anything can be given any meaning the reader wants, and communication is impossible.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            If we knew how to interpret something, we can communicate objectively.

            However, Scripture does not clearly provide rules for it’s own interpretation. And we can’t easily guess the rules, because it’s a 2,000 year-old spiritual document. We might be able to guess the rules if it were a legal document. But it’s not.

            Interpretation of Scripture is not entirely subjective, either. But it is not objective. It is a mix of subjectivity and objectivity, because it depends on certain philosophical assumptions on “how to interpret spiritual documents”.

            • jim says:

              However, Scripture does not clearly provide rules for it’s own interpretation.

              Do I provide clear rules for my interpretation?

              Do the numerous people who interpret scripture as meaning up when it says down and black when it means white provide rules so that we can interpret them?

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >Do I provide clear rules for my interpretation?
            Mostly. But that’s because you aren’t mystical. Let’s take Paul

            1 Timothy 2:12-15 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

            Does this interpretation of Genesis strike you as obvious and clear? If not, then Scripture does not provide clear rules for interpretation.

            Often, liberals will detect a (sometimes, mystical) theme of feminism in Scripture, just as Paul detects a (mystical) theme of Patriarchy in these verses. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed it.

            >Do the numerous people who interpret scripture as meaning up when it says down and black when it means white provide rules so that we can interpret them?
            Sometimes. Often, their approach is incoherent, and thus cannot be interpreted. But again, they aren’t mystical.

            • jim says:

              It is perfectly clear that Genesis tells us that women were created to serve and obey men (which seems kind of odd, since one would think they were created to perpetuate the species, but that is what Genesis quite plainly tells us) and that it is their duty to do so.

              So yes, Paul’s interpretation of Genesis strikes me as perfectly obvious and clear.

              He is reminding us of what Genesis quite plainly and straightforwardly tells us, not providing a strange and surprising interpretation of Genesis.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            1. Did Martin Luther believe the Bible? Lutheranism

            2. Did American Southern Baptists believe the Bible? Baptists.

            3. Did John Wesley believe the Bible? Methodism.

            4. Did medieval Popes believe the Bible? Catholicism

            5. Did Eastern Orthodox Bishops believe the Bible? Orthodoxy.

            I find it strange that you think the Bible’s meaning is obvious. Unless four of these groups are non-bible-believers, then Scripture is not obvious and objective.

            And remember, these factions disagree on core stuff of the faith. Luther’s differences with the Baptists is not small.

            • jim says:

              Medieval Popes and Eastern Orthodox Bishops grant themselves authority to add stuff to biblical doctrine, and disagree about what is to be added.

              And, indeed, the bible grants people authority to add stuff, in that Saint Paul seems to recommend, or at least cheerfully accepts, spray painting pagan festivals and customs with a thin layer of Christianity.

              The disagreements about predestination and the relationships of the persons of the trinity are so arcane and incomprehensible, that no one understands them. Not only do people not know what the bible says on these topics, they do not know what they themselves are saying on these topics, tending to speak utter gibberish and self contradictions.

              The fact that disagreements about what the bible says are disagreements on such arcane topics well known to be beyond human comprehension tells us that the bible is reasonably clear when addressing issues that humans can comprehend.

              Indeed the bible is unclear on the relationship between the persons of the trinity. Were those who conducted wars over this issue any the clearer?

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            I’m along the lines of “Jim” who presents the 1611 K.J.V. as a very solid scripture to base a society off of. I’ll add that the 1662 Book of Common Prayer based off of the 1549 was a valuable lens and instructive tool in order to get the scripture of the Holy Bible into the communities as well as the sacraments.

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            I used the word “was,” but in fact there are still churches that rely completely on the B.C.P. called Prayer Book Parishes and they are very conservative and traditional. They’re especially healthy in the rural areas but yet the serious liturgy gives a lot of structure to urban environments when it is used.

            A.J.P.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >which seems kind of odd, since one would think they were created to perpetuate the species, but that is what Genesis quite plainly tells us
            Paul says “she will be saved through childbearing”.

            >So yes, Paul’s interpretation of Genesis strikes me as perfectly obvious and clear.
            Really?

            He’s saying

            1) The woman was responsible for the first sin, not the man
            2) Adam was not deceived, but Eve was
            3) Eve’s rebellion against Adam’s authority was the first sin (or the source of it, anyway)
            4) Women will be saved by childbearing (in a non-Protestant interpretation – Mary’s childbearing)

            None of those are obvious to me. Maybe the first.

            One might assume, that if women are saved through childbearing, men are saved through work. But that is speculation.

            >The disagreements about predestination and the relationships of the persons of the trinity are so arcane and incomprehensible, that no one understands them.
            To be fair, the Orthodox have always viewed the Filioque as a power-play by the Roman Pontiff. They didn’t try to force the Pope to adopt a non-Filioque creed.

            But the Filioque is not the only interpretation that Orthodoxy and Catholicism disagree on, only the one that split the church. How about original sin, the immaculate conception, the canon of Scripture, and theosis, to name a few topics.

            Or, if you want, you can look at Ethiopian Orthodoxy, which has spent the last 1300 years developing independently of the rest of Orthodoxy, and has a bunch of weird ideas and practices. After all, they converted Bob Marley.

            • jim says:

              He’s saying
              1) The woman was responsible for the first sin, not the man

              I thought feminists have been complaining about that part of Genesis for years. Feminists read it the same way Saint Paul does.

              2) Adam was not deceived, but Eve was

              Not quite what he means in context. What he means is that women corrupt and seduce men, which of course they do,

              3) Eve’s rebellion against Adam’s authority was the first sin (or the source of it, anyway)

              Genesis tells us that Adam needed to keep Eve under his thumb, and failed to do so.

              4) Women will be saved by childbearing (in a non-Protestant interpretation – Mary’s childbearing)

              Genesis tells us women should perform the duties of a women, of which childbearing is a synecdoche, and the most painful and difficult part.

              None of those are obvious to me. Maybe the first.

              In the context of what Genesis says, the last needs to be interpreted as synecdoche to render it compatible with Genesis, but the first three seem pretty obvious to me.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >I thought feminists have been complaining about that part of Genesis for years. Feminists read it the same way Saint Paul does.
            I’m pretty sure they’re complaining about the woman being the source of sin. Which I agree with (and I’m pretty sure my statement agrees too).

            >Genesis tells us women should perform the duties of a women, of which childbearing is a synecdoche, and the most painful and difficult part.
            This, by the way, is another Christian disagreement. Did sexual intercourse and reproduction happen prior to the fall? The Orthodox insist it didn’t. Protestants insist it did.

            >pretty obvious to me
            Perhaps you’re just smarter than everyone else.

        • William Newman says:

          “I did deny that Scripture can be read in an objective way.”

          Indeed. I second Jim’s response, and add that it’s a pretty standard pattern that behind this kind of bafflegab there is an unstated political rule that determines which texts are delegitimized. One week a Cornell philosophy grad student that I used to play Go with scolded me for saying a Supreme Court ruling beloved of the left was unconstitutional, because texts have no absolute meaning. A week or three later he started venting about how Reagan’s SDI was in violation of the ABM treaty. Under some interpretations of what’s going on, this is easy to understand.

          “And all interpretation DOES depend on assumptions.”

          True in some sense, but the strength of dependence varies so much that to be fanatic about hammering on this principle in all cases is absurd, so absurd that it doesn’t look like an innocent error. All mechanics is invariant under Lorentz transformations, but if I present some wingnut interpretation of an assassination by hammering on how the bullet’s trajectory has to be interpreted under relativity, and I burble knowingly about how there are Hamiltonian and Lagrangian ways of looking at the dynamics and how the classical trajectory is fundamentally an epiphenomenon of quantum interference cancelling out all the other paths, it is squirting squid ink rather than engaging the question.

          Also, if someone starts with some uncontroversial broad observation like “there is contagion” or “fires spread” and smoothly proceeds to derive the conclusion that a particular epidemic or fire is specifically caused by the Korean minority or by the Jewish minority or by European settlers intentionally, without ever bothering to specify anything that logically distinguishes Koreans or Jews or European settlers from the other folks around that are not supposed to be responsible, then the argument is pure bullshit that would be difficult to arrive at by honest error. (And is so even some specific case where some other line of argument would prove the conclusion happens to be true.) I don’t see much of anything in the comments that I was responding to that bothers to distinguish the Bible from the IETF RFCs; draw your own conclusions.

          Also, if someone approvingly lists off various arcane ways of interpreting the will of the Emperor and limiting the commonsense ordinary interactions of people with the Emperor, without pride of place to the ordinary literal understanding and letting the Emperor speak to whoever he likes that exist in ordinary superior-subordinate relationships, it’s not a kind of confused thinking that humans are prone to drift into innocently. It is strong suggestive evidence that that someone is carrying water for a system of oathbreaking and farcical lies in which the Emperor has been roflpwned by his nominal subordinates and kept physically alive or symbolically alive for political ritual reasons rather than practical reasons.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >it’s a pretty standard pattern that behind this kind of bafflegab there is an unstated political rule that determines which texts are delegitimized
            I see why you might guess my intentions were bad. But I don’t believe Scripture is delegitimized. Quite the opposite. (Would I be on Jim’s blog if I was a leftist?)

            >because texts have no absolute meaning
            This is a much stronger statement than “objective interpretation is impossible”. Texts have meaning, that is a combination of subjective and objective. Perhaps I should have said “fully objective interpretation is impossible”. Which means the same thing, but might be clearer.

            >hammering on this principle in all cases is absurd
            Sure. But in the case of Scripture, it isn’t absurd.

            Just look at Lutherans and Baptists. Both believe Scripture, but both believe very different stuff. This means that people who both believe Scripture can interpret it in radically different ways.

            >I don’t see much of anything in the comments that I was responding to that bothers to distinguish the Bible from the IETF RFCs; draw your own conclusions.
            What? I talked about mysticism a bunch.

      • vxxc2014 says:

        Exactly. Qutb bought Leninism [he was one 1925-1940] to the MB, and hence AQ Classic which is the Leninist vanguard leaping off the pages. Followed by AQ-Maoist in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now followed by ISIS which is AQ Social Media Flash mob assembly and attacks [helps they learned to drive M1 tanks and MRAP vehicles in Jordon courtesy of State and CIA].

        ISIS is interesting because their using Mission Type simple executive orders from the Top with social media flash mob assembly for attacks, with dispersion to 3 vehicles prior to avoid Western Air Strikes. Mission type orders are something American Officers have been trying to go to for decades, we always get dragged back into the French WW1 Western Front system of micromanagement from 2+ layers above [down to Squad leader calls on uniform and equipment]. But of course when you are starting with your own little army of evil munchkins you can start fresh. Like…ISIS.

        Do note that the Iraqis are using [in addition to their own corrupt baggage] the USSR rigid tactical template with the American massive staff meetings system that consistently in peacetime exercises and war has the enemy columns blowing by your Command post before you finish the meetings. All they have time to do is get a seat on the escape plane out, officers leaving their men leaderless – not a good thing for Arabs.

  10. Dave says:

    Before I die of Ebola (cough cough), there is one thing I wish to do as a parting gift to the world:

    Make a pilgrimage to Mecca!

  11. peppermint says:

    Conservatives are fear-mongering about Ebola, which gives Democrats political cover to do effective things about it.

    What we need to do is hate-monger about Ebola, thereby preventing the Democrats from doing anything effective, so that we can then laugh at the Democrats for it. And by us, I mean trolls, not neoreactionary passivists.

    Of course, the trolls don’t do this consciously, rather, they feel the need to hate-monger over anything and everything.

    • Wyrd says:

      “What we need to do is hate-monger about Ebola…”

      He hates you, but I love you, Ebola-Chan! Take him instead of me, prease!

      • jim says:

        Please Ebola-Chan, take the blacks and the coal burners, not me!

        Hey, looks like she is listening!

        Of course materialists might suggest that this is because the blacks and the coal burners believe that ebola is caused by racism, rather than lack of hygiene, and so, as we saw, fail to take sensible hygienic measures.

        And the more we call upon Ebola-Chan in places that they can see us invoking her, the more that they are going to believe that ebola is caused by racism and the less they are going to take hygienic precautions.

    • jim says:

      If we say “Ebola is spread primarily by black people who cannot keep clean, nor competently administer a quarantine”, which is indeed the truth, then bingo.

      Anyone got data on the race of the people administering our response to ebola. Wannabet it looks mighty like the TSA?

  12. […] math (and from Taleb). “The End of the World: it’s sooner than you think.” Ebola as a morbid cultural indicator. Oddness and […]

  13. Red says:

    “1. Did Martin Luther believe the Bible? Lutheranism”

    No. Martin Luther was a madman who used the bible as a way of gaining power. Martin Luther first objected indulgences on the basis that they were usury and then approved of wide spread usury in order to fight Catholics. He first quoted scripture to democratized Christianity, and then quoted scripture to DE-democratize his own brand of Christianity to prevent it’s collapse.

    All protestant movements are marked by their calls to return to the true meaning of the bible followed by redefining that true meaning into whatever would gain them power on earth. A religion that’s based solely on a religious text is prone to lerch about in this manner.

    • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

      Fair point. But I cited five examples, two of which were not Protestant. And even Methodists are only sorta-Protestant, as they don’t believe in Sola Scriptura.

      • Red says:

        Behind every public argument over faith is a hidden argument over power. Each movement you listed had everything to do with power and nothing to do with the bible. You’re mistaking the tools used in the struggle for something that’s actually tangible.

        How you interpret scripture has nothing to do with the continual splitting of the protestant churches. The continue breaking comes from the lack of a strong hierarchy in those churches leading to many people trying to gain power by breaking the church up into smaller chunks.

        The processes resembles how a hunter gather tribe divides up their villages: An argument over something is started, followed months of arguing and disruption and finally half the village leaves to found their own village. Churches without a strong hierarchy suffer from the same type of division. While villages dividing after reaching a certain size helps the group as a whole, religions dividing do not. It makes them easy prey for religious predators and creates disunity.

        • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

          Maybe the original argument was about power.

          But the average Baptist still interprets the Bible their way, and the average Lutheran their way. (and the average Amish another way) And the average Lutheran does not read the book of Concord in order to suck power from the Papacy.

          This implies that the “interpretive approach” matters. A lot.

          • Red says:

            The thing is believers all generally read the book to mean what their sect says it means. If you read it and means something different to you and you make a big deal of it, you’ll get tossed out of the church. Things like how you interrupt scripture is signally that you’re part of group X and not an outsider.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            Sure. But are you expected to conform to the sect’s

            1) Interpretive approach

            or

            2) Specific ideas

            I think it’s a combination of the two.

      • jim says:

        Few of these divisions are over interpretations of the bible.

        And to the extent that people disagree on interpreting the bible (for example predestination) they disagree on matters beyond human comprehension, so that if the original bible verses that they argue over are unclear, their purported interpretations are even less clear.

        • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

          Yes they are.

          Baptists don’t think Lutherans believe in “faith alone”, because Lutherans believe “baptism saves”.

          Lutherans don’t think Baptists believe in the rituals (sacraments) instituted by Christ.

          Prior to ecumenicism, it was common for Baptists to assert that Lutherans could not be saved. Similar stuff is true of all denominations.

          Predestination is not a particularly large dispute in Protestantism. Even in Lutheranism, we see widely varying opinions on predestination, but they stick together (or don’t split over predestination, anyway).

          • jim says:

            That is just not true:

            Lutherans differ from baptists:
            1. in Church Liturgy (the form of worship), which Jesus declines to specify except in the broadest outline, and which Saint Paul tells us is arbitrary, conventional, and customary, merely the outward form of inward submission to God. (I conjecture that the reason he says this is that he is plotting to steal the pagan festivals, file off the pagan serial numbers, and spray paint them with Christianity, in an act of grand theft ritual.)
            2. In Church Polity (the form of government) which Jesus declines to specify, and which Saint Paul and the apostles specify only in the broadest outline.
            3. Eschatology – the study of last things, which nobody understands.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            They generally differ in those things too. But that doesn’t contradict my point. The divisions are genuinely over disagreements in Scriptural interpretation.

            You seem to be saying the sole source of disagreement is power. I’m saying that interpretation methods are really important, too.

            (BTW, there are plenty of non-liturgical and congregationalist Lutherans, so your points are generalizations)

            • jim says:

              The divisions are genuinely over disagreements in Scriptural interpretation.

              Not seeing it. I don’t see any genuine disagreements in Scriptural interpretation between Lutherans and baptists, except eschatology, which no one understands.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            Let me restate the points we’re arguing. My claims:

            1) Scripture cannot be interpreted in an objective or near-objective way, it is highly subjective, because it’s mystical

            2) Doctrinal, moral and worship differences between denominations are primarily due to interpretation of Scripture

            3) Schisms (i.e. great schism, reformation) are partially about power, and partially about interpretation

            So far as (1) goes, I think you have missed most of historic Christianity. And replaced it with standard Protestant interpretation methods. Most of the Apostle’s interpretation of the Old Testament is not obvious, and is, in fact, often reliant on a second (mystical) meaning of Old Testament passages. This is clear to anyone who knows much about Christian prophecy.

            Lutheran are willing to read Christian history. Baptists (almost) categorically refuse to read about anything that happened between John’s death and Martin Luther.

            I’d say that’s the largest difference in their interpretive process.

            >Predestination is the only issue where anyone argues different interpretations of New Testament verses
            You seem to combine a deep knowledge of Christianity with a remarkable ignorance of certain aspects.

            How about the debate about baptism? “Baptism saves”, “Baptism regenerates”, “Baptism is just a symbol”

            For a Lutheran making fun of Baptists using Scripture passages:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxHzo0QVYY

            • jim says:

              This is not a matter of biblical texts being subject to multiple interpretations, as the bible not really covering certain issues. The New Testament tells us that baptism washes away sin, that faith in Jesus washes away sin, salvation by faith, (which would render baptism irrelevant), that Christians are allowed to do stuff that is damnation for anyone else, and that Christians are damned if they do various bad things, which contradicts salvation by faith.

              As with God is three and God is one, a christian is supposed to believe in all of these simultaneously, and by and large they do, which leads to problems.

              The problem, however, is not that the relevant texts are unclear, but that one text very clearly says one thing, and another text very clearly says a different thing, and they both say it so very clearly that a Christian really has to believe both things.

              And by and large, most Christians do.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            For some more issues that are mostly people quoting bible verses back and forth at each other

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventism
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersessionism
            Lordship Salvation

            For that matter, anything on this youtube channel.

            https://www.youtube.com/user/Revfiskj/videos

            • jim says:

              Dispensationalism and Adventism are all Eschatology, and no one thinks that the bible says anything very clear or intelligible about Eschatology, and few think that anyone says anything very clear or intelligible about Eschatology. That is not a dispute about what the bible says, but a dispute about how to fill in the gaps that the biblical writers quite deliberately left – “Revelations” is quite deliberately written in code, and is all allegory deliberately intended to be subject to multiple interpretations.

              As for Superssession, that is like arguing whether God is one or God is three: The standard (and obvious) interpretation is that “the Church is the new people of God,” but Israel according to the flesh, the Jewish people, still have an important role in eschatology. These positions contradict each other, much as “God is one” and “God is three contradict” each other, yet the biblical support for both contradictory positions is so clear that people just have to suppose that the seeming contradiction will all make sense in the end.

              And, by and large, that is what they do suppose.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >Dispensationalism and Adventism are all Eschatology
            They aren’t. The biggest Adventist church is

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church
            >Distinctive teachings include the unconscious state of the dead and the doctrine of an investigative judgment. The church is also known for its emphasis on diet and health, its “holistic” understanding of the person, its promotion of religious liberty, and its conservative principles and lifestyle.
            Except for the religious liberty bit, what part of this is cover for a power-play?

            >“Revelations” is quite deliberately written in code, and is all allegory deliberately intended to be subject to multiple interpretations
            Fun fact: This reason the Orthodox church does not read this book in their lectionary is because it’s ambiguous and leads people in weird theological directions.

            >The standard (and obvious) interpretation is that “the Church is the new people of God,” but Israel according to the flesh, the Jewish people, still have an important role in eschatology.
            This isn’t much of a position. “The Jews are important” and “The Church is central to eschatology”, are not detailed doctrines. They’re not even doctrines, really.

            >These positions contradict each other, much as “God is one” and “God is three contradict” each other
            Three persons, one substance. Like how husband and wife are two persons, but one flesh.

            • jim says:

              Distinctive teachings include the unconscious state of the dead and the doctrine of an investigative judgment. The church is also known for its emphasis on diet and health, its “holistic” understanding of the person, its promotion of religious liberty, and its conservative principles and lifestyle.
              Except for the religious liberty bit, what part of this is cover for a power-play

              Again, disputes in the gaps. Priests find some issue that the New Testament does not cover, or has a bit each way on, and then make a big deal out of that issue in order to differentiate themselves from a slightly different faction.

              Such disputes do not signify that scripture is particularly difficult to interpret, only that it is shorter than the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is bit like the fact that most supreme court jurisprudence does not address the constitution, so much as the emanation of the umbra of the penumbra of the constitution.

            • jim says:

              > > The standard (and obvious) interpretation is that “the Church is the new people of God,” but Israel according to the flesh, the Jewish people, still have an important role in eschatology.

              > This isn’t much of a position.

              And Christians don’t have much of a position. The New Testament says lots of contradictory things, and says them so clearly and unambiguously that Christians wind up believing both halves of the contradiction.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            So, weird theology is proof that they’re just making shit up for power reasons?

            To you, what would qualify as a genuine, interpretation-based difference?

            Does the Baptist-Lutheran difference count? They clearly have different theological approaches, and it appears to be the source of their different beliefs about the sacraments.

            • jim says:

              Way back in the beginning of Christianity, theologians noticed that one book of the New Testament would contradict another book, and often itself, that Jesus would seemingly contradict Jesus, and Paul seemingly contradict Paul. A bunch of movements appeared to produce a logically consistent scripture, all of which were deemed heretical, leaving Christians with the position that on a lot of matters, they had to believe both sides of contradiction.

              And they do.

              Theological disputes are about stuff the New Testament does not cover, or stuff where it has a bit both ways, as in the infamous problem that God is three and God is one.

              But where one scripture says one thing, and another scripture says a contradictory thing, we don’t see theologians blowing off scripture A and accepting Scripture B. (That used to happen in the early days of the Church, but no longer) Rather, one theologian conjures up some convoluted pile of elaborate rationalizations rendering scripture A compatible with scripture B, and another theologian conjures up a subtly different convoluted pile of elaborate rationalizations rendering scripture A compatible with scripture B. And then they have a holy war over issues well beyond human comprehension.

              To you, what would qualify as a genuine, interpretation-based difference?

              If Lutherans stopped baptizing infants, that would be a genuine interpretation-based difference. But of course there is no way that could ever happen.

              Does the Baptist-Lutheran difference count? They clearly have different theological approaches, and it appears to be the source of their different beliefs about the sacraments.

              The new testament says baptism saves, and the new testament says Jesus saves. Lutherans lean slightly towards resolving the contradiction in favor of Jesus, and Baptists slightly in favor of resolving the contradiction in favor of baptism. But if Lutherans gave up baptism of infants, they would not be Christians, and if Baptists gave up salvation by faith, they would not be Christians, even though one contradicts the other.

              The differences between Baptists and Lutherans is primarily issues not covered by the New Testament, church organization and ritual. To the extent that they differ on issues covered by the New Testament, they differ on the Book of Revelations, which is intentionally unclear and ambiguous.

              The differences between Lutherans and Baptists on baptism are so subtle as to be beyond human comprehension. And if ever a Lutheran explains the difference in words that seemingly make sense, you will notice that those words mean that baptizing infants makes no sense, so ask him why they baptize infants.

          • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

            >The new testament says baptism saves, and the new testament says Jesus saves
            If I get cancer, and am cured by a doctor who proscribes medicine, both the medicine and the doctor saved me, correct? There may be contradictions in the New Testament, but this is a leap.

            >Lutherans lean slightly towards resolving the contradiction in favor of Jesus, and Baptists slightly in favor of resolving the contradiction in favor of baptism
            It’s the opposite, actually.

            >The differences between Baptists and Lutherans is primarily issues not covered by the New Testament.
            Well, no. Lutherans believe baptism saves you. Baptists don’t.

            1 Peter 3:21 (ESV) Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

            Lutherans believe infants should be baptized. Of course, Jewish infants were baptized, as part of circumcision. But Baptists refuse to read history, so they don’t know this (and if you tell them, it pisses them off, I speak from experience).

            >If Lutherans stopped baptizing infants, that would be a genuine interpretation-based difference.
            You wouldn’t interpret that as entryism of some sort? The Church of Sweden retracted it’s (former) doctrines that the Pope is the Antichrist, and that only those who subscribe to the Lutheran ideas may take communion.

            • jim says:

              >The differences between Baptists and Lutherans is primarily issues not covered by the New Testament.

              Well, no. Lutherans believe baptism saves you. Baptists don’t.

              That is not what baptists say the difference is. As I said, the difference defies human comprehension.

              Baptists say that baptism is only a symbol, but then they say it is important that the symbol be done, and done right, which pretty much says it is more than a symbol.

              Bottom line being that no sect is willing to give up anything a New Testament text clearly says even if another equally clear New Testament text contradicts it.

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            “Jim”

            I don’t make it a point to specialise in Theonomy, but from the little I know about it, I can still confidently say that you are wrong about the scriptural “contradictions.”

            A.J.P.

        • Adolf the Poorly-Named Children's Character says:

          Actually, are there any examples of split churches over predestination?

          Most denominations tolerate disagreement over the topic.

          • jim says:

            Predestination is the only issue where anyone argues different interpretations of New Testament verses, so if there are no splits over predestination, I would say there are no splits over differing interpretations of New Testament verses.

  14. Red says:

    Off topic: We’ve come full circle from Rosa Parks being arrested for not going to the back of the bus to a white family being beaten for not going to the back of the bus:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/10/bus_driver_organizes_black_mob_violence_against_white_family.html

    • jim says:

      Why am I entirely unsurprised.

      • Red says:

        The propaganda that could be generated from this attack would be extreamlly powerful.

        • jim says:

          Well, if you had a free media and an independent education system, propaganda that could be generated from this attack would be extremely powerful.

          But what I see, what everyone sees, right in front of their eyes, is white people acting in their body language like second class citizens, and NAMs acting in their body language like the lords of creation, like aristocrats, and if a white person fails to act humble, he will be beaten up, and the police and his employer will probably punish him for drawing the ire of the aristocrats.

          People can see this right in front of them, and they are not reacting.

          • Alan J. Perrick says:

            Right, because the assumption is made that crime comes from povery and so that it is therefore mean and sadistic to “punch down” at the already less fortunate.

            That is why we have the White Genocide meme that pro-whites are pushing. It gives white people the moral authority.

            Best regards,

            A.J.P.

          • Red says:

            Jim nailed when he described blacks as having the status of aristocracy. I was hanging out in my old home town that was over run by blacks after I left. I went with my father to pick up some ice cream. My dad sent my brother in to get the ice cream while we chatted in the car. I noticed 3 just out jail niggers staring at us like they wanted to murder us. They harassed people who came out of the rite aid and just hung out being a public menace… 500 yards from the police station. I point them out to my dad, he looks up, then looks down and pretends they were not there causing trouble. My father was just resigned that if they wanted to they could beat the shit out of us and there’s nothing we could do about it. Later I heard that similar groups of niggers used to randomly attack people coming out of rite aid and people just stayed inside until they had their fun and went away. They act like peasants.

            I couldn’t understand this behavior by my family. I saw a public menace that should be run off. They saw something that must be endured. Around this time the Zimmerman case happened and I saw what happens to people clueless enough or brave enough to do something about black thugs even in the mildest way. I can see now why my dad kept his head down. I always go into nigger country armed, I don’t put my head down and I stair them in the face. But, I have the advantage of looking like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to fuck with and most blacks get this. Most people don’t and they suffer like peasants under dysfunctional aristocracy without being able to express what’s going on due to crime stop.

  15. dddd says:

    This story relates to your theory of decreasing competence, those quoted try to spin the project as not feasible rather than a failure. I wondered what you would make of it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/science/25-years-ago-nasa-envisioned-its-own-orient-express.html

    • jim says:

      With any one new technology, hard to tell – but there have been no big expensive new technologies for quite some time.

  16. […] Ebola and political correctness. Related: Ebola and the nation. Related: Why ebola is evil. […]

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