Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for November, 2009

Considering Preambles

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/29

Dictionary.com gives this definition (and synonyms) for preamble:

pre⋅am⋅ble
  /ˈpriˌæmbəl, priˈæm-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pree-am-buhl, pree-am-] Show IPA
Use preamble in a Sentence
See web results for preamble
See images of preamble
–noun
1. an introductory statement; preface; introduction.
2. the introductory part of a statute, deed, or the like, stating the reasons and intent of what follows.
3. a preliminary or introductory fact or circumstance: His childhood in the slums was a preamble to a life of crime.
4. (initial capital letter) the introductory statement of the U.S. Constitution, setting forth the general principles of American government and beginning with the words, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. …”
Origin:
1350–1400; ME < ML praeambulum, n. use of neut. of LL praeambulus walking before. See pre-, amble

Related forms:
preambled, adjective

Synonyms:
1. opening, beginning; foreword, prologue, prelude.

In my understanding, that means a preamble sets the stage for the coming event. The preamble itself isn’t the event. It gives generalities as background information to more fully understand what’s coming next. The synonyms foreword, prologue, prelude are key to my understanding of preamble.

Nobody reads the foreword, prologue, prelude to a book to honestly understand the mechanics of the book. People read that to get a feel for what’s in the book (if they read that at all). And anybody who declared he knew all the specifics of a book, or merely knew the most important specifics of a book, by studying the prelude would be rightly considered a fool.

So why is it those who wish to do severe damage to the Constitution rely on the Preamble, and more specifically four words in the Preamble, to allow everything under the sun? Isn’t this just as foolish as relying on four words in a foreword to a book? Even James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, warned against using those four words to change the entire Constitution.

(quote of Madison from the now widely known MI teen, Jackie)

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

So, it seems to me that the liberals are focusing in on four words of a general, scene-setting opening for all their power-grabs, and have been doing so since at least FDR, despite the foolishness of such a tack. Despite their own mocking of people who would deign to do so with a piece of non-governmental literature. And despite the forewarnings of the Founders themselves. And despite a long history of constitutional understanding, such as Davy Crockett’s corrected understanding. (I accidentally added an extra “e” in his name (it looks better to me).) And, yet, it is the liberal who accuses the conservative of not being well-read and of being a fool?

Posted in Conservative, Constitution, education, history, media, Obama, politically correct, politics, society, truth | 1 Comment »

To Word-Picture Or Not To Word-Picture

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/28

There are many times I choose to use word-pictures to describe concepts and thought processes. I’m not talking “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be” type junk. That’s ridiculous and useless psychobabble. I’m talking something along the lines of:

… so you load down your pick-up with everything you own and you start to head out. But then you get bogged down axle-deep in the mud and there’s no way out except to lighten the load. So you get rid of the heaviest thing — the 7.5 liter engine.

That sort of word-picture gives the connotation, the feeling, the picture of the situation you’re describing much more fully than a thousand words in an analytical style could provide. And it’s much less boring and drawn-out. And this is why I like word-pictures.

But the problem comes when your audience (usually the only person listening to you) gets offended, deciding you’re “talking down” to him or trying to be his teacher or something else just as evil. Now, instead of communicating more clearly, communication has ceased.

And therein lies the rub. Is it possible to use a clearer word-picture instead of a muddy thousand words when someone gets offended by word-pictures?

Posted in Real Life, society | 3 Comments »

It’s (Almost) Official

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/28

As of 20091201, my daughter officially becomes SGT Hitchcock.

Posted in military, Real Life | 3 Comments »

Musing On Rom’s Case

Posted by Foxfier on 2009/11/27

Taken nearly whole-sale from my comments here.

Another reader, Kcom, drew attention to the other Big Story of this week– the AGW fraud coming out.

Oddly enough, (8^D) I had previously wondered at the difference in my response to the two stories– after all, they were both “scientists say something that pisses some people off, and may demand changes being morally needed.”  Was the difference because I wanted to believe one and not the other?  Clearly, the demands of the climate guys would touch my life more than “people diagnosed as ‘human vegetables’ aren’t always.”

I think it’s instructive to notice the difference between the two cases; the AGW fraud folks make their entire living off of showing that humans are killing us all, and they stand to gain power from their findings being put forth, do not act as though their claims are true (Stop using so much fossil fuels or the world will end! But I’m flying to the AGW conference. In a private jet.) and they release conclusions very quickly to the popular media while trying to control the scientific media to prevent any disagreement.

The folks involved with Rom’s case make their living otherwise (although it does seem to be Dr. Laureys’ pet theory that those diagnosed with PVS often aren’t), stand to gain mostly personal attacks because their theories make “useless eaters” that can be easily dehumanized much harder to dehumanize, act as though they believe their results (My scans show brain activity in the normal range! Get this man to therapy!) and the story didn’t show up in the popular media for three years– after putting out a paper on the topic.

This new article (evil AP!  Warning!) makes me more confident in Dr. Laureys’ group, since 1) he’s acting like the guy is a patient instead of a project ( “How would you like me discussing your IQ on the Internet?”) and because their response to attacks on the facilitated communication is to point out that they’re working on a study to validate it (this could be bad, unless they’ve already got all the information and are just writing it up, but I’m willing to offer the benefit of the doubt since they’ve shown a willingness to test themselves before) and are aware it’s controversial.

Oh, and this line is epic:
He refused to discuss it in the media, saying he will follow the classical route of scientific peer reviews and publication in specialized journals before making it public to the world at large.

Of course, there’s the other point that I’m biased away from making dire changes in any situation– not sure the guy is dead?  Not “as good as dead,” or “has a life not worth living,” or “is way more useful if we kill him to save twenty other people who will be able to pay us.” Assume they are alive and treat them morally. Don’t kill them for ease, emotion or spare parts.

Not sure that there’s even long-term warming going on, let alone exactly what is causing it? Then don’t force huge, expensive, totalitarian changes that will only work if one of many theories is right, and at best will just slow down disaster while removing our ability to adapt.

Presumption in favor of life and basic rights, basically. Probably related to my not trusting folks with more power than utterly needful.  Which would be why I like republic-flavored gov’ts over democracies…. (Two wolves and  a sheep, y’know?)

(another reader did some similar musing here)

Posted in Christianity, Conservative, Health, Health Care, Real Life, society, truth | Comments Off

Conversations With My Brother

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/27

My brother made a visit to my mother’s house this Thanksgiving. And he and I had some conversations regarding mutual interests and other such material. I doubt anyone else was all that interested in what we were discussing: running, cycling, students, and suchlike. For some reason, people are not interested in that sort of stuff.

But my brother (born 76 months after me) and I share a lot of personal experiences and stuff.

He and I were both distance runners in High School.
– I honestly don’t know his times but he was one of the top Cross Country runners on the team before his shin splints.
– I ran the 5k Cross Country courses in 17 flat. In track, I ran 2:03 800, 4:40 1600, 10:20 3200, and was part of the 4X800 relay (all in the same meet).
He and I both spent big money on bicycles. (“You paid over $1k and it didn’t even have a motor?”)
– He got a half-scholarship to college for mountain-biking and was involved in mountain-bike races aired on ESPN2.
– I told him years ago about my 3-hour, 52-mile circuit and he asked if I had a picnic lunch in the middle of my circuit.
He and I both have experience as educators.
– He is a tenured professor of English, teaching first-year composition to “English as Second Language (ESL)” students.
– I was a math education major in college. I spent time teaching 5th grade students and 7th grade students during my college course work. I spent 20+ hours a week tutoring high school and college students in their math courses while a student in college. I spent 3 years home-schooling my daughter 4 grades.

There are other similarities, but those are pertinent here.

He said he went out running after he had his knee surgery. “You know that pain you feel that you have to fight through and that pain you feel that says ‘this was a bad idea’? Well, this was a bad idea. So I did it again and decided this is a bad idea after the second time.” That’s him. Don’t take the body’s first screaming NO for an answer but listen to the second screaming NO.

But he is more a cyclist than a runner. (Running stoves up your knees something fierce, especially if you have his and my trait of a super-long gait.) And he went on to talk about his recent experience cycling.

He mentioned he and I both have another commonality: to overdo things (or take them to extremes). He talked about how he hadn’t been out cycling for a couple months so, naturally, he decided to take a 40-mile trip. Now, when you’re training, you have various different plans for the day. One of those that all top athletes use is what I call “count the leaves on the trees” day, where you just go out and take it very easy, so you have time to take in every aspect of the scenery as you go by. Absolutely nothing hard at all about it. Well, he described his 40-mile circuit as one of those days.

He didn’t work hard at all during his 40-mile circuit, but he said at 75 minutes into his circuit he hit a brick wall. His body decided it was quitting time, it didn’t matter that he wasn’t home yet. And he was still a few miles short of home. Once he got home, he was toast. And the frustrating part was that he didn’t push himself on the circuit, instead taking it easy, and he still was toast.

I recounted my running experience. 5 years ago, I went out for a run for the first (and last) time in many years. Understand, I never in my life went out for a jog, always for a run (and there is a huge difference there). I reminded him of my 17-flat 5k in HS and then reported that I had to take a “walking break” during my 1-mile run, which took a total time of 15 minutes. It was grotesque and embarrassing.

He had some very interesting insight. Since I had previously been a quality distance runner, I could more readily approach that sort of quality again. My body would “remember” my past. “Oh, this is where I need to conserve energy, I remember this. Oh, this is something I can do. Nothing new here.” I just need to get back into it and it’ll come back to me. And much, much faster than for someone who has never had my experience.

He also recounted, in a general way, his experience teaching first-year composition in college. He said there were so many things wrong with papers that he had to ignore a lot of it and focus in on the 5 most important issues in the papers. “How can I make them write better without crushing them (or something to that effect).” I said something about how people need to use a dictionary and he had a retort I didn’t expect. He said he thought part of his students’ (He teaches first-year ESL students, remember.) problem was an over-reliance on the dictionary.

I was definitely surprised by this statement. But he explained his statement. Last year, he had a Japanese student who was very proficient in spoken English. That student’s paper had multiple nested sentences within multiple nested sentences of sentences. And those sentences used very large words. And my brother was thinking “I should know what this person is trying to say but I can’t make heads or tails of this.” (He said, as an aside, that his students this year are Chinese and isn’t it interesting first year students from Communist China are buying top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz cars for their 4-year US University time?) That wasn’t quite what I expected, but it’s understandable. As he said, people try to sound more intelligent when they write than they do when they just talk. And, as he sees it, that is a pronounced problem with ESL students. That strong desire to show a higher ability (in this case, in a foreign language) than possessed.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable discussion.

But, thinking back on it, I definitely brought a few things home. And one thing I definitely want to point out (which was not his intent at all) is that there is a place where you are judged by your ability and not your “degree of tanness”. And that is in the athletic arena.

I don’t care what your background is. Once you get into your sphere of athletics, you will be dependent on your ability and not a hand-up for your success or failure. It’s all on you. There is no head-start for people of the “wrong race” and there is no lowered standard for people of the “wrong race” in athletics. There’s only your ability and training vs their ability and training. And that’s how it should be in every aspect of everyone’s life.

Posted in affirmative action, Constitution, education, history, politically correct, politics, race, Real Life, society, sports | 3 Comments »

Calling All Conservative Youth

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/26

I intend on making a new blog list. I currently have two blog lists: Worthwhile Links and Self-Proclaimed Right Wing Extremist™ Blogs. While I still desire more Self-Proclaimed Right Wing Extremist™ Blogs, I wish to also add a new category: Conservative Youth. In that endeavor, I have two blogs in mind. But I need more for that hit-parade.

So, I’m calling on Conservative youth to let me know you’re there and you want to be on such a list. I’m also calling on all Conservative fogies who know of Conservative youth to let them know I want to make this list. Your help will be appreciated as I endeavor to add this blog list to my list of blogs.

Posted in Conservative, politics, society, Youth | Comments Off

I Love How Liberals Mock Principled People

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/25

From Shattered Kingdoms®, a game I played for several years, comes this definition of Principled:

If your character is of principled alignment, they will most likely value
life, and freedom above all else. They will strive to protect all people,
especially those who are not able to protect themselves. They even try to
protect those who commit evil acts from themselves, attempting to convince
the evil person to denounce their evil ways. Principled characters try
with all their might to follow and uphold the laws of the land. Those laws
were created for a purpose, to protect those who need protection. Those
laws were most likely placed there by others of the same alignment.
Principled characters try to avoid killing whenever possible, using it as
a last resort, when all other courses of action have been exhausted.

Notice “try” and “strive” in that game definition. And, yes, I know it is a definition for a game. But it is a definition for how to play your character in that game if you decide your character is Principled. And that’s why I brought up that game’s defiition. It mirrors real life. People with principles strive to meet those principles and try to “first, do no harm” in what they do. It doesn’t mean those people are not tempted like everyone else. It doesn’t mean those people do not consider less-than-optimal choices.

Heck, principled people make mistakes like everyone else. And I honestly believe principled people are the people most likely to not live up to their own standards. After all, a standard of perfection is an impossible standard to reach. But principled people work to reach that standard, nonetheless.

And when they fail? Out of the woodwork, just like cockroaches, come the unscrupulous, anarchistic, miscreant, aberrant and diabolical types (you can find definitions of those at that link as well) to mock them. The fact those of us who have principles fail those principles from time to time makes those on the left (those without principles) absolutely giddy. Of course, when those on the left fail those same principles, crickets.

And if a principled person admits to having a foul thought cross her mind (re: Sarah Palin and abortion) and then rejecting it? Those idiot leftists who have no principles jump all over that! “She thought about it!” Bleh. She thought about it and rejected it because she had principles. Let me repeat that. She rejected the so-called “easy way out” because she had principles. She had a firm foundation which allowed her to fight off the evil thought in her mind and actually do the right thing. Not something a leftist can do.

Posted in abortion, Christianity, media, politically correct, politics, Real Life, Religion, society, truth | Comments Off

Nobody Coaches Lady Athletes

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/24

But there are many who coach woman athletes.

Think about it.

Posted in society, sports, stereotype | 1 Comment »

I Have Decided To Check Out Twitter

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/23

I am TruthBeforeDis on twitter, not that I’ll say a whole lot or anything. :P

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

A Quote To Remember For You ‘General Welfare’ Leftists

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/23

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

– James Madison, the “father of the Constitution”

Where did I get this quote? I got it from a well-researched, well-spoken, respectful (much more respectful than I) teen-aged girl. And she has a lot more to say about a lot more (and the research to back it up).

Posted in Christianity, Constitution, education, Health Care, history, Obama, politically correct, politics, truth | Comments Off

Confessions Of A Seventeen-Year-Old Girl

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/22

I’ve grown up my whole life in the state of Michigan, so I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like to struggle. I’ve seen others struggle and I’ve witnessed it in my own family. In the past, I’ve seen my dad become an unemployment statistic several times. Most recently, back in November. This time was the hardest (for me anyways). I was at the age now where I could fully understand the gravity of the situation. I remember my mom telling me after school and I broke down in the hallway, I knew how much it meant to my dad to be working and providing for our family and now all of a sudden he couldn’t. My immediate (selfish) thought was “What are we going to do about Christmas.” Quickly, I realized that this Christmas was going to have to be about what I needed not necessarily about what I wanted. Christmas was scant this year, but I wasn’t disappointed. I learned a valuable lesson during this time: thankfulness. It’s a shame something like my dad losing his job had to happen for me to realize all that God has blessed my family with. Not once was my family without food or shelter. God provided for our needs and he has continued to provide for them.

That’s the first paragraph of the first article written by the teen-aged girl (Jackie) who beat down Nora O’Donnell and has suddenly found her fifteen minutes of international fame. And the hits just keep coming from there. If you don’t have her in your blogroll or your “must read” list by now, put her there. She’s the future of Conservatism.

Posted in Constitution, economics, education, media, Obama, Palin, politics, Real Life, society, sports, truth | Comments Off

Sex Scandal So President Fires Inspector General

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/22

No, this is not a rehashing of the Clinton administration. This happened on Obama’s watch.

When Walpin tried to have Johnson brought up on charges, the U.S. attorney balked and settled the matter without going to trial (Johnson’s charity, St. Hope, paid back more than $800,000 to Americorps). Walpin, quite rightly, was furious and took the matter to the Americorps board where he discovered to his chagrin that a new wind was blowing through Washington and the board members didn’t want to anger president Obama.

The result was that an Obama supporter on the board fired off a letter to the White House demanding that Walpin be fired. The excuse was that he was basically senile and that it was imperative that he be removed immediately – despite a law that protected IG’s from this kind of summary treatment.

This all happened last spring. Well, now Johnson’s peccadilloes have been revealed by congressional investigators along with the attempt to buy the silence of women. And “damage control["] was handled by none other than Michelle Rhee, then on the board of one of Americorp’s charities, now Chancellor of the DC public school system.

Obama fired Walpin on June 10 of this year. Chicago politics as usual.

In other news, Obama bungle produces ‘worst U.S.-Japan summit in history’.

The American media aren’t reporting the story, and so far Bunshun is the only Japanese source reporting it, so far as I know.

Either President Obama wants to anger America’s traditional allies, as he is doing with the British, or he is simply a self-involved fool who can’t imagine others aren’t thrilled with everything he does. Considering his botched bow, I am going with the second hypothesis, for the moment. The bow made him appear to be a sophomoric bumpkin.

I, too, am going with option two.

Posted in charitible organizations, crime, education, media, Obama, politics | Comments Off

Comply Or Jail

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/22

This isn’t how a democratic (Democrat, apparently yes; democratic, no) government treats its local governments and private citizens. Threatening criminal fines and jail time over mandatory, uncompensated 53-hour surveys is criminal itself.

Nancy Brown

The federal EPA plans on requesting all sorts of entities fill out a 32-page, 72-question, 53-hour questionnaire. And those who don’t will be mandated fines and possibly even jail time. That sounds to me like some dude on the street pulling out a gun and saying “If you don’t mind, please give me your wallet, otherwise my friend here might pop off.”

And exactly who could be forced to fill out this questionnaire?

The mandatory questionnaires will be sent to all owners, operators, developers, and contractors of newly and redeveloped sites; owners and operators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s); and the states and territories.

So it’s not just states and big cities but also businesses and home-owners.

EPA intends to propose a rule to control storm water from, at minimum, newly developed and redeveloped sites, and to take final action no later than November 2012.

As Ms Brown pointed out, that “minimum” is very dangerous language. It could become much more invasive of many more people, sucking out even more money out of pockets that are already empty.

Aside from the unconstitutionality of EPA writing laws (the legislative branch is to do that to prevent unelected people from ruling the nation), I have to wonder if this whole deal could have very serious Fifth Amendment issues. People will be forced to self-report, after all, something the Fifth Amendment protects against.

Read the full article at the link. It’s very worth the read.

Posted in Constitution, crime, economics, politically correct, politics | Comments Off

The Girl Rocked

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/21

I heard her on Glenn Beck. I heard about her on Rush. Yorkshire provided a link to the video, which also provided a link to her own blog. This 17-year-old girl gave Nora O’Donnell a beat-down on-air and even more of one on her blog.

For those of you who can download videos, I strongly suggest you do so and send it viral before PMSNBC sends a takedown notice.

Posted in Constitution, media, Palin, politics, society, truth | Comments Off

Flora Bora

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/11/21

I just felt like boring you with personal statistics regarding flora.

On the west side of my property, I planted a flower or two a few years ago. A flower or two died since then. Here is a partial list:

60 Negrita Tulips
90 Chionodoxa Lucilia
90 Iris Reticulata
60 Flower Record Crocus
10 Large Cupped Professor Einstein daffodils
36 Large Cupped Ice Follies daffodils
36 Large Cupped Carlton daffodils
10 Striped Squill
45 Grape Hyacinth
20 Uniflorum Rolf Fiedler Ipheon
20 Ranunculus pastel mixed
10 Single Early Apricot Beauty tulips
36 Triumph Mixed tulips
7 Fringed Pink Fountain tulips
36 Triumph Red tulips
36 Triumph Passionale tulips
19 double late Black Hero tulips
10 Triumph Princess Irene tulips
30 single late Queen of Night tulips
7 double late Lilac Perfection tulips
10 Chionodoxa forbesii
20 Camassia esulenta
30 Blanda Blue Anemone
2 Asiatic Lollipop lilies
3 Oriental Trumpet Touch lilies
4 Oriental Stargazer lilies
2 Oriental Le Reve lilies
2 Trumpet Pink Perfection lilies
2 Asiatic Monte Negro lilies
6 Iris germanica Superstition
1 Iris germanica Olympic Challenge
1 Iris germanica Supreme Sultan
1 Iris germanica Pass the Wine
3 Iris germanica Gay Parasol
3 Iris germanica Snow Cloud
1 Iris germanica Victoria Falls
1 Iris germanica Best Bet
4 Orientalis Woodstock Hyacinth
4 Orientalis Anna Marie Hyacinth
10 Dark Eyes Muscari
1 Imperialis Rubra Maxima Fritillaria
10 Blue Queen Meadow Sage Salvia
—————–
and things I don’t have the cards for (most of the trees in my south yard):
1 Burning Bush
9 different varieties of Tea Rose
1 Purple Smoke Tree
3 varieties of apple tree
2 peach trees
2 nectarine trees
1 plum tree
1 Wine and Roses Weigela (spelling?)
1 male Holly
1 female Holly
2 white “snowball bush”
1 Monk’s Hood
———
I planted a bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember the names of. And, since I do not have any idea about gardening or any such thing, much of what I planted has already died. But, dang, my west side looks beautiful in the spring!

EDIT: Oh, and my front (north) yard contains 9 upright yews that are supposed to max out at 6 feet but have already surpassed 9 feet, a bleeding heart, 2 (expanded to multiple) ground-hugging white-leaved plants with dragon-shaped flowers (and dragon is in the name).

Posted in Real Life | 2 Comments »

 
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