Category Archives: Philosophy

Birthright Citizenship

I’m hearing that The Donald is proposing putting an end to it. That’s too bad, because I think it’s a good idea that will now be tainted by the source. Here’s what I wrote about it almost exactly five years ago:

if it were my choice, I’d much rather grant citizenship to someone who was willing to brave a desert and river crossing to get to this nation, learn the language and the civics, and work for a living, than someone born here who takes the nation for granted and refused to accept those responsibilities. Who is more deserving of the vote — the immigrant who has worked for it, or the native who spurns its requirements and demands public largesse? Or worse yet, a native who gangs with others to prey on his own neighbors? Why should someone, regardless of their behavior and level of social responsibility, be a citizen of this great nation through the sheer luck of having been born here, when many other true Americans who weren’t born here but “got here as fast as they can” are not?

Note that this isn’t about civil rights, at least not the traditional negative rights as stated in the Bill of Rights. Both citizens and civilians would have rights to free speech, rights to fair trials, even rights to bear arms if they’re not felonious, but voting is not and should not be a right — it should be a privilege, because, as noted above, it’s one that many will otherwise abuse to the detriment of their fellow residents, should they not be responsible and willing to pull their own weight, choosing instead to rob them at the ballot box.

Immigrants in fact tend to be harder working and more grateful to be here, though the Latin-American influx may be different because they aren’t necessarily coming to stay.

[Update a while later]

This isn’t exactly the same, but it would have much the same effect: Tom Tancredo is once again proposing that voters pass the same test that one must to become a citizen.

Works for me. And I have become long-inured to falsely being called a racist.

“Useless” Liberal Arts Degrees

Aren’t necessarily useless in tech:

“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

I’ve never opposed liberal arts per se. As Glenn says, it can be a very valuable education if taught with rigor (but that also traditionally included math, and logic). But it’s mostly not, these days. And certainly not at all in the “studies” departments.

Science

Is it ever “settled”?

As things stand today, Darwin’s notion of evolution, especially when we extend it with the things we’ve learned in the intervening 160 or so years, has stood up very well to attempts to falsify it.

That’s what science as a process really is: that process of observing, proposing explanations, and then trying to knock those explanations down. Eventually, you have only a few explanations left standing: our best explanations for what we observe in the real world. It’s that collection of best explanations that we call “science.”

What isn’t science is (e.g.) climate models, particularly when they can’t even hindcast.

“Settled science” is a newspeak phrase that the Left has come up with to impose their policy preferences on us.

[Update a few minutes later]

Why biology students have misconceptions about science.

I think there’s more of a crisis in science education (as with all education) than most people realize.

How Republics Die

My thoughts on the most recent judicial atrocities, over at PJMedia.

[Update later afternoon]

Some thoughts from Randy Barnett on “judicial restraint” and Republican judicial appointments.

I know it sounds crazy, but I want judges to follow the Constitution, not the tyrannical majority. I also want them to overturn crap decisions. Stare decisis my ass.

[Update a little while later]

Should we make Justices accountable to the voters?

It seems like a bad idea to me. I agree with Cruz’s diagnosis of the problem, but not his remedy. I think that one of the reasons that impeachment is so toothless is the original wording: “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Founders had a very clear view of what that meant, but most people today do not, as we discovered during the Clinton impeachment trial. The only successful impeachments and removals I can think of occurred in the context of gross and blatant corruption (Alcee Hastings, who was later re-elected), or actual criminality. The other part of the problem is that, while they were adamantly opposed to political parties and made no Constitutional provision for them whatsoever, they perhaps didn’t anticipate how difficult they would make impeachment (even though court appointments are in theory non-partisan).

I think a better solution might be to amend the Constitution to simply modernize the grounds for impeachment. For instance, “…or, in violation of their oath of office, persistent indifference to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Who could argue with that? It would be quite entertaining to watch Democrats attempt to argue that office holders shouldn’t have to uphold their oath of office. And if it passed, it would force impeachment trials to actual discuss those arcane concepts.

[Update a few minutes later]

This is sort of similar to proposals to rein in the government by adding the words “and this time we really mean it” to the 9th and 10th amendments against encroachments by the flawed interpretations of the Commerce Clause. It would be a “this time we really mean it” to simply following the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Era Of Big Progressivism

is over.

As I’ve often noted, these people are neither liberal, or progressive. They don’t believe in freedom of expression, they don’t believe in freedom of contract, they don’t believe in freedom of conscience, they don’t believe in liberty, period. They are racist fascist leftists, as they’ve always been, and I will continue to fight to take back the language.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s a great example: “Shut up,” he explained.