Hi Lo

Winds of Change has an interesting article on public policy functions that don’t behave in the expected way. They don’t return a “true” or “false” but return an item from a list, like the old oriental game of scissor, paper, stone.  The rule is hard to explain, but if you read the Winds of Change example, it is simple to understand.


The Atlantic can run a hyperventilating piece on how the Koch Brothers are funding groups, implying it’s a Bad Thing – because the Koch Brothers have views that The Atlantic wants its readers to oppose. But inquire into the sorts of things Imam Rauf has supported, and it’s off-limits, despicable even.

Or let’s try another one.Bill Press says Glenn Beck is despicable because you can’t talk about God on sacred ground.

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Now as HotAir points out, Martin Luther King talked about God on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, so what gives? In 1963, MLK said:

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Winds of Change believes that the problem is that the bar is set at inconsistent height. What’s the right height to set the bar? Why is it almost impossible to conclude that the Fort Hood shooter acted from an ideological motivation and why is it so easy to believe that the prevalence of guns, of all things, in the Army, is the root cause of the Fort Hood shooting?


Enforced ignorance is the order of the day from our governing class/Progressives, even while they decry the ignorance of a majority of the American people. They will not allow proper conclusions to be drawn from, for example, the Fort Hood Shooting. Instead the official report, released this week, speaks of generic “workplace violence,” and without a hint of irony the need to hire “additional health care providers, particularly in the mental health field.” The “solutions” being imposed should be ones to make Armed Liberal(s) cringe: Fort Riley has prohibited soldiers who have firearm-carrying permits from carrying firearms for protection off-base and authorized unit commanders to set arbitrary limits on the caliber of firearms and ammunition their troops may privately own. The DoD is working on a regulation that would extend much of this Army-wide: all in response to Maj. Hasan bringing firearms onto the base in violation of base regulations, in a situation where if any of the other soldiers there had been armed, many lives might have been saved.

But the problem isn’t the height of the bar. There is no function that will tell you, for any given height of bar, whether it is appropriate or inappropriate. The key to understanding this conundrum is that modern public policy logic doesn’t return a Boolean. It returns an item in a list. In considering whether it is appropriate to talk about God on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, or inquiring into the connections of the Koch Brothers or Imam Rauf nothing is ‘true’ or ‘false’. It all depends on the elements of the list.


Glenn Beck or Martin Luther King returns Martin Luther King.

Imam Rauf or Koch Brothers returns Imam Rauf.

Some things are never OK if you’re Glenn Beck. Some things are always OK if you’re the Imam Rauf. It’s just like certain programming languages, which have rules like: x or y if x is false, then y, else x. In this case ‘conservative’=false. Also, anyone who the Left doesn’t like =’conservative’. From this all else follows. This is especially important when it comes to identifying evil or potentially evil people. Just recently two men traveling from Chicago to Amsterdam were arrested because they had suspicious items in their luggage.

A search of one of the men by airport security screeners in Birmingham, Ala., as he waited to board a flight to Chicago earlier on Sunday found that he was carrying $7,000 in cash and that his luggage contained a cellphone taped to a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, three cellphones taped together and several watches taped together, a senior law enforcement official said.

Because no evidence of explosives was found, the man, 48, was permitted to fly to O’Hare Airport in Chicago. He was joined there by the second man, a 37-year-old, and they both boarded United Airlines Flight 908 to Amsterdam.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that “American law enforcement officials cautioned on Monday night that the men had not been charged with any crime and that the episode might be a misunderstanding. ‘There’s nothing at all confirmed at this point that’s associated with terrorism,’ one official said.”But don’t take that as a cue to start taping watches and cell phones together in your suitcase, because you will probably wind up in a world of trouble. To say, as the NYT says about the two suspects that the practice of taping stuff up is “our culture” will probably get you into bigger trouble. And in case you didn’t get the point, the NYT describes a case in which Pakistani officers as a suggestion of American paranoia.


A delegation of Pakistani military officers, traveling to the United States Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla., was removed from a flight at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, a Pakistani official said Monday night.

The nine passengers were removed before takeoff from United Airlines Flight 727 after one of them made what a flight attendant considered to be an “inappropriate remark,” a spokesman for the airline said. (An American military official confirmed the accounts.)

Members of the delegation, led by a two-star general, were offended by their treatment and canceled the Central Command meeting, the official said. He said Defense Department officials had apologized for the incident.

So don’t imagine you’ll get a Boolean back on the question of whether it is OK to talk about God on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, or tape watches and cellphones together or make remarks at a flight attendant. The answer is neither True or False, Right or Wrong, Legal or Illegal. No. It return an item from a list. It all depends on who you are. The Winds of Change article shouldn’t have written about “setting the bar high, setting the bar low”. The bar is never set on a consistent basis. The whole purpose of the gate is to let only certain persons through. It returns an item from a list. That’s the definition of an aristocracy, though I say it as shouldn’t.


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