Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Crivitz Flag Fracas

Apparently, there is a little squabble going on in Crivitz WI. Apparently, a man is starting up a restaurant and can not get a liquor license. As is noted in the comments of the story new restaurants can use the extra boost a liquor license gives. I myself will often avoid restaurants that do not serve adult beverages, especially, at dinner time.

Anyway restaurant owner in protest starts to fly his US flag upside down. Well, this action has drawn the ire of his neighbors and from reports have taken some drastic steps to get the flag right side up again.

Now, I consider it bad form to fly the US flag upside down unless one is in dire danger and not being able to obtain a liquor license does not in my book count as dire danger (and this goes for the leftist loons who would do the same during their protests). I agree with the owner that he should get that license.

Still, what is the controversy about dude's flag? Why should neighbors skulk into his yard to try to right it? Leave him alone or help him get that license.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

WI 8 Congressional GOP Candidates

So far the GOP has three declared candidates. Reid Ribble a private businessman, Marc Savard, and Andy Williams (no website known at this time).

I have not yet made up my mind whom I am going to support. Looking over Reid's & Marc's site there is not enough information, but on the whole I like what I see at Marc's site, Marc's notes on the issues are straight up conservative (though I would argue that deporting all illegal aliens is not reasonable securing the border is reasonable). Reid does not put up his view of the issues but I am sure sooner or later we'll hear those.

In any event even if our candidate eventually prevails and goes to DC he will need a lot of other like minded individuals to help craft & pass the legislation.

Monday, July 06, 2009

On Appealing to Authority

Appeal to authority is a means of debate where the opinion or findings of an expert are used to support a position. There are good ways to appeal to authority and bad ways, too many people often resort to bad ways.

One common theme of bad appeal to authority is done with the use of a compendium of quotes such as Bartleby.com and a quote from some famous person is found and then trotted out as if that proves the proposition being debated.

What is interesting is such appeals are usually from one of a few people. Gandhi, Einstein, Jefferson, King, and Franklin. The problem with such appeals is they often address issues outside of the area of expertise of the person being quoted, or, there is some fact of the famous person's life that contradicts the quote and the way it is being used.

For example let us use the imaginary expert on snail parasites by the name of Samuel Fogel. You are tasked with a research paper on the snail parasites of Lake Victoria and in the paper you state:
According to Dr. Samuel Fogel's research, one should not swim in Lake Victoria due to the presence of the snail fluke XYZ. Research and medical observations in the Lake Victoria indicate the fluke will infect humans hosts causing....
Such appeal to authority is in now way abusive.

However try this:
Dr. Samuel Fogel (who was awarded a very prestigious award last year) is on record saying that the policies of not requiring us to wear red hats on Tuesdays are harming our nation's ability to develop its IT industry.
Remember, Dr. Fogel is an expert on snail parasites not national industrial development. Now, my example is silly but the point is Dr. Fogel's opinion on this matter is no more or less credible than any other schmoe on the street. This is not to say Dr. Fogel doesn't have the right to express his opinion this is warning not to automatically grant credence to that opinion.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fourth of July Thoughts

First, Happy Fourth of July to all!

Lance Burri at TrogloPundits notes some pomposity (and I join in). While it is important to understand the underpinnings of our liberty here is what one of those at the founding of our nation had to say about the Fourth of July:
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
Source: Assorted Quotes and Notes in Honor of Our Nation’s Independence Day

Then Jonah Goldberg notes this pomposity:
Joe Ellis states:
Why, then, did July 4 become the preferred date for our annual celebration? Well, although nothing momentous occurred on that day, it was the day when the American public first learned about the Declaration. Copies began to appear in newspapers and go up on tavern walls, although in fact it took several weeks for the news to reach all precincts up and down the coast. The deeper truth is that the declaring of American independence was a drawn-out process without a clear-cut crescendo moment. July 4 was an arbitrary choice, but the new nation needed a birthday, and it made as much historical sense as several other alternatives.
Source: The Daily Beast (Joseph Ellis) — Why the Fourth Is a Fraud
Even by Joe's admission July 4 is "...the day when the American public first leaned about the Declaration." and do not forget, the British Colonialists too. In addition looking at the document, we see: (Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776).

If the founders wrote and signed the document on June 28 or whenever and never released the document it would not have been monumental. If Joe is arguing that we should all take holiday from June 28 through July 21 then I guess I am okay, but if we did just that, then Joe would argue the Declaration is not worth celebrating.

Joe, you are overthinking it and while you may impress others most people will never ever hear of you. They'll be around their grills with their family and friends, taking in parades, watching fireworks, having cold ones. Relax & chill would you?