31 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #474: Moreover, "Zir" Means "Butthead" in the Urdu Language

If you can’t tolerate crackpot ideas from leftists in academia, take the pills that your physician prescribed for that purpose, and then read this.  It would be easy to say that using, e.g., “xe” and “zyr” in place of “she” and “his” is the most ridiculous thing of which I’ve ever heard, but it may be only tied for first place, because there is a widely accepted practice—if I recall correctly, it’s been used even by the author of the article to which you are linked above—that really is no less inane: employing “Ms.” (which is just as artificial as the contrivances proffered by Tennessee-Knoxville, and ungrammatical to boot, since it is not a real abbreviation) as a title for a woman who either is not married or who is married but simply declines to use her husband’s family name.  See UC #66: ABig Ms.take.  (It ought to be noted also that the three words at the top of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s list of recommended pronouns, “they”, “them”, and “their”, already are commonly misused as singular as well as plural forms for the sake of “gender neutrality”.)  Will “xem” and “zirs” also someday be regarded as proper?

24 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #473: Let the Trump Resound?

If you owned a company, and you were to give a job in your company to someone who had no business experience, would you hire him to be the CEO? The average person would agree that it makes much more sense to give this inexperienced applicant an entry-level position, and allow him to rise only so high as his ability takes him. In fact, the average person likely feels that this principle of starting-at-the-bottom-and-working-one’s-way-to-the-top applies to pretty much any other field of endeavor, except politics; people seem to feel that the most important job in the entire country, that of president of the USA, is a suitable one for an amateur!
It could be that an extraordinarily gifted person need not be a professional politician to make a good US president (although it must be said that the record of our chief executives who had not previously held public office, i.e., those whose only prior leadership experience was as generals, does not inspire confidence); regardless, we ought not to spurn a worthy candidate just because he is an office-holder. If someone who is honest and competent learns early that he has a talent for public service, why should he not devote his life to it?
The (re)current popular revulsion against “career politicians”, therefore, which is thought to be a chief reason for the rise of political outsiders like Donald Trump, Dr. Carson, and Carly Fiorina, is wrongheaded, though understandable in view of US history. (Anyway, if we're so cynical about our political system that we think that only someone from outside it can set things right, we ought to admit that the "American experiment" has failed, and revert to colonial status.)
It could even have the opposite of the intended effect: it is ominously akin to the desire for “change” that in 2008 helped to turn Obama, the presidential-candidate from Hell, into the President-elect from Hell.

17 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #472

Here's a better idea than reopening our embassy in Havana: let's return to the practice, which was discontinued after World War II, of appointing ambassadors only to countries that play a significant rĂ´le in world affairs. We would save money by closing most of our embassies; more importantly, many persons who have been rewarded with undeserved ambassadorships for their work raising money for Obama’s presidential campaigns (thus becoming bundlers for a bungler) would be put out of work. This change would not amount to a sundering of diplomatic relations, since we would continue to maintain consulates for the sake of whatever citizens of ours might find themselves in the country that is host to the consulate.
Similarly: Many states have severed diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and established them instead with the People's Republic of China (the mainland). It ought to be noted, though, that there are two types of recognition of a country's government: official, and de-facto (viz., recognition in fact though not in name). The former is awarded to whom one considers to be the legitimate leaders of a polity, whereas the latter is conferred upon regimes that one considers to be illegitimate but too important to ignore. Why not, therefore, maintain diplomatic relations with both the RoC and the PRC, recognizing only the rulers of the former as the rightful ones of China? Better, why not make the bestowal of de-facto recognition either the universal practice or at least the rule rather than the exception?

14 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #471: The Case Ought to Be Called “Vice v. Virtue” (Alternate Title: Better Red than (Spiritually) Dead)

It’s very possible that federal malfeasance like the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, which imposed legal but unnatural same-sex marriage upon the entire land, will lead to at least a partial disintegration of the USA during my life in this world, as “Red States” leave the union rather than continue to endure misgovernance from the District of Columbia; to be quite honest, I hope that they do, and that, when they do, I’m living in one of them (or in some other country where people still have some grasp of the distinction between good and evil).  See UC #423: Between Barack and a Hard Place for why such a disintegration need not have catastrophic effects for world security.
It’s also possible that one or more State governments might simply refuse to acknowledge this ungodly ruling (and other insufferable DiCtates from DC).  Could the federal government feasibly enforce it?  It could withhold funds that would otherwise go to such a State, but the States that have the most reason to reject the Obergefell-versus-Hodges decision are also those that are most likely to have budget surpluses and thus to have no need for handouts from Washington anyway.  Perhaps Emperor Nerobama’s administration would send FBI agents to arrest recusant governors and State legislators; each State, though, has its own section of the National Guard as well as police, and so things could get quite interesting!

03 August 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #72

Anti-religious fanatics and other unbelievers often make the accusation that the Church is full of “hypocrites”; sadly, even Christians often misuse the word in such a way so as to seem to confirm this opinion, and so a correction needs to be made.  A true hypocrite is someone who pretends to be better than others for the feeling of superiority that it gives him to do so.  Earnestly but unsuccessfully endeavoring to live up to one’s ideals is not hypocrisy; it is merely being a fallible member of the fallen human race.

02 August 2015

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

In this best-of-u.c., I refer you to two former postings (UC’s #450 and 452); moreover, I connect you to this pertinent news article. (And so, the present posting could alternately be titled “Vital Link #_”.)  Yet, I charge you no more money than I would for the reading of a u.c. that links to just one former posting and to no articles at all!