Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Odds and ends 7/29/2014

I have some thoughts on The Fellowship of the Ring up at the Red Pill Report. I appreciate it more now than I did 13 years ago when it was released.

The recent Hobbit series lacks the civilizational peril and moral gravitas of The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is a children’s story. The Lord of the Rings is for grown-ups.

Juli Camarin studies Romans 7:8:

Sin existed before the Law was given and sin dominated the lives of every human being dating back to the fall of Adam. With Adams transgression, all authority that had been given to him by God was transferred over to Satan legally. Since that time Satan and the sin nature ruled mankind. Sin had dominion over everyone born into the world and we were subjected to Satan’s kingdom because of it. When the Law was given it merely strengthen the hold of sin upon our lives because pointed out the obvious, that we were sinners. It gave humankind the means of comparison between God’s standards and our shortcomings.

Because we were able to compare ourselves against God’s holy standard for the first time, the Law brought about the consciousness of sin. We fell short, then we experienced guilt, shame and remorse on new levels. Sin was allowed to express itself in the commandments and accuse us before God. The Law strengthened sin against us and awakened the desire within us to sin. Sin had always existed but the craving of our sin nature came through awareness of the Law. That is why Paul said that ‘apart from the law, sin is dead’ (Romans 7:8). Meaning that the knowledge between right and wrong is what gives sin power. It wasn’t dead in that it didn’t exist before the law was given, but dead in the sense that it was an inactive and lifeless thing. We still sinned in ignorance because of our sin nature, but knowledge brought about awareness and awareness brought about our willingness to participate.

This is why it is so important to understand several things concerning the Law, our sin nature and what was accomplished through Christ Jesus. First of all, the Law strengthened sin against in order that we would realize our inability to keep the law. (James 2:10, Romans 3:19-20, Galatians 3:10-11, Galatians 3:21-22) When we realize this, then we hopefully will realize our need for a Savior. (Romans 3:21, Galatians 3:13) When we understand that Jesus is able to save us from the curse of the law then hopefully we will also understand that he saved us from the sin nature as well. (Romans 6:6-7, Galatians 3: 13) Lastly he provided for us the righteousness that the Law describes as our new nature so that we would no longer struggle under the burden of sin or the law. (Romans 3:22, Romans 6:18, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:24) Understanding all of this will allow you to be free in Christ Jesus. (John 8:36, II Corinthians 3:17)

I love Romans.

Vox writes about how not to turn a woman on and how to turn her on:

There are three things that speak to a woman’s femininity.

  1. Be attractive
  2. Don’t be unattractive
  3. Competition aka (1) and (2) seen through the mechanism of other women

Choreplay doesn’t work. Romance doesn’t work. Vacations don’t work. Talk doesn’t work. Men have tried those things many, many, many times. Here is why it will never work to do what a woman says you need to do in order to make her want to have sex: the moment you do what she tells you is necessary, that “creates pressure” on her to fulfill her end of the implicit bargain. And women under pressure to have sex don’t want to have sex, because women don’t want to have sex under pressure, ergo doing what she tells you necessarily ENSURES that she will not want to have sex.

Did you follow that? It’s a Catch-22, or in this case, a Sex-22.

  1. She says she’ll want to have sex if you take her to Mazatlan.
  2. You take her to Mazatlan.
  3. She is now under pressure to want to have sex.
  4. Feeling under pressure prevents her from wanting to have sex.
  5. Rinse and repeat.

So, don’t bother taking her to Mazatlan. Don’t waste your time on whatever women advise no matter how many women blithely recite the usual mantras. Go back to the basics. Go to the gym, improve your style, focus on your career and making more money, and either a) she’ll be more attracted to you or b) someone else will.

Quid pro quo is no substitute for love.

Smart women don’t get the guy, Lauren Martin complains at Elite Daily:

Why don’t men want women with whom they can converse and who challenge them? When did the aversion to strong and intelligent women become a code orange? When did everyone just want to go to the Bahamas and lie around?

In an article by “The Wire,” financial reporter, John Carney, gives one explanation for this phenomenon, deducing, “successful men date less successful women not because they want ‘women to be dumb’ but rather because they want ‘someone who prioritizes their life in a way that’s compatible with how you prioritize yours.’”

Basically, they want someone who isn’t ever going to let her career come before making dinner and pleasing them first.

They want a woman who is dumb enough to make them a priority and, unfortunately, for all those sane, rational and intelligent women out there, there’s a hefty number of these women out there.

There are plenty of women who will give up their lives for men, who will refuse to challenge them, fight them and refuse to see them as their equals, but their saviors.

Brilliant deduction, Watson. Relationships aren’t about equality, they’re about complementarity, partnership. Equality is a utopian myth.

Thor Benson is indignant at the prospect of violence to defend the border.

The citizen militias are seeking out armed volunteers to line up at the United State-Mexico border with them for “Operation Secure Our Border.” The operation will supposedly consist of the armed volunteers giving spotted immigrants water and food while they wait for ICE and Border Patrol to pick them up. A video surfaced by McAllen Monitor, however, shows the commander of the movement, Chris Davis, saying things like, “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’”

But this is the modus operandi of routine traffic stops and airport screenings. Comply or be shot. The balance of power is so skewed towards the authorities that you wouldn’t think about crossing them. It ensures law and order.

As for finding authorities who don’t abuse their power, that’s another matter.

Daniel Horowitz offers sage advice to Republicans re: the president’s request for $3.7 billion to deport illegal immigrants:

In June 2011, the Obama administration sent a memo (“Morton Memos”) to DHS law enforcement ostensibly suspending deportations against those illegals who would qualify for the Dream Act – a law the never passed Congress. This policy, which was eventually formalized into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was fully institutionalized on June 15, 2012.

It’s bad enough for a president to violate even minor laws and serve as his own ad hoc law-making body. But it is downright dangerous for a president to shred our immigration laws, which are so fundamental to preserving our sovereignty and protecting our national security. Obama was clearly in violation of federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1225) which requires ICE to place aliens who are not “clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted” to the United States into removal proceedings. In its place, he unilaterally created his own law, yet most Republicans huffed and puffed but did not fight back with the power of the purse.

Fast-forward two years and we are now witnessing the failure of such lawlessness in spectacular fashion. Hundreds of thousands of people from Central America are chomping at the bit to take advantage of the new open borders policy while the going is good. Now Obama is forced to ask Congress for more money to “clean up” his mess. It goes without saying that the first demand of all Republicans should be the suspension of DACA and the repeal of Obama other lawless acts – the very impetus for this request for funding.

In the Toronto Sun, Tarek Fatah looks at a double standard in the Middle East:

As I write, Muslims around the world have taken to the streets and social media to protest Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, that has resulted in the deaths of nearly 200 Palestinians.

Undoubtedly the death of 200 Arabs, many of them civilian women and children, is tragic and worthy of condemnation.

However, just next door to Israel almost 200,000 Arabs have been killed by fellow Arabs in Syria, but that tragedy has triggered no public demonstrations of anger in Islamic capitals, let alone in Toronto.

It’s simple. An Arab killed by an Israeli is worth his weight in gold on the world political stage. An Arab killed by an Arab is a statistic.

You see this dehumanizing double standard at work when a “white” like George Zimmerman kills a black. The majority of blacks are killed by blacks.

Mark Steyn is always interesting:

When I was a kid and watched sci-fi movies set in a futuristic dystopia where individuals are mere chattels of an unseen all-powerful government and enduring human relationships are banned and the progeny of transient sexual encounters are the property of the state, I always found the caper less interesting than the unseen backstory: How did they get there from here? From free western societies to a bunch of glassy-eyed drones wandering around in identikit variety-show catsuits in a land where technology has advanced but liberty has retreated: how’d that happen?


The state’s presumption that your children are yours only if you raise them in accordance with state diktats. Not so long ago we understood that kids are different, and certainly mature differently—the eight-year-old at Number 22’s sensible enough to go to the store and buy penny candy on his own, but the 12-year-old at Number 24’s a bit of a goofball and his folks have to keep more of an eye on him. But today the notion that Mrs Smith might know her child better than Constable Bozo is offensive to the hyper-regulatory mindset—and not seriously questioned by anybody else. Children are the property of the state and are merely outsourced to you for rearing. And, if you don’t do it right, they’ll re-allocate the rearing to somebody else.


As usual with today’s depressingly compliant “citizenry”, objections to the Bristol PD’s actions are tentative and sotto voce. Nobody’s calling for the police chief to either tear up this charge, rewrite his rule book, or get run out of office. So it seems likely that incremental state usurpation of parental judgment will continue—and that does indeed put us on the path to those glassy-eyed dehumanized sci-fi dystopias we came in with. That’s how you get there from here.

Patrick Deneen asks and answers:

What happened to limited government, you might ask? I answer: exactly what liberalism promised. For, liberalism was never about “limited” government, but the pursuit and exercise of potentially limitless power toward seemingly “limited” ends of securing Rights.


We should understand the fullest sense in which we live under a “limited government”: liberal government is “limited” inasmuch as it cannot assert or act on behalf of some preferred way of life that it deems to be better for its citizenry. It must take an official stance in which it is “neutral” or indifferent to varying ways of life. (Of course, liberalism does end up supporting a substantive worldview, but that’s a discussion for another time.) However, a government premised upon the “securing of rights” will require increasing exercise of power to “secure” a growing demand for the “rights” needed to ever-more fully pursue the variety of ways of life to which the citizenry is entitled.

Displaying big-league acumen and verbal virtuosity, Michael Hanby channels Berdyaev in a blockbuster essay on the inhuman, unnatural logic of assisted reproductive technologies. He works backwards from same-sex marriage:

We must first understand that the sexual revolution is, at bottom, the technological revolution and its perpetual war against natural limits applied externally to the body and internally to our self-understanding. Just as feminism has as its practical outworking, if not its theoretical core, the technological conquest of the female body—”biology is not destiny,” so the saying goes—so too same-sex marriage has as its condition of possibility the technological mastery of procreation, without which it would have remained permanently unimaginable.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have not always perceived this clearly. They maintain that partisans of ‘marriage equality’ redefine marriage as an affective union which makes the birth and rearing of children incidental to its meaning, a result of the de-coupling of sex and procreation in the aftermath of The Pill. But this is only half true. Since married couples normally can and typically do have children, same-sex unions must retain in principle some form of the intrinsic connection between marriage, procreation and childrearing if they are really to be counted as marriage and to be truly ‘equal’ in the eyes of society and the law. This can only be done by technological means. And so the argument for marriage as an affective union has been buttressed time and again in the courts by the claim that assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), surrogacy, and the like eliminate any relevant difference between a married man and woman and a same-sex couple, from which it is but a short step to the conclusion that the state has an obligation to secure same-sex couples’ rights and access to these technologies as a condition of their genuine equality.


Most proponents of same-sex marriage would probably deny that they hold a philosophy of human nature other than the freedom to love whom one will and equality before the law. We can concede that people support ‘marriage equality’ for what seem to be compassionate and humane reasons. But we’re talking about the objective logic of a position, its presuppositions and its practical implications, not the subjective content of one’s mind or the sincerity of one’s motivations and beliefs. And to declare that there is no difference between conceiving a child through procreation in a marriage and through the technology necessitated by same-sex unions is to say something definitive about what a child and the human being are, even if this goes unrecognized. Indeed it is all the more definitive the more it goes unrecognized.

Underlying the technological conquest of human biology, whether in its gay or feminist form, is a dualism which bi-furcates the person into a meaningless mechanical body made of malleable ‘stuff’ and the affective or technological will that presides over it. The person as an integrated whole falls through the chasm. This is the foundation of the now orthodox distinction between ‘sex’ which is ‘merely biological’ and ‘gender’ which is socially constructed, as well as the increasingly pervasive (and relentlessly promoted) idea that freedom means our self-creation of both. Technological dominance over procreation imposes this bi-furcated anthropology upon parents and children alike, and codifying it implicitly makes this anthropology the law of the land.


The technological dominance of procreation asserts, contrary to the child’s true nature and to his parents’ unquestionable love for him, that a child is essentially a product of human making, an assemblage of parts outside of parts that are the parts of no real whole, whose meaning and purpose, as with all artifacts, reside not in itself but in the designs of its maker.

The deep anthropological assumptions inherent in the push for same-sex marriage, in other words, are those of synthetic biology and the new eugenics, which promise to ‘seize control of our own evolution’ through bioengineering. Celebrity biologists such as Gregory Stock, Lee Silver, and J. Craig Venter, tireless evangelists (and sometimes powerful financiers) of this post-human future, have gleefully celebrated this possibility as the ‘inadvertent spin-off’ of the expertise acquired through ARTs and the increasing frequency of their use. Inadvertent as a matter of intention, perhaps—nobody really means to usher in the brave new world—but not as a matter of logic, for it is fated by the reduction of nature to artifice. This fate is almost certainly our future in any event—it has been a long time coming—and same-sex ‘marriage’ is more its symptom than its cause.


What seems at first glance to be the latest step in the forward march of freedom turns out, on closer inspection, to be a decisive moment in the triumph of technology over the human being, though these aren’t really the opposites that they appear to be. When freedom is understood as limitless possibility and is elevated to the highest good, it is inevitable that anything that would define us prior to our choosing—even our own bodies—will eventually be regarded as an obstacle to be overcome.

The gay mafia wants Tony Dungy’s head. Matt Walsh has the story.

My thoughts from May can be copied and pasted. Rinse, repeat. Welcome to the new normal. What more is there to say?

Praetorius responds to socialist Senator Elizabeth Warren’s assertion that “conservatives are guided by an internal motto: ‘I got mine; the rest of you are on your own’”:

Regardless of whether “we got ours,” the second phrase: “you are on your own,” in a healthy country would be sweet music to the ears of all the people.

Let’s review what used to be a typical country. Through most of history, the vast majority of countries have been some kind of monarchy, that had exactly two social strata: the leisured nobility and the struggling, gasping, toiling and dying masses.

What overcame that antiquated, millennia-old, oppressive system? One thing and one thing only: Capitalism. Capitalism is a very recent innovation. Sadly, though, we’ve never had anything resembling the “unfettered capitalism” the left whines so piteously about.

Capitalism has as its central tenet: the idea that a properly-constituted government should cede to the people free reign to invent, innovate, start businesses of their own and, most importantly, the government should leave the people largely alone — “on their own,” if you will — to keep most of the fruits of their own labor and of their own ingenuity.

Capitalism brought about a true revolution in people’s lives: social strata. And that implied something that had never existed in the history of mankind: economic mobility... and inequality. Absent capitalism, you had, and have, the antiquated, backward, oppressive societies described above. And you have one other thing the left loves so much: income equality. Incomes are all equally low, and there’s no economic mobility, so there’s always equality. This is the hallmark of the left: their equality leaves everyone equally impoverished, locked into their poverty, equally miserable, and, well... equal.

I should note that capitalism does have a downside. It’s: risk. You can lose it all in capitalism. Of course, you can also then regain it all, if you do the right things. However, the downside for non-capitalistic societies is pretty serious too: you cannot prosper. Capitalism’s worst case is non-capitalism’s norm.

Warren is recycling the timeless smear that Republicans are heartless objectivists, which got a lot of play at the 2012 DNC convention. To Marxists, all conservatives are Ayn Rand.

As far as government by coercion goes, they should be. Render to caesar what belongs to caesar. Render to the individual what belongs to the individual.

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