Sunday, August 31, 2014

Odds and ends 8/31/2014

ESPN gets blowback from reporting on Michael Sam’s shower schedule. I’m going to defend the Worldwide Leader In Sports™ on this one. What did everyone think the gushing interviews and exposés were about? Sam made his sexual attraction to men public. The moment was hailed as another barrier being broken down to soothe liberal guilt for being relatively heterosexual and prudish. Naturally the people want to know how the obvious dilemma of walking around naked with people you are sexually attracted to will resolve itself. The coverage is fair because Sam invited it.

Matt Walsh runs through the homofascists:

No business in the world operates on a principle that, if one customer is accommodated, all customers must be accommodated no matter what. Let me ask you: if you invite 100 people into your home for a party, does that mean you lose the right to refuse entry to the 101st person? Do you lose the legal ability to decide who enters, and for how long, and for what purpose? If you throw a party on Tuesday does that mean that you are now legally obligated to throw a party every other day, whenever I show up and demand one? If you decide to throw a toga party can I arrive and insist that we change it to a cowboys and Indians theme? If you are having a Tupperware party can I knock on your door and complain that my freedoms are under attack because I have no interest in Tupperware?

But that’s different, you say, because you are not a business. Sure, and this is what sane people used to call a “distinction without a difference.” If I live in a place and also sometimes use it to engage in commerce and enter into contracts, why, exactly, should that mean that I lose my God given, constitutional, rights and authorities over my own property?

And why, and how, do you have a right to enter my property and participate in activities on my property, just because I allowed a small selection of other human beings to do the same? How could these lesbians have a right to a wedding ceremony at that particular farm in Albany?

Here’s a better way to put it: if I open a lemonade stand, at what point in the process does the rest of society suddenly develop a right to the lemonade I’m producing? Did they have a right to the lemonade before I even made it? Was I destined in the stars to make lemonade in order to distribute it to my neighbors who, unbeknownst to me, have been entitled to my lemonade long before I ever conceived of selling it? If everyone has a right to my lemonade — meaning that I can’t refuse lemonade to anyone — does that mean that even the price I attach to it is also, in some respects, an infringement on your rights? After all, the price is a barrier to entry. So is the rather specific and finite location of my operation. If I have one lemonade stand am I now obligated to have a dozen lemonade stands, and does the lemonade have to be free? Can I shut down my lemonade stand? If you all have a right to it, wouldn’t I be infringing on that right when I close up shop for the evening? If I never opened this lemonade stand, you would probably go about your day without the lemonade, or else you’d procure your lemonade through some other means. Why can’t you do that even with my lemonade stand open, should I decide to decline to enter into a cash-for-lemonade contract with you?


Our understanding of “rights” has devolved into madness over time. We used to believe that you had a right to that which is fundamental to your human nature and that which is required to retain your human dignity. Therefore, you had a right to express your ideas, to practice your faith, to defend yourself and your home, to sovereignty over your home and your family, to freedom from government persecution, to justice, to a fair hearing in court, to the presumption of innocence, to self-determination, to due process, to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, to the pursuit of fulfillment and prosperity. These were our human rights. They were never perfectly realized in this country.

Now we have written over these deep and profound laws, and replaced them with a haphazard, contradictory, juvenile, idiotic, unfair, unjust, inconsistent assemblage of entitlements and privileges, all of which require the government to stomp on our actual rights for the sake of providing some entitlement to some member of some politically protected class.

Regress is what progressives do best.

Steven Goddard keeps at it.

The master John C. Wright:

Freud revised the view of man as being a helpless puppet of his hidden and irrational impulses rather than a being created with the divine faculty of reason; Marx revised the view of man as being a helpless puppet of historical economic forces rather than being the steward of the earth given by heaven into Man’s dominion; and nearly everyone misinterpreted Einstein to mean that if measurements of time and space were relative, moral truth was relative; and everyone misinterpreted Darwin to be saying the same thing Hegel said in an earlier generation, that all truths change and evolve with time, and that reason is therefore a product only of its time, and no truths are eternal. When men speak of a war between Faith and Science they can do so only by labeling these various irrational paradoxes to be “science” and by label the clear and rational thing discussed by Aquinas and Aristotle to be “faith.”


Capitalism rewards and encourages greed and materialism, and a countless hoard of advertising agents calculate how to make men stupider and greedier to buy products we do not necessarily want or need. So, yes, indeed, the WORSHIP of Capitalism, Ayn Rand’s religion, is definitely, utterly and absolutely antithetical to Catholicism, or any sane religion.


Anyone who assumes God making Himself even more obvious would increase the number of souls saved and brought to love quite simply underestimates the greatness and glory of man, including how much we are like angels. We are also like fallen angels, and we cannot be brought God against our will. He has made us too much like Him, and so, like Him, we cannot be forced, not intimidated, not impressed.


Leftism is defined as a rebellion against reality and reason on the grounds that reality is unfair. Feminism is rebellion against sexual reality and reason.

Man is not perfectible outside God. As Proverbs 21:30 says: “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.”

A trifecta of validation:

  1. I watched Invictus with my girlfriend. A conversation between Nelson Mandela and his top adviser reminded me of how. Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, insisted the newly integrated South African Sports Committee were wrong to disband the Sprinkboks, and it was his job as their leader to show them they were wrong. It was one of my favorite scenes in an overall pleasant, low-key movie directed by the master, Clint Eastwood, one of the most thoughtful filmmakers alive today.

  2. Rod Dreher observes:
    The thought that electing the right Republican president is going to make a bit of difference in the moral state of the nation is by now almost touching in its utter naivete. Let me be clear: it’s not that Evangelicals are wrong to say the nation’s moral fabric is declining; from a socially and religiously conservative point of view, of course it is. Their error is in thinking that politics can have much of an effect on the core problem.
  3. A team is only as good as its leader.

So, the things that I want to do
I find myself not doing
But the things that I don’t want to do
I fall into

Those are some winning lyrics from Theocracy’s “Laying the Demon to Rest.” I didn’t realize until recently these lines paraphrase Romans 7:15-19:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

More on Romans here.

Some Scandinavian power metal for your listening pleasure:

It’s an executive orders trifecta!

  1. I said the two qualifications for a progressive are liberalism and post-democracy. Rebecca Leber at The New Republic qualifies:
    The New York Times reports today that President Barack Obama is pursuing an international climate agreement ahead of next year's United Nations climate-change summit in Paris. Why pursue an accord, rather than a treaty? Because the latter would require Obama to get two-thirds approval in the Senate, and that's never going to happen.
  2. The president will also bypass democracy to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. Amnesty slut Rep. Luis Gutierrez is “looking forward to [the] challenge.” Breitbart reports:
    “The structures were not in place to help those people,” he continued. “So I’ve been going around meeting with major news organizations, newspaper editorial boards, columnists and others here in Chicago for the last three weeks telling them we have get prepared as a city. And prepare a model for the nation because when 5 million people are allowed the opportunity to come out from under the shadows and into the light of day and get legalized, it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of capacity of our community but I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”
  3. Finally, rank and file transphilia! The Washington Examiner reports:

    Having already lifted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays in the military, the Pentagon “likely will” allow transgendered Americans to serve openly in the military where 15,500 now secretly serve, according to a new report issued by top former generals.

    Three of the top brass, endorsing the deployment of transgendered troops, also said their effort has the support of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Obama.

    In a statement accompanying the 29-page report issued Tuesday, they said, “Our conclusion is that allowing transgender personnel to serve openly is administratively feasible and will not be burdensome or complicated. Three months have passed since Defense Secretary Hagel announced a willingness to review the military's ban on transgender service, an effort the White House indicated it supports.”


    The report said allowing transgenders to serve “reflects the core military values and principles that all military personnel should serve with honor and integrity, which means that they should not have to lie about who they are.”

    Can who they are be objectively determined to verify that claim? Who knows anymore!

Howie Carr assesses Bay State Democrats’ election strategy:

The Democrats are very open about their strategy. They’re not just looking for women, they prefer unmarried women. You see, if you have a husband, you are very likely concerned about things like jobs. Employment is not exactly a pressing concern to the EBT classes these candidates are aiming for.


It’s a microcosm of the Democrats’ national strategy. “Moderates” like Romney get on their knees for independents, and they lose single women by nearly a 2-1 margin. In a land of delayed marriage and non-marriage, that’s a big problem.

Being black means having dark skin. It’s just melanin. I’m willing to allow that might be naïve, even idealist. The reality is black identity is more about thug life than skin pigment.

Taleeb Starkes agrees, and he wishes it was different:

There’s no diversity in the black community. It’s pretty much it’s just in our DNA to be one way, and if you’re not that way, you’re not (quote, unquote) “black.” And I would start there, because a lot of these kids are so urbanized, if you bring anything new or different outside of sports, hip hop, those two things mainly, you may be frowned upon, and that’s what I would change. What I’d like to do is get the kids out, let them see other things. Outside of the city. Again, they’re so urbanized, it’s foreign.

Attorney General Eric Holder flew to Ferguson, Missouri, and said he was there as a “black man.” What a petty, divisive man, truly the worst of America.

Geurge Neumayr is fed up with him:

Holder can so easily “stand” with the protesters in Ferguson because he shares their capacity for hasty racial accusations. Seeing events through the prism of race is more emotionally satisfying to him than carefully sifting through the evidence. That quality doesn’t lend itself to leadership but lying.

As the New York Times recently learned, after daring to write that Michael Brown was “no angel,” honesty is simply not allowed in the discussion. The paper has been roundly criticized, including by its public editor who called the brief moment of honesty “regrettable.” Liberals in recent days have been policing the discussion of Michael Brown, insisting that his possible crimes (such as grabbing a police officer’s gun) be called “mistakes” and his stealing “shoplifting.”

Were Holder willing to show the brave honesty a “nation of cowards” needs, he would resist this culture of propaganda, not reinforce it. He would tell racial agitators what they don’t want to hear: that the crime rate in Ferguson is due not to “disparate treatment” but to a culture of crime — a problem that false accusations and politically correct excuse-making will deepen not solve.

R. R. Reno waxes on Ferguson here, here, and here. Read them in order.

Tish Harrison Warren dishes on Vanderbilt’s ridiculous student group non-discrimination policy (hat tip Dreher):

If groups are committed to maintaining a particular theological voice, I do not understand how they can sign the non-discrimination pledge. They are, in fact, signing a pledge promising that they won’t require particular beliefs of their students in leadership. We were encouraged by many people just to sign whatever pledge we needed to and go on doing what we’d always done to select leaders–Vanderbilt doesn’t really have a way to oversee that closely. But those of us who lost our registration status felt that signing something pledging to not have doctrinal standards for student leaders — when we actually do — would be a poor model of discipleship for our students and dishonest.

Some groups don’t think the policy will pose a problem (or don’t have any formal creedal requirements) because they elect their leaders sheerly by democratic process so they feel like it is unlikely that a non-Christian would be elected anyway. But, as I have argued many, many times during this year, we aren’t so much worried about a coup where non-Christians take over the group and vote themselves into office (although that’s possible with this policy) as much as theological drift. The reason we have doctrinal boundaries in place is that we don’t want — over the course of 10 or 15 years — to slowly lose our theological particularity, which is more likely if majoritarianism alone rules the day. The analogy I use is that a creed is like a tuning fork, without it we won’t likely go out of tune immediately but give us a couple years and our theological tone will drift.

The second issue with this all-democracy/no creeds approach is that the majority of times that we face doctrinal issues with our leadership team is not unbelievers wanting to be voted into office but leadership team students having a mid-year crisis and converting or radically changing their religious beliefs. Often, with the zeal of a new convert to atheism or what have you, students want to stay in their leadership position and change the theological identity of the group. In short, we need a mechanism to ask leaders to step down if their beliefs and practices radically change. This policy made that impossible. We asked Vanderbilt’s provost directly what we should do if this were to happen (a Bible study leader decided that the resurrection is a metaphor or that Jesus was just a good, spiritual guide among many), and he suggested we disband the whole group. That’s obviously an unworkable solution. And this kind of scenario happens all the time for campus groups. All the time. Keep in mind that, for the most part, these are college students we’re talking about. They are exploring their identities and beliefs, which can change quickly. We want them to be able to do that but we also have to have a way to maintain theological stability over time as a community.

Reality competes with the narrative at the Fiscal Times. First, the narrative:

Nearly five years after the recovery began, Americans in alarming numbers believe the Great Recession permanently damaged the economy and that many aspects of the lifestyle they once enjoyed – a good job, income security and more – may never again be theirs.

Even more troubling, most Americans don’t believe the economy has actually improved – or will improve – despite nearly half a decade of job growth and declining unemployment rates since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Now the reality:

Growth “has been insufficient to produce enough full-time jobs for everyone who wants one,” the study notes. As of last month, nearly 9.7 million work­ers were unemployed, and many jobs that vanished during the recession paid good wages, while most growth during the recovery has been in low-wage jobs.

“Wages have increased modestly for many, but have not increased suf­ficiently to keep up with inflation,” the report stated. “Labor force participation rates are at the lowest levels in three decades. Long-term unemployment rates remain at unprecedented high levels, above pre-recession levels in over 40 states.”

Who are you going to believe? The spinners in the media or your lying eyes?

Related: “Recovery narrative.”

Is Warren Buffet the biggest hypocrite in the world?

Like Miss Utah 2013, Sofia Vergara is a winner. Feminists hate winners.

Mollie Hemingway contrasts Beyonce and Vergara. It’s not even close. Compare Jarett Wieselman’s horror at Vergara’s Emmys pedestal gag with his glee at Beyonce’s Miley Cyrus-like performance at the VMAs the preceding night:

Last night, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed said:

Aaaannnnd what do you think he said the previous night?

That’s right. When there was nothing but headless bodies featuring butts-butts-butts and a spread-eagle Beyoncé singing a song some have criticized for its lyrics joking about Ike Turner’s domestic violence, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed could not deal with the perfection. But when a fully clothed Vergara did a little comedy bit about her rockin’ bod, sound the alarm, we got a problem.

The VMAs are more juvenile—that is, more carnal and more subversive—than the Emmys. Other than that, they are the same.

Read this cool essay about Julius Caesar’s failed invasion of Britain in 54 BC in British Heritage.

Moving from one state to another is more daunting if the states are not as uniform as they are now. Increased mobility of people among the states is one rationalization for a government more national—as opposed to federal—in character. Not that I’m in favor it.

Re: liberal migration to red states, Vox is pessimistic about democracy’s longevity:

Free association, also known to its critics as segregation, is an absolute must for any democratic society that wishes to retain its character. In an age of mobility, any system that functions will be rapidly swamped by the invading denizens of those systems that don’t work.

It should never be forgotten that most of the 18th century political principles were developed prior to the age of mass global transportation. It should not be a surprise that not all of them are capable of surviving it.

Really, I’m flattered that everyone loves Texas, but can’t Californians love Texas from California?

Rep. Paul Ryan talks House of Cards (hat tip USA Today:

“I watched the first couple of episodes until he cheated on his wife with that reporter,” Ryan said in the Parade interview posted online Friday. “It turned my stomach so much that I just couldn’t watch it anymore. His behavior was so reprehensible, and it hit too close to home because he was a House member, that it just bothered me too much. And what I thought is, it makes us all look like we’re like that.”

A reason I stopped watching How I Met Your Mother is the tempting false reality the show portrayed of the single life I was living. I finally decided its entertainment value did not overcome the stumbling block it put between me my Creator. I had a similar reaction to a movie called God Bless America, which took me to such a dark, cynical place that I turned it off after 15 minutes.

I mention these experiences because my gut tells me Ryan realized he was allowing himself to indulge his fantasies in the character of Frank Underwood, so he pulled the plug.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Technization of life

Who are the rightful parents of these test tube babies?

A private fertility clinic in the United States has launched an investigation into the health of 17 teenagers who were born as a result of a controversial IVF technique that produced the world’s first “three-parent” embryos more than 15 years ago, The Independent can reveal.

The technique – which the US government halted in 2002 – involved mixing the eggs of two women so that the resulting IVF babies inherited genetic material from three individuals in a similar process to that planned in Britain for women carrying maternally inherited mitochondrial disorders.

Who are the rightful parents of these twins borne into the world by a surrogate? Either way, one of them has been kidnapped:

Baby Gammy’s surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old food vendor with two young children of her own, had accused the boy’s biological parents, Wendy and David Farnell, of leaving her with the infant while taking his healthy twin sister, Pipah, back with them to Australia.

“We did not abandon our son,” an emotional David Farnell said in an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes.

“(Pattaramon) said that if we tried to take our little boy, she’s going to get the police and she’s going to try and take our little girl and she’s going to keep both of the babies,” he said.

Children are commoditized and traded in two ways:

  1. Under the presumption that reproduction is a positive right, to fulfill a desire for children

  2. Under the presumption that childlessness is a positive right, to fulfill a desire for no children

The birth of a child is a holy commission humbling husband and wife to work to raise their child together. The reduction of this miracle to a lab experiment removes the awe of God, breaking the fusion of flesh and spirit between generations. How much of the uncertainty and surprise and beauty of life will disappear under the technocracy?

John Dunn excerpts his book Traditionalism: The Only Radicalism:

[Heidegger’s] hope was founded upon the truth that the humanist violence inflicted upon nature through technology can only ever be fleeting in cosmic terms. Technological innovation will only suppress the truth for so long before it metamorphoses into an instrument of catastrophic revelation. It is in the very challenge to the cosmic hierarchy itself that the finitude of beings is disclosed.

The cover of the book is a tree with roots that go down three times deeper than the tree stands tall. It’s a metaphor for the foundations of why and how we live. Trimming the limbs won’t do any good if the trunk is shorn from the roots.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Majority rules

“We must forget our local habits and attachments. The general government should not depend on the State governments. ... Equality of representation cannot be established, if the second branch is elected by the state legislatures.” –James Wilson

“The State legislatures are more competent to make a judicious choice, than the people at large. Instability pervades their choice. In the second branch of the general government we want wisdom and firmness. ... We know that the people of the States are strongly attached to their own constitutions. If you hold up a system of general government, destructive of their constitutional rights, they will oppose it.” –Oliver Ellsworth

“All agree that a more efficient government is necessary. It is equally necessary to preserve the state governments, as they ought to have the means of self-defense. On the motion of Mr. Wilson, the only means they ought to have would be destroyed.” –George Mason

One of the most contentious debates at the Constitutional Convention was the form of representation in Congress. One camp, exemplified by James Wilson of Pennsylvania, wanted states’ congressional delegates to be determined by population. The other camp, exemplified by Connecticut’s Oliver Ellsworth, wanted states themselves to be equally represented.

In the end, the lower house, or House of Representatives, was constituted directly by the votes of the people, in accord with Wilson. The upper house, or Senate, was constituted by the votes of the state legislatures, in accord with Ellsworth. The lower house represented the people’s interests, the upper house represented the state’s interests.

It was a brilliant compromise. It ensured no bill would pass Congress without both the consent of the states and the people. In its nascent years, America was more susceptible to majoritarianism than it is now. Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and one other state could have dominated the other 9 former colonies. Thanks to state’s equality in the Senate, an alliance of large states would not be able to molest the rights of small states. Nor would a simple majority be able to nationalize laws that would in effect dissolve the states’ essential characters. To guard against an overreaching central government, the Senate would defend against nationalist sentiment in the House of Representatives.

But James Wilson ultimately got his wish. In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment, the brainchild of progressives, stripped appointments to the Senate away from the state legislatures and gave them to the people. The original intent of the Senate, to protect the states, became another instrument of the people’s will. The national government has been on a rampage ever since, thanks to progressives who imposed their worst ideas on the states. The current distinct characters of the states is watered down considerably.

It’s no surprise the rise of secession movements in Maryland, California, and elsewhere comes amid an era of increasing government presumptuousness. The people yearn for self-determination, for relief from the authorities, and the best their state governments do to protect them from Leviathan is nothing. The less lucky ones, like the residents of Maryland and California, are put upon even more.

William Murchison looks at Scotland’s potential secession from Britain:

As for the modern tendency to disassociate, to move apart from, to cease collaboration with, to center intellectual activity within tighter and tighter bounds—that’s not going away. Community, and the partial submersion of crotchets and quirks and inner visions, lacks a future. We’re right; everybody else is wrong—that’s the future.

Wrong; the modern tendency of large states to consolidate power over its subdivisions has produced this reaction. As I’ve said before, why should people with little in common determine the other’s affairs?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Superficial pedestal

Sofia Vergara made a power play at the Emmys, stepping onto a rotating pedestal so the millions could admire her figure during a tongue-in-cheek public service announcement. “Objectification!” some howled. The Red Carpet, though, where Joan Rivers mocks the women’s dresses and shoes and makeup and hair—that’s not objectification. Oh no, that’s “fashion.”

In Modern Family, Vergara plays Ed O’Neil’s trophy wife. The dynamic the show’s creators wanted was an older, cantankerous, wealthy white guy and a fiery, middle-aged, Latina hottie. O’Neil and Vergara fit their roles.

Is appreciating the value of what someone brings to their trade “objectification”? Albert Pujols put up gaudy numbers when he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning two World Series. Was he objectified?

Steven King writes dense, engrossing stories. For that he is beloved. Is he objectified?

“But those men are rewarded for their talent, which they worked their lives to perfect.” Does Vergara not work hard, at 42 years old, to look like she’s 25, and pass off as the characters she plays?

Vergara plays in the major leagues. She started her career as a model. Her $70 million net worth is chiefly earned from being admired by men. That’s a testimony to the superficiality of celluloid and its inherent contradictions with liberal high-mindedness. Recognizing this at the Emmys was a rare public puncturing of the Hollywood façade. “Sex sells, and we’re not sorry.” If there’s a fault to be found, it’s that the joke was too low brow for the high-brow occasion.

Did God create women to be sex objects, mere mates for breeding? Or, even less, for pleasure? No. This primitive view can be ascribed to retrograde feminism, a social Darwinist philosophy that prioritizes love of self over love of others. In that scenario, which prevails from want of assertive religion, men use women for sex, and the Sofia Vergaras of the world are passed from alpha male to alpha male. The titillating images on TV and in music, movies, and the Internet are a primal outlet for men who don’t enjoy such prospects.

To be clear, on this view Vergara and an elite set of women are the winners—they receive all the affection—and everyone else are the losers. Only a few women qualify to stand on that pedestal for the joke to work. Like Beyonce, Vergara wants to be objectified. That’s a contest she will always win. That is distressing to the majority of feminist women who compete solely on a superficial plane.

The traditional view is fairer to the majority of women who are in the middle of the bell curve in the looks department. God created women to be companions to men. That is where Vergara’s advantage diminishes. As universally appealing as she is, many men would find her incompatible as a lifelong partner, as other qualifications would assert themselves.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The liberal alliance

At the American Thinker, Bruce Robinson juxtaposes quotes from Charles Krauthammer and Charles Murray:

“[John Stuart] Mill held that truth emerges from an unfettered competition of ideas and that individual character is most improved when allowed to find its own way uncoerced. Modern liberalism’s perfectionist ambitions...seeks to harness the power of government, the mystique of science and the rule of experts to shape both society and citizen and bring them both, willing or not, to a higher state of being.”

Krauthammer’s observation is closely allied with what Charles Murray said more recently in his June 30 Wall Street Journal article, “The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives,” where Murray writes: “ intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.”

Marxist, Leftist, socialist, Fascist, Communist, corporatist, statist, liberal, progressive...they run together. Wikipedia has a good definition for liberal: “Modern American liberalism combines social liberalism with support for social justice and a mixed economy.”

Here’s my attempt:

Charles Murray identifies as a libertarian, hence his defense of liberalism in the Journal. Libertarians are liberal in all aspects but one. They trade the socialist flaw of redistribution for radical individualism, which has its own problems. They accept completely man as monad, whereas the liberal prefers to patronize the materially needy while ignoring their spirit. That’s the only qualitative difference.

Thanks to liberalism’s fait accompli by President Obama, liberals may deemphasize redistribution in order to forge an alliance with libertarians. In fact, redistribution can be folded into the larger concept of freedom from the demands of civil society. Or, if you’re on the outs, as libertarians historically have been, you can forge an alliance with liberals.

Some libertarians, like the Bexar County Republicans Liberty Caucus, operate under the illusion they can reforge the Reagan alliance of libertarians and conservatives. In their vision, though, it’s an alliance of no give and all take. The alliance appeals to them insofar as conservatives abdicate their principles.

As is libertarians’ wont, they pay lip service to economic liberty, but naturally align with liberals. It makes you wonder what their real priorities are.

Cleghorn and other Libertarians say the social issues are repelling younger voters who lean toward the low tax and limited government part of the GOP, but can’t align themselves with issues like opposition to gay marriage. For many Millennials, same sex marriage is a ‘settled issue’ much as desegregation was a ‘settled issue’ for Baby Boomers who were in their position in the seventies.

Libertarians want the panoply of “lifestyles” at their behest, but same-sex marriage and drug legalization are the touchstones. “Reproductive freedom” also makes the Liberty Caucus’s list; although, libertarians are split on that issue.

David Harsanyi is more realistic about today’s libertarians:

Millennials aren’t libertarians. They’re socialists who want to buy legal pot.

And not be called homophobes.

The Reagan alliance is dead. We are in the years of the Clinton alliance: an alliance of progressives (Obama, Martin O’Malley), liberals (Clintons), and libertarians (Rand Paul, Murray), with liberals holding the center, will dominate American politics until the empire’s last days.

For example, read this rash of O’Malley boosterism at Business Insider:

Through innovative methods and a data-centric approach, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, has become the cornerstone in Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s ambitious makeover of the state’s healthcare programs.

The facility, which is located in a far corner of the state, has managed to strike the elusive balance of cutting costs and improving the quality of patient care — all while improving access to preventative care and the relative health of the community. Specifically, the facility has served as a showcase for O’Malley’s plan to reduce preventable hospitalizations throughout Maryland.

Jo Wilson, the vice president of operations at the hospital, said last week that there had been a 21% year-over-year reduction in admissions, helping to contribute to an overall 11.5% decrease in preventable hospitalizations per 100,000 Marylanders between 2011 and 2013. That decrease exceeds O’Malley’s goal of a 10% reduction by the end of next year.

At the same time, since November, the hospital has saved $3.5 million in costs. A new clinical center has saved patients approximately $1.4 million.

All those numbers are a key part of the legacy O’Malley, who is seriously considering a run for president in 2016, wants to leave behind as Maryland’s governor. O’Malley discussed his healthcare program in an interview with Business Insider last week when he traveled to Cumberland to highlight the hospital’s success.

The rationale for reelecting liberals to run the country after the disaster they’ve created is competence, captured perfectly in the above article by the term “data-centric.” This taps into the cost-benefit analysis fetish libertarians like drug dealer Gary Johnson have, and liberal fears of Cro-Magnon conservatives taking the country back to the dread ’50s when people were happier, families were stronger, and stigma was attached to drugs’ ability to lay waste to people’s wills.

Progressives are, on the surface, less ideological because they don’t have to be ideological. The infrastructure is in place for a socialist America. The president can play chicken with Congress because he doesn’t need them anymore to govern. Progressives don’t want to undo the madness. They want to manage it.

Related: John C. Wright distinguishes Fascism and Communism.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Odds and ends 8/23/2014

At VDARE, James Kirkpatrick writes a terrific post about the Ferguson riots. Excerpt:

The “protests” in Ferguson, when not involving looting and throwing Molotov cocktails, simply consist of young black males running at police bellowing obscenities and slurs and making threats... The obvious intent: to provoke a police reaction—which can then be interpreted by reporters and activists as “brutality” and further an artificially created Narrative with little resemble to facts on the ground...

But this pattern of either being at your throat or at your feet is typical of the organized black “community.” It’s why entering a black neighborhood requires situational awareness simply to avoid attack. It’s why non-black residents constantly must ask themselves what petty violence and indignities they are willing to accept, knowing that their government won’t help them if they resist. It’s why whites are so desperate to avoid living in the midst of diversity—and why Ferguson’s white population has dropped from 75% to less than 30% within 20 years.

And it’s why the militarization of the police to patrol these areas is inevitable.

When explaining “anarcho-tyranny,” Sam Francis quoted Edmund Burke:

“Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without.”

But there is no “controlling power upon will and appetite” within America’s black neighborhoods.

I lifted that Edmund Burke quote for use in my own Ferguson pontifications at Red Pill Report.

Jason Riley lowers the boom on Ferguson, exhibiting Milton Friedman-esque logic. Stick around for the last minute, in which he strangles Kirsten Powers’s bleeding heart.

(Speaking of Kirsten, here’s a factoid to nullify her romanticizing the illegal immigrant flood into South Texas: 80 percent of illegals aren’t unaccompanied children.)

ESR writes:

Any cop who treated members of a group with a factor 20 greater threat level than population baseline “equally” would be crazy. He wouldn’t be doing his job; he’d be jeopardizing the civil peace by inaction.

Yeah, by all means let’s demilitarize the police. But let’s also stop screaming “racism” when, by the numbers, the bad shit that goes down with black male youths reflects a cop’s rational fear of that particular demographic – and not racism against blacks in general.

Who knew business insurance doesn’t cover civil unrest? Breitbart reports:

“Several of these businesses and we checked ours—there’s a cause in it that says there’s no coverage for anything pertaining to a riot act. So any of the damage is coming out of the [business owner].”

She added, “So It’s not enough that we’ve suffered for nine days and lost about 70 percent of the business and can’t pay our rent and can’t get anybody here to help us. So what else can we observe here as small business owners?”

There is a solution. Leave.

One looter who came out of a QuikTrip told the Washington Post that he was proud of what he was doing.

“I’m proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what’s supposed to happen when there’s injustice in your community,” DeAndre Smith told The Post. “St. Louis — not going to take this anymore.”

A police officer who asked not to be identified labeled it “looting tourism.”

“It’s like they are spending their gas money to come down here and steal,” the officer told Post.

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. At least two people were shot and 31 were arrested, he said. He did not have condition updates on those who were shot. Johnson said four officers were injured by rocks or bottles.

“It has to stop,” Johnson told CNN.” I don’t want anybody to get hurt. We have to find a way to stop it.”

He could stop it, but that would involve getting blood on your hands. What would the activists say? “He was just stealing. He wasn’t hurting anybody.”

Twin keeper articles on libertarianism at the Federalist. First, Rachel Hu:

I agree that some level of “live and let live” tolerance will be necessary if the culture wars are ever to give way to an acceptable social order. Both liberal progressives and social conservatives have deeply entrenched worldviews and ways of life, and neither will be rooted out without considerable cultural violence such as no liberty-loving conservative should wish to see. Unconditional surrender is not an appropriate goal in a culture war.

But neutrality won’t work either, at least if we’re thinking about the broader conservative outlook. All conservatives agree that government should be smaller than it is. But the culture also needs to recover its moral bearings if freedom is to have a chance. Social conservatives have long understood this, but it’s a point on which many libertarians need to reflect more deeply.

In the short term, the attraction of lumping conventional morals together with technocratic tyranny (as twin evils which both threaten our personal liberty) can seem almost overwhelming, particularly for those libertarian Republicans who have no strong tie to organized religion. Young people always crave freedom from conventional expectations that seem to cramp their style. Presenting statist overreach as yet another overbearing influence is an easy way of recruiting them to the libertarian camp. Twenty-year-olds readily warm to the message that they can manage without presidents and popes.

In theory, this “rally around small government” compromise can look generous and fair to everyone else too, including liberal progressives and social conservatives. The latter tend not to see it that way. But given the present state of society, shouldn’t religious conservatives be grateful for the chance to be peacefully counter-cultural rather than besieged? Isn’t it enough to live in a world in which they are free to preach their conventional views on morality, and to impart them to their own children? Even libertarians who are generally sympathetic to the importance of culture sometimes write missives that seem to imply social conservatives should see themselves merely as supine voting blocks whose only remaining alternative is to choose their protectors (libertarians or statists).

I can see why, looking at the current cultural drift, that might seem like a realistic appraisal of where we are. But if it is, then [David] Frum is right. The war is lost, the libertarian moment will be no more than a flash in the pan, and we’re only a few inconsequential battles away from being blanketed by the pink police state. Soon you will be completely free to exercise your autonomy through exciting choices like: which kind of porn do you prefer? And shall we have geraniums or zinnias in the window boxes? Oh, sweet breath of liberty!

If I were handed a libertarian compromise in which “social” conservatives weren’t besieged by the state, with guarantees that it would last, I still wouldn’t take it, because the people have shown their perfectly capable on their own to enforce draconian political correctness on each other. The powers are wrong, and they’re going to insist that we be wrong with them.

Second, Peter Lawler:

The unjustly neglected political philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenal distinguished between being “libertarian” and being “securitarian.” Many of today’s young people want to be both. They want to practice safe libertarianism in the unfettered enjoyment of the pleasure of sex. Contraception—now an entitlement guaranteed by an intrusive government mandate—is about detaching sex from the hard realities of birth and death. Better than safe sex, from that view, is the virtual sex available on the screen, which, if the film Her is correct, will soon be personalized through a relationship between a biological man and an Operating System that sounds like Scarlett Johansson (the woman judged to have the world’s most beautiful body). Imagining the body, of course, is safer than actually touching it, as no living body can be made compliant enough to one’s own personal preferences to be completely comfortable.

The techno-goal is to subordinate erotic longing to rational control, to keep it from risky business or being the source of dangerous liaisons. So sex, from this view, these days in the name of “relational autonomy” is being freed up for individual enjoyment from repressive cultural or relational restraints. From another, it is driven more by securitarian concerns than ever. Libertarians, especially among the young, aren’t so good at seeing the connection between the liberationist “hook-up” culture not only tolerated but affirmed by our colleges and the somewhat justified securitarian concerns about “the culture of rape” that flourishes on our campuses. That connection is, nonetheless, really there: Our campuses are both more libertarian and more securitarian than ever. One astute analyst, my fellow postmodern conservative James Poulos, has called our burgeoning libertarian securitarianism the foundation of a “pink police state,” a claim that has commanded attention through instructive exaggeration. We may be on road, Poulos rightly worries, to the soft and endlessly meddlesome despotism that Alexis de Tocqueville speculated might be the consequence of a democratic choice for egalitarian security over spirited, risk-affirming political liberty.

Is the amoral view of sex cherished by Left-libertarian kids genuinely libertarian? Tough question, especially insofar as libertarian economists such as Tyler Cowen celebrate the future to come when free individuals are uprooted from culture for productive activity in the services of games and other enjoyments—such as being a foodie. But other libertarians are about mocking every effort by government to protect individuals from the risks embedded in the “spontaneous order” that is social life. Those libertarians, many of whom are found in the Tea Party, are about deploying libertarian means (or freedom from government) for the more natural relationships that make life worth living. They believe we’re social beings—and not free individuals—by nature; they’re, in that respect, more Burkean or Hayekian or Christian than Lockean or Randian.

Gavin McInnes falls victim to the Brendan Eich Syndrome.

The article has been roundly condemned, and his employer, a company which he helped found, has decided to place McInnes on indefinite leave until they can find a solution for the situation. It is my hope that this is not merely a way to temporarily mollify the individuals justifiably offended and hurt by McInnes’ words,especially since this kind of behavior from him is a repeated pattern. Given the fact that McInnes has been quite unapologetic about the piece, it is a pattern that is likely to continue unless decisive action is taken.

Gavin McInnes’ defenders have been painting this as a free speech issue, claiming that the consequences of his actions are tantamount to censorship, but this could not be farther than the truth. McInnes’ freedom of speech was never infringed, and the consequences of his speech are no one’s fault but his own. He said what he wanted to say, and he was privileged to have it published. No one owes him a platform, however, and people are free to condemn him or refuse to associate with him. His place of employment has every right to distance itself from McInnes in the interests of the company’s public image. Ultimately, to claim that Gavin McInnes is somehow the victim of the people that he dehumanized is a deflection tactic and an abdication of responsibility for his words.

When the state silences speech, it’s 1984. When the people silence speech, it’s Brave New World.

Noel S. Williams writes at the American Thinker about transgenderism in the workplace:

Washington State government employees are counseled to keep sex and politics out of the workplace – unless one is an LGBT practitioner.

June was officially designated as LGBT pride month, which includes conspicuous workplace displays and presentations celebrating their ways. But it has backfired, as many employees see the clear hypocrisy of promoting certain lifestyles through a selective application of agency rules.

Government agencies develop rigorous training programs to remove sexual innuendo at work. We’re reprogrammed to believe a friendly gesture or even an innocent wink might be misconstrued as sexual harassment, so don’t tempt fate. So controlling is their behavioral brainwashing that if it could, the bureaucracy would purge our pheromones and make us all androgynous automatons. Ironically, the disproportionately vociferous LGBT community might like that, even as they receive special dispensation.

It’s hard to square sexual harassment phobia with this even newer orthodoxy. More on that here.

At Public Discourse, Russell Nieli writes about Elliot Rodgers’ envy. He compares Rodgers’ autobiography to Dostoevsky in terms of its raw portrayal of a naked man frantic for meaning. I am reminded of the protagonists in Notes from the Underground, The Gambler, and Crime and Punishment.

Rodger explains early in his narrative that he has an unusually envious, jealous nature. He describes this in a matter-of-fact tone, without the slightest indication that there may be something morally wrong with jealousy or envy, or that there might be vicious kinds of human dispositions that decent people should struggle to control.

By nature I am a very jealous person and at the age of nine my jealous nature sprung [sic] to the surface. During play dates [a friend] would have other friends over as well, and I would feel very jealous and upset when he paid more attention to them. . . . I would find a quiet corner and start crying. . . . Jealousy and envy . . . those are two feelings that would dominate my entire life and bring me immense pain. The feelings of jealousy I felt at nine-years-old were frustrating, but they were nothing compared to how I would feel once I hit puberty and have to watch girls choosing other boys over me.

On one of my very last days as a teenager, as I was sitting at my usual place at the food court outside Domino’s, I saw a sight that shattered my heart to pieces. A tall, blonde, jock-type guy walked into one of the restaurants, and at his side was one of the sexiest girls I had ever seen. She too was tall and blonde. They were both taller than me, and they kissed each other passionately. They made me feel so inferior and worthless and small. I glared at them with intense hatred as I sat by myself in my lonely misery. I could never have a girl like that. The sight burned into my memory, and it caused a scar that will haunt me forever.

From that point on, he was stricken by an envious rage whenever he saw popular kids, happy couples, or attractive young men with attractive girlfriends.

In telling us all this, he expects the reader to sympathize with his plight. He is the victim, he wants us to believe, of a great cosmic injustice that has bestowed on other boys an attractiveness to girls that they do not deserve. In one of his videos, he describes how the sight of a happy couple kissing on a bench ruined an otherwise pleasant visit to the California shore:

In front of me, sitting right there on that bench is a young couple, I presume about my age. I was enjoying such a nice view [of the beach] until they came and sat down and started kissing. . . . This is the reason life isn’t fair! Why does that guy get to have such a beautiful girlfriend while I’m all alone? Why? . . . They’re kissing right now. It’s torture for me to watch. . . Look at them. He’s in heaven right now sitting on this beautiful beach with his beautiful girlfriend, kissing her, feeling her love, while I’m sitting here all alone because no beautiful girl wants to be my girlfriend. I hate them! I hate them so much. Why does he deserve to get that experience and not me? I bet he goes to the same college as me. Yet he gets to experience his college life with this beautiful blond girlfriend and I have to suffer this miserable loneliness. It’s not fair! Life is not fair!

The above remarks bring out the nature of covetous envy with a candor and in a form that even Dostoyevsky or Shakespeare would be hard pressed to match. The envious soul is consumed with venom and spite against those who have what it covets and against the cosmic injustice that has allowed such a different fortune to occur.

What is most frightening is that Rodger’s manifesto shows no awareness that his feelings might be immoral or contrary to a nobler imperative that calls us to rejoice in the happiness and well-being of others. When combined with his infantile narcissism, his spiteful envy blinded him to the higher possibilities of human empathy. The demon of envy entered his heart and, meeting no opposition, metastasized to consume his entire being.

Janice Shaw Crouse eviscerates Ann Coulter, who embarrassed herself with an attack on Kent Brantly’s missionary work.

There’s no shortage of commentators on the conservative spectrum. Remove Coulter, and ask yourself: Are we missing anything? I say no. Addition by subtraction.

“Monetary central planning inherently deforms market capitalism by flooding the business sector with cheap debt, thereby turning it into an engine for the redistribution of existing wealth rather than the generation of new growth, jobs and enterprise.” –David Stockman

The New York Times profiles Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Excerpt:

When he first latched on to Al Qaeda, in the early years of the American occupation, it was not as a fighter, but rather as a religious figure. He has since declared himself caliph of the Islamic world, and pressed a violent campaign to root out religious minorities, like Shiites and Yazidis, that has brought condemnation even from Qaeda leaders.

Fighter or religious figure? In Islam, there’s no difference. They call Mohammed a prophet, but he was primarily a war general and a jihadist. His apostles commanded armies and led conquests.

Better late than never, Chris Hayes.

As long as the horse keeps kicking, Steve Goddard will keep beating it. God bless him.

Related: Climate “scientists” have it both ways.

George Gilder presents the sequel to his first Prager University course on economics. I envy this man’s genius.

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.” –Archbishop Amel Nona

Chateau Heartiste reviews the implications of mass-produced sexbots:

Marriage – uncertain. Either marriage will take a body blow from which it will never recover, or paradoxically divorce will decrease as husbands inclined to stray fulfill their cravings for variety with non-human mistresses. With the sequestering of betas to their sexbotatoriums, the price of alphas on the market will skyrocket. They will call the shots in matters of marriage — I see a regression to sanctioned polygamy and overt adultery. This will herald the end of Western civilization.

Love – The virus in the borg. Love may save the day. A man’s need for love will keep him in the game. But not in the same capacity. He’ll be roused to go on a few dates but he’ll feel no pressure to get laid and will probably have unrealistic expectations about what kind of women he deserves based on wistful comparisons with the hot robot he fornicates with daily. Ladies, if you think guys are selfish, egotistical pricks now, just wait until they start showing up to dates basked in the afterglow of sex with their Jessica Alba robots. It is going to take a lot more to win over a guy who is that sexually satisfied.

Like I’ve said, love is dead in Japan. It’s no coincidence sexbots are being developed for consumption in a country death-spiraling into childlessness.

Mollie Hemmingway gives sound advice to people who are considering marriage:

All the options make it hard to man-up or woman-up and make some decisions because we’re so terrified of missing out on the next best thing. But the whole truly counterintuitive point of a happy marriage is that you’re not supposed to be thinking about what your spouse can do for you so much as what you can do for your spouse. That’s why this whole commercialized approach to spouse-picking is wrong. When you’re trying to figure out which yogurt to buy, you’re doing a lot of comparison shopping, but you’re not thinking of what you can do for the yogurt, you know?

By the miracle of no-fault divorce, Chris Martin trades his 41 year-old wife for a 24 year-old. That’s an upgrade by hedonic standards.

“To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.” –Harriet Beecher Stowe

New York subway riders had to deal with the “Breastfeeding Subway Caravan,” exhibitionists politicizing breastfeeding. These types rage at you for suggesting reasonable parameters on public exposure. In my opinion, they’re no different than topless activists, like narcissist Scout Willis.

No one cares how you feed your baby. Don’t bare your breasts in public.

This is the NFL. Only one agenda is allowed in the locker room. ESPN reports Chris Kluwe wins.

The Vikings and Kluwe’s attorney Clayton Halunen announced Tuesday morning that they had reached a settlement to resolve the former punter's allegations of homophobic behavior by the team. It put the issue to rest 7½ months after Kluwe first published his allegations and avoids the prospect of a lengthy legal battle.

The Vikings had initially announced a $100,000 contribution to charities that support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender causes, and they will make additional contributions to five LGBT-friendly charities over the next five years. The team will also enhance sensitivity training that is already required throughout the organization.

Only 6 figures? Small potatoes in Michael Sam’s NFL.

Marijuana is unhealthy. Duh. This news won’t remove marijuana from neoliberals’ tolerance for things that don’t affect health and safety.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, which compared high-resolution MRI brain scans of recreational marijuana users aged 18 to 25 with those of nonusers, found significant abnormalities in the left nucleus accumbens and the left amygdala of marijuana users, even those who smoked just once per week. These regions of the brain are responsible for pleasure and reward, processing memory, emotional reactions, and the assessment of negative consequences.

Previously, the only existing studies on the subject had applied to those who smoked excessively—for example, once per day for approximately three years. This study targets those who smoke only a few times per week.

From a moral standpoint, Dr. Taylor Marshall has made a Thomistic argument against the use of marijuana, asserting that it inexcusably inhibits man’s most God-like faculty—rationality—thus diminishing users to the level of beasts.

A good reason to oppose feminism, too.

R. Emmett Tyrrell writes:

Recent polls indicate increased tolerance for a drug that until recently was considered malum prohibitum across the nation. In January a CNN/ORC International study found 55 percent of Americans favoring legalization of marijuana. Most consider it harmless. I would not be surprised if they adjudged it less harmful than scotch and soda. Yet in a very instructive piece in the Wall Street Journal, former drug czar William J. Bennett and attorney Robert A. White wrote that “while almost all the science and research is going on one direction—pointing out the dangers of marijuana use—public opinion seems to be going in favor of broad legalization.” In sum, the studies show that in teenagers and young adults regular use of marijuana—which means about once a week—leads to cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and a decline in IQ of about six points—and our young people’s IQ rates are low enough already. This mental impairment seems to last for years. One study found that teenagers who smoked marijuana daily developed abnormal brain structure. Moreover, there are psychiatrists who for years have argued that extended use of marijuana was linked to psychosis and to permanent brain damage.

I saw one of my neighbors leaving the building with a big marijuana leaf printed on his T-shirt. I assumed he was a pothead and proud of it. Without a full and convincing recant, I’ll never trust such an individual.

“Even acting on a sincerely held false belief can realize the good of religion.” –Ryan T. Anderson

I don’t think Anderson appreciates what false beliefs are capable of. I think he makes his argument because the alternative—that there can be no peace among plural truths—is too terrible to consider.

Friday, August 22, 2014

I pledge allegiance...

Western Islam is ISIS in metastasis.

“Every Muslim uses that black flag. You’ll find it in any mosque in world.” –New Jersey Muslim Mark Dunaway

What is America’s response to ISIS sympathizers who bear the flag of persecution and genocide? From the authorities: fecklessness. From the politically correct commentariat: Support for Islamic conquest and the totalitarian sharia state is held up as an example of tolerance and diversity.

Contrary to the demonstrably false popular theory that all cultures were created equal, this is a sign of weakness. Liberals shrug and say that’s free speech, that’s free exercise—as if stating your allegiance to an aggressive foreign entity falls within the bounds of civil rights.

Flying a Confederate flag is another matter. Religious allegiance to an enemy of America is vibrant. Racial allegiance to a region within America must be rooted out.

President Obama didn’t identify ISIS as “Islamic” or “Muslim” once in his remarks on August 18, or in his remarks about James Foley on August 20. He called them extremists and their ideology hateful and bankrupt. But he didn’t name the ideology. In fact, he sought to dissociate ISIS from Islam: “[ISIS] speaks for no religion.”

Belied by what is known of Islam’s prior conquests, especially in its early years. Obama said ISIS has no place in the 21st century, implying the modern world had left such barbarism in the Dark Ages. Islam brought on the Dark Ages.

Obama’s denial isn’t a coincidence. It’s rhetoric specifically designed to ignore the truth of what motivates the enemy, in order to:

Related: At the UK Spectator, Douglas Murray looks at London’s history as a breeder and exporter of Islamic extremism.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seeking a new bottom

John D. Inazu writes in Christianity Today about the distinction of sinner and sin, and the modern world’s confusion about it:

The comparison between Bob Jones in 1983 and Christian schools today will strike some as unwarranted. Indeed, there are historical reasons to reject it. The discriminatory practices in Bob Jones were linked to the slavery of African Americans and the Jim Crow South. The 1983 Court decision came within a generation of Brown v. Board of Education, and its legal principles extended to private secondary schools (including “segregationist academies”) that resisted racial integration.

There are also significant theological differences between Bob Jones’s race-based arguments and arguments that underlie today’s sexual conduct restrictions. Those differences are rooted in contested questions about identity, as well as longstanding Christian boundaries for sexual behavior. Gay and lesbian Christians committed to celibacy show that sexual identity and sexual conduct are not always one in the same. But these points are increasingly obscured outside of the church. We see this in the castigation of any opposition to same-sex liberties as bigoted. That kind of language has moved rapidly into mainstream culture. And it is difficult to envision how it would be undone or dialed back.


Most Christian membership limitations today are based on conduct rather than orientation: they allow a gay or lesbian person to join a group, but prohibit that person from engaging in conduct that falls outside the church’s teachings on sexuality. These policies—like the one at Gordon College currently under fire—are not limited to gays or lesbians; all unmarried men and women are to refrain from sexual conduct. The distinction between status and conduct from which they derive is rooted in Christian tradition, and it is not limited to sexuality: one can be a sinner and abstain from a particular sin.

But many people reject the distinction between status and conduct. And in a 2010 decision, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Supreme Court also rejected it, viewing distinctions based on homosexual conduct as equivalent to discrimination against gays and lesbians.

It was a spectacular failure of discernment befitting of Supreme Court associate justice Anthony Kennedy, author of such existential mumbo jumbo as:

  • “The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”

  • “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Epitomizing “to each his own” in the extreme, ripping the heart of common law and shared culture out of the civil society. We are only beginning to realize the consequences.

Heather Wilhelm hones in on transgenderism as one of the manifestations of the idol self. She writes:

In 2003, the novelist Michael Crichton argued that, despite the hopes of atheists, religion will never really disappear. “I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind,” Crichton said. “If you suppress it in one form, it merely reemerges in another form.”

Religion tends to reemerge in the unlikeliest places. Today, at least in America, the newest and brashest religions hover—rather obsessively, in fact—around various permutations of personal “identity.” For many, whether they realize it or not, “identity” is the new God. Tim Keller, the well-known author and pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, puts it this way: “Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base our identity and value on we essentially ‘deify.’ We will look to it with all the passion and intensity of worship and devotion, even if we think of ourselves as highly irreligious.”

Over the past few months, with impressive swiftness, our nation’s growing identity-based religious fervor has risen in one particular form: ardent, impassioned, unquestioning transgender boosterism.


Some boys don princess dresses; some girls use their Barbie as a sledgehammer. Some boys will like the color pink and unicorns; some girls will refuse to wear a dress or brush their hair. Two years ago, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health noted that 85 percent of gender nonconforming kids grew up to be comfortable with their own gender—and straight. To insist that a young child “knows” they’re the wrong gender, despite compelling genetic and physical evidence, is a rather wild leap of faith.

“Parents,” CBS’s Rita Braver breathlessly reported, “are beginning to heed the wishes of their children at ever younger ages.” At first glance, many of the parents look like, well, pushovers: Their 2-year-olds throw a tantrum if they aren’t served on a pink plate, and it’s downhill from there. (This was the case with Colorado’s Coy Mathis, who “transitioned” from boy to girl at age 5. His parents ended up successfully suing for Coy’s right to use the girls’ first-grade bathroom at his school.)

But there’s something more interesting at work here. On one hand, the most enthusiastic transgender supporters argue that gender identity is amorphous, subjective, and fluid. On the other hand, the progressive, “open-minded” parents featured in “Born This Way” and “Ryland’s Story” might be the worst gender absolutists around.


The Oxford English Dictionary describes religion as “the belief in or worship of a superhuman controlling power.” In the world of transgender activism, that controlling power is quite clear: It is an all-consuming, unquestionable—and, most importantly, self-defined—gender identity. It is a belief that, in all but a few legitimate intersex cases, defies the physical world. It is, in the end, a spiritual quest.

Those who get their entire sense of self and worth through an identity outside of God, pastor Tim Keller notes, will likely feel driven to “despise and demonize the opposition.” One would hope that, in a pluralistic country, we could all just get along. Unfortunately, at least in its early stages, the transgender faith does not appear to be a religion of peace. When it comes to public school bathrooms and beyond, it also appears to be the one religion the government feels comfortable establishing through the state.

So much for Klansman/Supreme Court associate justice Hugo Black’s “wall of separation.”

An unwritten “why” transcends all laws and the organization of society. Our fathers knew what it was, but moderns judged it to be false.

“Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply held religious belief—and I don’t care what it is.” –President Eisenhower

He should have. His country and his people are a sunken ship resettling, seeking a new bottom. Who knows how deep it goes?

Further reading: “Least common denominator.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rank and file transphilia

The hollowing out of the military goes further than the sacking of 500 majors and rules of engagement that protect the enemy. It’s shifting the mission away from fighting wars to social experimentation in the rank and file. Of late is a push from within and outside the officer corps to accommodate sick peoples’ evolving identities.

Headline: “Commission Finds ‘No Compelling Medical Reason’ To Exclude Transgender Americans From Military”

“We determined not only that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban, but also that the ban itself is an expensive, damaging and unfair barrier to health care access for the approximately 15,450 transgender personnel who serve currently in the active, Guard and reserve components,” said the commission led by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who served as surgeon general during Bill Clinton’s first term as president, and Rear Adm. Alan Steinman, a former chief health and safety director for the Coast Guard.

If 15,450 transgendered currently serve in the military, it must not be an effective ban. How are they still serving?

There are two kinds of transgendered. One kind has gone under the knife to superficially resemble the gender of their choosing. The other kind passively thinks he might have been born in the wrong body. Since it’s in their heads, who can tell what they feel is true or not? If I wished I was a girl once when I was 7, does that make me transgendered?

The 15,450 number is made up. The pointy heads took the phony one-third of 1 percent statistic supplied by the UCLA School of Law and multiplied it by the number of active and reserve military.

One benefit of being a conservative writer is I don’t have to worry about affirmative-actioning “LGBT” characters in my stories. Read John Scalzi ret-con his bestseller Old Man’s War to appease worshippers of Baal:

2. By default, CDF bodies come in classically male and classically female forms. Note that thanks to genetic engineering, etc., the performance capabilities of both male and female forms are equal, so the gender presentation is strictly for the psychological comfort of the recruit, i.e., you’re (usually) used to being male or female, so you get to stay that way when you transfer into your new body.

3. Because the body sorting is a matter of psychological comfort, to the extent that the CDF knows about a trans person’s gender identity, it’ll sort them that way. So, for example, a post-op trans person will be sorted into their post-op gender identity, regardless of DNA profile, because that’s the clear preference for that person.

4. What about non-op, genderfluid, intersex or trans people who have not made their preferred gender public knowledge? The CDF initially sorts into male/female by best approximation and then after transfer follows up for additional modification. The CDF is an organization that can grow back limbs and organs with minimal effort (for them; it’s slightly more traumatic to the person growing them back), so modifying bodies for the psychological comfort of the person inside is a relatively trivial matter. Most of this can be handled before the recruits get to basic training, although particular in the case of trans people who are not public, much would be contingent on them telling the CDF doctors and technicians.

5. And no, the CDF wouldn’t care about the gender presentation of the recruits. What it would care about is them being willing to fight. You’ll fight? Great, here’s your Empee. Go kill an alien. Thanks.

6. Would there be some other recruits who would have a problem with trans people? It’s possible; the CDF lets anyone in. The basic training drill sergeants will be happy to tell them to get over it. If they did not (indeed if they did not get over any general bigotry) the results for them would be grim.

A military unit with no personal discipline at all. Good luck with that. Scalzi takes for granted that soldiers will trust their comrades with identity issues in combat situations.

In related news, “LG [sans BT]” veterans deserve their own war memorial, because all the other war memorials are for strict heterosexuals, whom illogic tells us had exactly the same natural and acquired appetites and never had deviant thoughts:

A retired San Antonio Army officer is leading an effort to build a national monument in Washington DC to honor Gay and Lesbian military veterans, News Radio 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board reports.

Lt. Col. (ret) Nancy Russell says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I really wasn’t expecting people to be negative about it, and thankfully they have not,” Russell said.

The monument would be simple, costing only about a half million dollars. It would consist of black granite pillars representing each of the military services, and an American flag. The monument could include a place where the ashes of Gay and Lesbian veterans and their partners could be deposited.

No bisexuals or transgendered, though, whom, using simple math, we know existed. Transphobic much?

Observe the cognitive dissonance:

Russell says it is critical that the U.S. honor Gays and Lesbians who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces at a time when it was illegal to do so.

“Some people feel like we should be a part of everybody, not singled out,” she said. “But that is denying our history.”

It’s like they didn’t act on their sexual impulses so they could serve a higher cause.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Limits of democracy

Bernard Parks said on Meet the Press yesterday that the people of Ferguson, Missouri, need to engage in the democratic process to elect people who better represent their interests. This assumes the people of Ferguson’s interests are worth pursuing. If their interests are ignoble, as their automatic presumption of police officer Darren Wilson’s guilt suggests, as their 9 days of rioting and looting suggests, perhaps they should eschew the democratic process and look first to better themselves.

Of course, the people who most need to heed that advice are the ones more disposed to not heed it.

Where do political leaders come from? They come from the people. They rise to the top of their social networks by reflecting the group’s values and earning the group’s trust. If you want better leaders, you don’t start with voting. It’s too late then. You start with becoming a better people from which a better candidate arises. That’s easier said than done.

In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar struggles with the warlike Koba for alpha status in their group. Caesar is better than the apes he leads. The apes want war with the humans, a primal sentiment Koba taps into. Caesar wants peace with the humans. His leadership slips because, although he is the strongest ape, he doesn’t represent the group’s views re: the humans. When Caesar dies (or so they think), Koba easily rallies the apes to war.

On the human side, Malcolm also wants peace between the apes and humans, but he’s doesn’t lead the group. Dreyfus, who thinks more clearly in terms of us versus them, leads the group. Dreyfus as leader himself understands the limits of his position. If war is what the humans want, it’s war they’ll get. The best he can do is to lead them once their collective mind is made up. When Malcolm thwarts his plan to deliver a final solution to their ape problem, Dreyfus is incredulous. “They’re animals!” he shouts.

He’s wrong. They’re actually a lot like the humans. They can’t be trusted to not attack a threat to their existence. Malcolm’s hope for peace rests on Caesar being able to reverse ape instinct, and on himself being able to reserve human instinct. Two sides so predisposed, living in close proximity, are doomed to fight.

Caesar was naïve in believing he could trust the humans, whom Koba wisely predicted yearned to return to life as it used to be, with humans on top and apes below. Caesar’s climactic victory over Koba changes nothing, as he ends up adopting the same war policy Koba advocated all along.

After much internecine fighting, the apes and the humans get the leaders they deserve. The upper limit of democracy is the people.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ferguson forsaken

The police action in Clark County, Nevada, was cut and dry. The Feds were trying to hedge rancher Cliven Bundy in, and he wasn’t having it. The escalation and stand-off were more about symbolism and who controls this country: the people or officials of state with mercenaries at their beck and call.

It’s not as clear what the motives are in Ferguson, Missouri. Watching the videos of the police marching in formation down peaceful residential streets firing tear gas into people’s yards, “law and order” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

Police are supposed to protect the people from each other when the people can’t protect themselves. In a functional civil society, the people take care of themselves and the police play a minimal role. When their actions are primarily motivated by self-defense against the same public they’re supposed to “protect and serve,” they’ve lost the plot. Or they’re trying to justify themselves to a larger, outside authority.

In a dysfunctional civil society—when a community is so far gone that vigils are used as covers for looting and mischief—it’s time for police to rethink what they’re doing there. You can’t force a community to un-forsake itself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mission de-accomplished

If President Eisenhower had ordered troops out of Korea in 1955, and the Communists took over the rest of the peninsula, would we blame Truman, who started the Korean War? Only if we were pea brains.

Pea brain Eugene Robinson exonerates President Obama of the killing field that Iraq has morphed into these past few months:

As President Obama struggles to deal with the crisis in Iraq, it’s useful to remember who gave the world this cauldron of woe in the first place: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Their decision to launch a foolish and unwarranted invasion in 2003, toppling Saddam Hussein and destroying any vestige of the Iraqi state, is directly responsible for the chaos we see today, including the rapid advance of the well-armed jihadist militia that calls itself the Islamic State.


Could Obama have found a way to keep more of our soldiers in Iraq if he really wanted to? Perhaps.

No, not “perhaps.” Definitely. Rich Lowry of National Review recaps:

It is true that the Bush administration had agreed to end our troop presence, and if we were going to stay, Obama had to negotiate a new status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqis. Why it didn’t happen is a complicated question, and Iraqi resistance is part of the answer. But Obama was perfectly content with the outcome.

“The leaders of all the major Iraqi parties had privately told American commanders that they wanted several thousand military personnel to remain, to train Iraqi forces and to help track down insurgents,” according to a definitive account in The New Yorker by Dexter Filkins. Obama was “ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq,” Filkins writes. American officials negotiating with the Iraqis were left without guidance from the White House for months, and when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered to sign an executive agreement — bypassing the problematic Iraqi parliament — the administration said “no.”

Filkins quotes an Iraqi politician: “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible.” And why not? This was the fulfillment of Obama’s defining political promise. When we were out of Iraq entirely, he didn’t say how regrettable it was; he declared “mission accomplished.”

Consider the mission de-accomplished, as jihadists are stampeding across Iraq, intimidating and murdering Christians, and instituting a new caliphate. ISIS makes one yearn for Saddam Hussein.

President Bush took flak for the “mission accomplished” banner he hung on the USS Abraham Lincoln. The years that followed were a lesson that, in terms of securing peace in lands that have known anarchy and oppression for centuries, the mission is never finished. Row up the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, stop rowing, and see what happens.

That’s what evil is. It’s a river. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t die. It is only prevailed upon for a time when the will to prevail is strong.

Obama’s team stopped rowing as soon as they occupied the White House, and now we’re further behind than we were 12 years ago, before invading Iraq. With a feckless socialist leading the free world, there’s little that can be done now to make up the lost ground. Could Obama have found a way to limit the Islamist movement in Syria before it gained strength and spilled into Iraq? To borrow from Eugene Robinson, “perhaps.”

Could he have found a way to limit the Islamist movement in Libya? Perhaps.

Could he have found a way to limit the Islamist movement in Egypt? Perhaps.

Could he have found a way to limit the Islamist movement in Gaza? Perhaps.

Could he have found a way to support the secular movement in Iran before the Islamists crushed it? Perhaps.

Could he have found a way to limit Russian aggression in Ukraine? Perhaps.

Obama “leads from behind” on foreign policy. He goes with the flow, reacting to events instead of pursuing national interests. From the beginning, his focus has been on fundamentally transforming America, which translated from crypto-Marxist to English means hastening the homeland’s moral and financial rot.

Because he doesn’t want political opponents to paint him as indifferent or negligent, he takes great pains to appear tough in the areas of foreign policy where past presidents have been committed. A lot of effort goes into the posturing and half-measures that the administration routinely does when a crisis is laid at its feet. He is sensitive to pointed criticism of his performance. Don’t you understand how hard he is working to appear he’s working hard?

Pray for Iraq’s Christians. They need more than bombs to survive this persecution.