Sunday, August 10, 2014

Odds and ends 8/10/2014

Where marriage fails, society must prevail. There’s so much slack the society can pick up before demanding the government step in. So it’s good social policy to codify marriage as it serves society.

Micah Clark agrees:

The notion that our battle surrounding the unraveling of marriage in America today is due to a recent involvement of the heavy hand of government in the licensing, or regulating of marriage, is simply a canard. It is one often advanced by those who (knowingly or not) call for an unprecedented marital anarchy that ignores the public good which natural marriage provides to societies.

Pat Buchanan ravages Obama’s pending amnesty executive order:

If all are entitled to come, they will come. And they will remake the West and America in their own image, Obama's image, the image of that Tower of Babel, the United Nations General Assembly.

How many more tens of millions of poor and uneducated people can we absorb before we exceed the carrying capacity of the republic?

How much more diversity can we handle before there is no unity left?

As we boast of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, what still makes us one nation and one people? For it is not religion. Not culture. Not custom. Not history. Not tradition. Not language. Not ethnicity.

Is it only a Constitution and Bill of Rights – over the meaning of which we fight like cats and dogs.

What problems of America – from sinking test scores, to collapsing roads and bridges, to endless borrowing to save our social safety net, to income inequality, to culture wars – will be more easily solved with tens of millions more of the world's destitute arriving?

The president isolates a problem in the polity:

“The American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done.”

I do, and more Americans should.

At the Camp of the Saints blog, Bob Belvedere writes:

We are in a post-Constitutional state, where The Rule Of The Sovereign [a wonderful and accurate turn of phrase] is now not only in fact true [de facto], but where it is claimed by ‘right’ [de jure] by those who hold and exercise Power And Control in this country. Yes, it is true, this Rule has not been written into Law — there is no statute that can be cited in the U.S. Code — but, rather, The Rule Of The Sovereign has become The Spirit Of The Law. It animates and invigorates the actions of The Jarret Junto and their fellow Axis Of Despots members in everything they do.

Big money has a tin ear to the lives and lifestyles of the people. The usual suspects support multiculturalism and Balkanization.

What do major Republican donors like Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer have in common with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? They are all in favor of immigration reform.

The Republican rank and file may be divided, and the prospects for the Senate’s immigration compromise in the House gloomy, but among the biggest donors to Republican causes in the 2012 cycle, there is overwhelming support for immigration reform. Many top Republican givers to the Romney campaign and to conservative super PACs are squarely behind immigration reform and only one, former Rick Santorum super PAC backer Foster Friess, is actively opposed. As former Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams told The Daily Beast, “a number of traditional Republican donors are speaking out in favor of immigration reform because they see this legislation as good for the party, but also good for the future of the country.”

Rick Santorum often finds himself on the right side of cultural issues. Despite his flaws, he was the best candidate for president in 2012.


Adelaide Mena and Caitlin Seery La Ruffa write in Public Discourse:

A sexual ethic that centers on the pursuit of pleasure and personal gratification and reduces the significance of a sexual act to that of a scrabble game—mere recreation—teaches that persons are means to an end.

Someone should send that to Jill Filipovic.


Years ago, I read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism and was astounded at liberalism’s history, specifically President Woodrow Wilson, for whom contempt grew as I read Mark Levin’s books. Goldberg commemorated the centennial of World War I in National Review, and had this to say about Wilson’s America:

“I believe it is no exaggeration,” wrote sociologist Robert Nisbet, “to say that the West’s first real experience with totalitarianism — political absolutism extended into every possible area of culture and society, education, religion, industry, the arts, local community and family included, with a kind of terror always waiting in the wings — came with the American war state under Woodrow Wilson.”

Wilson introduced domestic spying, censorship, violent political intimidation of opponents, and economic statism into the American DNA. Pro-Wilson intellectuals celebrated the “social possibilities of war,” in the words of John Dewey. By that they meant the ability to force Americans to, as Frederick Lewis Allen put it, “lay by our good-natured individualism and march in step.” The enduring notion that experts could plan the economy from Washington was largely born in Wilson’s “war socialism.”


“It is my belief that QE has subsidized all asset prices and when you remove that, the market will go down.” –Stanley Druckenmiller

Last year I suggested one of the post-quantitative easing ways the government would support the equities bubble is mandating a percentage of all accounts invest in stocks. The SEC recently put up a roadblock to that, ZeroHedge reports:

After years of deliberations and relentless scheming on how to make the multi-trillion money market funds less attractive, two weeks ago the SEC finally passed, with much industry pushback in a close 3 to 2 vote, regulation that among other things implemented gates on various money market funds, a move which both we and SEC commissioner Kara Stein explained would accelerate the exodus of funds out of MMFs and increase the risk of financial instability in a rickety, house of cards, system. Of course, forcing money flows out of MMFs and into risky assets was the goal of “regulators” and the Fed all along—after all someone has to come in and pick up the baton from a Fed which is no longer in the business of injecting nearly $100 billion in the stock market every month: what better replacement than a forced reallocation out of the $2.6 trillion money market industry.

And, as I predicted, Japan is going down. ZeroHedge has the story.


The correlation between temperature tampering and atmospheric CO2 is strong.


John C. Wright is a special writer. Here he riffs on the implied divine autocracy of political correctness:

From the first primitive tribes under the paternal leadership of their elders to the most decadent years of the Pharaohs of Egypt or the God-Kings of Babylon, the Emperors of Rome or of Japan, the default assumption was that the great men were ordained by heaven to rule over the lesser men, allegedly for their own good. The idea that men were unequal, not just in wealth and rank, but in their innate, inner worth, their spiritual worth, is universal and worldwide.

Only with the coming of Christendom is a new concept introduced into human history: the concept of individualism, of equality. Christian princes held a higher rank than a pauper, but both knew that both would be naked on Judgment Day. Both knew that Saint Louis was no more nor less a saint than Saint Francis, albeit one was a prince and the other a pauper; both knew the laws of God applied equally to both. This concept was clarified and refined through the ages until, in America, a second new concept was introduced into human history, the concept of the people acting as their own prince, acting without a prince, merely with the law as their leader, and the state would be ordained by men, not by heaven, to act only in a limited sphere. It was an ideal of a small and limited government ruled by rules rather than by princes.

The mass neurosis called Political Correctness (sometimes called Leftism or Liberalism or Progressivism or Morlockery) is the old days back again. It is the old system of government we had in the Stone Ages, where the tribal chief acted as father and priest and god-king, and in his expert wisdom, decided each detail of anything that concerned the tribe. Political Correctness is the old corrupt system of the Pharaohs and Tyrants and Sultans of the East, unlimited government, government by courtiers, government by cronies, government in every nook and smallest crevasse of life.

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First, the cultists do not mean what civilized men mean by ‘correctness’. We mean something is ‘correct’ when it comports with reality, that is it agrees with truth, virtue, beauty, logic, love or fidelity. Reality is not a Morlockian concern. The Morlocks are concerned with what the cult says is correct. For them, ‘correct’ means obedience. ‘Correct’ means agreeing with Big Brother, even when he changes his mind on a dime or flatly contradicts himself.

This means they always side with falsehood over truth.

Second, the cultists do not mean what civilized men mean by ‘politics.’ We mean the art and practice of creating and sustaining policies, laws and customs prudently calculated to secure both the public weal and personal rights, namely to life and liberty and property. By our definition, politics is concerned with measures of peace and war, public decency, keeping the peace, deterring crime, securing to each man the rights to the fruits of his labor, and so on. Everything outside this sphere (and it is most of life) is personal, including how you should brush your teeth and whom you should marry.

For politics properly so called is not a Morlock concern. They have no interest in laws and customs except to destroy them. Their interest is in a theoretical polity whose leader, Big Brother, a creature of godlike benevolence and infinite wisdom, will intrude into all aspects of life down to the least unspoken thought. By his expert wisdom, Big Brother will decree an end to all human suffering, and, while he is at it, decree an end to all human limitations, rules, limits and the law of cause and effect.

Here he skewers Robert Heinlein in particular and libertinism in general:

Skeptic that I thought I was, it did not occur to me to question the amoral, epicurean and hedonistic philosophy put across by Mr. Heinlein in his books. It seemed so much common sense. I had never stopped to wonder: would Socrates, or Cato of Utica (or Sir Galahad or Kimball Kinnison of the Galactic Patrol, or Frodo Baggins of Bag End) have done what Oscar Gordon did?

I was too young to know, and too arrogant to believe, that hedonism leads to nihilism. It is a dead-end philosophy: a hedonist has no reason to praise temperance; an epicurean has no reason to praise courage; the live-for-today libertine has no use for prudence; man who, like Oscar Gordon, says that all customs are merely arbitrary cultural constructions, and refuses to see the difference between cruelty and civilization, such a man has no sense of justice.

I assure you I was as settled in my beliefs as man can be: I had studied the premises and principles with great skepticism, and subjected the whole structure of philosophy to pitiless logic, and tested and retested every link in my chain of reasoning. But I was inexperienced. Non-Euclidean geometry is also perfectly logical, but only experience can tell you whether or not Euclid’s fifth postulate describes the world we see, or not.


Interesting. Exciting. Disturbing.


Obamacare’s blessings continue.

On a recent afternoon at his office in Hartford, Conn., Dr. Doug Gerard examines a patient complaining of joint pain. Gerard, an internist, checks her out, asks her a few questions about her symptoms and then orders a few tests before sending her on her way.

For a typical quick visit like this, Gerard could get reimbursed $100 or more from a private insurer. For the same visit, Medicare pays less — about $80. And now, with the new private plans under the Affordable Care Act, Gerard says he would get something in between, but closer to the lower Medicare rates.

That’s not something he’s willing to accept.

“I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates,” Gerard says. “You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on.”

Three insurers offered plans on Connecticut’s ACA marketplace in 2014, and Gerard is only accepting one. He won’t say which, but he will say it pays the highest rate to doctors.

“I don’t think most physicians know what they’re being reimbursed. Only when they start seeing some of those rates come through will they realize how low the rates are they agreed to.”

Gerard’s decision to reject two plans is something officials in Connecticut are concerned about. If reimbursement rates to doctors stay low in Obamacare plans, more doctors could reject those plans. And that could mean that people will get access to insurance, but they may not get access to a lot of doctors.


The NFL suspended Ray Rice for hitting back at his fiancée. ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for saying women shouldn’t provoke fights with men, like spitting at them and screaming in their face.

Smith added the caveat that he wasn’t talking about spousal abuse. It didn’t matter. His boldness in speaking the truth drew the ire of the totalitarians to whom truth is a setback on the road to utopia.

“You should know by now you can’t keep it real with these losers.” –Tim Black

Mark Oshinskie writes about the “reproductive technology quagmire” at the American Thinker:

How does it feel to know you were born because you met a quality control inspector’s, and your parents’, standards? In place of unconditional love, reproductive technology allows the introduction of discrimination without regard to human dignity based on health or performance-related criteria.

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The lines between disease and trait or cure and enhancement are quite blurry. What will be the legislative status of embryos that have genes for schizophrenia? Deafness? Depression? Obesity? Below average intelligence or height? As the number of people with imperfections decreases, society’s acceptance of, and support groups and services for, the imperfect will shrink and the pressure to have “perfect” kids will intensify. Stanford Law Professor Hank Greely has predicted that, given these competitive pressures, within 50 years, 50% of Americans will be the product of IVF. Thus, genetic screening could cause the social stratification and personal alienation that the commentators fear, even without the genetic manipulation they foresee.

For example, the UK Daily Mail reports:

Britain is to get its first NHS-funded national sperm bank to make it easier for lesbian couples and single women to have children.

For as little as £300 – less than half the cost of the service at a private clinic – they will be able to search an online database and choose an anonymous donor on the basis of his ethnicity, height, profession and even hobbies.


Cail Corishev saw this commercial and didn’t like it. I don’t like it either.

Most TV commercials seem to be non-stop paeans to consumerism these days, but this is the first one I’ve seen that gave a nod to the feeling that’s spreading among the populace that maybe we can’t afford to keep the party hopping this way. And what was the message? Don’t worry about it! Things are still great, at least for today! Don’t worry about tomorrow! Don’t be a boring ant; have fun today, grasshopper! It’s been a few months since I’ve watched TV, so it kinda shocked me to see such a naked appeal: pay no attention to those rumblings; there’s plenty of time for more picnics before those clouds get here!

A&E is part of the problem, Keith Wilmer writes:

The Arts & Entertainment cable television network (A&E) has tossed in its lot, heart and soul, with the militant homofascist advance. Offered as evidence is its latest whimsical “public service” campaign “Celebrate Different.”

Therein one is engaged by a number or celebrities (and quasi-celebrity types like Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars”) to:

“…celebrate different; black, white, Latino, Filipino, every kind of ‘ino;’ girls who like girls, the guys who like guys, the old school, the new school, the never-quite-fit-ins. Let’s celebrate the loud and proud, the barrier-breakers, the larger-than-lifes, all shapes and sizes, one-of-a-kinds, people like us, and the people not so like us. Let’s hear it for people who like people – ANY kind of people. Let’s celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Let’s celebrate ‘different.’”

Specious relationship between ethnicity and homosexuality aside, the problem here is that A&E is celebrating only people who “like” their kind of people. Which is actually to say; only the individuals who lay prostrate before the advancing same-sex itinerary, those sheepishly remaining mum, and the ones who are crushed into silence through vitriolic chastisement or are badgered into intensive sensitivity training/re-education.

Television’s influence over your thoughts is vast. I recommend reducing your input, if not going cold turkey altogether.


An interesting pair of articles on porn at First Things. First, Carl R. Trueman:

Pornography degrades women (those cocksure feminists who claim otherwise have fallen for the biggest male confidence trick of all time). It alters the neural pathways of the brain and literally changes the way its consumers think. It hinders men from developing mature emotional relationships with women. It reinforces and supercharges the notion that sex is a commodity over which the consumer has complete control.

And Greg Forster:

Two broken relationships lie at the heart of pornography’s appeal: our relationship with God and our family relationships. The broken relationship with God is a perennial influence in the life of fallen man, and manifests itself in almost infinite ways. The rise to prominence of this particular sin is therefore, I think, mostly a result of the breakdown of the family. A society with strong family relationships that was becoming more ungodly over time (such things have happened) would not necessarily see a rise in pornography; it would find some other monstrosity to chase after.

Across both these broken relationships (with God and with family) the appeal of pornography is the illusion of power. It is not primarily the physical senses that pornography stimulates, but the imagination. Pornography helps the user enter and remain within an illusion of his own creation. Within that illusory world, he is all-powerful. Everything bends to his will; even the most outrageously implausible scenarios become easy. C. S. Lewis once referred to the sexual desires of a pervert as “that ghastly world of impossible fantasies which have become, for him, ‘the real thing.’” That gets right to the heart of it. (One might ask why, if the point is to live within an infinitely flexible illusion, the external stimulus of pictures and videos is necessary; I think it helps the user suspend disbelief while he is within the illusion.)


I see these two stories as related in a fundamental way. Via InfoWars:

Seeking to file a complaint about the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter, Steve Wronko visited the Helmetta Police Department to air his grievances about the shelter falling prey to nepotism and corruption as a result of Helmetta Mayor Nancy Martin appointing her son Brandon Metz to head up the facility.

“I’ve made objections about what’s going on at the shelter over there,” Wronko tells the police officer, adding, “My first and fourth amendment rights were violated, my civil rights were violated.”

“Obama just decimated the freakin’ Constitution, so I don’t give a damn. If he doesn’t follow the Constitution, we don’t have to,” responds the cop, brazenly violating the oath he swore to uphold the Constitution.

The comment is self-evidently shocking, but it also provides an insight as to how corruption from the very top reaches all the way down to the bottom, providing law enforcement with a twisted form of justification for their unconstitutional activities.

And the The Economist:

Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.

After finishing the game, the players had to fill in a form that asked their age and the part of Germany where they had lived in different decades. The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism. They also looked at how much time people had spent in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The longer the participants had been exposed to socialism, the greater the likelihood that they would claim improbable numbers of high rolls.


Vox Day writes about how the female instinct for protection inspires the male instinct to protect her:

Her gesture was a request that said: “I’m scared, please protect me”, to which the normal male response is to feel more affectionate and sympathetic towards the individual for whom he has accepted the responsibility of protecting.

This is why young couples often like to see horror movies together. It is an emotionally bonding experience, as the girl seeks the feeling of being protected and the boy has the opportunity to assume, however hypothetically, the role of her protector.

Because women don’t think like men, they don’t understand that being challenging is intrinsically unattractive to men. It provokes the man’s fight (or flight) response rather than his protective response, but since in most cases the man actually doesn’t want to fight, it leaves him feeling frustrated and conflicted. Being submissive, on the other hand, provokes a protective response, and the subsequent affection.


Tom Simon writes about writing. I savored this nugget:

Few things make me happier than thinking of ten clever words to take the place of fifty dull ones: a thing that often happens when I have to retype a manuscript from scratch. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but Sloth is the father, and he is more prolific than his wife.

Finally, at the Red Pill Report, “The Little Red Hen,” a fable of socialism.

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