Monday, September 14, 2015

Odds and ends 9/14/2015

I could listen to Rod Dreher wax on the social issues and the coming secular technocracy all day. But on fighting for what he believes in, and trying to avert “inevitable” “progress,” he’s a wimp. Example:

The Family Research Council and other Christian, Inc. lobbyists are already writing the fundraising appeals, you can bet. And you can also bet that they’re bending the ear of clueless House Republicans to get them to propose provocative religious liberty legislation that stands no chance of passing, but every chance of discrediting the cause in the public’s eye. (In fact, I was told last night by someone deeply involved in this issue at the Congressional level that this is exactly what is happening.)

So I’m angry about this. Huckabee and Cruz, but especially Huckabee, are doing wonders to inject juice into their own presidential campaigns, but the political cost to the long-term good of orthodox Christians will be severe. But hey, we’ve Made A Statement, and demonstrating our emotions (and, while we’re at it, raising some money for GOP candidates and Christian advocacy groups) is the most important thing.

He continued in the comments:

I’ve been saying for a long time now that AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, the key thing to preserve is the liberty of our Christian institutions to operate free from state interference. The legal and political battle for the Kim Davises and even the cake-bakers and wedding photographers has been lost. To keep trying to fight those battles is a waste of precious ammunition (again, I speak metaphorically) and of precious time. The next front is when progressives start trying to cut federal funding, including student loan funding, from Christian colleges unless the adopt LGBT non-discrimination policies. And not only funding, but accreditation and licensing. What do you do when public school teachers are forced to teach a curriculum provided by GLSEN, or otherwise to affirm LGBT ideology, or lose their jobs? It’s coming. Getting statutory protections in place to protect institutions and individuals like that may still be possible (and it’s not just me saying this; I just got off the phone with a prominent lawyer engaged in the fight at a senior level, who said the same thing). But the more time, energy, and capital we spend on lost causes like Kim Davis, the harder it is going to be to defend our institutions.

The Arizona and Indiana episodes clearly signaled the secular autonomy zeitgeistians will brook no exemptions, religious or otherwise, to their rule. This is elementary. We are all bigots to them. Stop pretending they will have sympathy for a carefully reasoned, civil argument. Ryan T. Anderson shredded Suze Orman on CNN, and all she did was insult and belittle him. They know not reason, only power. That’s what it means to be enthralled by lies.

When the battle is at your door, fight! You don’t get to choose when to fight back, to wait for the perfect opportunity with the perfect leader. There’s no time to waste.

Robert Oscar Lopez speaks some sense here:

I am sure that Kim Davis prayed prolifically in the months leading up to her arrest. She had some difficulties with marriages in her past, but it seems that after a recent conversion, she did what she had to do to make her life as aligned with Christ’s dictates as she could. She seemed, even when being hectored by angry gay out-of-towners flanked by nosy cameramen, to speak with love and reverence for God.

In other words, she did all the soft and cuddly, non-hating stuff that the diplomatic Christians ask us to do all the time. Including prayer.

Then she simply said, “No.” She would not sign the marriage license. Like Thoreau, she went to jail.

Marriage matters. Of the Ten Commandments, the first one mentioned that reflects upon social relations among human beings is “Honor your father and mother.” Gay marriage dishonors one or the other. There is no godly or Christian way to endorse it, whether you are in a state job or in a private job. This is the moment when you, as a Christian, must not retreat. When people pray, they pray so that at moments like this, you do as Kim Davis did, and stand up for God.

I will not name names, because there is no sense in shaming the many disappointing conservatives who have run around criticizing Kim Davis and warning that she is a bad standard-bearer for our cause. Most of them are fixated with the “law,” forgetting that John Adams said our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. John Adams did not say our Constitution was made for graduates of Yale Law School.

They should be ashamed of themselves. Many of them, it seems, are telling me I should keep praying for some kind of divine intervention or guidance. They don’t get it—God has heard our prayers and sent us a chance to do something. Kim Davis gave us a chance to defy. Unlike so many others, she showed up to work with Nehemiah’s sword at her belt, and when the moment came, she unsheathed it.


Dominic Burbidge serves strong medicine on autonomy at Public Discourse:

The “golden age” of selfless denial is running out. Younger generations have taken up the demand for autonomy with alacrity. The basic argument is that choice should dictate our lives from beginning to end. At its core, it is an argument that resents discussion of the meaning of life, or even the meaning of pleasure and pain. This is consistent, because our general preference for choice over other goods requires that we avoid affirming through law goods that have an inherent dependence or social knowledge written-in, goods such as family condolence, deeper reflection on pain, or friendship as a guard against loneliness. All three depend upon others, and so are averse to absolute autonomy.

Our generation’s love for autonomy has not been built through frequently addressing end-of-life issues but through shying away from them. It is a product of our love for career. Career as the aim of life builds these discussions of efficient life termination as a question of autonomy, and it just so happens that it is also efficient for our economy.

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We are the inventors of a truly individualized cult. We reject community-based religion as the zone of guilt trips and instead retreat into self-made sanctuaries where we pour our own stored-up guilt upon ourselves with the hope that it will make us study harder, make more careful life choices, and work with less rest.

Autonomy is the sunrise and sunset of our lives. It gives us the ability to do what we want, and the explanation for why what we do is good. Its enemy is dependence, not because the two are at war but because dependence provides a silent, robust alternative. If society accepted dependence, we would still be able to do what we want, and we would also have a better explanation for why what we do is good. Dependence is a threat to our love for autonomy because it is better, stronger, and speaks more deeply to our nature. Against this strength, it is futile for the lovers of autonomy to say their way is superior, so instead they say their way is inevitable. The irony is that their prophecy requires laws to be implemented.


At Taki’s, David Cole asked his friend why unisex bathroom accommodations weren’t good enough for a 17 year-old transsexual. Her response:

Unisex restrooms only serve to further separate, where we should be teaching our children to be inclusive.

Reeducation camps for all of you who think a boy doesn’t belong in the girl’s room. It’s not about having a safe public space to pee, it’s about forcing people to accept you and not think verboten thoughts about you. If the transsexual’s “right” to pee with the girls supersedes the rights of girls to not pee with him, will girls be obligated to witness this narcissistic beast use the toilet to validate his delusions?

At the American Thinker, Jeremy Egerer lays the wood on transgenderism. This is a great post. Excerpt:

The reason that the “post-gender generation” is temporary (and hopefully only a generation) is because the one thing they never should have bucked is the one thing they did, and it happens to be beauty. There’s nothing attractive about Miley Cyrus, nothing that makes you say I want this woman living in my house with me forever. She’s already ruined her looks with androgyny and bad fashion. She’s unsuitable for any pursuit of tranquility (which every single one of us eventually needs), useless for any kind of actual production (which most of us are forced by circumstances into doing), and even worse for the raising of children (which is the biological purpose and statistically unavoidable result of having sex). And if children aren’t ready to begin searching for these qualities intently, they’ll feel themselves drawn magically to them by their guts—which are eternal, unlike the tastes of our intelligentsia.

The irony of the post-gender generation is that it claims to be getting a minority out of the closet, while forcing the majority back into another. It demands that the majority of people celebrate things they don’t really feel like celebrating—unless they have to celebrate it for the purpose of fitting in. And this is because a person who's post-gender or transsexual has never really left his sex. He’s just terrible at being it. He straddles the infinite chasm between two ideals, and he cheapens both of them while getting neither. Children instinctively know this, and teachers know that they know it—and we know this because teachers are spending a lot of time telling children to say that they don’t know it.

The post-gender movement is against the things all generations of healthy people have recognized as masculine and feminine, which means that in a universal sense, it’s profoundly anti-democratic. It’s about pretending the forces of nature never existed, and that all the healthy people in fiction and in history, from the Nephilim to Lord Byron, were wrong about their feelings. The movement isn’t about the minority who wants to wear makeup and still be respected as manly; it’s about the people who know he isn’t manly and are forced to celebrate him because he isn’t. It asks people whether they would rather be “individuals” or be beautiful—and it not only asks them to pick the option they’d rather not, but chastises them when they refuse to conform to the celebrations of tasteless individuality. Everyone is beautiful, they say—especially when they’re responsible for making themselves ugly.


Matthew Kacsmaryk writes about the zeitgeist in Public Discourse:

It sought public affirmation of the lie that the human person is an autonomous blob of Silly Putty unconstrained by nature or biology, and that marriage, sexuality, gender identity, and even the unborn child must yield to the erotic desires of liberated adults. In this way, the Sexual Revolution was more like the French Revolution, seeking to destroy rather than restore.

Kacsmaryk reports on liberals trying to inject “identity” and “orientation”—which are definable and immutable, you know—into the 1964 Civil Rights Act, another reason to repeal that misguided law.

The lips of the adulterous women drip honey, and her seductive words are smoother than olive oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grace. Lest she should make level the path leading to life, her paths are unstable but she does not know it. (Proverbs 5:3-6)

Lloyd Marcus writes a passionate piece on what Christians face in the culture war in the American Thinker:

Wedding chapels, cakes, flowers, and everything else needed for homosexuals to marry are readily available to them. Homosexuals’ ultimate mission is to force Christians to rubber-stamp their behavior, thus betraying the true God.

This is why I get upset with Christians who still do not get it—labeling any pushback as intolerant and un-Christian, lecturing fellow Christians about showing these passive, humble homosexuals more love. I want to scream, “This ain’t about that!” This is about saying no to being bullied into embracing anti-biblical behavior.

The radical homosexual movement is a form of the Mark of the Beast. In essence, any business or household that does not display the homosexual rainbow flag over its doorway will not be permitted to exist. Remember the pro football player who was fined and forced into sensitivity training for tweeting his disapproval of two men kissing on national TV.

When did we lose the power, folks, becoming subservient to 2% of the population, forced to comply or end up in jail?

It’s not just the 2 percent of the population who is gay. The gay mafia’s power comes from its alliance with progressive radical egalitarians, who are mostly straight, white, rich, Pharisaical secularist zeitgeist worshippers.


At Return of Kings, Michael Sebastian makes a familiar argument against pot:

A self-absorbed populace is easy to rule. That’s why rulers have always provided diversions to keep the masses distracted. In ancient Rome, it was the games in the Colosseum. Today, the media, our celebrities, and the other members of our new “aristocracy” encourage us to enjoy life and light up our medical marijuana cigarette.

Like soma to dull the pain. I wrote last year:

The bipartisan ruling establishment, who push immigration, globalization, and technisation, favor legalizing marijuana. They’re more interested in dumbing people down, softening them up for tyranny, than locking up malcontents. They don’t want to pay for your imprisonment. They want to sell it to you—and tax the profits. It’s a win-win!

Politico reports Obamacare sucks:

Flexible spending accounts, which allow people to save their own money tax free for everything from doctor co-pays to eyeglasses, may vanish in coming years as companies scramble to avoid the law’s 40 percent levy on pricey health care benefits.

“They’ll be one of the first things to go,” said Rich Stover, a health care actuary and principal at Buck Consultants, an employee benefits consulting firm. “It’s a death knell for them. If the Cadillac tax doesn’t change, FSAs will go away very quickly.”

That fact alone could dramatically alter the political equation surrounding Obamacare, potentially blindsiding middle-class voters who may be only vaguely aware of the Cadillac tax. Though the levy won’t take effect until 2018, it could be one of the first items on the next president’s desk.

Already, it’s become an issue in the Democratic presidential primaries, with Sen. Bernie Sanders vowing to junk the tax and Hillary Clinton saying she’s open to changes.

But it’s the law!


Confirmation bias on my article “Tax the rich, starve the poor” from George Gilder:

Time itself means continuous change of knowledge and conditions. Among all states it is the “stationary state” so favored by the prophets that is most sure withering away.

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Because there is no demand for new and unknown goods, no demand for the unforeseeable fruits of innovation and genius, preoccupation with demand fosters stagnation. Egalitarianism in the economy tends to promote greed over giving.

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Entrepreneurs must be allowed to retain wealth for the practical reason that only they, collectively, can possibly know where it should go, to whom it should be given.

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The crucial question in a capitalist country is the quality and quantity of investment by the rich. A tax increase will not greatly affect their consumption, which represents a relatively modest and steady portion of the wealth of the upper class. What is affected is the calculation by which a rich man decides to save and invest and by which he chooses what kind of investments to make.

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When it is impossible to earn reasonable returns from durable capital, the only thing to do is grope for the much larger through perilous yields of speculation.

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Steeply progressive tax rates may have an idealistic ring, but their effect is to reduce incentives for economic success, work, and risk, and to favor the search got unproductive sinecures that make small encroachments on leisure time or household comforts.

I’m almost finished with Capitalism and Poverty, and there is more wealth of knowledge to synthesize. Stay tuned.


Betsy McCaughey talks some sense about “rape culture” at the American Spectator:

It’s not clear what happened between two St. Paul’s students on a June evening in 2014. The female accuser told the jury that the defendant “couldn’t know that I was uncomfortable because I was laughing,” during the encounter in the school’s equipment room. “I was trying to be cool.” But five days later, she went to the police. The male defendant said, “I thought she was having a great time.” Last week, the jury rendered a mixed verdict, acquitting him of felony rape though finding him guilty of lesser charges.

Regardless of the sentence he faces, his life has been irreversibly harmed by the rape charge and trial. Yet there will be many more trials like this, thanks to the warriors for political correctness. They have pushed to remove force as the standard for rape, and they’ve succeeded in nearly half the states already, including New Hampshire, where this trial occurred.

Sometimes, a young man will come on too strong but the young woman will go along and only later claim it was nonconsensual. In states without a standard of force, he could be convicted and sent to prison for years. In New Hampshire, had the defendant been convicted, he would have faced a mandatory 10 to 20 years.

That’s a draconian punishment for what may be mixed signals between sexual novices.

Let’s face it. Maturing heterosexual males are wired to pursue women for sex. And maturing females learn—often through trial and error—how to respond. When young women want sex, they learn to tilt their head or smile. And when they don’t want sex, they need to learn to firmly push away, convincingly say “no,” or just get up and leave. In the absence of force (or intoxication), there is nothing stopping them except their confusion.

The man declared innocent of rape had his face all over CNN for weeks. The non-victim with the flaky accusation got off with no one knowing her name. We were better off being chaste.


Republican congressional leadership likes to set up phony votes to put the Democrats on the spot, so to speak, but they don’t win anything other than rhetorical points. If they really believed in the nobility of their cause, they’d come to these budget battles armed to the teeth, prepared to deploy every weapon against the Democratic government to exercise leverage. But they don’t.

CNN has the story:

Boehner and McConnell are highlighting the series of investigations congressional committees have launched to explore Planned Parenthood’s actions and funding. They are discussing moving the issue to a separate process—known as budget reconciliation—to take on the organization without risking the closure of the government. They are privately making the case to their members that any shutdown would hurt the anti-abortion community’s cause.

Because getting the government out of human trafficking and feticide is not something you want to shut the government down for. Pathetic.

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