Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Have a good holiday.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Did the Cultists of Gnu learn anything?

Having a pleasant discussion with John Mitchell in the comments. I now wonder if a sizable amount of Gnus are ready to realize that New Atheism was a bad idea. It didn't go a decade before being subverted by SJWs, who turned out to be a far bigger, far more proximate threat to atheists than Christianity has been in centuries.

Is it possible? Do they recognize this?

I wonder.

In light of the recent budget that was passed...

...Would anyone taking the 'I'd rather win with Rubio or Jeb thank lose and get Hillary!' line care to defend that position to me again?

Tell me the value of party loyalty again. I gave that up many a year ago, but now would be quite a good time to try and sell me on its value once more.

Edit: By the way, what is this bull:
“In terms of the process, I can tell you I’ve had more meaningful conversations with the speaker and leadership in the last couple of weeks than I think I have in the last couple of years,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who instigated the revolt against Speaker John Boehner that led to Boehner’s resignation this fall. “I would give it an A-plus in terms of trying to reach out to the rank and file.”
I'm glad you felt like he was really listening to you, Rep Meadows. I mean, that's why we ousted Boehner. Because you felt like you weren't really being given enough attention. Which really, like, sucks, because you're a cheerleader too.

This is what's being discussed, right? Being part of a cheerleader squad and getting snubbed by the more popular girls on the team? Because that's what it sounds like.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Peggy Noonan stars in ad encouraging the use of 'Cuckservative'


Alright, not intentionally. But the effect is the same.

That hesitant stammer is all you need to see why it's both the term of choice by a significant portion of the right, and also a term which sends many self-described conservatives through the roof when it's used. If you think this is just a case of the very mild-mannered and softspoken Peggy Noonan simply being unable to handle foul language, I suggest you look at how Nick Searcy reacts to the term. Even if you agree with him and disagree with Vox, 'batshit' accurately describes his reaction to its use.

I have no sympathy for the people who hate the use of 'cuckservative'. Anti-immigration conservatives have been attacked for years - including by 'fellow conservatives' - using language that's just as toxic and demeaning. If they didn't want the debate to stoop to this level, they should have unleashed their hostility back when people opposed to massive immigration were being called racists, or told that they were afraid of immigrants 'stealin' their wimmenz'. They didn't, as now the debate is gutter-worthy on both sides.

I do regard it as a shame that it's come to this. Sure, I can be as foul-mouthed as anyone else, but I prefer to talk about things sensibly whenever possible. I recognize that once you deploy language like this, the dialectic ship has sailed - at least in that particular conversation. But watching demi-conservatives demand that everyone cease and desist from using the term cuckservative, after years of them belittling and brutally mocking immigration opponents, RINO opponents and (most recently) Trump supporters in some of the foulest terms?

See, that's a bit like watching a schoolyard bully pick on a kid with a stutter for years. Laughing at him whenever he tries to speak, mockingly imitating him, doing his damndest to make the kid break down in tears or shut up altogether. Then one day the kid with the stutter figures out - that bully? He got molested by the football coach once. And it turns out stutter-kid can do a hilarious imitation of that, one that makes the bully really lose his shit. So much so that the bully runs to the principal, begging and demanding that stutter-kid never, ever, ever be allowed to make fun of him, because that hurts and is so personal - while, you know, the whole 'stuttering' thing is fair game.

I should be sympathetic to the bully here?

Yeah, that's not happening.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gambling on Trump.

When people talk to me about Trump, what they don't seem to get is that there's two aspects of my support for the man.

The first is the practical, here-and-now dividends I think Trump's existence in the race is paying in the culture wars. As someone who has spent a good chunk of his life watching 'conservatives' cower in fear of the dreaded 'racist' label - leading to act upon act of groveling, whimpering, and betrayal - I regard Trump's candidacy as a windfall. Not a potential windfall, should he win office. A real, honest-to-God bolt of electricity that has made given life and energy to nationalists and cultural defenders. The effect Trump is having on discussions about the border, about nationalism, about immigration, about #blacklivesmatter, is tremendous. Even if Trump is lying about every position he holds, even if he's just some kind of Manchurian candidate who is going to turn into Bernie Sanders if he wins, the value of his willingness to stand up defiantly against everyone from the media to the GOP establishment is incredible.

But the second reason? I regard him as a worthy gamble. Look - I'm not so naive as to think that Trump is a hardcore right-wing nationalist who was only pretending to be a left-of-the-road New Yorker all these years. It's a nice fantasy, but it's not something I'd bet much money on. People say 'Trump is a salesman - a good one! He'll say anything to get elected. But he's not guaranteed to do what he says!' think they're selling me a reason not to endorse him, but instead they're actually coming close to a major reason I support him: that he seems like a political wildcard.

I know what I'm going to get with Hillary Clinton. Wall Street servitude, leftist social issues and appeasement to an increasingly delirious SJW and corrupted culture. Not interested.

However, the GOP isn't much better. Remember that Trump rose to prominence when Jeb! was supposed to be the anointed candidate, and Rubio was considered to be the backup plan. Oh boy, a State of the Union address probably delivered in Spanish, amnesty, and yet more betrayal on every issue I consider worthwhile. On the upside, I'd be sure to see tax cuts on multinational corporations that do things like demand states veto their religious rights bills or forbid the presence of a confederate flag in their stores, and nominating SCOTUS justices like those famous GOP nominees, Kennedy and Souter.

How can I pass that up? Goodness. Yet somehow, I find it in me to pass.

Some people are bewildered about this, and take two tacks with me.

First is, 'What Trump is saying is racist. He's making us look bad. He's ruining the GOP brand. This is going to hurt our outreach with hispanics and blacks and women, running a guy like this.' To this I can simply say, nothing he's said is racist, and this kind of perpetual fear - and this belief that the only route available is amnesty for illegals, open borders, and cultural surrender on every point - no longer is something I'll entertain. Been there, done that. If you tell me that the American right has no power or will to do anything but roll over, but hopefully pass some tax cuts on the way, then 'let it burn' becomes to me the moderate position. 'Pour gas on the fire' will be my preference, and President Sanders can work his magic.

Second is, 'I'd rather at least get 3% of what I want with a President Rubio than 0% with a President Hillary.' This is usually offered up as the wise, crafty approach: 3% > 0%, ergo, this is the path of wisdom. Once again: if these are the scraps we're fighting over, then to hell with the project. And don't tell me we're laying the foundations for future successes by being pragmatic now. I lived through the GOP holding the senate, the house, and the presidency at once, and it holds two of those things now. Nothing of lasting value was accomplished, and it's because what I regard as valuable, the GOP kingmakers regard as toxic.

Again, no thanks. With Trump, I get to roll the dice, and I pick up some nice cultural victories on the way - something which actually may result in people building upon them, with a bit of luck. If the modern GOP is destroyed in the process, well - little of value will have been lost. In the meantime, I'm starting to like this recent turn of events, where ideas like 'American interests come before foreign ones', 'Illegal immigrants should be sent packing', 'Blacklivesmatter is a farce' and more are said on TV and defended openly, rather than whispered on blogs. I think I'd rather live my life standing by these values - even if they tarnish that precious GOP 'brand' - rather than pretending that, good golly, what would really benefit this country is a few million Syrians and 20 million H1-B visas.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dinesh D'Souza shows why cowardice is a SJW virtue.


Basically, because this sort of thing would happen otherwise.

I've called Dinesh D'Souza the Scrappy Doo of apologists, and I stand by that while extending it to political debate as well. He's animated and excitable. He's cocky. He's on the small side, both in terms of notoriety and stage presence. He, frankly, seems like the sort of guy who isn't going to do all that well in a dustup.

Then remember that this is a guy who managed to hand not just Daniel Dennett, but Christopher Hitchens their heads in an onstage conflict.

Because Scrappy Doo there, for all his excitability and energy and seeming naivete, is crafty. And not just crafty: relentless. Other debaters will usually be content to leave their opponent with a question they can't answer, and hope that the lingering sense of puzzlement in the air will suffice to make their point. They are satisfied with drawing blood. D'Souza prefers to go in for a kill when the opportunity is there. And in this case, it was.

Now, it's easy to watch this and feel a bit bad for the student. Yes, he got rolled. He was left standing up there, dumbfounded, clearly looking for help and coaching that was never going to arrive. What could anyone say? That no, he deserved to keep his privilege?

When you realize that SJWs are typically made up of well-off white children, you can easily see one reason why a frantic avoidance of engagement at any cost is sanctified, blessed and encouraged.

No one wants to be this guy. And yet, barring a severely stacked deck, this - or some form of it - is easily what they can become if they argue with the wrong person openly.

Intellectual Cowardice: A SJW Virtue

While people love to mock SJWs for their timidity and cowardice - their need of 'safe spaces', their mortal fear of intellectual opposition - what many fail to realize is that SJWs consider their frailty a virtue, not a vice.

The inability to encounter an idea without feeling physically ill is considered praiseworthy. Being unable to finish - or even start - a book they disagree with is a sign of moral development. If you're capable of reading things you deeply disagree with without being shaken to your core, the SJW regards you as at best an oddity, and at worst, somehow deficient. And if you regard a Wrongthink book as containing valid points (however few) that don't fit neatly with your own, you are not a thoughtful or open-minded person. You are morally deficient, and quite possibly a threat to everyone else by virtue of what thoughts you're willing to entertain, even if you thoroughly reject them.

In the SJW world, the proper reaction to dissent is not argument, or even rejection. It is stomach-twisting, incapacitated terror.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Secular leftists are worse than militant muslims

Just so my position is clear. I'm all in favor of a ban of muslim immigration into the US, and a ban on immigration in general for a long time. But yes, I regard secular leftists as hardly better than modern muslims. They share in common similar desires to control speech, to nose their way into everyone's life, to aggressively convert, and more. Muslims make Christians pay the jizya, which is hardly different from fines for failing to make a same-sex wedding cake, or for refusing to pay for your employees' abortion and condoms.

In fact, the jizya is better - that's not designed with the intention of forcing compliance.

People will object strenuously that muslim extremists kill people. True. But so do leftists when the chips are down, and the typical secular leftist boosts abortion - and if we use that as reference for the body count, there's really no comparison.

Book Recommendation, Review to Follow




I'll be getting a fuller book review soon, but for now I'll just flat out recommend this book. If you're a conservative who is wondering why you've felt strangely abandoned by the politicians who are supposed to 'be on your side', this gives a nice diagnosis of the problem.

I hope Vox writes 'Churchians' next.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

They're Finally Starting to Get Trump

At National Review, of all places - the premier cuckservative nest.
Critically, the Overton Window was smashed not by a politician but by a very American hybrid of corporate/entertainment titan — a man rich and powerful enough to be immune to elite condemnation and famous enough to dominate the news media. How many people can commandeer live television simply by picking up the phone and calling in? How many politicians can cause Twitter to detonate seemingly at will?  
While many of Trump’s actual proposals are misguided, nonsensical, or untenable, by smashing the window, he’s begun the process of freeing the American people from the artificial and destructive constraints of Left-defined discourse. Serious and substantive politicians like Ted Cruz will get a more respectful hearing, and PC shibboleths about allegedly boundless virtues of Islam and immigration will be treated with the skepticism they deserve.
Of course, French goes on to say that 'Trump should not rule the world he made'. But who should replace him? Marco fucking Rubio? Jeb!? Someone else with a golden leash around their neck, answering to donors with the same sympathies they've always had, but perhaps singing a different tune? Should we trust National Review's judgment, after they spent months trying desperately to protect the Overton Window they now praise the destruction of?

I'll gamble on Trump, thank you very much. Since he, you know - actually accomplished all this.

Come to think of it, all of the successes worth talking about lately have come from the section of the right that 'proper' conservatives and Republicans hate. Outfits like Breitbart. Writers like Milo 'Flamingly Gay Catholic' Yiannapolous. Vox Day, while he's promoting the Cuckservative label that -outrages- Republicans. Taki's Mag, home to guys like Derbyshire, who were ejected from National Review because liberals complained.

Meanwhile, in the mainstream right, Jeb Bush can speak in Spanish and Marco Rubio's young and peppy. How could I ever pass up that action?

Somehow, I'll find a way to do just that. And you should too.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Suddenly, this shooting is no big deal anymore!

Man, that narrative changed quick, didn't it?

That was building into quite the 'We must pass gun control NOW, because stopping shootings like these is of the utmost importance!' talk, right up until the moment one of the shooters' name was revealed as 'Saheed Farook'.

Now, what's really going to be stressed is that it's of the utmost importance not to blow this out of proportion, and the biggest mistake we could make is to maybe put a hold on immigration from muslim countries. We should view this as an isolated tragedy, perhaps a result of anti-muslim rhetoric.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Speaking of Xenophobia...

It looks like it's pretty popular in Germany too.

I'm talking, of course, about the clergy who otherwise won't shut up about how important it is to flood Europe with as many 'refugees' as possible.

Sayeth the kind-hearted liberal clergy about Africa:
Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions(of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.
Channeling Chris Rock, I suppose Cardinal Kasper would insist that while he loves black people, he just can't stand niggers.

Speaking as an educated child of the west, protective of my culture and my ways - and awash in sin besides - let me take it upon myself to put a good word in, not just for Cardinal Sarah, but for the Church in Africa: maybe we're not as smart as we think we are, and maybe the Africans have recovered some of the clarity we used to be blessed with. Maybe when they disagree with us, they have reasons for doing so. Last I checked, Cardinal Sarah offered reasons for his views - damn good ones. The educated Cardinal Kasper mostly offered up hot air, deception and misdirection.

Let Cardinal Kasper ask me who I think the more intelligent person is between the two, and which of the two I think became a cleric because the alternative was bottom-feeding in his respective culture. The answer may surprise him.

So while I'm one post away from having sung the praises of a certain amount of xenophobia, let me make it clear: western civilization doesn't dominate in every category. While Africa has its own problems - putting it mildly - we have plenty of our own, and believing we're so goddamn smart is one of them. Maybe not every topic is as complicated as we like to pretend it is - maybe we're having trouble figuring out simple problems that other people can understand and solve with ease.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Xenophobia versus Apathy

There is a near-unceasing war against 'Xenophobia' in the modern west. It's more universal, more passionate than the war against 'Homophobia', and people who will still criticize same-sex marriage or sodomy in general will often turn on a dime and lambast xenophobia or anything in the ballpark of it. Even people accused of xenophobia usually fight back by trying to argue that others are the REAL xenophobes.

At heart, there is an obsession with denouncing anyone who dislikes change. Who wants to preserve almost anything about the life they know - the language spoken in their country, or even their city. The traditions they have ('tradition' is itself sneered at by default by many). Their habits, their temperaments, their loyalties, their tolerances - the desire to stand firm and preserve just about anything is seen as primitive retroactive behavior, and even yesterday's liberal attitude becomes today's out-of-date stance.

To express dislike at the idea that in a hundred years, or fifty years, or possibly even twenty years the country you know of will be of a near-completely different racial, cultural, linguistic, religious and intellectual makeup is a sign that you're intolerant, stupid and quite possibly dangerous on top of it all. You fear change, ergo you fear progress, ergo you are an enemy of all that's good.

People go along with this, as they'll go along with just about anything with the right prodding. But in the process, they fight back - subconsciously and naturally, even if undetectably.

And their weapon of choice is apathy.

They stop having children, or at least stop prioritizing their welfare. They lose attachment to their community. Some lose interest in their own lives, or maintain it only in pretty shallow ways - ways that benefit themselves, and if they benefit anyone else, that is at best a happy and usually temporary accident. They may be politically active, but their movements are unpredictable and without rhyme or reason. They're emotional, based on the extraordinarily immediate - what upsets them today. If they change their mind about what's desperately urgent in a week or a month or a year, you can point out their inconsistency and they won't care. They've already absorbed the idea that consistency is for savages.

Now, you can laugh at them - I sure do. Mock them, belittle them, and it's not always undeserved. But what has actually created them? Point at the media, point at the schools. Once again, I do the same, and there's some blame there. But I think there's more blame to be passed around than that. Did anyone ever teach them that it was perfectly acceptable - even noble - to want to preserve something more than a fucking park for the next generation? That they rightly had some say over who that next generation would even be?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Even if you're in Europe or something!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Church of England ad banned for featuring Lord's Prayer

Mostly I'm surprised they still recite that prayer, since it's sexist and patriarchal.
I should feel sympathetic. I am sympathetic, in fact, but in a larger and more abstract way. It's another sign of what 'multiculturalism' really means in the West, a sign of that 'tolerance' that only tolerates the shittier aspects of what we call human diversity.

But this isn't a fight I see the Church of England meaningfully fighting. They've rolled over when it's come to every major fight with the modern, secular world. Their whole sect was founded on the tenacity of their desire to roll over for a state authority who wanted to change a rule he found inconvenient. I don't think they're going to improve, now that the secular world is demanding their extinction, which they've otherwise resigned themselves to, when they're not outright encouraging it.

They'll complain, and then one of those ugly women they made into a bishop will complain that this sort of row is meaningless in a world where women are underrepresented as CEOs, and the CoE should focus on more important issues that can 'bring us together, not tear us apart.' And that will be that.

Those Christians with spirit should take a closer look at what's happening, and ask at what point they're willing to riot in response to this kind of shit.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hell is Other Christians

A hard lesson for many culturally conservative Christians to learn is that liberal Christians aren't really on their side. Their problem with the Gnu atheists isn't that the Gnus want to persecute, mock, belittle and generally attack Christians. Their problem is that liberal Christians aren't excluded from their ire.

If Richard Dawkins today announced that he was all wrong, and while atheism is the most rational position in the world in his view, the REAL problem is conservative Christians - the 'Religious Right' - and the left-wing Christians were the atheist's allies... you'd see a fair chunk of Christians celebrate Dawkins as a font of wisdom and the world's most brilliant scientist besides. Even ones calling Dawkins a hateful bigot right now.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Speaking of schadenfreude, how about the university protests?

Meanwhile, at Missouri U, a professor negotiates with a community leader.
A while back over on What's Wrong With the World, I made my views on universities clear: burn them all to the ground. Academia is a hellhole, and while there are some bright spots - Professor Feser, and others - they are few and far between, and can probably survive the destruction of these campuses.

At the time, there was pushback. Basically in the form of 'No, we have to retake them, they are important centers of learning!' and 'What about good ol' Aquinas U?' I was unmoved. As Black Lives Matters continues to claim scalps across academia - liberal scalps, by the way, because God has a sense of humor - I wonder if any of my opponents have been rethinking their stance on the matter.

I don't know about everyone else, but my plan seems easier than ever to accomplish. All you have to do is start announcing budget cuts at state universities. You think these places are going up in flames now? See what happens when the money's tighter. It's one thing to emasculate the liberal white male professors - that they cut and run in the face of Team SJW is a given.

But watch the fireworks when the Women's Studies department has to compete with the African American Studies departments to see who's taking a pay cut. Better yet? Make them all share the same unisex bathroom.

I guess I have changed my position. It's not enough to burn these places to the ground anymore. Now I want to do it in the funniest way possible.

Sympathy for the Atheist

I'm harsh about atheists, and most of that is directed towards the Cult of Gnu. But the fact is, I feel some sympathy for the modern atheist in one respect: imagine how many of them must feel right now if they actually believed that shit about atheism being all about free thinking and not being ashamed about sex.

It didn't take a decade - I'm pretty sure, not even half a decade - before more than half of the free-thinking anti-prudes took their masks off and, behold: they were SJWs. Atheism+ jackboots ready to lecture the world about how ashamed they should be about everything from being white to how men sit on the subway to the sexually attractive women in every piece of media they own. Their free-thinker allies suddenly informed them they'd better shut up about feminism, blacklivesmatter and everything else, unless they plan on pledging unrelenting support. Freethought is rightthought, not badthought.

Hell, they can't even criticize Islam without walking a minefield, if they can do it at all.

You may think this is a bit of schadenfreude, and I'm taking some pleasure in the atheists who woke up backstabbed, and let me assure you, from deep within the confines of my soul that, yes, that is completely true.

But just as true is the fact that it's not all humor. I do feel sorry for the betrayed atheists. They spent years thinking that, finally, they'll be able to jerk off to Princess Leia in peace if only they chase off Sister Mary Prudence. Then, the moment it looks all clear and their pants are around their ankles, Brianna Wu grabs their wrist and growls, "Not so fast!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If atheism is defined as a lack of beliefs about God...

...then observation tells me most self-described atheists can't even get atheism right.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Defending the Evil Vicar


I've linked the above video before, as it's one of my favorite sketches. You'd think I'd hate it - the prissy, snobbish vicar, cast as an overbearing villain. But something about it always appealed to me, and I never really knew why. I mean, sure - it was /funny/, and I don't really need a reason beyond that. Sometimes a laugh's just a laugh.

Still, something was nagging at me about this entire exchange. And a few days ago, I finally managed to figure it out: the Vicar's in the right here.

Look at the context. You have the New Age touchy-feely woman dragging her 'You know, I don't even want to be here' husband to Church... and her interest in actual Christian teaching is utterly zero. All that matters is that Church is a more inclusive, happy place, and she likes that. It doesn't even matter that her husband doesn't give a rat's ass about it - he has to go and give it a chance, because, you'll see, it's just plain nice. It's not like you have to be Christian or anything.

It's just a Church.

The fact that we expect the vicar to find this all fantastic just shows how far things have slipped. Is the vicar an asshole? Sure he is, but he's completely justified in being pissed off. He's the vicar in charge of that Church, and apparently he actually believes in the teachings. No, he's not running a support group for people who feel the world needs more positive thinking. Here comes someone who's completely unconcerned with the teachings, and expecting that things are going to conform to her beliefs - and she's probably not alone in thinking that.

Better yet, the vicar has the couple clearly pegged. 'Internet-assembled philosophy' is apt - this woman barely knows what she believes, to say nothing of her husband. Oh, they're entitled to their beliefs? Great. Why does the vicar care? This place isn't putting this up to a vote, even if it is an Anglican church.

The final straw is the woman exclaiming 'We have a right to be here! This is a place of peace!' She's telling the vicar of the church what is and isn't right there, and she doesn't even believe any of it. All she cares about is how 'inclusive' the place is supposed to be and how nice the people are. Churches are supposed to be nice and the vicar isn't being nice. How dare he be sick of people like her! She's supposed to make people like him feel like they don't belong there, not the other way around!

Really, what self-respecting Christian wouldn't show these two the door, with or without an upraised cross and a loud voice?

Anal Sex II: In Through The Out Door

The previous post didn't really do this subject justice. So, continuing with topics that no one's going to want to touch with a ten foot pole...

Before I go on, Bob Prokop has informed me someone stormed over to the Skeptical Zone to complain that this utterly small blog spammed his comment. I was going to welcome any Skeptical Zone readers here, but that's made problematic by the fact that A) The Skeptical Zone is a shitty combo-blog, and B) No one reads what that guy has to say anyway. The latter partly explained by the fact that his content includes things like 'The small personal blog of someone who thinks I'm an intellectual ginch didn't post my comment!'


With that out of the way, let's get back to serious, intellectually weighty topics.

Look, cards on the table. I believe the Thomists, the Aristotileans, are correct. Sex is ordered towards a final cause, that final cause is procreation, and therefore anal sex and oral sex are as a rule off the table. Take Aristotileanism out of the picture, and I'm still going to argue that it's a good idea - all else being equal - to look pretty dismissively on these things, because the -practical- value wrapped up in that 'final cause' logic is still substantial, even without the underlying metaphysics. The fact that the modern West and any culture tainted by modern Western thinking is managing to fuck itself into a demographic spiral is frontline evidence in favor of that.

That said? In a personal aesthetic sense, I don't exactly find it repulsive. And by that I mean, sure, I'd do a young Ellen Degeneres in the ass. Accent on the 'young', and admittedly the context is interesting. You know, pretty cute, tomboy look. Calling her 'past her prime' doesn't do justice to the current situation.

I digress.

It's just that my desires - my aesthetic sense about the sensual benefits, putting it very gently - don't mean shit given the worldview, the arguments, the evidence we're dealing with. Nor do anyone else's, for that matter. So the onus is on everyone else to deal with it. Let us admit we are broken, for various reasons, and continue to struggle to improve ourselves.

And so, many of us do. With all our failures, some obvious, some not.

But you know, I think there's a very traditional way of dealing with these problems, and it's an effective way: you don't discuss these things. Not in open, and barely among your friends. And not because you're crippled with shame and self-loathing or such drama, but for another, very good reason: to talk about it is to focus on it, to focus is to dwell, and dwelling on this shit is precisely what you'd like to -not- do. It's counterproductive. Finding other things to focus on is -productive-. It's helping. It's one route to success. This is putting aside simple questions of tact and grace and social expectation.

It's like dieting. If you're fat, do you want to keep a box of cookies on your coffee table as a conversation starter? "Yeah, it's a pack of my favorite cookies. I'm trying to lose weight so I thought it would be a good idea to keep this around and to talk about it a lot."? No. Certainly not if you're -struggling- with losing weight. And if you know someone is trying to lose weight, telling them about the moistness of the chocolate cake you're having way is a great way to be a real bastard to them.

So I think among the social conservatives, there is this tendency to keep things delicate in conversation when it comes to these taboos. It's a sensible tendency. More than that: in most situations, it is the proper tendency to have and maintain.

But it isn't always. Sometimes, there is a need to be blunt.

When it comes to the topic of same-sex marriage and 'Same-sex relationships' in general, I think it's important to be up-front direct. And not just about 'same-sex sexual relations', but LGBT culture, dating culture, and more. Because the avoidance method - the gingerly beating-around-the-bush approach of vaguely wording what we're talking about and what the issues are, does no one any favors anymore.

The problem is the anal sex. The problem is thinking that fucking someone's mouth is somehow on an equal plane with the sort of sex that leads to a new life. The problem is the guy whose palette now has a refined taste in feces. The problem is that LGBT culture which has everything from bug-chasers to a view of sex that makes Charlie Sheen's exploits look downright prudish. The problem is the decaying view of marriage, and sex, and relationships, and what exactly the hungers are that are driving that decay.

But notice, I didn't just take aim at the LGBT groups there. Once the problem isn't some vague 'same-sex sexual relationship' but 'these sex acts', I've drawn a Venn diagram that overlaps a hell of a lot more than the LGBT subculture. If you start talking about sex acts, sexual desires, what makes a proper sexual desire and relationship and what's wrong with all of those, you're opening a Pandora's box that most people prefer to keep closed. Some because they're already struggling with their own bullshit. Some because they're not, but they'd rather not think of themselves as having a problem they need to deal with. Some because they're just following the cues around them, even though they mean well.

For my part? I've decided that it does no good to mince words and keep things vague, thereby helping confuse an issue further. I have no interest in turning discussions of 'same-sex sexual relations' into namby-pamby talk of 'expressions of oneness with each other' when I'm talking about some guy jamming his dick into another guy's bowels.

In the process, the guy who likes stuffing his cock into his wife's bowels (and the wife who enjoys that) may feel uncomfortable. He'll just have to deal with it, and she's clearly used to it anyway.

Anal sex, ass-to-mouth and LGBT Activists

One complaint I get when talking about LGBT issues is that I go for the vulgar explanations quickly. Tell me you support same-sex marriage, and I'm going to bring up the whole 'Cock goes into the place where you shit' thing immediately.

"Why are you talking about -that-? You're horrible!" is the complaint.

Even from conservative Christians, mind you.

And my response is - why are you not? Marriage has sex as a central focus. A massive part of the problem with 'LGBT relations' is the sodomy. The hand-holding is not exactly a big deal here. Talking about things like this puts the real issues in stark relief.

What I sadly suspect the real problem is that the sexual issues not only are too vivid, but it hits too close to home, in more ways than one.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Under Construction

By the way, consider this blog under construction, because I like to play with all the settings and whatnot.

Edit: That's right, kids. New color. I made things bigger. And COURIER FONT.

Why Courier?


........Because reasons.
...._../................
...(+)..................
..(o_o)..+..............
..|XVX|--o..............
..|XXX|..|..............
..|XXX|..|..............
........................

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Regarding France...

...Count me out of the mass signs of unity, the 'our thoughts and prayers are with you', etc routine.

In fact, I regard this 'All of the world stands with you now, France!' schtick to be part of the problem. Whatever problem ISIS poses to the western world, nations have responsibilities to their own people first and foremost. France should defend itself, Paris should look after Parisians, and the people whose homes are in Paris (not 'who live there', but whose home is there) have the first responsibility to look after their home.

It is not France's primary responsibility to look after Syria. The belief that it is their responsibility is part of the reason they have this mess on their hands to begin with.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Terrorism doesn't have a religion

Which means, I suppose, that terrorism is just another kind of atheism.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Safe Space for Marriage

A same-sex marriage doesn't harm you at all. In fact, being forced to provide a wedding cake custom-made for a same-sex wedding, or take photos of the same-sex couple, doesn't harm you at all.

And yet...

Having a speaker show up on your campus, if you find their views objectionable, is a horrific offense which requires 'trigger warnings', protests, and a safe space, because simply encountering their views is enough to Do Real Harm.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The appeal of Ben Carson

Alt conservatives keep talking about Ben Carson's popularity being due to white guilt. As Vox says, he's the get-out-of-racism-free-card candidate in their eyes, the guy whose main appeal is that he can be a black man conservatives support, shield them from charges of being evil bigots.

Yep. There's probably some truth to that. But I think the reasons to support him go beyond that for a long-game conservative.

See, the alt-right thinks Carson is a joke. But the mainstream left is terrified of Carson. People like Carson are an existential threat to the modern democratic party, which frankly functions as a religious organization for the modern American leftist. The idea of a major campaign by The Enemy, led by a member of what amounts to their most loyal pet class, is frightening to them. It introduces the possibility that the currently near-100%-locked black vote may end up being up for grabs. That wouldn't be merely inconvenient for the Democratic party - it would be an existential threat.

Now, I don't care for Carson. He's pro-TPP, he's too soft on most things I care about, and he seems exactly like the sort of guy who would turn into a dupe for the ruling class if he did gain power. But take Trump out of the equation and I'd be tempted to back Carson. I wouldn't expect major policy victories from him, but four years of leftists being forced to dump hatred on a black brain surgeon turned politician would be quite a sight.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

If culture matters, then race matters

It does no good to endorse a colorblind life on the grounds that culture, rather than race, is to be the key factor in evaluating an individual. For better or for worse, culture and race overlap in ways which make race a prime indicator of culture. It may not be a failure-proof method of determining culture, but then skin color isn't a failure proof indicator for determining race.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Muslim Immigration in Europe?

Frankly, I'm not sure what to think.

Part of me wants to see the Europeans resist, and help make stir both nationalism and the recognition of citizens' rights in their own country again. I see demonstrations going on in opposition to the massive immigration and I get hopeful.

Part of me sees the other half of Europe - those idiots showing up en masse to greet migrants with balloons and teddy bears - and I wish the immigration rates quadruple, so I can enjoy the spectacle of french and german women wearing burqas out of fear in their own countries.

This would all be easier if the people who were pro-massive-immigration could all be sectioned off into particular areas of the country and forced to live among the migrants, while everyone else could have their enclaves to themselves.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Reality check for social conservatives on race and sex

Say the following lines out loud:

* A lot of white people are really stupid.

* A lot of asian people are really stupid.

* A lot of black people are really stupid.

* A lot of hispanic people are really stupid.

* A lot of men are really stupid.

* A lot of women are really stupid.

Did saying any of the above cause you a moment's pause? Did it feel -weird-? Did you feel like you had to check to see if anyone was within earshot - even a family member - before you could say any of those lines, while the others flowed a bit more naturally?

If something just felt -wrong- about saying any of those lines in contrast to the others, heads up: you've experienced some cultural conditioning that you need to remove.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fast thoughts on the Synod

Since Ben asked, here's my thoughts. And Codg, I read your piece - well-written, though I disagree with some of it.

Progressive Discovery: Not even a progressive-friendly pope is shielded from angry traditionalists - and there's a lot of them

I remember when John McCain was running for president, and it came out that Palin's daughter had gone and gotten pregnant. The expectation from liberals (were they even 'progressives' back then?) was that this would absolutely sink Palin among the religious right. Why, they despise sex with a passion, particularly underage sex! How could they ever be expected to tolerate this mother of a harlot?

The result was their being perplexed when the response from the right was largely 'That's unfortunate, it's a mistake, we wish her well. Palin is great!'

I think something similar went on here, maybe even with the Pope himself. There was this idea that the Pope - certainly the Pope and a synod - could change everything. Gay marriage for all! Abortion is no longer a sin, nay, it's a sacrament! Divorced lesbians getting married after their mutual abortions, blessed by the new female priest! There was that energy in the air for a great moment of triumph. 

Besides, what can traditionalists do? Revolt? Against the Pope, who as we all know, can do no wrong according to Church teaching because that's actually the doctrine of infallibility and not some weird mockery of it? Pshaw.

Well, it turns out the traditionalists can say that changing Church teaching on the progressive hot button issues is heresy, and nothing says 'schism' like heresy. Even if cardinals or even a pope have a hand in declaring it.

The conservatives came to near open revolt over this sort of thing, once they started to suspect - not without reason - that they were walking into a rigged synod. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways (and I do believe the Holy Spirit's at work here), but much to the chagrin of modern sensibilities, sometimes it works through threats.

Vague wishy-washiness is a progressive Hail Mary, and it's been heavily muted by the synod itself

Let's be blunt: progressives only rely on vague, open-to-interpretation documents when they absolutely can't get anything else. They'd sanctify anal sex and condemn "homophobia" / "any criticism of sexual proclivities whatsoever" in canon law if they thought they could get away with it. So when they're forced to talk about respecting Church teaching while attempting to meet the diversity and cultural sensibilities of the areas they're ministering to, while that's still a case of progressive subterfuge - it's also a desperate one. 

It's a situation they're forced into, not a place they want to be.

Do not get me wrong. Subterfuge and intentionally wonky interpretations of Church teaching is bad. They're threats, and Inquisitor Crude says these things should be suppressed. But it's also nothing new. Oh, liberal clergy are going to skirt around doing the good and moral thing and look for any technicality that lets them do everything from hang an idiotic rainbow flag in their church to give communion to the local feminist abortionist? 

There's a name for that: 'The current state of affairs.' The fact that they added some convoluted flaky pastoral-talk doesn't change that.

And keep in mind, there was a price paid for maintaining that status quo: formal synodal rejection of the that idea marriage can be dissolved, that gay marriage or even same-sex sexual relationships are moral or on par with actual marriages, and more. I know some people think that progressives are happy to pay lip service to those kinds of things even while not believing them, but if you think that, you're a decade out of date. To say 'Gay marriage is immoral and the Church cannot accept it' is not something you can wink and nudge while saying, and have the modern progressive tolerate you. It's a great way to be considered an enemy who, given the opportunity, they will destroy so as to make an example out of. (Unless you're a suitably brown muslim, in which case even your gang rapes will get downplayed.)

It's a bit like the Jubilee forgiveness of abortions. Some traditionalists are aghast, thinking it's a kind of Papal move to make pro-abortionists happy. Even if that were right, it's pointless. Forgive a feminist for having an abortion and she'll be outraged that you dare claimed that what she did was at all a sin to begin with. These maniacs are not the fringe; they are the forefront now. And vague wishy-washiness can't pacify maniacs.

Now, what it can do is confuse otherwise well-meaning and sincere people. Big problem, that. But again - that's not new.

It's made progressive cardinals look ineffective, and traditionalist cardinals into heroes

Progressives looked at the synod as a potential watershed moment that could see, if not total victory, then at least major and explicit advancement on their issues of choice. They walked away with vague pastoral talk and the very teachings they despise being formally reinforced, even if that reinforcement is insincere for some.

Traditionalists, meanwhile, not only managed to emerge apparently triumphant, but now knowing which cardinals are progressive, which are wishy-washy, and which are nigh heroic. Burke, the African cardinals, and more come to mind in the latter case.

Now, more than ever, traditionalists have a better idea of which cardinals they can count on, and which they have to watch closely. Whether this will translate into action is another question, but juxtaposing this with the weakening of the taboo traditionalists sometimes have regarding criticizing high rank clergy, and hey - the potential for interesting things to happen is there.

And that's my summary for the moment.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On the Koukl-Rauser feud

So Greg Koukl and Randal Rauser have been going at it over the culpability of atheism. Koukl seems to be taking a rather strong line, nearly unheard of nowadays, that atheists are culpable in their unbelief - that their unbelief is itself a bad thing, something they should reject, fight against, and will ultimately be made to answer for. Rauser is taking the opposite view.

Ed Feser decided to weigh in on this one, and frankly, it's a bit like having a skirmish between the Somalian navy and some pirates interrupted by the arrival of the Russian navy - everyone rushes to get their story straight because they know if they don't, one of them is about to get blasted into debris.

Rauser made the typical rhetorical move of trying to suggest that Ed was really on /his/ side, and that Koukl is really the target here:
Fair enough. Except I agree with your critique of Koukl and I don't find your purported disagreement with me to be substantive. (In other words, you should say that Koukl's wrong and I'm right!) 
Smooth, Randal.

Ed responds by saying, well, Koukl only gave a short video here, and more can be said by him - indeed, he seems able to sidestep your objections. Randal's response to this is silence, at least until Koukl follows up with a larger explanation of his thoughts.

Koukl himself says he's in some agreement with Feser, but otherwise sticks to his guns: he sees Paul's condemnation of the atheist as both clear and severe. The atheist is culpable, on his reading of Paul. It's not a commendable act of honesty, or being-true-to-oneself - it is condemnable, even if sincere.

At this point, Rauser goes all-in against Koukl, and he makes an interesting move: he argues that if Koukl condemns the atheist for his unbelief, then the Christian should be condemned insofar as -they- lack belief too:
The dilemma for Koukl is clear: if atheists are morally culpable for suppressing God's revelation, the doubting Christian is as well. So if Koukl wants to retain this reading, then he can do so. But if he wants to be consistent, shouldn't he start condemning Christians who doubt for willfully suppressing God's revelation to them?
Rauser has more to say, but I think this is the only real interesting point he brings up. And he invests heavily in it too. What's telling here is that Rauser immediately jumps to a pretty weird extrapolation of Koukl's views, and then calls Koukl out for not condemning Christians along with atheists. Why does Rauser care about that? Well, because he's playing a rhetorical game. This isn't about the argument anymore, it's about instinct and emotion, particularly what instinct and emotions can be provoked in onlookers.

Rauser immediately has support from the world's most boring and unsuccessful evangelical atheist, Edward T. Babinski - basically John Loftus, but somehow more dull. Probably not the best way to start out this encounter. (Let's face it; when you get low-ranking clerics of the Cult of Gnu on your side, it's generally evidence that you're doing something wrong.)

At this point, I should probably note that my opinion of Rauser has dived over the years. Koukl, meanwhile, I've only heard of indirectly. And Feser, of course, I'm a fan of.

Meanwhile, someone makes the point that a Christian 'willfully suppressing' their belief in God would not be a Christian, and Rauser tries to fire one from the hip to discourage this line of thought:
You're free to take the position that a self-described Christian who doubts is willfully supressing God's revelation and thereby is, in fact, not really a Christian. I don't agree with you, but at least you're consistent.
This passes for a bit, until Brandon of Siris shows up (I'll be calling him that more, because it picks him out amongst other Brandons, and also makes him sound like a Lord of the Rings character.) Brandon being a sharp guy who I've snapped at before. Tenacious. Brandon's not buying Rauser's interpretation of the line:
I read JohnD's point in a different way, namely, that taking the doubting Christian to be "suppressing God's revelation" in the sense an atheist does is equivocation: if the doubting Christian were actually "suppressing God's revelation" in the way an atheist does, he would stop being a Christian, for the same reasons atheists aren't Christians. And, indeed, this is a genuine problem with this entire line of argument: since there are relevant differences in mindset between a doubting Christian and an atheist, which are precisely what allow one to classify the one as a doubting Christian and the other as an atheist, it follows that it is entirely possible on Koukl's supposition to take the moral situation of the other to be different from the moral situation of the other. 
Sensible. But, Rauser's playing a game here: he reasons that knocking atheists for their unbelief is one thing, but no one's going to side with Koukl if ANYone with ANY doubt is a sinner too. Especially if they're considered to be /just as bad as atheists/.

There's just one problem, and Brandon's noticed it: this is a bullshit line that's not going to work. You certainly can't argue that a Christian experiencing doubt yet nevertheless believing is on the same plane as an atheist - the Christian believes and is actively committing to belief. The atheist, especially the admitted and avowed atheist, has given in entirely. Randal's move won't work - and it's a move meant for rhetorical sting more than anything. At best, he may be able to argue that unbelief in Christian is a -failing-, but not on par with out and out atheism. But that's diluted to the point of being uncontroversial; the controversy would lie back with the 'atheism as sin' claim.

Randal's having none of it. In part because it's his best shot at Koukl - if this goes down, his whole argument gets a whole lot harder to sell.
Brandon, you write that for "the doubting Christian to be 'suppressing God's revelation" in the sense an atheist does is equivocation'".
But that is not correct. On Koukl's view, anybody who fails to recognize the "plain and clear" evidence of God's existence and nature is culpable, whether that person identifies as an atheist, an agnostic, or a theist. 
To me? This doesn't pass the smell test. Rauser's claiming what must follow given Koukl's view, but it's a sloppy extrapolation at best - not the sort of thing he should be confidently claiming, especially in light of the fact that he can't present any quote of Koukl taking this same line about Christians. And Brandon's having none of it in turn:
This seems to make the obvious error of conflating first-order and second-order recognition of plain evidence as if they were the same thing, which they are not. The distinction is an easily recognizable one in everyday life. To accept plain evidence is not the same as recognizing the plainness of the evidence in one's reasoning; the former requires no reflection, but the latter does.
To put the same point from a different direction, your claim merely propagates the problem: "fails to recognize" in what way? Quite clearly the doubting Christian cannot "fail to recognize" things that point to the existence and goodness of God in the same way that an atheist "fails to recognize" things that show the existence and goodness of God, because ex hypothesi he is a doubting presently Christian, not a formerly Christian atheist. You have literally done nothing to show that the failure to recognize in each case is the same kind rather than different kinds of mindset that happen to be able to be described, if one is loose and vague, in broadly similar terms. 
A word of wise to someone who argues with Brandon: don't try to pull a fast one on him. He's not going to bite, and he actually seems to really enjoy nailing hides to the wall of people who try to do so. He's relentless when he smells bullshit.

This goes on, and my prediction is that it's going to go on for a while, until Rauser likely flees the field, or tries to claw his way to a face-saving truce. He doesn't have the winning argument here, and he got too aggressive in trying to deploy a rhetorical move against Koukl.

As for my own view on the matter? I'm far more sympathetic to Koukl than Rauser. Biblically, I think it's clear that faith and belief is not just this thing that you either have or you don't. It's a clear and certain good to have, it's an evil to lack it, and one is meant to embrace it and heighten it in their lives. Rauser wants to sidestep this, and basically treat religious faith as this thing that, if you have it, hey wonderful - but if you don't, that's maybe unfortunate from one perspective but doggone it at least you're true to yourself and he still respects you, it's not a mark against you in any way.

I no longer think the latter is correct.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ISIS in the rear view mirror

Imagine, in 200 years, the conflict with ISIS being regarded in the same way as the Crusades are regarded right now.

Would you say, then, that you are on the wrong side of history?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vox on Churchians

To be perfectly honest, Vox is right.

If anything, he's not harsh enough.

I'm tired of these political hacks in preacher's clothing, feigning belief in a religion that only seems to interest them insofar as it has immediate political use. I'm not going to pretend their lectures are worth listening to, even for a 'dialogue'.

They are Churchians, not Christians, not even theists. It's time they were showed the door.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Compassion of the Clergy

When I see Catholics talking about the need to be welcoming, I often get the impression that the only people they want to make feel welcome are themselves. They seem like clergy who miss the days when being a bishop or a cardinal meant schmoozing with political movers and shakers, being welcomed to all the nice functions, being respected by the cream of the community. They didn't sign up to be sneered at by the elite, but to rub elbows with them.

People point out that liberalizing churches hasn't succeeded in attracting more people to them, but these clergy don't really care about that anyway. Let the church shrink, but let them sit a little bit closer to the guest of honor at the banquet, and hey - mission accomplished.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The saddest thing about the Christian liberal...

..Is that they've lost the strategic suspect of the cultural left, and the conditional tolerance of the orthodox Christians. And they lost it at the same time.

Being a Christian is a liability in liberal circles, to the point where your faith needs to be an absolute joke - a Christian who believes accepting Christ is irrelevant, who believes that God revealed Himself to man to support abortion and gay marriage, and more. Any orthodox content is openly laughed at, or whispered at best.

It used to be that liberal Christians could at least count on a grudging 'We all share faith in Christ' attitude among more conservative Christians, but even that's falling. The orthodox, rightly, see liberal Christians as dupes or traitors, and have gone from a neutral 'big tent' attitude towards a liberal presence in their church to actively wanting them to leave it entirely. "But by casting us out you'll lose our souls!" no longer has pull, because the realization is that the soul is lost if it isn't sincere and right in its remaining anyway.

So they're left with the most diminished voice of all. The strategic, formal respect of the left is gone, and the patient, neutrality of the right is gone.

Of course, they won't mind too much. Everyone regarding them as irrelevant dupes just gives them one more opportunity to get up on the cross and throw a pity party for themselves, which is the very thing that attracts them to Christianity to begin with.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The saddest thing about Donald Trump

...Is that he has no Christian doppelganger.

When everyone was outraged that a law in Indiana would protect Christians who didn't want to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, what public representative of Christianity stood up and said 'Fuck these corporations, this law is necessary and we should stand by it'? Instead we had people either going completely radio silent, or fretting about how they were being misrepresented.

Prominent Christian leaders of the past decade have been absolutely obsessed with appearing open-minded, civil and unwilling to cause offense to anyone except Christians. They apologize for everything, beg for forgiveness, and heap praise on people - even ideologies - that want to destroy them.

Regardless of how Trump's candidacy shakes out, I hope he imparts a lesson to at least some Christians that meekly seeking 'dialogue' with people who seek your ruin, and apologizing constantly for any effect the faith has had on the world, is not some master strategy that shows the world how humble you are and glorifies God with your meekness. It's merely pathetic.

Pope says he wanted to enter US through Mexican border

So sayeth EWTN.

I will straightforwardly admit that when it comes to immigration issues, the Church's performance as a whole has been utterly hypocritical and dishonest. And if the Pope wants to pit American Catholics against illegal immigrant Catholics, he deserves to end up with what would likely happen - Trump PR-torpedoing him in public over his disdain for a sizable portion of the Church.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend at Bernie's

Oil corporations are a sassy black figurehead away from making this man a laissez-faire capitalist.
I wanted to like Bernie Sanders.

That's going to come as a shock, since I know I come off - with good reason - as Crude the Right Wing Capitalist. And I do vastly prefer true capitalism to socialism, whether of the welfare-state or corporate-welfare variety.

But the fact is, I'm willing to make compromises. More specifically, I don't consider 'protecting the pocketbooks of millionaires and billionaires' to be a position I am unable to compromise on - just as those corporations seem quite willing to not just compromise on, but out and out fuck me and others over on various issues I find important (see: the Indiana Religious Law debacle.)

So I was looking at Sanders with interest. He was being talked up as this kind of strange, 'nationalist' socialist. Sure, a lefty, but one of the old school. Putting America first - American jobs and so on. A social lefty, but not one who was supercharged by that. No stated interest in hounded the religious out of the public sphere or into tax status for the high crime of opposing same-sex marriage. Sure, his economic policies would probably be disastrous, but really, whose aren't? At least he was bold enough to run against Her Majesty the Inevitable. (One would have thought that 2008 would have dashed all that 'inevitable' talk.)

And then the above happened.

It happened to O'Malley too: the #blacklivesmatters protesters show up, storm the stage and proceed to white-shame the jackass off the stage. One look at Bernie's expression in this picture says it all - he just yielded the floor and meandered off, making sure to appoint a black woman to a communications position the next day, expressly to show everyone how much he cares and how sorry he is, no doubt, for provoking these interruptions to begin with.

Just like that, my interest in this guy's candidacy was back in the toilet.

Oh, I think I'd prefer him over Hillary. Sanders, if nothing else, promises to take the 'Let It Burn' attitude of American conservatives to new heights if he wins - and the prospect of an Obama v Clinton grudge match (which would almost certainly erupt if Obama sics the Justice Department on Clinton) would be too entertaining to miss.

But that's all. I have no faith in this guy. None. All it would have taken to rivet my interest, and even make me willing to give him a chance (in a world where anyone but Trump or Cruz catches the GOP nomination) was him saying 'Get the fuck off my stage, you thugs.'

It was not to be.

And to anyone else who's seriously thinking that Sanders may actually fight for their interests, I simply reference the above image. This man doesn't even have the guts to stand up for himself when his own stage is charged by activists. That level of penny-ante shit and he tucked tail and ran, quickly surrendering to the activists and whining about how he's been 'active in the civil rights movement'.

But you think he's going to fight for your interests, against forces that can do a lot more than merely scream at him while being black?

Prepare for disappointment.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Be suspicious of any political party...

...That more and more emphasizes the importance of defeating the other party, than in actually passing legislation or governing in a way you find desirable.

And no, saying 'In order to pass X/do Y, we need to defeat the other party!' doesn't circumvent this.

The Establishment currently seems bewildered, and a bit scared, that the mere defeat of the opposing party is no longer enough of a prospect to motivate their would-be supporters. It turns out these voters want some action. And not just failed, half-hearted attempts, but victories.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Christians and Enemies

Some Christians get antsy at the prospect of complaining about persecution, or regarding others as their enemies. The persecution usually gets explained away by saying that it can always be one-upped somewhere else in the world*, but it's the latter which I find interesting. There's this modern Christian attitude that regarding anyone as your enemy is itself wrong. The categories of 'misguided' or 'misinformed' or even 'mentally ill' are supposed to be large enough to contain every problematic person, while "enemy" covers no one.

One problem being that 'love your enemy' becomes a pointless teaching, then. Apparently Christ wasn't commanding we love anyone at all with those words.

(* 'Oh, you're upset Christian bakers are sued into oblivion for not making a same-sex wedding cake? Well, in China their churches get shut down!' I suppose in China, the reply is, 'So we shut down your church. Big deal. You know they behead you guys in the Middle East?' And in the Middle East... well, there's not many Christians left complaining.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Game and Catholicism

What I wouldn't give to see Ed Feser talk about the infamous Return of Kings site explicitly endorsing and talking up the traditional Catholic view of sex. Seriously, the storm this would create - at least among some of the regulars - would be a sight to behold.

Monday, July 27, 2015

What Trump offers

So, as if this writing, Trump's made a few moves of interest.

First, there was his initial observation that - shocking as it may seem to some - not every illegal alien is an out of work devout Christian physicist who just wants a better life for his intact home and law-abiding family. In fact, there's a good number of gang members, criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other lowlifes. Everyone knows this, including illegal immigrants and the latino community themselves, but this was supposed to be something that no one could ever frankly talk about on pain of public shaming and worse. Trump, being in a unique situation as a billionaire who apparently doesn't give a shit about such things, stuck to his guns even while getting savaged left and right.

The result? Lost business contracts, but a whole lot of fame and admiration, along with surging poll numbers. This, despite most of the GOP immediately trying to attack and bury him, since they're on Team SJW when it comes to this kind of thing.

Shortly thereafter, Trump cracked that McCain wasn't exactly a war hero, since his main claim to fame was being shot down and held as a POW for years. Ouch. So again, the attacks came, this time intensified because - really - veterans are one thing the media and GOP both assume every mook out there is hyper defensive about, and attacking 'war hero' McCain was surely Trump's death knell. And once again, Trump doubled down, said McCain had been screwing over veterans for years and also lost to Obama when he should have won.

The result? McCain limped away bitterly, and Trump somehow moved even further ahead in the polls.

Since then, Trump's done everything from call out an MSNBC reporter as dishonest, then tell him to get lost instead of letting him submit a question to Trump, to attacking the other GOP candidates and otherwise. He's the man of the news hour, and at this rate may well end up showing up at the debates. Despite attempts by big GOP donors to get Jeb and Rubio to boycott the debates if Trump shows up.

There's also been a tremendous amount of complaining from the GOP - both the elected officials, and the bloggers. Lots of hand-wringing about how Trump was damaging the GOP. How he was making it harder to attract latino votes, which are so desperately needed (and everyone else, apparently, doesn't matter.) How the people who supported Trump were idiots, how Trump isn't really conservative, how he's flip-flopped on everything from immigration to abortion.

A bit like Romney, but shh, don't bring that up.

That said, there's truth to the criticisms. Do I think Trump really intends to stop illegal immigration, in the longshot (but not unthinkable) scenario where he gets elected? Not really. Do I think he's sincere in his Christianity, or his switch to a pro-life outlook? Not so much, no. Hell, do I think he even wants or expects to be president? At most, I think he regards the prospect as kind of amusing. A nice brass ring to shoot for.

But despite all this, Trump's offering something important - so important, that I find myself supporting him and fighting his detractors.

He has talked frankly and honestly about immigration, in a way that's honestly unheard of in this era, despite being sorely needed. He's refused to back down from the content of his comments, even at personal expense to him - whatever expense one can tax a billionaire with, anyway - and he's done so with bombast and grace. He's openly defied the reigning elite culture, refusing to grovel at their command. And he's inspiring others to do the same.

That is golden, frankly. It doesn't matter if he is, at the end of the day, dishonest. If Trump can successfully convince people - particularly conservatives - that they don't deserve to be pariahs because of their beliefs, and that there's something admirable in their stating their views and fighting against a hostile culture, refusing to apologize or back down, then he'll have been a net boon. Which is more than I can say about just about any politician or public figure as of late.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Reposted Comment

At the end of a conversation I was having at Ace of Spades, regarding Trump's statement about illegal immigration, and why I defend it:

I would like to win elections, yes. I'd like to see more conservative policies passed - better border control. Less corporate welfare. Less subservience to the state. Lots of things. 

Ace says that he thinks the cost of defending statements like Trump's - even saying 'they are not racist, there's nothing to apologize for' - is lost elections, and never winning another. 

In addition to what I said before - I think ace's strategy, as he's laid it out, is a losing one - there's another consideration. Imagine if you told black people that the only way for them to get any political power is if they were silent in the face of insults, if they avoided saying anything that would upset anyone (including a hypothetically black-hostile media), and if they just were good little boys and girls who did what they were told, and basically accepted that culturally, they would be expected to be ashamed of themselves, their culture, and their history. 

Do you think black people would be wise to accept those terms for a -chance- at victory? What's the point of winning when those are the terms? 'You can win, but only if you shut your mouth, never say anything that upsets people, and give up on a lot of what you want besides. Then you'll be able to sometimes eke out a victory, maybe, and if you're lucky your 'victory' - which means a successful election - will result in policies you like, unless the powers that be decide they have other priorities now that they've won'? 

No, they wouldn't. Because you're basically telling them that the only route to victory is humiliation, shame, and acting as social lepers who should be grateful they have any input in society whatsoever. 

Which is part of the reason why Trump is surging. He may be lying (rather impressive lie, as he's actually losing a lot of money so far for taking his stand) but he's sending the message that no, perpetual serfdom to a hostile culture isn't the right course to take. He has a right to speak his mind, and in this case - a case where his sin is minor at worst when reasonably looked at - he has no need to apologize. 

Put another way? Let's say I was able to choose between the following two choices. 

1) 30 years of electoral victories, but the perpetuation or even growth of the culture that we have right now - a culture where conservatives are mortally afraid of even stating their opinions openly on various issues, despite half the country (or more!) supporting them. 

2) 30 years of electoral losses, but a change to the culture that meant conservatives could speak freely, without fear of backlash or punishment, about issues that mattered to them. 

I would choose 2 in a fucking heartbeat, and 1 would be tantamount to defeat anyway.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Liberal Christians are Christians no more.

A short thought that I'd like to expand on later, but which I'll put succinctly soon.

Right now, we're starting to see liberal Christians preparing to act as apologists for the next round of attacks on Christianity in the US - namely, penalizing and attacking Christian churches (and any organization which is Christian in both name and policy) for opposing same-sex marriage. We're going to start hearing more and more arguments like this from liberals:

"When you think about it, Christians being untaxed is really unfair. Shouldn't we render unto Caesar? That's a bible quote, you know!"

"Churches are part of society, and if you really want to be part of society you should be doing your fair share. Hell, even if this wasn't being pushed to crack down on churches that oppose gay marriage, we should DEMAND to be taxed!"

"Christians need to reclaim the public mantle of love, and people see opposition to gay marriage as hateful! We should support these laws to encourage Christians to give up hate!"

And so on, and so on.

To that, I'm going to come out with my own view on these matters: the Christian response to the SCOTUS decision should be to kick liberal Christians out of their churches.

It's a very easy line in the sand: if a person supports penalizing Christian businesses or churches for rejecting same-sex marriage, or refusing to provide service for a same-sex marriage, they should not be welcomed at a Church. In fact, they should be told to leave, and regarded as no longer a member of either that church, or the faith in general.

This is going to be called divisive by some. It is - it's a necessary dividing line. All manner of politics are things Christians can disagree over, but starting here is where the line must be. Once you support throwing the weight of the state against Christians for the crime of opposing anal sex, you're done. It makes for a reasonable enough yardstick to determine when someone has become, for all practical purposes, an ex-Christian.

Of course, I'm no clergy. I'm just one guy. But as of now, this is my own personal line in the sand: whoever gets behind these laws, this social vendetta, is no longer a Christian as far as I'm concerned. They're something else - some aberrant combination of Christianity-lite and Government.

Bureautheists, perhaps.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gay Marriage and the Crypto-Christian

I'll have more to say a bit later, but for now...

Y'ever run into that particular sort of self-proclaimed Christian who is totally against gay marriage you guys, but they just happen to think it should nevertheless be legal?

In fact, they are ADAMANT it should be legal, willing to argue acrimoniously for days upon days about why it is of the utmost importance to legalize it and reject the legitimacy of any and all arguments against that?

Now and then they'll drop, as an aside, 'Well I'm against it for religious reasons, I am *totally* against it being in the church', but they seem suspiciously unwilling to talk about that in much detail. In fact, it almost seems as if their mention of their opposition to gay marriage in any way largely shows up purely so they can purchase a bit of credibility among their 'fellow Christians'.

Add in a history of out and out deceiving people about their opposition to even legal gay marriage - arguing that it should be dropped for now, and revisited in a hundred years because 'Souls are at stake! We're turning people off with this fight!', before it coming out that actually they support gay marriage being legal, full stop - and really, what you have is someone who you'd be delusional not to regard as a middle-of-the-road, all-too-common bullshitter.

I say this because I think some Christians don't know what to do when they encounter a dishonest person like this, save for try to catch them in a lie. See if they slip up. And you know what? You'll manage to catch them contradicting themselves, lying, or otherwise. But they'll always offer up an excuse, however poor of one it is. They'll oscillate between unbelievably hurt that you'd ever question their sincerity, and tremendously hostile - whatever seems like it may pick up sympathy at the time.

My advice? Don't be afraid to simply say 'Well, you're full of shit and don't deserve conversation', ignore them, and move on. Cite their lies or their inanity of their stance - which will be obvious to anyone who's actually interested in sincere discussion - and then move on to better conversations, of which there are an endless amount available online, since the internet is the place where nobody stops talking.

Just a bit of friendly advice from a person experienced with these kinds of people.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

The ID Approach to God vs the Thomistic Approach

ID approach:

1. Start with loose, mostly unexamined metaphysical principles.
2. Take note of what intelligent agents can do.
3. Examine the world for that which looks designed by an intelligent agent.
4. Assuming such a thing is found, identify communications that seem reasonably from the agent.
5. If the agent identifies as God/supernatural and seems trustworthy, trust them.

Thomist:

1. Start with tighter, more well-thought-out metaphysical principles.
2. Examine the world and how it operates.
3. Take note of what most be true about the world given how it operates + its principles.
4. Note that God/the supernatural must exist necessarily.
5. See if any communication from this God exists and seems trustworthy, and (if so) trust it/Him.

I'm not convinced that the ID proponent necessarily accepts naturalism and a personalistic God from the outset, as is often the claim. I do agree that the ID proponent's reasoning to God is sloppier and probablistic, but it's also easier for most people to grasp.

The Thomist approach requires a good share more discipline and reasoning, but is more powerful once you have a general grasp of what's going on.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Transubstantiation of Bruce Jenner

So we can all agree that what happened with Bruce Jenner is a secular version of Transubstantiation, right?

I mean, he was - is - clearly a guy. Genetically, physically - on pretty much any 'objective' measure we have, we were/are dealing with an entirely, thoroughly male specimen.

But then, something happened. He went from Bruce to Caitlyn, and now he's not just 'Caitlyn', but a woman. He is, literally, female. Or so the story goes.

So we can, I suppose, admit that this is a case of secular transubstantiation. Right?

See, I know that the bread and wine becomes body and blood. I've heard before, that's bullshit because... well, look at it. Run a DNA test on it. Still bread. Still wine. And that, skeptics told me, was proof positive that the entire thing was, in fact, bread and wine after the fact.

Now, of course, I believe it's no longer bread and wine. But I believe that because it's what God said, what the Church teaches, and - by the way - it's also a goddamn miracle. That last part is key. See, if there was no miracle involved, if it was all symbolic, then there'd be no change to speak of. No real one, anyway. 'Yep, that's still bread, still wine. Just, you know, we're going to pretend otherwise for now. Ceremonial reasons.'

And you need a miracle to make that change.

So, may I ask where the miracle took place with Bruce Jenner?

Was it when he said 'I am a woman now'? Did that do the trick, switching him on the spot from male to female? If tomorrow he says 'I'm male again', will he become male at that point?

Maybe it's a bit more quantum-physical than that. Like, when Bruce says 'I'm a female now', then boom - all of the sudden history itself is reordered in some kind of retrocausal way, making not just the current Bruce, but all of Bruce's history into a female one.

I've got so many more questions. If Bruce says that he's a duck tomorrow, is he a duck? Can he suddenly turn black? Hispanic? Can he become a unicorn?

Someone, please, inform me of just how this magic works - or, lacking that, the holy book where God Almighty (or some cheap practical equivalent) described the miracle of Bruce Jenner.

Because a miracle is what's needed.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why voting Republican matters.

I think the outcome since the last election should make one thing clear: those who say that both political parties in America are basically exactly the same, beholden largely to the same interests, should take a good look at what's transpired since 2014.

In particular, what has taken place since the Democrats took control of the house and the senate:

An utter capitulation to plans to tolerate, even encourage, illegal immigration in America.

The prioritization of foreign workers over American workers.

 The unwillingness to even consider any restrictions on abortion, even after 20 weeks.

 Total capitulation and even demands for support of same-sex marriage.

 Near total capitulation in the fight for religious protection, such that now it's acceptable to destroy businesses that refuse to provide service to same-sex weddings.

 All this, not even a year since the election results! Really, how can anyone seriously maintain that voting for the Republican party in the house and the senate makes no difference, seeing what Democrat control of the house and senate has wrought in so short a time? How blind can we be? 

Does anyone seriously believe all this would have taken place if it was the GOP who won last November? How in the world could anyone be so naive?

(Note: I'm still waking up here, and I have the nagging feeling I got something wrong in my evaluation of all this - but I can't place my finger on what. I'm sure it'll come to me later.)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ted Cruz on journalists asking about gay marriage

Between this event and Rand Paul's abortion response, I have at least a faint hope that the upcoming election features months of outright hostility from the GOP towards journalists.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Magical Realism Inquiry

This one's out of left field, but I'll throw it to whoever stops by here.

Does anyone know of a work that makes use of 'Magical Realism', yet which is not A) pretty obnoxious, and B) not clearly written with a leftist/SJW bend? All the better if C) it's written with a conservative bend.

I'm curious of something along those lines.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

General Thoughts - 5/19/2015

* Well, that didn't take long. The Game of Thrones author went from the celebrated King of the SJWs aiming his cannon at the Sad and Rabid Puppies to being blindsided by feminists furious at a rape scene in Game of Thrones. The moment I heard of this, I was skeptical there would be any blowback to speak of - I don't watch GoT, but I have enough friends who watch it to know it's a show filled with violence, mass murder, sex, and a midget who's apparently King of Fucking. Is rape really going to tip the scales there? Silly me, of course it was. I notice that Martin in his response makes the very subtle move of saying 'Wasn't me, it was the TV guys, go yell at them'. Personally, I hope he's forced into an apology. Walk Tyrion's actor in front of the camera, still in character, and have him explain that rape is never acceptable, even among the Game of Thrones characters, and all good people in Westeros or whatever the hell it is find it deplorable.

* Speaking of rape, get ready for its next generation. There's announcements that Facebook doesn't plan on blocking porn made with the Oculus Rift - that's an eventuality in this culture - but believe me when this is the tip of the iceberg. These devices are coming fairly soon, and believe me, hackers are already thinking of ways to not just spam people with porn-popups using them, but ways to actually drag users into 3D simulated gang-rape events. Granted, all you have to do is take the device off your head - but all you have to do to stop the Game of Thrones rape is turn off the TV. Mark my words - this will happen, lawsuits will come from it, and the whole thing is going to be insane to behold.

* I read about the Pope calling the Palestinian prime minister an 'angel of peace'. This turns out to have been mistranslated bunk, but considering it was happening on the eve of the Vatican recognizing Palestine as a state, it's easy to see where the plausibility came from. Still, this was clearly just a translation error, and I think we can forgive both the press and the Pope for saying something that gets mistranslated once in a blue moon. I'm sure this is the last time we'll be confused about this kind of thing. (Is my sarcasm coming through? I'm not the best with subtlety.)

* For the record, I've got little concern for the Israel-Palestine conflict. I know, I know - I'm conservative and I'm supposed to be rooting for Team Israel as a result, but I mostly root for Team America, or at least I did once upon a time. Besides, I tire of the utter hypocrisy of jewish political culture, which has culturally sabotaged America and Christians every which-way, yet which has a completely different set of rules for Israel. That said, I'm still sympathetic to the Israelis, who routinely get it on the chin for daring to attack the people who try to blow them up and talk of wiping them off the map.

* I can't find the article right now, but I recently read about how 'Red States' are starting to go on the offensive increasingly against universities - doing little things like forcing their professors to teach full class loads and more. Please, may this be a portent of things to come.