Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Christians should not guard atheist materialists against nihilism

Christians often let, or even encourage, materialist atheists to fall back to a kind of meaningful moral realism. A kind of 'You may not believe in God, but surely you believe in goodness, right? Charity? Kindness? Doing good, improving the world?' compromise. I think there's a number of motivations here - a belief that that inner conviction of 'goodness' may lead atheists back to God, a general hope that an atheist will at least still do pragmatic and beneficial things. Plus, the general unwillingness to assert that a convinced and willing atheist cannot really be doing 'good' from their own perspective, given how rude and unpopular that view is.

My view: letting a materialist atheist pretend that they can still talk meaningfully about 'good' and 'evil' is likely to do more harm than good, from the Christian perspective. It's encouraging people to be zealous with no real anchor - hence, SJWs.

Let me be clear here: I'm talking about materialist atheists. I don't believe agnostics, or the merely irreligious are in this boat. But once someone talks about how the natural/material world is all that exists, etc, acting like their logic-pretzels of trying to pretend they can pull 'rights' out of their ass and that this means something has to end.

Hindsight is 20/20, but New Atheists won't look

What should an anti-sjw New Atheist feel when looking to Europe, and noticing A) that irreligion has gone hand in hand with SJW, left-wing, feminist policies, and B) the resistance to said SJWs is heavily represented by people with a knack for praising the Crusades and carrying crosses?

The answer is shame.

Gentlemen, I state the obvious: if you are a right-wing atheist, if you are an anti-sjw atheist, if you are an anti-feminist atheist, then it's clear that the premise and promise of New Atheism has failed. It's time to dispense with it, and shift your focus. Irreligion hasn't launched us forward into progress. It's dragged us backward into tribalism and exploitation that makes theocracy look like libertarianism.

I'm not saying you should give up your atheism, though there's something to be said for that. I'm saying it's time to give up the anti-theism, and admit that that Christianity you were slamming so hard, so long, and so unfairly, held more value than you ever realized. Just as many Christians told you.

It's time to cop to the mistake and switch gears. You'll be a better man for it.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Nevertrump Gambit isn't about principle

I strongly suspect that #NeverTrump is not about a principled stand against Trump. Nor do I believe Kristol is sincerely trying to scum up a 'viable third party candidate', or even attempting to simply ensure that Trump is not elected.

I think what we are seeing is a desperate attempt to bring Trump to the bargaining table.

The claim is that Kristol, Romney, Ryan, etc are deeply principled people, who are motivated by staunch Republican virtues to oppose Trump, this loose cannon, this monster. The common rhetoric against them follows that thinking: these guys are so committed to their precious values that they've become zealots! They won't compromise, so they're willing to give the election to Hillary!

I'll be blunt: this looks like a pack of good old-fashioned cocksuckers to me. And cocksuckers aren't motivated by deep commitment to principle.

I suspect instead that this is about something else, something which goes back to the earliest worries of Trump's candidacy: they want to force Trump to the bargaining table. What drives them crazy isn't that Trump is a rotten, terrible, unprincipled, foul-mouthed, whatever candidate. What drives them crazy is that he's in no debt to them. If he can be made to go 'What do you want in exchange for not running third party', that will give them what they want. If he refuses to deal? Well, then they can go to Hillary and ask, 'What will you give us to run third party?' And more and more, Hillary looks like she's going to need that, if she manages to get out of this situation without shackles.

They don't care who deals. They just care that someone deals.

Politician condemns birth control, encourages women to have many children

Looks like the Turks have decided that demographics is destiny.

Now, some may worry that they'll run out of space in Turkey. But don't worry - there will be plenty of space in countries where secular interests are prioritized.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Vox versus Mensch on anti-semitism, and why people send racist/anti-semitic memes

Right here.

That's actually Part 2, but the real reason I link it is this.

First, who the hell has a name like 'Mensch' for real?

Second, and more importantly - I'm not sure if Mensch is tone-deaf or intentionally being deceptive when she talks about the mean people tweeting her and her friends foul anti-semitic/racist meme pictures. She interprets it, of course, in the most wild way possible: 'These are DEATH THREATS. They're saying that if Trump wins he's literally going to put us in gas chambers, and they're gloating about this!'

That's adorable, really.

Allow me to offer Mensch a different interpretation, one that has the benefit of not being absolutely insane.

They're sending Mensch a message with those images. Namely: 'You're calling people racist and anti-semitic, trying to bully them into silence for disagreeing. It doesn't work anymore, and we don't give a shit. Here's proof.'

Keep in mind the context here. Mensch was insisting that Ann Coulter was really quite anti-semite for saying, paraphrased, 'Why the hell are these candidates talking about the jews, do they know how many jews are in this country? Not many.' Not exactly damning, that. But the accusation still comes up, predictably. And these idiots - the ones who aren't just outright trolls - are showing how little faith they have in accusations like that anymore.

To that I'll add, at the end, Mensch talks about how she says let slip the dogs of war because she's going to hunt all of these anti-semites down like dogs. What she means is she's going to write some bitchin' tweets and maybe crack out some articles about them, which - Godwilling - will generate into the thousands of views. The point is this girl seems addicted to histrionics, and I'm not sure whether it's schtick or if she's just that deluded.

Why choose just one, I suppose.

Trump, and predicting what you want to happen

One of the biggest lessons of Trump's candidacy - and there are a lot of lessons - is that people tend to predict what they want to happen anyway. Especially when their predictions are public.

Part of that is because a prediction is often packaged with persuasion. 'The outcome will be X because actions/desires A, B and C are Bad Things which we should not do or desire.' Opposing illegal immigration is undesirable, therefore we cannot argue that it will go over well with the electorate. Whether or not that's actually, you know - true - is entirely a secondary concern. To predict is to persuade, and who the hell wants to persuade people in a way that goes against their interests?

You'd think analysts would be aware of this and avoid this kind of thinking like the plague. But that works under the assumption that both the analysts and the people who hire them are hiring them for their accurate predictions to begin with. You'd think so, right? I mean, when they talk up Nate Silver, they point at his string of successful predictions, don't they? (Well, not anymore - ha ha.)

But when's the last time you heard about an analyst, particularly a political analyst, being fired for their bad predictions? You hear about them being hired, being hot commodities, for successfully predicting this or that. But, at least where media outfits are concerned, heads never tend to roll just because people screwed up forecast after forecast.

It's almost as if the whole point of boosting 'look at their accurate predictions!' is to make them seem more persuasive when they predict, eh?

On apologies

At what point can I expect an apology from the Pope for the poor job the Church has done in defending the faith?

When will a GOP leader stand up and apologize for having done such a rotten job of protecting and advancing conservative ideals?

When will atheists apologize for the role of the atheists in the spread of communism and regressivism?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A cure for the racially colorblind

If you want to cure the racially colorblind, here's a surefire way: keep talking about their race and how much you hate it. Sustain that attitude for a bit and you'll provoke a whole lot of 'I was blind but now I see' moments, though I can't attest to how much you'll like the transformation.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Trump the con-artist, or Trump the obedient footsoldier?

This sentiment is not original to me, but it bears repeating.

Some people assume that Trump is using his supporters. He's not REALLY very conservative, he's not pro-life, he's not even anti-immigration. He's just saying what Republicans want to hear, playing them for saps just to get what he really wants - the presidency.

What these people don't seem to understand is that a lot of us have been waiting for someone to say what he's been saying for a long time. Speaking and standing up to SJWs, to PC authorities, is what so many of us wanted, a necessary first step to get what we really want. Trump is providing that. Note: he is not promising to provide this. He IS providing it. Trump's candidacy is not a promise that may or may not pay off. It is an immediate payoff in and of itself.

Trump is not using us. We're using him! He can't trick us into thinking he's merely anti-PC, no more than a hammer which has just finished slamming 20 nails into drywall was just pretending it can hammer nails. It did it, ladies and gentlemen, and so long as it keeps doing it, a lot of us are happy.

That we may get screwed is not a dangerous possibility - it's the status quo! Trump doing even part of what he promises would be a change of pace and a bonus besides.

If ISIS aren't muslims, are they really atheists?

Grant that ISIS aren't really muslims. Grant that their motivations are not, at heart, religious at all - they are entirely secular. They are moved by desires for wealth, for housing, for jobs.

Alright. Carry that to its conclusion then - ISIS is a group of atheists, with secular motives. They're about as religious as a huckster televangelist saying God demanded donations. They do not kill for the glory of God - they want money, for the sake of comfort, and shelter, and food, and all the usual reasons.

I have a feeling that this will turn out to be wrong as well, but at that point ISIS becomes utterly mysterious, and we're left with the grim irony that their motivations cannot be attributed to natural forces.

But wait, that won't be accepted either...

It's amazing how complicated issues get when the most obvious and straightforward conclusions are declared impossible lest they offend regressive sensibilities.

Negotiating on converting the jews

All the high-minded theological talk about the necessity to convert / not convert the jews always seems to trade on an oddly out of date image of a jew. Very 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

You tell me that there's no need to convert the practicing orthodox with the big crazy beard and interesting rules about men and women riding the same bus, and fine, I'll at least hear you out. But pick out the orthodox, practicing, believing jews, and you're not picking out the lion's share. Tell me 'no, no, this means Jon Stewart too' and I'll laugh at you, and everyone else should too. The most tenable position for theologians to take would be a position that modern, politically motivated jews would reject furiously.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The happiest election in memory

Has anyone else noticed - right-wingers, I'm talking to you in particular - just how happy this election is compared to others?

Remember when McCain was the nominee? I do. Man, that sucked. We had to pretend to be enthusiastic for the asshole 'maverick' and pretend he wasn't some kind of habitual left-wing sellout with a hawk tendency that made W look isolationist. Sure, we got Palin out of it - entertaining and surprisingly prescient, if not exactly leadership material - but that was an accident at best. And of course the media-darling became media-reviled (to his shock) and went down in flames to a closet muslim. (Just kidding, everyone knows he's an anti-Christian atheist.)

Then Romney. Now, I liked Romney. I think I framed him ass 'an unreliable sellout, but hey, he seems like a decent enough guy, and maybe his being mormon means something', which is more than most. I thought he was unfairly hammered, but largely insofar as he was clearly a big government left-wing trojan horse. For God's sake he was the architect of state-level Obamacare, and they decided to run him when Obamacare was supposed to be reviled? But right-wingers looked at Obama, sucked it up and said 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do'.

The point is, wow. Those were two shit sandwiches, weren't they? Hell, if you dig further, the presidency of W was two servings of a shit sandwich. Meandering yokel of a leader who, while clearly not legitimately retarded, was still a jackass who single-handedly shat all over the GOP's respectability. It used to be everyone pretended that wasn't the case out of feigned party loyalty, but that's gone now. The point is, these were miserable times. We never got excited for these guys, except at the start, and then out of desperation.

But now?

I know some of you disagree. And most of you, I respect. But the fact is, even when he was polling 15 points under Clinton... I've been having the time of my political life.

This is how it should be. No listening to some absolute fake of a leader insisting that of COURSE we Republicans don't want to deport illegal immigrants, that is so heartless. No meekly bowing our heads when lectured about some idiotic racism claims from someone whose ancestors probably had more cotton baled on their behalf than any of us. In a world where would-be SJW jackboots exists, we have a guy willing to call one of the biggest fakes in politics 'Fauxcahontas' and blow off journalists who huff that that's so offensive. We've got a guy who makes us cheer because of what he says and the stances he takes, a guy who fights fights that we actually want to have.

Notice, by the way, that this pleasure has been in the air even when he was polling 15 points down against the supposed Sure Thing that is Hillary Clinton. He was going to lose? We'll see. And also, who gives a shit? We've got a champion -now-. We can enjoy this immediately, we're not totally banking on hopes that this works out in six months. We're not holding our noses

I like this. I like how this feels. I want it to remain. I'd like to win, yes, but I'd rather feel like this and get charged up to fight and support a fighter than spend one more goddamn month pretending some cuck from the Bush clan is someone I just can't wait to vote for. I'll take this and a gamble than a sure thing with a Paul Ryan or a Romney III, over and over again.

Sanders vs Clinton vs NeverTrump

What remains of the NeverTrump position in political hinges crucially on a Clinton presidency, I suspect. Clinton, for as much as she's dived to the left, essentially remains a big business neo-con hawk, which is why the GOPe has found it so easy to promote talk of a third party run. Sinking Trump and gaining Clinton? Not the most perfect world, but for them, it's better than a Trump world.

I suspect the prospect of a Trump v Sanders race would introduce new levels of panic into the party. All that talk of voting for principle, even if it meant a Hillary victory, would go up in flames at the prospect of a presidency with full-blown socialist dove, cuck or not.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Future scholarship is going to be a joy

Just looked at the latest Dalrock post, which opens with the following line:
Brad Wilcox of the Marriage Project made a video for Prager University that along with a rebuttal by MGTOW Turd Flinging Monkey has been getting a good deal of attention.
A world where university academics can be given a run for their money by guys writing under the nom de plume Turd Flinging Monkey is a world I'm happy to be part of. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era, but it's times like this that make me glad I'm in this one more than any other.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hillary as the right-wing revenge

This election has really been the gift that keeps on giving for me. First there was Trump, who honest to God has delighted me more than any candidate I've ever seen in my life. But just as entertaining has been Hillary Clinton. Go Hillary go, I say - may she stumble across the nomination finish line, and may she do it with one hand still holding the dagger she's sunk into Sanders' back.

Now, I dislike Hillary. I think she's rotten to the core, corrupt, and fake. She's a hawk and a globalist, she panders to the left and (if only by necessity) sneers at the social right. It'd be one thing if only I thought that. But, God bless 'em, the left realizes it too. Which is why I'm eager to see them saddled with her.

I look forward to see the people who (justifiably) screamed about the Iraq war finding themselves voting for a woman who voted for it. People who screech anti-war diatribes having to go all-in for a hawk. People who wanted to Occupy Wall Street, supporting their obvious puppet candidate. I want to see them grit their teeth and sacrifice all of their principles - and I want them to know that's exactly what they're doing while they do it.

I have no grand tactical idea in mind to justify my attitude here, no eye on some positive cultural reaction that can come of it, though there may be one. I merely think it will be funny, and God knows it will be.

The only thing that can make it better is if they swallow their principles, debase themselves for an entire election cycle, and then proceed to lose anyway.

To Trump.

C'mon, God. I know you have a sense of humor - give me a laugh this time!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The pro-life movement as one large hostage negotiation

Pro-life leaders tend to treat the pro-life issue as a kind of prolonged hostage negotiation with women: we better do X, Y and Z, or else the negotiations will fail and the kid's going to get killed.

No stigma against women getting knocked up out of wedlock, or she'll ice the kid to cover it up!

No stigma against single mothers, or she'll kill the kid to avoid becoming one!

No treating women who get abortions as monsters, or we'll drive them out of the church - and then they'll probably keep getting them!

So, the pro-life movement has systematically done everything it can to remove all criticism of women who get knocked up out of wedlock, or really, under any situation whatsoever. At the same time, they've struggled to remove all stigma from any women who've had or are considering abortions, in the hopes that they can be appealed to.

And then some of them seem perplexed and disheartened at how we've gotten to a situation culturally where single motherhood is the new normal and women's 'reproductive choices' are sacrosanct, whatever they may be.

There's more facets to this problem, more reasons it's turned out this way. But the fact is that if you want to know why, decades on, the pro-life movement has at best managed a quasi-stalemate, it's largely due to self-inflicted damage. It was a mistake to treat abortion as a numbers game where the biggest goal was in raw reduction in the projected numbers of abortions, instead of as the cultural fight it really was, and will always be.

Ben Shapiro breakdown watch

I've been talking about Ben Shapiro in the comments here lately, taking the view that Shapiro's on #NeverTrump for good. And I'm standing by that, because I think he's ultimately a globalist - an anti-SJW globalist, but a globalist all the same.

But hearing that Michelle Fields has decided to go work for Huffington Post? I didn't expect that one. At the very least, I want to see how he reacts to being grilled over this, because at some point this guy's gotta admit he got played.

Symbolic Meeting is Hugely Important Symbol, says Symbolic Catholic Leader

Pope Francis met the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican on Monday in a historic encounter that was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses. 
The first Vatican meeting between the leader of the world's Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths since Francis took office in 2013.
"Our meeting is the message," Francis said in a brief comment to a small pool of reporters present at the start of his meeting with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb.
Hugely symbolic! And in case you didn't 'get it', the Pope spelled it out for you: "Our meeting is the message."

What exactly that message is supposed to be is unclear, but I suspect if pressed the Pope would explain 'That this is a hugely symbolic meeting!' Perhaps he would add that it's 'a pretty big deal.'

Likewise unclear is where the improvement of relations is showing up. Will Christians be killed less in muslim countries? Was there an agreement to scale back punishments for Christian converts in muslim countries? Was there any indication of any change along these lines whatsoever?

Spoiler alert: there was not. In fact, there was nothing but a photo op, which the most humble pope ever eats up.

But the article is great, if only for this line:
Ties were badly soured when the now-retired Benedict made a September 2006 speech in which he was perceived to have linked Islam to violence, sparking deadly protests in several countries and reprisal attacks on Christians.
All that's missing is Francis declaring that no true muslim would ever kill for their faith, and for THAT to be interpreted as an insult which spawns all kinds of reprisal attacks.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fears of a strongman

Calling Trump a 'strongman' is supposed to be a pejorative, but it seems like an asset more than anything. If we had a strongman in Indiana instead of Pence, religious freedoms would have been protected. If we nominated a strongman to the SCOTUS instead of Roberts, Obamacare would probably be dead. The people who seem most critical of the idea of a strongman seem to be those who could never be one even if they wanted to. 

It's like hearing someone sneer and talk about image obsessed health nuts and what insecurities they must have - but having the diatribe delivered from a four hundred pound lardass. Something other than pure observation about others' flaws seems to be in the driver's seat there.

One way Trump differs from Republicans and Democrats

Trump comes across as a man who loves America, Americans and American culture, and who sees the purpose of government as promoting their well-being first and foremost. Say he really believes this, say it's just an act - but it's the image he has.

For Democrat elites, this is unacceptable. American culture is deplorable and shameful - it's something that needs to be apologized for, corrected, and in large part eradicated. Americans are barely much better - way too Christian, way too white. At absolute best, America is something that maybe can become 'good' someday, once the wrong people are eliminated or marginalized.

For Republican elites, this is also unacceptable. Not necessarily because they dislike American culture or the American people, but because they consider both as largely irrelevant. What matters most is a certain set of ideas that they saw as shaping and guiding the policies of certain American politicians and thought-leaders. The ideas are sacrosanct, and how they affect Americans or America is largely an afterthought, or is treated as identical to preserving the ideas. Does America respect unregulated free trade? Then America is doing fine - no need for more details.

You could write whole books on all three claims, and I'll say straight out this is looking at a facet of politics at most, not the distilled truth of it all. But insofar as it applies, consider this: the Republican and Democrat elites aren't necessarily opposed to each other, at least not all of the time. What drives the Democrats are largely factors the Republicans consider irrelevant. Marginalize the Christians, import fifty million illegals, do whatever - the real question is 'Will trade remain free? Will business remain unregulated?', etc. If the answer is 'yes', well, then everything is going to be fine, nothing to be too worried about - things change, after all.

Which is why Trump's rise has been frightening. Trump acts like someone who privileges American culture, American people, and America itself over ideas, and he doesn't think it's in need of some great transformation before it can be called 'good'. Ironically enough, Trump's message is pretty revolutionary in modern American politics, even though the message is at least partly 'We really don't need to change'.

This explains some of the weird trends we're seeing in politics, with Democrats finding themselves supporting Trump rather easily, and some Republicans being viciously hostile. For a lot of Democrats, we really don't need to change. For them, the real promise of the Democrats is 'Americans who are poor or in shitty communities will be helped somehow', and insofar as that's the central concern, America-loving Trump has a message which actually resonates - however he plans on handling it. And for some Republicans, American people are irrelevant - the ideas matter. If America is stronger, if more people speak english, if SJW culture is beaten back... that's fine, but really, it's nothing worth chipping away at free trade or open borders over.

The election in one gif

Shamelessly stolen from Reddit, but good God this is great. Accurate too.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

When NeverTrump went too far

Of all the mistakes that were made by Trump's opponents during this campaign, I think the biggest one was in embracing - down to the letter - the tactics of the regressives. Screaming that Michelle Fields was manhandled and abused by Trump's chief of staff, going on about how he's clearly afraid of 'strong women', repeatedly suggesting that anyone who supports him must be a misogynist racist who has a problem with women and minorities? Those moves are straight from not just the left-wing playbook, but the SJW playbook. Using them during an election where one of the overriding suspicions was 'our party is controlled by sellouts' wasn't desperate - it was suicidal.

Mike Flynn (who doesn't agree with anything I say as far as I know - just getting that out there) likes to use the phrase now and then that 'sometimes the mask slips.' But when someone decides to blatantly use SJW language, just as an SJW would use it, putting the mask back on becomes a lot more difficult. Ben Shapiro right now is pissing and moaning that he's considered, basically, an SJW quisling, despite engaging in what I regard as some downright brave and crucial culture war acts. What he doesn't seem to understand - or at least, what he doesn't want to accept - is that the moment he decided to use a page out of their book, he essentially endorsed a cultural narrative that SJW-hostile people despise. Shapiro seems to think that, well, he was just doing what he thought was right. But if that justifies what he did, then he shouldn't be surprised at his - putting it mildly - detractors. They're doing the same.

The Alt Right doesn't want to claim the SJW's methods and presumptions. They want to destroy those things altogether. Right wingers who use them shouldn't be surprised to find that in the eyes of the Alt Right, using those things amounts to a declaration of war.

Sassy muslim selfie-girl delights media with her photos. And jew-hating rants.

Here's the timeline. A muslim girl, hijab and all, decided to take some selfie-pics at some anti-Islam protests. Notice that in the West a female muslim can attend a protest and the headline is 'Look at this sassy girl keeping it real at a protest!', rather than 'Police still searching for the dozens of men who gangbanged uppity woman in public', which is the more common result elsewhere. She was an internet sensation for about as long as it took for people to sift through her social media and discover that, surprisingly, muslim women in hijabs tend not to be thrilled with Jews.

Of course, she has an excuse. She meant zionists, not jews!

But that's too little, too late, and already the internet is busy photoshopping her taking selfies at concentration camps. Live by the selfie, die by the selfie, I suppose.

Glenn Beck is not a cuckservative

More and more, I'm convinced that Glenn Beck is simply not a cuckservative. A cuckservative, at least based on the impression I got from Vox Day's book, is someone who doesn't have the tenacity to stand up for his principles. He resigns himself to defeat, and lashes out at anyone who would fight or urge him to do likewise. He, for the most part, settles.

Glenn Beck doesn't strike me as a guy who's selling out his principles at all. Instead, he's what's better called 'a cocksucker'. Cocksuckers don't really have any principles to begin with, beyond always trying to claw their way upwards. Cuckservatives put up with a cheating spouse, grudgingly. Cocksuckers will outright pimp their spouses, and themselves if need be.

To see a little of what I mean:
“I understand why conservatives are suspicious of Silicon Valley,” Beck writes. “It can feel a lot like the main stream media. But I’ve told you many times that I feel at home in Silicon Valley. I love the energy.” 
He then argues that Facebook’s employees, while socially liberal, want fewer government regulations: 
These are people who want to innovate and disrupt, they want the government to stop regulating their businesses, they want small business to succeed, they value personal responsibility, etc. Why they are liberal? I don’t know, but in general, they’re not Progressives, at least not the folks I met with today (though I’m sure there were a few).
Oh boy. They're very liberal, but they personally want less regulation applying to them.

No, this doesn't make them some kind of natural ally for the conservative. But it provides a damn fine opportunity for a cocksucker.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Christ's strength was His weakness. And also His omnipotence

Modern Christians, even (especially?) modern theologians, seem to forget that Christ's power is put on display by His triumph over His death, not just by that death alone. Remove the resurrection - and the theism - from Christ, and you're no longer left with an event of much interest in and of itself.

See, I'm saying something that should be obvious - you don't need a divinity degree to 'get' this - but it also doesn't sit well with some people. No, no, no, victimhood is noble -itself-. Christ's strength was His - pardon, his - weakness. Omnipotence is irrelevant. Resurrection is irrelevant! It's the injustice which is striking, it's the suffering and the death and how wrong it all was, and that is it. That's what's central, that's the lesson, that's what we should notice.

This is one of those things which is supposed to seem dramatic and poetic and deep, but I've never been able to get on board with this kind of schtick. Christ is important because Christ is God. The crucifixion is important because of the resurrection. I know that keeping the dirty theistic details in the story makes it less palatable to non-Christians, but come to think of it, making it palatable to them isn't that important either.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Trump Supporters vs the World

What I find oddest all about the support for Trump is the following.

People who support Trump generally dislike the other candidates, sometimes intensely. But the only people who they really dislike are Sanders supporters - and I'm pretty sure the fact that said supporters have been outright infiltrating Trump's rallies, blockading roads and generally being nasty shits has a lot to do with that.

But people who oppose Trump intensely dislike Trump... and absolutely loathe Trump supporters.

What's really odd about this is seeing various people who vehemently dislike Trump supporters - Christians particularly - who nevertheless have historically been willing to sit down and talk it out with New Atheists. And I don't mean 'average irreligious guy' but gutter-dwelling mediocrities like Cowboy Hat and company.

It is a mystery.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Trump and the shame of conservatives

I suspect one reason Trump horrifies so many conservatives is not because they suspect he's a closet liberal, but because they're terrified at the possibility he's not just a conservative, but an effective conservative. They would rather lose, and lose big, than have Trump be the model of a conservative victory - loud, obnoxious, offensive and shameless.

First, because Trump is a political actor without the standard chains on; the Chamber of Commerce can't harm him with his base by denouncing him (far from it.) The ADL can't do him harm by wringing its hands and announcing their concerns that Trump is an anti-semite (very far from it.) A conservative is one thing, but a conservative who isn't leashed by mainstream bloggers, Foxnews and CPAC? That's full-blown Frankenstein territory, and it only gets worse when one realizes that Trump's able to crack a rhetorical whip and do some damage of his own. Obama's a belligerent little priss, but even he has chains - they're just liberal chains.

Now, that would explain the fear of Trump at the higher levels - one we're talking about popular bloggers, special interest groups, lobbyists and more. But then why the fear of Trump at the lower level?

I think part of that - not all of it, but part of it - is that they simply don't want success to even be possible in this package. I'm reminded of some of the shit Ed Feser got when he published The Last Superstition - why, he was polemical at times, how horrible. He insulted people! Sure, they were atheists, and nasty ones at that, but... shouldn't we be better than that? Because... well, we don't feel right being polemical. We don't like to insult.

Because insulting is dangerous, and we may get insulted back, and we may well be outgunned. Better to insist it's all out of bounds and hope like hell the referee will step in, because otherwise we're in trouble.

Obviously, I have a different view about that. I like the new political culture, which doesn't deal with BlackLivesMatter by trying to ignore their existence or kowtowing to that idiot Al Sharpton in some hopes of buying credibility with blacks. I'd rather they just be called thugs who should be arrested or who may well in fact deserve a punch in the head, and instead address blacks at large directly. I'd rather see Fauxcahontas mocked openly instead of idiot conservatives pretending that what the people really want to hear is praise of her many accomplishments (Good God she's a woman, and she finegled her way into academia no less) and laughing in her face at her antics is off-limits. I'm willing to live with the new, more upsetting world, especially since the world I was actually getting was as bad anyway, just with the targets limited to my side of things.

I understand that many conservatives do not like this, and want - desperately, frantically, with sweat now pouring from their brows - to go back to the world where being meek was called being noble, and being a coward was called being sensible, and being bland was preferred to being insulting. I'm sorry, but that ship has sailed. We now live in the world where Donald Trump is the most persuasive articulator of patriotism around, and Milo Yiannaopolous gives the best critiques of the LGBT movement, and Vox freaking Day is the one talking sense about culture, not PJ O'Rourke.

I have a feeling these guys are here to stay this time around, so best get used to 'em.

Gay SJW Pastor tries hate hoax, gets outgunned


Now, the beginnings of this story are familiar. Outspoken activist "community leader" of the professional victim class - in this case a gay 'Christian' preacher - supposedly encounters unprovoked hate. No, not this kind of encounter. We're talking far more low-level: he buys a custom cake that says 'Love Wins', and claims that a chef decided to add the word 'FAG' to the cake.

You know where this is going.
LOVE WINS FAG. That’s not the cake I ordered, @WholeFoods and I am offended for myself & the entire #LGBT community pic.twitter.com/cuxuv6mL3G— Jordan D Brown (@PasJordanBrown) April 18, 2016
That link doesn't work anymore, but just so we're clear on what level this guy is playing at, here's the cake in question:

Pictured: One hell of a faggy cake.
I'm sure you guys know where this is going. The Pastor there kicks up a storm, complains to Whole Foods for this dreaded act of homophobia that has reduced him to tears and brought back all the horrible experiences he had growing up in, yada yada yada. Okay. So Whole Foods' manager apologizes, offers him a coupon for a free replacement cake. Story's playing out as you'd expect so far.

What impresses me is that apparently the manager didn't only look into this, but actually made the move of calling the good pastor back just to tell him, you know what? This looks funny. You're not even getting your cake coupon.

A short while later, Whole Foods started talking about suing the -pastor-, because their camera footage seemed to clearly show that there's no way this event went down the way he said it did. They were innocent, and not only was this a hoax, but a hoax they were going to punish him for.

Pause and admire Whole Foods on this one: going all Cake Detective and getting into countersuit talk? That's going above and beyond the call of duty, and it makes me wonder what Brown was asking for here behind the scenes. Mandatory hiring of LGBT outreach specialists for all the Whole Foods bakeries? Whatever the reason, they went after this guy hard and fast. Enough that he not only backed off, but he dropped his claims altogether and apologized.

Good job, Whole Foods. I'm not sure Love Wins, but security cameras pack one hell of a punch, that much I'm sure of.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thought for the day - Atheist prayers

An inability to pray, or a visceral aversion to praying, is a sign of mental damage. Mere lack of God belief isn't sufficient to explain this - there's either a belief at work, or something which requires some psychological spelunking to eke out.

The Cult of Gnu remnants continue to self-destruct

It's amazing that even now, the slower atheists in the West are still obsessed with undermining and attacking Christianity at every level, to the point where idiots like PeteBog want to play with fire and introduce even-more-explicitly anti-Christian courses into the university. They haven't paused to wonder if the spread of secularism in their beloved and once 'ideal nations' in Europe have anything to do with the same threat of demographic, cultural and even religious invasion in those same countries. And they haven't done that because they're typically short-sighted midwits, still grappling with the childhood angst of some overbearing authority figure making them feel bad for jerking off.

Wonderful, guys. We get it. The Pastor fucked you up in a big way, and you still feel a bit like a dirty shit when looking at porn. But really, it's time to move on and recognize that there are bigger problems to deal with.

I've seen some atheists and irreligious in general start to pause lately, in fairness. I've run into some who say 'You know, maybe Christianity - even if I don't believe in it - was serving an important function in the West. Maybe trying to destroy and undermine it has been a mistake, even from an irreligious standpoint, all things being equal.' Some even have admitted that maybe there's something to it that they, personally, just do not -get- and maybe they should second-guess themselves.

And then you have PeteBog and crew, as usual proving that lack of theistic belief is no barrier to an atheist behaving as dogmatically as the most wild-eyed preacher.

The Real War on Women, Attempt 7

The mainstream right-wing is forever trying to capture the War on Women banner from the left-wing.

You know what the REAL war on women is? Abortion! Let's talk about sex-selective abortion.

Or maybe it's illegal immigration? Let's talk about those misogynistic muslims!

I'm pretty sure it's also, uh... minimum wage! Why, it will lead to more employees being let go, and I'll bet you a good share of them will be women!

And so on, and so on.

I know this is supposed to be crafty thinking, or at the very least a sincere criticism of legitimate problems, but really - it just seems so bland, predictable and unconvincing. Lots of stoic posing and rehearsed lines, in the desperate hope that something will catch on. It hasn't managed to stick since it's been tried, but mainstream right-wing politics often functions as a circle of hell for people in marketing: non-stop re-application of failed advertising campaigns.

Welcome to the GOP! Your punishment is trying to sell the political equivalent of New Coke - forever.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

For sincere Christians, the track record of women's suffrage is deplorable

If sincere Christians were to stop and assess the results of women's suffrage, the result would be questioning if it was ever a good idea to begin with. Which is precisely why most Christians go out of their way to treat this question as one that cannot be asked.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Focusing fire on fellow Christians

I'm making fellow Christians the focus of a lot of my criticisms lately. Not just leftist SJW-ish Christians either - team WWWtW is not that. And it probably seems distasteful, in the way that Trump's offended a lot of conservatives this time around. Knocking Foxnews, knocking National Review, knocking 'fellow conservatives' (or 'true conservatives' as opposed to whatever Trump is.)

For myself, this has been the result of realizing that - for as rotten as the New Atheists are, as rotten as SJWs are - there's a tremendous amount of rot among Christians. SJW Christians, yes, but also... for lack of a better term, mainstream Christians. Establishment Christians.

One problem is I don't believe they're all sinister. I think many are well-meaning. They are, in fact, people who many times think and believe what I used to think and believe in the not so distant past. I was mister 'be friends with SJW Christians'. I was mister 'police your language, don't say this thing it's OFFENSIVE to people', at least politically. I'd roll by Thinking Christian and chide Tom Gilson not to talk about 'gay people', because it was really 'LGBT activists' who should be focused on.

I thought I was helping. In some limited ways, some limited situations, I probably was.

But at this point, I think the orthodox laity - the right-wing, traditionalist laity - need to tell both the laity and large at some of the clergy to, kindly, screw off when it comes to a lot of their hangups. They've made it abundantly clear that they'll bow and scrape to the left, and tend to take out their frustrations on the historically more docile and loyal right. It's time for that to end.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More on Jeffrey S, Garbutt - and calling Lydia McGrew to the stand

Part of an ongoing series, while I get around to it.

Previously I talked about Jeffrey S's strangely selective blindness when coming to the defense of National Review's article about white towns, and how they're stocked with morally impure degenerates whose culture needs to be wiped out. Again, Jeffrey S parsed this as Williamson 'daring to be blunt' about how people in those cities need to move. Kind of an understatement bordering on flat out dishonesty, but let's move on.

Jeffrey S unleashes this quote in defense of the eradication of suboptimal white neighborhoods:
For these and other reasons, it is widely accepted that U.S. manufacturing “decline” has been limited to employment, and that these loses were primarily cause by productivity gains, not trade. Indeed, even the most pessimistic academic studies on imports and manufacturing jobs have found only a limited connection between the two. Autor, Dorn, and Hanson found in 2013, for example, that “import competition explains [only] one-quarter of the contemporaneous aggregate decline in US manufacturing employment” between 1990 and 2007. Other studies have been even more sanguine. For example, a recent Ball State study attributed almost 90 percent of all U.S. manufacturing-job losses since 2000 to productivity gains. “Had we kept 2000-levels of productivity and applied them to 2010-levels of production,” the authors write, “we would have required 20.9 million manufacturing workers. Instead, we employed only 12.1 million.” Thus, it is simply wrong to blame import competition for the disappearance of American manufacturing jobs of the supposed destruction of U.S. industrial capacity.
Let's take the claim at face value for a moment: it's primarily an increase in productivity (automation, etc) which has resulted in job losses. Let's even put aside the fact that, even at a supposed quarter of the losses, that's still a rather sizable amount of jobs being lost - even if it's clearly outweighed by other factors.

My question is this: since when is it viewed as why-even-argue acceptable to literally destroy and dismantle whole communities in the name of productivity gains?

Before you come at me, I want to be clear the position I take here. I'm a lover of technology and efficiency. The benefits of having a more productive workforce are tremendous, and not to be discounted lightly. But so too are the benefits of a stable and economically healthy city. Jeffrey S and friends are not just asking us to celebrate gains in productivity, not just to accept that some jobs will necessarily be lost when a given industry becomes more efficient, but to accept - with a big ol' smile - the utter destruction of entire cities (so long as they're white cities, I'll add) in exchange for it.

Pardon me, but something seems wrong there. Dare I say it - it smells a bit modernist. It smells like what's really wrong with the world.

Now, that's not to say I'm not in favor of a bit of fire and brimstone when it comes to an 'industry'. For instance - I'm on record as believing that the university system as we know it should be destroyed. Burnt to the ground and made not just a whole lot less liberal, but - God help us - more efficient. More *productive*. We live in an age of wireless communication where whole libraries can be transferred in seconds. Why the hell are we sending children off to re-education camps so their minds can be molded by SJWs of the worst variety?

Funny thing. I brought this up at WWWtW once upon a time (with emphasis added):
I believe Marc is right about one thing: Vox's (and Larry Correia's) strategy worked. It helped that they actually concocted a plan and worked on it, rather than satisfied themselves with complaining in relative privacy. They used their respective positions as popular authors and the format of the Hugo awards to raise a little hell, and raise a little hell they did - in the process illustrating the hypocrisy not only of the leftists, but of a pretty major industry in general. (Well, major for now - it's on the decline.)
As for the OP, I'm sad to say that my general opinion of academia is 'burn it all to the ground'. The APA in particular is an intellectual joke at this point, and the best thing Christians can do is undermine respect for such organizations - and academia in general - in their own communities. If they want to be jokes, then the least we can do is laugh at them. Loudly.
So, with WWWtW defending the utter destruction of Garbutt being approved of by WWWtW - remember, Williamson declared that it was morally imperative that these depressed regions be destroyed - you'd think my humble suggestion would be celebrated, wouldn't you?

Let me give you a sample of some of the responses - again, with emphasis added:
I hold no brief for the APA, but being married to a professional philosopher (perhaps you didn't know that, Crude?) I am not at all likely to agree that we should burn all of academia to the ground. I still think that good things can be and in some cases are taught in philosophy classes and many other classes in higher education. I also have many professional philosophers for friends who do a darned good job. My sympathies are with any normal philosophers who just wanted to do good work in the University of Colorado, and even though (as I said in the OP) I don't actually know who they are or what their work is (and deliberately avoided looking it up for purposes of this post), it is more than a purely theoretical possibility that there were such. Nobody in the department was looking to be taken over by an APA Committee of Harpies. Obviously. So just being cynical and saying, "Who cares?" is not going to do it for me, here. There are people trying to do good work in the academy, and the Committee of Harpies would like to stop them from doing it with this kind of totalitarian junk. As for what to do about it, if they try it on you, I think Mike Adams has had a good approach: Sue the bastards. And he won, too. He more or less told them that they were going to take his freedom of speech from his cold, dead hands, and he won. I'm cheering for FIRE on this one, and I hope some of the UC philosophers are in touch with them, too.
Ladies and gentlemen, my star witness - Lydia McGrew. Arch-libertarian Lydia McGrew, no less.

In case you were keeping score at home:

The complete destruction of largely white, typically Christian communities like Garbutt, with its residents scattered to the winds and forced to relocate the urban areas to eke out a living in a whole new field: justified on the grounds of efficiency and greater value to all and sundry.

The complete destruction of largely liberal, typically secular-atheist SJW hellholes like Missouri State, with education made more accessible and affordable for all, at vastly more convenience for everyone who desires an education: now you just hold your horses Crude, some of us have family there, and there are some good people doing good work at those jobs!

Greater efficiency and net productivity, it seems, is only so valuable.

Funny how that works.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


Honest to God, I wonder who cares about this sort of thing. I didn't care when it was Romney, and I damn sure don't care when it's Trump. I have trouble imagining even pretending to be worked up about this if it were Clinton, but maybe that's because she's got bigger scandals to worry about.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A thought to meditate on

Trende talked about the shifting “priorities” of these voters, which could go a long way toward explaining why Cruz didn’t get the support he was looking for in the South.  It’s not so much a question of those voters rejecting Constitutional conservatism, as their political priorities shifting to more immediate concerns.
They’re under attack by the federal government, and they want relief. 
Intellectual discourse on the Constitutional basis for freedom of religious expression has less political value when the federal government is sending a battalion of lawyers to escort men into the women’s restroom.  They still care about our future of unsustainable government debt, but their more immediate concern is getting the economy moving for their regions and income brackets again.  Abstract discussion about the proper limits of government gives way to more concrete concerns: What will you do to bring the jobs back, nourish our wages back to health, and make us feel like something more than targets?
That seems like a pretty good way to put it. Conservatives who caterwaul at how disappointed they are with the voters for choosing a populist over a 'Constitutional Conservative' come across as people who are entirely insulated from not just the world, but their own political party regulars.  It's doubly weird since one of the common criticisms of Trump is 'he's a strongman!', as if Reagan was known for his calm, calculated reactions to political events, domestic and international.

One upside to this election

No matter what happens, between Trump's likely primary win and Bernie's likely primary loss, a whole lot of people who can't be trusted with excess disposable income have had it taken away from them.

May the people they ultimately gave it to blow it all on yachts.

Added to the sidebar: Dalrock

I'd say I'm leery about the portion of the Venn diagram Dalrock occupies, but I'm vastly more leery of the sort of things Dalrock's largely reacting to, so on they go to the blogroll.

Short summary: Dalrock largely focuses on how feminism and Christianity intersect, from a critical perspective. If you think the Christian culture is largely screwing up in terms of what it expects of men, well, be sure to give this place a look. Interesting author.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Regarding Trump and Principles


Hearing people scream about Trump's lack of ideological purity is quite a thing. I recall being told over and over that said purity tests were doing harm to the GOP, and we had to compromise on principles to fit more and more people into the 'big tent'.

Of course, it wasn't their principles being sacrificed. 'We' was 'me and mine', not 'they and theirs'.

It's funny, watching fellow Republicans gasp in horror when they hear Trump say he's willing to buckle a bit on taxes. Sure, he'd like to lower taxes across the board, but if push comes to shove he's willing to raise taxes on the wealthy. And people look at me, mouth agape, wondering when I'm going to get outraged about this act of economic heresy, only to find that my response is to shrug and finish my coffee.

That, I admit, is sad. Even when I'm fighting with them, I've got a rightward orientation. I'd rather not be fighting with these people. Some of them, anyway.

More funny are the reactions on the left, as they slowly come to grips with the likelihood that they're going into a Hillary versus Trump contest - where they will have to cheer on, mindlessly and zealously, the pro-Wall-Street, pro-Big-Business, corruption maven that is Hillary Clinton. And doing so against the protectionist, screw-Wall-Street guy! It's like a political Kronenberg body-horror story, the diehard liberals slowly but surely being gruesomely flesh-shaped into supply siders, struggling to eke out sustenance from a dwindling diet of sodomy and abortion.

And God help you if you were a male Bernie supporter. I'd say voting for Hillary under those conditions is pretty much gelding, but if you were a millenial leftist male you've made that sacrifice a long time ago. Then again, that used to be an experience psychologically mollified by looking at Republicans, but for the moment chaos reins in the GOP and the people who -aren't- furious are having a ball. Balls being forbidden among the modern left, unless they're surgically attached by a swedish doctor.

Returning to the point - the 'principles' the conservative drama-queens are going on about have been gone for a while. One thing Trump has managed is to reveal, once and for all, the fact that many of us didn't like George W Bush, his policies, and certainly not his wars. That idol didn't come crashing to the ground fast enough, and now it's broken into a million pieces, thank Christ. It's one more thing Trump has accomplished for the culture, and he hasn't even been elected yet.

That, I think, is why at least some people hate Trump: it's not that he's so crude and foul, but that he's raised the bar too high. Standing up to concentrated media fire - and coming out ahead! - isn't an act most people want to follow. Imagine being a politician, used to responding to media assaults like a trained seal - you apologize, you ask for forgiveness, you say you were misunderstood, you fire someone as a sacrifice - only to suddenly realize that, ha ha, that's out of style now. People expect you to take some risks, or they're going to hate you.

It ain't pretty, but that's the world we've got for now. I, for one, am adjusting well to the change.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Scandinavia and the death of an atheist talking point

Meaning no disrespect to the minority of right-wing/religious people in Scandinavia, I still have to remark on the entertainment of that region falling off the map as an atheist talking point. It was only a few years ago when that largely irreligious region was treated as, essentially, an atheist Mecca - a living demonstration of what could be if only people rejected religion's chains!

That's fallen by the wayside, to put it mildly. Scandinavia has gone from atheist talking point to Christian talking point practically overnight.

On the one hand, the communicable brain disease known as 'leftist ideology' has resulted in the decimation of not just Sweden's culture and values, but of the natives themselves. Sweden turned out to be more a muslim Mecca than an atheist one, with the incoming refugees predominantly bringing with them a healthy respect for bearded prophets and some differing opinions about human rights and civil conduct.

That'd be punch one. The second punch would be that Scandinavian resistance to these trends has largely been spearheaded not by leftists, but by people like the Sweden Democrats, whose politics are basically 'Donald Trump's, but more socially conservative.' Denmark isn't much better, having taken up a policy of outright scaring away refugees before they even think about showing up. Not exactly a horror story by my measures, but then again it isn't my measure which is under scrutiny here.

Add this to the fact that even atheists are starting to become disgusted with SJW culture for which Sweden is a poster child, and the situation is made even more clear.

Of course, Europe as a whole is starting to look less and less like a model for leftist atheists and more and more like a nightmare, with anti-immigrant, anti-'diversity' right wing ideology rearing up just about everywhere. Austerity and the failure of the welfare state was bad enough, but add in the demographic woes, the refugee crisis and more and... well, so much for the glorious irreligious future.

Scandinavia as an atheist talking point is gone, ladies and gentlemen. It is now a theist talking point, and an object lesson about the corrosive effects of left-wing culture and irreligiosity both.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Strawman Dialogues: High Energy Edition

A: Any particular reason there's one of those obnoxious rainbow flags flying outside the church today?
B: Oh, I'm glad you asked. The priest decided to engage in some LGBT outreach today! Isn't that great!
A: Sure, of course.
B: I knew you'd react like... wait, what?
A: I said sure. Whatever. Rainbow flag, wow. Community, love, et cetera.
B: I... expected a different reaction from you.
A: Well I can't say I'm surprised, since the new priest is, shall we say...
B: Loving and caring?
A: Tremendously gay.
B: Typical.
A: So anyway, I've seen this day coming.
B: That doesn't explain why you're taking it so well.
A: Well, I suppose it's due to a change in philosophy.
B: Wow. Really?
A: Yeah. What's Francis say? Yada yada, the church is for sinners, it's a field hospital and so on.
B: I'm not sure I'd call the LGBTQ community sinners, but that's progress for you.
A: Yup. I think he's right.
B: Fantastic!
A: Which is why I decided to invite some sinners of my own.
B: That's great! What community did you decide to WHY ARE THOSE MEN WEARING MAGA HATS!?
Group of C: YEAAAAH! LET'S MAKE CHURCH GREAT AGAIN!
A: Hey! You guys showed up!
B: OH MY GOD NO.
C 1: WOO! This is an AWESOME CHURCH.
C 2: HIGH ENERGY COLORED GLASS
C 3: WE'RE GONNA SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS AGAIN!
B: WHY ARE THEY HERE.
A: Well, I told some of the Alt Right guys I hang out with that our bible study has free pizza...
B: NO.
A: And one of them asked if it was a BYOB thing, and I admit I never thought about it...
B: NO NO NO.
A: It's cool, they're sinners. Trust me on this.
B: THEY ARE OFFENSIVE, ROTTEN, INSULTING...
A: Hey, field hospital, right?
B: THEY ARE UNREPENTANT SINNERS.
A: Yup. So's the confused person in the Cher outfit and the goatee that puts mine to shame.
D: Excuse me, I'm Lena Dunham.
A: That explains the gut.
B: THIS IS A PLACE OF LOVE, THERE'S NO PLACE FOR..
A: What, wounded? At least these guys are Christian.
C 1: TOTALLY into the Christ child.
C 2: LOVE his story. HIGH ENERGY DEITY.
A: Admittedly, their theology needs some work...
C 3: AWESOME how he stood up to Shere Khan
A: ...We'll get to it.
B: There's NO place in the church for...
A: What, lowbrows? Loudmouths? Rude people? You just marched a pride parade in here.
B: THAT is DIFFERENT. THEY ARE...
A: Unless the next your word out of your mouth is 'repentant', it means nothing.
B: I don't want to be part of ANY community where they're welcome!
A: Wrong kind of good samaritans? We're not a field hospital for THOSE sick people?
B; ...
A: You can tell a lot about a Christian by the kinds of sinners they prioritize, eh? Wages of a decaying culture. Now we both have our preferred wayward souls to minister to.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More on Jeffrey S and Free Trade

This will probably play out over several posts. Call 'em salvos.

But, playing off the previous post, I want to focus on something Jeffrey S said:
However, when he [Williamson] dared to suggest in clear sentences that the best thing that folks faced with few opportunities in dying small towns (like Garbutt in upstate New York) could do was to move out and seek better opportunities elsewhere, his critics on the mostly traditional and paleo Right (at least these are the critics I’m interested in) were not happy with him.
To provide some framing, let me quote from Williamson's article again:
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
The rest of the article isn't much better.

Again, notice how Jeffrey S frames all this: as Williamson daring to suggest, in clear sentences, that people in dying small towns should move out.

Sure. Also, Mapplethorpe was an artist who just chose to make Christ the centerpiece of his work (following in the footsteps of Michaelangelo), but in an admittedly unconventional way. Now, let's spend several paragraphs talking about his use of black and white photography and the broad, abstract merits of public funding of the arts, which has all the rubes worked up.

That's not to say I can cry foul when Williamson decides to get insulting, since I do that myself. But if you're going to defend the man's writings - and criticize the reaction to them - then you really should address what he actually said, and not just the heavily sterilized economic theory upon which he broadly positioned his comments. Otherwise you come across as either deceptive to the point of being dishonest, or at best amazingly ignorant about the very thing you're writing a defense of.

What's Wrong With What's Wrong With The World

A while back, What's Wrong With the World decided to launch a formal start of its attack on Donald Trump. After their stern denunciation of Trump and Trump's supporters - good God, the man uses coarse language! - I had this to say:
But, it is now February 1st. Let's see how the coming weeks go in the primaries, eh? It may reveal that the would-be leaders of the Tenth Crusade have been unceremoniously demoted.
Today, I see Jeffrey S is writing an article defending the infamous National Review piece which contained this line:
The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.
Gosh, Jeffrey. I can't see why anyone was incensed at this fine man's helpful advice and fair-minded analysis of the situation! Clearly he just has their best interests at heart, which isn't easy when you're dealing with a pack of racist moronic scumbags.

I'll point out more of what's wrong with Jeffrey S's argument later. But for, I just want to note this.

Jeffrey - and most of What's Wrong With the World - is defending the idea of whole communities being replaced, even destroyed, in the name of economic progress. The world marches on, and if the world decides that it shall be much more efficient without you - and with someone else - well, tough. Go learn a new trade or something, because the world has spoken.

To a degree, that's true. Which is why it's s'damn funny, in retrospect, to realize that WWWtW - indeed, 'Christian leadership' in the US in general - is being replaced and supplanted by others. Like Vox Day. And Dalrock. And, to a degree - and this one is hilarious - Donald freaking Trump.

Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but that's progress for you. You may want to contact U-Haul.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Trump having success with Mexico before even being elected

Right here.

People say Trump has no chance of being elected. Of course, they said he had no chance of winning the nomination.

Trump isn't even elected and he's promoting the sort of change I've been waiting for.

Folks of What's Wrong With the World - take notes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

As Trump comes closer to the nomination...

...does anyone else notice that Team #NeverTrump refuses to so much as speculate about -why- they've lost?

I mean really speculate, not just identify the litany of faults in their opposition that has landed them in their current predicament. Even if they say people rejected their message, it's worth asking 'Why did they?' What do people like about Trump's message?

This isn't a general election loss. It's a loss within the party itself. By a candidate who has barely spent any money, who has gone up against tens of millions of dollars in ads attacking him, and a press that despises him.

What went wrong? What is Trump doing and saying that is motivating so many people to vote for him at this stage?

Here's something to consider: already you have GOP people talking openly about how they'll vote and campaign for Hillary Clinton now. A wild thought - do you think maybe many of Trump's supporters aren't terribly surprised by that?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pacifism and Faith-Healing

I see precious little difference between the person who swears off medical treatment for their child who's suffering from an illness, and the person who swears off lethal defense of their child who is being attacked by a violent criminal.

I'm not saying that distinctions cannot be made between one and the other. I'm saying that, even with those distinctions in mind, I consider them to share so much in common that they either stand together or fall together. If it's reprehensible to fall back to prayer alone for cancer, it's reprehensible to fall back to prayer alone against a violent intruder.

Christians are called to do good in the world. We are called to forgive beyond the norm. We are not called to be suicidal idiots or complete pacifists, which are many times the same thing. The person who allows themselves and their families to be slaughtered, without justice or provocation, is not a noble imitator of Christ. They are a cartoon mockery of Christ. They wouldn't help the good Samaritan - they would lay down and die with him while yelling 'I'm helping!'

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Trumps Success Among Christians?

When Christian "leaders" bitterly complain about the success Trump is having among Christians, they should ask themselves what role they played in preparing for it. Admonitions that Trump's behavior is antithetical to Christian teaching comes hot on the heels of a systematic denunciation of Christian teaching and history - by Christian leaders themselves. Christian history is treated, by both Popes and protestants, as a big temporal embarrassment in dire need of apologies to anyone who will listen. Even conservative apologists deal sidestep Christian history altogether rather than defend it. Praise is reserved for people who have questioned or changed Christian teaching, the more modern, the better.

As Christian history is treated, so too is American history. Then along comes someone who decides, to hell with it - they're saying America is a fantastic place with a great history, one we have every right to be proud of and defend. Not because we can, with even more sacrifice, bleed ourselves to solve the problems of people halfway across the world (and who, incidentally, hate us.) But so we take care of ourselves and solve our own problems and even maintain our own culture. As we are justified in doing.

Why in the world would someone like that be popular? Who would ever support someone who tells them that they should be proud of the history of the institutions they identify with, rather than be perpetually and wholly ashamed of them?

It is a mystery.

Do SJWs always lie? Two considerations.

I've been talking with Malcolm the Cynic about how true the claim is that SJWs Always Lie. My view is that SJWs comprise a large number of people, in a variety of situations, and that there's two things to keep in mind.

One is that a good number of SJWs are, God bless 'em, stupid. And I mean stupid - people who are not just ignorant of various facts and ideas and understandings, but who have considerable trouble trying to understand complicated topics that more intelligent people will grasp with greater ease. And the intelligent ones? They may honestly, truly believe this or that aspect of SJW dogma with their hearts and souls, but wholeheartedly investing oneself in a cause does not mean that they don't lie in the service of it.

By the way, it's not just SJWs. A lot of people, period, are low on the intelligence totem pole. That's just the way it is.

Malcolm and I see things differently there, but - in a completely unrelated way - good ol' Mike Gene at Shadow to Light provided a great working example of the sort of thing I'm talking about.

Most people who hit this blog have run into this claim before: atheism is not a belief, it is the lack of a belief. An atheist doesn't believe, much less claim, that God does not exist. They simply lack belief in God! They make no claims at all.

Mike points out, in an interview, that this is stressed - this 'atheism is a lack of belief' move - only to be immediately, blatantly countered by one of the atheists on the panel. This atheist says that everyone is godless because there are no gods, period. God doesn't exist, and he (the atheist) is just aware of this.

They later roll into some attempted damage control, going so far as to say that when atheists says that God doesn't exist, what they -really- mean is that they lack belief in God's existence. Atheists make no claims! This is the core, central mantra of the internet atheist: the plea that they're not making any claims, and thus they can't be expected to provide an argument. Only theists make claims on this topic!

That's a load of shit, of course. They couldn't even keep this charade up on Rubin's show. I'd go so far as to say that, for pretty well every atheist who insists that they just 'lack belief about God', you only have to interact with them about God once to see them contradict themselves on this point. You can point out their contradiction to them, and at most you're just going to get them to flail around and try to recast their words on the spot - or more commonly, switch topics altogether. But wait a week and drop in on a conversation they're having with someone else, and they'll be right back to 'atheism is a lack of belief', like clockwork.

Because even if it's not true, the image and narrative is dearly important to them. They do not want to have a burden of proof. They'll do anything to avoid it, because that burden terrifies them. It would screw up their attacks on Christianity, and that is paramount. Honesty isn't terribly important in comparison.

By the way: I'm not saying those atheists are SJWs. In fact, there's an atheist, even New Atheist, reaction against SJWs going on right now - largely because that whole 'Atheism+' thing has spiraled out of control, and an intellectual fatwa has been issued against all atheists who aren't on board with SJWdom. Rubin's part of that milieu, I believe. But it serves as a good example of how complete and obvious bullshit is nevertheless maintained by people, even rather intelligent people, even when it's been exposed. People lie, people bullshit, and...

..That leads me into the second consideration. The smarter someone is, the trickier it is to catch them in an out and out lie. Those atheists Mike is referring to? They can deflect like mad if you corner them. They said that atheism is a lack of belief and not a claim, and then one of them says that there are no gods, period? Well, by 'there are no gods' they just mean 'I lack belief'. They'll go back, rework, rephrase their arguments, cast them in a new light, and obfuscate until they're forced to do otherwise.

So let me use another example: good ol' BDK. Folks around here remember BDK - long-standing atheist commenter at Dangerous Idea. Neuroscientist, I believe. God, what a well-spoken individual. Thoughtful and polite. Great reputation, praised by various theists, and...

Oh, right. Liar. And I mean full-blown, actually-outdid-Loftus liar, complete with a fake identity charade of pretending to be a Christian so he could 'sympathetically' attack Christians and anti-atheist/materialist arguments. A guy who got exposed because he had a timely fuck-up where his double life happened to be caught on the internet equivalent of film, and whose -immediate- reaction to that was to try and completely scrub all evidence of his alternate persona from the internet.

None of this is controversial. But consider this: BDK had a good reputation. Most theists I know (wrongly, I thought at the time, for other reasons) praised BDK as a good, decent interlocutor. He was systematically lying to people on a daily basis for freaking months, even beyond a year. If he didn't screw up, if someone wasn't checking out the page at just the right time, his cover never would have been decisively blown.

Because BDK was smart. And smart people tend to make better liars.

My point is this: I'm more cynical than Malcolm the Cynic. If we come across an intelligent SJW who repeatedly peddles what is easily shown to be a lie, I suspect Malcolm will tend to take their labyrinthine justifications at face value. He will, perhaps by default, believe they're being honest, but they're confused. My default is different: I tend to suspect they are, if not completely full of shit, at the very least far less confident in their interpretation of things than they let on. Their confusion is not an explanation - it is an excuse.