Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why I'm joining ISIS


Just kidding--I'm not really joining ISIS. But if this sort of thing propagates, I might.

Nick Gillespie of the hilariously inapt "Reason" website describes this freakish display as "powerful." I'm sure the Sunni Arabs are duly impressed.

Clicking around on, I came across this woman affiliated with Femen painting some unintentionally hilarious slogans on herself and displaying at, of all places, the Montreal Grand Prix. Then she proceeds to get herself handled by big, strong, uniformed men. There's a reason female sexual fantasies don't involve scholarly ectomorphs wearing Birkenstocks.

I'm wondering if bipolar disorder in women is a pathological reaction to men not treating them like women.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thanks for the tip

Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to US, Europe.
While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah's statement appeared aimed at drawing Washington and NATO forces into a wider fight against the Islamic State group and its supporters in the region. Saudi Arabia openly backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but is concerned that the breakaway al-Qaida group could also turn those very same weapons on the kingdom.

"I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America," he said at a reception for foreign ambassadors Friday.

Official Saudi media carried the king's comments early Saturday.

"These terrorists do not know the name of humanity and you have witnessed them severing heads and giving them to children to walk with in the street," the king said, urging the ambassadors to relay his message directly to their heads of state.

The Islamic State group has been fighting moderate rebels, other extremists and Assad's forces in Syria for nearly three years. Iraq has faced an onslaught by the Sunni extremists and their supporters since early this year, and the country continues to be roiled by instability.

While providing arms and support to Sunni militants in Syria, Saudi Arabia has denied directly funding or backing the Islamic State group.

British officials raised the country's terror threat level Friday to "severe," its second-highest level, because of developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent. The White House has said it does not expect the U.S. to bump up its terrorism threat warning level.

Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally in the region, has taken an increasingly active role in criticizing the Islamic State group. Earlier this month, the country's top cleric described the Islamic State group and al-Qaida as Islam's No. 1 enemy and said that Muslims have been their first victims. State-backed Saudi clerics who once openly called on citizens to fight in Syria can now face steep punishment and the kingdom has threatened to imprison its citizens who fight in Syria and Iraq.

A decade ago, al-Qaida militants launched a string of attacks in the kingdom aimed at toppling the monarchy. Saudi officials responded with a massive crackdown that saw many flee to neighboring Yemen. In the time since, the kingdom has not seen any massive attacks, though it has imprisoned suspected militants and sentenced others to death.

The Gulf monarchs are not our allies. They are deeply corrupt and double-dealing and have sowed the wind across the Middle East. Now they come sniveling to Uncle Sugar: "We're all in this together now, guyz. Right? Guyz?"

What horrendous people.

Somebody explain to me why Bashar Assad just had to be got rid of, but these barbarians who abolished slavery in 1974 and were living in tents less than a century ago are "major US allies?"

We are really in a jam, because "Americans" are already in the ranks of the Dar-al-Islam, and now they have live fire experience.

As a commenter on Vox Popoli noted, the next world war will be civil.

Anarchy breeds Tradition

Is Orthodox unity the last thing we should want?

A good question, from August (Contra Niche).

August is making an ecclesiastical point, but there's a political axiom in there as well: anarchy means patriarchy.

In other words, when the Great Reset happens and the secular democratic Novus Ordo falls, then what's going to replace it is patriarchy. But when you think about it, secular democracy is itself dependent on armed men with weapons enforcing the Novus Ordo, so it looks like it's patriarchy all the way down. Feminists may as well take up the fight against gravity, meaning they will ultimately never be successful, and they'll cause a lot of damage along the way. Patriarchy is the organic order.

We can look at August's point from both the ecclesial and political perspectives and sadly conclude that the USA, not being a real Nation, can perforce never have a real Church. This would make the profession of Orthodox clergy in America one of the more unrequited callings on the planet. But that is the sort of world-changing faith that moves mountains.

May our Lord bless and keep His holy Orthodox priests and bishops.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Briefly, why gay marriage is wrong

Gavin McInnes thinks that Marriage is a panacea, as in, if we just allow gays to get married, they'll settle down and jettison their cultural Marxism and stop having promiscuous sex, like Gavin did.

Gavin is heterosexual and a reformed rake who married outside his peer group, because his peer group is so jaded and STD-ridden there's no marriageable females left in it. He thinks marriage is good, which it is, ergo if only homosexuals could experience marriage they'd all settle down and become reformed hipsters, like Gavin has. But what Gavin doesn't realize is that homosexuals can never, ever experience marriage. Marriage, to use a crude metaphor, is how the plug and the outlet find common ground in order to complete the whole human experience. Two plugs or two outlets can't do this. You can offer marriage to whatever couplings the deviant mind can dream up; it won't expunge the pathology from the pathological. Gay marriage is not about turning gays into low time-preference, minarchist conservatives who live behind picket fences. It's about devaluing marriage for all of society by extending it to any and all sexual couplings.

Marriage ties one into the entire great chain of being. It's a little micro-cosmos, a mini-kingdom, the Creation story playing out right there in your living room. Two homosexuals can't recreate that, and I don't care with what level of dignity and refinement they carry themselves or what extruded process they go through to acquire children. The idea that George Takei or Elton John are "married" to their partners will always be a pathetic joke.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tennis has a steroid problem

There's a BlogSpot called Tennis Has A Steroid Problem. Tennis, obviously, has a steroid problem.

Lion of the Blogosphere thinks Serena Williams is a not-atypical black female with lots of protein and workouts. I don't know what Lion is talking about. I live in Atlanta and I don't see any black women with the craggy facial features and inflated deltoids of Serena Williams.

Serena is just one of many. Here's Martina Hingis in 1997:

Here's Martina Hingis in 2013 (when her now ex-husband was accusing her of physical assault and serial promiscuity):

Pardon my Anglo-Saxon, but that is a f***ing tragedy.

I saw a great line the past few days but can't remember where: in the modern world, women are treated like men and dogs and cats are treated like children. Of course, both Serena and Martina are childless.

Education is just training

Study confirms what you already know, from iSteve:

The graph above is consistent with my long-held view that while it’s difficult (but not necessarily impossible) to boost adult IQ through schooling, schools could generally be doing better with the IQs that students bring to the table. Thus, I’ve argued that rather than try to Close the Gap of about 1 standard deviation between Non-Asian Minorities and Asians and whites, our national goal should instead be to boost each group’s average performance by one-half standard deviation over current levels. That would have about the same total national improvement in test scores, and is far more feasible due to diminishing returns as you try to move from +0.5 sd to +1.0 sd.

KIPP charters are basically militaristic boot camps for hard-working kids with IQs probably averaging in the 90s. The idea is to get them away from the layabouts and troublemakers in regular schools and then drill them intensively in the basics. This isn’t going to turn them into the next John Updikes, but it likely will mean they will be employable in positions like, say, assistant managers of Walmarts and other jobs better than, say, hauling palettes around Walmarts, which is all they’ll be qualified for if they don’t learn to read and figure.

And, I'd add, all that can be taught by age 14, at which point there is no reason the future store managers can't just enter the workforce and start earning income and learning to be adults instead of diagramming sentences and studying Late Antiquity and the two World Wars over the next four years of high school.

As one commenter points out, even with the rigor of KIPP charter methods, the gains are barely above statistical noise. This is what we devote an entire federal department--duplicated down to the state, municipal and district levels--and the entirety of a human being's youth towards. And the whole thing is just a giant, artificial construct which barely accomplishes anything people wouldn't just handle on their own.

When productive society's money and patience for public education runs out, they'll walk away from the whole edifice and in one month nobody will miss a thing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deflection, continued

I decided this merited a separate post.

Something that has puzzled me for a while is the fact that every high-profile protest inevitably has some Free Palestine!, Free Leonard Peltier! and Free Mumia! element hanging around. And of course everybody has to do backflips to make sure the drum circle accommodates everybody from the Wiccans to the zoophiles. Even though there's abundant common cause, working-class Americans are going to stay away.

Per my other post, there is some very strange conflation going on, as Giraldi and his friend, Lt. Col. Lorraine, tie in white nationalism to Zionism on the one hand, and Palestinian nationalism to populist Leftism on the other.

There is something slippery about it all. My hypothesis is that leftists have realized social democracy--to the extent it works--must perforce be national social democracy (like the "national" in national socialism) because that's really the only way you get everybody putting their shoulder to the wheel to fund things like old age pensions, neighborhood schools, medical clinics, etc. Otherwise, it's just an ethnic spoils fight, like what we have now.

Therefore, the instant any bit of genuine economic populism, any sustainable social safety net, any true monetary or fiscal reform threatens to break out, it must be instantly conflated with identity politics lest some actual national unity and pride occur. American populist movements might end up actually being ... American. I.e., Hate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Take this simple quiz

From the Kakistocracy.










All done? Very good, and I hope you got those last two because if not, then it's off to the re-education camps for you.


Deflection (n):

1.change of course: a change of course that results from hitting somebody or something

2.amount something deflects: the amount or distance by which something is deflected

3.act of diverting attention: the act of directing people's attention or criticism away from something
Just about any where I care to look--my Facebook page, my parish's coffee hour, work, family dinners, Internet blogs and, I'm sure, the local Hebrew temple, Protestant mega-church or anarchist book fair--I can find Americans debating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I must surely be the most disengaged, unfeeling human being on the planet for not actually giving a shit whether one or the other population drowns in the Mediterranean, finally settling things one way or another.

The Chief Kakistocrat notes how this conflict has captured the hearts and minds of the Evangelical Christian Right. Today, I focus on the Universalist, No-Man-Is-Free Left which, scrutinizing the particulars of the Israeli-Palestinian debate, is horrified to discover Fascism In America.

I'll let Philip Giraldi tell the bone-chilling tale:
Sinclair Lewis once opined that if fascism ever comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. I was reminded of that comment when a good friend of mine recently wrote a letter to her local newspaper in Augusta Georgia decrying the killing of nearly two thousand Palestinian civilians in Gaza, describing the deaths as part of “the systemic erosion of the rule of law in our nation and across the globe” since 9/11. A devout Christian, she concluded how from her perspective “The world, it seems, has lost its moral compass.”

Unlike many letter writers, my friend has the life experience to back up her opinion, having served twenty-seven years as a United States Army lawyer, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Much of her most recent work has involved the cases of Guantanamo detainees. [Distinguished, indeed. How many paper cuts and stapler jams did this warrior endure over her venerable career?]

It would have been reasonable to assume that my friend’s letter would elicit a variety of responses, and one might have expected that there would be at least some agreement that a world in which killing and wars have become the norm is an unwelcome aberration. But it was not so. Out of the more than one hundred comments the vast majority were violently and caustically opposed to the principle that Israel and the United States have not exactly been role models for a peaceful world. Many of the comments were both personally insulting and, frequently, highly offensive. Some of the remarks clearly came from military veterans while others had a Christian context.

Regarding the genesis of the recent conflict in Gaza the good folks of Augusta Georgia saw it this way, frequently using the same expressions, suggesting a common source either in the media or through networking with other like-minded individuals [which, inexplicably, is still not illegal]:

•“Hamas started using the rockets and tunnels in violation of rules of war long before Israel reacted.”
•“…it was Hamas firing thousands of missiles at Israel from Gaza that triggered the Israeli counter attacks.”
•“…doesn’t mention a single time the illegality of Hamas launching rockets DAILY against Israel, not just in War! This war is a direct result of Hamas’ daily attacks on Isreal (sic) l!!!”
•“Hamas would gladly kill, without reservation, every living Jewish soul on the planet. That is their goal, after all.”
•“Why did Israel move into Gaza? Because they were being attacked with missiles from there.”
•“Hamas set up rocket caches, tunnels, command and control HQ, and rocket launching sites in and under schools and hospitals ‘run’ by the UN.”
•“Israel has been negotiating with terrorist groups that want to destroy them since 1948…Hamas [is] continuing this barbaric, unprovoked assault on Israel…”

Every story of course has a beginning and end. Where one chooses to begin is critical. [Abraham? Joseph? The land of Goshen? The Canaanites? 70 A.D.? Alexander the Great? Augustus? The Ottomans? Sykes-Picot?] All of the commenters are wrong because they see a poor beleaguered Israel with missiles raining down without considering what preceded that development. Israel, a regional military superpower, has been occupying Arab land by force of arms since before the foundation of the country in 1948. [Like, since 1920 A.D., the dawn of history.]] Even though it has no soldiers permanently stationed in Gaza it occupies the territory by controlling its borders [Yet another hater refusing to deal--there are no borders visible from space.] as well as any and all access to it. It periodically attacks “targets” in the strip, killing Palestinian civilians...

Read the rest for yourself. Then read Krauthammer, Friedman or the folks at PJMedia to get their take on Who Started It. Then, for balance, read Juan Cole or the increasingly unhinged Paul Craig Roberts. Pop over to venerable Old Lefty and ashkenazim James Howard Kunstler's site, and prepare to be surprised (or not) over his Israeli nationalist bona fides.

The merits of the debate interest me far less than the fact that the positions of those awful Sarah Palin-types so illumine a retired Army paper-pusher in Shitcreek GA that she can deduce the connection between opposition to the Palestinian cause and the very Devil himself materializing in Georgia. Mr. Giraldi even included a picture so we can view for ourselves what Great Evil is afoot in the land:

Israelis kill Palestinians who but for their appallingly low human capital, would surely be sending attack jets in the other direction, and yea verily, the rule of law hath disappeared from American soil.


Over at, and, libertarians wet their pants over the interminably disputed police shooting of a bully and thug in Nowheresville MO who wouldn't have produced a dime in net production his entire life. Do libertarians (a collective notable for their being whiter than Augusta National) seriously worry about being tailed by white, crew-cut policeman as opposed to dead-eyed, high-T yoofs with their pants halfway to their knees?

Conservatives screech that we must send our best and bravest to fight in Middle Eastern deserts because we face an existential threat from barely literate Muslims 6,000 miles away. Simultaneously, anybody who suggests we consider not letting in over a million people a year and that maybe those crack troops are needed in the US Southwest where drug cartels are taking over national parks obviously has the Zyklon-B already stockpiled. (See above picture).

Across the ideological spectrum, Americans must be badgered, hounded, shamed, deflected toward noticing everything but their complete disenfranchisement in their own homeland.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Down with free trade

Says Vox.

The theory is that inequality within nations should decrease, as workers are able eventually to exploit their comparative advantage with foreign nationals to raise their own living standards. That's not quite what is happening.

Globally, the workers in poorer countries' are wealthier as wages fall to a global mean, but the gains are unevenly distributed.

A good deal of international trade and monetary economics are over my head so this is an area, like intellectual property, that I have to be cautious about (as opposed to all the topics I am reckless about).

Vox is being provocative, as a good writer should, but I think he's more nuanced than people think. The idea that the current low or zero tariff regimes constitute "free" trade does not bear a lot of scrutiny. For one thing, world central banks have to do backflips to keep labor and capital flowing to the US despite the fact that we are living on credit. Much of the US military is overseas, protecting the Arab royal families while they pump out oil with abandon, and preventing Europe from its periodic exercise in bloody internecine warfare every generation or so.

In other words, free trade ain't exactly "free." US taxpayers, and downstream holders of US dollars, are paying a lot of the freight, and they're not the ones whose incomes are rising.

I've been convinced for some time that cheap labor is not actually "cheap."

As for intellectual property, the libertarian economists (to whom I'm giving a grudging nod) have long argued that much of it is just artificial scarcity. Government declares non-tangible things property and provides a whole nuclear-backed court system (again, funded by taxpayers) to enforce the declaration. In other words, maybe intellectual property ain't really "property" and Silicon Valley is doing a lot more free-riding than they'll ever admit.

Socialists will automatically suggest that the solution is more State ownership and control of everything. I submit it's more a matter of government staying in the bounds of enforcing negative rights, including the freedom to fail.

How much and what kind of immigration would there be if immigrants and their patrons had to pay all the easements without public roads and free schooling and clinics for their kids? What would wages be if McDonald's cashiers didn't get Section 8 and EBT? How much would oil cost without Central Command in Qatar? Would the stock market seem like that great an investment if the government weren't sluicing money toward it with all the tax sheltered accounts?

Government and central banks have such a huge footprint in everything now that nobody really knows what "market value" is or how things would be, across a variety of sectors.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Here we go again

Cherubic black teenager gunned down by evil white racist

But, as Fred Reed observes, we've got a bigger problem here. Trigger-happy, militarized cops are a symptom. Blacks and whites have radically divergent viewpoints, which is why they segregate themselves whenever and wherever they are allowed. Integration only works in highly regimented settings, like the military or NFL or huge corporate employers like Wal-Mart. Hence, a diverse society requires a large security apparatus.

The key fact in this story is that Ferguson, Missouri is about 70% black and all but a few of its police are white. In other words, the tipping point for whites in the private sector was reached long ago, so they’ve been moving away. The public sector whites are hanging on, trying to keep seniority and boost their pensions. But eventually, they’ll leave too. In the interim, there’ll be misunderstandings that boil over into the occasional tragedy given the wildly disparate views between blacks and whites on what’s appropriate public behavior. In a few more years, Ferguson will be monoculturally black and the new, all-black police force won’t bother initiating confrontations over things like loitering and crass behavior. Of course, the Narrative is just this continual replay of Birmingham, Alabama in 1965, so nobody mentions things like Ferguson's changed demographics. And, extrapolating forward, nobody will bother to remember how Birmingham 1965 actually played out, after the black body politic prevailed over the anti-democratic white political power structure. The whites moved away and Birmingham eventually filed for bankruptcy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why doesn't this go without saying?

an-Nahar on the Defense of Mhardeh (from Notes on Arab Orthodoxy).
Abu Fahd affirms that bearing arms is not part of their Christian belief, which calls for mutual forgiveness and peace, however he states that "we were compelled to bear arms in order to defend our history, our civilization and our dignity. We did not choose this of our own free will, but we will not permit our land and our families to be violated." As regards the Church's approval of their bearing arms he says, "even if the Church does not openly support bearing arms, she is with us implicitly because our existence is part of her existence."
Why do Christians require an apologetic just to stay alive and hold on to their land? Do Church hierarchs realize the Church is contiguous with her people, and no people, no Church?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Why did Robin Williams kill himself?

Serious question.

I battle depression and have had suicidal ideation, but Robin Williams? Rich, smart, healthy, settled, kids, current wife. What the hell? Unfortunately, there's no shortage of talented, wealthy people prematurely ending their lives.

His second marriage broke up after 19 years and two children. That is not really something a serious, intelligent person recovers from. Maybe he never got over it.

Was it current marital problems? Depressives hunker down, and you are not going to hear about it. But at Robin Williams' level, if you're really that unhappy you can tell her to take her severance pay and hit the road.

At 63 with three adult kids, his life should have been focused on maintaining his estate, advising his children and their spouses, and babysitting his grandkids. But now he's dead by his own hand.

Lord have mercy.

The Pope, on the Crisis in the Middle East

Others they compel to extend their necks and then, attacking them with naked swords, attempt to cut through the neck with a single blow. What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent. The kingdom of the Greeks is now dismembered by them and deprived of territory so vast in extent that it can not be traversed in a march of two months. On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength to humble the hairy scalp of those who resist you.

Let the deeds of your ancestors move you and incite your minds to manly achievements; the glory and greatness of king Charles the Great, and of his son Louis, and of your other kings, who have destroyed the kingdoms of the pagans, and have extended in these lands the territory of the holy church. Let the holy sepulchre of the Lord our Saviour, which is possessed by unclean nations, especially incite you, and the holy places which are now treated with ignominy and irreverently polluted with their filthiness. Oh, most valiant soldiers and descendants of invincible ancestors, be not degenerate, but recall the valor of your progenitors.
Oh, I'm sorry. That was this Pope.

I meant this Pope.
Never war, never war,” he said. “I am thinking, above all, of children who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, a future. Dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who don’t know how to smile.” This was the moment when the tears came. “Please stop,” said Francis. “I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!”

From The Kakistocracy.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Traditional City

Wonderful photographic essay (H/T Malcolm Pollack's excellent blog, who apparently got the link via Bryce LaLiberte).

The Traditional City simply refers to the pattern of development that human civilization has built in for millenia;

The traditional city emerged way before we could have ever imagined the automobile or railroads. Most traditional cities were relatively unplanned - they naturally emerged simply by people colonizing and building close together, copying styles that they have seen elsewhere and liked;

Because the pattern emerged before there were cars or even transit, the traditional city pattern is very compact and walkable by nature. It is very human-scale, and has an amazing sense of place;

The secret to the traditional city is very simple (it is human-scale!)...

Dar al-Islam

Razib Khan has several posts on the Islamic State. The commenters seem bemused and baffled by it all. Similarly, the threatened massacre of an obscure gnostic sect has briefly attracted the attention of Tyler Cowen, who has otherwise maintained a sphinx-like silence on the tectonic shifts in a region with millions of people. As I noted here,
Speaking of Syria, what is it with the whole world's radio silence on that region? Two countries drawn up by the British and French last century are disappearing, and ... nothing. I thought it was kind of a big deal when two states where millions of people live start disappearing. Maybe this is just me.

The explanation I think is that Westerners are just too cerebral at this point. We think nations are propositions, religion is poppycock, people are all the same, and on and on. Cerebral people in their exquisite mental constructs don't know how to deal with tangible things like biology and geography. Western culture has actually morphed into a bizarre inversion: the ideas, the computer models, are the reality, and the facts of life--gender, the iron laws, genetics--are just vestigial abstractions. Take our "rule of law," for example. This is getting kind of existentialist for me, but the older I get the more I think the "rule of law" just means a polity where the more intelligent and refined have the superior firepower. That's why we can enforce our Lockean property rights over a Robert Mugabe-type's vision of property rights: the right to take your stuff and give it to my family and friends. I promise you that Robert Mugabe is as sincere in his beliefs as Ron Paul is in his.

I've mentioned before about my encounters with Syrian immigrants: intelligent, refined people who cannot believe their country evaporated in a matter of months. They lash out, insisting that before American and Jewish interference Syria's sects were all in peaceful co-existence. They paid their bribes, worked their own patronage networks, famously did not pay taxes, and thought their Mediterranean lifestyle of clubs and cafe's and elaborate dinner parties would continue forever. Meanwhile, in Reality Land, their lifestyle was only enabled by the Assad family working very hard to brutalize and suppress Wahabbists, who in the meantime were having 4 to 6 or 8 children for the Alawites' and Christians' 1 to 2 or 0. Then everybody noticed the Alawites and Christians were outnumbered 5 to 1. Fin. Shocking, just shocking.

Cerebral Westerners keep telling themselves Dar al-Islam can’t be real, and yet this bit of unreality has forced the cession of large chunks of two populous states, complete with infrastructure. This neo-Caliphate which we assure ourselves cannot persist just keeps on persisting. The civil order appears intact, and everybody seems to have enough food and water. (Time, of course, will tell.)

Speaking of unreality and radio silence, libertarians are strikingly silent about the Middle East as well, other than to bleat about "fascism!" and "imperialism!" Over and over, we see what happens when the State's civil order breaks down: the soldiers and police run off to protect their families, and people start forming creedal and kinship networks for a new civis.

Actually, what you get every single time the secular order breaks down is patriarchy.

The Middle East is where a lot of libertarian and liberal ideals get mugged by reality. Israeli Jews don't promote open borders because they know it would be national suicide. Muslims fight Jews and Christians and other Muslims because they know there's only so much arable land and potable water to go around.

Westerners have been in the realm of ideation for too long. The soldiers of Dar al-Islam are monsters: they crucify and behead people and put the heads on fence posts. But as Bob Wallace notes, monsters are an instruction, a portent. The monsters are telling us it's all about blood and soil, and always will be, and "Rule of law" just means, "This is where the nice people live."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Unintended consequences

Like the Hammer of God, they are coming.

Airstrikes undertaken as US re-engages in Iraq

And so, again, the US government deploys military force to stop a group of Islamic fundamentalists which it armed, along with its stalwart allies, the Houses of Saud and Thani. As with bin Laden before him, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will undoubtedly plot and plan and finance a way to bring this fight here, as on September 11, 2001.

What possible justification is there for open borders if we are going to choose sides in ancient conflicts and exercise no discretion as to the ethnic or creedal characteristics of immigrants? Pro-immigration advocates, I am waiting to hear from you.

I'm frankly skeptical about the bombing. Historically, when you wanted to eliminate an enemy as a threat you killed every male over age 14 and enslaved everybody else. Nobody has the stomach for that sort of thing any more.

This is just precious, by the way:
Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina praised Obama's proposed actions Thursday night but said much more will be necessary.

"This should include the provision of military and other assistance to our Kurdish, Iraqi and Syrian partners" who are fighting the militants, airstrikes against the militants' leaders and forces and support for Sunni Iraqis who seek to resist the extremists, they said in a statement.

How come this senile old man and his drag queen buddy are still quoted in the press, much less allowed to participate in the national senate? Any sane polity would have ordered them into exile (at the least) by now.

By the way, while browsing my indexed pictures, I came across this logo I had submitted per Bryan Caplan's invitation for his Open Borders Facebook page. Shortly thereafter, Caplan's intern decided open borders weren't such a good idea after all, and deleted numerous submissions.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Clueless buffoon

That's essentially what Malcolm Pollack thinks of Obama. Not being taken seriously by intelligent men is a real red flag, and public figures should heed it. Of course, outside the broad circle of people whose employment depends on keeping him happy, Obama's only contact with the public is going to be carefully stage-managed affairs in front of true believers. That's how most elected officials are treated, where they've got adequate staff to make sure that's all they see.

(H/T Bob Wallace.)

Somebody on Vox Popoli wondered what Obama's meetings must be like these days, and I agree that would be really interesting. What is he thinking? What are all these clueless Baby Boomers thinking? The Ashkenazim they know who all vote Democrat and contribute to NPR are liberal ex-hippies, but Israeli Jews all cling to their guns and religion. Obama is steeped in anti-colonialism and the civil rights movement, but other than sending back a bust of Winston Churchill and a perfunctory victory lap of Africa, he hasn't promoted any blacks to high-level positions, other than brown-paper-bag test-passer, Eric Holder. He actually seems most relaxed and comfortable around white women.

Think how strange this all must seem to this former adjunct law professor steeped in 60's Cultural Revolution dreck. White, Christian imperialists are supposed to be the root of all evil, and yet all these non-white Muslims in the Middle East are chopping each other's heads off. Free Palestine! is one of the Left's most venerable canons, but the Arab Sunni gazillionaires in the sheikhdoms don't give a single rat turd about their ethnic and creedal kin. I'm sure he's similarly nonplussed by Russia and Ukraine. First, they're white people who don't speak English or French, and second, why would white people pause in their unremitting oppression of people of color to kill each other? Again, all Obama knows of "white people" are clueless liberals like his mother and the people who helped grease the skids of his political career.

This is hardly unique to Obama, of course. There are a lot of people caught up in these backward-looking paradigms, as with Christian clerics worried about the poor, orphaned chimneysweeps and Central American ninos making the long, arduous trek through the Mexican Desert. And New Yorkers horrified at the ethnic cleansing of black people in the South, what with all the lynchings and unprovoked shootings.

The world is run by clueless buffoons. Given how history keeps repeating itself, I am forced to conclude I couldn't do any better.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Map of neo-reaction, and who reads my blog

A map of neo-reaction from Joel Cuerrier. I made the cut under "Dark Enlightenment," so that's why you're seeing this post.

It's a good aggregation and there's plenty of great material for weekend reading. The movement has some really brilliant thinkers in it and I'm just a glib lawyer, late middle-age and in hopelessly over his head, so I'm flattered and grateful for all the links by a number of talented folks.

Just over half my pageviews are from Steve Sailer, and just under half come from Ad Orientem. In other words, a not-insignificant number of traditionalist Christians read this blog. That's good news or bad news, depending on your perspective.

Speaking of who reads my blog, do Rod Dreher, Megan McArdle (via Dreher), and Tyler Cowen read my blog?

I kid, of course. I'm just remarking that they--Rod Dreher in particular--have all been hitting on themes familiar to this corner of the internet: the rules of social conservatism were not written with high-g atheists in mind*, and the Church should consider enabling affordable family formation in her own pews rather than the ballyhooed, well-intended, muddle-headed evangelism.

Rod is doing the Lord's work in his series of posts on poverty, but he can't help his typically higher-g, American-Christian-convert outlook:
The loss of the practice of churchgoing among the American poor and working classes is producing a civilization that has lost its natural muscle tone, and has something to do with the situation in Troy. Again, I’m making a sociological statement, not a theological one. I think it’s wrong to take religion instrumentally, but as Kaplan observes, the Turkish poor on the Golden Mountain really do lack only money and opportunity. They’ve kept internal chaos at bay in a way the poor of Abidjan have not. As an unidentified West African government minister told Kaplan:
“In the poor quarters of Arab North Africa,” he continued, “there is much less crime, because Islam provides a social anchor: of education and indoctrination. Here in West Africa we have a lot of superficial Islam and superficial Christianity. Western religion is undermined by animist beliefs not suitable to a moral society, because they are based on irrational spirit power. Here spirits are used to wreak vengeance by one person against another, or one group against another.”
Religion is culture, and culture has consequences. The answer to the question of poverty is hard, but it often seems like it’s easier to figure out how to transfer more financial capital to the poor than to figure out how to transmit more spiritual capital to them.

I sought clarification, and Rod was kind enough to respond:
I think it’s wrong to take religion instrumentally,...

What do you mean by this?

[NFR: To approach religion on a "what works for me" basis, as distinct from "what's true". -- RD]
Which is what I figured he meant, so I can retort with confidence:

We don't like to think about it, but for a lot of people on the left-side IQ distribution, “truth” is never going to be more than what their betters tell them it is. The proles don't really care about arcane theological distinctions; they lack the capacity to care about arcane theological distinctions. If the horse you're going to ride is "truth," then the Orthodox Church in the US is going to become what it's already in danger of becoming: a redoubt for aging, white intellectuals. I can join a book club if that's the direction we're taking, but that's not the communion of saints. What the poor need is a multi-generational institution wedded to her people, not a spiritual tourist trap. Impoverished Americans, like impoverished Turks and Africans, have to be told what to do. There, I've said it.

Higher-g Americans, inculcated from birth in the egalitarian American canon, recoil from such notions of hierarchy and community like vampires from garlic. For intellectuals, incorporeal "truth" is the highest goal. The Church is where the Truth is (and it is), and whether the Church "works" for people and their society is well down the list of concerns. A Church that actually shepherds her people--gives them a patronage network, life-cycle rituals, alms--as opposed to contenting herself with hawking her wares in the religious marketplace is inimical to universalist Americans. I can tell you from conversations in real life and on the internet that suggesting a contrary vision gets people downright angry. It's hard to see a national Church ever being established among a people so furiously engaged in deconstructing the very notion of "American." The whole West has bought into this mania by the way, with the West's own nominal Patriarchate in the vanguard, and the Orthodox hierarchy not far behind.

* - Credit to commenter RmDeep, for one of the all-time great truthtellings in the history of the Internet:
RmDeep January 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm This thread is hilarious as all the high-g atheistic libertarians belatedly realize that social conservativism is not for their benefit, but for the benefit of the left half of the bell curve.