Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sliding rapidly down that slippery slope

I stand before you. Accused of the sin of ensuring Forerunner ascendancy. Of attempting to save us from this fate where we are forced to… recede… We squander eons in the darkness, while they seize our triumphs for their own... Think of my acts as you will, but do not doubt the reality.
-- Ur-Didact, testifying before the Ecumene Council
When proponents of homogamy make their arguments in favour of gay marriage, they typically start along the lines of, "people should be allowed to marry whoever they want!".

To which the social conservative will probably at some point reply, "the logical end result of this being that polygamy, and polygyny, will ALSO be legal".

The homogamist (my apologies to the Queen's English for that one) is then left with recourse to one of three options in rhetorical response:
  1. Obfuscate, dodge, deny, and dismiss this as the delusion of a paranoid mind- the route that most of them seem to take;
  2. Admit the logical truth of this position and respond with an emotional, and almost always completely illogical, counterargument along the lines of, "so what's wrong with that?"- which some of them do;
  3. Realise the errors of logic and rhetoric committed in his initial argument and conduct a fighting retreat while attacking straw men in response- a route that a very small number of them use from time to time.
It is all well and good to discuss this academically- if heatedly- in public fora. It is rather different when the consequences of government-sanctioned homogamy suddenly come home to roost (literally):
The world's only 'married' lesbian threesome are expecting their first child. 
Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July. 
Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children - one for each of them. 
The plan at the moment is that Kitten will bear all the children - possibly using her wives' eggs and donated sperm - but they are open to other options, such as adoption. 
Brynn, 34, says: 'The hope is to have three kids altogether. We always joke that the children should never outnumber the parents.' 
Doll, Kitten and Brynn Young married in a ceremony in August 2013, when each of their fathers walked them down the aisle. All three women wore white wedding gowns and exchanged rings.  
The so-called 'throuple' worked with a specialist family lawyer who drew up the paperwork and drafted the ceremony so that all three of them were obligated and bound to each other .  
While Brynn and Kitten are legally married, Doll is handfasted to both so the threesome are as equally married to each other as legally possible.
Despite what Hollywood and the mainstream media would like you to believe, there is in fact a rather pressing need for a father (a bloke, usually the head of his household, who provides the firm hand and moral guidance that only a man can- you may have perhaps come across the idea?) in a child's life. Especially if that child happens to be male. The consequences of children, especially boys, being raised by single mothers are well known and well understood by now- and they are disastrous.

So what happens when you have a child being raised by not one, not two, but three mothers?

What happens when you have multiple children raised by multiple mothers?

I'm not sure anyone really knows. But I imagine we're going to find out. And my guess is that the results are not going to be pretty. I really do hope that I am wrong; I am not one to hold ill will against an unborn child, regardless of its parentage. If history is any guide, though, this is is not likely to end well.

This is the reality of the "whoever, whatever, whenever" culture that homogamists promote. It isn't a theoretical argument anymore. It is here, now, today.

Addendum

On the subject of gay marriage, there is an uncomfortable dilemma that libertarians like me have to deal with. On the one hand, libertarians are all about maximising personal freedom, and that means being free to choose who one marries and when one marries. On the other hand, gay marriage- and polygamous marriage- has historically been shown to be completely incompatible with a free and healthy society. The societies that permitted- even encouraged- homosexuality, were also not exactly beacons of human freedom; think Sparta's state-instituted policy of pederasty, or Rome under the reigns of the Emperors Nero and Elagabalus.

The only position that makes any sense is for a libertarian to adamantly oppose both gay marriage and state involvement in the institution of marriage. As far as I am concerned, the State has absolutely no business telling you who you can and cannot marry. I am also absolutely opposed to gay marriage- which means that I have no desire whatsoever to associate with institutions that encourage it. So, if the State removes itself from the question of marriage, and a religious institution takes it upon itself to conduct gay marriage, then that institution should be held responsible for the consequences. The inevitable result, judging by the speed with which "enlightened" and "progressive" Christian and Jewish denominations are losing members to more "conservative" ones, will be a rapid decline into complete irrelevance.

And if some church is crazy enough to permit a three-way gay marriage, then upon their heads be the consequences.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Man vs Silly Feminist

If civilisation had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.
-- Camille Paglia 
Famed survivalist (and drinker of his own urine) Bear Grylls has apparently pissed off (heh) several feminists by casting his latest reality show with only men:
The Island Of Lost Blokes will see 12 hardy souls join Grylls in trying to survive on a desert island using just their instincts and ingenuity.
 
    But – as the name of the programme suggests – something crucial will be missing from the experience, along with proper food supplies and shelter: Competition from the girls. 
    The lack of female participation in the show has sparked protests, with questions being asked as to why, in 2014, survival should be seen as a male-only challenge.
    Ruth England, who has made back-to-nature shows on the Discovery Channel – including presenting the series Man, Woman Wild – says the concept is ‘laughable’. 
    ‘The basic tenets of survival are the same, regardless of your genitals – and women cope very well,’ she told The Independent. 
    ‘I’m disappointed in Channel 4’s decision, but not wholly surprised.

    The sheer amount of different types of terrain that I have survived in means I have more primitive survival experience than most soldiers. [Didact: I'll be impressed when you survive hostile contact with a real enemy intent on killing you, when you're outnumbered and outgunned, wounded, and struggling to keep your brothers alive through the hell of war.] 
    Yet I still get internet trolls telling me to get back in the kitchen.’ 
    Her comments were echoed by explorer Sarah Outen, who took to Twitter to express her frustration at The Island Of Lost Blokes. 
    ‘Surprise, surprise,’ she tweeted. ‘An adventure show of blokes and beards.’  
    ‘Yawn, yawn, yawn. Where are the women?’ [Didact: If they've got the least shred of sense, they're at home, in the kitchen, thanking men for building civilisation to the point where they don't have to participate in such tomfoolery.]
    Channel 4 describes the programme as ‘a bold new documentary in which Bear Grylls undertakes the ultimate survival experiment to discover what it means to be a man.’ 
    Its male volunteers will be stranded in a remote island location and asked to fend for themselves over four weeks, with basic supplies of food and water quickly running out.
    Personally I really couldn't care less what Bear Grylls is doing next, because I do not watch reality TV. (I find the very concept to be an insult to my intelligence.) I am even less concerned- is sub-zero concern a contradiction in terms?- about what women think about his newest show. However, in the interests of sending up feminism for what it is- namely, an absurdity disguised as a serious philosophy- let us consider what would happen if there were, in fact, groups of men and women on this show.

    Indeed, such an experiment has already been tried. The results were... enlightening.

    As the article over at RoK demonstrates, when separate teams of men and women were cast into the wild and told to fend for themselves, the men did what men do: they took the initiative and built a functional tribe of sorts, with clear hierarchies and specialised tasks. Each man did what was necessary for his own good, as well as the good of the tribe. The result was that the men had food, shelter, and a modicum of comfort despite enduring some hardship and deprivation in the process.

    The women spent their time sunbathing, catfighting, eating, catfighting, paddling around in the water, catfighting, complaining, and catfighting.

    So then the producers decided to mix things up a bit by sending a few blokes over to the female side of the island, and sending a few sheilas over to the bloke side. The results were entirely predictable again.

    The girls who went to the men's side had a great time. They were able to take advantage of the comforts that the men had built, and had the added benefit of undivided male attention.

    The men who went to the women's side had a miserable time. They had to do all of the work that the women should have done, without any of the rewards that their other male counterparts were enjoying.

    The rest of the women carried on sunbathing, catfighting, eating, catfighting, paddling around in the water, catfighting, complaining, and catfighting.

    I predict that the exact same thing would happen if women were to barge into this new show. And it is telling that, despite all of the complaining about how "unfair" it is that no women are allowed into the boys' club, not one of the most vocal critics of this new show is willing to do what is truly necessary to prove that teh wimmenz are as strong as the men.

    Namely, not one of the critics are willing to take the risks required to put together a show of their own that showcases women in the same settings, facing the same challenges, and tackling the same dangers that the men are going to face on this new Bear Grylls show.

    And that, my friends, should tell you everything you need to know about how utterly hollow their complaints are. There is no value or worth whatsoever to their criticisms, because they are completely unwilling to put themselves and their futures at risk to prove the man wrong. They attack him from a position of utter safety, secure in the knowledge that their silliness will go unchallenged by the majority of people- and will even be supported by clueless feminist and white knight manginas alike.

    Fortunately, those of us who have the wit and the eyesight to see their nonsense for what it is have a very powerful and very effective tool for dealing with this. Namely, we have the power of laughter.

    For is there truly anything funnier and more ridiculous than the sight of a clueless feminist being hoisted by her own petard, shrilly proclaiming the eeeeeeeeevils of masculine oppression even as she enjoys all of the luxuries that men have fought and bled and sacrificed for through the generations?


    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    The King's Resurrection

    On this Easter Sunday, it is worth remembering just what the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ mean for humanity. The Resurrection, in particular, is the absolute bedrock of Christianity. If the Resurrection did not actually happen, if there were not numerous eyewitness accounts of Jesus Christ's conquest of death, then the entire Christian faith would effectively collapse. Remember always that the primary claim that Christianity has always made is that faith in Christ, and the Lord, grants eternal reprieve from death, and that belief in the Gospel and Ministry of Christ is the surest path to salvation for one's soul.

    Therefore, it is worth asking: is there any real evidence that Christ did indeed rise from the dead?

    For if there is none, or if the available evidence is easily explained away, or if that evidence is internally contradictory, or trivially falsified, then Christians can make no claim whatsoever to any form of Divine Truth, and can be consigned to the dustbin of history like so many other cults.

    The answer to that question, on this Easter as on every other since the day that Christ died upon His cross, is a resounding "YES":
    The Appearances of Christ 
    Not only was the tomb empty, but the disciples actually saw their resurrected Lord, on at least ten separate occasions after He left the tomb. These appearances were probably in the following order:
    1. To Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18Mark 16:9)
    1. To the other women (Matthew 28:8-10)
    1. To Peter (Luke 24:341 Corinthians 15:5)
    1. To the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35Mark 16:12)
    1. To ten of the disciples (Luke 24:36-43John 20:19-29)
    1. To all eleven disciples, eight days later (John 20:24-29)
    1. To seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-23)
    1. To five hundred followers (1 Corinthians 15:6)
    1. To James (1 Corinthians 15:7)
    1. To the eleven, at the ascension (Acts 1:3-12)

    There were probably many other times He appeared to one or more of His disciples. Luke says: "He showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days" (Acts 1:3). He was apparently seen by Stephen (Acts 7:56). Finally, of course, He was seen by Paul (Acts 9:381 Corinthians 15:8) and once again by John (Revelation 1:12-18). 
    Now, of course, skeptics have tried to avoid the testimony of these numerous post-resurrection appearances of Christ by pointing out various contradictions in the six accounts which list them (Matthew 28:8-20Mark 16:9-20Luke 24:13-51John 20:11-2114Acts 1:1-111 Corinthians 15:5-8), or else by charging the writers with fabricating the stories themselves. Of course, the mere fact that there do appear on the surface to be a number of superficial discrepancies and omissions in the account is clear proof that the writers were not engaged in some kind of collusion. If they were making up the tales, each one evidently was doing so independently of all others. This in itself would be quite a remarkable state of affairs, especially since these discrepancies all vanish when they are compared under close examination. It is a well known rule of evidence that the testimonies of several different witnesses, each reporting from his own particular vantage point, provide the strongest possible evidence on matters of fact when the testimonies contain superficial contradictions which resolve themselves upon close and careful examination. This is exactly the situation with the various witnesses to the resurrection. 
    The only other possible device for explaining away the post-resurrection appearances is to assume that they were all merely hallucinations, or visions, perhaps induced by drugs or hypnosis or hysteria. Such an absurd hypothesis is surely its own refutation. 
    Such hallucinations, if this is what they were, are quite unique in human history and warrant the most careful psycho logic scrutiny. They were experienced by a large number of different individuals, all seeing the same vision, but in different groups, at different times, both indoors and outdoors, on a hilltop, along a roadway, by a lake-shore, and other places. Furthermore, they were not looking for Jesus at all. Several times they didn't recognize Him at first, and at least once actually believed it was a ghost until He convinced them otherwise. He invited them to touch Him and they recognized the wounds in His hands (John 20:27Luke 24:39). They watched Him eat with them (Luke 24:41-43). On one occasion, over five hundred different people saw Him at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6), most of whom were still living at the time when that evidence was being used. 
    The vision theory is thus quite impossible and therefore the numerous appearances of Christ must be regarded as absolutely historical and genuine. This fact, combined with the evidence of the empty tomb, renders the resurrection as certain as any fact of history could possibly be.
    (Emphasis mine)

    There, in a few hundred words, is the reason why the Christian faith is almost surely the closest of all in terms of describing the Truth of the Word of God. This is why Christianity has endured, despite endless attempts to destroy it. This is why Christianity will always endure, and why faith will always sustain Mankind through our darkest moments.

    And if that wasn't enough, here is Vox's annual Easter message to you, reproduced here in full:
    There are those who say that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is merely a story. They will claim, falsely, that the Risen Lord is derived from an agricultural myth. They will assert, wrongly, that "Easter is originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex." They will declare, contra the historical evidence, that Jesus Christ never lived or was crucified on a cross by the Roman authorities. 
    It is strange, is it not, that they should tell so many palpable lies in the service of that which they say to be truth? 
    The Apostle Paul once said that if the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, then we Christians are the saddest and most pathetic of all men. 
    Everything we do, everything we believe, everything for which we hope and strive, is a lie. 
    It is strange, is it not, that so many observable and long-lived truths should stand so firmly on such a flimsy foundation of falsehood? 
    From Plato to Zelazny, men of letters have written of the purer things, that in their perfection spawn lesser shadows and imitations that reflect but an aspect of the true essence. From where does truth come, if not the Truth? And did Jesus not say that he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life? 
    Those who are Aristotelian devotees of reality stand by the Lesser Truth that A is A, and that A is never Not-A. But the Lesser Truth descends from, and depends upon, the Greater Truth, which is this: 
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
    Yesterday the light shone in the darkness. Today the light shines in the darkness. Tomorrow the light will shine in the darkness. And the darkness will never, ever, overcome it. 
    It is not a story, it is The Story, it is the oldest story, it is the true story from which all other stories flow. Light versus dark. And despite the darkness that surrounds us, that pervades us, that haunts us, the light of all mankind is winning. 
    That is why, all around the world this morning, there are millions of men and women who will greet each other with three simple words of hope and truth and triumph. 
    Christ is risen!
    I know I keep saying this- I am not a Christian. Yet I accept the existence of the Lord, and I am grateful for the teachings of His Son, the Lord Christ. One could certainly ask why someone like me could possibly live with such an oddly contradictory position?

    The answer is simple. Christian doctrine is very clear on the subject: you don't have to believe in anything that Christ said or did, but if you do seek salvation for your soul through Christ, then you have to accept the whole package, even if you think you disagree with certain core concepts. (The usual stuff about gay marriage, divorce, adultery, incest- all that fun stuff that the Churchians like to bang on about and ignore at will, you know what I mean.)

    And the fact is that I'm just not there yet. I can't bring myself, yet, to take that additional step. As a result I have enormous sympathy and compassion for those, like me, who want to believe, and yet have doubts.

    Those who believe in Christ without doubt or fear have a truly special gift: the gift of faith. Today, uniquely among all other days of the year, is a perfect time to share that gift with others.

    So whether you are a believer, a doubter, an agnostic, or even an atheist, you have my good wishes and prayers this Easter. I thank you for visiting, for reading, for commenting and criticising, and for helping men like me as we attempt to rebuild a world of strength, hope, and- most importantly- faith.


    Christ is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.

    Luke 24:13-35

    King James Version (KJV)
    13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
    14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
    15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
    16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
    17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
    18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
    19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
    20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
    21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
    22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
    23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
    24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
    25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
    26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
    27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
    28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
    29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
    30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
    31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
    32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
    33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
    34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
    35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    CLASSIC Book Review: Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

    Frank Herbert's 1965 masterpiece, Dune, was quite simply the greatest science fiction novel ever. He reached heights that have never been scaled before or since. He completely rewrote the rules for science fiction and played an incredibly important role in legitimising what was once seen as nothing more than lightly entertaining, silly fare and turning it into a serious genre capable of delivering powerful messages.

    He set the bar so high, in fact, that his sequel to his masterpiece was probably doomed almost from the start to fail to match its progenitor's success and impact.

    And fail it did.

    Dune Messiah is much shorter than the original Dune, clocking in at only 256 pages. Like its predecessor, it is a very fast read; Herbert's ability to write and flesh out interesting, fundamentally flawed yet heroic characters never disappeared even once during his authorship of the DUNE series. Whereas its predecessor took up a scope that was truly colossal- mind-bendingly so- Dune Messiah was spawned out of Herbert's deep disillusionment with the "hero complex".

    Herbert wrote about this fairly extensively in both his private and public works. He argued all his life against the tendency that humans have for hero-worship, to believe that all of their problems could be solved if only they give up their free will and their ability to think for themselves and slavishly follow some great hero down a path of no return. His son, Brian, writes about this in the preface to the book.

    In this book, Frank Herbert tried very hard to show the limits of hero-worship, the dangers of charisma, and the severe toll that such idolatry takes upon the focus of that worship. He succeeded in doing this, but in so doing, he lost touch with the very things that made the original Dune such a stunning achievement.

    Dune Messiah takes place 12 years after the conclusion of the original. Paul-Muad'dib Atreides is now Emperor of the known Universe. His legions of fanatical Fremen have raged through that universe bearing the Atreides battle colours to spread their devotion to the Word of Muad'dib. He is the greatest emperor in human history, unrivalled in power and might, gifted with true prescience, and able to see and comprehend all possible futures.

    Yet his jihad has come at a terrifying price. More than sixty billion have been slain in his name- and Paul knows, through his prescience, that this is actually one of the least terrible fates awaiting Mankind. With his ability to see far into the future, Paul foresees that Mankind will become ever more specialised, ever more inward looking, ever less capable of resisting true threats to its existence (none of this is ever explicitly mentioned in the book, by the way- you sort of learn about it through the series). He foresees the path required to avoid humanity's utter extinction many thousands of years into the future- and he despairs at it, knowing that he simply cannot sacrifice his own humanity in order to save his species.

    In the background, sinister forces move and gather. The Bene Gesserit, now disenfranchised by the very creature they sought to create, the Kwisatz Haderach (a sort of human super-supercomputer, capable of understanding and foreseeing all possible futures), has destroyed their power. The Spacing Guild, totally dependent on the geriatric drug melange, does the Emperor's bidding without question. The Tleilaxu, seeking to escape from the grip of the tyrant of Arrakis, put in motion a plan to assassinate and overthrow the Emperor, and find willing allies in the form of the Bene Gesserit and Paul's Empress, Irulan. Conspiring together, they present Paul with a gift that they know he cannot refuse- a ghola, a resurrected clone of Paul's teacher and friend, Duncan Idaho, who was slain giving Paul and his mother time to escape into the desert of Arrakis in the first book.

    After all of that setting up, a bunch of other stuff happens- a "stone burner" is detonated in the desert, Paul loses his eyesight, a Tleilaxu Face Dancer attempts to assassinate Paul, his beloved consort Chani dies giving birth to his children, and the ghola's cellular memories take over and Duncan Idaho is restored to life, and Paul finally wanders out into the desert, no longer a great hero but a broken blind man. And that's about it.

    You can see, from my short description of what should have been a truly epic follow-up to one of the greatest stories ever told, what a disappointment Dune Messiah was. There is so much about the book's lack of logic and coherence that is frustrating- even infuriating. Paul's character, in particular, goes from being a great leader of men to whiny emo-trash in the space of a single novel. In trying to make his hero a man once more, Herbert overdid it, and turned one of science fiction's greatest creations into a pale, hollow shell of himself.

    This is not to say that Dune Messiah lacks any redeeming features. It is still a formidable novel, showcasing a brilliant mind at perhaps the peak of its powers. Herbert wrote this novel as a sort of "bridge" for an even more grandiose and compelling vision in Children of Dune, in which the terrible path that he only hinted at in this book would gradually become more clear. When you read it that way- as a bridge, rather than just as a standalone sequel, you begin to see some of this book's virtues, for it is still a complex book.

    The ecological and biological changes wrought on Arrakis, and the consequences for the Fremen, are of particular interest. Herbert's Fremen, as depicted in Dune, were shaped by their environment into the greatest fighters and survivors that one could imagine. They were forced to adapt to an environment of almost unimaginable harshness, and it left its imprint upon their psyche. As a result, the Fremen are brave, honourable, and extremely loyal to each other- yet they appear utterly wild and barbaric to any "civilised" observer. In Dune Messiah, as the planet Dune transitions ecologically into the paradise world that Paul promised for his people, the Fremen begin to lose their hard edge and start becoming soft and complacent. Herbert understood cause and effect as well as any writer I have ever read, and his mastery of these concepts shows itself time and again in his writing here.

    Dune Messiah is not the book that its predecessor was. Not even close. It is still a very good book, and well worth reading (or in my case, re-reading for the first time in nearly 15 years). Just understand before you read it just how flawed it is compared to the original- and just how important some of those flaws are for the future of the Dune universe.

    Didact's Verdict: 3/5, not nearly up to the standards of the original, but still worth reading even so.

    Buy/download Dune Messiah here.

    Humility and humiliation

    I am hardly the world's foremost theological scholar. I have no doubt that older and wiser men like Vox and Carey could make me look like seven different degrees of idiot when it comes to understanding what the Bible (and the Talmud, for that matter) has to say about who does, and does not, get into heaven. That poor understanding aside, I'm pretty sure that bragging about your egregious violations of the rights of others is an automatic disqualifier:
    Former New York City mayor is pledging to spend $50 million this year to push gun control, the New York Times reports. For this and other deeds (such as taking on obesity and smoking), Bloomberg believes he's going to heaven.
    “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close,” Bloomberg told the Times.
    Here's the full context of Bloomberg's heaven quotation:
    Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
    As for the gun control push, Bloomberg tells the paper he wants gun rights advocates to fear him.
    Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.
    Right. Once you've picked yourself up off the floor and repaired your ruptured diaphragm from laughing so hard that you broke something, let's go through this bit of moonbattery with care.

    Michael R. Bloomberg, who I am given to understand is a liberal Jew who started out as a Democrat, became a Republican, and then decided that turning out his two-sided coat again was too much trouble and campaigned as an Independent, could simply have pointed to his accomplishments in the business world as his legacy. NO ONE in the world of capital markets and finance can argue with the tremendous good he has done there.

    I have worked in the banking industry for the last four years, and in energy risk consulting for three years prior to that. I tell you now that the world of finance simply would not be what it is today without the Bloomberg news and analytics services. The Bloomberg information service gives traders, structurers, analysts, trade capture specialists, and anyone else with the money to pay 5K per month instant access to information, prices, pricing tools, and analytics that no one else on Earth can come anywhere close to replicating. Bloomberg LP's closest rival, Thomson Reuters, is still miles behind in terms of market share.

    If you've never visited the Bloomberg building on 59th and Lexington in Manhattan, I very strongly recommend it. You'll be in for an experience. The place contains some of the most amazing software and development talent in the world, and yet working there feels like you're working at Google or Facebook. I was there as a guest once, years ago, for a seminar, and I felt like I'd stepped into an alternate dimension where people genuinely loved their jobs and had a fantastic, rewarding environment in which to work. (My job at the time really sucked.)

    If Bloomberg concentrated strictly on his business ventures, and the tremendous good that he has done through bringing information services to the world, as his legacy, then that alone would have cemented his status as a great man. And if he'd just kept his trap shut and been humble and philosophical about the great good that he has done, then maybe, just maybe, the Heavenly Father would look favourably upon him. Who knows for sure? All I can say is that, based on my own life experiences, the Lord not only exists, He moves actively in our world, never ceasing in His quest to break through the sins of Man and reach us.

    But noooooo, Bloomberg had to let all of that money and power go to his head and start meddling in the lives of others.

    I'll let Matt Forney describe the little nutter's reign. Take it away, Matt:
    Given that the diminutive Jewish billionaire has managed to piss off just about everyone during his decade-plus reign as the Big Apple’s Il Duce, that’s no small deal. Between his fascistic anti-gun policies, his war on sodas and other fattening foods, neutering the city’s term limit law in a blatant power grab and using the NYPD as his personal Praetorian Guard, it’s a wonder that Gracie Mansion hasn’t been torched by an angry mob yet. 
    But while it’s obvious that Bloomberg is a power-mad little dork with a Napoleon complex, you can’t argue with results. Under both his and Rudy Giuliani’s aegis, New York has rebounded from the horror years of the seventies and eighties to become America’s most prosperous metropolis. Crime has hit amazing new lows, the cities’ most stagnant slums are being gentrified back into polite society, and despite being the epicenter of world finance, it’s weathered the second Great Depression pretty well. Even the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy last year couldn’t stop New York. 
    And therein lies the problem. 
    New York City has become a victim of its own success. Giuliani and Bloomberg’s efforts to make the city fit for human habitation have attracted white leftists who enjoy a safe, prosperous New York but can’t comprehend what makes it possible.
    And now that Bloomberg has finally left the corridors of City Hall- thank you, Lord- and we're stuck with a socialist mayor (damn you, Satan, and the idiot voters who keep thinking that they can vote themselves other people's money!), he has decided to take his Napoleon complex and use it to tackle the inalienable right of a free populace to defend itself.

    The arrogance of this man, the sinfulness of his pride, is truly staggering. Think about it carefully.

    If he thinks he can one day out-muscle the NRA, an organisation funded exclusively funded by the will and the contributions of its millions of members, then he is not humble- he's crazy.

    And if he thinks that he can reduce gun crime and violence by taking away people's guns- well, then, let him prove it. COME AND TAKE THEM.

    But he won't. Not because he can't- any man with the will can march up to another man's house and demand that he surrender his weapons. He won't, because fundamentally, like every rabbit out there, he's a coward. He won't take personal risks by demanding that free men surrender their freedoms in person, so he'll do it by using government force and fiat to do the same. 

    Mayor Bloomberg, you are a damn fool- you are foolish and you are damned. Your sins of pride do not give you entry to Heaven- they condemn you to hell. You think that bragging about taking away the ability of men to live as they please, and be held responsible for the consequences of their actions, is a virtue?! It is the greatest form of sin- the worst form of pride. You believe that you know better than those you hold in contempt as rubes and hicks who cling to guns, God, and fizzy beverages? I say that they know themselves better than you ever will, and they know where pathetic petty little tyrants like you belong- in the ever-growing pile of human trash that will one day find its rightful place in Hell.
    1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    -- Ephesians 2, King James Bible 

    Taking school rules a bit far

    Now this is just stupid. A guy in high-school almost by definition has more balls than brains, but if you're going to get suspended for asking a girl to the prom, you might as well ask out Miss America:
    If Miss America visits your high school, and if it’s springtime, and if you don’t have a date to the senior prom, you’ve got to ask her to go with you. Right? 
    So what if you get suspended? 
    Such was the case for Patrick Farves, a senior at Central York High School, when the reigning Miss America, Nina Davuluri, came to the York, Pa. school on Thursday to give a speech about diversity and the value of science, engineering and math. 
    During the question-and-answer period that followed Davuluri’s speech, Farves asked Miss America to prom. And then he promptly got three-and-a-half days of in-school suspension as a resultreports the York Dispatch. 
    Farves, 18, got the brilliant idea to ask Miss America to the prom a few days before the assembly. He told a few people about his ingenuous scheme. And those people told a few more people. And then, this being high school, the whole school including teachers and administrators knew. (It’s not clear if he submitted his question for prescreening.) 
    About 10 minutes before Davuluri’s speech began, an unidentified school administrator advised Farves that asking Miss America to the prom would be “inappropriate,” explains the Dispatch.
    Farves wouldn’t be browbeaten by some sorry bureaucrat, though. He apparently snuck his question in between two prescreened questions. He even presented Davuluri, 24, with a special, plastic, purple flower he had acquired in art class that morning. 
    The senior’s request was met with raucous cheering from the clearly impressed students in the audience. 
    Farves said he doesn’t think Davuluri said yes. At the time, his ego is placated by the fact that she didn’t say no, either. 
    “I never got a direct answer,” he told the Dispatch. 
    All the cheering made it hard to hear, apparently. 
    Farves then asked for a selfie with Davuluri. She told him, “Maybe later.” 
    The next questioner started the next question by asking: “Can I get another round of applause for my friend, Patrick.” (And the crowd again went wild.) 
    It was then that humorless, joyless school officials marched Favres out of the assembly and gave him the suspension. 
    Farves appeared to be much more diplomatic and philosophical about the incident than the school officials were or, frankly, could ever aspire to be. He said he can definitely understand their frustration.
    This kid's got "future lady-killer" written all over him. Good for him that he had the balls (or lack of brains) to do that. Oh, and in case you're wondering what all the fuss is about, this is what the current Miss America looks like:

    Not pictured: Budweiser, eagles, guns, Mustangs, the American Flag, the Constitution, etc.
    Putting aside the fact that she looks like the exact opposite of what most people outside of America think an American woman looks like, and the uselessness of pageant shows in general, the only important question from a male perspective is this:

    WYB?

    That's what I thought.

    And clearly, this high-school kid thought the same. Thanks to his irrational self-confidence, I say we get the guy a gig writing for Heartiste or RoK.

    As for the school administrators who put him on suspension- you guys are humourless, heartless idiots who probably weren't hugged enough as children. Reinstate him- and then by way of reward and punishment, hammer this straight into his skull:

    The Giant Brass Balls medal. God Bless America!

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Accountability


    Matt Forney's latest featured post opened up a can of weapons-grade whoop-ass on a number of topics and people:
    Yesterday morning, I had a realization: I don’t want to be part of the manosphere anymore. 
    I remember the exact moment when it happened. I was sitting in a brunch joint in downtown Buffalo, waiting for the waitress to bring me my orange juice, when I came across Danger & Play’s article on quitting the ‘sphere. Like an empty car ambling forward on drive, I slowly grew angrier, my left hand balling into a fist under the table. 
    Mike’s article was the catalyst for my growing revelation: the manosphere is dead. 
    I’ve defended the manosphere for years now because as one of its founders, I felt a certain loyalty to it. Mike’s article made me realize how I’ve sold myself out in the process. As he pointed out, almost no one came to his defense when Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller plagiarized his blog for their watered-down ripoff site Mating Grounds. I’ll freely admit that the week prior to that, when Frost discovered that Jack from Viva La Manosphere was plagiarizing Mike’s site Fit Juice for his own juicing blog, I didn’t want to do anything initially because I didn’t want to “rock the boat” in regards to site traffic (Viva La Manosphere was one of my blog’s biggest referrers). It was a completely cowardly cop-out and I apologize for it. 
    But it goes deeper than this: two of the manosphere’s biggest voices are frauds.
    Read the whole thing. As polemics go, it's a doozy. In the course of the article, Matt names and shames both Sunshine Mary and Dannyfrom504, outs them publicly, and does everything possible to discredit and humiliate them.

    Basically, he performed the blogging equivalent of a carpet-bombing campaign.

    Now, I am not going to wade into the middle of an argument over whether he is right to say what he said, mainly because out of the three people in the middle of that issue, I have only met Matt himself. I can, and will, vouch for his authenticity- he is a genuine guy, who has done genuinely amazing things, and he is honest. I don't always agree with everything he writes, but I have great respect for him, so if he's that willing to name and shame, chances are that he's doing it for good reasons.

    I don't know SSM or Danny, and they've done nothing at all to me personally, so I have no axe to grind here.

    I do, however, think it's worth expanding upon the basic theme that Matt brought up- namely, the importance of being held accountable for who you are and what you write.

    It's all too easy for any keyboard jockey with an idea and some spleen to vent to sit down, start a blog, and start writing. It's very easy to hide behind an anonymous identity and talk smack about pretty much anything you want. And if no one calls you out about it, eventually you might just start believing your own petty lies and constructing your own identity based on self-delusion.

    This is incredibly dangerous, not only because you're lying to yourself, but because you're lying to others. And if they believe what you have to say and glom onto your words without running some basic sense checks on what you're saying, then you are potentially endangering the minds, and possibly the lives, of other people.

    If you write something based on some idea you've concocted- such as "do X to this girl and she will respond with Y, because hypergamy!!!", or "look how EEEEEEEEVIL liberals are, because cultural Marxism!!!"- without backing it up using either actual, verifiable experiences, or authentic, verifiable sources, or both, and you sucker someone else into believing what you have to say, then you are responsible for his false understanding, and the consequences that arise from it.

    If that isn't a wake-up call to be accountable for who you are and what you write, then I don't know what is.

    Think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? Let's take a powerful and compelling real-world example and look at how it applies to blogging.

    As I've said many times, I practice Krav Maga, and I love it. I will listen respectfully to any man who has a real background in martial arts and shows that skill regularly, whether on the practice mat or in the sparring ring. And because I practice the art (to whatever poor level of skill I can muster), I know the difference between real skill and BS.

    Unfortunately, there are some martial arts "masters" out there who get away with teaching pure BS- also known as "bullshido". They get away with it through what I can only call very skilled mass hypnosis or mass delusion. And when they, or their students, get in trouble and get flattened by guys who actually know how to fight, the results are really quite awful to see.

    Kiai Master Ryukerin, a "red belt" (which in any real martial art is a very serious and very prestigious rank), is particularly (in)famous for this sort of thing. He claimed to have won 200 victories with zero losses just by, essentially, waving his hands around and throwing... um... "chi attacks", I guess. Then he got overconfident and offered $5,000 to anyone willing to challenge him in a martial arts bout. A Pancrase fighter took him up on it and... well, watch the video. The results are equally pathetic and hilarious.


    What is truly sad about teachers of bullshido like Kiai and dim mak and kyusho-jitsu, is that they seem to believe their own BS. And then they go and teach it to students, who believe that they've unlocked some truly deadly secret to fighting. The moment they get into an actual street fight, though, and get tackled to the ground by some B. J. Penn or GSP clone, they have no idea how to fight- because they've never had to actually, y'know, fight. They've never been held accountable for their own nonsense until it's far too late. And because of that, they end up getting seriously injured- if they're very lucky.

    Question: Who is ultimately responsible for that student's injury or death?

    Answer: the teacher. It's his damn fault.

    The lesson for any "manosphere" blogger is simple. You are accountable for what you write. Being anonymous is no excuse. If you write something online, be prepared to back it up with facts and/or real life experiences. Many of us- most of us, I think- write anonymously because we have to. We have a lot to lose and can't be as open as we would like to be.

    In my case, I personally like the fringe and am perfectly content to stick to my little corner of the world. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those writers who not only write well, but do so under public identities. That is why I openly promote and admire the work of established writers like Vox, Roosh, Rollo, Matt, and others like them- and I do the same with relative newcomers like Stephanie and Carey.

    That said, I write based on my own experiences. What you read on this blog is verifiable. There are eyewitnesses who can verify what I have said and done.

    When I write about how to lift weights properly, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who squats and deadlifts well over 300lbs, for reps, for fun- and I will happily work out with any man who demands that I verify this.

    When I write about martial arts, I'm writing from the perspective of someone who actually practices an art, and who actively watches MMA, and actually spars against real, live opponents- some of whom are far bigger, or stronger, or more experienced than me. If someone wants to verify this, then you are welcome to grab a pair of boxing gloves and join me on the mat during our sparring sessions. I don't claim to be good at it, but I know the difference between theoretical and actual fighting, and I can tell you right now- I don't care how many black belts you claim to have, I don't think you're worth a damn unless you actually spar and know how to fight, how to punch, how to kick, how to block, and how to go to the ground and defend yourself.

    When I write about investing, economics, personal finance, and money, I do so from the perspective of a man who lives debt-free, is careful with his money, lives alone and very comfortably, and has an actual track record of picking stocks and investments*. I have picked winners and losers both, and I do not lie about my mistakes on the subject. (Remind me to tell you about my investment in Intuitive Surgical sometime.) I write about economics and Austrian theory from the perspective of someone who has a degree in conventional economics, who has worked as a risk management consultant and has an advanced degree in mathematical finance, and who not only reads but critiques the works of alternative economics like Mises, Hayek, and their students and followers. Quite simply, I know of what I speak, and I can prove it, and have proved it, repeatedly.

    When I write about books or music, I'm writing about things that I've actually read or listened to. Every post that I write is authentic for these reasons- I know that I am accountable to my readers, and I take that responsibility with absolute seriousness.

    And on the very rare occasions that I write about game, I don't pretend to be some pickup artist or ladies' man. I'm not. Not even close. I have no real desire to be, either, but I have a lot of respect for those who are successful with women and who are good at teaching others how to be the same. I write from the perspective of a man trying to shed the lies that he was taught from birth, and trying to learn the lessons that others have learned through hard work and persistence. I don't have some magic formula for getting a girl into bed within ten minutes of meeting her, I can't tell you how to make her squirt, and I can't tell you how to get a threesome. (Halfbreed can, so go read his book instead.) I can only tell you what not to do, based on my own experiences.

    That, ultimately, is, or should be, the point and the value of the manosphere- to teach, to enlighten, to forge a community of better men who actively try to improve themselves and become the best versions of themselves that they can be. It should never have descended into self-parody, which, to a large extent, I think it has. We should have each other's backs, so that when a self-promoting guy like Tucker Max comes along and openly rips off one of the best bloggers out there, we should stand up and argue against what the guy's doing. We should never allow the 'Sphere to become yet another circle-jerking exercise in echoing each other's ideas and conclusions, standing around pointing at the undeniably putrid corpse of Western civilisation and screaming, "EEWWWW!!! GROSS!!!" like a bunch of autistic children.

    We should be forging the future, not rehashing the past- a future based on a powerful understanding of human nature, an ironclad belief in masculine prowess and pride, unshakeable faith in masculine virtues, and absolute fidelity to ourselves and our peers.

    Think about how much better the manosphere would be today if we were all held accountable for the words and deeds of our mouths and hands, the way Matt Forney and Vox Day and others like them hold themselves accountable. That is the 'Sphere that I want to see.

    Help us build it by holding yourself, and others, to task for what they say and do.

    * Future post on long-term investing coming up. Stay tuned.