Thursday, 30 April 2015

Putting freedom back on the offensive


It has been a rather good week for those of us who don't take kindly to being told what is good for us. The Supreme Dark Overlord of the Evil Legion of Evil has kindly provided the rest of us with some rather good examples of the rabbits/SJWs/CHORFs displaying classic Fighting Retreat tactics over the massive surprise that was this year's Hugo Award nominations process, and as His Evilness pointed out,
Criticism isn't war. But taking over the SF establishment for ideological purposes is war. Of course they don't like the fact that an opposition has arisen and is fighting back. That's why they tried to discredit and disqualify and defenestrate me 10 years ago. They correctly sensed a potentially dangerous enemy and attempted to marginalize me. But I'm still here, and more importantly, I am not alone
That's why they are suddenly declaring there is no war. But it's too late. The mask has been ripped off and too many have seen the true face of the SJWs.
Damn right, he's not alone. Yours truly is proud to be a Minion of the Evil Legion of Evil- in fact, the ELE is now handing out badges. And they're going fast.

If you want one too, do not forget to contact His Evilness right bloody now with the word "MINION" in the subject line of your email. Your Minionmail ensures that you will get a unique numbered badge with the immortal, defiant screed, "WE DON'T CARE", emblazoned upon it.

Fighting To Win

the world 2002 manowar eric adams warriors of the world

This past month, we have seen increasing evidence that the fight to take back our culture is being won, on multiple fronts. And these victories could not come at a more necessary or important time, either.

It's important to understand and remember that, for the past forty years, those of us of a conservative, freedom-loving bent have been losing the culture wars. And we were losing badly. We lost arguments about gay "marriage", about abortion, about freedom of conscience and religion and association, and about the rights of Man and of the deference we owe to Mankind's Creator.

We lost them because, instead of holding our ground and defending what is right and just, we kept succumbing to arguments that sounded "reasonable", couched in persuasive but mealy-mouthed terms about "freedom".

Our opponents among the progressives and moderates of this world were, and remain, exceptionally good at making these arguments. With gay "marriage", for instance, their argument has always been that government has no right to dictate what marriage is.

And they are entirely right about this.

But then, they use our same distrust of strong government to expand the powers of that government, to the point that, if you are willing to exercise your right to freedom of association and refuse to cater to gay clients or perform gay "wedding" ceremonies, you are hauled into court for "discrimination".

This Madness Must End

One way or another, we have to stop it.

And, for the first time in a very long while, we are beginning to see exactly how it might do just that.

Consider our fight to retake science fiction from the hard-Left and reinstate it as a source of wonder and delight in the eyes of the fans. Vox Day's Rabid Puppies campaign to get great works of fiction nominated for sci-fi's most prestigious award has actually been even more successful than its more centrist counterpart, Brad Torgersen's Sad Puppies.

And as I demonstrated in my latest Reaxxion column, holding the line against SJWs is not only good for the soul- it's damn good for business, too:
Until recently, however, the Offendatrons (to borrow a phrase) of the SJW set were having considerable success in forcing game developers and marketers to change their games to reduce the offensiveness of their content. As far as I can tell, they did this by basically threatening to use the power of their stranglehold on the media to influence sales, and by trotting out of the oft-repeated yet highly suspicious statistic that “women make up 40% of all gamers,” or that in some cases female gamers outnumber male ones
As is to be expected from progressives, who thanks to their liberal arts educations generally have vivid imaginations yet lack any real ability to understand mathematics, logic, or facts, their numbers are more than a little screwy, but for a long time the rest of us took them at face value. The results are both unfortunate and plain to see, as beloved franchises like Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat are made more “correct.” 
However, as the Protein World example makes clear, there is no reason whatsoever to fear offending the Offendatrons. Their entire reason for existing is to be offended, so why bother worrying about them?
Vox Day has several times stated that "rabbits only win when wolves refuse to fight". I do not entirely agree with this, as even the biggest and fiercest wolf can be pulled down if attacked by a large enough mass of rabbits, but there is much truth to the statement.

And now that we are showing our teeth and taking to the field, to take back science fiction, gaming, the media, and eventually our freedom to think and live as we please, we are seeing clear evidence that, in fact, the rabbits are the ones who are badly outnumbered.

What's more, they are seeing it too. And they're soiling themselves.

It is, in many ways, a wonderful time to be alive for those who, like me, are of a conservative or libertarian bent.

If you're looking at your screen with a puzzled expression right now after reading that, I know why.

I know that things look bleak; our own governments wage war daily upon what few freedoms we still have left, and the immense power of the State is being brought to bear upon us in ever greater concentrations.

I know that our societies are crumbling and failing around us, and that our most cherished institutions have become corrupted and subverted from within.

I know that some of our greatest cities burn in the name of those great Leftist buzzwords, "tolerance" and "diversity", and hordes of quasi-barbarian invaders cross our borders to settle in and usurp our lands.

In spite of all of that, we are beginning to turn the tide. Slowly, painfully, and at great cost, to be sure- but then, we are fighting for something of great value too.

Vox Day, Brad Torgersen, and Larry Correia have shown us how to do it in science fiction. #Gamergate has shown us how to do it in video games. The SJWs tried to exercise their particularly noxious form of thought control on heavy metal with #Metalgate, and they were beaten so badly that their allies in the media haven't even bothered covering it. And now we're taking the fight to advertising with Protein World's hugely successful foray into fat-shaming.

Raise Your Glasses

Former British PM Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke - ...

Back when Ronald Reagan was busy waging his own war against the Soviet Union- a war which ended when his carefully constructed strategy for winning it resulted in the peaceful breakup of the greatest enemy that free men had ever faced until that point- he was invited to 10 Downing Street for dinner with Margaret Thatcher and her closest advisors. In his book about Reagan's war, Peter Schweizer documents a particularly powerful moment, when the Iron Lady raised her glass to the company and honoured her friend and ally with the words,
I toast to President Reagan, who has put freedom back on the offensive, where it belongs.
In a similar vein, let us now take a moment to acknowledge what has been won- and what must still be retaken- in this long war to restore our culture.

Today is a very special day for me, for a number of reasons. The best thing about it is that I am able to celebrate it with the people I care about the most here at my family's home. And as I look at what has been accomplished thus far in the latest battles to retake our freedoms of thought and inquiry from the Offendatrons who have tried so very hard to remove them from us, I have to say that I think the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Domain Query: Cracked jumps the shark

The Dictator: 'Brave, insensitive, funny and horrible' - video review
Cultural insensitivity can be hilariously awesome
AM sent over an interesting link to a article last night that talked about five unpleasant realities of visiting India as a young Western woman. It is worth reading through all the way, if only to get an idea of just how culturally tone-deaf the supposedly enlightened and oh-so-sensitive folks at places like Cracked can be. Here's a taste to give you some idea what the rest of the write-up is like:
The summer before my junior year of college, I volunteered to work for a mental health clinic in a small city in India. I suppose I should say that it was "challenging yet rewarding," or that it was "the hardest summer of my life" but that I really "found myself." But, I'm not about to turn my experience into Eat, Pray, Love. It didn't take long after I arrived for things to turn ugly. 
Sure, when people ask me what India was like, I often just placate them with funny stories about shitting my pants on an airplane [Didact: here's a tip- don't ever fly Air India or Indian Airlines if you can afford better. Seriously. Just don't.] or watching men practice their Bollywood moves at the gym. [Didact: yes, this is a real thing and yes, it's ridiculous.] While those stories are true, they're not the whole truth. The truth is, almost all of my memories of India are tainted because of one uncontrollable factor: I am female, and, in India [...]
AM specifically got annoyed with the author's comments about arranged marriages in India, so I'll tackle that later in my response (since I know a thing or three about the subject), but it's worth exploring the rest of the article in full first.

Since I happen to spend a bit of time every year visiting India, it was certainly interesting to read this young woman's perspective- who, for convenience, I shall refer to as Ms. A henceforth.

Unfortunately, it was interesting for (many of) the wrong reasons.

In fact, the article reminded me more than anything else of a recent article written by Kotaku journalist and bona fide SJW Tim Rogers about his visit to Japan. It has the same appalling tone-deafness, the same cultural blinkers, and the same set of maladjusted assumptions that Mr. Rogers' write-up did. My Reaxxion colleague Steve Alexander did a great job of responding to Mr. Rogers's write-up, in much the same way that a cat responds to an old roll of toilet paper.

Iz in ur office, shreddinz ur stupidz

Context is Good for the Soul

The first and biggest problem with the entire article is the fact that there is not much context provided. It's very hard to figure out the reasons behind what happened to this young lady unless you understand something about Indian culture and social values.

India is incredibly diverse, to a degree that most Westerners struggle to understand. There are at least 14 official languages, and a good 60 recognised ones, along with Lord only knows how many hundreds of dialects, spoken throughout the country. A man from Tamil Nadu will have next to nothing in common with a man from Kashmir; both of them will have nearly nothing in common with a man from West Bengal.

Other than maybe Indonesia, I don't think you'll be able to find a country with more ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, or social diversity anywhere on Earth.

Knowing what I do of India, then, I can state with a high degree of confidence that the author of this article probably wasn't staying with a typical city-dwelling cosmopolitan Indian family. Indeed, Ms. A states that she was volunteering at a mental health clinic in a small city in India. Indian families that live in the big cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bombay, Calcutta, or Delhi, are generally fairly laid-back about the sorts of things that she complains about.

There is a further distinction to be made regarding religion and social conservatism. While India tends to be socially conservative in most parts of the country, especially when compared to the highly hedonistic West, there are definitely degrees of conservatism to be found within ethnic and religious groups. The most socially conservative group, by far, is India's Muslim population. Some 20% of the country is Muslim, and even in the large cities, they adhere to a culture and a sense of propriety that is nearly impossible for a Western mind to understand.

Based on what the author has written, therefore, I'm guessing- and it's only a guess- that she was staying with a Muslim family.

And if that's the case, then that goes a long way toward explaining what happened to her.

Having established that she was probably staying with a Muslim family, possibly in a small city, and likely brought a very great deal of her Western cultural "baggage" with her, let us proceed with addressing each of the points that she raised.

1. Indian Rules of Public Behaviour for Women Are Restrictive
You can practically feel the oppression
It is true that, by Western standards, Indian cultures demand that women are demure and modest in public.

To which I respond: so what?

Having seen what we have of Western women, would it be so terrible to ask that women refrain from gratuitous displays of cleavage and skin in public?

Now, the author does have a valid point in that rules concerning Indian women in public are pretty restrictive in traditional societies. And that is true. But this is because traditional societies recognise what the West has long since forgotten: that if they are allowed to, women can and do act like overgrown children in public, with no sense of responsibility unless it is enforced.

This can be, and is, taken too far in India, especially in Islamic society- which is one of the reasons why I detest most Islamic societies to begin with, because they take the concept of restraining a woman's most dangerous impulses to such an extreme that they virtually deny her free will, and that is simply unacceptable.

But it's important to remember that those rules exist in Indian society for a reason. They exist for the protection of women. What Western girls see as unreasonable and silly restrictions upon their behaviour, are in reality rules that are put in place specifically for their safety. They are taken too far, warped, and misinterpreted, to be sure; yet, they were originally put in place for entirely good reasons.

2. Indian Society Enforces a Restrictive Dress Code

Uh, yeah, and?

Indian summers are indeed sweltering. Temperatures hit 37 degrees Celsius routinely- in parts of the country, that can go as high as 45- with mind-breaking humidity. A Westerner who is unused to such brutal heat and humidity is going to be horribly uncomfortable, regardless of dress.

Indian dress has adapted to meet those requirements. A salwar kameez, which you see in the picture above, is a baggy, flowing tunic with pantaloons of some kind, usually made of cotton, which breathes easily and is comfortable. (Or so I'm told. Also, if I get the fashion terms wrong, don't be surprised- I'm a bloke, frilly nonsense is beyond my capacity for understanding.) It is a traditional form of dress in both Hindu and Muslim parts of India.

As that photo also proves, you can be both comfortable and pretty in traditional Indian dress.

Suffice to say, then, that the number of f*cks that I give about Ms. A's problems related to her wardrobe issues can be charitably described as "minimal".

3. Women Must Be Accompanied in Public

Saudi-Arabian-Government-Sets-New-Rules-for-Saudi-Men-Marrying ...
Wrong country, but you get the idea
Again, a little context is needed. This issue becomes more pronounced in Islamic parts of India, obviously, but it's not necessarily the norm. It depends on which bit of India you're visiting.

In Calcutta, for instance, women are generally pretty safe on their own; this is still a city in which women can go out at night and feel secure.

In Bombay or especially New Delhi, though, this is not the case. Delhi is far less safe. A woman on her own on the streets or in public transport is, unfortunately, quite likely to be harassed or molested.

Now let's be perfectly clear about one thing. Women in public spaces have every right to be left alone to enjoy themselves, as long as they take responsibility for their own actions. If they obey the law and the traditions of society, then no man has any right whatsoever to bother them. And if they are bothered by aggressive men, they have every right to defend themselves or require other men to defend them.

Yet male misbehaviour persists nonetheless, and if you've spent any amount of time around the average sexually repressed Indian man, it won't surprise you as to why. The rules and traditions that have grown up in India recognise this, however quietly, and work with and around that tendency to try to protect women.

This is one thing that feminists never seem to understand. The things that they find objectionable are in fact often put in place specifically to protect women. Just as women have specific biological drives and imperatives, so too do men. And Indian men, regardless of what Hindu nationalists might think, are no paragons of virtue. They're men, and as men they are prone to violence, brutality, and rapine if they do not keep their worst urges in check.

Again, it is possible to take these rules too far. I see no reason to treat women like vegetables incapable of making their own decisions- provided that women are held accountable for those same decisions. Unfortunately, feminists tend to forget the requirement of accountability that comes with freedom.

When all is said and done, this is where I think Ms. A has a valid criticism. And as the Single Dudes pointed out a couple of years back, and I agreed with them, Indian men are some of the most sexually repressed and frustrated beta males around. When you combine that sexual repression with traditional mores that practically require women to be treated as helpless imbeciles, you have all of the necessary ingredients for a very nasty, dangerous cocktail that results in real physical danger to women.

4. The Rules Still Aren't Enough

sexual abuse

As Ms. A states, she was sexually abused- though I have to point out that she wasn't actually raped, at least in the incident that she describes, under any reasonable legal interpretation.

I feel really badly for Ms. A. Sexual abuse is not to be tolerated, and she's right to say that India has a serious problem with this sort of thing. Again, here I think Ms. A has an entirely legitimate criticism.

Part of the reason why it is a problem is because women are indeed very much at the mercy of their men. In a country where economic and sexual liberalisation have yet to reach the majority of the population, a woman is dependent upon her father, her brothers, her husband, and eventually her sons. If any of these men choose to abuse her, it's next to impossible for her to fight back.

I honestly don't know how to solve this problem without creating new and probably worse ones.

You could argue that the right way to do it is to legislate it away- but we've seen how that works in the West, putting as it does the entire burden of suspicion onto a man in virtually every single reported case of domestic abuse, whether justified or not. How many innocent men have had their lives ruined by unfounded allegations of rape and abuse? Do we really want to extend that to India and other patriarchal Asian societies?

You could argue that the solution is more female empowerment- but we've seen how that works too. Laws in the West work specifically to absolve women of responsibility for their actions, while putting the entire burden of blame upon men. Divorce rates in the West are at or above 50% for precisely this reason; do we really want to destroy Indian society the same way?

Moreover, anyone who has any level of experience with the Indian legal system knows that it is corrupt, bureaucratic, slow, and stupid. India's Constitution alone is completely unreadable- unlike its American counterpart, which is a masterpiece of brevity, elegance, and intellectual brilliance, the Indian version is a tendentious, turgid mess that contradicts itself openly and thoroughly.

Self-defence is an option that I strongly approve of. Having visited Israel and met a few traditional-minded yet very independent and capable women there, all of whom have self-defence training, I highly encourage any woman to train to defend herself- I consider self-defence a duty, not merely a right. However, it falls on men to provide self-defence training, which is a bit of a weird idea in India. And while I am thoroughly and completely in favour of women owning and having access to firearms, Indian gun laws make that rather difficult.

The only thing I can think of is to change the culture. And by that, I mean that more Christianity is to be preferred over less, especially in a largely pagan country like India.

Think about it. Christianity was at its origin, and probably remains today, the most astonishingly pro-female religion on Earth. It is far more encouraging of women's rights, within a framework that recognises women's shortcomings and responsibilities, than either Hinduism or Islam. Christianity openly encourages women to be strong in character and yet feminine and humble, and openly demands that men love, cherish, and respect women as the weaker sex who deserve protection, without infantilising them.

It is for precisely these reasons that a Christian code of behaviour is to be encouraged, not sneered at.

5. The Culture is Still Against Women

Having made two rather good points about India- without, incidentally, suggesting any solutions- Ms. A then completely drops the ball on her last point by claiming that arranged marriage is somehow the cause of India's worst problems.

What Ms. A, in her cultural tone-deafness, fails to recognise is that marriage in India isn't just about the people getting married. It's about the two families involved in making the marriage happen. A bride in India doesn't simply marry a man- she marries into the family.

Given this fact, and given that fathers of women in India pay substantial amounts of money as dowries when their daughters get married, is it really surprising that fathers tend to be quite vigilant about exactly who gets to knock up their girls?

Moreover, there is nothing particularly wrong, per se, with arranged marriages.

Arranged marriages have their problems, make no mistake. When they go wrong, they go spectacularly wrong. But they also seem to succeed more often than more "normal" love marriages.

The reason for this is simple. Parents, as a general rule, do at least try to choose partners that will be good for their respective children. I'm not stupid enough to claim that this is always the case, but for the most part, that's how it works.

Among my family's circle of friends, I've seen many people get hitched through arranged marriages. For the most part, these marriages have turned out to be happy, long-lasting, and fruitful unions. There are people of my own age and generation who have had arranged marriages and are very happy- because their parents chose partners who are, on some level, highly compatible with each other.

Arranged marriage is not for everyone. I don't much care for the idea, personally, but that doesn't mean it automatically is without merit. It can and often does work very well, because arranged marriages in Asia recognise something that most Western marriages simply don't: marriage DOES NOT WORK if entered into for selfish or transient reasons.

It is possibly to phrase the reason for success somewhat less charitably, though just as accurately. As AM pointed out in his (or her) original email,
Her bitching about arranged marriages really annoyed me. I am not saying they don’t have their own set problems because they do, my argument is that modern women have proven to be even worse at finding a mate for themselves than they parents.
To which I can only say: indeed.

Don't Be Sharkbait

In the final analysis, messed up, badly, by publishing an article that made India look bad on a number of fronts without providing much by way of context, balance, or solutions.

I visit India fairly often. I can't claim to prefer it over the USA, but it does have its charms. And I have young, thin, attractive Western female friends who have visited India, on their own, and had an absolute blast without running into any of the problems that Ms. A describes.

So I presume you'll understand what I mean when I say to social-justice types like Ms. A and the staff over at Cracked: with all due respect, and with the caveat that I deeply regret what happened to Ms. A while she was in India, SOD OFF.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The only girl in tennis worth your time

Women's Tennis
Well, not HER ass, obviously
Normally, I could not be bothered in the least with discussing women's tennis. I find the women's game generally tedious and unbearable to watch, especially when Serena Williams, Maria ShriekaSharapova, and even the lissome Caroline Wozniacki are playing. They're all much of a muchness- there's no grace, elegance, or joy to be found in their styles of play, and they spend more time grunting (or, in their case, shrieking) than they do actually playing. All of the power, grace, and style that you'll find in a good men's tennis match is utterly lacking in the slow, boring, stale nature of the women's version.

For all of their silly feminist bleating about "unequal pay" within the game, they put fewer butts on seats, they play shorter matches, and they don't provide anything like the entertainment value of their male counterparts.

Quite simply, women's tennis does not deliver value-for-money, and that is precisely why female players do not get, and should not be, paid as much as their male counterparts.

On occasion, however, there are the odd one or two female tennis players who come along and show an unusual combination of beauty, grace, power, and skill on the court. Back in the days when I was growing up, ever so long ago, there was a woman by the name of Stefi Graf who dominated women's tennis to such a degree that I'm convinced she's the only woman, ever, who could give modern-day legends like Pete Sampras or Roger Federer a real test.

Some time later, another woman came along by the name of Justine Henin, who wasn't much to look at, but had the kind of flowing, all-court game and wicked top-spin backhand that really made you sit up and take notice. While she was never driven, physically fit, or versatile enough to become the kind of utterly dominant force that Ms. Graf was back in her day, Ms. Henin was still quite entertaining to watch.

It's been a while since we've had anything like Ms. Graf or Ms. Henin come along; women's tennis is something of a joke these days given that a woman can become World No. 1 and stay there for a good while without actually winning a single Grand Slam tournament.

There is, however, one player on the tour right now who has quietly and without much fuss managed to establish herself as a rather interesting character to watch.

That player is Simona Halep, from Romania, who is in most respects really quite ordinary.

Seriously, try to pick her out from the lineup
She's not tall like Maria Screechapova. She's not really a stunner like Eugenie Bouchard or Ana Ivanovic- both of whom suffer from severe cases of Kournikova Syndrome. She's not hyper-aggressive or overly masculine like Serena Williams. And she's not dramatic.

I can't emphasise this last point enough, by the way. There are few things in life better than watching a great tennis match on a widescreen TV with full surround sound- it's the next best thing to being right there in the stadium, with the added benefit of not having to be seated next to the drunken sweathog who can't stop his fat rolls from sagging into you every time he bellows out a boozed-up cheer for whoever won the last point.

With women's tennis, however, this stupid trend of women shrieking every time they hit a shot is getting so prevalent that if you put one of their matches on with the volume up, it's going to end up sounding like some bizarre cross between a hardcore porn flick and a not particularly interesting spectator sport.

Even if your ears are hardy enough to withstand the resulting assault, your neighbours are going to be giving you very odd looks and asking you some rather pointed questions about just exactly what it is you do to keep yourself entertained in the evenings.

Really, just try to get through watching this clip of the Screechbat and her rival for the title of World's Most Irritating Screamer, Michelle Larcher de Brito, from a couple of years back, without wanting to hurt something. I think I managed to make it through about the first 7 seconds, then had to bail:

Simona Halep doesn't bother with any of these dumb theatrics. She just gets on with the business of playing.

And, as far as girls go, well, she can play:

There is, however, one thing about her that I sort of don't like. Admittedly, this is because I'm a raging male chauvinist pig (though you knew that already, otherwise you wouldn't be here), but I have to admit, I kind of preferred Ms. Halep back when she was short and stacked, rather than just... short:

Before and after: Simona Halep has flown up the rankings since her ...

That's right. Simona Halep underwent breast reduction surgery because her epic boobs were getting in the way of her ability to play well.

In case you're wondering whether this is really that big a deal, well, yes. Yes, it is:

Simona Halep Breast Reduction? » Simona Halep Before Breast Reduction

All of that being said, she's still not exactly a minger.

That smile of hers sure helps
I still consider women's tennis to be, on the whole, a colossal waste of time and money. If, however, you happen to chance upon a women's tennis match featuring one Ms. Simona Halep, though, it might be worth sticking around to see how it pans out. She is smart, tactical, skillful, modest, unassuming, and very easy to like.

You could do worse for an evening's entertainment than watching this girl bat balls around a court.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Robert E. Howard would be proud

Now THIS is how you do a hilarious send-up of Conan the Barbarian!

Speaking of send-ups, there was exactly ONE good thing about the 2012 remake of Conan the Barbarian:

Rachel Nichols

And even SHE couldn't save that movie from being terrible, despite being half-naked for at least a third of that film.

It just goes to show that in order to do justice to the great works of fantasy and science fiction, you need a lot more than just T&A; you need plot, character, and great storytelling.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Learn from your betters

Here are 30 Motivational Quotes for all who wants to be a good human ...

At some point in his life, just about every man reaches a critical fork. Driven to that point by his own insecurities, mediocrity, lack of confidence, or perhaps by forces outside of his control, he finds himself staring at a reflection in a mirror that he can no longer recognise as being worthy of respect or admiration.

It is at that point that he has to make a choice.

Either he stays the way he is, and continues to be fat, slovenly, unsuccessful, and unhappy- but he can comfort himself by putting the blame on something or someone else. He can blame "society", or "the media", or "women", or "politicians" for his troubles, and he will likely end up convincing himself that he is right, that he has no need to change and that others are at fault. Many men- most men- choose this outcome.

Some take a different approach. They recognise that the world is what it is, and that no amount of remonstrating is going to change that. They recognise that they alone are responsible for their destinies and their well-being. They take resolve to take charge of themselves and their lives, and refuse to bow down to anyone short of perhaps God Himself any longer.

This latter course is a most admirable one to take. The only issue with taking it is that it is very difficult to figure out how to navigate the roads ahead. There is, after all, a very good reason why, if given the choice in the most stark and terrible terms possible, most people would generally prefer slavery to freedom.

This is where it is not only useful, but necessary to find older and wiser peers who you respect and admire to help you navigate the paths ahead.

In fact, the biggest mistake that you can possibly make when going down that long, dark, difficult road is to ignore the advice and ideas of those who have taken that road before you.

It doesn't matter which aspect of your life needs work- the most important thing is to maintain a beginner's mindset at all times. You always have something to learn, and there is always someone to learn from.

Weightlifting Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid
That's gonna leave a mark...
Let's take lifting, for instance. If you've spent any amount of time around sites like this one, you'll have seen the mantra repeated over and over again as variations on the same theme- get strong, get ripped, get laid. Well, it's not quite that simple. The process of actually getting strong is slow, painful, difficult, and fraught with danger if you don't know what you're doing.

I can't even count the number of times I've seen guys in the gym struggling to squat or deadlift weights that I consider "baby weight" with terrible form. Just today, I was watching a bloke deadlifting 335lbs for sets of 5 with a completely rounded back. Now, for me, 335lbs is indeed warmup weight- and unlike most guys at my gym, I can deadlift that much completely cleanly, without rounding my back, and completely raw.

But I didn't get there by accident. It happened through hard work, perseverance- and through the guidance of much stronger men like Mehdi Hadim, Mark Rippetoe, and Johnny Candito. These guys are great at what they do. Their wisdom and their knowledge is absolutely worth your time and your attention if you want to get strong, fit, and healthy.

... . The biggest mistakes that investors make . And much more

Or, let's take making and keeping money. There are plenty of shysters out there who will take your money and leave you poor and angry- but there is much wisdom to be found in the words of legendary investors and good men like Benjamin Graham.

This is the man who taught the most successful investor in history, Warren Buffett, what investing really means. He was the man who wrote THE text on the subject, Securities Analysis, and followed it up with the value investor's Bible, The Intelligent Investor. As a much younger man, I read The Intelligent Investor cover-to-cover, and followed it up with books like Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel, One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch, and a few other great books that taught me, at that young and impressionable age, the sheer power of patient, long-term, no-drama investing. It's a philosophy that has guided me unerringly to the present day- I haven't traded an actual stock in well over 3 years, but day after day, year after year, my constant and quiet dollar-cost-averaged purchases of low-cost mutual and index funds allow me to achieve the investor's dream: low volatility and, over a long time period, high returns.

But I never would have gotten to that point if I hadn't learned from better and wiser men, like the authors above- or from my father, who got into investing far later than I did and yet still made good money from his carefully selected stock picks.

Yeah, I hate Friday nights too, Logan
Of course, most men get into this whole "self-improvement" kick for one reason, and one reason only: to score women. Personally, I think that going down this road solely for the sake of getting some strange is a huge mistake; the road is a long grind, and if you're not careful, or if you started down that road for the wrong reasons, sooner or later you're going to be tempted to give up. It is far easier to resist that temptation if, instead of making women your sole preoccupation, you make them merely a part of your overall quest for self-improvement.

Yet there is no question that the rewards of getting good at scoring with women are sweet and enjoyable. And if that is indeed your aim, then you can't find better teachers than men like Roosh or Halfbreed or Blackdragon. They all confronted the same problems that you're experiencing; they probably confronted them earlier than you did; and they each figured out systems and ideas that work very well for their particular personalities.

This is not to say that you'll be able to replicate their success instantly. You won't. That will take time and effort and not a little pigheadedness. But eventually, with time and patience and hard work, you'll settle down into a lifestyle that works for you, guided by their advice. And you'll be happier for it.

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The last thing to note is that one should always strive to avoid being blinded by one's own ego. Ignoring those wiser than you isn't just silly, it can be downright dangerous and can seriously impair your life in ways that you can't even begin to imagine.

Let me give you an example from my professional life. I happen to be very, very good at solving problems related to the technology infrastructure of my firm- to the point where, even though I'm pretty far down the pecking order in terms of rank and nominal power, I've got people in charge of hundreds or even thousands of people and millions of dollars calling me up to ask specifically for my advice on how to do things properly and efficiently.

That didn't happen by accident. I got to where I am now because I am intensely curious about how things work at my firm, and I'm constantly trying to learn more from people who know the technology and the analytics better than I do. I'm blessed to be able to work in a job that keeps me intellectually stimulated, motivated, and learning every day- not many people can say that.

However, the chap at my firm that I actually interviewed as a candidate to take over my previous role has turned out to be lacking in several areas- most importantly in interpersonal and communication skills. As a result, he often gets his back up when I give him advice about what to do in specific situations- even though I used to do his job and still know how to do that job better than he does.

The end result is that, because he lets his ego and his insecurities stop him from learning from someone far more knowledgeable than him, he ends up looking bad in front of his peers, his clients, and his management. And that can only hurt him very badly in the long run.

Don't be that guy. Don't try to mask your fear and your insecurities by attacking those better than you- that is stupid and short-sighted. Instead, admit that you're struggling with something, ask for help, and build relationships with those who know better. Your life will be better for it.

Celebrate Earth Day properly

... by burning petrol. A LOT of it:

In the spirit of being "clean" and "sensible" and all other things that Mother Gaia might approve of, let me make a hugely embarrassing confession.

There was a time- waaaaaaaay back when I was in, oh, about the 4th Grade- when yours truly was a committed ecomentalist. As in, a full-blown, WWF-membership-card-carrying, "SAV TEH ERTH!"-sign-waving green loony. Complete with swiveling eye stalks and questionable hygiene. (The last can be attributed to the fact that I was, well, 9 years old at the time.)

Thankfully, I outgrew this dark and terrible period of utter stupidity. and became the gun-totin', beer-swillin' wine-sippin', God-fearin' man of righteous petrol-powered glory that you see today.

Now, so we're clear, there is nothing in the world wrong with caring about one's natural environment and wanting God's gifts to us to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. In fact, some of the most ardent, skilled, and capable conservationists you'll ever meet are hunters- who understand full well that there is no contradiction whatsoever between blowing the head off Bambi's mother with a shotgun, and wanting to make sure that Bambi himself sires children so that future generations of hunters have stuff to kill.

BH: Some of your political analogies and comments from your NRA Show ...
Ted Nugent is more epic than you will ever be
As bizarre as this sounds, it's also absolutely true. The people who work most closely within the beauties, and dangers, of our world to extract its bounties and blessings, are also the ones who are most interested in preserving those same wonders.

So raise your bows and hunting rifles, my friends, to the prospect of a world in which ecomentalists don't have to be told where they can shove their signs and their protest banners, and in which hunters, fishermen, oil-men, and all other such good folk can be free to pursue their masculine hobbies within the wondrous bosom of Mother Earth.

Monday, 20 April 2015

They took THIS from us

Damn social justice asshats:

Effing the ineffable

... Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'll be a shortage of sand." -Milton

Just when you thought the US government couldn't get any more retarded, they manage to take that incredibly low bar- and then smash headfirst into it:
The federal government missed an estimated $41.1 million in “cost savings” transporting immigrant detainees on charter flights due to an inefficient use of resources — namely flying with empty seats — a government watchdog concludes. 
A Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report released this month reveals that while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Air Operations (ICE Air) met its responsibilities in transporting 930,435 immigrant detainees in a three-and-a-half year timeframe, it failed to document enough data on the detainees or fill seats effectively. 
ICE Air is the agency’s “air transportation arm” and is responsible for moving and removing immigrant detainees within the U.S. and abroad. 
According to the report, it costs ICE Air $8,419 per flight hour for charter flights of this nature. The cost is the same no matter the number of passengers on board. So due to ineffective management, planning, and data capture, ICE Air missed out on available savings. 
“As a result, ICE Air operated charter flights with empty seats and could have realized cost savings of up to $41.1 million upon determining optimum flight capacity,” the report reads. “This estimate is based on the average of charter costs incurred during the scope period for the missions analyzed. Although the estimated potential cost savings will not be claimed as funds put to better use, it is an indicator of ICE Air’s potential for future cost savings.” 
The report explains that from October 1, 2010 through March 31, 2014, ICE Air said it spent about $598 million, of which $464 million went to fund charter flights. 
The IG reported that ICE Air spent about $116 million on flights that were filled below 80 percent capacity in that timeframe — including nearly $12 million on flights filled to less than 40 percent capacity.
There is something deeply disturbing about the idea that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement- or whatever the hell the INS is called these days, the damn name keeps changing- has something like $600M to play around with just to put illegal immigrants on chartered flights around the country. That is money that is taken at gunpoint from you and me, legitimate taxpayers, to fund these ridiculous boondoggles. And all so that Jane Smith- or in this case, Juanita Sanchez, I guess- can fly at our expense to Anytown USA to start up a new life.

Now, I'm here on a work visa. I'm here to work. I'm here because, thus far, I've obeyed the laws of this country, kept to myself, generally tried not to be a nuisance or a burden, and contributed to the American economy. I earned a degree from a university here; I've put in the hard yards and the long hours at my workplace; I've built a decent reputation for myself; and I've paid my (exorbitant) taxes.

I've accepted those taxes and the ridiculous impositions of this country's government at all levels as the necessary price of living in what I regard without reservation as the greatest country on Earth. I live here as a guest, and I have no right to affect this country's politics through exercise of the sovereign franchise- which is exactly how it bloody well should be for a foreigner like me.

I'm here because I obeyed the law and I paid my way. So it really sticks in my craw when I see that a government agency has taken part of my money to fund charter flights for illegal aliens.

These people invaded your country. They are here in clear and absolute violation of your laws. It's not like they weren't aware that they were breaking and entering, either- you people have a whacking great fence built along your southern border with Mexico, and in places there are armed guards who patrol that border.

Which leads me to ask: what exactly do they do with those guns of theirs? I mean, they're not armed with peashooters or slingshots, after all. What, exactly, is stopping them from doing the right thing and shooting people who invade the country? What, exactly, is the entire Department of Homeland Security and its endless series of subordinate agencies for, if not to secure the homeland?

It's getting to the point in this country where it's actually easier to enjoy the fruits of American productivity and ingenuity if you're a free-loading illegal alien than if you're here legitimately, like me. An illegal granted amnesty under President Jackass's latest brilliant scheme to destroy the American republic would get tax breaks, benefits, and- eventually- the right to vote.

I get none of those things. And I earn... well, let's say a pretty good income, working for a big company here- because big companies are becoming the only ones that can pay the very high costs of hiring expensive foreign talent to come and work here.

Forget the (perfectly legitimate) argument about whether or not bringing in foreign workers makes sense in the first place- exactly how does it make sense to subsidise the invasion of the country by illegal aliens, while penalising the hiring of small numbers of talented foreigners to come here and contribute through honest work? (I'll freely admit that the H-1B visa system is an idiotic construct in dire need of reform.)

Examples like the above remind me that, for all that he was really basically a Keynesian heretic who ultimately believed in statist solutions to private problems, Milton Friedman understood perfectly just how utterly incompetent government really is.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Feel the love

In Actonville, South African men were seen singing, armed with clubs and pieces of wood, as they called for foreign shop owners to leave
The faces of peace and brotherly love
I can't believe that anyone would have the effrontery, the audacity, the bare-faced cheek, to suggest that South Africa is anything other than a happy land of rainbows and unicorns where cats and dogs live in harmony!
Police battled to contain a wave of violence in South Africa last night as gangs of migrants armed themselves with machetes to fight off anti-foreigner attacks by locals. 
Five people have died since vigilantes started looting and attacking shops owned by immigrants, mainly from other parts of Africa. 
Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets as immigrant gangs confronted the vigilantes, and last night in parts of Johannesburg officers formed a human barrier to keep the two sides apart. 
More than 200 immigrants had to take refuge in a police station and dozens of businesses were closed when trouble spread just a day after a rally against xenophobia in Durban. 
Immigrants have complained about a lack of protection from the authorities and some have started arming themselves to fight back. 
Eyewitnesses have claimed that the vigilante violence is carefully orchestrated and that minibuses have been ferrying men armed with knives and machetes around suburbs. 
In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other migrants have been targeted, forcing more than 2,000 to flee to camps protected by armed guards. [Didact: So apparently local, native South African blacks don't like blacks from other countries coming to South Africa to live and work there? Imagine that!] 
In Johannesburg, Malawian immigrant Samuel Idrssa described how his friend was stabbed and set on fire by a mob. 
‘We wanted to rescue him but there were too many of them,’ he said. ‘It was shocking.’ 
He added: ‘We have all left our homes. Those affected are those of us who live in poor townships because we live with poor South Africans who do not have jobs.’ 
So far, five people are believed to have been killed in the violent protests which started two weeks ago in Durban, a key port on South Africa's Indian Ocean coast, spreading to Johannesburg. 
Violence flared days after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini [Didact: seriously?] said in remarks reported by local media that foreigners should 'take their bags and go'. 
In a recorded speech sent to a local broadcaster, he said: 'We must deal with our own lice' and complained about foreign-owned shops. He has since said his comments were misinterpreted. 
Addressing parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, President Zuma reiterated his condemnation of the violence, calling it a 'violation' of South Africa's values.
First, the idea that South African President Jacob Zuma is anything other than a black supremacist who has quite happily sung songs calling for the extermination of the remaining white Boer population of his country, is frankly insulting to one's intelligence. The man is no different from any other post-colonial African leader- including the Left's beloved sainted hero Nelson Mandela- in most regards; he thinks of race as a zero-sum game and considers whites to be evil incarnate.

Now, normally, what happens in Africa would not be of the slightest concern to me. I'm very much of the opinion that people who choose to follow paths leading to barbarity and savagery should be left alone to do precisely that, as long as they don't try to take the rest of us down with them. If Zimbabwe and Tanzania and South Africa and Somalia want to go from beacons of colonial progress and civilisation to HIV-riddled economic basket cases within a few short generations, that is their problem; conversely, if countries like Lesotho and Botswana do whatever they can to avoid the stupid mistakes of their neighbours and choose to build thriving, relatively stable and corruption-free economies, good for them.

The rest of us shouldn't worry ourselves over what happens in a continent that, for all appearances, was largely abandoned by civilisation and hope around the time the British left it.

The reason this particular episode is of interest to me, though, is because it holds much broader and quite important lessons for the West.

Think upon the situation there for a few moments. Black Africans from countries like Somalia, Malawi, and Ethiopia- which, it must be said, are hardly paragons of international development and good governance- have migrated, or fled, to South Africa (take your pick), to start up new lives there. Native South Africans, who are racially overwhelmingly black, are not exactly thrilled about having yet more of their black brothers and sisters coming over to settle down next to them. They are so not thrilled about it, in fact, that they have rioted against foreign immigrants repeatedly since the end of apartheid in 1994.

To a liberal or social justice type, this set of facts and events is exceedingly painful to contemplate. Concepts like "nationalities" and "cultures" make no sense to such minds, implying as they do that perhaps white Americans and Europeans are not at fault for all of the world's ills, since if different cultures engender different belief systems, different modes of thought, and different economic and political outcomes, then the entire artificial construct of multiculturalism immediately crumbles to dust.

In order to get around the severe cognitive dissonance introduced by the fact that cultures are, in fact, different, even when the skin colour of the cultures concerned is the same, liberals mutter and wail and shriek about "tolerance" and the need for "understanding". They gnash their teeth at the utterly absurd notion that, far from being a short-sighted evil reaction in need of corrective thought-control, xenophobia is in fact a survival instinct.

To the conservative mind, however, there is nothing in the slightest bit surprising about what South Africa is going through right now.

This sort of thing is entirely to be expected when large-scale immigration occurs from one culture to another. Human beings have been hard-wired through millennia to distrust and dislike outsiders in general, even if we get along splendidly with specific individuals within a group of such outsiders.

In every single culture, ever, the words for "foreigner" or "outsider" are almost always pejoratives, especially when used in the vernacular sense. The Zuni Indian word for enemy is "Apache"; the Japanese term "gaijin" literally means "outside person", but its more common translation amounts to "foreign devil"; the Cantonese word "gwailo" is slang for foreigner and basically means the same thing as its Japanese counterpart. Most civilised nations have since developed more... shall we say, genteel or at least somewhat diplomatic appellations for foreigners, but every culture of any note in human history has always regarded outsiders with suspicion and distaste.

This is why the riots in South Africa are not the least bit surprising. And they serve as a stark warning to the West.

If Western nations continue to insist on importing vast numbers of culturally dissimilar people from economically and politically inferior countries, the inevitable and absolutely guaranteed end result is open racial and ethnic war.

In the southern United States, people living near the borders that Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and California, are already taking matters into their own hands to defend their lands from Mexican invaders who cross American borders in clear and open defiance of American law.

In Britain, the English are being forced to watch as once-prosperous largely white suburbs in East and North London are transformed into enclaves of Islamic jihad, created by immigrants coming from Third World hellholes and basket cases like Pakistan.

In southern Israel, families near the border with the Gaza Strip have had to live under daily threat of rocket and missile attack, and with the very real fear of waking up one fine morning to find that their little brown brothers in the world's largest open-air concentration camp have popped out of tunnels under their very feet to take and pillage what Israelis have painstakingly spent decades building.

Even in India- one of the most racially and ethnically diverse countries anywhere on Earth- inter-community tensions are escalating because every special interest group and class with any amount of political power constantly uses its influence to pressure the central government to push "diversity-based" quotas upon the rest of the populace.

There is only one way that this nonsense will end: through open, genocidal war.

I do not claim to want this- only a lunatic would want to see millions slaughtered in an orgy of insensate violence and destruction. I claim only that it is inevitable- and I have literally thousands of years' worth of human history in support of my argument that a Utopian solution in which different races can coexist in peace and harmony is a fool's gambit.

In America's case, we already know that the Federal government has not the will, the wit, the wisdom, or the wherewithal to stop the ongoing invasion of the country's southern border and the increasing Mexification of the population. All it will take for the Southern USA to rise up in defence of its lands will be a realisation that the Federal government cannot effectively enforce the concept of the United States any longer at gunpoint. Once that happens, the forced union that resulted in the devastation of the South's culture, economy, and way of life at the end of the War Between the States will shatter... and then, all bets are off.

In Israel's case, all it will take is for the Israelis to finally get fed up of the immense price that they are currently paying, in both money and lives, to maintain the status quo. The moment that Israel decides to have done with the Palestinian problem, once and for all, they will send in their army- the finest pound-for-pound fighting force in possibly the entire world- to drive the Palestinians of Gaza into the sea, or the Egyptian desert, and the Palestinians of the West Bank across the Jordan River. And they will then take every precaution necessary to ensure that no Palestinian Arab may ever again cross into the borders of the Holy Land to wreak havoc within Israel.

And in the case of Europe, do not be surprised if, thirty years from now, we see the Second Reconquista well and truly underway.

The toll in blood and treasure will be monumental in every case. And the responsibility for all of those deaths, all of that bloodshed, can be laid squarely at the feet of the foolish and short-sighted Utopians who thought that they could engineer their way around human nature and political reality. Those fools will burn in a Hell of their very own design, but not before countless millions suffer for their stupidity in the process.

So take heed what is now happening in South Africa, and understand that- whether it be tomorrow or ten or twenty or a hundred years hence- the same thing could come to your neighbourhood.