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20 Apr 08:36

Truth and the Resurrection

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
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!

Posted by Vox Day.
17 Apr 19:32

Jesus Had Game

by CH

Jesus wept? Oh no, my friends. Jesus charmed!

Jesus, like so many leading protagonists in the great books for men, had game, and used it to mesmerize the fuck outta his audiences of admirers. There’s a direct line throughout history leading from the thorny crown to the furry hat. Jesus was mystery, and Jesus was the first Mystery.

Proof of Jesus’ mad skills with the coy doubters comes to us via this nifty list of his best follower pickups.

One of the best-described of all charismatic leaders is Jesus. About 90 face-to-face encounters with Jesus are described in the four gospels of the New Testament.

Notice what happens:

The Son of God is about to raise your buying temperature.

Jesus is sitting on the ground, teaching to a crowd in the outer courtyard of the temple at Jerusalem. The Pharisees, righteous upholders of traditional ritual and law, haul before him a woman taken in adultery. They make her stand in front of the crowd and say to Jesus: “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law commands us to stone her to death. What do you say?”

The text goes on that Jesus does not look up at them, but continues to write in the dirt with his finger. This would not be unusual; Archimedes wrote geometric figures in the dust, and in the absence of ready writing materials the ground would serve as a chalkboard. The point is that Jesus does not reply right away; he lets them stew in their uneasiness.

Jesus used tension to build attraction.

Minutes go by. One by one, the crowd starts to slip away, the older ones first– the young hotheads being the ones who do the stoning, as in the most primitive parts of the Middle East today.

Finally Jesus is left with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightens up and asks her: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She answers: “No one.” “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus says. “Go now and sin no more.” (John 8: 1-11)

Jesus is a master of timing. He does not allow people to force him into their rhythm, their definition of the situation. He perceives what they are attempting to do, the intention beyond the words. And he makes them shift their ground.

Jesus forced others into his frame.

He does not allow the encounter to focus on himself against the Pharisees. He knows they are testing him, trying to make him say something in violation of the law; or else back down in front of his followers. Instead Jesus throws it back on their own consciences, their inner reflections about the woman they are going to kill. He individualizes the crowd, making them drift off one by one, breaking up the mob mentality.

Jesus passed shit tests.

Jesus is a charismatic leader, indeed the archetype of charisma. Although sociologists tend to treat charisma as an abstraction, it is observable in everyday life. We are viewing the elements of it, in the encounters of Jesus with the people around him.

Game is applied charisma. I wonder if Jesus was a Dark Triad? Or should I say, Dark Trinity?

(1) Jesus always wins an encounter [...]

Jesus never lets anyone determine the conversational sequence. He answers questions with questions, putting the interlocutor on the defensive. An example, from early in his career of preaching around Galilee:

Jesus has been invited to dinner at the house of a Pharisee. A prostitute comes in and falls at his feet, wets his feet with her tears, kisses them and pours perfume on them. The Pharisee said to himself, “If this man is a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him– that she is a sinner.”

Jesus, reading his thoughts, said to him: “I have something to tell you.” “Tell me,” he said. Jesus proceeded to tell a story about two men who owed money, neither of whom could repay the moneylender. He forgives them both, the one who owes 500 and the one who owes 50. Jesus asked: “Which of the two will love him more?” “The one who had the bigger debt forgiven,” the Pharisee replied. “You are correct,” Jesus said. “Do you see this woman? You did not give me water for my feet, but this woman wet them with her tears and dried them with her hair… Therefore her many sins have been forgiven– as her great love has shown.”

Jesus doesn’t follow conversational threads like an attention starved beta; he breaks them and makes his own. He answers ambiguously. He puts people in the defensive crouch, where tingles are born. Jesus follows the statement-statement-question format of effective discourse control.

The priests send spies, hoping to catch Jesus in saying something so that they might hand him over to the Roman governor. So they asked: “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Jesus knowing their evil intent, said to them, “Show me the coin used to pay taxes.” When they brought it, he said, “Whose image is on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  And they were astonished by his answer, and were silent.

Jesus the charismatic alpha male was unpredictable. You expect him to say one thing; he says another. AMOGs show deference and vaginas weep on cue.

(2)  Jesus is quick and absolutely decisive

As his mission is taking off in Galilee, followers flock to hear him. Some he invites to come with him. It is a life-changing decision.

A man said to him: “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus replied: “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

It is a shocking demand. In a ritually pious society, there is nothing more important that burying your father. Jesus demands a complete break with existing social forms; those who follow them, he implies, are dead in spirit.

Chicks hate mincing betaboys. Jesus was not a mincing betaboy. Chicks dig rule breakers. Jesus was definitely a rule breaker.

The Pharisees complained, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus perceives who will make a good recruit, and who will not.

Jesus was practiced in the art of target selection.

(3) Jesus always does something unexpected [...]

Some of the disciples said indignantly to each other, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus said. “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.  But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare me for my funeral.” (Mark 14: 1-10; Matthew 26: 6-13)

A double jolt. His disciples by now have understood the message about the selfishness of the rich and charity to the poor. But there are circumstances and momentous occasions that transcend even the great doctrine of love thy neighbour. Jesus is zen-like in his unexpectedness. There is a second jolt, and his disciples do not quite get it. Jesus knows he is going to be crucified. He has the political sense to see where the confrontation is headed; in this he is ahead of his followers, who only see his power.

When was the last time you saw an alpha male do the dull, boring thing? Never.

(4) Jesus knows what the other is intending

Jesus is an intelligent observer of the people around him.

Jesus was situationally aware.

He is highly focused on everyone’s moral and social stance, and sees it in the immediate moment. Charismatic people are generally like that; Jesus does it to a superlative degree.

Jesus lived in the moment. Jesus did not suffer “paralysis by analysis”.

Jesus’ perceptiveness helps explain why he dominates his encounters. He surprises interlocutors by unexpectedly jumping from their words, not to what conventionally follows verbally, but instead speaking to what they are really about, skipping the intermediate stages.

Jesus knew how to “elicit values”, and build deep connections with people.

(5) Jesus is master of the crowd [...]

Crowds are a major source of Jesus’ power. There is a constant refrain: “The crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” His enemies the high priests are afraid of what his crowd of followers will do if they attack Jesus.

Jesus was socially proofed.

[His disciples] are the privileged in-group, and they know it. Jesus admonishes them from time to time about their pride; but he needs them, too. It is another reason why living with Jesus is bracing. There is an additional circuit of charismatic energy in the inner circle.

Push-pull game.

Jesus can still arouse this crowd, but he cannot silence it. He does not back off, but becomes increasingly explicit. The metaphors he does use are not effective. His sheep that he refers to means his own crowd of loyal followers, and Jesus declares he has given them eternal life– but not to this hostile crowd of unbelievers. Words no longer convince; the sides declaim stridently against each other. The eloquent phrases of earlier preaching have fallen into cacophony. Nevertheless Jesus still escapes violence. The crowd is never strong enough to dominate him. Only the organized authorities can take him, and that he does not evade.

Alpha males can be taken down by a state-sanctioned beta male show of force.

(6) Jesus’ down moments

Even an alpha male occasionally gets cockblocked.

Leaving aside the miracle itself and its symbolism, one thing we see in this episode is Jesus conflicted between his mission– to demonstrate the power of resurrection– and his personal feelings for Lazarus and his sisters. Jesus let Lazarus die, by staying away during his sickness, in order to make this demonstration, but in doing so he caused grief to those he loved. The moment when he confronts their pain (amplified by the weeping of the crowd), Jesus himself weeps. It is the only time in the texts when he weeps. It is a glimpse of himself as a human being, as well as a man on a mission.

Vulnerability game.

Finally Jesus is taken before Pilate, the Roman governor. Jesus gives his usual sharp replies, and indeed wins him over. “Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asks.

King of the Poon, amirite?

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asks in return, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a player? Only if you want me to be.”

In the crises, Jesus’ interactional style remains much the same as always; but the speaking in parables and figurative language has given way to blunt explanations. Parables are for audiences who want to understand. Facing open adversaries, Jesus turns to plain arguments.

Sometimes it’s necessary to drop the flirty banter and aloofness and draw a line in the sand that you don’t want a woman to cross.

Jesus the alpha male. Jesus the PUA (of disciples). Jesus the master of the crimson arts. Men followed him. Powerful men feared him. Prostitutes paid *him*.

Jesus is risen, indeed!


Filed under: Alpha, Game, Love
16 Apr 13:00

An appeal to reinstall Firefox

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
I was asked to reconsider my position on uninstalling Mozilla products and refusing to use them in the future:
You are probably here because you have been advised to consider reinstalling Firefox. You may, in fact, have uninstalled Firefox as a result of a recent campaign protesting either Brendan Eich’s being appointed CEO of Mozilla, or his supposedly being fired or forced by Mozilla to resign from that position as a result of a donation he made in favor of proposition 8. Brendan Eich did, in fact, resign; however, he did was not fired or forced to resign by Mozilla. Mozilla does not discriminate based on an individual’s personal political or religious beliefs. If you have been told otherwise, I encourage you to evaluate the evidence for yourself. First of all, I would like to point you to Mozilla’s official FAQ on Brendan’s resignation. I realize that some people will insist that this is just a cover story and that he was really forced to resign, in spite of whatever Mozilla may say to the contrary. So I would like to share some additional corroborating evidence. There are many inside sources who corroborate this, but the one I find particularly credible and compelling is Gervase Markham. He is in a unique position as an outspoken Christian and supporter of traditional marriage who works at Mozilla. Gerv has stated that he has it from sources he trusts that Brendan did step down of his own accord and was not forced out. You can read his full statement on his blog. Finally, I want to remind you of what Mozilla, and Firefox, truly stands for.

If you are still not convinced, I’d like you to consider one more thing. Consider for a moment, the possibility that Brendan really did step down of his own accord and is not interested in coming back. What more can Mozilla possibly do that would persuade you? Is there any further evidence that would change your mind? It makes sense to treat them with a good faith presumption of truthfulness unless and until there is evidence to the contrary. Why? Because if your mind can not be changed by anything, then they may as well ignore you anyway. There are always people who cannot be swayed by reason or any amount of evidence. Since their minds can’t be changed anyway, we all might as well ignore them and focus on those who can be persuaded by reason. If you are not open to any reasonable evidence, then you make yourself irrelevant to the debate. Don’t be do that. Evaluate the evidence fairly, and when in doubt, treat others with a good faith presumption of truthfulness. Then if evidence persuades you to change your position, it will mean something.
I read this. I read Markham's piece. I have evaluated the evidence and I am fully informed concerning the relevant facts. And my answer is a staunch and resounding no. I reject Mozilla. I reject what it now stands for.

I am aware Eich stepped down of his own accord. I am aware he was not fired, that his resignation was not demanded by the Mozilla Board, and that fewer than 10 Mozilla employees publicly demanded his resignation.

I am also aware that Mozilla's executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker issued this official statement on April 3rd: "Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better."

For what is she apologizing, precisely? To whom is she apologizing?

I am aware that Mozilla claims to "support equality for all." This is a blatant lie on multiple levels. Mozilla might as reasonably proclaim that it supports unicorns for all or a chicken in every pot. Mozilla clearly does not support the Constitutional right of free association or the right of free speech on the part of those harboring views it considers incompatible with its mission statement.

I am aware that "Mozilla Supports LGBT Equality". I don't and I will not support any organization that claims to do so.

I am aware that Mozilla has ignored tens of thousands of negative comments from current and former Firefox users and has refused to provide any statement in response to them. I am also aware that it responded quickly and publicly to a much smaller amount of criticism that threatened much less damage to the corporation.

A supporter of the move to ostracize and oust Brandon Eich declared: "I do think that any individual is free to choose to resign their own job or otherwise not conduct business with someone whom they know has taken an action that they consider unjust." I agree. That is precisely why I no longer want anything to do with Mozilla and I continue to recommend that everyone #uninstallfirefox.

Prior to the #uninstallfirefox campaign began, Mozilla Firefox represented 34 percent of the total pageviews here. That percentage is currently down to 20 percent, so based on last year's traffic, Mozilla can expect to lose at least 1,835,637 pageviews from the readers here on this site alone, in addition to the pageviews those readers generate on all other sites and whatever pageviews my household machines generate on an annual basis.

Posted by Vox Day.
16 Apr 20:00

Broken and lesser beings

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
You may think that we exaggerate the craven wretchedness of our enemies. You may think that my boundless contempt for the r/selected, Larry's muscular backhands for his craven adversaries, and John C. Wright's withering scorn for the wormtongues is fueled by either a) a sense of offense at being opposed or b) an oversensitivity to criticism.

It is not. It is fueled by our clear-eyed view of what these creatures are. It is our awareness that they are, like the soul-destroyed abhumans roaming the Night Lands, broken and lesser beings who seek to pull others down into the mire that torments them.

By way of evidence, consider their own words about themselves. Here, for example, is Damien Walter:
I was 30 and, by any measure, deeply unhappy. I’d been pushing down a lot of horrible emotions from a damaging childhood, grief from many losses, and had trapped myself in a life I didn’t fit in to from a desperate need to fit somewhere, anywhere. I had no kind of spiritual practice at all. I was a standard issue atheist, and any encounter I had with religion was edged with inherited and unexamined scorn. Consequentially, I really had no tools to process the pain I was feeling. Today, my argument with the radical atheist rhetoric of people like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett – both of whom I had read heavily at university – is that it leaves the bulk of its believers utterly amputated from their own emotional reality. It certainly had me. I was miserable, and in trying to escape from the causes of the misery I’d driven myself, repeatedly, to the borders of emotional collapse where I had, at long last, collapsed.
This is why they preach equality. This is why they preach tolerance. This is why they seek to disqualify and destroy those who stand above them, immune to the manifold terrors that haunt their empty chests. They are damaged people, broken individuals, fallen souls.

They live lives of lies and self-deceit. They lie about others; they lie about themselves:
I am by nature a non-political person. I tend to see both sides of most arguments, and there are merits and faults with any position in any political debate. Extremism is always wrong. Beyond that, who is right is mostly a matter of your tribal, partisan allegiances.
No doubt that is why he didn't link to Larry's piece he was criticizing and why David Barnett intentionally and admittedly evaded The Guardian guidelines in his hit piece aimed at me, lest I defend my position in a convincing manner.

But no matter what lies Damien and his broken kind tell, they will find no comfort whatsoever in confronting the likes of Mr. Corriea and Mr. Wright. They will find no peace through confronting me. They will find nothing but emotional collapse in this lifetime and damnation in the next as a result of their rejection of the Way, the Truth, and the Life that we do our feeble best to serve.

At least Damien has taken one step forward in abandoning the intellectually bankrupt world of the radical atheist. He knows there is something else out there. But he is still caught in the soul-sucking mire, he is still lost in lies and desperately lashing out at the likes of Larry and me in a vain attempt to find fulfillment in the approval of those he foolishly seeks to emulate.

But he will not, because there is no fulfillment to be found there. There is none to be found in telling lies, in making-believe, because even if he manages to convince others of his falsehoods, he will never be able to convince himself that they are true.

What Damien does not realize is that our strength, our being whole, does not come from within, but from without. The Earth-Current flows through us; we are empowered by the Master of the Master-Word. It is not enough for a man to reject the nonsensical teachings of the self-proclaimed wise, it is necessary to repent and to humble himself before God, after which he can stand again, washed in the sacred blood of His Son, unafraid, unbowed, and unbroken.

Posted by Vox Day.
07 Apr 12:00

Why Do Women Suddenly Want To Become Video Gamers?

by 2Wycked

“Your a fukking pussy, u probbly couldn’t beat my retarded bro wit both of his hands tyed behind his back.”

I was 13 going on 14, rummaging around in an online gaming community then known as “The Zone.” The game of choice was Age of Empires.

“Oh yeah, you wanna know why I got such a nice tan?”

“Cuz you a fag?”

“No, because I drug the bed outside last afternoon and pork-roasted your whore mother on it.”

“Fuck u, u jar of dog piss. 1v1 in Room 19.”

“It’s on, shitheap.”

Ah, the joys of newly minted adolescent boys trading cheap insults about slutty mothers and dog piss. We did, indeed, do battle and my reputation was well earned. My Spaniards ran rough-shod over his woefully unprepared Persians. He called me a “dick-sucking cocksucker” before whisking off into another game room, obviously licking his wounds after being castrated by a gay jar of canine urine.

Any place where men come to gather and congregate—especially during the tumultuous teenage years—isn’t what anybody would call a “safe space.” We form bonds—often life-long—with other males and we battle back and forth in groups. At the global level, it can take the real, important ways of war, politics, and general power conflicts. Human history has been overwhelmingly influenced by males simply because, as I shall sketch out, that women are not interested in agency or seizing power simply to exercise agency or have real power.

This dynamic is fully on display in the video game community, as men have built, nurtured and maintained the community for years. Even when called nerds, treated like losers by women, men who loved video games still played them. It can be a brutal place from a shit-talking standpoint, either you can develop a thick skin, or you find out you aren’t cut from the right cloth to handle the banter. Competition can be fierce and reputations are difficult to make and easy to destroy. It is a mirror to real life, as people will shit-talk you, talk behind your back and often times don’t act in accordance with your wishes and best interest.

girl-gamer2

However, a curious and recent development has occurred, with women demanding access to this largely male-exclusive enclave. As usual, the typical female narrative emerges: those sexist brogamers have prevented women from engaging in gaming for so long, it’s time to change! They have swept into the video game community, set up shop and are making demands. As we see elsewhere in society, men are not men until they have a woman in his life, most likely “reforming” him so he fits her image of how men should behave.

Why did women wait until now to be gamers? And, no, I don’t mean some person who plays solitaire on his laptop or “Words With Friends” on her bejeweled iPhone. The primary reason is simply that the star— the power— of the industry has passed. No, I’m not saying video games are dead or anything of that sort, what I’m saying is that women don’t want actual power but the appearance of it. They don’t want challenges, they want simple solutions fed to them by media, “9 Ways to Feel Better Right Now,” “10 Reasons It Isn’t Your Fault You Married A Cheater,” and so on. They want empowerment, which by the nature of the word, means they want power handed to them, not taken.

The power that has been drained from video games is their ability to challenge the gamer. Video games are soft these days. I remember playing the original Super Mario for NES. There were no save games. Either you got it all right in one try, or it was start over from the beginning. Nowadays? Assassin’s Creed doesn’t even have a save function, as the game only proceeds if you don’t make a mistake. At worst, you are set back at most a few minutes, not an entire two hours. Early video games had shit for graphics, now some games have no substance and all flash. Guess when women wanted to be a part of the community?

A lack of real difficulty is the primary reason that women are now increasingly becoming gamers. The power of video games has been drained; there are no more frustrated afternoons where you try to find a way to kill a Red Dragon in Baldur’s Gate or deal with a horde of zombies in Resident Evil. Now, walk-through’s are nary a second away on Google with no worries about screwing up a game in epic fashion that results in a waste of 20 hours. Modern gamers are coddled.

It must be noted that the rise in online gaming, particularly for console games, has also been instrumental in drawing women to gaming. One of the primary reasons that Tomb Raider bombed with women—aside from the intimidating cleavage of Lara Croft—is that it involved a solitary female, isolated from society, fighting beasts and monsters. No group collaboration, no mindless affirmations —-just a woman and her guns fighting murderous creatures. Women—surprise!—need story lines and relatable characters in order to enjoy video games. Simple conflict doesn’t code for women, it has to have an emotional context to be understood. The desire for power, for wealth and fame apparently doesn’t work for women, it has to have a context. Once again, why are men so “over-represented” in positions of power?

Video games are not purely about entertainment through challenging the gamer to step up his game to meet the increasing difficulty of a game as it progresses anymore. Apparently, the most recent Mass Effect had significant homosexual themes. Insertions of homosexual characters into a story is a political act meant to challenge the ”tolerance” of the gamer. By dumbing down games, it allowed not only women to find a home, but to increase video games popularity. Just like how liberals destroyed the educational system in order to “have access for all!,” video games have been reduced to a vessel for political correctness, illusions of personal accomplishment and personal fantasy – which is my final point.

the_last_of_us__left_behind-2441589-610x400

Take this article about a woman who revels in her rank narcissism and celebrates a female character who is a “complete human.” Apparently, she sprouted a ladyboner over the game Left Behind. In it, a limitless girl is girly but also methodically murders “a bunch of motherfuckers.” The author seems upset that “nobody wants to be a woman.” Well, yeah, no shit Sherlock. What man wants to be a passive-aggressive, back-stabbing person who thinks that power is gifted, not taken? Men, generally, don’t want to be women because we want to take power, not have it handed to us. However, she betrays what often hurts women when it comes to gaming and why they are flocking to it now: she wants what she perceives as powerful entities affirming her life as a woman and girl. You know, the resultant behavior of women after the death of God in a society where paternalism has shifted to the government and corporations.

She is moved to tears when Left Behind ends. Why, you might ask? Because it has affirmed her as a person, a woman who is both girly and can brutally murder people. She blurs the lines between her life and the video game in a way that betrays her damning and self-defeating narcissism: it isn’t good enough for her to kill people as a girl in a video game, but that that female character has to reflect her own life experiences. This isn’t some Xena fantasy, it has to be Xena plus taking selfies with your bestie after a falling out. I bet Andrea Dworkin is turning over in her shallow grave. She reinforces the idea that she only plays video games to act out the girl and woman she wanted to be in real life. Since she was never that woman, she has turned to video games which don’t challenge her at all, but give her an interactive movie that reinforces her fantasies:

That’s part of what makes Left Behind so special: Here, Ellie is the sun, the lightbulb that the rest of the universe rotates around. And she shines.

She never got to be the “It” girl, so she turns to a video game that neither challenges her abilities, but gives her an outlet to slake her desire for historical revisionism and naked self-possession. This is another reason that women have gotten into gaming. Playing Tomb Raider does nothing for women because a solitary female killing off wolves with a shotgun isn’t aspirational nor self-reflective. Emotional context is necessary and, as the preceding female highlights, that context is often centered out of self-delusion. The woman is moved to tears because she finally has found a game that reflects her desire to act on those who upset her (the killing aspect; she doesn’t confront people in real life) and her desire for a media outlet to value her relationships with other women (the Randi Zuckerberg problem).

1388259508_Carrie-Bradshaw

This is the psychological progression: going from emulating Carrie from Sex and the City in real life to demanding an interactive video game so she can pretend to be Carrie on her Xbox. For this to happen, however, the challenging nature of male-centered video games has to be neutered. The banter I cited above? It has to go, because questioning people’s personal identities is challenging for women, so men can kiss busting each other’s ball goodbye. Mainstream games that approach the difficulty of Paper Boy for SNES? Sorry, but that doesn’t affirm anybody’s identities nor advance diversity or equality. It must be pretty triggering for a gamer girl to not measure up in the fantasy world of video games. Who can she blame if she can’t beat a video game? White males?

What these female gamers are demanding is a “safe space” where their egos go unchallenged, undisturbed. The disruptive nature of male behavior—equally disruptive of male and female egos—leads to upset female gamers who simply want a space to be, where they get to act out what they either can’t or, most likely, don’t have the girl balls to do in real life. They demand games that are simply interactive movies, revolving around emotional relationships (what they call “complex” and “real” human relations) between people with, apparently, fantasies of killing people and blowing shit up… after taking selfies!

The roaring cacophony of political correctness that dominates modern dialogues betrays the utter emptiness of modern society. These female gamers are not happy women in any sense of the word. Their lives are so despondent and lacking in true substance that they turn to video games, not to pass the time or indulge in destroying the Packers as the Bears in Madden, but as an outlet for the lives they don’t live in real life. When men question whether a woman is a true gamer, men are hacking away at a part of their beating heart. They start with themselves then see men as not-female and he must be doing X, Y or Z because she is a woman as men are not women. They port out the typical female-as-a-victim-of-men rhetoric that reveals their true unhappiness—the inability to find love and contentment with a man.

They are not simply looking for happy relationships with women. These women are seeking approximations of happy, loving relations with men. If that is the cloying worship of a gang of online gamer betas, so be it. If that is the fantasy of an alpha male romancing a female lead in a video game then game on! Inextricably bound up in the issues of seeking the trappings of power and fantasy is the fantasy of men loving them for who they see themselves as, not who they really are. The fantasies of power easily gifted to them is part of the fantasy, but it isn’t complete without the concurrent bestowing of sexy men upon these fantasy women. Male worship is expected and positive attention from sexually attractive men is fetishized.

This movement exposes more than a few things about women. It exposes how often they see themselves as powerful and capable in their own minds, but fail to display that in real life, so they turn to media to smooth the ruffled feathers of their egos. They don’t like challenges of any sort, especially to their self-identity. They crave male approval and will go to any length to secure it, even if to devalue it once it becomes rote and expected. Women want to be gamers now simply because it is easy—easy to fantasize about their idealized self, easy to secure male approval and worship, and easy to rock the boat and demand the world revolve around them.

Read Next: 3 Ways Women Have Ruined Video Games 

07 Apr 22:39

La dolce vita

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
So I was traveling through France on the train today and saw that the forty-something woman pushing the food-and-drinks trolley was tall, slender, and looked vaguely Italian. I didn't think anything of it, but her appearance prompted the man sitting across the aisle to start asking her where she was from in French.

She must have noticed something in his accent that I didn't, because she answered in Italian. I didn't recognize the name of the town, but he obviously did. It turned out that he and the two women sitting near me were originally from the next town over in Piemonte. They discussed a few landmarks and families and so on while I sat there quietly minding my own business and editing John Wright's latest masterpiece on my tablet. They got a little exuberant at one point, prompting the woman nearest me to lean over and apologize in French, explaining that they were all essentially neighbors. From Italia.

"Si, lo so, anch'io parlo italiano," I said, which sparked considerable hilarity. The next thing I knew, I was getting quizzed about my last trip to Piemonte, the man bought a bottle of wine from the trolley lady, and was distributing plastic cups to everyone, including me. It's rather amusing. Even when you take the Italians out of Italy, the party travels with them.

Posted by Vox Day.
05 Apr 19:30

This Accidental Experiment Shows The Superiority Of Patriarchy

by Dr_Caveman

Patriarchy has been extremely successful, despite its recent vilification. Most cultures worldwide are patriarchal – to find examples of successful matriarchal societies you either have to turn to ancient history, remote outskirts of the world or feminist fiction. However, this hasn’t stopped the feminist collective from queefing out books and even a hashtag hailing the end of patriarchy in a textbook example of incestuous amplification.

What patriarchy, after its apparent downfall, will be replaced with remains to be seen. Hamsterizations aside, there is surprisingly little data available about what life would be like in a society made up of only men or only women. An enterprising social scientist might want to perform an experiment where groups of men and groups of women are left to their own devices, having to work together to survive against the elements and build a civilization from scratch. However, this scientist would have a very hard time convincing ethical review boards that the inevitable suffering of his participants would weight up against the value of the data.

Luckily, reality television is not bound by ethical constraints and once in a while, in its never ending quest for viewer ratings, reality TV accidentally performs a very interesting experiment that social scientists would never be allowed to do.

Quite a few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching the Dutch version of Survivor (Expeditie Robinson) with my feminist roommate. That particular season would have two islands, one populated by men and one populated by women. My roommate had been promoting that particular series to me and the other students in the house for weeks because it would show us, according to her, what a society run by women – free from the evils of patriarchy – would be like.

And it did. Oh it did.

Here is what happened: initially both groups were dropped on their respective islands, given some supplies to get started and left to fend for themselves. In both groups there was some initial squabbling as people tried to figure out a local hierarchy. The men pretty much did whatever they felt was necessary – there was no leader giving orders. Men who felt like hunting, foraging or fishing did so. Another guy decided he was fed up with sitting on sand and started making benches. Others built a hut that gradually grew and evolved. Another guy cooked every night. Within days a neat little civilization was thriving, each day being slightly more prosperous than the previous one.

huts

The women settled into a routine as well. The hung up a clothesline to dry their towels, then proceeded to sunbathe and squabble. Because unlike men, women were unable to do anything without consensus of the whole group. And because it was a group of at least a dozen women, consensus was never reached. During the next few episodes, the women ate all their initial supplies, got drenched by tropical storms several times, were eaten alive by sand fleas and were generally miserable. The men on the other hand, were quite content. There were disagreements of course, but they were generally resolved.

Eventually, the people running the program decided something had to change. In order to help the women out, three men would be selected to go to their island. In return, three women would take their place at the men’s island. The look on my feminist roommates face during this episode was priceless.

supplies

Initially, the three men selected for the women’s island were ecstatic, for obvious reason. But then they arrived at the island and were greeted by the women.

‘Where is your hut?’, they asked.

‘We have no hut’

‘Where are your supplies?’ they asked, dismayed

‘We ate all the rice’

labor

And so on. The three men ended up working like dogs, using all the skills developed by trial and error in their first few weeks – building a hut, fish, trying to get the women to forage. The women continued to bitch and sunbathe. The three women who were sent to the men’s island were delighted – food, shelter and plenty of male attention was freely available. They too continued to sunbathe.

And that my friends, is what patriarchy is. My former roommate, unsurprisingly, is no longer a feminist.

Now this might all be a fluke, a white raven, an exceptional case not representative of society as whole. But that particular season of Dutch Survivor is not unique. CBS broadcast several Survivor seasons in the US, where men and women started off in separate groups. In most cases (the Amazon and One World), the result was the same. The men quickly got their act together, getting access to food, fire and shelter while the women spent a lot of time and energy on petty little squabbles, eating their meager supplies, getting drenched in storms and generally being pathetic. The opposite situation, where men didn’t get their act together while women quickly built a functional micro society, has not yet been observed outside of feminist fiction, and it probably never will.

Read More: Why Patriarchy Is The Greatest Social System Ever Created

04 Apr 11:48

Delta face

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
No one who saw this picture and understands Game was even remotely surprised by the way the Mozilla debacle played out over the last week. Human socio-sexuality is visible to the naked eye; just look at the soft features, the large, teddy-bearish frame, and most important, the uncertain, ready-to-please smile.

This is the very image of a white knight, of a pedestalizer, of a man who would rather surrender than fight. It is the very image of the Delta Male

This is not to say that Brandon Eich is a bad man, an idiot, a failure, or a man to be despised. Quite to the contrary, he is a good man, a highly intelligent man, a massive success, and a man to be admired for his many good qualities. Which, therefore, make him an object lesson in how socio-sexuality is orthogonal to many of those qualities.

Eich responded to his critics in a classic Delta manner. He attempted to assuage and to reason with them. And that is why he failed. He did not snipe back passive-aggressively and appeal to the crowd like a Gamma, he did not enlist superior allies like a Beta, and he did not wreak vengeance upon his challengers like an Alpha. Given his position as Mozilla CEO, the Alpha response was the correct one, indeed, it was the only one that would have ensured his status.

But, here we see how a man's contextual socio-sexual status always gives way to the man's true rank. Given sufficient time, Eich's rank might have eventually grown to reach his contextual status, but he met with the challenge much too soon into his new position, responded inappropriately, and unsurprisingly, met with complete failure.
Alpha Game 2011
02 Apr 17:00

Italy arrests Venetian secessionists

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
ROMA - Blitz dei carabinieri del Ros contro un gruppo secessionista accusato di aver messo in atto "varie iniziative, anche violente", per ottenere l'indipendenza del Veneto, e non solo. L'accusa mossa dalla Procura di Brescia è quella di terrorismo (270 bis c.p.): 24 i provvedimenti restrittivi, 51 indagati in totale e 33 le perquisizioni ordinate dalla procura della Repubblica di Brescia e che hanno interessato il Veneto. Tra gli indagati nell'operazione anche un leader del movimento dei Forconi e un ex deputato, Franco Rocchetta, già sottosegretario di Stato agli Affari esteri tra il 1994 e il 1995.

ROME - A raid by the military police was conducted against a group of secessionists accused of having put into action "various initiatives, some of them violent" to obtain the independence the region of the Veneto. And in addition, the accusation of terrorism was made by the District Attorney of Brescia: of 51 that were investigated in total, 24 were taken into custody of and 33 were ordered to be searched.... Among those arrested in the operation included a leader of the  Sicilian-based "Pitchfork Movement" and a former member of the Chamber of Deputies, (the Italian House of Representatives), Franco Rocchetta, former undersecretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1995.
I realize that many Americans will find it difficult to credit, but secessionist movements are literally sweeping the entire range of Europe, from the Crimea in the east to Scotland in the West. It is only a matter of time before the economic contraction and increasing social turmoil lead to similar political developments in the USA, especially as the Obama administration and the Congress exhibit increasing political tone-deafness.


Posted by Vox Day.
29 Mar 08:12

A failure of leadership

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
This is what happens when you buy into the tolerance trap and permit the lavender mafia entrance into your organization:
Employees and volunteers at Mozilla - the organisation which promotes open source software such as its Firefox browser - have called for new chief executive Brendan Eich to stand down because of his donations to political campaigns to ban gay marriage.

This week Mozilla named Brendan Eich as its new chief executive, following the resignation of Gary Kovacs which was announced in April last year. Eich was previously Mozilla's chief technology officer and has a long history with the group dating back to before its formation from Netscape, having worked on the Navigator browser in the 90s and creating JavaScript in a marathon, ten-day programming session in 1995.

The controversy stems from a $1,000 donation he made in 2008 to support California's Proposition 8, which opposed gay marriage. The donation was listed in a public database with Mozilla appearing next to Eich's name as his employer. It caused controversy in the technology industry when it was uncovered in 2012.

Eich posted on his own blog to "express my sorrow at having caused pain" and promised an "active commitment to equality" at Mozilla. "I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion," he wrote.

But employees were unconvinced. Chris McAvoy, who leads Mozilla's Open Badges project, took to Twitter last night to call for the new chief executive to stand down and said that he had been "disapointed" by his promotion. 
Eich is in over his head and clearly has no idea what he is dealing with here. He committed a major blunder with that statement; it's rather like watching a gamma male shot down by a woman respond by supplicating even harder.

What he should have done is fired everyone who called upon him to resign and announced that anyone who would permit their political ideology to interfere with their work at Mozilla or Mozilla's internal affairs would be fired. That would have brought the matter to a speedy close and prevented similar outbreaks of political insubordination. Instead, he poured gasoline on the fire by showing that he is vulnerable to ideological pressure.

When confronted by a pressure group, one should never apologize and never back down. Confront every challenger outside the organization and crush every challenger inside it. People respect strength and confidence in a leader, even when they disagree with him, because at least he shows that he is decisive and is capable of providing direction. Ironically, in his inept response to the attacks on him, Eich has shown that he is unfit for leadership because he is fundamentally a follower.

What he should have said is: "Like everyone else at Mozilla, I am free to donate to any political organization or cause I choose. It is no one's business here to tell me to whom I can and cannot donate my money, in the past or in the future. I have donated another $10,000 to [some anti-homogamy outfit], fired Mr. McAvoy for cause, and I will fire any other Mozilla employee or volunteer who publicly demands that this organization to cater to his personal political or ideological beliefs instead of pursuing our corporate objectives."

Posted by Vox Day.
25 Mar 17:12

We Don't Need No Stinking Giant Fans

by Kate

Wind farms vs wildlife;

I'm a lecturer in biological and human sciences at Oxford university. I trained as a zoologist, I've worked as an environmental consultant -- conducting impact assessments on projects like the Folkestone-to-London rail link -- and I now teach ecology and conservation. Though I started out neutral on renewable energy, I've since seen the havoc wreaked on wildlife by wind power, hydro power, biofuels and tidal barrages. The environmentalists who support such projects do so for ideological reasons. What few of them have in their heads, though, is the consolation of science.

My speciality is species extinction. When I was a child, my father used to tell me about all the animals he'd seen growing up in Kent -- the grass snakes, the lime hawk moths -- and what shocked me when we went looking for them was how few there were left. Species extinction is a serious issue: around the world we're losing up to 40 a day. Yet environmentalists are urging us to adopt technologies that are hastening this process. Among the most destructive of these is wind power.

h/t Ken (Kulak)

24 Mar 11:17

College Diversity: Poor Whites Need Not Apply

by Wesley Morganston

We hear a lot about ‘diversity’ these days—especially with regard to colleges. The Center for American Progress, so influential in the Obama presidency that Time wrote after the 2008 election that “President-elect Obama has effectively contracted out the management of his own government’s formation” to its founder, has a post titled “10 Reasons We Need Diversity On College Campuses”, and the influential US News and World Report ranks colleges on diversity, implying, as always, that more is better. The Harvard Gazette trumpets the “gains from diversity”, Yale holds annual conferences on diversity, and just about every college has at least one diversity office—and sometimes more.

But what sort of diversity is this? What do they mean by it?

Thomas Espenshade, a Princeton sociologist, and Alexandria Radford decided to investigate this: they gathered data from the National Study of College Experience, a survey of over 245,000 applicants to eight highly competitive colleges. Their findings began by confirming what was already known:

To have the same chances of gaining admission as a black student with an SAT score of 1100, an Hispanic student otherwise equally matched in background characteristics would have to have a 1230, a white student a 1410, and an Asian student a 1550.

But it gets worse. Other studies found that class doesn’t matter at all:

Other studies, including a 2005 analysis of nineteen highly selective public and private universities by William Bowen, Martin Kurzweil, and Eugene Tobin, in their 2003 book, Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education, found very little if any advantage in the admissions process accorded to whites from economically or educationally disadvantaged families compared to whites from wealthier or better educated homes. Espenshade and Radford cite this study and summarize it as follows: “These researchers find that, for non-minority [i.e., white] applicants with the same SAT scores, there is no perceptible difference in admission chances between applicants from families in the bottom income quartile, applicants who would be the first in their families to attend college, and all other (non-minority) applicants from families at higher levels of socioeconomic status. When controls are added for other student and institutional characteristics, these authors find that “on an other-things-equal basis, [white] applicants from low-SES backgrounds, whether defined by family income or parental education, get essentially no break in the admissions process; they fare neither better nor worse than other [white] applicants.”

But the Espenshade-Radford study finds that lower-class Whites are actually worse off:

At the private institutions in their study whites from lower-class backgrounds incurred a huge admissions disadvantage not only in comparison to lower-class minority students, but compared to whites from middle-class and upper-middle-class backgrounds as well. The lower-class whites proved to be all-around losers. When equally matched for background factors (including SAT scores and high school GPAs), the better-off whites were more than three times as likely to be accepted as the poorest whites (.28 vs. .08 admissions probability). Having money in the family greatly improved a white applicant’s admissions chances, lack of money greatly reduced it. The opposite class trend was seen among non-whites, where the poorer the applicant the greater the probability of acceptance when all other factors are taken into account. Class-based affirmative action does exist within the three non-white ethno-racial groupings, but among the whites the groups advanced are those with money.

The key finding, though, is something that no reader of Theden should be surprised by: Whites from certain cultures are flat-out unwanted at these elite colleges.

Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student’s chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. “Being an officer or winning awards” for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, “has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions.” Excelling in these activities “is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission.”

It is already clear that there are several distinct cultures in America: Boston diversicrats just don’t talk, act, or think the same way as plumbers from Georgia or farmers from Idaho. The many White cultures in the States generally line up along the partisan divide: there are Brahmins, who vote Democrat, think it’s perfectly respectable to go to graduate school in sociology or do porn to pay for college, and generally don’t know many veterans, farmers, small-businessmen, or non-Brahmins at all, despite thinking their business—and the business of the rest of the world—is best managed by Brahmins; and then there are Vaisyas, who vote Republican, respect stable family men who go to church on Sundays a whole lot more than they do unmarried, latte-sipping activists, and tend not to like it when Brahmins barge in and start telling them how things are going to be done.

Once we have the terms to talk about these things clearly, the message of these colleges becomes clear: no Red Stater—no Vaisya—need apply. Elite colleges are sources of power and status, and the Brahmins want to keep all that to themselves.

23 Mar 21:38

Trashing: the destructive behavior of women in groups.

by sunshinemary

I read a fascinating article recently entitled Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood, which was published in Ms. Magazine in April, 1976.  The piece was written by a woman named Jo Freeman under the pseudonym “Joreen”, who was active and influential in the second wave of feminism occurring at that time.

In her essay, which I recommend reading in its entirety, she talks about her experiences in the feminist movement, with its supposedly-supportive sisterhood; women can be extremely aggressive in their power plays but they do so covertly through “trashing”.  What she writes about describes why any movement or group led by and comprised primarily of women — or men who behave like women rather than men of strength, good character and virtue who address disagreements directly rather than through covert trashing — regardless of whether its aims are good and right or bad and evil, is doomed to failure.  She writes:

It’s been a long time since I was trashed. I was one of the first in the country, perhaps the first in Chicago, to have my character, my commitment, and my very self attacked in such a way by Movement women that it left me torn in little pieces and unable to function. It took me years to recover, and even today the wounds have not entirely healed. Thus I hang around the fringes of the Movement, feeding off it because I need it, but too fearful to plunge once more into its midst. I don’t even know what I am afraid of. I keep telling myself there’s no reason why it should happen again — if I am cautious — yet in the back of my head there is a pervasive, irrational certainty that says if I stick my neck out, it will once again be a lightning rod for hostility. 

…I have been watching for years with increasing dismay as the Movement consciously destroys anyone within it who stands out in any way. I had long hoped that this self-destructive tendency would wither away with time and experience. Thus I sympathized with, supported, but did not speak out about, the many women whose talents have been lost to the Movement because their attempts to use them had been met with hostility…

What is “trashing,” this colloquial term that expresses so much, yet explains so little? It is not disagreement; it is not conflict; it is not opposition. These are perfectly ordinary phenomena which, when engaged in mutually, honestly, and not excessively, are necessary to keep an organism or organization healthy and active. Trashing is a particularly vicious form of character assassination which amounts to psychological rape. It is manipulative, dishonest, and excessive. It is occasionally disguised by the rhetoric of honest conflict, or covered up by denying that any disapproval exists at all. But it is not done to expose disagreements or resolve differences. It is done to disparage and destroy. 

The means vary. Trashing can be done privately or in a group situation; to one’s face or behind one’s back; through ostracism or open denunciation. The trasher may give you false reports of what (horrible things) others think of you; tell your friends false stories of what you think of them; interpret whatever you say or do in the most negative light; project unrealistic expectations on you so that when you fail to meet them, you become a “legitimate” target for anger; deny your perceptions of reality; or pretend you don’t exist at all. Trashing may even be thinly veiled by the newest group techniques of criticism/self-criticism, mediation, and therapy. Whatever methods are used, trashing involves a violation of one’s integrity, a declaration of one’s worthlessness, and an impugning of one’s motives. In effect, what is attacked is not one’s actions, or one’s ideas, but one’s self.

…These feelings are reinforced when you are isolated from your friends as they become convinced that their association with-you is similarly inimical to the Movement and to themselves. Any support of you will taint them. Eventually all your colleagues join in a chorus of condemnation which cannot be silenced, and you are reduced to a mere parody of your previous self.

…Over the years I have talked with many women who have been trashed. Like a cancer, the attacks spread from those who had reputations to those who were merely strong; from those who were active to those who merely had ideas; from those who stood out as individuals to those who failed to conform rapidly enough to the twists and turns of the changing line. With each new story, my conviction grew that trashing was not an individual problem brought on by individual actions; nor was it a result of political conflicts between those of differing ideas. It was a social disease.

Trashing is not only destructive to the individuals involved, but serves as a very powerful tool of social control. The qualities and styles which are attacked become examples other women learn not to follow — lest the same fate befall them. This is not a characteristic peculiar to the Women’s Movement, or even to women. The use of social pressures to induce conformity and intolerance for individuality is endemic to American society [...]

Although only a few women actually engage in trashing, the blame for allowing it to continue rests with us all. Once under attack, there is little a woman can do to defend herself because she is by definition always wrong. But there is a great deal that those who are watching can do to prevent her from being isolated and ultimately destroyed. Trashing only works well when its victims are alone, because the essence of trashing is to isolate a person and attribute a group’s problems to her. Support from others cracks this facade and deprives the trashers of their audience. It turns a rout into a struggle. Many attacks have been forestalled by the refusal of associates to let themselves be intimidated into silence out of fear that they would be next. Other attackers have been forced to clarify their complaints to the point where they can be rationally dealt with.

There is, of course, a fine line between trashing and political struggle, between character assassination and legitimate objections to undesirable behavior. Discerning the difference takes effort. Here are some pointers to follow. Trashing involves heavy use of the verb “to be” and only a light use of the verb “to do.” It is what one is and not what one does that is objected to, and these objections cannot be easily phrased in terms of specific undesirable behaviors. Trashers also tend to use nouns and adjectives of a vague and general sort to express their objections to a particular person. These terms carry a negative connotation, but don’t really tell you what’s wrong. That is left to your imagination. Those being trashed can do nothing right. Because they are bad, their motives are bad, and hence their actions are always bad. There is no making up for past mistakes, because these are perceived as symptoms and not mistakes.

The acid test, however, comes when one tries to defend a person under attack, especially when she’s not there, If such a defense is taken seriously, and some concern expressed for hearing all sides and gathering all evidence, trashing is probably not occurring. But if your defense is dismissed with an oft-hand “How can you defend her?”; if you become tainted with suspicion by attempting such a defense; if she is in fact indefensible, you should take a closer look at those making the accusations. There is more going on than simple disagreement [...]

The Movement’s emphasis on “the personal is political” has made it easier for trashing to flourish. We began by deriving some of our political ideas from our analysis of our personal lives. This legitimated for many the idea that the Movement could tell us what kind of people we ought to be, and by extension what kind of personalities we ought to have. As no boundaries were drawn to define the limits of such demands, it was difficult to preclude abuses. Many groups have sought to remold the lives and minds of their members, and some have trashed those who resisted. Trashing is also a way of acting out the competitiveness that pervades our society, but in a manner that reflects the feelings of incompetence that trashers exhibit. Instead of trying to prove one is better than anyone else, one proves someone else is worse. This can provide the same sense of superiority that traditional competition does, but without the risks involved. At best the object of one’s ire is put to public shame, at worst one’s own position is safe within the shrouds of righteous indignation, Frankly, if we are going to have competition in the Movement, I prefer the old-fashioned kind. Such competitiveness has its costs, but there are also some collective benefits from the achievements the competitors make while trying to outdo each other. With trashing there are no beneficiaries. Ultimately everyone loses.

To support women charged with subverting the Movement or undermining their group takes courage, as it requires us to stick our necks out. But the collective cost of allowing trashing to go on as long and as extensively as we have is enormous. We have already lost some of the most creative minds and dedicated activists in the Movement. More importantly, we have discouraged many feminists from stepping out, out of fear that they, too, would be trashed. We have not provided a supportive environment for everyone to develop their individual potential, or in which to gather strength for the battles with the sexist institutions we must meet each day. A Movement that once burst with energy, enthusiasm, and creativity has become bogged down in basic survival — survival from each other. Isn’t it time we stopped looking for enemies within and began to attack the real enemy without? 

What she describes is not unusual behavior within groups of women.  Men generally do not behave this way in groups, except when the group is led by cowardly, unusually self-centered, or feminine men; cowardly men will engage in trashing behavior because they lack the masculine virtue of direct confrontation and will instead engage in innuendo, rumor-spreading, and misrepresentation to discredit those who disagree with them.  Women, however, nearly always exhibit these group dynamics when left to their own devices.  It takes guidance and good leadership from men to keep groups of women from engaging in this sort of trashing behavior; when women eschew men’s leadership and refuse to submit to their guidance, their natural destructive tendencies rise to the surface very quickly.

20 Mar 19:39

Progressive Discourse: A Sports Analogy

by Brooks Bayne

That contemporary progressive discourse exists to pathologize normalcy is a major premise for me. This is an accurate description of the purpose of contemporary progressive discourse because its terms and concepts were developed as part of a sustained critique of Western civilization as embodied by 20th century Europe and America—which were bourgeois, Christian, and—let’s be honest—pretty normal. They were basically vanilla. You could even say they were whitebread. Capable of producing citizens who maintained presentable front lawns and dispensed of trash in the appropriate receptacles, who distrusted drugs and drinking to excess, who preferred one single heterosexual marriage per lifetime, who paid taxes and raised well-socialized children and committed all sorts of similar crimes of intolerable blandness. Someone had to stop them. From the Authoritarian Personality on down, therefore, the cultural Left began to elaborate increasingly subtle and sophisticated vocabularies for taking these perfectly sane and sanguine attitudes and rendering them isms or phobias.

But my point here isn’t diagnosis; here I just want to draw upon my own deep reserves of male privilege and make a sports analogy that illustrates the abovementioned major premise. I want to show how the term ‘privilege’ doesn’t do much other than vilify people for maintaining standards and recruiting accordingly. And judging by the touchy-feely, Oprah 2.0 shitshow that ESPN has devolved into, sports are the new social justice frontier anyway. So let’s damn the trigger warnings and talk about American football.

Privilege, broadly speaking, is the advantages one enjoys in life based on ‘accidents of birth’, i.e. qualities that you’re either born with or without. The quintessential privilege is ‘White privilege’ (see above etiology of contemporary progressivism), which points out that White people are more likely than their Black, Mexican, etc. counterparts to run lucrative companies, to hold political offices, to achieve all sorts of public triumphs. The argument goes that they experience these outcomes because the system is set up in their favor and thus the fair thing to do would be to dismantle that system in order to let Blacks and browns participate in greater numbers. There are other sorts of privileges, too: male privilege, thin privilege, tall, neurotypical, hetero privilege, cis privilege. You name it. The Tumblr clique isn’t about to give up on a victimhood generation formula just because it’s passing the point of ‘gently used’ these days. No way! Keep em’ coming.

My point is that professional football is a hotbed of able-bodied privilege, aka ability privilege. Our society holds pro football players in extremely high regard. We lavish millions upon them, public acclaim, beautiful women (Michael Sam will coyly refuse his), advertising contracts, the works. These are significant advantages that athletes enjoy, but they’re certainly not available for everyone. And yes of course professional athletes work extremely hard (so do a lot of White, male politicians), but you’d have to be crazy to insist that the sheer capacity to grow to be six foot five inches and two hundred sixty pounds of lean muscle mass doesn’t have a genetic component. These guys won the natal lottery. They have the opportunity to compete at the highest level simply because they were born with massive physical potential. Pure unearned privilege. You’re not going to see time on the gridiron if you’re born blind, or without a limb, or with a serious musculoskeletal condition, or just plain old topping out at five feet even. Sorry, buddy. Better luck next reincarnation.

The NFL privileges able-bodied athletes just as much as the political scene privileges White dudes. Probably even more so, considering it’s not unheard of for a woman or a minority to hold office, whereas there’s nary a gimp or a little fella to found on the Astroturf. So while we’re disabling exclusionary and hegemonic systems, let’s start instituting some controls on our sports hierarchies as well. I for one dream of the day that our society will be forward-thinking enough to stand up and cheer for as a wheelchair-bound running back breaks the tackle of a Down’s-Syndrome lineman and a quadriplegic free safety for Super Bowl glory.

Now your response, of course, is that we maintain certain recruitment standards in the NFL because we want to see high quality, spectacular football—not the Special Olympics. And you’d be right. We want our professional athletes to play their game at a high level. But my response is that this defense is adequate for basically all of the situations in which the ‘check their privilege’ card is played. This perfectly normal preference for people who seem inherently suited for a position is the very normalcy that anti-’privilege’ leftists want to pathologize.

There’s a reason why Western nations have until very recently favored the employment of White males in their positions of public authority: it’s smart recruitment. We want intelligent, cooperative public servants who are capable of both identifying with the people they govern and making the tough decisions nevertheless. The boring old White male, that Gentile schmuck, with his unsophisticated old notions of honor and patriotism and objectivity and personal responsibility, is a safer bet here than his feminine counterpart or his swarthier-hued cousins. And that’s why the ‘system’ privileges them. Because the folks doing the ‘hiring’ there are doing the same sorts of scouting and recruitment calculations that happen countrywide at high-school and college football games. We’re doing our best to make smart decisions in an information-limited world. And this is where the “privilege! privilege! privilege!” accusation starts to ring hollow. This is a normal practice. Why are you so worked up about it? We need a certain type of guy in our uniform here.

Now of course this analysis is a bit of a simplification. In reality you get into spoils systems and backroom dealings and dirty politics and nepotism and all that. Granted. But the point is that in principle, from a basic Bayesian standpoint even, it makes perfect sense to prioritize the involvement of White males. And our tendency to do just that was an adaptive response that occurred during our culture’s upwards trajectory, not some heinous conspiracy initiated after the fact in order to keep the ‘Other’ excluded.

The mistake comes when you begin to conceive of politics as some inert, static quantity of ‘power and influence’ that ought to be redistributed, rather than as something much more akin to a football team, a coalition of people gathered together to win a game. Only in this case, the game is maintaining the rule of law within the state, protecting it from threats internal and external, making and executing long-term geopolitical strategies. It’s a difficult game, of course, and one that everyone loses on a long enough timeline. But it’s silly to think that you shouldn’t put your best folks on the field, whether they won the ‘genetic lottery’ of athletic ability or of tendencies towards bland, vanilla, whitebread, Saltine modes of social organization like cooperation and honesty and of thedish identification with the people they serve.

There’s no mystery here. There’s no mystery to ‘racism’; people want to see their own thrive. There’s no mystery to ‘sexism’; men and women are different. And there’s no mystery behind ‘White male privilege’ either (or any of its other variants); we prioritize the recruitment of people who are likely to excel at that activity we’re recruiting them for. You only need to start worrying when wide-eyed fanatics within your particular polity start imagining this recruitment strategy to be some sort of Satanic conspiracy against the ‘historically marginalized’ among you and attempt to reinvent the political wheel in order to rectify it.

19 Mar 11:12

The high cost of female coders

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
Read between the lines here, and then consider the consequences that hiring just one female engineer has had for a well-funded startup:
The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology.

In her initial tweets on her departure, Horvath did not provide extensive clarity on why she left the highly valued startup, or who created the conditions that led to her leaving and publicly repudiating the company.

Horvath has given TechCrunch her version of the events, a story that contains serious allegations towards GitHub, its internal policies, and its culture. The situation has greater import than a single person’s struggle: Horvath’s story is a tale of what many underrepresented groups feel and experience in the tech sector....

In short, Horvath said that she felt she was being treated differently internally simply due to her gender and not the quality of her work. She calls her colleagues’ response to her own work and the work of other female GitHub employees a “serious problem.” Despite GitHub hiring more female developers, Horvath said she struggled to feel welcome.
In other words, her colleagues didn't think well of her work, she was having an inappropriate and unprofessional relationship with at least one male colleague,  her presence caused the performance of another male colleague to go downhill, (possibly through no fault of her own), she pissed off the founder's wife, spent considerable time on a project of no possible use to the company's bottom line, spend much of her time at the office in the bathroom crying, the founder has now been "put on leave", as has one of the engineers, and the company has inadvertently become the focus of considerable media attention.

How good does a female coder have to be to make her employment worthwhile if all that is the potential cost? Do you think the founder is likely to hire more members of that "underepresented group" the next time he starts a company? Do you seriously believe that every male coder who saw what happened won't remember it in the event he goes off to start his own company? Are other women, like the founder's wives, going to be supportive of their husbands hiring women in the future?

It's fine and dandy to proclaim that men and women should be robots, but it is also a fundamental denial of observable reality. Women are, and always will be, an intrinsically disruptive force so long as men are sexually interested in them. That doesn't mean that the cost of the potential disruption may not be worth it in some cases, but it is simply dishonest to pretend that it isn't a very real and important factor that needs to be considered by every employer. And the more the employment sex police attempt to impose their equalitarian "solutions" to the "problem" on companies, the harder it will be for women to find work in technology.
Alpha Game 2011
12 Mar 12:15

The mysteries of TENS

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
Dr. James M. Tour of Rice University confesses he simply cannot grasp what everyone at Scienceblogs and the Panda's Thumb and Richarddawkins.net just knows to be true. Because science.
I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist: if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules. I understand that if I take Nature’s tool kit, it could be much easier, because all the tools are already there, and I just mix it in the proportions, and I do it under these conditions, but ab initio is very, very hard.

I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you. Is that OK, for me to say, “I don’t understand this”? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.

Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public – because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said – I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go “Uh-uh. Nope.” These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, “Do you understand this?”And if they’re afraid to say “Yes,” they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.

I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, “Let me ask you something. You’re a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?” We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, “Isn’t it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can’t go out there and talk about this?”

If you understand evolution, I am fine with that. I’m not going to try to change you – not at all. In fact, I wish I had the understanding that you have.

But about seven or eight years ago I posted on my Web site that I don’t understand. And I said, “I will buy lunch for anyone that will sit with me and explain to me evolution, and I won’t argue with you until I don’t understand something – I will ask you to clarify. But you can’t wave by and say, “This enzyme does that.” You’ve got to get down in the details of where molecules are built, for me. Nobody has come forward.

The Atheist Society contacted me. They said that they will buy the lunch, and they challenged the Atheist Society, “Go down to Houston and have lunch with this guy, and talk to him.” Nobody has come! Now remember, because I’m just going to ask, when I stop understanding what you’re talking about, I will ask. So I sincerely want to know. I would like to believe it. But I just can’t.

Now, I understand microevolution, I really do. We do this all the time in the lab. I understand this. But when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line – concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment … this is very hard to fathom.

I was in Israel not too long ago, talking with a bio-engineer, and [he was] describing to me the ear, and he was studying the different changes in the modulus of the ear, and I said, “How does this come about?” And he says, “Oh, Jim, you know, we all believe in evolution, but we have no idea how it happened.”
Smells like quality science. And before the usual science fetishists leap in to assert the obvious and declare: "yeah, well, that doesn't prove God exists," I will readily admit that it does not. But, (and here is the point), it does prove that there are very rational reasons to doubt the unevidenced assertion that "evolution is a fact".

As I have repeatedly pointed out, I am an evolution skeptic, not an evolution denier. I do not judge the truth of the belief by the behavior of the believer, although if I did, the behavior of the evolutionary true believers would be sufficient to convince me that the existence of unicorns, fairies, and leprechauns combined is considerably more likely than fish magically turning into monkeys over time due to beneficial mutations taking advantage of the multitude of changes in the water.

Posted by Vox Day.
16 Mar 10:07

War and the Austrian Business Cycle

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
David Stockman explains the oft-observed connection between economic contraction and military conflict. Astute observers will note that the cycle he describes correlates much better with my "Limits of Demand" modification of the core mechanism of the Austrian Business Cycle:
During World War I the US public debt rose from $1.5 billion to $27 billion—an eruption that would have been virtually impossible without wartime amendments which allowed the Fed to own or finance U.S. Treasury debt.  These “emergency” amendments—it’s always an emergency in wartime—enabled a fiscal scheme that was ingenious, but turned the Fed’s modus operandi upside down and paved the way for today’s monetary central planning.

As is well known, the Wilson war crusaders conducted massive nationwide campaigns to sell Liberty Bonds to the patriotic masses. What is far less understood is that Uncle Sam’s bond drives were the original case of no savings? No credit? No problem!

What happened was that every national bank in America conducted a land office business advancing loans for virtually 100 percent of the war bond purchase price—with such loans collateralized by Uncle Sam’s guarantee. Accordingly, any patriotic American with enough pulse to sign the loan papers could buy some Liberty Bonds.

And where did the commercial banks obtain the billions they loaned out to patriotic citizens to buy Liberty Bonds?  Why the Federal Reserve banks opened their discount loan windows to the now eligible collateral of war bonds.

Additionally, Washington pegged the rates on these loans below the rates on its treasury bonds, thereby providing a no-brainer arbitrage profit to bankers.

Through this backdoor maneuver, the war debt was thus massively monetized.  Washington learned that it could unplug the free market interest rate in favor of state administered prices for money, and that credit could be massively expanded without the inconvenience of higher savings out of deferred consumption.  Effectively, Washington financed Woodrow Wilson’s crusade with its newly discovered printing press—-turning the innocent “banker’s bank” legislated in 1913 into a dangerously potent new arm of the state.

It was this wartime transformation of the Fed into an activist central bank that postponed the normal post-war liquidation—-moving the world’s scheduled depression down the road to the 1930s. The Fed’s role in this startling feat is in plain sight in the history books, but its significance has been obfuscated by Keynesian and monetarist doctrinal blinders—that is, the presumption that the state must continuously manage the business cycle and macro-economy.

Having learned during the war that it could arbitrarily peg the price of money, the Fed next discovered it could manage the growth of bank reserves and thereby the expansion of credit and the activity rate of the wider macro-economy. This was accomplished through the conduct of “open market operations” under its new authority to buy and sell government bonds and bills—something which sounds innocuous by today’s lights but was actually the fatal inflection point. It transferred the process of credit creation from the free market to an agency of the state.

As it happened, the patriotic war bond buyers across the land did steadily pay-down their Liberty loans, and, in turn, the banking system liquidated its discount window borrowings—-with a $2.7 billion balance in 1920 plunging 80 percent by 1927. In classic fashion, this should have caused the banking system to shrink drastically as war debts were liquidated and war-time inflation and malinvestments were wrung out of the economy.

But big-time mission creep had already set in.  The legendary Benjamin Strong had now taken control of the system and on repeated occasions orchestrated giant open market bond buying campaigns to offset the natural liquidation of war time credit.

Accordingly, treasury bonds and bills owned by the Fed approximately doubled during the same 7-year period. Strong justified his Bernanke-like bond buying campaigns of 1924 and 1927 as helpful actions to off-set “deflation” in the domestic economy and to facilitate the return of England and Europe to convertibility under the gold standard.

But in truth the actions of Bubbles Ben 1.0 were every bit as destructive as those of Bubbles Ben 2.0.

In the first place, deflation was a good thing that was supposed to happen after a great war. Invariably, the rampant expansion of war time debt and paper money caused massive speculations and malinvestments that needed to be liquidated.

Likewise, the barrier to normalization globally was that England was unwilling to fully liquidate its vast wartime inflation of wage, prices and debts. Instead,  it had come-up with a painless way to achieve “resumption” at the age-old parity of $4.86 per pound; namely, the so-called gold exchange standard that it peddled assiduously through the League of Nations.

The short of it was that the British convinced France, Holland, Sweden and most of Europe to keep their excess holdings of sterling exchange on deposit in the London money markets, rather than convert it to gold as under the classic, pre-war gold standard.

This amounted to a large-scale loan to the faltering British economy, but when Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill did resume convertibility in April 1925 a huge problem soon emerged.  Churchill’s splendid war had so debilitated the British economy that markets did not believe its government had the resolve and financial discipline to maintain the old $4.86 parity. This, in turn, resulted in a considerable outflow of gold from the London exchange markets, putting powerful contractionary pressures on the British banking system and economy.

Real Cause of the Great Depression: Collapse of the Artificial Boom

In this setting, Bubbles Ben 1.0 stormed in with a rescue plan that will sound familiar to contemporary ears. By means of his bond buying campaigns he sought to drive-down interest rates in New York relative to London, thereby encouraging British creditors to keep their money in higher yielding sterling rather than converting their claims to gold or dollars.

The British economy was thus given an option to keep rolling-over its debts and to continue living beyond its means. For a few years these proto-Keynesian “Lords of Finance” —- principally Ben Strong of the Fed and Montague Norman of the BOE—-managed to kick the can down the road.

But after the Credit Anstalt crisis in spring 1931, when creditors of shaky banks in central Europe demanded gold, England’s precarious mountain of sterling debts came into the cross-hairs.  In short order, the money printing scheme of Bubbles Ben 1.0 designed to keep the Brits in cheap interest rates and big debts came violently unwound.

In late September a weak British government defaulted on its gold exchange standard duty to convert sterling to gold, causing the French, Dutch and other central banks to absorb massive overnight losses. The global depression then to took another lurch downward.

But central bankers tamper with free market interest rates only at their peril—-so the domestic malinvestments and deformations which flowed from the monetary machinations of Bubbles Ben 1.0 were also monumental.

Owing to the splendid tax-cuts and budgetary surpluses of Secretary Andrew Mellon, the American economy was flush with cash, and due to the gold inflows from Europe the US banking system was extraordinarily liquid. The last thing that was needed in Roaring Twenties America was the cheap interest rates—-at 3 percent and under—that resulted from Strong’s meddling in the money markets.

At length, Strong’s ultra-low interest rates did cause credit growth to explode, but it did not end-up funding new steel mills or auto assembly plants.  Instead, the Fed’s cheap debt flooded into the Wall Street call money market where it fueled that greatest margin debt driven stock market bubble the world had ever seen. By 1929, margin debt on Wall Street had soared to 12 percent of GDP or the equivalent of $2 trillion in today’s economy.

As is well known, much economic carnage resulted from the Great Crash of 1929. But what is less well understood is that the great stock market bubble also spawned a parallel boom in foreign bonds—-specie of Wall Street paper that soon proved to be the sub-prime of its day.

Indeed, Bubbles Ben 1.0 triggered a veritable cascade of speculative borrowing that soon spread to the far corners of the globe, including places like municipality of Rio de Janeiro, the Kingdom of Denmark and the free city of Danzig, among countless others.
This is an excellent addition to both military and financial history. Be sure to read the whole thing; it's close 10k words, but it is definitely worth the time and effort. This, in particular, is a key observation that underlines the falsity of the Keynesian narrative: "The Keynesians have never acknowledged the single most salient statistic about the war debt: namely, that the debt burden actually fell during the war, with the ratio of total credit market debt to GDP declining from 210 percent in 1938 to 190 percent at the 1945 peak!"

I'd noticed this myself in looking at total credit market debt, but never thought through the implications as Stockman has. One can even see it in the relevant chart posted in RGD.

Posted by Vox Day.
16 Mar 19:02

EU refuses to recognize Crimean referendum

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
The EU really does hate the will of the people, even when nearly three-quarters of the entire Crimean population supported the referendum.  Athough in fairness, they didn't recognize the Dutch and Irish referendums on the Lisbon Treaty either. So at least they are being consistent, in their inimitably anti-democratic manner:
As stated by all 28 EU Heads of State or Government on 6 March 2014, the European Union considers the holding of the referendum on the future status of the territory of Ukraine as contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law. The referendum is illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised.

The solution to the crisis in Ukraine must be based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, in the framework of the Ukrainian Constitution as well as the strict adherence to international standards. Only working together through diplomatic processes, including direct discussions between the Governments of Ukraine and Russia, can we find a solution to the crisis.

The European Union has a special responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity on the European continent and will continue pursuing these objectives using all available channels.
It's particularly rich coming from José Manuel Barroso, the unelected Head of the European Commission since 2004. Zerohedge notes that at 79% participation, the referendum is more democratically legitimate than any US presidential vote since 1900... and 93 percent of the population voted to join Russia. Apparently the Obama administration is also refusing to recognize the will of the Crimean people. Which makes sense; it has no regard for the will of the American people either.

In response to those who are claiming the vote was illegitimate on the basis of the Russian military presence, one man on Twitter noted:  "Hell I'd want a foreign army protecting me as I voted the South out of the United States, too."

Posted by Vox Day.
11 Mar 21:49

A Healthy Respect

by Keoni Galt



My favorite long-time, regular reader and commenter of this blog, Anonymous, asked me in the comments of my last post: "Have you thought about doing any posts on microwave cooking?"

Not really, but you just gave me an idea.

Instead of taking my typical approach to blogging - doing research, finding linkages to bolster my contentions, and carefully crafting an argument, I'm approaching this one from a completely different angle for once.

Yeah, a number of years ago, I did some research on how the microwave oven is bad for human health. It's been a long time, but let me see if I can recall the things I've read about microwave oven cooking, and why I decided to stop using it for anything other than heating water for non-consumptive purposes - I don't even use it for defrosting frozen foods.

Microwaves destroy nutrients and minerals in food and water, they can also emit potentially toxic radiation while cooking, they alter protein molecules and destroy any natural pro-biotic bacteria present in your food. Regularly eating microwaved food is also linked to heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, diarrhea and other digestive issues. Also, if you microwave anything with plastic wrap or Styrofoam containers, toxic compounds like bisphenol-A and other substances in the containers can leach into the food.

Here was one of the more memorable experiments I came across on teh Interwebz, from a high school kids science fair project:

Update: This pic has purportedly been debunked - I still 'aint cooking with a microwave.


If the microwave devitalizes and denatures water, imagine what it's doing to your food...but I digress. Anyone can google all this stuff for yourself and find hours of reading on the topic.

On the other hand, I have a much more compelling reason to eschew this nutrient destroying tool of convenience: texture and taste.

Here's the one mention I previously made here about microwaving food:

In all this time, I've come to realize something else when it concerns eating food. It's not just the ingredients that I'm vigilant about.


I've also become really conscious of the habitual behaviors and social rituals around food.

Where I once considered cooking a laborious and time consuming chore (hence the rationalization for eating fast food 5 or more times a week), I now take great pride in procuring fresh, pure and natural ingredients, and taking great care to cook meals with said ingredients.

I despise the culture of the microwave. 

Wrapped in plastic and nuked, destroying the texture and full flavors of the ingredients.

I loathe the mentality behind driving and eating.

Or doing anything else BUT savoring well made food at a sit down meal.

I hate eating off of paper plates, paper napkins, Styrofoam cups and bowls, and with plastic utensils. I strive to make every meal I eat, a REAL MEAL, made with real food, eaten at table with real silverware and porcelain and glass flatware, with good company to commiserate and savor the meal with. It is one of the finest pleasures in this life.

All my friends and family are aware of my aversion to the microwave. When people offer me leftovers, I tell them I'd prefer to eat it cold from the fridge than having it zapped. I used to be the sort of person that couldn't bare to eat cold left overs. I always nuked my leftovers to get the food hot. Once I quit using the microwave, I figured out that most foods actually don't taste bad at all eaten cold....but I still prefer cooked foods, served hot. Nowadays, I usually take the extra step of reheating food the old fashioned way.

And in doing so, I also discovered something else, dishes like stews, chili's and soups that have all the fat congeal at the top of the dish in the refrigerator? They typically taste better on the re-heat than when they were freshly cooked and still piping hot! Something about refrigeration and reheating makes the flavors blend better.

Of course, a lot of folks will skim all that hardened fat out and dump it before reheating their food. Ugh. That's where all the flavor and nutrition is! Why would you take the best part of the food out and throw it away?

I've hosted dinner parties in which I've cooked a big pot of beef stew two days prior, chilled it for 24 hours, than reheated it just prior to guests arriving to eat. No one ever suspected they were getting "reheated leftovers" at my dinner table, but the compliments are always forthcoming, and I'm often asked what my "secret" is.

People seem to have bought into this notion that the microwave really saves them a lot of time and effort. But if you really do a comparison, you are literally sacrificing the taste, texture and nutritional value of your food to save perhaps 5 or 10 minutes of your time, at best. 

About the best argument you could make is that you're using less dishes to reheat your food. 

Whoop-de-doo. So instead of having to wash one microwavable Tupperware dish and a fork, I end up having to wash one Tupperware dish that I had refrigerated my food in, a plate, a fork and a pot or pan.So there's perhaps an extra 5 minutes on the clean up.

The way I spend time and money on procuring ingredients and cooking the food I and my family eat, I say it's worth the extra time spent to reheat a meal and have a little bit more clean up detail.

Healthy food deserves a healthy respect. I just don't find the taste and texture that gets altered by nuking your food in the microwave a worthy trade off to save the 10 or 15 minutes longer it takes to reheat and clean-up.

Leftover dinner food that takes 3 minutes to reheat, takes about 6-8 minutes on a stove top in a cast iron skillet, and the taste and texture is retained, if not improved from conventional reheating.

A bag of microwave popcorn takes 4-5 minutes. Issues of microwaveable popcorn ingredients aside, using a covered pot and some butter and macadamia nut oil, I can pop a full bowl of popcorn in about the same 5 minutes, and season it with real salt and spices, and it tastes and smells far better, too. 

The only thing is you have to actually stand over the pot and continuously shake it to keep the popped corn from burning.

But I guess the 5 minutes you would spend over the stove is not as valuable as 5 minutes watching the tell-a-vision or updating your facebook page from your smartphone, while the microwave is nuking your teflon-lined, paper bag full of kernels, partially-hydrogenated oils and artificial butter flavors.



In the past 5 years of exploring the topic of food and nutrition on teh Interwebz, I've developed a much better relationship and respect to my food that I put into my body.

Why would I purposely go through the care and effort of raising my own chickens and feeding them custom mixed feed to have a regular supply of nutrient-dense, free-range/pastured eggs...only to zap it and destroy all those nutrients I otherwise spent all that time and effort cultivating?

Why would I go out of my way on a weekly basis to travel to the Farmer's Market in my part of the island to procure freshly harvested organic produce so that I can saute them in high quality, grass fed butter and expensive macadamia nut oils...only to destroy all the vitamins and minerals in a radio active box for the sake of saving 5 minutes of time and effort?

Or the fresh fish or grass fed beef or the bone broth stocks and soups I usually make overnight in the crockpot?

Real food, takes real time to make and real time to enjoy. It is a labor of love. To cherish these principles, I don't find it difficult at all to eschew the so called time-saving convenience the microwave provides. As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, and I don't eat or drink anything that is nuked or zapped.

I respect my body, by respecting my food.




Post Script -After seeing some comments both here and over at RedPillWomen on this post (thanks for the linkage, Stingray), I realized this post was not as clear in my "anti-microwave your food" sentiment as I thought. My bad.

Zap your food for all I care. Anonymous just asked me to do a post on microwaves, so I put my thoughts down in a stream-of-conscious style blog post (which is not how I normally write when I put together a post here.)


To clarify - I did a lot of research on the topic 5+ years ago. Based on so much conflicting reports, I cannot say for certain that microwave ovens are truly bad for human health. But I can say it is certainly bad in affecting the texture and taste of the food you cook with it, and for me, that is enough of a reason for me to not use the damn contraption.

As I said before, I've developed a passion for cooking and eating quality, wholesome and nourishing foods in the past few years, and I see the microwave as an affront to those things.


08 Mar 19:38

All your women are belong to us: why alpha males created feminism.

by sunshinemary

When discussing who created feminism, I have heard it said that it was alpha-type men, meaning men who are highly sexually attractive to women, who were really behind it, and women were just their useful foolish stooges.  Rebellion and selfishness may have been the women’s motivating forces, but they were stooges nonetheless.

Kimberly Schuld, in a 2004 FrontPage Magazine article, details how the Ford Foundation was instrumental in creating  Women’s Studies as an academic discipline:

Women’s Studies professor and feminist author Susan M. Hartmann credits the Ford Foundation with being a substantive force that created the feminist movement. In fact, Ford’s support of women’s studies and feminist causes is so extensive that it cannot be summarized in an article of this length. The subject is ripe for a full-length book. It is safe to say that without the Ford Foundation, feminism would not have been successful in gaining such a strong foothold in academia, and by extension, politics.

In 1971, a group of feminists approached Ford president McGeorge Bundy with a request to involve itself in the feminist movement the way it had in the Civil Rights movement, essentially, creating it out of whole cloth. The result of those early discussions was a full-fledged women’s project to fund the small number of existing women’s advocacy organizations, and also to create a whole new field within academia known as “women’s studies.” In 1972, Ford announced the first $1 million national fellowship program for “faculty and doctoral dissertation research on the role of women in society and Women’s Studies broadly construed.”

A 2005 article in City-Journal gave a number of examples of wealthy men making large contributions to feminist causes and organizations:

…Chairman of Insight Communications [Sidney R. Knafel (Harvard AB ’52, MBA ’54)], the nation’s ninth-largest cable company, with a market value of some $2.1 billion, Knafel has recently forked over a juicy $1.5 million to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a font of feminist grievance and left-wing posturing.

…it is of course possible that Knafel shares the institute’s belief that America still saddles its women with institutionalized sexism. But he wouldn’t say. He refused an interview about his giving…Other donors to the institute were also inaccessible, including Richard M. Cashin, Jr. (Harvard AB ’75, MBA ’80), chairman of One Equity Partners, which manages over $2 billion in investments for JPMorgan Chase & Co. Cashin gave $750,000 this year for a Radcliffe Institute fellowship.

Hugh Hefner, of course, was and is a major supporter of feminism and his Playboy Foundation donated thousands of dollars to the Ms. Foundation in the 1970s.  In the early 80s, Ms. stopped accepting money from Hefner because some of their members objected, but the Playboy Foundation, along with Playboy Magazine, were essential to the creation of sex-positive feminism, which benefits a relatively small number of men.  Hefner is straightforward about not only supporting feminism but also sexually objectifying women:

Hugh Hefner spoke to the Daily News about his new documentary, ‘Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel,’ which explores his contributions to the civil rights and feminist movements.

“The notion that Playboy turns women into sex objects is ridiculous. Women are sex objects…What I take the greatest pride in is the fact that I’ve played a significant part in the changing of our social and sexual values. Sex outside of wedlock used to not only be forbidden, it was illegal. Playboy helped change those attitudes and laws.”

For one final example of alpha men funding the creation of feminism, consider that according to the article The History of the Women’s Studies Program, published on the University of Michigan website, the Rockefeller Foundation was also a major donor to the early feminist movement via the creation of Women’s Studies departments.

One might argue that liberalism in general – and every bizarre policy that liberal men espouse from gender “equality” to gay “marriage” to every form of sexual perversion imaginable – is really being put forth by these same alpha men in order to increase their sexual access to a larger pool of females with no commensurate increase in their responsibility toward those females.  The looser the mores and the more distracted everyone is by the lack of any clearly defined authority hierarchy, the easier it is for them to establish a de facto hierarchy in which they snap up every desirable female, use them for sex, and then tell those women that they would be oppressing them if they actually took any responsibility for them as leaders, providers, or protectors.

But when it comes to alpha males espousing feminism for access to females and women being their useful foolish stooges, don’t take my word for it; real-world examples abound.  For instance:

It’s among the most patriarchal domestic arrangements you can sign up for. In polygamy, husbands are king.

But one polygamist family is insisting that it’s the exception. The Williams clan, which lives outside Salt Lake City, comprises wives Paulie, Robyn, Rosemary, Nonie, and Rhonda. There are 24 children. And, one other person … oh, right, husband Brady. He’s a construction manager and philosophy major who’s currently enrolled in a feminist theory course at a local college and who refuses to accept the title “head of the household.” He doesn’t like the sexist connotation

When asked who among them identified as a “feminist,” six hands shot up as if propelled by jack-in-the-box springs. For the wives, this brand of feminism involves sleeping with their spouse only every fifth night, consulting their husband’s other wives if they want to adopt a child, and—Rosemary puts it, fighting their own psyches to keep jealousy locked in a cage like the wild animal it is.

Brady insists that he’s about equality in his relationships. “And that can exist with more than a man and a wife. That can exist with a man and a wife and a wife and a wife and a wife and a wife.”

For the wives, this brand of feminism involves sleeping with their spouse only every fifth night and keeping jealousy locked in a cage like a wild animal.

…The Williamses teach their children that gender doesn’t determine a person’s value, that girls can be anything boys can be, and that it’s okay to be gay — or even have “multiple husbands,” Nonie noted — if that’s your jam.

“Whatever form marriage and family comes in, as long as it’s about love and commitment, that’s okay,” Brady said. “Where no one’s a victim. Where no one’s being compelled to be in it. Consenting adults who love each other should be able to express that in a family setting.”

Only, in TLC’s edit, Brady comes across as the center of everyone’s everything.                    [emphasis mine]

Notice how careful Brady is to say that he isn’t the “head of household” even though all the women clearly make him the center of their world.  This is Brady’s way of walking back his sense of responsibility for the women in his harem:

Two of the wives work outside the home and one in the construction business. The other two are taking college courses [...] The five wives take turns fixing dinners on weeknights for 30 hungry people. (source)

The women in his harem cook, clean, care for the children, attend his bed, AND work for money so that he doesn’t have to be their source of provision. Because that would no doubt be oppressive, and Brady is a feminist.

He is an alpha-male player who came to the realization that having all these wives to lead and be responsible for is such a drag, so *presto* suddenly he’s a feminist.  And since he is a feminist, it would be oppressive and patriarchal of him to consider himself responsible for his harem.  They are, according to Brady, strong-n-independent equal fish-women who don’t need him to be their man-bicycle; they just choose to be with him, attending to his bed on his schedule and submitting to him on all issues, but he doesn’t owe them any leadership or care in return for their submission and sexuality because hey, we’re all free and equal here.

And how do Brady’s women know that they are strong-n-independent, free-n-equal women who don’t need him to be the head of the home?

Why, because Brady told them they are, of course.

Ingenious.

Further reading:

Feminism turns women into maternal prostitutes and johns.

Scary reality: my response to Amanda Marcotte’s criticism of my essay.

06 Mar 01:54

How I can Tell the Job Market is in the Shitter

by dannyfrom504

i was at work a few weeks ago and i had a patient check in for X-rays. looked like he was in his early 30′s. he was in uniform- E3. now for those of you unaware E1-E3 is VERY low rank. usually the age range of your average E1-3 is 18-23. i joined when i was 20 and i was still considered a “late” boot.

the last time i met a mid 20′s-early 30′s E3 was right after 9/11. there was a large population of america that wanted some “get back” after the WTC bombing. i had a new check in to the clinic in new orleans. he was 26, i asked him what made him join and he said “after 9/11 i just felt like it was something i needed to do.” i looked at him and he sort of winced, “i know.”

no one in their late 20′s early 30′s joins the military unless it’s a final option. and with the current job market it doesn’t surprise me that i’m seeing an influx of older men/women enlisting.

but the thing is the older guys are the worst. a 27 year old guy doesn’t take to well to a 22 year old giving him/her orders. but i guess when your backs against the wall, you gotta do what you gotta do. with that said, i’m glad i’m almost done here.

i asked the kid, “what made you going the navy so late?” he replied that he needed a job. i asked him if he voted in 2012 and said he did. i asked him who he voted for and remained silent. i just laughed, “don’t be mad, you voted for unemployment.”

hope you all had a great ash wednesday. me and mom went to mass and i got my black cross, then i ran some errands and came home for some fish. no meat today and for each friday until easter. i even got to see Deacon Boo who married my mom and Terry. hadn’t seen him in years.

tomorrow i drive back to florida (boo).

stay up.


28 Feb 10:31

Willful incompetence

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
Sans Game, it is impossible for men like this British doctor to understand the firm and determined failure of women to have a realistic perspective on men, although Dr. Theodore Dalrymple makes a better stab at it than most:
My patient was intelligent but badly educated, as only products of the British educational system can be after 11 years of compulsory school attendance. She thought the Second World War took place in the 1970s and could give me not a single correct historical date. I asked her whether she thought a young and violent burglar would have proved much of a companion. She admitted that he wouldn't, but said that he was the type she liked; besides which—in slight contradiction—all boys were the same.

I warned her as graphically as I could that she was already well down the slippery slope leading to poverty and misery—that, as I knew from the experience of untold patients, she would soon have a succession of possessive, exploitative, and violent boyfriends, unless she changed her life. I told her that in the past few days, I had seen two women patients who had had their heads rammed down the lavatory, one who had had her head smashed through a window and her throat cut on the shards of glass, one who had had her arm, jaw, and skull broken, and one who had been suspended by her ankles from a tenth-floor window to the tune of, "Die, you bitch!"

"I can look after myself," said my 17-year-old.

"But men are stronger than women," I said. "When it comes to violence, they are at an advantage."

"That's a sexist thing to say," she replied.

A girl who had absorbed nothing at school had nevertheless absorbed the shibboleths of political correctness in general and of feminism in particular.

"But it's a plain, straightforward, and inescapable fact," I said.

"It's sexist," she reiterated firmly.

A stubborn refusal to face inconvenient facts, no matter how obvious, now pervades our attitude toward relations between the sexes. An ideological filter of wishful thinking strains out anything we'd prefer not to acknowledge about these eternally difficult and contested relations, with predictably disastrous results.

I meet with this refusal everywhere, even among the nursing staff of my ward. Intelligent and capable, as decent and dedicated a group of people as I know, they seem, in the matter of judging the character of men, utterly, almost willfully, incompetent.
The women's incompetence is not almost willful, it is willful. They simply don't wish to admit to the reality because doing so would inhibit their ability to "have fun" and act on the basis of their sexual desires to the extent permitted by the current strictures of the local herd to which they belong. It's not very different than the case of the young man who drinks and drives too fast. He understands intellectually that he is taking a risk, but he denies the existence of the risk in order to permit his actions to be in harmony with his emotions.

This is why one need spare no sympathy for most women who are in "abusive" relationships. They knew perfectly well what they were getting into. They knowingly chose to take the risk in order to reap the benefits of a relationship with a dangerous man rather than forgo them in choosing a relationship with a man they found less exciting. The fact that they pretend otherwise only makes them dishonest, it doesn't make them innocent victims.

For those who feel sympathy and wish to help them anyhow, it must be understood that they cannot be helped on the basis of a false paradigm. To pretend that they are not actively seeking these relationships is playing into the willful incompetence and it should not be surprising that most such efforts to help these women fail. They are bound to fail because they are based on a false model of human behavior.
Alpha Game 2011
03 Mar 14:00

The Democratic electoral strategy

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
According to Instapundit:
 The way you turn states from red to purple is to make blue states so intolerable that a lot of people flee them for red states. Then those voters stupidly vote for the same disastrous policies in their new homes.
Sadly, he's right. Because MPAI. The average idiot never learns that if you vote more power to the State because you want something, the State will use that power in multiple ways you don't want.

This is why no one should be permitted to vote in state or local elections after a relocation for at least 20 years. After all, no one made them move there.

Posted by Vox Day.
03 Mar 18:00

A prescient parable

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
I am presently reading John C. Wright's The Golden Age, and all I can say is that Publisher's Weekly's praise of him was neither unmerited nor exaggerated. This part leaped out at me in particular as an unconscious, but apt parable of what we are presently seeing in the world of SF/F:
Back when there was only the White Manorial School and the Black, Hyacinth and I combined forces to create a compromise school, taking the best from both doctrines, the artistic appeal of the Black Mansions and the intellectualism and discipline of the Whites. He provided the inspiration and logic; I provided funds and determination. The mind-swap gave us each the strengths and virtues of the other. Together, we converted the skeptics and conquered a million markets. “But then when the year and a day had passed, we both claimed my property and estates. After all, both of us remembered doing the two hundred years of hard work which had gone into earning it. To settle the quarrel, we both agreed to abide by whatever the Hortators might decide.”

“You had the College of Hortators way back then when you were young?” Helion squinted with impatient humor. “Yes. It was after the invention of fire but before that newfangled wheel contraption. I should tell you about when we domesticated the dog, put a man on the moon, and solved the universal field theorem. Should I continue? I’m trying to make a point.”

“Sorry, sir. Please continue.”

“When the Hortators declared him to be the copy, he refused to accept it. He entered a dreamscape simulation that allowed him to pretend he had won the case. He rewrote his memory, and ordered his sense-filter to edit out any contrary evidence. He continued to live as Helion Prime. He did thought-for-hire and data patterning, and was able to sell his routines out in the real world. He made enough to pay for his dreamspace rental. That worked for a while. But when self-patterning overroutines became standard, his subscriptions ran out, and he was kicked out into the real world.

“But it did not end there. If the Sophotechs had only allowed someone to erase just the sections of his memory when he thought he was me, he would have been his old self, awake, oriented and sane, in a moment or two. But the Sophotechs said it could not be done without his permission. But how could he give his permission? He would not listen to anyone who tried to tell him who he was.

“Instead, he sued me again, and accused me of stealing his life. He lost again. He could not afford enough to hire a Sophotech to give him job-seeking advice, and he could not find other work. The other Hyacinthines, Quintine and Quatrine and Sistine, gave him some charity for a while, but he just spent it again to buy false memories. Eventually, to save on money, he sold his body, and downloaded entirely into a slow-process, low-rent section of the Mentality. Of course, illusions are easier for pure minds to buy, because there is no wire-to-nerve transition.”

“Wouldn’t that also have made it easier for him to find work? Pure minds can go anywhere the mentality network reaches.”
“But he didn’t find new work. He merely created the illusion that he was working. He wrote himself false memories telling himself that he was making enough to live on.”

Helion stared at the ground for a moment, brooding. He spoke softly. “Then he sold his extra lives, one after another. All seven. A Noumenal backup takes up a lot of expensive computer time.

“Then he sold his structure models. He probably figured that he did not need an imitation of a thalamus or hypothalamus any longer, since he had no glands and no dreams, probably did not need a structure to mimic the actions of pain and pleasure centers, parasympathetic reactions, sexual responses, and so on.

“Then, to save space, he began selling memory and intelligence. Every time I came on-line to speak with him, he was stupider; he had forgotten more. But he still kept altering his simulation, making himself forget that either he or anyone else had ever been smarter than the slow-witted brute he was now.”

Phaethon asked, “Father? You still went to see him … ?”

Helion wore as stern a look as Phaethon had ever seen on his face. “Of course. He was my best friend.”

“What happened.? I assume he … Did he die?”

“It dragged on and on. Toward the end, both he and the world he had made were colorless cartoons, flat, jerky, and slow. He had been so brilliant once, so high-hearted and fine. Now he was not able even to concentrate long enough to follow a simple multistructural logic-tree when I tried to reason with him. And I tried.

“But he kept telling himself that I was the one who was hallucinating, me, not him, and the reason why he could not understand me was that his thoughts were on so much higher a plane than mine. And whom else could he ask? All the black-and-white puppets he had made around him nodded and agreed with him; he had forgotten there was an outside world.

“I was there when it happened. He became more and more intermittent, and fell below threshold levels. One moment he was a living soul, closer to me than a brother. The next, he was a recording.

“Even at the end, at the very last moment, he did not know he was about to die. He still thought that he was Helion, healthy, wealthy, well-loved Helion. All the evidences of his sense, all his memories, told him how fortunate and happy his life was. He was not hungry, not in pain. How could he know or guess he was about to die? All our attempts to tell him so were blocked by his sense-filter….”

Helion’s face was gray with grief.
Well, perhaps not so much on the grief part. But the slow and gradual degradation of their fictional worlds to "colorless cartoons, flat, jerky, and slow" could not be more on target if he'd written it for critical purposes.

The Golden Age is excellent. Not good. Not good fun. It is excellent, and perhaps even better, far from predictable.

Posted by Vox Day.
12 Feb 17:32

It’s Happening… Intelligence Gene Discovered

by CH

The Lost Ark of the human sciences, intelligence genes, has been found and opened, and the faces of Universalist Equalists are melting into a bloody pulp. Researchers have pinpointed a single gene which, in its high-functioning variant, directly contributes to higher intelligence.

Researchers have found that teenagers who had a highly functioning NPTN gene performed better in intelligence tests.

It is thought the NPTN gene indirectly affects how the brain cells communicate and may control the formation of the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the human brain, also known as ‘grey matter.’ [...]

Teens with an underperforming NPTN gene did less well in intelligence tests. [...]

They found that, on average, teenagers carrying a particular gene variant had a thinner cortex in the left cerebral hemisphere, particularly in the frontal and temporal lobes, and performed less well on tests for intellectual ability.

The walls are closing in on the lords of lies and their feels army of emotabots. Soon, very soon, they will have nowhere to hide nor any shadowed mental crevice left to dissemble. They will be faced with a stark choice: Capitulate, or self-deliver on the altar of their monstrous, deformed egos.

I foresee an end to the current Leftoid Regime playing out as one of two scenarios: Whole-hearted (and back-rationalized) embrace of eugenics and anti-dysgenic policies, or further retreat into smaller and smaller technologically and economically gated safe spaces where their hedonism can carry them gently to the eternal darkness, as a fetid tide of decivilization rises.

Will it be Gattaca or Attica? Is there a third way, less tyrannical but still wise and sensible? More importantly, is it too late to make these choices?

Addendum:
In Houellebecq’s novel The Elementary Particles, the protagonist, Michel, discovers a molecular process that launches the age of genetic engineering. Michel is loveless and sad, a numberless victim of a ruthless modern sexual market, and in the end… [SPOILER]… he walks into the ocean and disappears. He lived his personal Gattaca, and it was no savior to him. Was his death a warning of what he unleashed, or a fitting tribute to the end of humanity as we know it?


Filed under: Biomechanics is God, Current Events, Hope and Change, Ugly Truths
12 Feb 02:50

Introvert vs WAVE

by Brooke Hazelgrove
So. Lemme tell you about WAVE.

The jobsearch is drier than the middle of Australia and all I really want to do at the moment is eat chocolate and watch a Miyazaki film and it's too early in the day to do either. So, in the aim of being productive, let me elucidate to you what it was like for an antisocial introvert to work on a kids section at WAVE.

For the readers who aren't my Novocastrian friends, WAVE is a summer kids club that my church runs in January. I signed up to be part of the thing about halfway through last year.

I remember that because it was a couple weeks before my car accident, when me and the other Swift driver at church jokingly made a pact that whoever's car died first would serve as an organ donor to the other car.

Don't make jokes like that. Also, give way at intersections when you have to cross them.

I'm good at segues.

I already knew was WAVE was. It's like, the biggest event on Hunter Bible Church's calendar. We go absolutely mental with telling the gospel to Newcastle for a week. I don't think I'd been asked to do it before, but that's mostly because when someone at church walks up to me and says 'Kids ministry?' I have a habit of throwing smoke bombs and batmanning off.

Kids are weird. They weird me out, with their ability to run for ages and ages and their noses which run for about the same amount of time, and they're sticky, and I don't understand them. I don't understand most people. And yet if you put me in a situation when I have to look after kids, I go all Nee-san on the situation, because that's what I am - the oldest of four, used to picking up after my siblings and looking after them and trying to get them to help me clean the house before Mum comes home.

But I'd been asked on three separate occasions, by three different people if I wanted to do WAVE, so after some prayer I was like 'maybe this is God giving me a nudge to give it a go'. So I said yes, aware that seven months out of D-day, I would be out of my comfort zone.

Fast-forward those seven months, through the soul-grinding harlem shake that was June, past my apathy when realising that I was investing my time in something that was temporal and wouldn't have any impact past my lifetime (pretty much anything to do with this world), the existentialism and the small successes I had with cosplay, through December and holidays and two weddings, and then WAVE was there in all of its being.

I don't actually have a lot of photos.
Combination of busy and child-protection.


The group of kids I worked with, and the team I was part of worked with, were the Skittles. Four and five years old.

Prior, we'd divvied up different responsibilities in the team, so there'd be folks working on craft, and folks giving a talk about Jesus, and I got the job of being our MC or character, since that was probably actually the easiest thing for me to do.

Y'all know I make costumes. Y'all know about the cosplay, and how it's easier for me to become someone else in order to deal with problems.

We had a tent to work in with the kids, and thusly we became the Skittle Circus. I donned my tophat and waistcoat, and performed magic tricks to grab attention of the kids. Despite the fact that all but one of them were planned the day before, they seemed to go well.

Day one's trick involved hair.

But that was only part of WAVE. The whole thing was far more than merely babysitting for two and a half hours. During that time there was play and entertainment, yes, but there was also the sharing of scripture - of learning about the God-man Jesus, and specifically, about the people he interacted with and made new.

Because that was our theme for the week - that Jesus makes people new and specifically, that He can make us new.

Interacting with four and five year olds is interesting. You can impart really important knowledge to them, but at the same time, not be completely certain whether or not they understood or remembered it. But come Friday, there were kids who could remember back to the beginning of the week, kids who were asking more, and being challenged with comprehending how a relationship with the Creator of the universe works.

Which is kind of cool.

At the same time, we got to hear about how things were going with the other age groups over lunch with the rest of the folks involved in WAVE. All through different age groups, there were kids hearing the gospel, asking questions - actively wrestling with the ideas we were talking about. Which is hugely encouraging. There were kids committing their lives to Christ, and that's probably the coolest thing that happened.

So even though there wasn't earth-shattering revivals going on in our sauna of a tent, we were part of, sharing in, what was going on in other places. They shared their triumphs with us, and we shared the story of our fearless leader getting urinated on.

But like I said, that wasn't the only part of WAVE. While we were looking after five bajillion yelling kids, their mothers and fathers were hanging around in the coffee tent, being served with free barista-made coffee and equal portions of the same gospel we were sharing with the kids.

And then in the afternoon, after we'd been run flat by the kids, eaten and had enough time to nap, we reassembled and went out again, in twos and threes, knocking on the doors of Newcastle, asking if there were folks that wanted to have a breather and bring their delightful children to the kids club, and also asking people what they thought about Jesus.

This was an interesting experience. Day one was the hardest - as Nick and I walked from house to house, I remember him talking about how doorknocking is simultaneously the most encouraging and discouraging thing to do. Because you can knock on six doors and only get answers from three of them. One of those three immediately shuts the door again, one tells you that they either already go to church or you find out they have a serious bone to pick with their idea of Christianity, and once in a while, the last door opens up and you have a conversation with someone who will entertain you standing on their doorstep and talking about this Jesus man for a little.

Sometimes those conversations are really hard, because they've got something that is difficult to talk about with a complete stranger. Sometimes those conversations are frustrating, because of previous ideas and how those are supposed to fit together when you talk to a guy about Jesus and he immediately wants to know about the Exodus. And sometimes they're searching. Sometimes they're genuinely interested in this Christianity business.

And when you have a conversation with one of them, suddenly the fifteen doors you knocked on earlier which were not having a bar of it don't weigh so heavily. It's worth it. It's so worth it, to be sitting at lunch with everyone else and recapping how things went in our different sections and someone stands up and tells you about how there were kids in their section, or adults in the coffee tent, because someone knocked on their door. It's worth it to walk away from a door and realise that they've had the gospel spoken to them, perhaps for the first time.

Because I believe the gospel is worth that. That Jesus is worth that.

Now.

Let me explain you another thing.

In case you've not read anything else on my blog before, in case you've never met me or known me very well, it will help you to know what kind of person I am.

I am not an extrovert, is the best way to begin. Although I love to go to conventions full of people, and enjoy sitting in a room full of people, I am not an extrovert, in a society that reckons you need to be an extrovert to get places.

Why do you think I enjoy pretending to people who can handle the situation I'm faced with?

A good night for me would look like sitting on a couch with a bunch of close friends and us geeking out over something inconsequential but fun; getting lost in worlds of fiction; playing a pen-and-paper RPG until two in the morning.

So to say that WAVE put me out of my comfort zone is an understatement. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I could no longer see that zone. The closest I got to that zone was being a ringmaster for the five minutes a day it took to gather the kids into the tent, sit them down, and then pull scarves out of nowhere. Dressing up and pretending to be someone else.

Knocking on a complete stranger's door and greeting them with "Hi, I'm Brooke and this is Nick, and we're from Hunter Bible Church and..."

That's out of my comfort zone.

But you know what?

That week - that week of madness, of getting to bed and midnight and leaving my house at 7:20AM, of herding kids and knocking on doors - that week was totally worth it.

It was worth the stomach-churning anxiety that happened when I knocked on doors in Lambton.

It was worth the complete exhaustion that took a week to recover from.

Because in that week, I saw the gospel go out to Newcastle, and I saw seeds sown in people's lives and people come to have faith in Christ Jesus. I saw people made new. I saw my own faith grow, as I watched the change and saw confirmed in hearts and flesh that Jesus stuff was going on, and it was good.

So, even though I would be a total ball of anxiety over it, even though I would be drawn to the point of exhaustion faster than that time I thought I could make a suit of space armour in ten weeks, I would do WAVE again.

Jesus is worth it.
09 Feb 19:23

How can a girl show kindness to a young man without leading him on?

by sunshinemary

Several days ago, one of our daughters, M., told me about an experience she’d had last year in seventh grade that I had known nothing about.

There was a new boy whom we’ll call C. in her grade who had a pretty rough home life.  He was living with his grandparents and the whereabouts of his parents were unknown.  He had a learning disability and was struggling in school.  And he was very shy, socially-awkward, and had no friends.

My daughter is a tenderhearted girl and felt sorry for him when no one wanted to be his partner one day in class, so she offered to work with him.  She had to work really hard to help him because school work was a great struggle for him.  Her teacher noticed the help she was giving him and after that began regularly pairing her up with C.

Soon, at lunch time C. began to come and sit with her.  M. is a social free-agent – her core group is the good girls, the ones who do their homework and are mostly nice to everyone and, while not the popular, hot girls, they are generally liked by everyone – but because she is an athlete, she also flits around other social groups.  So she didn’t mind too much that this boy wanted to sit with her, at first.

Then he asked to have his locker switched so that he could be in the empty locker right next to hers, and then she said it got weird.  He was so happy to have finally found a friend that he wanted to talk to her all the time, walk with her in the hallway, sit right next to her in class, and sit with her at lunch, and other kids began to notice and tease her about her new boyfriend.

Remember that she was in seventh grade when this happened, so her response, while not kind, is also not surprising.  She responded to the teasing with, “Ew, no way!  He’s weird, I don’t like him! I just feel sorry for him, that’s all.”  She felt bad about what she was saying, but she also felt enormous social pressure being exerted on her and didn’t know how else to make it stop.  Naturally, her words got back to C., who came to her deeply upset, wanting to know if she really didn’t like him, if she really thought he was weird, and if they weren’t really friends.  And of course she said, “Oh, no, I think you’re a really nice person, honest I do.”  Readers, she was only 12, so what else would you expect her to say? But predictably, C. then continued to believe that she liked him just as much as he liked her and to follow her around everywhere like a lovesick puppy.

On top of all this, C. still had no friends, including male friends.  He often looked sad and sort of lost.  M. was getting fed up with his attention, but she didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and she truly felt sorry for him, so she didn’t quite know what to do.  I thought the solution she ultimately hit upon was really quite clever.  This is what she did:

She is an honor student and is friends with all the super-smart boys.  She went to one of the boys and told him what was going on and asked him, “Will you please volunteer to be C.’s partner in class?  He needs a partner and he needs help with his work, but he’s driving me  crazy because he thinks I’m his girlfriend, and I’m not!”  The boy good-naturedly agreed to be C.’s partner.

From then on,  the smart boys, out of kindness to M., went out of their way to work with C.  However, C. still had no real friends and continued to pursue M. relentlessly.  Eventually M. talked to her smart-boy friends about that, who said they’d make sure C. got the message.  And they did so, in a predictably harsh adolescent manner, by saying, “Dude, you’re acting like a creep.  She doesn’t like you that way.  You make her feel weird.  Leave her alone.”  Ouch.  But M. said that he stopped pursuing her so intensely.

And lo and behold, the smart boys got used to his presence in their group, even though he really wasn’t one of them, and soon they were allowing him to sit with them at lunch, walk with them in the halls, and work in their groups.  So M. basically ended up finding C. his own social group.  I was quite pleased with how she had handled the situation.

And lest anyone accuse the boys of White Knighting for her, let us remember that she didn’t want anything for herself from them – were she not a kind girl, she could easily have driven C. off with that special kind of cruelty that all females are capable of.  She wanted them to help C. and instinctively knew that boys – not girls – should help other boys learn the social ropes.

But one thing that I told M. at the conclusion of her story was this:

A girl cannot be a friend to a friendless boy.

That sounds harsh, but I think a girl who tries to befriend a socially-rejected boy – or a woman who befriends a man in whom she isn’t romantically-interested – out of sympathy is actually setting him up for an even crueler fate.  One of two things will happen:

1. He will latch on to her as a friend.  This is not healthy for a young man.  He cannot learn normal masculinity, which he will need to succeed in life, from a girl.  The way that boys treat one another socially may look cruel, it may even be cruel, but it communicates important information to the boy.  Girls will try to sugar-coat reality, at least to a guy’s face, but other boys are much less likely to do so.  Though I don’t think they do it on purpose, girls are the ultimate dispenser of blue pills to boys and don’t make good friends for them.

2. He will get the idea that there is a romantic interest building.  That is to be expected because the only normal kind of dyadic relationship between a male and female after adolescence hits should be a romantic one.  I don’t mean that a young man and woman can’t be friendly with one another, but it can’t be exclusive; it must be a group friendship.

M. wanted to know how a girl could be kind to such a boy – or really any boy, friendless or not – without giving the mistaken impression that she is romantically interested, and I thought about that for a long time.  And the truth is, I’m not entirely sure she can.  Any kindness she shows him is likely to be misinterpreted.  I don’t particularly like that answer.  The tenderhearted woman in me wants to encourage my daughters to be kind to all who have no one to show them kindness, but if that leads to a situation where she then has to reject him after he forms an emotional attachment to her, it almost seems worse than just to reject him right from the get-go.

One thing I know is true: there are more and more boys like C. coming down the pipe due to the rise in single motherhood.  Being raised by a single mother without a father’s guidance is just so incredibly bad for boys and leaves them broken in so many ways.  Some boys can overcome this terrible disadvantage, but many cannot, and as a result they have no idea how to interact with boys or girls.

So readers, I would be interested in what you would counsel young women and teenage girls to do when faced with one of these types of young men – or any young man, really.  How can she show him kindness without leading him on and setting him up for heartbreak?

29 Jan 21:33

The Unspoken Efficiency Loss of Keynesianism

by Captain Capitalism
As I age I find Keynesianism, and by extension, the entire field of economics, a progressively childish, idiotic, and naive discipline.  It's not difficult. It's not hard.  And only academics and ulteriorly-motivated bankers would try to make the field more complicated than it is to either bloat their egos or just outright steal money.  And so, much like I tire of criticizing childish ideologies like socialism, global warming, or religion, I also get tired of arguing the merits or drawbacks of different economic theories because, frankly, nobody really cares about economics as much as they care about defending their fiefdom from reality or truth.

But if there is one criticism I've yet to make of Keynesian economic philosophy idiocy, it's the efficiency loss.

"Efficiency loss?" you might ask.

Yes, efficiency loss.

The whole underpinning argument of Keynesianism is that the government needs to intervene when "aggregate demand" is not meeting aggregate supply.  And while Keynes advocated things that worked on the stimulus side (tax cuts), he also advocated boosting government spending with a magical "multiplier" effect.  Take money from one person (ie - rich), give it to another person (ie - poor), and that poor person will spend that money which will boost aggregate demand, as well as set forth a chain reaction of demand-fueled spending with that multiplier effect all Keynesians swoon over. 

The common response to this fallacy is that merely taking money from one individual and giving it to another does not increase aggregate demand.  You stole money from one person who now has to spend less, which would negate any demand increase caused by this wealth transfer.  Keynesians would argue that "well if we borrowed it, instead of taxed people, then everybody would spend more and this wouldn't happen!"  Wrong again, because in borrowing that money, that is less money that can be lent out and invested, once again having no effect on overall demand.

But there is an often overlooked drawback to Keynesianism, specifically giving people money in the form of welfare, wealth transfers, etc., that nobody addresses.  And that is the fact when you give somebody money for free, that is lost labor or production that should have happened.

For example for people like you and me and other real adults, if we want to get money we need to produce something of value to get it.  This could be fixing cars, producing cell phones, or doing somebody's taxes.  Whatever it is, it increases economic production, genuinely increases our standards of living, and results in a richer society.  But with Keynesianism, especially of the Obama socialist variety, millions of people get trillions of dollars in exchange for absolutely jack.  This "efficiency loss" is the true weakness or criticism of Keynesianism because you basically blew $1 trillion for nothing in exchange.  This "cycle" or "rotation" of spending WITHOUT A COMMENSURATE LEVEL OF PRODUCTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES not only results in no economic growth, but dilutes the purchasing power of the currency.

Don't believe me? 

OK, consider this.

Let's say everybody who collects a government check could not do so without first working on some kind of public works project at a pro-rated rate of the median wage to earn that check.  Working on the highways, fixing street lights, cleaning up the road, etc.  Do you have any idea how impeccably clean and mint our highway system would be?  Or instead said welfare recipients were required to work at the local GM plant (it's government motors after all) doing whatever odd and non-specialized chores the mechanics and assemblers didn't want to do.  Could you imagine how cheap GM cars would be?

The point is whether it was a public work or some kind of private company, society would benefit from requiring recipients of government checks to produce at least SOMETHING of value in exchange for the money.  Today we literally piss away about $2 trillion a year and get nothing in exchange.  Were there no such thing as welfare, production would be on the other side of that money, resulting in genuine economic growth, genuine economic production, and genuine prosperity.

Of course, I'm being foolish and naive criticizing this aspect of Keynesianism from an intellectually honest and economic standpoint.  I know it is nothing more than bribing the parasitic classes to vote for the socialists.  I know about half the population couldn't give two shits less about the future of the economy or the country.  And I know that about half the population has no moral qualms about being the parasites they are.

I'm just making the economic argument against this aspect of Keynesian economics in the vain hopes the Keynesians would have a cup of STFU, and to show just how stupid Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are when they say government checks are the best thing for the economy.
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28 Jan 17:00

The Tragedy Of Letting A Broken Woman Into Your Life

by Billy Chubbs

On July 6th 1994, twenty-six year old Troy Kell, inmate and white supremacist gang member at Utah State Prison, killed Lonnie Blackmon, a black inmate, with 67 blows from a prison shank while prison guards videotaped the attack. The deed done, Troy wiped his hands clean of the blood and walked away, proudly yelling:

“Got some white power jumpin’ off around here!”

Later, in an interview with HBO for it’s documentary Gladiator Days : Anatomy Of A Prison Murder (2002), Troy explained his reasoning behind why he killed Blackmon.

TROY

“I went into the situation that I’m gonna hafta kill the guy – I’m not gonna…jus hurt ‘em, I’m not gonna stab him two times and say ‘yeah we’re even’, you know, cause the philosophy in prison is, you know, you stab me I kill you… I just stabbed the shit outta him, you know, until he didn’t move anymore.”

“I’ve seen guys hesitate…on not thinkin’ somethin’ was serious, and it was serious, and they get themselves stabbed up. Or they get themselves fucked off…they get themselves killed.”

A brutal view on life. Yet it’s not surprising to hear from an inmate who had been imprisoned for another murder since he was eighteen. Troy’s first murder was James Kelly [real name James Thiede], a twenty-one year old Canadian man in Troy’s hometown of Las Vegas. Troy, with the assistance of Sandra Shaw (fifteen at the time) and another friend, lured Kelly into the desert and ambushed him, where Troy shot Kelly six times in the face at point blank range.

Who was Troy? Where did he come from? What was the series of events that drove him to commit two murders, both of which placed him on death row?*

One of the most startling aspects of Troy, from watching the documentary, is just how intelligent, almost proverbially All American he comes across as. Troy was not some trailer trash kid, doomed for eventual incarceration.

TROY

“I was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, little middle class family. I’m the only child.”

“I think I was probably just an ordinary kid on the block, I wasn’t any different, or anything from anyone else that I noticed.”

“My father’s into horses, and kinda a redneck background, country boy kinda thing, and we had horses and stuff.”

“I was expected…to be successful, you know, my family, you know, they’re not losers.”

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His neighbourhood was middle class, his school was middle class. Troy was thoroughly middle class. So why did he, at eighteen, kill James Kelly? For the answer to that, we have to turn to Sandra Shaw.

Sandra was three years younger then Troy. They met quite early, when they were children.

SANDY

“Troy’s been a part of our life, um, ever since I first came to Las Vegas. Um, since I was probably, like, six years old. We lived on one corner of the street and on the opposite street he lived at the other corner. And um, me and a couple of friends, two little girlfriends, were walking down the street and him and his little friends were sitting in front of their house on their bicycles and you know they were watching us googly eyed cause he’s three years older then me. So when we got all the way to the end of the street, towards the desert, you know, we turned around and said somethin’ real sassy and they chased us on their bikes and we ran and he jumped off his back and tackled me into the grass and you know it just became like a plaything. And since then he was like, ‘You’re gonna be my girlfriend’ and I was like, ‘No I don’t even like boys’.”

There was obviously some romantic tension going on between the two of them from a very young age. Though Troy and Sandy both refer to each other in a younger sister older brother dynamic, it’s clear that at least Troy felt a deep attraction to Sandy. Why shouldn’t he? After all, she was the quintessential girl next door whom eagerly spent time with him. Sandy was a cute little girl, and Troy was no slouch himself.

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SANDY

“His father was really really strict, and um, I remember one time on his birthday, we were, he was turning thirteen and I believe I was ten and I rode my bike all the way to the mall and I bought him a Nike outfit and he had to sneak out in his back yard and climb up on the brick wall for me give him his gift, because he was on restriction – he was always on restriction – just, for absolutely nothing.”

That’s an almost classical scene of romance, and one wonders how many other secret rendezvous Troy and Sandy had over the years.

In many ways Sandy herself was the counterpart of Troy – the proverbial All American girl; pretty, a cheerleader, precocious and outgoing – though her family was struggling on the line between middle and lower class (Connie Shaw appears to be a single mother). By all counts, Sandy was destined for a typical middle class life herself. Perhaps even with Troy.

SANDY

“When I was thirteen years old I was spending the night at a friend’s house and her step father went into a jealous rage and shot and killed her mother and her mother’s two friends and then killed himself. It changed my life.”

That man was Alex Egyed, a budding computer entrepreneur who may have been a well recognized name today if he hadn’t gone on a rampage and left Sandy covered in blood, huddling in a bathtub with her friend. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only incident Sandy was going to have with extreme violence.

CONNIE

“Another episode happened to her; she’s walkin’ home from school, uh, sees this guy runnin’ up behind her, girl in front of her, sees the guy shoot…the girl, in the back of the head. She’s already gone through this. Now this is two. How many times – I mean, I’m forty-eight years old, I mean, I’ve never seen anyone, in my lifetime, get shot. She’s seen two.”

These episodes left Sandy a broken girl; a girl barely on the cusp of her womanhood.

SANDY 

“I detached myself from my emotions, I didn’t have a sense of life or death, it’s all the same to me.”

Yet she was still a significant part of Troy’s life. And Troy really needed love in his life, since his own family had self destructed.

 TROY

“My parents got divorced and I kinda bounced back and forth between them. It was kinda a struggle for me for awhile but, it’s nothin’ outta the ordinary… Any other kid goes through it.”

CONNIE

“His father must have been very tough on him, very abusive, I believe, with him. And his mother was never around. I know they were separated. But I don’t think his mother came around too much, I don’t know if it was because of the father…or what, you know, but uh, I guess he looked at me, more like a mother figure you know because he’s always sent me, even till this day, sends me a bouquet of mother’s day flowers.”

Troy and Sandy were both set adrift at a young age, both from broken homes, both experiencing severe forms of trauma – albeit Troy’s were less extreme. Because of his need for love, Troy grew ever closer to Sandy while Sandy threw herself into an abyss. Like many traumatized girls, Sandy began to slip down into degeneracy and self abuse. She began to hang around shady men and casinos while barely being a fully fledged teen, and at the age of fourteen she ran into James Kelly at the Circus Circus casino.

SANDY

“I met Cotton Kelly at Circus Circus eight months prior to this actual tragedy.”

“He ran some type of, um, adult entertainment business. He wanted me to pose nude for him.”

“He had started following me and calling my house constantly, harassing my family… And as a fifteen year old child, I made a very bad decision, a very immature request and I called upon Troy to beat the man up. To have him, leave me alone.”

A normal girl with a strong family could have resolved this situation with ease. A simple, hard talk by a good father with this James Kelly character would have spared everyone a lot of tragedy. Sandy, however, had drifted far away from being a normal girl and with nothing but a weak family at her disposal she allowed this situation to escalate and continue. Perhaps she even began to be sexual with Kelly, though she does not mention the full depth of their relationship.

In the end she turned to the one man she knew she could depend on.

 TROY

“Me and a friend of mine from high school agreed to beat this guy up, because he was doin’ some things to some teenaged girls that we knew. She was a friend of mine, she was like a, a sister kind of, to me.”

“This guy, I felt, was takin’ advantage of a friend of mine, and she asked for my help… And…I…went, kinda overboard.”

Eight months. That’s how long Sandy allowed James Kelly to be a part of her life. How many nights did Sandy turn to Troy? How many nights did she cry on Troy’s shoulder, detailing the horrors that James Kelly inflicted on her – and which she allowed to be inflicted on her. How many times did Troy have to hear Connie, a powerless mother, express her grief and frustration over this older man taking advantage of her daughter? Troy loved both these women.

Troy decided to save them. He told Sandy to lure Kelly out to the desert. So one night, in 1986, Sandy did just that. She made Kelly stop the car, claiming that she needed to pee. She went out, came back, pretended to hurt her leg and when Kelly came out to help her Troy put six bullets in Kelly’s head.

TROY

“For a reason that I, uh, can’t really understand, I decided to bring a gun and shoot the man. And killed him.”

“I didn’t go to sleep that night.”

Troy Kell, eighteen, murdered a degenerate man. He did it because he loved the tragic but degenerate Sandy Shaw. Because they bragged about the murder, soon schoolmates were visiting Kelly’s body in the desert.

When asked if he thought about running Troy said; “Yeah, of course.” When asked why he didn’t, “I…I don’t know. I didn’t have anywhere to run too. I couldn’t just keep on runnin’ and runnin’.”

Troy didn’t run because everything he loved lived on the corner one street over from his house. There was nothing else in the world for him.

One of the children who visited the body in the desert told their parents, and soon the police had Troy, his accomplice and Sandy in custody. They would convict Troy.

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Surprisingly, Sandy was also tried and convicted. These were the days just before peak feminism so women weren’t the infallible angels that they are treated as today but still, after hearing about her abuse and her tragic past, the jurors sent a fifteen year old girl to jail for over twenty years.

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In order to survive in jail, Troy quickly joined up with the white supremacist gangs. Eventually this would lead to the second murderous ambush of his life. Troy and fellow gang member Eric Daniels attacked Lonnie Blackmon with Eric holding his legs and Troy stabbing Blackmon with a shank 67 times. For this second murder Troy himself is currently waiting to face death.

I reiterate once more; by all accounts Troy was a normal kid. There was nothing in his childhood that would have led anyone to believe that Troy one day would end up a murderer of two men while leading a white supremacist gang in prison. If he just had to weather a broken home, as far too many middle class children nowadays do, he may have had a chance to move on and become a man of worth; other men have suffered worse and managed to raise good families and live a good life. Unfortunately Troy had the tragic fate of loving a girl who also came from a broken home, and like most women from such situations Sandy did not have the inner strength struggle for normalcy. She gave herself to degenerates and came to Troy whenever she needed to use his love.

This is a theme all too familiar with young men today. Young men are struggling to find peace in their lives while having to deal with their broken female counterparts. Most men can’t help loving who they love, and far too many men pay too high a price for this once noble emotion. The tragedies surrounding Troy Kell and Sandy Shaw provide an extreme example of this – and in the case of Sandy her despair motivated self destruction is understandable – but the dynamic of good men who need love and the rotten women who use it is one of the great (and unnecessary) social plagues of the modern age. Perhaps it always has been, going back through every society since time immemorial.

It seems nowadays that there is an epidemic of men being destroyed because of single parent upbringings or broken women. Yet Troy was destroyed in 1986. Who knows how many potentially decent men in the past have been destroyed because of similar situations. Who knows how many more in the future we’ll have?

We know the symptoms – it’s time to cure the disease, or we can expect nothing but more and more unnecessary tragedies like Troy Kell’s to occur in the future. Do we really want to grow old and live in a society full of young men like that?

I end with a comment from the video’s youtube page,

Darrylizer1

“Troy Kell is one the one hand a despicable human being, a stone cold killer, a sociopath or near one and a racist. But he’s in some ways he’s likeable, even admirable: he’s articulate, intelligent and is absolutely honest with himself and for the most part unblinded by bullshit. I’m not saying that he should or shouldn’t be put to death. His circumstance is just a very sad waste of human potential.”

*As of this article’s publication, Troy is still awaiting his death sentence. He requested to be shot by a firing squad.

Read More: Sunday In The Park

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27 Jan 13:40

Understanding Electricity….Really.

by Guest Blogger

man with a hammerUnderstanding Electricity….Really.     By  Dave Bailie www.survivalpuck.com

When it comes to survival, a person with a solid working knowledge of electricity can be a very valuable asset. You might be a bit rusty, here is a little refresher.

Even though electricity plays a huge role in so much of our lives, the average person has little understanding of it. You flip the switch the light comes on, what’s to understand?  Other than seeing a spark or a lightning bolt, electricity is invisible, we can’t handle it we can’t hold it in a bottle. We are left with only describing its effects which does make it hard to wrap your head around.

Electricity is just the movement of electrons no more no less. All materials are made of molecules and all molecules are made of atoms. All atoms have electrons orbiting around the center of the atom. When an electron from one atom makes the jump to another atom this is electricity, just electrons moving from one atom to another.

Electricity is pretty easy to understand if we relate it to something we are all familiar with and that’s water. I’m going to use a pump and a hose as an illustration.

Let’s think about a water pump. Pumps have two common ratings, the pressure they can supply the water at in pounds per square inch (PSI) and how many gallons of water they can pump in one minute or gallons per minute (GPM).

Then we’ve got the hose, there are two things to consider, the hose diameter and how long it is.

So let’s say you have a pump that puts out 12 psi of pressure and can pump up to 30 gallons per minute of volume. This pump is hooked up to a 100 foot length of half inch diameter hose. When the pump is running we get 8 gallons per minute of water coming out of the hose. Now how can we change the amount of water coming out of the hose?

One way is to increase the pressure coming out of the pump. If we double the pressure to 24 psi we will get 20 gallons per minute. We have doubled the force pushing the water down the hose so we get twice as much thru that hose. If we cut the pressure in half to 6 psi we will get half the volume or 5 GPM.

Another way is to change the flow is to change the hose diameter, if we go to say a one inch diameter hose this larger hose will have less resistance to the water and we might go from 8 gallons per minute to 12 gallons per minute. If we keep going up in hose size we will hit a point where the pump is putting out its full 30 GPM capacity. At this point we can’t get any more out of the pump and making the hose bigger doesn’t help. Now if we decrease the hose size down to one quarter inch this might knock the flow down to 4 GPM because it’s harder for the pump to push the water thru this small hose.

The last way to change the flow is to change the length of the hose, a shorter hose has less resistance and will flow more GPM then a longer hose. Stick 500 or 600 feet of hose on our pump and the flow might be down to a trickle. In this case almost the pumps pressure got used up trying to push water down this long hose.

All of this is pretty straight forward and easy to understand right? If this example makes sense to you then you already understand how the three basic units of electricity work together. These three basic units are Volts, Amps and Ohms.  As you might have guessed electricity behaves much the same as water.  Volts are just how we measure that electrical pressure, except this pressure pushes electrons instead of water. Like the PSI output of the pump right?  12 psi= 12 volts got it?

Ohms is how you count resistance to flow, a small diameter hose has higher resistance than a larger diameter hose. Small hose =high ohms and a large hose= Low ohms, less ohms= less resistance= more flow.

Amps are just the volume of electrons that are passing over a certain amount of time just like gallons per minute. One amp is an actual number of electrons flowing past one point on a wire in one second. If I recall the number of electrons in one amp was a number with something like 67 zeroes behind it.  I just know it’s a big big number.

Here are some examples to tie these together. Our bodies have pretty high electrical resistance that’s why they don’t make electric wire out of meat. So we can grab hold of both the positive and negative posts on a 12 volt battery and not be shocked. 12 volts is pretty low electrical pressure and our bodies have a lot of resistance to electrical flow or ohms, just like a very small diameter hose. So even though a tiny bit of electricity measured in amps is flowing up one arm and down the other it’s not enough for us to feel it or do any damage. Now if we tried this with a 120 volt battery the electrical pressure would be ten times higher.  This higher voltage is pushing those electrons up one arm and down the other with ten times more force so there is ten times more flow or amps. You will be shocked for sure.  Generally its somewhere around 48 volts that starts to present a shock hazard. You could call our bodies semi-conductors we don’t flow electrons too well.

Metals like to flow electrons so we call them conductors. Some metals have lower resistance than others which makes them better to use as wire. Gold is best, followed by silver and then copper. Aluminum is good steel is fair.

If you take a piece of wire and lay it across the + and – on a 12 volt auto battery (dead short) it will quickly turn white hot and melt.  Wire is a good conductor but not a perfect conductor. The imperfect part that creates resistance turns some of the energy into heat within the wire. It takes a lot of amps flowing to cause this kind of heat. As long as the battery can continue to supply enough amps the wire is going to melt. If you tried the same experiment with a small 12 volt battery say AA sized, you might just get a little spark and I’d be surprised if the wire got hot at all. The little battery will do its best to feed amps through the wire. But it’s too small for the job and cant pump out electrons fast enough to keep the voltage up and it drops rapidly along with the amps. Remember this: it is high amps that cause things to smoke. High amps can be caused by high voltage but more often it’s due to low resistance, some manner of short giving the electricity an easy flowing path.

The big battery can supply much more power than the small battery. Notice this is the first time I’ve used the word power. Power is the bottom line; it takes power makes things happen. Sometimes you just need a little for LED headlamp and some time you need a lot to start an engine. Engine power is measured in horse power. To figure horse power (HP) you need to know two things, how fast its spinning (RPM) and with how much torque or twisting force the engine can maintain while keeping up the spin speed. Electrical power is measured in Watts. Just like horse power you need two things to figure out Watts, they are Volts and Amps.  Volts x Amps= Watts simple as that. 746 watts equals 1 horse power.

Consider the 1200 Watt blow dryer you may have in your bathroom. Hard to believe but that blow dryer takes nearly 2 horse power to operate. That’s close to the horse power found on some lawn mowers. It’s kind of incredible that all that power can travel thru the power cord. Let’s do the math; I know the voltage at the plug is 120 Volts so if I divide 1200 watts by 120 volts I find out that we are flowing 10 amps, well within the safe range for the size of the power cord. Now I decide to build a blow dryer to run on 12 volts but still put out 1200 watts of power. If a do the math knowing I only have 12 volts to work with it tells me I need a whopping 100 amps. At this flow of amps your standard size RV battery might run this blow dryer maybe 20 minutes until it was dead. This would require wires about as big around as a pencil to carry that many amps. Not too handy in the bathroom, luckily I checked the math before I started. The original cord would have smoked at 100 amps. As you can see it’s much more practical to get higher power using high voltage rather than higher amps or as more commonly called current.

Notice this is the first time I’ve mentioned current and I did this for a reason. You may have learned that current will travel from positive to negative thru a wire. This is called conventional theory and it’s wrong. Electrons flow from negative to positive. Nothing flows from positive to negative. How you ask can this be. I asked an instructor this question years ago. He gave me some BS explanation that the electrons were flowing one way and the gaps between the electrons were going the other way and that was current. It didn’t seem right to me so I tracked down the answer.

Its Ben Franklin’s fault, he found that rubbing wool and wax would produce a little electricity. He surmised that the electrons were traveling from the wax to the wool. He decided the wax was positively charged with extra electrons and the wool had a shortage of electrons and called it negative. It wasn’t until years later that experiments were able to prove he got it wrong and that electrons really travel from what he called negative to what he called positive. By then it was too late everyone had been using Bens rules and we still use them today. For all intents and purposes it doesn’t really matter. Amps and current are terms used interchangeably.

Hope this helps, if this foray into electricity flies I’ll do a few more and just add to what we learned today. It’s what’s between your ears that will keep you alive.

Dave Bailie is the owner of www.survivalpuck.com - compact survival kits…

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