Shared posts

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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14 Jan 13:08

Capitalism is, you know, like, wrecking the earth, man.

by EBD

Colin Grabow: If You Think Communism is Bad For People, Check Out What it Did To The Environment:

When the Berlin Wall came down and the Iron Curtain was finally lifted to expose the inner workings of communism to Western eyes, one of the more shocking discoveries was the nightmarish scale of environmental destruction. The statistics for East Germany alone tell a horrific tale: at the time of its reunification with West Germany an estimated 42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water, almost half of the country's lakes were considered dead or dying and unable to sustain fish or other forms of life, and only one-third of industrial sewage along with half of domestic sewage received treatment.

Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing.

h/t Bernie

15 Jan 15:04

Gratitude: happiness doubled by wonder.

by sunshinemary

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton

If gratitude is happiness, then given the unhappiness exhibited by most feminists, what does that tell us about the state of their hearts?

On a previous thread, I remarked:

It’s interesting to me that so far, none of the men have objected to the idea that men have obligations within marriage.

My husband addressed my comment later in the thread:

I think that part of the reason is because men don’t consider “obligations” (in marriage) to be work. We (men) perform these “obligations” out of a passionate love. We take great pride in our abilities to give our wife and children the best that we can give. We don’t think of these “obligations” as work, they are a natural response to love. To a man it would feel weird and wrong to not do these things. I WANT my family to have a roof over their heads and food on the table and I will happily give my hard labor for this. I want my family to be safe and I will HAPPILY lay down my life to defend them.

Feminist Hater added:

And this is the issue though, when I look at your family and how they connect over your father’s stroke and recovery, it shows a deep love for his life and all he has given you. That is what men want in exchange for our labour and our sacrifices. It’s not the sacrifices that make us mad, it’s the mere fact that we want our sacrifices to mean something and to made for the right people, not those that would throw our sacrifices back in our faces.

What does it look like to have your sacrifices thrown back in your face?  On an individual level, it looks like Jenny Erikson, who frivorced her husband and tore their family apart because she wasn’t haaaaappy.  Everything her husband had worked for in order to build a home and family with her…just gone for no reason.

But what does it look like on a society-wide scale to have your sacrifices thrown back in your face?  Stephanie Coontz, feminist researcher and author, gives us the perfect example in her recent New York Times piece, How Can We Help Men? By Helping Women, from which I’ve extracted the main points (emphasis mine):

This week Maria Shriver brings together a star-studded cast of celebrities, from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Beyoncé, to call attention to the economic plight of American women and demand that women’s needs be put “at the center of policy making.”

Social and economic policies constructed around the male breadwinner model have always disadvantaged women. But today they are dragging down millions of men as well. Paradoxically, putting gender equity issues at the center of social planning would now be in the interests of most men.

This was not so evident 40 or 50 years ago, when the struggle for gender equity threatened many male entitlements. In those days, men of every skill and income level had preferential access to jobs that provided security, benefits and rising wages.

Today, however… [m]illions of men face working conditions that traditionally characterized women’s lives: low wages, minimal benefits, part-time or temporary jobs, and periods of joblessness. Poverty is becoming defeminized because the working conditions of many men are becoming more feminized.

Whether they realize it or not, men now have a direct stake in policies that advance gender equity. Most of the wage gap between women and men is no longer a result of blatant male favoritism in pay and promotion. Much of it stems from general wage inequality in society at large.

Establishing a “livable wage” floor would immediately reduce the gap in average pay between American women and men. But it would also boost the wages of millions of low-income male workers, who earn a much lower percentage of the average male wage than their counterparts in other wealthy countries…

Another source of the gender pay gap is the lack of reliable, affordable child care, which forces many mothers to stay home or work part time even when they need and want full-time work.

Putting women first would mean strengthening America’s social safety net, because a higher proportion of single-mother families live in poverty here than in any other wealthy country. But a stronger safety net would help single-father families and two-parent families, too, because these families also have higher poverty rates than their counterparts in other wealthy countries.

Putting women’s traditional needs at the center of social planning is not reverse sexism. It’s the best way to reverse the increasing economic vulnerability of men and women alike.

Given the increasing insecurity of many American men, they have good reason to back feminist policies. And if those policies alienate some women in the upper echelons, then maybe feminism isn’t for every woman, and doesn’t need to be.

Given that liberal feminist policies caused no small part of those insecurities, I’m skeptical that more of the same will do anything positive for men or women.  Anonymous Reader paraphrased Ms. Coontz’s article:

MOAR! MOAR! MOAR! MOAR OF EVERYTHING I WANT!

which is really just another way of saying what Dalrock noted a few days ago:

…we have institutionalized unthankfulness as our response to gracious acts by men.

Don’t be fooled by Ms. Coontz’s reframing of these issues as male issues.  They are not.  They are entirely female issues, and they were caused by feminism.  Consider:

It’s never good enough, is it, feminists?  Women have spent forty years shrieking at men about their supposed privilege, demanding that they give us some of what they had.  And when they did, it turned out that it wasn’t a privilege they’d been carrying but a burden.  So after demanding that society be entirely rearranged, feminists now want men to rearrange it all again by enshrining into law that women should have all the “freedoms” that feminism gave us but none of the responsibilities that come with freedom.

In other words, feminists want women to have what we had before – access to provision from and protection by men - but we do not want to be under the authority of any man, so feminists agitate for policies that will redistribute all men’s income to all women equally.  This will never work in the long run; men will work themselves to the bone for their own women and children, as my husband’s comment above shows, but they aren’t going to work like that for all women.

Feminism has inculcated in women what Dalrock calls a “culture of miserliness”.  This miserliness is bad for individual families when ungrateful women destroy their marriages without cause.  This miserliness is bad for our entire society when ungrateful women blame men for women’s declining well-being even though this decline is due to policies that women demanded men enact.  It is time for women to stop tearing down their families and society with their miserliness and ingratitude.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

25 Jan 09:39

30 years of Macintosh

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
Stephen Fry commemorates the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh by lamenting one of the great mischances of history:
In one of the world’s most extraordinary missed meetings in industrial, commercial or any other kind of human history, a Henry Morton Stanley failed to encounter a Dr Livingston in the most dramatic and comical fashion.

In the early 90s a young British computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee had been tasked by CERN (Centre Européeen pour la Recherche Nucléaire the now famous large hardon collider that found the Higgs Boson or a tiny thing pretending to be it) to go in and see if he could find a way of getting the Tower of Babel of different computing platforms used by the hundreds of physicists at the plant to talk to each other. He came up with something that made use of metatextual techniques that he called The Information Mine. Being a very very modest man he realised that those initials spelled out his name, TIM, so he changed it at the last minute to the World Wide Web. He wrote a language HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a set of communication protocols (chiefly htttp — the hypertext transfer protocol) and an application, as we would now say, on which all these could run, which he called a browser.

He planned, devised, programmed and completed this most revolutionary code in Geneva on one of Steve Jobs’s black cube NeXT computers. Hugging his close to him he took the train to Paris where Jobs was going to be present at a NeXT developers’ conference. Clutching the optical disc that contained the most important computer code in history he sat at a desk while Steve marched up and down looking at hopeful programs and applications. As in all of Steve’s judgments they either sucked or were insanely great. Like a Duchess inspecting a flower show he continued along the rows sniffing and frowning until he got two away from the man who had created the code which would change everything, everything in our world. “Sorry Steve, we need to be out of here if we’re going to catch that plane,” whispered an aide into Jobs’s ear. So, with an an encouraging wave Steve left, two footsteps away from being the first man outside Cern to see the World Wide Web. The two men never met and now, since Steve’s death, never can.
Those who only know me as an inveterate Apple-hater probably don't realize that I started out as an Apple guy. While my father built his fortune on the IBM PC, first on its need for memory cards, then on its need for high-resolution graphics, (he created and sold the first 1024x768 board for it, the ARTIST card.), my pride and joy and constant companion was an Apple //e. It was stacked, with two disk drives, a color monitor, and a 300 baud modem. I loved that machine, but I gave it up reluctantly when I went off to college and it became apparent that I was going to need something better suited to writing papers.

So, my parents gave me a Macintosh Plus, which gave me a huge advantage over other students, who had to wait their turn in the computer labs when they needed to write their papers. I had a particularly nice setup, since I lived in the only dorm with its own computer lab, complete with Macintosh computers and printers, so I could write my papers, then walk the disk down to the computer lab at 4 AM and print them out without delay. I remember, in particular, one paper on Alfred the Great that blew my professor away because it included a map of England on which I'd drawn the various extents of the Danelaw.

Not that he was unfamiliar with the Danelaw, but it was the first time he'd ever seen a printed graphic in a student paper. That was the power of the Macintosh. I don't think I ever turned in a paper again without some visual example. In fact, looking at the two college papers I still have with me today, one on the economic development of Japan and the Soviet Union, the other on the Italian condottieri, I can see crosshatched maps of Italy and several charts very similar to those that regularly litter my economics posts. That Macintosh Plus created a habit of readily resorting to bar charts that apparently persists even today.

Where the Macintosh ultimately fell down was not in its failure to penetrate the business market. That's the conventional wisdom, but it is wrong. Apple was never going to dislodge IBM and Microsoft there and was wise not to kill itself trying. The opportunity that Steve Jobs mysteriously missed, long before the World Wide Web, was the games market. Despite its GUI, the failure to adopt color for three years after the PS/2 introduced VGA/MCGA, as well as its reluctance to embrace a non-serious market, meant that Apple conceded the games market to DOS.

Papers be damned. The first time I saw Wing Commander, I switched immediately over to DOS and picked up a Compaq 386/25. I haven't looked back since.

I admire the late Steve Jobs. He was an amazingly innovative corporate genius. It is deeply lamentable that his chief legacy as a technologist appears likely to be the walled garden of Apple.

Posted by Vox Day.
25 Jan 17:04

Suckering the liberty-minded

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
After eight years of attacking libertarians more furiously than anyone in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party is trying to play them for suckers:
Liberty Republicans. They are the young, more libertarian-minded, grassroots supporters that used to be identified chiefly by their favorite Republican presidential candidate, former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

Now, as the Republican National Committee tries to repair relationships and increase outreach to all political groups, they are doing their best to entice more libertarian Republicans into the fold.

Some of these supporters were turned off by what was described as the "railroading" of Ron Paul supporters by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus during the 2012 convention in Tampa.

But the RNC wants to appear welcoming to the libertarian element in their party, which more established members of the party once derided as "Paultards" after they disrupted events in favor of their candidate.
Remember, the Republican Party elite have successfully been playing social conservatives for suckers since 1980. Now, after twice seeing their "electable" RINOs prove that they were anything but, they're trying to make nice and pretend that they aren't the Big Government "conservatives" that they have shown themselves to be since the first Bush '43 administration.

Don't buy it. Republicans are nothing but Democrats with a pseudo-conservative PR department.

Posted by Vox Day.
23 Jan 08:38

The Fifth Horseman 10

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
And finally, we reach the end of Peter Boghossian's 16 anti-apologetics. This is, quite literally, all he has in terms of anti-apologetical arguments, so if you've been underwhelmed by what he's been able to show here, well, that's what he's got. My conclusion is that any Christian, or indeed, theist, who has merely read through these ten posts will be more than ready to obliterate any Street Epistemologist who attacks his faith on the grounds proposed by Mr. Boghossian.

ANTI-APOLOGETIC #11
“Without faith, society would devolve morally.”

This tends to be a late-game line, with Stalin and Hitler always included, sometimes followed by Pol Pot, Mussolini, and the Kims thrown in for good measure. The basic idea is that without objective standards of right and wrong, not only do ordinary people descend into savages, but vicious dictatorships are also inevitable.

“Without faith, society would devolve morally,” is an empirical claim. It’s a claim about the world. It’s also false. To respond, one need only survey religiosity and livability indices among various societies. Scandinavia has the lowest rate of religious belief in the world, yet on virtually all measures of well-being Scandinavian countries top every index (for more on this, see American sociologist Phil Zuckerman’s work).

I usually hear this defense from Christians. One response I offer is, “Saudi Arabia.” (For a one-word response, try “Iran.”) Saudi Arabia has one of the most devout, adherent populations on the planet, yet its citizens lack basic freedoms and are subject to the tyranny of religious police.

Finally, people use the Stalin/Hitler card in an attempt to argue that the worst dictatorships in recent times have had atheists at their helm (Hitler was more likely a deist if not a theist).

However, even granting this argument’s assumption, these men didn’t act like they did because they were atheists. That is, their nonbelief in a deity didn’t dictate particular actions they took. (This would be akin to arguing that Pol Pot—who was a bad man—didn’t believe in leprechauns, you don’t believe in leprechauns, therefore you’re as bad as Pol Pot.) Their systems were horrific precisely because they resembled faith-based systems where suspending warrant for belief is required (as is the wholesale adoption of an ideology, like Communism, Nazism, Fascism, etc.).
VD RESPONSE: The citation of religiosity and livability indices is not a rational response to an assertion of moral devolution. I'm a little astonished that it is necessary to point out to you that livability is not morality. Moreover, Sweden has the highest rates of rape in Europe while Scandinavia as a whole has very low marriage rates and the majority of Scandinavian children are illegitimate. This is moral devolution by any traditional moral standard.

Saudi Arabia and Iran may lack what you consider to be basic freedoms, but you cannot argue that the behavior of the populace is considerably more moral, on average, than the behavior of people in the USA or Scandinavia. It may be an enforced morality, but let's face it, there is going to be less theft wherever being caught stealing means running a real risk of having your hand chopped off. And don't even think about trying to start disputing what is, or what is not moral, as doing so will simply prove the very point you are trying to argue against.

You are right to say that Hitler was not an atheist. He was not. He was a pagan occultist, which from the Christian perspective is considerably worse than atheism. However, you are committing the same basic logical error that Sam Harris commits by appealing to the No True Atheist fallacy. The point is not that an atheist's action is dictated by his atheism. The point is that an atheist's atheism removes any sense of externally imposed moral restrictions on his actions, and it is an observed and documented fact that atheists with unrestricted political power have historically been much more likely to behave in an immoral and murderous manner than Christians in similar positions of power. You're trying to change the subject to causation while we're pointing to an undeniable correlation.

We don't have to know precisely what element of the cigarette causes cancer to know that it's a bad idea to light it and stick it in your mouth. And we don't have to understand why atheists are disproportionately prone to behaving in an immoral manner to observe when they do so.

In fact, what you are doing now is deeply and profoundly immoral. You have declared your object is to destroy the faith of others, while Mark 9:42 says: "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea." Your very existence is testimony to the devolution of morality inherent in atheism.

Posted by Vox Day.
22 Jan 12:00

Dr. Kirk J. Schneider's Psikhushka

by Captain Capitalism
First read this (if you haven't already)

Ok, now you can continue.
______________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT

 An Economist diagnoses Dr. Kirk J. Schneider-and other faux psychologists threatening our world. In “Liberal Talentless Academian Hacks Who Use Psychology to Criminalize People They Politically Disagree With,” Aaron Clarey, SAEG., calls for a new and deeper psychological understanding of the potential threat of biased psychologists who like the Soviets, use trumped up, fabricated mental diseases to lay the groundwork to institutionalize political enemies.

It’s easy for people with real jobs to snicker at the fake psychological profession and nefariousness of the likes of Dr. Kirk J. Schneider, but economist Aaron Clarey says that we dismiss or diminish groups like this at our own peril. Clarey, the author of "WORTHLESS,"  "BACHELOR PAD ECONOMICS" and other books that don't suck like academian pablum, has done an exhaustive study of worthless humanities types throughout history and he says it’s time for us to look more seriously at what he calls “unchallenged, unchecked, elitist academians.” In “I DON'T LIKE MATH, WHERE'S MY GOVERNMENT JOB,” Aaron Clarey, SAEG., calls for a new and deeper psychological understanding of our greatest political and social threats and the political operatives posing as legitimate psychologists who drive them.

You can see a blatant disregard for personal and economic freedom, as well as an obvious leftist bias at work in virtually all of academia from Nazi Germany to Maoist China to our very own Democratic Party. In fact, it is the pervasive malady of the Hippie Generation,” says Clarey.

How does the Kirk J. Scheider fit in? Many people don't want to work hard in life and so they choose and easy major. They tend to be from well to do families who can afford to bail their children out from worthless degrees. They often end up in the most productionless sectors of the economy - government, non-profits and academia clamoring for other people's money. They resent anybody who works hard, achieves excellence and reminds them of their own mediocrity. And it’s not just envy and insecurity that drives them. It’s also the ego that leads them to a "crusaderist" mentality and their desire to foist their political opinions on other people's lives. “I think many in this movement are embittered over the freedom and happiness of others. They look at the amazing track record of capitalism and the US, which just doesn't jibe with their socialist ideology, and they feel the need to criminalize individualism, freedom, private property in anyway possible, even if it means throwing in normal everyday Americans with Nazi's and Communists,” says Clarey.

Although you won’t find “polarized mind” in any official diagnostic manual, for Clarey it’s crucial that the psychological community wake the fuck up and start screening its ranks to ensure the profession isn't abused by tyrants as a political weapon. “When we think of mental illness, we think genuine victims of mental illness that need help, not a political group expressing their 1st Amendment Rights,” says Clarey.  Look, for example, at some of the traits of narcissistic personality disorder or psychopathy: A callous disregard for the feelings of others, the reckless disregard for the safety of others, a sense of entitlement, arrogance, a grandiose sense of self-importance. These traits are readily seen in academia, the liberal arts, the humanities, and professors that screw their students over for tuition populate the field.

No one can or should deny the veracity of therapy and psychological help, but to overlook or dismiss the potential threat Kirk J. Schneider is obviously telepathing, one that would associate political-dissent and free-speech with a psychological condition, is the most surefire way of bringing Psikhushkas here to the US,” says Clarey.  "Recognizing and exposing this vile and thinly-veiled evil when we see it is the first step."
HHR4HM7ZPMV3
23 Jan 00:46

Without a male culture - decline?

by Mark Richardson
Nick Adams, though born in Australia, has made a living in America as an author and motivational speaker. He has hit the news in the U.S. for warning about the attacks there on male culture:
“All aspects of male culture have been called in to question,” Adams said. “Whether it’s gathering around on a Sunday afternoon to watch the football with a few friends, whether it is going to the range and shooting some guns, whether it is just being a male has now been really made suspect — and that is a very dangerous thing. We see it coming from all levels of society. We see it coming from the government; we see it coming from the feminists.”

He went on to argue that if a male culture doesn't survive then America will decline.

He's right, for reasons I want to draw out in this post (Adams himself is a neocon right-liberal rather than a traditionalist: he sees America as being a proposition nation and believes America has a mission to export itself to the world).

Let me say, that this issue is not one that is easily proved or disproved scientifically. It has to do more with what someone has discerned of the masculine over time. And what I have discerned is that there is a higher kind of masculine spirit through which virtue and a life of the spirit is most actively and self-consciously organised within a society.

This is not to say that all men are to be regarded as virtuous, or that masculinity doesn't have a potentially negative side, or that femininity is not, in its essence, the equal of masculinity. It's more that effeminate men are not likely to act together to animate a society in the same way that a group of men who combine masculinity with finer feeling are.

The view of the ancients was most certainly that there was a positive connection between masculinity and virtue.

St Paul

I was intrigued to read in a comment at Sunshine Mary the following Bible quote from St Paul:
"...Be not deceived: neither the whoremongers/promiscuous [pornoi], nor idolaters [eidOlolatrai], nor adulterers [moikhoi], nor sissies/effeminates [malakoi], nor male-bedders [arsenokoitai], nor thieves [kleptai], nor the covetous/envious/greedy [pleonektai], nor drunkards, nor revilers/trash talkers [loidoroi], nor extortioners [harpeges], shall inherit the kingdom of God."

St Paul is warning (the Corinthians I believe) that the malakoi (meaning the effeminate men or sissies) will not inherit the kingdom of God.

St Paul was drawing on an understanding in the ancient world in which softness, luxury and moral weakness were often associated.

As an aside, this might help to explain the sense of what Jesus meant when he said that it was hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. The sense that is most likely to occur to a modern reader is that a rich man is overly devoted to the material things of the world - and maybe that is exactly what is meant. But in the ancient world it was thought too that luxury and finery drew one to softness and effeminacy and to a lack of moral restraint. Perhaps it was not the having of money itself, but an unwillingness to rough it - a lack of "belly" - that made the prospects for the rich man so bleak.

This suggestion is supported by a quote from Albert Barnes, a Bible commentator, who wrote of a usage of the word "malakos" in Matthew (11:8) as follows:
“Clothed in soft raiment. The kind of raiment here denoted was the light, thin clothing worn by effeminate persons...This kind of clothing was an emblem of riches, splendour, effeminacy, feebleness of character."

Ergi

There is some dispute amongst Bible scholars as to whether St Paul in using the term malakoi was referring to effeminate men or to men who were the passive recipients of homosexual sex. It's possible, though, that both were meant, as in ancient Nordic cultures there was a term, "ergi," which referred to both things.

Ergi meant unmanliness and cowardice and was considered a grave insult. Ergi (and the associated term nið) seem remarkably closely related to the Ancient Greek term malakia:
Malakia was a particular type of cowardice, associated with effeminacy in men, that was widely condemned in ancient Greek society.

...To the Greeks, men could be made either manly or effeminate. The Socrates character in Plato's The Republic observed that "too much music effeminizes the male," ...."when a man abandons himself to music to play upon him and pour into his soul as it were through the funnel of his ears those sweet, soft (malakos), and dirge-like airs of which we were just now speaking..." Music softens the high spirit of a man but too much 'melts and liquifies' that spirit making him into a feeble warrior. 
Aristotle writes that "Of the dispositions described above, the deliberate avoidance of pain is rather a kind of softness (malakia); the deliberate pursuit of pleasure is profligacy in the strict sense."; "One who is deficient in resistance to pains that most men withstand with success, is soft (malakos) or luxurious, for luxury is a kind of softness (malakia); such a man lets his cloak trail on the ground to escape the fatigue and trouble of lifting it, or feigns sickness, not seeing that to counterfeit misery is to be miserable." 
A writer of the peripatetic school (c. 1st century BC or AD) elaborated a little more on Aristotle by labeling effeminacy as a vice. He writes that "Cowardice is accompanied by softness (malakia), unmanliness, faint-heartedness." It was also a concomitant of uncontrol: "The concomitants of uncontrol are softness (malakia) and negligence." It had educational implications for the Greek paideia. Pericles in his famous Funeral Oration said that the Athenians "cultivate… knowledge without effeminacy (malakia)". This statement and idea of education without effeminacy was visible in the educational philosophies of Victorian England and 19th century America.

Plato did not want to melt the high spirit of a man - he associated a man's high spirit with his masculinity. In this the ancient world agreed.

What is more, it was understood that masculinity preserved a society from servility to foreign powers.
Effeminacy in Ancient Greece had political implications as well. The presence or absence of this character in man and his society determined if his society was free or slavish.

Herodotus recounted an incident that happened in Asia Minor. This was an appeal from King Croesus, the king of Lydia to the Persian King. The Persian king wanted to kill all the males to keep them from revolting and what the defeated king proposed was to inculturate softness in order to make the people docile and servile; effeminacy was seen as the mark of a slave. These men are to be softened.
But let the Lydians be pardoned; and lay on them this command, that they may not revolt or be dangerous to you; then, I say, and forbid them to possess weapons of war, and command them to wear tunics under their cloaks and buskins on their feet, and to teach their sons lyre-playing and song and dance and huckstering (the word "retail" in one translation). Then, O King, you will soon see them turned to women instead of men; and thus you need not fear lest they revolt.

Finally, consider the words of an early Church father:
"A true man must have no mark of effeminacy visible on his face, or any other part of his body. Let no blot on his manliness, then, ever be found either in his movements or habits." St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.289.

Today

The modern view is opposite to the ancient one: moderns are more likely to associate masculinity with vice (violence, oppression, privilege) and femininity with virtue (e.g. I once criticised Pope Benedict for suggesting that it is through the feminine that we arrive at human values).

It shows how careful we have to be in making these formulations. My own view is that there are virtues that are more closely associated with the feminine ideal (e.g. to be gentle and caring, graceful and beautiful, immediately present for others etc.); that these represent a softer side to the human personality in a very positive sense; and that the feminine ideal is powerful enough to draw the love and protection of men and to be at the centre of the emotional life of families and perhaps too the everyday life of local communities.

However, it is through the masculine that a society is brought in a more organised, self-aware and self-disciplined way to a moral order and that this requires a society to cultivate a masculine spirit in its men - or to be lost.

This post has not been a tightly argued one - I need to learn to express some of this better. The main point I want to make is that in the ancient world, including in the early Church, there was a tremendous emphasis on keeping men masculine and that this was associated with the pursuit of the good, both personal and communal.
21 Jan 20:12

The Most Important Determinant of Male Relationship Potential

by Susan Walsh

A 75-year longitudinal study suggests that a man’s ability to thrive in life depends on the warmth of his relationships. The most important of those relationships occur in childhood. Look for the boy, and you’ll learn a lot about the man.  The Harvard Grant Study has followed the same 237 men at regular intervals since they […]

The post The Most Important Determinant of Male Relationship Potential appeared first on Hooking Up Smart.

20 Jan 13:00

Why Famous Men Become Outspoken Feminists

by Athlone McGinnis

Have you ever wondered why so many male celebrities go out of their way to voice their alignment with “feminism”? Did you ever wonder why so many famous, good-looking men seem anxious to white knight on a regular basis and/or engage in otherwise highly blue pill behavior that we would not normally associate with a high value male?

Nash Grier has now provided us with a clear answer to these questions. Of course, my making that statement may just raise another question for you…

Who exactly is Nash Grier?

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He’s a 16 year old kid who just happens to be one of the most followed social media personalities on the planet. His account on the Twitter-owned app Vine has more followers than equivalents owned by Ellen Degeneres, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and a host of other celebrities. As of this writing, he is the single most followed personality on Vine. His father is a football coach and his older brother is the best high school football player in America.

Here is some of his handiwork:

Grier became popular after one of the vines he made with his baby sister got shared by some teen girl in Alabama. Since then, other teen girls have driven his popularity, convinced that he is “cute” and enamored with the fact that he posts many of his videos without a shirt.

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So, how did this teen heartthrob create so much controversy? He and a couple of other Vine/Youtube famous kids decided to discuss some of their romantic preferences:

Just months after being touted as a “social media prodigy,” Vine celebrity Nash Grier has learned the hard way that Internet backlash spreads even more quickly than Internet fame—especially if it’s in response to sexism.

Grier just celebrated his 16th birthday with his 4.2 million followers on Vine—the third highest on the platform. But the North Carolina sophomore, whose following largely consists of teenage girls enamored by his blue-eyed charm…caused an Internet uproar when his attempt to tell his young female audience “what guys look for in girls” backfired.

In a video Grier uploaded to YouTube five days before Christmas, he and his friends, 18-year-old fellow Vine star Cameron Dallas and 20-year-old YouTube star JC Caylen, attempt to tell their mostly female fans “What guys look for in girls.”

… the boys describe their ideal girl as someone who can be entertaining, spontaneous, and fun, girls who can cook, and who can “make you a better you,” i.e. improve the boys themselves. They criticize girls who they see as having no personalities and who are just waiting to marry rich husbands.

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Well, that sounds good so far. Feminists ought to be cheering that bit. Where’s the problem?

Then they move into more contentious territory: Caylen criticizes girls with “fake tits,” while Grier dislikes girls who are “obnoxious and loud.” Then the boys talk about physical appearance, favoring girls who are short and petite, with “natural” looks and “really good smiles.” They criticize girls who don’t shave their facial and body hair, implying that “peach fuzz” and other types of natural hair on women is “gross.”

Grier also tells girls that “the chase is such a big part” of what makes a girl appealing, encouraging them to “play hard to get.”

“If you play too hard to get, then it’s just like, ‘oh, she doesn’t even like me,’ but if you play easy, then it’s just like, oh, she’s a whore,” Grier states. “Find a balance.”

“You can’t be better than me” at playing video games, Dallas adds. “I mean I don’t even play video games. You can’t be better than me.”

Grier’s video stood for five days as it gathered major backlash over what many viewers felt were the boys’ reinforcement of horrible beauty and behavioral standards in young women who already battle with low self-esteem.

Ah. Ok.

Here is the full video in question:

What Grier Had At Stake

Nash Grier has shown us what happens to high value men with large female fanbases who dare to express anything but the most inclusive preferences and ideology. Men like John Legend and Joseph Gordon Leavitt (just two celebrities who have recently voiced their affinity for “feminism” – there are dozensof other examples) are well aware of this and, if they aren’t, their marketing/PR teams will coach them accordingly.

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The fact is that their fanbases are predominantly female. Women are doing most of the subscribing/following of their social media accounts, buying most of the products they advertise, buying most of the tickets to their shows/movies, and generally providing most of the vocal support that drives their celebrity. Modern celebrity culture is highly feminized by necessity – it is built to cater to the people who fuel it most, and those people are overwhelmingly women.

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These female fanbases consist of young (usually anywhere from 12-25) women who are, more often than not, quite insecure. Their fandom is often based heavily on the maintenance of a mental “relationship” with the celebrity: they may never date him, but they like to maintain the fantasy that they could someday and often place themselves in that position in their own hearts and minds. The maintenance of that relationship is the key to his celebrity: it is what keeps these girls going to his premiers, buying tickets to his shows, subscribing to every one of his social media accounts and snapping up every song he makes on iTunes.

This imaginary relationship is extremely important to these girls on a personal level, and they are extremely insecure about any notion that could take it away from them. What does the relationship actually look like? Think of it like this: when he sings a love/romantic song, they imagine that he is singing to them personally.

When he gives a coy wink or smile in a video, picture or a movie, they imagine that he is communicating directly with them on a personal level.

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When he talks about his hobbies and activities, they imagine how said activities make him a perfect fit for them personally. And, finally, when he talks about his wants and desires, they imagine that he is speaking personally to them.

This last bit is key because of her insecurity: she has built up this fantasy and the last thing she wants is to have it contradicted in any way, especially by the male in question. When he says there is something that he doesn’t like in a girl, she will imagine that he is speaking directly to her. If she perceives herself to be lacking some trait he explicitly desires, she’ll get very upset.

Example: Celebrity male says he likes girls who shave.

Her reaction: “Wait, I haven’t shaven in a couple of weeks. I mean, I sometimes shave, but not, like, all the time. OMG – does this mean he wouldn’t like me? OMG!”

He’s ruined her fantasy. Her insecurity will have her fretting about this endlessly.

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Now, you may ask the following:

“Why does she care so much about not meeting one standard of a guy she’ll probably never actually meet? Why does it matter to her? He’s not a real part of her life and she’s never going to be a part of his! Further, even if it does matter, why couldn’t she just change a little to meet that standard? Is shaving that hard? How is that a high standard?”

The answer to all of the above is simple…

Insecurity

She’s too insecure about herself on a personal and physical level to handle any level of criticism. She copes with this insecurity by maintaining this fantasy relationship with the celebrity, a relationship in which she has all she could ever want with a guy who is all she could ever want and doesn’t really have to do anything to maintain it. This allows her to escape to a world in which all of the insecurities she has about herself that keep her up at night are irrelevant and have no impact on her obtaining personal, social and romantic fulfillment. When that fantasy is crushed for whatever reason, it exposes her insecurities again.

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Because of this insecurity, she NEEDS that fantasy relationship.

She needs to, at the very least, be able to maintain the illusion in her mind that he could love her. Anything that would completely eliminate this possibility is a no-no, because her insecurities will run wild and leave her upset, angry and even depressed. This is true even though her logical brain understands that she’ll probably never actually meet or date this famous male in real life. What she wants to maintain is the ability to rationalize that possibility into existence, however slim it is.

Take these comments from a (now deleted) mirror of Nash Grier’s original video:

IriliWow
5 hours ago

I don’t really i have the words, thank you, now i feel like a shit…

Shola Rader
1 hour ago

are you fucking dumb? You make every girl insecure. And you should be a FUCKING rolemodel. You have a young sister!!!!

sandy mayer
3 hours ago

this made me genuinely fucking insecure about EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT ME

Zee Hare
17 hours ago

Okay, so I actually thought Nash was pretty cute but once he destroyed my self esteem he’s just another douche.. I guess he’s just one of those pretty boys with a shitty attitude. You know.? Just because you’re pretty on the outside doesn’t mean you’re beautiful on the inside.. sorry :/

RollWithThePunches78
1 day ago

wowwww this video makes me feel like shit…… like… I’m not an outgoing person all the time… and I have no talents. and I can’t cook at all.

India Buxton
1 day ago

So many girls look up to these guys and have probably changed themselves just to be in a category of their preference

xxPunkRockGirl13xx
1 day ago

Why the hell would you tell us to be ourselves when you clearly don’t like nor will you find interest in who some of us are? My self esteem was already low, but now, its worse. Thanks Nash. Congrats, you lost a vine follower.

taayla jade
1 day ago

The worst part of this whole video is that at the start they have some nice things like its good when a girl gets I to be a better person
But they just go and shit on that whole idea by then going on and on about all these things that so many people r already so self conscious about.
And doing that just makes girls feel like there not good enough and all these people that r really big fans of these guys r gonna be so heart broken about the fact that they r not perfect like the boys expect them to be

eden haney
19 hours ago

well this just made me feel like shit….

Anubis
1 day ago

I’m really self-conscious about my height since I’m 6ft and saying shorter girls are cuter makes me feel super great

Riley Duarte
20 hours ago

lol this is why im single

Fishylove123
20 hours ago

I find Nash’s comment at 7:10 so ironic… Be yourself? How can I be myself when you have such a long list of things that I need to be to be good enough? Thank for making me feel self conscious about myself.

1298hollywood
1 day ago

I knew I was ugly but now I feel like a fucking ape.

Beanthecat :)
1 day ago

I was sad when they said they like short people because I am a 6 foot tall 16 year old girl. And don’t get me wrong it helps in basketball but not with getting a boyfriend.

Jenna Henderson
1 day ago

Wow, don’t I feel like trash…

Katie Howard
1 day ago

I hope your happy Nash.. putting standards on girls, making them feel like they aren’t perfect for this world, do you know how it feels to be called ugly? I know damn well what it feels like. And Nash, hate to break it to you, but I’ve seen guys that look ten times better than you. Prick

Sofia van nek
1 day ago

I feel like a piece of shit after watching this…

Valeria Sauce
1 day ago

way to kill girls’ self esteems, congratulations you cunt bags

The insecurity these girls have provides high value men like Nash Grier with a remarkable degree of control over their emotional state. By merely stating their actual romantic preferences, they can send legions of women into a state of shock, anger, and outright depression.

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When Nash Grier noted that he wasn’t a big fan of girls who didn’t shave, all of the girls who don’t shave (or hadn’t shaven at some point in the past, or feared that they may go an extended period of time without shaving in the future) had their insecurities directly engaged. They now wondered if he’d like them, and began to doubt to some degree that he did. Their ability to rationalize into existence that slim possibility of his loving them was undermined, thus compromising the fantasy relationships they maintain with him in their minds.

When the boys noted that they liked girls with freckles, they activated the insecurities of all the girls who lack them. The fact that they didn’t say they disliked girls without freckles is not relevant: the mere possibility of their preferring girls who have them is enough to get all of his female followers who lack them concerned and upset about the possibility that they might not like them.

The Illusion of Authority

You’ll notice that many of the critical comments directed at Grier seem to imply that he was ordering them around, as though he had some sort of authority over them. Statements like this:

“I can have as much hair on my body as I feel comfortable with!”
“I prefer guys who don’t tell me what to do!”
“How about you don’t order girls to look a certain way?!”
“Girls don’t have to obey you!”

Or, as quoted here from the deleted mirror video:

Luvbug1329 :D
16 hours ago

I don’t have to be anything but me… gawd people.

Anybody who watched the video can tell that Nash Grier was guilty of none of the above. He was merely stating his preferences, not claiming that all women were obligated to meet them. The same goes for his companions in the video.

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But remember what I said earlier: these women love him and are, in many cases, in a fantasy relationship with him. They NEED him to like them and they take what he says and does personally.

Let’s examine this quick comment exchange on the aforementioned deleted mirror of Nash’s original video to further clarify this point:

orchestra99
22 hours ago

I’ll tell you exactly why it’s a bad video. They are creating unrealistic expectations of women. They’re slut shaming. They’re telling their young audience of mostly teenage girls how to be, and they’re just ignorant

Reply:

Mrluigifan102
12 hours ago

@orchestra99 They are telling women what they should be if they want these boys to be attracted to them. Kind of a big difference. They’re not saying they won’t treat you like a human being if you don’t live up to this; they’re saying they probably won’t date you if you don’t live up to this.

Note commenter orchestra99’s statement here. She perceives these boys to be telling young girls how to be in general. Mrluigifan102 correctly points out that this is not the case, and that the boys are actually telling women what they should be if they want to date them specifically (read: stating their personal preferences).

Why can’t orchestra99 perceive this seemingly clear distinction? Because these are high value men and she, like most young, highly insecure girls, needs to feel as though it is possible for these guys to actually want her. This means that when these boys state their personal preferences, she interprets them as hard statements about how she and other girls must be.

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Since these girls must be able to date these men, they therefore they must be able to meet any standards and preferences these men have. If these men claim to have preferences that these girls don’t see themselves fitting for whatever reason, there will be a problem. They can’t take the desires these guys express and accept them as individual preferences and just move on if they don’t fit them. They’re too insecure for that – they need the validation of these celebrity men that they’re in love with. That is why these women can see practically no distinction between these men articulating “individual personal preferences/what I like to see for me” and setting “hard standards for the way ALL women should be no matter what”. Any preferences these high value males articulate will be interpreted as commandments by infatuated young women who feel obligated to appeal to these guys and assign false authority to them.

Alexandra Richards
1 day ago

that dog scene should have been longer…and this video is awful…guys get over yourselves. Not changing the way I am cause you want me too.

This young female commenter is in the same boat as orchestra99. She perceives their statement of their preferences as an actual, direct personal command from them to her necessitating that she change herself. They’re not actually asking that any women change to meet their preferences – they’re just stating them. Alexandra, like most young girls, is simply too obsessed with obtaining their validation to make that distinction.

Failure to be wanted by these men is not an option to these girls, and when they get even the slightest inkling that they may not fit the individual preferences these men have they can do nothing but get angry or depressed.

Insecurity Is An Ugly Thing - It Makes You Hate People You Don't Even Know

It is the powerful need to obtain the validation of these men (and the related tendency to take everything they say personally and attach great significance to it) that awakens the power of these young females as consumers. When these males’ faces show up next to a product they’re advertising and endorsing, the young females feel naturally compelled to buy it. When these guys create a video or social media account, the girls feel obligated to follow every word said. When these men release a song, the girls naturally feel obligated to download it or go to his concert and listen to it.

ROCK THE RAPIDS -BIEBER RUN

Similarly, when he critiques them or sets some sort personal preference or standard, they feel obligated to meet it, even though they should not logically be compelled to do so. Thus, you can see how this need insecure young female fans have in their desire to bond with such high value celebrity males creates these males’ celebrity power in the first place (makes them valuable for endorsements, gets them followers, sells their songs, etc) while simultaneously limiting what these males can say or do publicly. A large part of the job as a male celebrity is to sell a dream and a fantasy to millions of young women out there. He has to walk on eggshells in order to keep that fantasy intact and keep the money rolling in.

How To Play The Game

This is why celebrity males so often cannot voice legitimate standards of even the most basic variety. The risk of a majority of their fanbase taking it personally is simply too great because so many girls are insecure about so many things. Thus, when these guys get the chance or are prompted to talk of standards, they keep it real simple:

I like strong, independent women.” – This is a great go-to. All of his female fans, regardless of what they look like or where they’re from, can convince themselves that they are strong and independent. He can’t offend anyone.

Just be yourself.” – Even safer. He is basically saying to every female out there that she’s perfect for him the way she is. The statement implies absolutely no obligation on her part to change anything about herself in order to be able to get an extremely high value male interested in her. That total lack of responsibility brings great mental comfort to these young females.

I love women who are beautiful on the inside.” – Another great go-to. Any female can convince herself that she fits this bill even if she’s actually a bitch to most of the people she comes into contact with. Low risk of offending anyone.

Looks aren’t everything” – This is also an effective statement for a high value male looking to remain in the good graces of female fans. It is just another variation of the “beauty on the inside” mantra mentioned above. It works well because it doesn’t offend anyone: the girls who have the looks can easily convince themselves that they’ve also got the beauty on the inside (rendering the fact that “looks aren’t everything” inoffensive to them), while the girls who lack good looks can use this statement to convince themselves that they can completely make up for it with their “beauty on the inside” (which, again, they can all convince themselves they possess). This statement is also effective for placating the attractive girls who have convinced themselves that they’re ugly.

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What isn’t okay for high value men to say?

I like athletic girls” – This will build fans among the girls who’ve played sports or enjoy them, but it will awaken the insecurities of the many who were never particularly inclined to athletics and who hated gym class (or who are out of shape). If a man’s fanbase consists of many of these women (and it almost certainly will if he’s a typical celebrity), he’d best stay away from this one.

I love freckles” – Any girl who doesn’t have freckles will begin to wonder if you like her.

I love big tits” – Even girls with sizable breasts are often insecure about their bust size and convinced that they’re too small. Thus, such a comment would have a high risk of offending just about all of his female fanbase.

Girls need to shave” – Lots of girls don’t do it and many who do have neglected it at times. This kind of statement has the potential to offend every girl in a given high-value male’s fanbase, as Nash Grier has learned.

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I love fit girls” – Obviously a high risk of offending the fat/chubby chicks, but also a high risk of offending the fit chicks who THINK they’re fat. These two groups can often make up the entirety of a celebrity male’s fanbase.

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The Truth

Though all of the above aren’t good for PR, it is likely (in fact, almost certain) that most high value men maintain standards that their fans wouldn’t want to hear about. More often than not, these men have extremely attractive, well-groomed, fit females on their arms. Men like John Legend (one of the more recent self-proclaimed male feminists in Hollywood) have dating histories that consist almost exclusively of relationships with physically fit, aesthetically elite models. Actions speak louder than words: these men have standards, and those standards do tend to favor fit, well-groomed women.

John Legend strolls along Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills, Ca with his girlfriend after shoppng at Intermix

Men like Legend cannot come out and say that, however, because if they do their female fanbases will no longer be able to delude themselves into believing that they have even the slimmest of chances of appealing to a high value male like him.

john_legend_2302502

Legend is aware of this reality, so when asked what he likes in a woman he keeps it simple: “Strong and independent.” No harm, no foul. So long as he shuts up, his legions of female fans can continue to dream, in their heart of hearts, that his soulful crooning is really for them and he may just one day become their Prince Charming. Real life contradictions to this fantasy in his actual romantic life can be rationalized away.

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All in all, this Nash Grier episode is illustrative of why being (or pretending to be) a white knight is good business for many famous, high value men. Nash Grier is a kid who was simply too young to understand this and lacked legitimate PR/marketing advisers to make him aware. His star will continue to shine brightly after this – with this experience behind him he’ll know to be more tactful in the future in order to maximize his appeal to his fanbase (and, by extension, his own notoriety). So long as this doesn’t become a habit, girls will forget about this in time and continue to follow everything he does.

Other high value men who are aware of the need to play this game probably don’t believe all that they say (few rational, sane men would), but they know what makes them money and what doesn’t.

sweetlies

Celebrity men who want to keep the cash flowing need to sell the dream at all costs. Truth is superfluous.

Read Next: You-Go-Girlism Is More Toxic Than Feminism

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21 Jan 00:13

Praxeology & the truth of Game

by Keoni Galt


 For the most part, Vox Day is largely responsible for helping me to see the error of my ways, and curing myself from an addiction to Mass MediaPCP. It took years of reading his old World Net Daily columns and daily posts at his blog, to eventually unplug from my regularly scheduled programming of establishment Republican/Neo-con-driven ideology. During all that time of reading and debating amongst the dread ilk (the nickname for the regular participants of Vox Popoli comment threads), I eventually clicked over to some references to Austrian Economics websites and the Mises Institute. This, to say the least, introduced me to a whole new way of viewing economics and politics. 

Having graduated with a (now largely useless) Business degree from the University of Hawaii, I had two years of economics courses, and in hindsight, I've come to realize the primary difference between the Keynesian-based economics curriculum of my Business college and the Austrian school and it's proponents, is that Keynesian economics starts off with the flawed deceptive premise that economics (as presented and taught in academia) is an exact science, on par with chemistry and physics, and that scientists can control the economy with centralized planning based on scientific "laws," while Austrian theory is based on Praxeology. 

Anyone interested in an in-depth description of Praxeology and the difference between it and the 'hard' sciences, should read Austrian luminary, Murray Rothbard's piece on Praxeology here(pdf).

But for expediency's sake, as Rothbard's treatise on the topic is somewhat in-depth, we can just go with the definition posted by Wikipedia, who's entry for Praxeology defines it thusly:

"Praxeology is the deductive study of human action based on the action axiom. The most common use of the term is in connection with the Austrian School of Economics, as established by economist Ludwig von Mises."

 The deductive study of human action based on the action axiom...so what's the action axiom?

"An action axiom is an axiom that embodies a criterion for recommending action. Action axioms are of the form "If a condition holds, then the following should be done."


Given that Vox is both an ascribed creationist Christian and an avowed proponent of the School of Austrian Economics, I find it completely fitting that he is also a proponent of game while completely dismissing the relevancy of evolutionary biology and psychology that are the so-called sciences cited by many game proponents and PUA. In the comment thread of Vox's response to GBFM, he writes:

"Evolutionary biology is nothing but ex post facto fairy tales and psychology is bullshit. Game doesn't require grounding in anything but observation of human behavior and the construction of predictive models from it. The "why" is irrelevant."

In other words, Game as we've come to know it here on these fringes of teh Interwebz, is a Praxeology...i.e. Game is the deductive study of human sexuality and inter-relational behavior based on the action axiom - "If a condition holds, then the following should be done."

Here is but one example that I can think of off the top of my head, that is a game-based action axiom:

*** Women often "fitness test" or "shit test" men. Men interested in mating with a woman need to learn how to recognize when she does this. When he ascertains that in fact she is attempting to fitness test him, there are several known responses that other men have employed with varying degrees of success, such as "agree and amplify."***

Looking at game as an exercise in Praxeology should help those who struggle with the morality of accepting these ideas of game description and proscription, versus the vehement distaste for the immorality of promiscuity many (but not all) game proponents advocate and celebrate.

While I am not trying to speak for anyone else here, I do believe the defining line between those of us in the MAndrosphere who are nominally Christian and advocate Christian Marriage (Vox, Dalrock et al), and see no conflict between Game and Christian morality, versus all the other Christians who are up in arms about it and repeatedly denounce it, is that those of us in favor, simply view game as a Praxeology; it is not a hard science, nor is it a moral code to live by. Rather, it is simply using deductive reasoning to come up with action axiom's to describe the hows and whys of human intersexual attraction and mating behaviors.

These action axioms are useful tools for men to recognize and reverse engineer the myriad of deliberately inculcated dysfunctional behaviors and characteristics that pervades societies institutions, mass media programming and subversion of our churches with the idolatry of Goddess worship. As more and more men embrace the axioms of the Game Praxeology, more and more discover anecdotally that they are based on observable truths regardless of the morality of the men doing the "testing in the field."

Just because men committed to Christian morality may take ideas from and discuss with the axiomatic truths of game with the immorally promiscuous PUAs, does not mean we are holding it up as a new religion, a new moral paradigm or a new idol to be worshiped blindly and in total faith; nor does it mean we are deifying or glorifying fornication, adultery and promiscuity. 

We are ALL fallen sinners. Based on our common, fallen and debased nature as sinners, throwing out the axiomatic truths of game simply because they are espoused by sexual sinners is akin to throwing out YOUR argument (any argument on any topic, that you choose to make) based on your own sinful nature.

If one considers the ideas on their own merit, and not the person who is voicing the idea, there should be no moral problems with men employing the axiomatic actions prescribed by immoral game practitioners for his own use, to achieve his own Godly goals of sustaining the covenant of marriage and leading his family.  

As Vox wrote on his post Game vs. Churchian Idolatry:

Now, Game is not Christ. Game is not Truth. But Game is truth, and he who comes to love truth will, in time, come to love Truth as well.

Amen.


We are all one day going to face our creator, and have to account for our sins. 

Of all my sins I dread accounting for, "learning to neg my wife from reading the anecdotes of Pick Up Artists on teh Interwebz," is definitely not one of 'em.

19 Jan 11:17

The Fifth Horseman 7

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
ANTI-APOLOGETIC #5
“Science can’t explain quantum mechanics.”

This line is tossed out in conversations when all else has failed in a desperate attempt to fortify the fiefdom of faith. As frequently as I’ve heard this, and asked people exactly what they mean, I’m not even sure how this could be a defense of faith. Quantum mechanics is science, discovered through the tools of science, and is verifiable and testable within science.

The attempt to draw fire away from the discussion may be why I’ve never read this defense of faith in peer-reviewed literature. It also doesn’t fall into one of Harris’s categories. It is not another version of the God of the gaps argument, and is not precisely a deepity.

I think this statement may be a way of saying that we can’t really be certain of anything. On one level, this is a feeble attempt to undermine reason by stating that there are some mysteries even our best and brightest can’t grasp—thus giving the faithful license to pretend to know things they don’t know.

On an even more pedestrian level, I’ve often heard this deployed as a justification for miracles. That is, quantum instability leaks into the visible realm—what Dawkins calls the Middle Kingdom, or what British philosopher J. L. Austin termed the realm of “medium-sized dry goods” (Dawkins, 2005)—and could be responsible for a whole host of bizarre occurrences, like the sea parting or people being spontaneously healed.

In the latter case, the response to this is that quantum weirdness does not lend itself to a specific faith tradition. That is, if somehow what was happening in the quantum realm seeped into the Middle Kingdom and caused unexplained phenomena (and there is no evidence it has) this wouldn’t be relegated to a single faith tradition. Quantum weirdness didn’t cause only the alleged miracles in the Koran (or the Bible)—but if someone claimed to know this is how the phenomena manifested, I’d ask how they knew this and to produce the evidence. (For practice, you can also argue that quantum states do manifest, but only in [insert any faith tradition other than your interlocutor’s].)

In the former case, I’m not sure how a lack of understanding about subatomic particles translates into the need for faith. Because we don’t yet and might never entirely understand how the universe is ordered and operates in the realm of the very, very small, this does not translate into needing to use an unreliable epistemology.
VD RESPONSE: How quickly you forget your own definitions! You have been droning on and on about how bad faith is, and how faith is pretending to know what you don't know, and now that it is pointed out that you don't understand quantum mechanics or know how the universe is ordered and operates at the finest level of detail, suddenly you abandon all that? Suddenly you can't figure out how a lack of knowledge about subatomic particles relates to pretending to know something you don't about the universe?

The existence of quantum mechanics completely undermines your entire epistemology. It undermines your entire pretense that your materialism is any more meaningful, any more indicative of true objective reality, than the pagan who believes the universe is resting on the back of a giant turtle.

Your epistemology is entirely rooted upon the basic assumption that what we can see, touch, feel, and measure is all there is. Quantum mechanics upends that assumption, and thereby delegitimizes the materialist metric by which you have been attempting to pass judgment on the supernatural.

As for how the quantum world potentially relates to various faith traditions, I would direct your attention to a televised lecture by Bryan Cox, the British pop physicist, called A Night with the Stars. At minute 36 of the lecture, Cox explained that the Pauli Exclusion principle is a universal phenomenon and that by heating up a diamond by rubbing it, all the electrons in the entire universe would immediately adjust their energy states so that none of them would precisely match any of those in the diamond.

Now, I don't know if this is true or not. You don't know if it is true or not. The electron state of a diamond-sized object orbiting a star in the proto-galaxy UDFy-33436598 is not the sort of thing we can readily observe. But the fact is that the idea of a Creator God, and any other number of observed supernatural concepts, is considerably less ridiculous to nearly everyone than magic universe-transforming trans-galactic diamonds that operate at speeds much faster than light. Quantum mechanics may not lend itself to proving any faith tradition, but it does tend to destroy the effectiveness of conventional Newtonian science as a basis for ridiculing the various faith traditions.

A citation of quantum mechanics is not so much a defense of faith as it is people pointing out to you that you have the very sort of faith in things you cannot prove and things you do not know that you decry in others. As we can easily observe in your next anti-apologetic.

ANTI-APOLOGETIC #6
“You have faith in science.”

This is usually a “late game” line, offered after faith has been demolished and exposed as fraudulent. People say this because they want to show some parity in belief: they have faith in X and you have faith in Y. You both have faith, but in different things. I’ve also found that people make this statement because they’re afraid of being seen as stupid or ignorant, so they want to leave the conversation and save face.

Science is the antithesis of faith. Science is a process that contains multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias. Science has a built-in corrective mechanism—hypothesis testing—that weeds out false claims.

Claims that come about as a result of a scientific process are held as tentatively true by scientists—unlike claims of faith that are held as eternally true. Related to this, claims that come about as the result of a scientific process are falsifiable, that is, there is a way to show the claims are false. This is not the case with most faith claims. For example, there’s no way to falsify the claim that the Norse god Loki was able to assume other forms.

Scientists also try to prove claims false (falsification), unlike faith leaders who unequivocally state that their faith claims are true. Related to the bizarre notion that there’s a vast conspiracy among scientists to suppress certain lines of research, if a scientist can demonstrate that a popular scientific claim is false, she can become famous, get tenure, publish her results, earn more money, and become respected by her peers. Moreover, the more prominent the defeated hypothesis, the greater the reward. If a preacher states that the claims of his faith tradition are false, he’s excommunicated, defrocked, or otherwise forced to abandon his position.

Science is a method of advancing our understanding. It is a process we can use to bring us closer to the truth and to weed out false claims. Science is the best way we’ve currently found to explain and understand how the universe works. It should be jettisoned if something better (more explanatory, more predictive, more parsimonious, etc.) comes along (Schick & Vaughn, 2008).
VD RESPONSE: Your attempted defense only succeeds in proving the charge is true. Let me remind you that you defined faith as "pretending to know what you don't know". And while you say that "all faith is blind", yours is observably blinder than most. Even if the religious faithful are pretending to know something they can't know to be true, you are pretending to know something we all know to be false. You make fun of people who believe in fairies in the garden, then promptly proclaim your belief in white-coated fairies working in the lab.

The science you describe doesn't exist. It has never existed. It is the Platonic Form of an ideal Science that exists nowhere but in your imagination and the overheated imaginations of the scientific faithful. Science, as it is actually practiced by scientists on this planet, does not contain "multiple and redundant checks, balances, and safeguards against human bias." As it is actually practiced, one could make much stronger case for Accounting. You don't only have faith in science, you have a badly misplaced faith in it.

The fact is that the vast majority of published and peer-reviewed papers are never checked, not even once. The fact is that most published and peer-reviewed papers are littered with basic mathematical and statistical errors that are never discovered because most scientists are mathematically and statistically incompetent. The fact is that modern science is a corrupt big business and most scientists are intellectual mercenaries whose compensation and continued employment depends entirely upon producing results that are in line with their employer's expectations.

Your declarations are manifestly untrue. Scientists don't try to prove claims false. They do precisely the opposite. Not only have a statistically significant percentage of published and peer-reviewed papers been confirmed to contain FABRICATED data, but the former editor of the British Medical Journal, Richard Smith has declared: "Most scientific studies are wrong, and they are wrong because scientists are interested in funding and careers rather than truth."

I strongly suggest you read the paper, published in PLOS Medicine, entitled "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False" to better understand how fundamentally misplaced your naive faith in science is. What you are claiming to be "the best way we’ve currently found to explain and understand how the universe works" observably doesn't even work as well as a coin toss, and that's before we even get to Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Global Warming, Evolution by Natural Selection, and a whole host of other "scientific facts" that are no more currently falsifiable than Loki's purported shape-shifting

Posted by Vox Day.
18 Jan 13:43

The Fifth Horseman 6

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
ANTI-APOLOGETIC #4
“My faith is true for me” is rarely heard among more sophisticated believers and almost never heard among fundamentalists.

It is very difficult to explain why this claim is fallacious because often the type of person who makes this statement does not have the intellectual or educational wherewithal to understand more thoughtful, substantive responses. (The exceptions are the youthful solipsists, the postmodernists, and the epistemological and cognitive relativists.)

The statement, “My faith is true for me,” means the faith-based beliefs one holds are true for the speaker and not necessarily for other people. The utterer of this statement is not making claims about faith beliefs being universally true—that is, true for all people.

Here’s my response: does your faith tradition include statements of fact about the world? For example, humans are thetans trapped on Earth in physical bodies, Jesus walked on water, the ability to fly can result from fasting (Jacobsen, 2011), or the Garden of Eden is in Jackson County, Missouri.

If your faith tradition includes no empirical statements, then it’s unclear what your faith tradition entails. However, if your faith tradition makes empirical claims (and all faith claims that fall within the domain of religion make empirical claims), then what you’re saying is that your belief is true for you, regardless of how the world actually is. Since the world is the way it is regardless of our beliefs or of the epistemology we use to know the world, “my faith is true for me” is a nonsensical statement. One can have faith that if one jumps out of a twenty-story window one will polymorph into an eagle and fly to safety. This doesn’t make it the case.

What one is really saying when one states, “My faith is true for me,” is, “I prefer my delusions, and I wish to remain with them in spite of the evidence.”
Once more, we see Boghossian making an appeal to his personal incredulity. And the fact that some people may not understand "more thoughtful substantive responses" explaining why the statement is fallacious does not mean that it is difficult to explain why it is fallacious. After all, Boggie correctly notes that the youthful solipsists, the postmodernists, and the epistemological and cognitive relativists all have the intellectual wherewithal to understand any such explanation, and yet Boghossian does not provide one.

As will become clear from my recommended response, it's not hard to understand why Boghossian doesn't want to explain why the statement is fallacious. Nevertheless, because I am not a relativist, I would not recommend relying upon this particular defense of faith except as a rhetorical feint that is a prelude to an attack on unwarranted atheist morality claims.

VD RESPONSE: My claim that my faith is true for me is no different than your claim that your morality is true for you. Do you believe that some actions are good and others are evil? Do you believe that some actions are objectively desirable and others are objectively undesirable? If one believes in an objective moral Law that is universally applicable to everyone, then one must necessarily believe in a Lawgiver.

However, since you reject the existence of the Lawgiver, we know you also reject the existence of an objective universal moral law. Therefore the limits of your moral claims extend no farther than you. What you’re saying is that your moral beliefs are true for you, regardless of what the moral law actually is. You're saying that you prefer to act however you momentarily desire, regardless of the morality of your actions.

This is why even atheists believe other atheists are less trustworthy than believers. And the bloody history of atheist rule has shown that people whose moral reality is subjective are far more dangerous to the world than people whose perception of reality is subjective. The subjective believer may be delusional and dangerous to himself, but the subjective moralist is not only delusional, he is dangerous to everyone else.

ANTI-APOLOGETIC #16
Defense: “Atheism and secular humanism are as much a religion—and require as much faith—as any religion. Atheists and secular humanists love to equivocate on religious issues—claiming they are not religious and are free of religious bias—but they are no less religious or faithful than anyone else. They are not aware of their own faith and are blind to their biases. There is a saying: ‘There are no nonreligious people, only false Gods.’”

Response: “Confusing atheism with secular humanism demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding as to what the terms mean. Secular humanism is a philosophy and a set of ideals; atheism is simply the lack of belief in a God or Gods. There is no dogma attached to nonbelief in a divine Shiva the Destroyer. And, as to the saying—it’s silly. To assert that people are incapable of letting go of belief in mythological fairytales without attaching themselves to some other form of worship is narrow-minded, condescending, pessimistic, and without evidential merit.”
VD RESPONSE: How can you possibly think that is an adequate response? You are providing an example of the very evidence you claim does not exist! You are responding to a charge of atheist equivocation by blatantly equivocating! The claim was that atheism and secular humanism were religions that required faith... and your response is to say that atheism is not secular humanism? That is a complete non sequitur.

As a Street Epistemologist, you are an atheist who is actively selling secular humanism, a specific "humanistic vision" as Peter Boghossian describes it, and yet the moment you're called on what you are doing, which is religious proselytizing, you retreat to pretending that your atheism is totally unrelated to your secular humanism.  And describing secular humanism as "a philosophy and a set of ideals" doesn't mean that secular humanism isn't a religion. Quite to the contrary, by describing it that way you have admitted that it is "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons". That is the literal dictionary definition of a religion!

You are not merely religious, you are a religious fanatic. You're the secular humanist version of the crazy guy raving about the End of Days in the park.

As for atheism, it is merely a specific belief that is a subset of the secular humanist religion. Your position is no more reasonable than a Southern Baptist who doesn't believe in infant baptism claiming that his lack of belief in infant baptism means he isn't a theist. That sounds absurd, but it is no less absurd than your attempt to delink atheism from secular humanism.

Posted by Vox Day.
17 Jan 18:20

The Fifth Horseman 5

by noreply@blogger.com (Vox)
Anti-Apologetic #3
“I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

I have personally heard this objection innumerous times—mostly from those who are more fundamentalist in their orientation. My suspicion is that people who have genuine doubts about their faith but want to demonstrate or voice strong verbal support for their faith (not necessarily to others but for themselves) make this statement.

This defense is problematic for several reasons. First, what amount of “faith” is required for someone’s nonbelief in the Norse god Thor? Or, are most people Thor atheists? Does nonbelief in Thor require effort? Do people need to congregate and sing songs together to reinforce their nonbelief in Thor? Anyone who says, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist,” doesn’t understand what the word “atheist” means, or is simply insincere.

Second, one possible reason this defense has gained such traction is the starting point. The faithful start with defaulting to God; in other words, the faithful look at the world around them and say, “God.” I happen to be on a plane now, and when I look around I see clouds, seats, people, my laptop, but I don’t see an invisible, unifying metaphysical and supernatural element. I see objects. It is unclear to me why one’s default would be God.

Borrowing from a term first used by pastor and French theologian John Calvin, contemporary American Christian apologist Alvin Plantinga tries to answer questions of defaulting to God with the Sensus Divinitatis or “God sensor” (Plantinga, 2000). Basically, Plantinga’s answer is that some people have a built-in sense of the divine—something within them senses God in the same way that we have eyes that sense things in the visual realm.

One of the main problems with the God sensor argument is that just as some people allegedly claim to sense God, other people can allegedly claim to sense other imagined entities. This common rebuttal is referred to as “the Great Pumpkin” objection. In American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts, Linus believes there’s a Great Pumpkin who arises from the pumpkin patch to reward well-behaved children. If the theist can claim that her sensation of God is immediate, why can’t anyone who genuinely feels an imagined entity claim that entity is real? (This argument can become very complicated, and as a general rule I’d suggest avoiding it whenever possible. Focus instead on the fact that one’s confidence in a sensation does not map onto its accuracy—just because people feel in their hearts the Emperor of Japan is divine, does not make the Emperor of Japan divine.)

When responding to, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist,” I begin by clearly defining the words “faith” and “atheist.” I can’t imagine how these two definitions could align so as to make this statement sensible.
VD RESPONSE: An appeal to your own lack of imagination is not only a fundamental logical fallacy, but is so hapless and inept a response that I would be embarrassed for you if I didn't think you were an intellectually dishonest jerk who is willing to say anything in order to tear others down.

Also, you're wrong. Let's look at your own definitions of "faith" and "atheist". You defined faith, improperly, as "pretending to know something you don't". As for atheist, you say: "Atheist,” as I use the term, means, “There’s insufficient evidence to warrant belief in a divine, supernatural creator of the universe."

The two definitions don't align because your definition of atheist doesn't even conform to the grammatical rules of the English language. "Atheist" doesn't mean "there's insufficient evidence to believe" anything. It's not a statement, it's a freaking noun! An "atheist' is a type of person, specifically, a person who does not believe in the existence of God, gods, or the supernatural, who "offers a humanistic vision", to quote Peter Boghossian, and in most cases, also subscribes to rational materialism and scientific determinism.

And given that the possibility that God always existed cannot be ruled out, as per Mr. Boghossian's Anti-Apologetic #1, it should be obvious that every atheist who claims God does not exist is someone who is pretending to know something he does not know. Which, according to your own definition, is someone who has faith.

Very few theists have the sort of faith required to engage in that pretense, to say nothing of the vast quantities required to pretend to know that the universe always existed, life came from non-life, science is the only means of obtaining reliable evidence, and global warming requires a global government.

ANTI-APOLOGETIC #15
Defense: “You’re just talking about blind faith. My faith is not blind.”

Response: “There is no need to modify the word ‘faith’ with the word ‘blind.’ All faith is blind. All faith is belief on the basis of insufficient evidence. That’s what makes it faith. If one had evidence, one wouldn’t need faith, one would merely present the evidence.”
VD RESPONSE: Your thinking is too simplistic. Faith is no more a binary matter than science is. I also notice that you're changing the definition of faith again: before you said faith was "pretending to know what you don't know". You are also contradicting yourself here. What distinguishes "sufficient" evidence from "insufficient" evidence? What is the magical binary line that separates one form of evidence from the other?

Even "insufficient evidence" is still evidence, by definition, so your assertion that if one had evidence, one wouldn't need faith is obviously false since you declare that faith necessarily requires a form of evidence upon which the belief is based.

Posted by Vox Day.