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Monday, December 31, 2012

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution

Louis Michael Seidman (NYT Op-Ed): Let’s Give Up on the Constitution
AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
Of course, doing away with the US Constitution has always been the goal of the "progressives", and has always been their proffered "answer" to every "crisis" -- even if they have to exert themselves in a truly heroic manner to manufacture that "crisis". That is, it isn't that case that "observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken"; rather, these "observers" start, and have always started, from that axiom.

And, by the way, it's not even remotely true that "the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos", for the government is not the nation.

Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?
"Why should anyone care?" -- Translation: Why should we "progressives" care about the clear rules when we think we have the raw force to do, and to compel others to do, whatever it is we wish?

An appeal to morality isn't going to hake headway with "progressives", especially when they're feeling their oats. So, let's try "self interest" -- Dude! You people aren't *always* going to have the presumed authority to get away with whatever you want to do. And, in truth, you don't even now have the raw force to compel the rest of us to bow to your shibboleths. You get away with imagining you have this authority (and this force) only because the rest of us -- the enemy -- are still playing by the rules. Make is obvious that you "progressives" have destroyed the rules, and things will get very interesting very quickly.

"Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy?"

What's going on in Washington has next to nothing to do with the nation's economy, except to make the economy weaker -- "fixing" the federal budget will not fix the economy. Even truly fixing the budget -- something the "progressives" will never allow -- will not fix the economy.

The economy does not originate in DC, and Washington can *never* 'grow' the economy -- the nearest any government can get to 'growing' an economy is to stop sucking all its lifesblood from it. But, "progressives", being vampires, can nevercountenance such an idea.

"Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?" -- Translation: Let's complete the Great Project begun in the Civil War and brought closer to fruition with the Seventeenth Amendment -- Let us finally get serious about abolishing the States which *created* the Union for which we claim to be speaking!

"Progressives" loathe decentralization and the general dispersion of power (and force) that is explicit in the American Union.

(h/t K T Cat)

Edit 2013/01/04:
If Gentle Reader can stomach wading through them, the reactions of the "liberals" and other leftists who infest Michael Engor's blog may be informative of the standard-issue leftist mindset.

Edit 2013/01/07:
Here is Michael Flynn cpmmenting on the matter: Sometimes the Mask Slips, Just a Little

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Friday, December 28, 2012

The perfect 'Perfect Christmas' book

Mark Steyn: The perfect "Perfect Christmas" book

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Monday, December 24, 2012

'It’s not your country anymore—it’s our country.'

"Liberals" -- being leftists -- never did/do see themselves as merely the political opponents-within-the-polity of us horrible, terrible, evil, wicked conservatives. Rather, they see themselves as our enemies; they see themselves as being at war with us.

And the prize at state in this war is America: Sam Donaldson Tells Tea Partiers 'It's Not Your Country Anymore - It's Our Country' -- What do you think "fundamentally transform America" means, anyway? -- This is a war of conquest, and they intend us to be their slaves (for, among other things, they refuse to understand they, too, can generate wealth via labor, and anyway, labor is for "the little people").

"... not surprisingly, the only good Republican in these folks’ view is a moderate one"; that is, a Republican who refuses to see what is what and to act accordingly, but rather can be counted upon to join them in demonizing any conservative who dares to have the unmitigated gall to speak the truth about what they are about.

(h/t Lawrence Auster)

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

There's a first

This is something you don't see every day (and something I don't think I've ever seen) -- BenYachov arguing rationally

(h/t to Victor Reppert)

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Unsexing the Language

Jared Taylor: Unsexing the Language

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Thursday, December 20, 2012


Shadow to Light: Aspirinism

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Monday, December 17, 2012

I *loathe* Sentimentality

I *loathe* Sentimentality (the capital-S in intentional).

Michael Egnor posted this cartoon following the recent mass-murder of children at a public indoctrination facility:

My reaction/response is:
Actually, this cartoon -- and, more importantly, the mind-set behind it -- is a prime example of what is wrong with and is actively destroying America: the feminization of the body politic. This cartoon finely expresses-and-illustrates the solipsistic "Everything is always all about me" attitude that seems to come naturally to women (*), and that since the ratification of the 19th Amendment has increasingly come to be seen as the default public setting.

(*) At any rate, to those whose psyches are still those of junior high school girls – and present-day culture seems to be deliberately designed to keep most people, male or female, from ever advancing past that stage.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two modes of intellectual discourse: Taking everything personally v. debate as sport‏

Steve Sailer: Two modes of intellectual discourse: Taking everything personally v. debate as sport‏

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The Folly of 'Gun Control.'

Jordan179: The Folly of "Gun Control."

related: Vox Day: Mailvox: the utility of rhetoric -- "... Does anyone think that his perfectly rational, perfectly correct argument about the false sense of security provided by gun-free zones will have any effect whatsoever on the minds of women (*) who are posturing (**) about how hard they are crying and how they are "hugging them close today"?

Of course not. The dialectic cannot reach the rhetorically-minded. Yes, it is logical nonsense to say "if you do not homeschool your children, they will die", just as it is nonsense to say "because one crazy individual shot 27 people, we must forcibly seize 300 million privately owned firearms that prevent government tyranny." And yet, these logically nonsensical rhetorical arguments that shamelessly play upon the emotions of individuals are the only ones that the majority - the majority - of the electorate find credible and convincing. And so they must be made.

(*) Of course, these days, far too many 'individuals of XY-ness' are not really men, but are rather merely women-who-happen-to-have-dicks. Yet, since they're not *really* women, but rather not-quite-men trying to be women, they tend to combine not the best traits of men with the best traits of women, but the worst traits of men with the worst traits of women.

(**) It is always a mistake, frequently ultimately deadly to your polity and to your liberty, to give woman a direct public voice in the running of one's polity. This applies whether the polity in question is a church (as witness the Anglicans/Episcopalians) or a civic society and the government ruling that society (as increasingly witness America since ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution).

DonReynolds: (in a comment to) Mailvox: the utility of rhetoric -- "I am already tired of hearing the Leftwing shout down anyone who wants to comment on this mass murder of children, claiming they are politicizing the tragedy. Of course, the little kids were still laying in their own blood when Barack Obama, as President, got on national media to politicize the event. He and others had already announced this was the moment when we needed to take effective action to prevent such events in the future by doing way from the guns. Lemmie see, they are NOT politicizing the tragedy by using it as a renewed call for more gun control? Listen, anytime the President of the United States gets on national media to shed a few croc tears, it is ALREADY POLITICIZED. What follows is the usual kabuki theater, complete with the predictable posturing and painted faces.

Is anyone saying they would be happier if the killer had only used a compound bow or a Bowie knife? Or how about a claw hammer or a tomahawk?

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

What is wrong with killing children?

Compare and contrast --

2012/12/10, 'troy', one of the intellectually dishonest 'atheists' who infests Michael Egnor's blog:
Ilíon: Ironically, the very intellectually dishonest fools who (among other things) accuse you [Michael Egnor] here on your own blog of advocating murderous racism can be counted upon to support this moral monstrosity [murdering handicapped children via starvation and dehydration].

Well, it would be 'ironic' if one expected either intellectual honesty or simple honest moral judgment from them.

troy: What's truly ironic is that an intellectual dwarf like you paints everyone who disagrees with your medieval moral standards as intellectually dishonest.

Egnor: How do you feel about starving handicapped babies to death, troy?

troy: I think that's pretty bad, Michael. As you know, I think it's OK to put terminally ill infants out of their misery by killing them swiftly. Sadly, because this, in my opinion, humane approach is still illegal in most places (because of misguided religious ideas), desperate parents feel forced to make their children go through this ordeal. It's awful.

Egnor: Would gas kill terminally ill infants "swiftly"? You could build chambers. To reassure the kids, tell them you're just taking them to the shower. ...

troy: Gassing kids en masse, that's more like the Christian Nazi thing to do. I'm not advocating that at all.
Let's ignore, as best we can, 'troy's' blatant lies and studied ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, so that we can focus on his support for murder: this *just is* "liberalism" (and libertarianism) and atheism in action.

‘troy’ doesn’t condemn murder; he celebrates and promotes it – he just doesn’t like it to be publicly visible. It’s not murder to which he objects, and certainly not on moral grounds; rather, it’s just the messiness of mass-murder that he finds distracting or distasteful.

2012/12/14, Vox Day: What is wrong with killing children?
One of the interesting things I've noticed about all the emotional posturing about the Connecticut public school shootings is that a fair share of it is being done by people who claim there is no God, no good, and no evil. Some of those people also happen to be those who assert that the Earth has too many people.

So, I find myself wondering if they are knowingly striking false poses in order to hide their amoral inhumanity at a time when sensitivities are particularly acute or if they are merely intellectually incoherent. The logical fact of the matter is that if there is no divine spark within us, if we are merely bits of stardust that happens to have congregated in one of many possible manners, then therre is nothing wrong or objectionable in rearranging the stardust a little. What difference does it make to an atom if it now happens to be part of arrangement X instead of arrangement Y? What difference does it make to the universe?

And if consciousness does not exist, if it is the illusion that some of the more imaginative neurophilosophers claim it to be, then how can anyone possibly object to the elimination of the nonexistent? What tragedy can be found in the transformation from nothing to nothing?

And if there are too many people on the Earth, in the country, then is not the reduction of that excessive number to be celebrated?

And if it is good, moral, and legal to kill a child in a trans-natal abortion, how long after birth is such killing truly licit? Would it make the deaths of the young public schoolchildren more palatable to describe them as 24th trimester post-natal abortions?

In an increasingly post-Christian pagan society, what is is wrong, precisely, with killing schoolchildren?
Logically, 'troy' and all those others who deny the transcendent reality of morality cannot condemn the murders of these children in Connecticutt as being wrong/immoral. Logically, they cannot condemn any murders at all; for to condemn murder is to assert that one ought not murder; that is, it is to assert the transcendent reality of morality.

What a strange and perverse society and culture we find ourselves in -- the "liberal" "cultural elites" purposely teach several related falsehoods about the nature of the world and of human beings, and most everyone else blithely goes along with these falsehoods, ... and then everyone acts all shocked! Shocked! SHOCKED! when someone inevitably behaves as though those blatant falsehoods were true.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fair and Balanced

Michael Flynn: Fair and Balanced -- "It is humorous to realize that the pro-choice folks are objecting to a message that starts "Choose..." Evidently, they are not so much in favor of choice than they are of making certain specific choices. Who knew?

The solution is obvious ...

2012/12/13 related: University of Victoria censors school’s Catholic Students Association -- As Kathy Shaidle put it: "University of Victoria: pamphlets promoting chastity constitute ‘harassment’ ... or something"

Just remember, "liberals" are "open-minded" only toward that which is perverse and destructive, both personally and socially; "liberals" are "tolerant" only until they believe they have the force to show their true colors.

012/12/14 related: Proph, on 'The Orthosphere': Thanks for the honesty, anyway From the linked CNA article:
[French] Education minister Vincent Peillon told the Dec. 11 conference that the classes on secular morality would emphasize the French secularist values of equality and fraternity.

In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, he said that secular morality is to “understand what is right and to distinguish good from evil.”

“Secularism is not about simple tolerance … it is a set of values that we have to share.”

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

01_The King is not above the law

[this post under construction]

Despite the impression that may be given by its serious title, this post is about a computer game. The short of it is that the King of my in-game country was accused of corruption by his long-time rival, who happened to be his younger brother, and ended up being exiled to the most powerful of my several vassal states -- which shortly thereafter revolted, appointing my former king as their chief general. No doubt he had hopes of regaining his throne thereby.

Who knew you could exile the King for corruption?

So, the purpose of this article is to attempt to make the game, 'Europa Universalis - Rome' , sound interesting to Gentle Reader, such that you are severely tempted to try to get a copy of this game or some newer title from Paradox Interactive Games. Paradox's games are generally of the 'grand strategy' and 'alternate history' genres.

Background: 'War Exhaustion' and the Rebellion of a Governor
I am playing, for lack of a better term, a "fantasy alternate history" included with a user-mod to the game 'Europa Universalis - Rome Gold'; the State I chose to play is Judea, which has the government type 'monarchy/theocracy', starting in 474 AVC (280 BC). The events I relate here transpire mostly between September 1, 542 AVC (212 BC) and March 1, 549 AVC (205 BC).

I had discarded most of the savegames, so the images I'll use to illustrate this period will be incomplete. For instance, I don't have available a map at the start of the rebellion of the Satrap of Iberia (as the self-proclaimed King of the Second Kingdom of Kartli), but only after Our Glorious Kingdom had dealt with him as best we were able, given the rules of the game -- we were able to reclaim two provinces (Mekheti and Cytaea) of the three that the foolish Satrap had stolen from The Great And Glorious Realm, effectively granting him full sovereignty of the third province (Mtskheta). But, shortly thereafter, the Republic of Albania, one of our more powerful vassals, and the most powerful of them in the Caucasus, fully conquered the short-lived Second Kingdom of Kartli and incorporated its remaining province of Mtskheta into that Lesser Realm.

When Jannaeus Nehmid, the treacherous Satrap of Iberia, rebelled against the Kingdom Judea, declaring the second Kingdom of Kartli on September 1, 542 AVC (the first having been extinguished by the Tribe of Albania in 516 AUV), The Sublime Sovereignty had been at war almost continuously for a number of years. The present war was going well -- several provinces had been newly incorporated into The Resplendent Realm, including Thebes, which had been the sole objective of the war. However, there was a growing restiveness amongst the Kingdom's many peoples: partly over the length of the war, but mostly over the frightening fact that most of the States of the Known World had joined in the war, against The Judaic Juggernaut -- hostile armies from as far away as Mauritania, Hispania, Gaul, the Germanies, and even Skandia were beginning to arrive in the theatre of combat.

The traitorous Jannaeus Nehmid had misjudged the war-weariness of the peoples of the Kingdom of Judea: incorrectly believing that news of his rebellion would spark conflagrations throughout The Decretal Dominions, and scheming that in the chaos he would establish himself as a King. Nehmid failed in his vain ambitions, but he did set in motion the events which led to the Dethronement and Exile of Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III [when I started this game, I changed the family name of the first High Priest to 'Ilion', thus any characters with that family name will be direct descendants of my first King; there will be no 'spawned' characters with that family name].

Even a King is Not Safe (Being excerpts of the Journal of Armin, the High Priest Ilion_IV, of Judea)
Dramatis Personae:

Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III, of Judea

Armin, the High Priest Ilion_IV, of Judea

Jannaeus Nehmid, King of 2nd Kartli

Prince Ilas-Alex Ilion, of Judea

Armin, the High Priest Ilion_IV, of Judea, has undertaken a private journal, meant ultimately as instruction to his son, Ilas, who is fated to be the fifth High Priest of Judea of the Ilion family:
My Son, as these writings are to be seen by no eyes but mine and yours, I shall dispense with the 'majestic we' customary of Kings. Yet, heed well my instruction to you: for our world was changed in the span of a day, when my father, Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III, was cruelly deposed from his throne and I elevated in his stead. The wise man will study and learn from these terrible events.

Much as my grandfather, the illustrious Alexander Ilion_II, is called 'the Great', already there are those who call my father 'the Exile'. Due to the foreign origins of my mother's father, there are those who resent my ascension to the throne, both within the Family and without: may it be that the worst they ever call me is 'the Foreigner'. And, as you're aware, your mother's father is also of foreign origin. Thankfully, neither she nor you look Assyrian, as do I and my mother. May it be that there is no talk of you being a foreigner when you come into your own: it is good that have we named you for Ilas, the High Priest Ilion_I.

For, mark well: not even a King on his Throne is safe from the petty jealousies and spiteful machinations of the lesser mortals who sup daily at his table.
Akabon Ilion_III, now deceased, whose mother was Phoenician, was married to Daria Pacorid, the daughter of Nambed Pacorid, an Assyrian noble refugee from the extinguished Kingdom of Osroene, and Obadiaha Nahumid, a Jewish noblewoman of Judea.

Akabon's son through Daria Pacorid, Armin Ilion_IV, is married to Nissa Halditid, the daughter of Artaxias Halditid, an Assyrian noble refugee from the extinguished Republic of Chaldea, and Dov Eleazid, an Egyptian-Jewish noblewoman of Judea.

Thus, Armin Ilion_IV is by ancestry one-quarter Assyrian and one-quarter Phoenician; and his son through Nissa Halditid, Ilas, fated to be the fifth High Priest of Judea of the Ilion family, is by ancestry three-eighths Assyrian, one-eighth Egyptian, and one-eighth Phoenician.

A character's culture/ethnicity (and religion) is assigned when it is either 'born' to existing characters or 'spawned' as an adult unrelated to any other character. Several factors go into determining a character's culture/ethnicity: the primary determinant is the State's official or primary culture; a 'born' character may inherit its father's or mother's culture, if that differs from the primary state culture; and sometimes the culture of the province in which the character is 'born' or 'spawned', if different from the primary state culture, will determine the character's culture. The assigned religion is almost always that of the official State religion; though, sometimes a 'born' character will inherit the religion of its father, if that is different.

If a 'born' character with one or the other parent being of a culture different from the state primary culture is assigned the state primary culture, I oftentimes edit the game savefile to change the character's culture to that of its parent. For instance, Daria Pacorid, the mother of Armin Ilion_IV, was assigned the 'Jewish' culture and a 'Jewish' name when she was 'born'; I changed her culture to 'Assyrian', as he father's, and renamed her 'Daria'.

Of a truth, my son, the causes of the dispossession of Akabon, High Priest Ilion_III, have their roots in the reign of his father, Alexander, High Priest Ilion_II, called 'the Great'. As is said: "The father stubs his toe, and the son limps."

Fate had decreed, and it was the express policy of Alexander, that Thebes, the capital and last remaining province of the Republic of Thebais, should be brought into The Resplendent Realm. Alexander died before he could undertake this Glorious Conquest, and thus it fell to Akabon to carry out the command of Fate and of his father.
The game assigns various 'missions' to the states, to be achieved in a certain time, with some reward for success or penalty for failure. The 'Fate' to which King Armin refers is a 'mission' to conquer Thebes within fifteen years, with the penalty being a loss of popularity of the current ruler. Had Judea failed to conquer Thebais within the allotted time period, or had some other State conquered Thebes within the period, that would have counted as a failure of the 'mission'.

And, so it was that within a span of days in November 539 AVC (215 BC), Akabon had declared two wars: against The Theban Republic, as Fate had decreed, and against the Kingdom of Pergamon, who had long been causing trading problems between our gold-producing province of Argolis, on the Greek mainland, and our provinces of Caria and Sardis in Less Asia. All of these are amongst our patrimony from Alexander Ilion_II, called 'the Great'.

The Theban Campaign was resolved quickly -- by August of the next year, we had occupied Thebes and had accepted the surrender and annexation of Thebais -- and with minimum damage done by the desperate Theban Army to our other AEgyptian provinces: for Akabon had dedicated three full armies, that is, 18 of our 72 cohorts, to the subjugation of Thebais.

That strategy against Thebais was perhaps a mistake, given that not only had the other Greeks of Less Asia come to the aid of the Pergamese, as expected, but so too did the Kingdom of Cyrenaica, and their allies. As, eventually, did most of the other States of the known world.

The Galatians of Less Asia neither attacked us, nor allowed our forces to traverse their lands. They did, however, seize the opportunity to conquer both the Cappadocians and the Phrygians after we had compelled both to quit the war.

The Cyrenes had only recently completed their subjugation and conquest of the Cretan Republic, by then reduced to Gortyn and Patras, giving them control of most of mainland Greece and the west of Crete itself. They still had an army of 35 cohorts (and perhaps a further 16-20 of their allies the Tribe of Nassamones and the Republic of Africa) in Gortyn, the old Cretan capital, threatening our province of Knossos, and eleven cohorts in Patras, threatening Argolis.

The Cyrenes and their allies quickly invested both Knossos and Argolis. With all our forces committed in AEgypt and Less Asia, we could not relieve either siege; and against such massed force, Knossos could not long hold out. In short order, the Cyrenes occupied Knossos, and carried off any number of our citizens there as slaves to their wretched capital, Cyrene. May it be, my son, that if not I, then you, may yet rescue these unfortunates.

They exiled him from The Resplendent Realm on a charge of 'corruption'; but it was this loss, albeit temporary, of Knossos, and the later permanent loss of Mtskheta, together with his policy, instigated during this war, of offering denarii out of the public fisc to certain of our foes in exchange for truce that had turned the nobility of Judea against Akabon, the Ilion_III. They called it "bribes" and "paying tribute to the goyim"; he called it "saving the lives of my troops, when their deaths serve no purpose". For, never, not since Ilas, the Ilion_I of blessed memory, had ascended to the Throne had any province of Judea been captured by the enemy, nor had any King of Judea used anything but force of arms to compel our enemies to quit the field of combat.

Ultimately, however that the nobility would not forgive the Ilion_III for it, the Cyrene siege and capture of Knossos did serve the Kingdom. For, with the bulk of their forces confined by our navies to the Island of Crete, Cyrenaica was effectively out of the war until we chose to carry the battle to them. We lost half our navy in a number of naval engagements against the Cyrenes, but we did prevent them transporting their forces off Crete.

And, when the Ilion_III judged the time right to retake Knossos and capture Gortyn, we annihilated the Cyrene forces in Crete, for we had left them nowhere to which to retreat. My son, it was your humble father himself who personally commanded the forces which liberated Knossos and captured Gortyn, as he previously had captured Thebes during the conquest of Thebais.
When King Armin refers to "three full armies" committed to the Theban campaign, he refers to my policy, especially in the early game, to limit the size of any individual army to six cohorts. This has three pros: by having more separate armies, I can project power to more places at once, I can give generalships to more of my clamoring nobles, and, being smaller, the armies suffer less 'attrition' when marching through enemy-held territory; and with one important con: the AI-controlled countries sometimes throw massive stacks at me. For instance, when the Satrap of Iberia had declared the 2nd Kingdom of Kartli, he quickly fielded an army of 27 cohorts (fortunately, mostly militia), against which I could spare only 12 cohorts.

Armin's reference to some citizens in Knossos being enslaved by the Cyrenes is to a unique feature of this user-mod: when one captures an enemy province, some number of its residents are transported to one's own capital province and added to the slave population. Due to the many victories of the armies of The Sublime Sovereignty, by this time in the game, 549 AVC (205 BC), the population of Judea has grown to 18.6 citizens, 14.9 freemen, and 83.1 slaves: Judea is easily the highest revenue producing province in the entire known world. Let us hope the slaves do not revolt!

So, my son, we come now to that second fateful day, September 1, 542 AVC (212 BC), when the treacherous Jannaeus Nehmid, Satrap of Iberia, declared himself King of a re-born Kingdom of Kartli, that being comprised of the three provinces of Iberia: Meskheti, Cytaea, and Mtskheta. And, of course, our efforts, over decades, to more properly civilize the natives of these three provinces, were utterly lost.

Jannaeus Nehmid had long seen himself as a rival to Akabon. When the great Alexander, the Ilion_II, still reigned, this pointless and one-sided rivalry was manageable -- and do not forget that Jannaeus was a very talented man, who had served Alexander well. But, with the death of Alexander and the ascension of Akabon, the Ilion_III, Nehmid's resentment began to consume him, and he grew increasingly disloyal. The Ilion_III ought to have removed Jannaeus Nehmid from the Satrapy before his disloyalty lead to rebellion, but he did not see how to do this without sparking a civil war.

At the time Jannaeus Nehmid began his rebellion, the Ilion_III had moved two full armies of 12 cohorts into our Cappadocian provinces. For, while Colchis, Cimmeria, and Rhoxolani are our vassals, they had agreed to allow the forces of the wild tribes of Sythia, Dacia and the Germanies to traverse their lands: we were being attacked not only in Argolis of mainland Greece, and from across the Propontis into Less Asia, but also from the North into the Caucasus.

The four cohorts that the Ilion_II had long ago attached to the governorship of Iberia had joined Jannaeus Nehmid in his rebellion: we were compelled to annihilate them. By the time our forces engaged that army in Meskheti, Nehmid had raised a further force of 27 cohorts in Mtskheta. While greatly outnumbering our available forces, these were mostly ill-trained militia who, in the end, were no match for our seasoned men.

Our forces captured Meskheti on September 15, 543 AVC; they captured Cytaea on December 5, 543 AVC; and invested Mtskheta soon after. As the Fates would not allow the complete reconquest of Kartli, in February of 544, the Ilion_III offered Kartli an end to the war for the return of the provinces of Meskheti and Cytaea: officially recognizing Jannaeus Nehmid to be the King of Kartli.

However, Nehmid's kingdom did not long endure: various other Stares saw his weakness and hoped to profit thereby. Also, he had inexplicably declared war against the Sicilian Republic, whom he could not even reach, though they and their allies might have reached him in time -- surely, his resentment of my father had driven him mad. In the end, the Albanian Republic, whom we had envassaled when they were still a wild Tribe, completed their conquest of Kartli in May of 545 AVC (209 BC).

So, Jannaeus Nehmid styled himself a King for not much more than two-and-a-half years. When his kingdom was lost, he even had the audacity to beg the forgiveness of the Ilion_III, vowing his rivalry against him to be ended -- and the Ilion_III granted it!

It was a mere three months later that the nobles of Judea deposed and exiled Akabon, the Ilion_III, for "corruption".

Another consequence of the Nehmid Rebellion, together with the laws of the great Alexander, the Ilion_II, is that the children and grandchildren of Jannaeus Nehmid, while they had remained loyal to Judea (indeed, Ezena Nehmid has been promoted to the post of Tetrarch of Lycia), are now entitled to style themselves 'Prince' and 'Princess'.

On June 4, 545 AVC (209 BC), the Republic of Sicilia, who taken the lead amongst the Powers arrayed against us, agreed to an end to the Pergamese War. Despite the ancillary loss of Mtskheta, the Pergamese War was a glorious victory for the Great and Glorious Realm, adding both provinces and vassals to the glory of Judea.
Armin's speaking of Judean efforts "to more properly civilize the natives" is a reference to a feature of this user-mod: one can build a 'colony' in a province with a "foreign" culture or religion. It can take up to ten years to complete a 'colony' building (each effort adds one or more "levels" to the 'colony'); when the "level" of the 'colony' reaches ten, the province will convert to the state's official culture and religion.

In the 'vanilla' version of 'Rome' and other user-mods, the player may "bribe" a character with 50 denarii of State funds so as to increase the character's loyalty by some random level. Obviously, this can be financially ruinous to the State if not used judiciously. However, the 'Rule of the Ancients' mod disables this ability.

Another change of this mod is that it is more problematic to remove a character from an office or post once given. Simply removing a character from an office or post not only decreases that character's loyalty, but also angers all the other characters in one's nation. So, unless absolutely necessary, one needs to promote the character to a new position; and it increases the character's loyalty if the newly assigned position is the one he or she currently desires.

The only desire Jannaeus Nehmid had left was to become the Ruler; obviously, that was not going to happen. If I had simply removed him from office, he likely would have started a civil war, with no telling how many provinces would have rallied to him. It didn't occur to me until it was too late, but I think I might have been able to "promote" him to the command of one of my navies. That would have been a perfect solution: for while a wholly disloyal General may instigate a civil war, I have never seen a wholly disloyal Admiral do so; the worst they seem to do is to refuse to allow you to alter the make-up of the fleet they command. But, they still obey your other orders.

The "Fates" which would not allow the full reconquest of the Kingdom of Kartli is a rule of the game: an occupied country of less than three provinces may be wholly annexed, but if it has three or more provinces, than at least the capital must be returned to control of its legal owner.

The "laws of Alexander" which allow the Nehmid offspring to style themselves 'Prince' and 'Princess' are a modification I had made to this user-mod. This mod added the titles 'Prince' and 'Princess' -- as the mod was written, the siblings and children of a monarch, so long as of the same family, are entitled 'Prince' or 'Princess' so long as that monarch reigns. I had modified these rules to apply regardless of the family to which the characters belong, to not expire, and to extend to any grandchildren born while the monarch reigns.

The images below (click on them to see a larger image) show the Kingdom of Judea and the rump of the Second Kingdom of Kartli at the time of the end of Jannaeus Nehmid's revolt. Albania, who conquered 2nd Kartli, is the orange county to Kartli's east and north.

EU-Rome: (mod) Rule of the Ancients: Shattered World
(544_03_12 AVC) Kingdom of Judea after the rebellion of Jannaeus Nehmid

EU-Rome: (mod) Rule of the Ancients: Shattered World
(544_03_12 AVC) The rump 2nd Kingdom of Kartli, soon to be conquered by Albania

At last, my son, we come to that third, and worst, fateful day -- August 27, 545 AVC (209 BC), when the nobility of Judea deposed Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III, and banished him from his own kingdom. Akabon was exiled to the Kingdom of Persia, who had been our faithful allies since the days of Ilas, the High Priest Ilion_I of blessed memory, and who had been our most important vassals since their voluntarily submission during the days of Alexander, the High Priest Ilion_III, called 'the Great'. But, the Kingdom of Persia is no more, having become a Republic; and they are no longer our vassals, but our foes, against whom we shall likely be compelled to again go to war.

As I have said, the King was "convicted" of "corruption" -- and the charge was laid by his own half brother, Prince Ilas-Alex Ilion. But, the true reason behind the actions of the nobility was their displeasure over the King's prosecution of the Pergamese War: that he had used State funds to induce some of our foes to accept truce, and that the distractions of the war had given Jannaeus Nehmid an opportunity to rebel, resulting in the loss of the province Mtskheta.

As for Prince Ilas-Alex's part in this, that is easy to see. For, while the elder, King Akabon was the 'natural' son of King Alexander, called 'the Great'. And thus Prince Ilas-Alex had always resented that the Throne had gone to Akabon, rather then to himself.

During his reign, Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_II, added these provinces to the Decretal Dominions: Thebes, Soli, Iconiun, Synnada, Gortyn, Naxos, and Samos. He envassaled these realms: Cilicia, Pisidia, Pergamon, Bithynia and Pontus -- for, since the time of Ilas, the High Priest Ilion_I of blessed memory, it has been the policy of the Kingdom of Judea to envassal our foes when possible, rather than to utterly destroy them, as the goyim are wont.

Against all these gains, Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_II, lost the province of Mtskheta -- an all but worthless place containing nothing more interesting than cattle, and a people who speak the same language as their cattle.
The image below (click on it to see a larger image) shows the Kingdom of Judea at the time of the Exiling of Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III.
EU-Rome: (mod) Rule of the Ancients: Shattered World
(545_08_27 AVC) Kingdom of Judea at the Exile of High Priest Akabon Ilion_III

The weeks and months following the Exiling of King Akabon were a parlous time for the Kingdom.

The Family were openly divided, with Prince Ilas-Alex having earned the emnity of many for his part in the Exiling of King Akabon. Fortunately, the Prince died of natural causes before these factions came to open warfare, and the divisions were laid aside.

Even more frightening to those who feared that King Akabon meant to regain the Throne was that of the total 72 cohorts in our armies, 27 were personally loyal to King Akabon, while only 6 were personally loyal to his heir, the new King. Yet, in the tumultuous times that followed, when King Akabon indeed took arms against the Kingdom in the cause of the Persian Rebellion, the commanders of the cohorts kept them all loyal to the Kingdom.

As I have said, the Kingdom of Persia had willingly become our vassals during the reign of King Alexander, called 'the Great'; they had been our most powerful allies both before and after their envassalation. Yet, of late, and since their final conquest of Parthia, the Persian nobles had become restive over their limited role on the world stage. Really, it was only a matter of time before they had rebelled against us; the arrival of King Akabon in the Persian court but hastened the day. Specifically, his arrival hastened that day to a bit over three months!

It is clear that the young (he was not yet 20 years of age) Persian King, Tigranes Pacorid, thought to use the personal loyalty of our cohorts to King Akabon against us. And, indeed, had a significant portion of those 27 cohorts gone over to the Persian cause, the result would surely have been quite different.

So, in late December of 545 AVC (209 BC) the Persian King, Tigranes Pacorid, declared war against The Great and Glorious Realm, and appointed our former King, and my own father, as his chief general against us.

But, we had been preparing for this day, having moved four full armies of 24 cohorts into the region: we swept the Persian forces from the field and methodically reduced their cities, all but Persepolis, which would soon have fallen when the Persian King agreed to peace in early August of 548 AVC (206 BC).

As recompense, we acquired the provinces of Hecatompylus and Tabae, giving us full control of Parthia, and the important pottery-producing Persian of Paraitacene. We allowed the Persian King his freedom, for what that freedom was worth. For, as it happened, this foolish and vain rebellion so discredited Tigranes Pacorid, and indeed his entire dynasty, that on September 11, 548 AVC (206 BC), the Republic of Persia was proclaimed and Tigranes Pacorid was executed. He was but 22, having ruled exactly three years and ten months.

Word has come to us that my father, the former King Akabon, the High Priest Ilion_III, died in Persia on March 1, 549 AVC (205 BC). Those cohorts formerly personally loyal to King Akabon have transferred their loyalty to his heir, as Nature decrees, and that danger to The Sublime Sovereignty of divided loyalties has passed.
Another "feature" of this user-mod is that having a large number of vassals, as Judea does, becomes a dangerous game of suppressing rebellions. During the reign of King Alexander, before Persia and Phoenicia had freely become vassals to Judea, most of, if not all, our vassals in Syria, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Medea, Persia, the Caucasus and Sythia had rebelled, frequently simultaneously. The resolutions of these rebellions is how Judea came to directly control so many of the provinces in these regions.

"We allowed the Persian King his freedom" because the game would not allow me to envassal them, given the provinces I also demanded.

The image below (click on it to see a larger image) shows the Republic of Persia following the peace accords of the War of the Persian Rebellion.

EU-Rome: (mod) Rule of the Ancients: Shattered World
(548_08_07 AVC) Peace settlement following the Persian Rebellion of 545 AVC


The Game: technicalities
The computer game in question is 'Europa Universalis - Rome' from Paradox Interactive. Specifically, I am playing the 'Reign of the Ancients 2.00' user-mod applied to 'Europa Universalis - Rome Gold' (which includes the 'Vae Victis' expansion pack), with 'VV patch 2.32c'. Should Gentle Reader manage to wrangle a copy of the game, the patch is available for free download, as are various user modification packs.

'Europa Universalis - Rome' is an older title from Paradox; I don't know if Paradox is still actively marketing the game. I did recently see a copy of 'Europa Universalis - Rome Gold' at MicroCenter in Columbus, Ohio ... for a mere $10.00! If the company has any copies left, I expect it could be ordered online and shipped.

Europa Universalis - Rome
'Europa Universalis - Rome' is a 'grand strategy' and 'alternate history' game centered on the history of the mid-to-late Roman Republic, as the Republic gives way to Empire. The time period of available gameplay is roughly 280 BC to 27 BC. Note that one does not have to play as Rome -- any State represented in the game may be chosen.

The game models three categories of government, each with multiple 'flavors': republic, monarchy, and tribal. Republics and monarchies both have pros and cons; different players will prefer different mixes. Tribal governments have no pros -- if one chooses to play as a tribe, one's initial and over-riding goal must be to increase the State's "level of civilization" to the point that the government can be converted to a republic or a monarchy.

This is the copy from the back of the game's CD case --
Europa Universalis Rome Gold combines the epic strategy title Europa Universalis Rome with the expansion pack Vae Victis

Experience one of the most defining periods in world history!

Gain control over countries, cultures, provinces, and characters in a unique experience with great strategic and tactical depth.

- Explore a 3D map with integrated graphics and detailed topography
[Ilíon: ho-hum! In my not at all humble opinion, this is one of Paradox's annoying traits -- the "3D map and detailed topography" add nothing at all to gameplay, and actively distract from it, yet do consume system resources]
- Start at any date between 280 B.C. and 27 B.C.
[Ilíon: in game terms, this is 474 AVC to 727 AVC; as best I can tell, no matter what the start-date, the game ends sometime between 727 AVC (27 BC) and 730 AVC (24 BC)]
- Choose between 10 different cultures, including the Roman, Celtic, Greek and Egyptian civilizations, with more than 53 playable factions on a map spanning hundreds of provinces
- Watch your characters develop new traits through political intrigue and various interactions with thoushands of other characters
- Trade, negotiate or fight to united the Roman Empire
Doesn't that sound like fun?

Reign of the Ancients (user mod)

What interested me in the 'Reign of the Ancients' user-mod

Reign of the Ancients: Shattered World

Reign of the Ancients: Shattered World -- Judea

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Speaking of 'George Carlin’s single accurate observation'

Kathy Shaidle: It’s like George Carlin’s single accurate observation: -- "That most of the women who protest outside abortion clinics are all the same women nobody wants to have sex with anyway.

I feel that way about the “men” who participate in the White Ribbon campaign:

None of them look like they’d beat or rape a woman anyway - or, more accurately could manage it.

They’re always these rickety, spindly, bike-helmet beta males.

As I understand Kathy Shaidle with respect to the abortion "debate", she correctly recognizes abortion for the murder it is, and opposes it. And, at the same time, she scorns and despises the "pro-life" folk for their lack of coolness ... where "cool" is defined by the very "liberals" who champion abortion.

But anyway, getting back to George Carlin's allegedly single accurate alleged observation, that most of the women who protest outside abortion clinics are all the same women nobody wants to have sex with anyway --
1) this is a good example of the "liberal" habit of justification (of wickedness) and/or dismissal (of righteousness) by means of non sequitur
2) did Mr Carlin, nor his fans, never realize that one of the meanings of this alleged observation is this: that the women who cannot have children -- allegedly because no man will willingly give them one -- implicitly understand, in their bones, the moral horror of murdering children.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Windows. Definitely Windows.

Freefall: Windows. Definitely Windows.

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For 'liberals', the rest of the world isn't real

Wintery Knight: Surprise! WMDs from Iraq were moved to Syria by Saddam Hussein

Of course, there is in truth absolutely no surprise that Saddam Hussein's stockpiles of chemical weapons -- you know, those famously "missing" WMD -- were shipped to Syria during the Bush administration's infamous (and non-existant) "rush to war". The world watched the shippments happen in realtime, as the Bush administration spent months working to convince the "liberals" to get on-board with taking out Saddam Hussein regime.

But, to "liberals", the rest of the world isn't real, the lives of the people in the rest of the world aren't real, their mass-murders aren't real(*). Thus, since the most important thing to "liberals" was to cripple the Bush administration, any inconvieniet truth out there in the rest of the world could be ignored and denied(**) ... no matter the forseeable consequences.

(*) Though, in defense of the "liberals", the lives of the "small brown people" in the US whom they pretend to champion aren't real to them, either.

(**) And, for "liberals", any truth of reality that the rest of us cannot force them to acknowledge does not exist.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

You get what you reward

Michael Barone, in Real Clear Politics: Men Find Careers in Collecting Disability

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Only gentiles could be this dumb

That ["Only gentiles could be this dumb"] is the title Kathy Shaidle applied to her link this post: Jew-hating United Church members pretending to be self-hating Jews

This is my comment to that post --
"Independent Jewish Voices' claim that they are members of the United Church who happen to be Jews is about as valid as someone who says they are a Sunni Muslim who happens to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. These are mutually exclusive terms and you're either one or the other. By their professed beliefs and actions, it seems clear that Independent Jewish Voices is made up of Christians masquerading as Jews for the sole purpose of attempting to lend a sick pseudo-legitimacy to their demonization of the Jewish state."

While I suspect that it's probably true that "Independent Jewish Voices" are not Jews, your argument against them lacks a certain umph. For, after all:

* one can be an 'atheist' ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can be an leftist ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can be a Buddhist ... and still be a "Jew"

* one can even be a Moslem ... and still be a "Jew" (at least in Reform circles)

Apparently, the only dual-loyalty not allowed is to be a Christian who is a Jew.
The United Church of Canada is a "liberal" -- which is to say, leftist -- "ecumenical Protestant" denomination of (these days) mostly pseudo-Christians: if there is an anti-Biblical, and especially leftist, proposition out there, you can be sure that the UCC will promote it. Of course they hate Israel, and Jews in general -- they're leftists.

At the same time, many Jews -- at any rate, the sort I call "bagel Jews" -- do seem to go out of their way to make it easy for non-Jews to have a low opinion of, or even hatred toward, Jews in general. When your "Judaism" amounts to little more than hatred of Christianity (*), how can you be surprized that persons whose "Christianity" amounts to little more than "my sainted mother was a Christian" have a low opinion of Jews?

You know, I myself have Jewish ancestors, and I will never be ashamed of nor hide that fact. I like the fact that Israel exists as a "Jewish State". I like the fact that Christian America has always thought highly of Judaism and has welcomed Jews as Jews. At the same time, there are times I get so fed up with irrational Jewish whinging, and irrational Jewish hatred of, and sometimes lies about, Christianity.

(*) By the way, there is a simiar dynamic amongst Canadians, especially the more "liberal" or leftist they are -- for many Canadians, their Canadianness amounts to little more than, "We're not Americans! ... and that makes us better, nicer, and more moral than they are!"

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Sauce for the goose

Victor Reppert: Sauce for the goose --
Perhaps I can pose the question concerning the multiverse and ECREE this way. Look, if people consistently denied the probabilistic relevance of the multiverse in all contexts, that would be one thing. They could say "Regardless of the multiverse, we have to look at what is probable in the world as we experience it. but in fact, the multiverse theory is used to mitigate the initial improbability of a finely-tuned universe without a designer." But, if you can help yourself to the multiverse to blunt the effect of the fine-tuning argument, can't you also use the multiverse theory to blunt the effect of the initial improbability argument against miracles such as the Resurrection.
The "ECREE" to which Mr Reppert refers is that bogus, anti-reason, anti-logic, hypocritical, self-serving, selectively employed "principle" enunciated by Carl Sagan, and immediately latched upon by the self-proclaimed Epitomés of Reason (*) everywhere (who, while they are willfully irrational, are not wholly stupid): "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Victor Reppert: "Perhaps I can pose the question concerning the multiverse and ECREE this way ..."

By definition, human beings will never have, and can never have, "scientific evidence" of any "other universe", much less of a "multiverse". By definition, any evidence that is asserted to be of some "other universe" is just more facualy-claims about *this* universe, which is the only one to which we can ever have "scientific" access.

While he's far too "nice", or at any rate, far too much the academic, to come right out and bluntly say it like a man, what Mr Reppert is getting at in the above post is the intellectual dishonesty -- that is, the hypocrisy with respect to reason -- that undergirds *all* deployment of the "ECREE" pseudo-principle. (**)

Victor Reppert: "But, if you can help yourself to the multiverse to blunt the effect of the fine-tuning argument, can't you also use the multiverse theory to blunt the effect of the initial improbability argument against miracles such as the Resurrection[?]"

I have discussed this previously, in the 'Science!' and Miracles ... and Skepticism! thread. Here is that same Carl Sagan, making "extraordinary claims" -- sans *any* evidence, whatsoever -- and expecting you simpy to believe them because they are 'Science!':
From The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

"Consider this claim: as I walk along, time -as measured by my wristwatch or my ageing process -slows down. Also, I shrink in the direction of motion. Also, I get more massive. Who has ever witnessed such a thing? It's easy to dismiss it out of hand. Here's another: matter and antimatter are all the time, throughout the universe, being created from nothing. Here's a third: once in a very great while, your car will spontaneously ooze through the brick wall of your garage and be found the next morning on the street. They're all absurd! But the first is a statement of special relativity, and the other two are consequences of quantum mechanics (vacuum fluctuations and barrier tunnelling,* they're called). Like it or not, that's the way the world is. If you insist it's ridiculous, you'll be forever closed to some of the major findings on the rules that govern the Universe.

*The average waiting time per stochastic ooze is much longer than the age of the Universe since the Big Bang. But, however improbable, in principle it might happen tomorrow."
As I have previously said concerning Sagan's 'Science!':
And, sometimes, iron axeheads which have flown off their handles and fallen into a pond or river float to the surface. [This is a reference to a miracle of the prophet Elisha, as recorded in II Kings 6:1-7] And, sometimes, the dead bodies of persons who really and truly are dead, rise back to life. [This is a reference to a number of resurrections recorded in both Old and New Testaments, including that of Jesus the Christ.]

So, given what 'scientistes' believe and assert about the nature of reality, how can their denial of, and refusal to believe, any of the miracles recorded in the Bible be anything other than selective hyper-skepticism, which is to say, intellectual dishonesty?

(*) Even Bob Prokop, who consistently employs this "principle" to protect his leftism from rational examination, understands that the entire point of "ECREE" is to protect God-denial and materialism/naturalism from rational examination: "In my experience, ECREE is simply another way for skeptics to say, "Whatever you say, and no matter what evidence you submit, there is no way in the world you will ever get me to change my already made up mind.""

(**) Concerning the "ECREE" assertion of a pseudo-principle -- Even if it were not offered hypocritically, it is false in itself: the simple truth is that just as with "ordinary claims", "extraordinary claims" -- whatever "ordinary" and "extraordinary" are supposed to mean -- require only appropriate evidence.

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He doesn't quite get it

Dennis Prager: He Wants You

It's a good talk, mostly on the money, and brings out some important points that people, which is to say, women, really do need to understand. Nevertheless, Prager doesn't quite understand what he's talking about --

First off, it's *not* true that "men are programmed by nature to want variety". While, they may be "programmed" by pop culture -- which is just the logical out-working of society's buy-in two or three generations ago to the libertine project -- to "want variety", that "programming" assuredly is not "nature" (*).

Related: it's not really so much that looking at the women around us "turns us on" -- that's a libertine slander against all men -- rather, it's that we find women, and their bodies, and the details of their bodies to be the most beautiful things in the world, quite apart from "being turned on". Most of us, when we look at women -- when we study women -- are not really "lusting in our hearts" (**). Rather, we are admiring, and drinking-in, beauty.

Second, and most importantly -- and the honest truth that almost no one is willing to allow anyone to say out loud, much less to themselves admit -- the reason that women "feel threatened" by their man looking at another woman is because they would "feel threatened" by that woman even if her man was nowhere around. The sad truth is that most women, no matter the ages of their bodies, are still in junior high in their psyches -- which is to say, all women (except those few who are mature) see themselves as being in a never-ending sexual competition with all other women.

Prager correctly says that the woman mistakenly imagines that her man is comparing her to the woman he was/is looking at, and further imagines that he is or will become dissatisfied with her by the comparison. But, Prager totally misses the reason that she incorrectly imagines that the man is comparing/ranking the two women: it's because she is comparing herself to the other woman or women, and judging herself to be lacking rank. The reason that "she is sure that her man will continue to think about these women long after they've disappeared from sight" is because she will continue to think about (and compare herself to) these women long after they've disappeared from sight.

At about the 2:23 mark, Prager says "But here's the point that most women, again understandably, don't know: with very few exceptions, it doesn't matter [that the man may have considered the passing woman to be more attractive than his woman]!" Now, it's true that in most cases it does not matter to the man that he considers the other woman to be objectively more physically attractive than his own woman -- for, after all, if he's a normal man, he's not fantasizing about bedding her; he just wants to enjoy her beauty. But, it's not "understandable" that women don't know this -- they don't know it because they don't want to know it, most of them refuse to know it.

If you’re the male half of the couple, (unless she’s one of the few mature women) she’s all-but-guaranteed to fishingly ask you, “Do you think that woman is prettier than me?” - if she asks this, it’s because she already thinks so, and she’s demanding that you tell her otherwise. My advice is: say the truth (***) - it won’t do you a bit of good, anyway, to say that the other woman is less attractive if she isn’t. In fact, in the long run, it will hurt you.

When a woman is comparing her man against another, whether the comparison is by appearance or social status or wealth, and so on, it’s generally the case that she is already dissatisfied with him, that she has already convinced herself that she “deserves better”. It’s generally the case that she’s comparing him to other men because she “window shopping” - when the man looks at another woman, his woman is likely to fear that he’s comparing her to the other woman, and will be dissatisfied with her, and may leave he because that’s the trajectory she’d already be on if she were comparing him to another man.

Lastly, here's the said truth about all this: most woman will not hear what Prager is saying: "He doesn't want the other woman he chanced to see and look at, he wants you". All but those few woman who are mature don't give a damn about what men, in general, or their man, in particular, wants with respect to women. Well, with respect to anything, really. Prager is talking about a decision, about an act of will on the man's part -- and women, by and large, want to imagine that that men have no say in the matter.

(*) Seriously! Which sex is notorious for whinging to their friends about being "bored" with married life, in general, and specifically with the way their spouse approaches and carries out "loving-making"?

(**) And that is actually Prager's take-home message to women, he just phrases it differently.

(***) You could evade the question, you could refuse to answer it … but you’ll just repeatedly face it again until you teach her that you’re not going to lie when she insists upon asking you that.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

True, but

William Vallicella posts an aphorism that "He who merely restates his position in the teeth of criticism has not responded to it." And this is true, so far as it goes. But, at the same time, most of what passes for 'criticism' isn't.

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Electing a new people

via Kathy Shaidle: Allan Wall, on VDare: Memo From Middle America | Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Not Applicable To White, Legal, English Girl. And While We’re On The Subject, Aren’t British Immigrants Preferable To Mexican Immigrants Anyway?

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Monday, November 26, 2012

When he's right, he's right

Lawrence Auster: a theory explaining Romney’s bizarre emptiness --
I have a theory explaining Romney’s bizarre emptiness. It has to do with his Mormonism. Mormonism consists, at its core, of many ridiculous assertions that no rational person could possibly believe. Why then does Mormonism “work” so well for its adherents? Because the practical core of the religion is not this folderol about a family of sixth century B.C. Jews sailing from Mesopotamia to North America or Joseph Smith discovering a 2,000 year old platinum scripture written by an angel buried behind his farm in upstate New York, but the patriarchal way of life it counsels. This is deeply appealing to people, and it works for them. That’s why they are Mormons. At the same time, in order to be Mormons, they have to turn off their rational faculty when it comes to questions of truth. They disregard questions of truth, and focus on the pragmatic, ethical aspects of Mormonism.

And this describes Romney perfectly. As a Mormon, he has turned off his faculty of the rational search for truth, but at the same time he follows the healthy and solid Mormon maxims on how to live a good life. As a result, he is a man devoid of principles, even while his personal character and behavior are exemplary.
To expand upon Mr Auster's theory -- it's not *merely* that Mormonism requires its adherents to believe empirical assertions "that no rational person could possibly believe", but that it requires them to believe metaphysical assertions (*) "that no rational person could possibly believe".

Mormonism is, in this regard, much like atheism in requiring the holding of irrational metaphysical assertions. And, most 'atheists' get around that problem by generally ignoring their metaphysical commitments ... and living their daily lives, for the most part, in accord with our Judeo-Christian metaphysical commitments. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every 'atheist' tried to live like Lenin, Stalin and Mao?

(*) For instance, that "God" is merely one more entity, amongst the many, in 'the universe'. That is, the Mormon "God" is not different in kind from you and me, or from Zeus. To put it another way, the Mormon "God" is an effect of 'the universe', rather than its cause.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

'‘... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.'

... or, Stupid Atheist Tricks, Part 'N'

Michael Egnor has a recent post called "... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf." concerning "[a]n atheist group at Dartmouth College [which] is planning an event aimed at skewering the reputation of the late Mother Teresa." This strange title comes from the late Christopher Hitchens' "description" and moral condemnation of that saintly woman.

Disregarding, for the sake of argument, whether or not it is true that she was "a lying, thieving" person, Mr Hitchens' asserted "description" of her certainly seems to be asserting a moral judgment about her, in particular, and about liars and thieves, in general. To wit: that one ought not be either a liar or a thief.

Now, keep in mind, Christopher Hitchens was a militant atheist. He was one of the patron saints, so to speak, of the silly and obnoxious fools known as 'New Atheists'.

The point is that -- as every rational being knows, and as every honest rational being admits -- IF atheism were indeed the truth about the nature of reality, THEN there neither is, nor could be, any such truths as "one ought" and "one ought not". IF atheism were indeed the truth about the nature of reality, THEN to assert that Mother Teresa was a liar and a thief is no more informative than to assert that she was an Albanian or a dwarf (*).

With the above logically inescapable truth in mind, I said: "Wait a cotton-picking minute, here! Since when was there anything, you know, wrong with being "... a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf"? Do 'atheists' have some rational ground by which to object to Albanians and/or dwarves?

This comment, of course, became the cue for one of the lying, thieving, moral midgets who infest Mr Egnor's blog to pipe up and demonstrate his intellectual dishonesty: "Wait, we're in 2012 and there still are morons who think "how can you be moral if you are an atheist?" is not a ridiculously stupid question?"

Mr Egnor tried to treat that particular intellectually hishonest Anonymouse as though he were merely mistaken, as though he simply misunderstood the point at issue, rather than as that the Anonymouse is an intelectually dishonest man -- a liar, and worse than a liar -- who will not understand the point at issue.

In response to Mr Egnor's comment to the Anonymouse, the intellectually dishonest God-hater who posts there as 'bachfiend' chose to demonstrate both his intellectual dishonesty and his disinclination to reason soundly (the two traits are differerent sides of the same coin, after all): "No you're wrong again. Morality is objective. It's not decided by the individual. It's decided by the community, the society, in which the person lives. ..."

Responding to the initial Anonymouse in his own style, I said: "Wait, we're in 2012 and there still are God-damned morons who try to pretend that the question "on what objective ground are you basing the moral assertion you just asserted?" equals the assertion that "God-haters do not know, and cannot conform themselves to, the objective moral law!""

Now, do no imagine that I was simply being profane in calling the Anonymouse 'God-damned' -- when I assert that someone is 'God-damned', I am being deadly serious. I asserted that the Anonymouse is damned-of-God because he shows himself to be an hypocrite with respect to reason and truth. Of course, that damned-of-God Anonymouse is not *really* a moron -- my use of that word was simply to echo his style -- if he really were a moron, then he'd (likely) not be able understand that what he'd said was false, in which case he couldn't be intellectually dishonest in saying it.

My point, as always, is not that these people cannot reason, but rather that they will not reason. My point is not that they are 'morons' or 'stupid', but that they are fools, that they are intellectually dishonest: for they purposely lie about the very nature of truth itself.

(*) And, by the by, Mother Teresa wasn't a dwarf, much less a lying, thieving dwarf. Though, apparently sadly, she was an Albanian. So: Hitchens got one assertion out of four correct ... which was far better than his usual average.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

How is it that ...

How is it that 900 "votes" can be cast in a precinct with seven registered voters? It seems to me that Democrats are almost as amazing mathematicians as Darwinists -- the Darwinists win because they can sum all negative numbers and get a positive result.

Oh, come on, be serious! The Democrats didn't steal the election in just this one race.

(h/t Laura Rosen Cohen: One Man, One Vote, One Hundred Times)

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'Minor sins' ... and Judgment

Alan Roebuck (in a comment made in his 'Defining Christianity: Why Be a Christian? Part II' thread) -- "Yes, modern man does not believe in sin, except for spectacular cases such as mass murder. But we have to acknowledge the biblical testimony, that what seem to us minor sins are not inconsequential, but are both offenses against a holy God and, as you say, indications of a radical disorder within us."

A few years ago, a wrote a parable that is about exactly this false idea (and idol) that one can be morally good without being morally pure (Miss Grundy warning: I openly use a certain naughty Anglo-Saxon word many times, which, by the way, one may find used in the Bible) -- Noìli's Custom Ice Cream Shoppe

The modern man, he who denies the reality of sin and the reality of objective moral standards, is always willing to "compromise" thusly: "Well, sure, I guess I'm sort of like a gallon of delicious ice cream which has a teaspoon of dog-doo mixed into it. But that guy over there has a whole pint mixed in. THEREFORE, God has no right to judge/condemn me."

But, of course, God has the right to judge-and-reject the person who is not morally pure, just as anyone has the right to judge-and-reject a serving a ice cream with a smidgen of doggie-doo mixed into it. Not one of us is morally pure -- and God has the right to reject all of us: you/I have no ground upon which to stand to judge God.

Moreover, God has offered you a way to be freed of your impurity, he has offered you a way to be made acceptable in his sight. But you, O Modern Man, will not humble yourself before a loving God, and admit your sinfulness and inability to make yourself morally pure, will not trust in him to make you pure ... however much that you will abase yourself in all ways before a mere human and vicious tyrant.

And, do not think that God will "send you to Hell", as people incorrectly say, because he's anal-retentinve about sin, as moderns like to condem those have not quite so relaxed an attitude toward sin as they themselves. The reason God will "send you to Hell" is that since you will not repent of your sinfulness and allow him to burn the sin out of you, you cannot even continue to live/exist were you to come into his direct presence (that is, were you to "go to Heaven"). You clutch your sin to you bosom, as though it were the most precious part of you, and you will not let it go, you will not let it be burned out of you -- thus, you become sin. "Sending you to Hell" is a mercy, for all that is it also judgment (*).

Those who will not be purified of their sinfulness cannot "go to Heaven" -- they cannot see God face-to-face -- for, having become sin, they would be wholly burned-up in his direct presence, there would be nothing left of them.

All sin, even the most 'petty', as we view the seriousness of these things, must destroy he who will not let go of it. Clutch any sin to your bosom, and it will devour you.

(*) Furthermore, there can be no mercy if there not first judgment-and-condemnation. Mercy just is the setting aside of the full weight of condemnation one deserves. Mercy just is a special form of injustice.

Edit 2012/11/20:
Kristor seems to be having as much trouble posting comments on this (Google/Blogger) blog as I am on The Orthosphere (WordPress) blog. Following is a comment from him --

Well done. I loved this
And, do not think that God will "send you to Hell", as people incorrectly say, because he's anal-retentinve about sin, as moderns like to condem those have not quite so relaxed an attitude toward sin as they themselves. The reason God will "send you to Hell" is that since you will not repent of your sinfulness and allow him to burn the sin out of you, you cannot even continue to live/exist were you to come into his direct presence (that is, were you to "go to Heaven"). You clutch your sin to you bosom, as though it were the most precious part of you, and you will not let it go, you will not let it be burned out of you -- thus, you become sin. "Sending you to Hell" is a mercy, for all that is it also judgment (*).
I’ve been making that argument for years to people who object to the notion of a wrathful God. To the sinner, the fire of God’s love is as a wrathful burning; to the saint, it is recognized as the very basis of his life, even when he was a sinner.

Sin is essentially a disagreement with reality. Lydia McGrew made this point a couple years ago, hammering it into me. As disagreeing with the very foundation of his own life, the sinner cannot but aim at the extinction thereof; the wages of sin is death, and people keep signing up for the gig - because, as sinners, they disagree with existence, and want those lethal wages.
Yes, this is what I was getting at -- "To the sinner, the fire of God’s love is as a wrathful burning; to the saint, it is recognized as the very basis of his life, even when he was a sinner."

Now, the sort of Internet Atheist with whom anyone has far too much experience -- you know, the old Village Atheist With Ehternet -- is going to scoff at that statement, as, indeed, they mindlessly scoff at everything.

But, consider, they themselves frequently believe something roughly analogous; though, in their case, what they believe tends to be pointless (and even mindless) navel-gazing and self-worshiping woo-woo. In have in mind certain wide-spread ideas that now seem to be free-floating in popular-and-materialistic culture (such as it is) --

In the movies of popular culture -- informed, as they are, by materialism/naturalism -- the human characters, sometimes even the main characters with whom we are meant to identify, may encounter some "Entity of Light" ... which tends to burn them up; which is to say, given the materialistic or naturalistic presuppositions of the movie, the characters are annihilated by the Light.

Sometimes, as with Nazi soldiers encountering face-to-face the "supernatural" (as that term is misused in materialistic though) Ark of the Covenant in an Indiana Jones movie, this personal annihilation is presented as a horror.

Sometimes, as with a face-to-face encounter with a "higher being" (which is, nonetheless, as fully a natural-and-contingent being in the physical universe as we are), or as with a face-to-face encounter the sun, this personal annihilation is presented as a mystical/spiritual event regarding which the audience is intended to have “woo-woo” feelings.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's always someone else

Legal Insurrection: 'The (EVIL) Rich' is always that other guy

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But, an acorn is an oak tree

But, in fact, an acorn is an oak tree. It is not a potential oak tree, but an actual oak tree.

Or, if one wants to scientifically pedantic about it, an acorn is two sibling (*) individual organisms of some particular species of oak.

(*) They are not actually the children of the oak tree on which the acorn grew, but are rather its grandchildren.

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As I asked

As I asked a few days ago, over at Bob Parks' blog, 'So, will the hot toy for this Christmas be the “Down Low Elmo”?'

I hear that the “Down Low Elmo” is facing stiff competition from the “Don't Tickle Me, Elmo”.

Kathy Shaidle: If only Romney had gone after Elmo instead of Big Bird

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When are 'vegetables' not?

Shadow to Light: Maybe she felt it -- One may recall that one of the rationalizations for judicially murdering Terri Schiavo was the assertion that she'd not feel anything while dying a slow death of thirst ... as though pain were the criterion of moral determinations.

Michael Egnor: Man in Persistent Vegetative State answers questions via fMRI -- In the comments section, the God-denialists who infest Egnor's blog play to type.

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'All In' ... but crickets for Benghazi

Via Bob Parks: Glenn Beck on the Petraeus distraction

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Translating old Soviet jokes into American

Old Soviet jokes become the new American reality

An example:
Let's see how an old Soviet joke can be rewritten into a new American joke. The six contradictions of socialism in the United States of America:

* America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.

* Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.

* They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.

* Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.

* The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

* They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

There's more where it came from - or where we're going, whichever the case may be.

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19,605 to 0

Bob Parks: "19,605 to 0. Seriously, not one…?"

Mr Parks' incredulity is sparked by this news item: In 59 Philadelphia voting wards, Mitt Romney got zero votes

Obviously, this is just a textbook case ... of Party Discipline.

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Blog Traffic

Goodness me! Whoever could be monitoring (for I've noticed this before) my little blog using searches such as the following? --

"lawrence auster" -site: -thewhitenetwork -robertlindsay -usapartisan -oogenhand -burketobristol -diaryofdaedalus -occidentaldissent -viagra -age-of-treason -ringtone -downwithjugears -hesperado -chechar -washingtonreb -diaryofdaedalus -news-cottage -bclaym -oldatlanticlighthouse

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Welcome to your first few weeks of the next four years, America

Laura Rosen Cohen: "It's been cold. Lord, have mercy." -- "Welcome to your first few weeks of the next four years, America. The President may need an even spiffier bomber jacket when he pays his next visit to the area.

And he should also bring a giant drool bucket for Gov. Christie as well if he goes to NJ. I think they sell those at the Obama On Line store.

Of course, if the nation does come to its senses, it can impeach and remove from office both the Constitutionally ineligible Obama and his criminally complicit buffoon, Biden.

Isn't it so odd?

With Katrina:
1) President Bush had to beg the Democratic buffoons running Louisiana to order an evacuation of New Orleans (*), which those same Democratic buffoons then proceeded to thoroughly bungle;
2) President Bush had to beg the Democratic buffoons running Louisiana to invite the Federal government to come into the State and assist with the cleanup and recovery;
3) even with that late start, it went fairly well … not that lying “liberal” media ever admitted that, and not that it did “Brownie” any good.

(*) Of which evacuation, when they did finally order it, they made sure to make sure that everyone knew it was only to humor that “idiot” in the White House. They didn’t believe New Orleans *could* be hit by a hurricane, and they wanted to make sure that no one blamed them for a few days of inconvenience caused by a “false alarm” evacuation.

On the other hand, with Sandy:
1) two weeks later, and people are still dying due to the damage caused by the storm;
2) not that lying “liberal” media will ever admit that, lest Teh Won’s halo be besmirched.

Now, the point here is not to fault Obama for "not doing enough" -- hell! do you think I'm a "liberal". The point here is to highlight, once again, "liberal" hypocrisy.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Rhetoric of Middle-earth

The Superversive: The Rhetoric of Middle-earth (An excerpt from Writing Down the Dragon)
Many critics have claimed that Tolkien is a bad prose stylist. Does this mean that The Lord of the Rings is a ‘good bad book’, merely an entertaining melodrama? To answer the question, we need to define the difference between melodrama and drama. I am indebted to Stephen R. Donaldson for this partial but useful definition: Where melodrama is about a Villain, a Victim, and a Rescuer, drama is about how those three characters exchange roles.

Gollum is an excellent example. When we meet him in The Two Towers, he appears to be a pure villain, with Frodo and Sam as his intended victims. But Frodo tames him, for a while, just enough so that Gollum can play the rescuer in the Dead Marshes. Captured by Faramir, he becomes a victim, and Frodo rescues him. He is victimized in another way by Sam, who fails to see how Gollum is struggling towards the good, and inadvertently pushes him back into his evil habits. Then Gollum becomes the villain once more, betraying the Hobbits to Shelob; but in the end, at Mount Doom itself, he turns (despite his worst intentions) into the final rescuer who saves the Quest from catastrophe.

Whatever The Lord of the Rings is, it is not a melodrama, any more than Hamlet or the Iliad. It contains several dramas, interlaced in a complex pattern, and each told in a style appropriate to the incidents and the characters. But none of these styles are the default style of the modern ‘literary’ novel. There are no showpiece sentences for the critics to make much of; there is no stock vocabulary of symbolism, Freudian, Marxist, or what not, by which to decode the text.

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