Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Gentleman’s Wager

Even if this proves to be everything the hype says it is — abundant, nearly-free fuel that is almost carbon neutral — the Green Jihadis will still want to ban it, because Global Warming.

It does, after all, involve internal combustion engines, which are conducive to commerce and empower the individual.  And, of course, eeewwww.

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I Made a New Word: “Neo-Calvinist”

It’s kinda clunky, and I’m not super-happy with it, but it’s the best I could do.

Hereabouts, we spend a fair bit of time discussing terminology.  Which covers it better, “liberal” or “leftist”?  That kind of thing.  Because definitions are important.

So I’ve tried to come up with a new one.  Not all leftists are liberals, and not all liberals are leftists, but they are all impaired to some degree by the same mindset.  David Stove called it “cognitive Calvinism.”  He explained it like this:

Calvinists believe in the total depravity of human nature: if an impulse is one of ours, it is bad, because it is one of ours.  The argument,

  • Our knowledge is our knowledge,
  • So,
  • It is not knowledge of real things,

could seem valid only to someone who felt that any knowledge we have could not be the real thing, because we have it.

He’s talking about an argument he calls “The Gem,” aka The Worst Argument in the World, which deserves the top link on every conservative blog’s sidebar from now until the end of time.  It’s the one-stop explanation of the Fundamental Contradiction of Liberalism, the fact that there’s no such thing as a fact.

indexBriefly:  A Gem starts from a tautology and ends by presenting some emotionally appealing conclusion as if it followed logically from the premise.  But nothing follows logically from a tautology by definition.  So, Stove argues, we’d easily see that

We can know things only

  • as they are related to us
  • under our forms of perception and understanding
  • insofar as they fall under our conceptual schemes,

is a tautology (“we can only know what we can know”) if we weren’t emotionally wedded to the idea that we cannot know things as they are in themselves.

Stove thinks it’s only “cognitive Calvinists” who find Gem arguments appealing (as opposed to “politically useful” or even “true” (for those of us who don’t recognize that they are Gems)).  And, on the surface at least, “we cannot know things as they are in themselves” is a pretty depressing comment on mankind’s mental powers.  But Stove was a philosopher, and was used to arguing with fellow philosophers (the whole Gem-argument is laid out in a long discussion of Victorian Idealism, one of the driest and deadest relics of that long-vanished era).  Out here in the real world, where the intellectual level is much lower but the self-regard level is somehow much, much higher, people have no problem making the leap from “we cannot know things as they are in themselves” to “I possess the entire Truth.”

Hence, Neo-Calvinism.  Like the original Calvinists, Our Betters have granted themselves a plenary indulgence from the consequences of their theories.  Calvinists knew they were among the Elect, because the one sure sign of Election is an affinity for Calvinism.  And so while all knowledge has heretofore been Western / white / patriarchal / imperialist / whatever, and while of course we are utterly incapable of transcending the cognitive biases of our class situation — so proclaimeth St. Karl of the Holy Dialectic — the light of Divine Grace has descended on Our Betters.  They have been Saved.  They are, in Tom Sowell’s wonderful phrase, the Anointed.

Which is a term that would probably work well enough in context.  But I like “neo-Calvinist” because it calls back to the intellectual roots of Puritanism.  As Max Weber famously argued, Protestantism is not a religion of the proletariat.  Puritan* social histories are full of relatively unlettered, low-status people engaging in recondite theological debates, and one of the reasons the Salem witchcraft trials are so fascinating even to non-lesbians is the intellectual wattage of the judges.  Cotton Mather could produce 500 pages of densely-reasoned, impeccably logical prose to justify putting you on the rack.  As we are well aware, Our Betters love the form and the feel and the sound of intellectual debate, even as they’re “arguing” straight from the amygdala. It’s Cotton Mather logic — of course “spectral evidence” is admissible in court, because the girls are being tormented by witches, and witches use specters to torment.  QED.

“Neo-Calvinist” also gives a shout out to the prissy, moralizing, censorious nature of Our Betters.  In all matters except sex — these days, in all matters perhaps gay sex — they are prigs and scolds.  Bad speech must of course be banned, but also bad cars, bad lightbulbs, bad toilets, bad trash cans, bad songs, bad movies, bad shows, bad channels, bad books, bad websites, bad everything.  The Church of Correct Thought has its liturgies, its rituals, and of course its sacrifices, and participation is not optional.  You are sinners in the hands of an angry God, and since there’s no such thing as God, Our Betters will have to pinch hit for Him.

Once you look for it, you see this kind of thing everywhere.  This post was inspired by yet another takedown of “Vox,” this stupid news-explaining-blog-thing that has gotten the right blogsphere so worked up.  Professional jealousy aside — and what is this, 2002?  Didn’t we go through this “throw zillions of dollars at talking-point-spewing bloggers thing” a decade ago?  and wasn’t it a comprehensive disaster? — I really fail to see how this is any different from anything else the left media do.  How is Ezra Klein pretending to be objective while “explaining” that of course progressives are metaphysically correct about everything any different from any random MSNBC / CNN / ABC / CBS / New York Times knucklehead pretending to do the same thing?  Hell, I doubt if you could get more than a few of Rachel Maddow’s supporters to admit she’s anything but an up-front, straight-talkin’, truth-tellin’, honest-to-Gaia journalist.

Klein’s just an extra-sanctimonious jerkoff, even by the left’s world-class standards.  Which is great for me, I guess — I got a new word out of it — but I don’t see how it needs thousands of words of impassioned “analysis” elsewhere.  He’s just another neo-Calvinist, pretending his prejudices are God’s will.  Same as it ever was.

UPDATE: Just for giggles.  It appears this “Vox” site screwed the pooch on one of the very first stories it reported.  They claimed that Kentucky, which just lost the NCAA men’s basketball championship game, “has a graduation rate of 82 percent” for its ballers.  Except, ummm…. it doesn’t.  Not even close.  That 82% figure is from ten years ago.  Their entire philosophy now is one-and-done, and there’s exactly one senior on the whole team.  Serious you guys, this is top-notch journalism.


*I’m well aware that not all Calvinists, much less all Protestants, are Puritans.  But it’s the sense of the word, not precise doctrinal definitions, that matter.

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A Question I’d Like to See Asked: The Gay Rights Timeline

I can’t begin to tell y’all how tired I am of this week’s “all gay, all the time” media circus.  I know it’ll be done with soon enough — Our Betters, the liberals, are nothing if not spazzes with the attention spans of goldfish — but I suppose we must endure it for another month or two.

So to pass the time, here’s a question I’d like to see asked:  When did “gay marriage” become a fundamental civil right?

You see, one of the reasons “all gay, all the time” annoys me so very, very much is that I remember the 1990s.  For boring bureaucratic reasons, I ended up on the same weird work shift as a fellow who proclaimed himself a “queer radical,” and since we had lots of downtime, I soon learned pretty much every conceivable thing about the “gay agenda” as it stood circa 1995.

Marriage wasn’t on it.  In fact, circa 1995, you’d be a traitor to the cause if you advocated long-term monogamous relationships.  The reasoning in the grunge era seemed to be: “Magic Johnson proves that straight people who have anonymous unprotected sex with hundreds of partners get AIDS, too, so let’s make that the cornerstone of our lifestyle.”

Call me a bigot if you must, but I was there, and that description, cleaned up a bit for publication, could’ve come directly from my queer radical coworker.

Given that this lifestyle is only slightly safer than juggling live hand grenades, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the “queer radicals” who survived the Nineties want to settle down and raise lhasa apsos together in a nice quiet suburb here in the glorious Twenty-Teens.  It doesn’t even surprise me all that much that they themselves want some sort of legally-recognized “domestic partner” status for hospital visits and insurance claims and such.  You know, all the stuff that “gay marriage” was supposed to be about, back five or six years ago when whomever it was decided that we were all supposed to care about “gay marriage” now.

It only became a “civil right” once the left got a hold of it.  Specifically, once the left side of the Democratic Party got a hold of it.

Again, call me a bigot if you must, but again, I was there.  I remember the widespread disdain in which the Democratic Party in general, and Bill Clinton in particular, were held by activist gays.  The reason being, the great “civil rights” crusade of the 1990s was abortion, which the gay left didn’t care about — “breeders” were still breeding even if they chose not to carry to term.  (And, of course, even then Hillary! was routinely mocked for staying in the closet).

I’d be interested to see just when the “gay marriage [sic] is a civil right” decision was made.  And it was a decision, clearly — click over to the Google ngram viewer, for instance, and check out the fascinatingly divergent timelines for “gay rights” and “gay marriage.”  It’s like somebody flipped a switch, right after the year 2000 (gee, what could have happened then to get the left all hot and bothered?).

That’s a question I’d like to see asked.  And I’d really like to see the gay community itself ask it.  Isn’t there some warning about taking free rides from strangers?

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The Irrefutable All-Purpose Civil Rights Argument

I’ve been seeing a lot of predictable chatter in the wake of this Mozilla business.  I even put in my 50 cents (inflation-adjusted) below.  But then I started reading the comments on some of those pieces….

Dudes:  Is the left still comparing “gay marriage” to the civil rights protests of the early 1960s?  And is the right still trying to “argue” with them on those terms?

This is the only “argument” you’ll ever need on that score.  You can thank me later.  Ready?  Two words: Dred Scott.

Since “the Dred Scott decision” is part of the mantra of causes-of-the-civil-war that every schoolkid in America is still(?) required to memorize, it amazes me how few people actually know what it was.  In brief, the Supreme Court argued that Dred Scott was not a citizen, and never could be a citizen, and therefore had no rights the US government was bound to respect.

To give Dred Scott the legal standing necessary to sue in federal court, Chief Justice Roger Taney argued, Missouri in effect made Scott a citizen of the state, and therefore by extension a citizen of the United States.  But this is a power clearly delegated to Congress by the Constitution.

Therefore, Scott has no standing to sue.

Therefore, Scott is not free.

This is the point that all the leftists chirping about civil rights so consistently miss:  The question at law concerned the legal status of one man.  The end result was the nullification of the Northwest Ordinance, the overturn of the Missouri Compromise, and, by extension, the de facto legalization of slavery in the entire United States.  And all because seven guys in black robes made a decision about “standing.”

What Our Betters fail to realize is that the only law that universally holds is the law of unintended consequences.  Here’s Wikipedia:

It was expected that the Scotts would win their freedom with relative ease since Missouri courts had previously heard over ten other cases in which they had freed slaves who had been taken into free territory.  But, in June 1847, Scott’s suit was dismissed on a technicality: Scott had failed to provide a witness to testify that Scott was in fact a slave belonging to Eliza Emerson.

So there was another trial, and another appeal, to the Missouri Supreme Court.  Which resulted in an appeal to the US Supreme Court.  Which was headed by Roger Taney, who took what he saw as a golden opportunity to resolve the slavery question in the United States once and for all.

Live by lawfare, die by lawfare.  Dred Scott is widely considered the worst decision the Supreme Court ever made, but look what it took to overturn it:  That whole “War Between the States” business you may have heard of, plus the 13th-15th Amendments to the Constitution, plus the 1866 Civil Rights Act.

The point is this:  Every step of the process that ended in Dred Scott’s return to slavery, and the de facto legalization of slavery across the whole United States, hinged on the idiosyncrasies of, at most, seven people.

Do you like those odds?

The left, of course, likes to claim they’re waging lawfare because of the principle of the thing, and the right tends to engage them on those terms.  It’s a mistake.  The left doesn’t have principles, only prejudices.  Right now, they feel the prejudices are all running in their favor, and that the likelihood of getting an activist judge is much greater than the likelihood of getting a stodgy old conservative judge.  And recent precedent seems to be firmly on their side in this.  So they sue.

Which is what Dred Scott thought, too.

It’s actually worse in the homosexualist case, since they’re arguing that their favored behaviors are actually rights.  If you actually look at it, Taney’s logic was impeccable — Scott wasn’t a citizen, and therefore he didn’t have the right to sue, and Missouri’s de facto grant of United States citizenship to him for the purposes of suing was a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.  It took — again — a Civil War, a few Constitutional amendments, and the enactment of positive law to render Taney’s legal reasoning moot.

The doctrine of “I can force you to bake me a cake against your religious beliefs” is, shall we say, a little murkier, Constitution-wise.  To what extent does the Commerce Clause, as I guess the “reasoning” is, trump the First Amendment?

Either way, it’s going to come down to how some judge is feeling that morning.  And those feelings can change.  It never ceases to amaze me how “conservative,” indeed reactionary, the left is about its own peccadillos.  Right now there seem to be more activist, pro-homosexualist judges than there are restrained judges.  And besides, even if we get one of the hoarier ones, we can force him to give in through social pressure.  It worked on John Roberts, right?

It never, ever occurs to them that this can go the other way.  They don’t realize that even if Dred Scott was right, and every judge in Missouri would’ve freed him if they could, court cases can take on a life of their own.  The technicality that voided Scott’s first trial — the one he, and all his friends, and the whole abolition movement, thought would be a slam dunk — ended up legalizing slavery in the whole United States once Roger Taney got his hands on it.  And once you’ve established the principle that “behaviors we like” are now Constitutional rights because some judge got up on the right side of the bed that morning, what possible objection can you make when he gets up on the wrong side?

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Cue the Corporate Purges

Vox Day on the new hotness in Corporate America:

What [a commenter] has failed to realize is that there had been a de facto political ceasefire in the corporate world. The Mozilla debacle broke the ceasefire and now the political Right has the ability to return fire with impunity. I doubt it will do so openly yet, but I have no doubt that there will be more than a few unexpected dismissals quietly taking place over the next few months now that corporate executives understand what the new reality is.

I’ve long suspected that this is at least part of the reason the OmniGlobalMegaCorp I used to work for made almost all non-tech new hires do a tour of duty manning the phones in customer service.  They knew very well that to openly refuse to hire the Perpetually Aggrieved was to court legal disaster.  But they also knew that the Perpetually Aggrieved are, pretty much by definition, shitty employees who lack sticktuitiveness.  And customer service duty was rough; they’d usually lose half an incoming “class” of phone jockeys by their second month.

As Vox points out, though, the purge of that Mozilla guy means the gloves can come off.  Being a Democrat is now a fireable offense.  I doubt most CEOs will be brazen about it — the right doesn’t politicize everyfuckingthing the way the left does — but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some rather suspect for-cause firings here soon.  All you’d have to do is enact a blanket “no politics in the office” rule.  Lefty employees would violate it in about ten seconds, because, again, they politicize everyfuckingthing.  It’s their way of getting back at daddy.  Left-leaning CEOs will of course do likewise.

The Weimarization of our society is now nearly complete.  What’s the over/under, do you think, for people actually wearing party uniforms to the office?  Five years?  Ten, tops?

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Justice Breyer Rediscovers the “General Will”

Ace has the lowdown.

You’ll see here that Breyer does not accept that free expression is a natural right. Instead, he recognizes it as a right (or perhaps a “right”) only insomuch as it furthers the end of what he would characterize as a properly-functioning government.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, call your office.  How many people went to the guillotine at the behest of the General Will?

I don’t know why Rousseau doesn’t appear more often on lists of humankind’s greatest monsters.  I don’t know that he appears at all, actually, but he damn well should — between this one and the Noble Savage, he’s at least indirectly responsible for every person murdered by Marxism.

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Wait, Wait, Wait… The Jews are Gay Now?

That seems to be the upshot of this Steve Sailer piece.

Siiiiigggh.  As much as I like Sailer, and think he’s spot-on about so many things, the dude just cannot keep his panties untwisted when it comes to the perfidious Joooooooos!.*  This is something of a common denominator among the “dissident right.”  Which is why I find their advocacy of “race realism” so leftish.  Yes yes, by all means let’s acknowledge the gross disparity in crime stats between black and white — we’re just looking at the numbers here — but for fuck’s sake don’t follow that up with “and oh, did you know that the Joooooos! are using flouridated water to sap our precious bodily fluids!?!”

One begins to suspect an ulterior motive.

It baffles me how otherwise bright people get invested in this stuff.  Of course, I have the same questions about leftism, but in the case of the Jooooos! we have something of an evidence base.  Unlike the arguments of the left, which all boil down to “I’m a liberal because I’m a wonderful human being,” the Sailers of the world seem to argue that since

  • there are lots of Jews in the media, and
  • there are lots of Jewish billionaires, and
  • many prominent Jews in the West seem to be at least as fond of Israel as they are of their, ahem, host nation

there’s therefore some vast pro-Israel conspiracy afoot.  They all seem to take it for granted that the Jews** completely control American foreign policy, and that our armed forces are nothing more than the IDF’s uncircumcised auxiliaries.

Where does one begin with this?  Ok, screw Israel; let’s cut ’em off completely.  Does anyone think our defense posture re: the Middle East would look a whole lot different if the state of Israel ceased to exist?  Other than, you know, our lack of on-the-ground intel and secure airspace and a reliable, militarily effective regional ally?  Would we really pack up our bags in Iraq and hit the road if we kicked out every yarmulke on the Sunset Strip?

The left says our recent Mideast adventures are a war for Oil and Israel.  The “dissident right” says it’s a war for Israel and Oil.  I’m pretty sure that one of those is a legit casus belli and would remain so no matter what happened to the other.  You know, what with our civilization’s complete and utter dependence on the internal combustion engine and all.

Or maybe one should argue thuswise:

  • there are lots of Italian gentlemen in the waste disposal industry
  • lots of those gentlemen are suspiciously wealthy
  • those suspiciously wealthy gents sure do seem fond of their Italian heritage
  • they’re also pretty ostentatiously Catholic


therefore the Knights of Columbus are a perfidious Papist front group scheming to bring the US under the Roman heel.

Or like so:

  • there are lots of Han Chinese in the laundry business
  • lots of folks in Chinatown seem to have zero loyalty to the US

therefore you get subliminal propaganda from Beijing every time you get your ties dry cleaned.

Or like so:

  • every single tech support call in the Western hemisphere gets answered in Bangalore
  • Indians, especially Hindus, are quite obviously far more loyal to their cultural group than to the United States

therefore, Bill Gates is in the pay of the BJP.

I really, really, really don’t get this.



*we really need a ruling here.  Stacy McCain has definitively proven there are five a’s in raaaaacist.  How many o’s are in Joooooos!?

**by which, of course, I mean The Joooooooos!!!  I just get tired of typing all those O’s and exclamation points.  Please take it as read throughout.

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