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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The end of snark

I have always been a hard core fan of La Paglia Divina. And I never, ever, liked David Letterman:
I despise snark.  Snark is a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart and has proliferated since. I think it’s horrible for young people!   And this kind of snark atheism–let’s just invent that term right now–is stupid, and people who act like that are stupid. Christopher Hitchens’ book “God is Not Great” was a travesty. He sold that book on the basis of the brilliant chapter titles. If he had actually done the research and the work, where each chapter had the substance of those wonderful chapter titles, then that would have been a permanent book. Instead, he sold the book and then didn’t write one–he talked it. It was an appalling performance, demonstrating that that man was an absolute fraud to be talking about religion.  He appears to have done very little scholarly study.  Hitchens didn’t even know Judeo-Christianity well, much less the other world religions.  He had that glib Oxbridge debater style in person, but you’re remembered by your written work, and Hitchens’ written work was weak and won’t last.

Dawkins also seems to be an obsessive on some sort of personal vendetta, and again, he’s someone who has never taken the time to do the necessary research into religion. Now my entire career has been based on the pre-Christian religions.  My first book, “Sexual Personae,” was about the pagan cults that still influence us, and it began with the earliest religious artifacts, like the Venus of Willendorf in 35,000 B.C. In the last few years, I’ve been studying Native American culture, in particular the Paleo-Indian period at the close of the Ice Age.  In the early 1990s, when I first arrived on the scene, I got several letters from Native Americans saying my view of religion, women, and sexuality resembled the traditional Native American view. I’m not surprised, because my orientation is so fixed in the pre-Christian era.

You mentioned Jon Stewart, who leaves the “Daily Show” in two weeks. There’s handwringing from folks who think that he elevated or even transcended snark, that he utilized irony very effectively during the Bush years. And that he did the work of critiquing and fact-checking Fox and others on the right who helped create this debased media culture? What’s your sense of his influence?

I think Stewart’s show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark.

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The end of the public school

I tend to agree. As state and local money gets tighter, something is going to give. And one of those things is going to be the public schools, because kids don't vote and elderly Boomers are much more concerned about keeping the public money flowing in their direction than they are about the future:
Public education is losing ground. It is being undermined at every turn. This is due to more than the Christian contingent. People everywhere are taking control of their children’s education. The Internet is making this possible. As time marches on, tools and information will be even more accessible. This trend will not be reversed.

Why not? Funding. The system takes gobs of money. Gobs. It inhales taxpayer money and then wastes it like any other bureaucratic welfare-state system does.

Resources flee over time from those individuals and institutions that misallocate capital. Competition eats them alive. Resources also flee over time from individuals and institutions that break God’s law. By giving the state jurisdiction over the education of our children, this is exactly what we have done over the last 300 years. We have already paid for that choice. We have more to pay. In the meantime, the institution is coming to an end.
Sometimes, good things happen for bad reasons. The end of the 18th century indoctrination system imported from Germany is an idea whose time has long past. Technology and economics are in the process of killing it.

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The missed opportunity

An influential GamerGater, The Ralph Retort, supports Milo's point about the conservative media completely missing the opportunity presented by #GamerGate:
At the beginning of GamerGate, I was still a card-carrying liberal. Even though I had become disillusioned with my party, I had yet to switch my official affiliation. It’s not that I’ve changed all my positions or radically departed from my past. I just feel like my own party’s thought leaders have left me behind in a very real way. I was being called right-wing by people who had never done any real activism or volunteering at all. They sat on Twitter and spammed #killallmen constantly, so that made them good leftists. Fuck that shit and fuck anyone who subscribes to it. I don’t have to toe their line, and I won’t.

Don’t get me wrong: rank-and-file Democrats still disagree with these people on radical feminism. I was just personally tired of being called out over PC concerns and feminist bullshit. Plus, both parties are so fucking corrupt that I don’t see a point in giving either one my vote automatically. So, that’s why I personally switched. Even from the start, though, I was willing to put any kind of political affiliation to the side in order to fight SJWs. I saw Milo’s very first thread on 4chan. Some people were up in arms that we were going to be identified as a conservative movement. What these dopes failed to realize was, we were always going to be labeled as right-wing by the media. I already knew it simply because I had been experiencing it for years, like I just told you.

This whole time, I kept waiting for the conservative media to jump in, en masse. It never really happened. I guess some of them were too cowardly to go up against the feminists. Maybe they were afraid to be falsely labeled as harassers. I don’t know what the problem was, but I know we were waiting for their support and it never materialized. Where was Fox News, for fuck’s sake? Talk radio? They left us out on the battlefield by ourselves with Milo, Based Mom, Cathy Young, R.S. McCain (great column by him here) and a couple others. Mike Cernovich stepped up as well, although I wouldn’t really call him establishment. He’s been taking great glee at shitting on those guys all week. While I like Ms. Young, I can certainly understand his frustration over some things. I have it too.

There’s still time for them to jump in, but it does feel like they missed the boat last fall.
I really thought that once anti-GamerGate managed to get Anita Sarkeesian in TIME and have GG pilloried in televised dramas as well as in the Washington Post, Fox News was going to recognize it as a story and jump in. But for some reason, they never did. Nor, as Ralph observes, did any of the major talkers or columnists, not even any of the younger ones that you would expect to be at least somewhat conversant with games.

I suspect that there were multiple reasons for this, generational, political, and tonal.

I'm about as old as a gamer in the media gets. There is a very clear divide between people who are only one or two years older than I am and everyone younger. The conservative media is pretty old, and many of the younger media figures are female. So, I strongly suspect that most of the conservative media figures who were peripherally aware of #GamerGate simply couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on. And, as we've seen with "cuckservative", they are really uncomfortable with the vulgar way that gamers, especially channers, communicate.

On the political side, conservatives are almost as afraid of being accused of being sexist as racist. So, the fact that the media so readily swallowed and pushed the "gamers are harassing poor defenseless women" pretty much guaranteed that the conservative media would be about as likely to get on board with GamerGate as with ISIS. And, as we've seen with "cuckservative", about all that is needed to keep the conservative media away is to cry raciss.

And then there is the tonal aspect. The conservative media, for all its pretensions, is moderate at heart. They spend as much time tone-policing and denouncing the "extremists" on the right as they do attacking the left. Since the GamerGate tone is cheerfully extremist, the conservative media was always more likely to take shots at it than support it.

Granted, the success that both GamerGate and the Puppies have had is causing some in the conservative media to come around a little. That, and the fact that the mainstream organizations they follow, such as NPR and the Wall Street Journal, are paying attention, albeit negative, to GG and the Puppies, has caused them to take another look. But given their reaction to "cuckservative" and Trump, I expect most of them to continue to largely ignore GamerGate until the next big success or two.

At that point, no doubt we'll see books like The GamerGate Manifesto and The New Puppy Order being written by people who have never had anything to do with either GamerGate or the Puppies and published by Regnery. It's not until the coopters and self-seekers and parade-leaders show up that one knows a movement has truly broken through to the mainstream.

And I think the shills will be very surprised to learn what sort of reception they'll get. GG ain't no tea party and Rabid Puppies won't hesitate to tear off the hand that tries to put the leash on.

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Police vs media SJW

It's hard to know who to believe when you're dealing with two sets of known liars. But the fact that the police were simply able to produce the recording is sufficient evidence of Ted Rall having exaggerated his experience with the LAPD without even needing to listen to it. As we all know, if the police had done anything wrong, the cameras wouldn't have worked, the tape would have been lost, and the digital recording accidentally erased:
In a May 11 post on The Times' OpinionLA blog, Ted Rall — a freelance cartoonist whose work appears regularly in The Times — described an incident in which he was stopped for jaywalking on Melrose Avenue in 2001. Rall said he was thrown up against a wall, handcuffed and roughed up by an LAPD motorcycle policeman who also threw his driver's license into the sewer. Rall also wrote that dozens of onlookers shouted in protest at the officer's conduct.

Since then, the Los Angeles Police Department has provided records about the incident, including a complaint Rall filed at the time. An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall's assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall's license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed. Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.

In Rall's initial complaint to the LAPD, he describes the incident without mentioning any physical violence or handcuffing but says that the police officer was "belligerent and hostile" and that he threw Rall's license into the "gutter." The tape depicts a polite interaction.

In addition, Rall wrote in his blog post that the LAPD dismissed his complaint without ever contacting him. Department records show that internal affairs investigators made repeated attempts to contact Rall, without success.Asked to explain these inconsistencies, Rall said he stands by his blog post.

As to why he didn't mention any physical abuse in his letter to the LAPD in 2001, Rall said he didn't want to make an enemy of the department, in part because he hosted a local radio talk show at the time. After listening to the tape, Rall noted that it was of poor quality and contained inaudible segments.

However, the recording and other evidence provided by the LAPD raise serious questions about the accuracy of Rall's blog post. Based on this, the piece should not have been published.

Rall's future work will not appear in The Times.
That's a surprisingly harsh standard, though. If the mainstream media is really going to stop publishing journalists and contributors who lie in their articles, it won't be long before the average newspaper consists of nothing but sports scores and classifieds.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The etymology of "cuckservative"

Nero explains it. TL;DR: think 4chan, not Stormfront:
As the leading conservative authority on interracial intercourse, I therefore feel compelled to set the record straight on the so-called racial origin and dimensions of this insult.

Here’s my verdict: all the writers above are wrong. As someone who’s been covering web culture and online memes for years and who has a great deal of respect for how well many right-wingers have taken to internet culture, I’m slightly embarrassed by my fellow conservatives’ inability to understand a term that returned to popular use not on white power websites, but on 4chan.

Before it became a 4chan meme, “cuckold” was a common term of abuse in mediaeval times and through the Renaissance. Shakespeare plays are replete with the word — that’s where I learned it, anyway, where it’s used as a byword for an emasculated male....

On 4chan, “cuck” is used as a general term of abuse, to describe someone who caves in, surrenders, or sells out his core supporters. (His base, in political parlance.) 4chan’s founder Christopher Poole, for example, is called a “cuck,” not for any racially-charged reason, but because he capitulated to outside pressure to ban controversial discussion topics on the website. And because he was allegedly cuckolded in real life – but not by a black man.

It’s easy to see why “cuck” makes such a good insult. It’s a byword for needlessly relinquished manliness, for selling out and caving in. The original metaphor of watching your partner getting slammed by another dude now simply means abandoned principles and a lack of backbone. It’s a byword for beta male or coward....

Indeed, the suspicion of many is that this is another case of virtue signalling from mainstream conservatives, rather proving the point of the hashtag and demonstrating it better than any gloss yet published. A sort of meta-definition in action, since it demonstrates supposed conservatives using precisely the “slander and move on” tactic so beloved of liberals.
And I think it should be very clear that any cuckservative who would disagree with the leading conservative authority on interracial relations can only be doing so because he is a racist homophobe.

Since, you know, they don't appear to be hypersensitive to being called names or anything like that.

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When fraud becomes fiction

It appears the global warming charlatans are getting desperate:
The measured US temperature data from USHCN shows that the US is on a long-term cooling trend. But the reported temperatures from NOAA show a strong warming trend. They accomplish this through a spectacular hockey stick of data tampering, which corrupts the US temperature trend by almost two degrees. The biggest component of this fraud is making up data. Almost half of all reported US temperature data is now fake. They fill in missing rural data with urban data to create the appearance of non-existent US warming.
It's been interesting. We've actually had a rather hot summer over here in Europe, and yet none of the usual suspects have tried to connect it to global warming. That tells me that they know the jig is up, and it's only a matter of time before even the die-hards like NOAA stop lying about it.

And presumably it won't be long after that before they'll be shrieking about the coming Ice Age and how that means we must accept global government. They're kind of one-trick ponies, aren't they.

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The joke ain't over

Ed Driscoll laughs at progressives:
A decade ago, while reflecting back on his seminal “Radical Chic” article in New York magazine in 1970, Tom Wolfe said, “I just thought it was a scream, because it was so illogical by all ordinary thinking. To think that [Leonard Bernstein,] living in an absolutely stunning duplex on Park Avenue could be having in all these guys who were saying, ‘We will take everything away from you if we get the chance,’ which is what their program spelled out, was the funniest thing I had ever witnessed.”

But then 45 years later, the self-styled “Progressives” at PBS still don’t get that the joke is on them — not the least of which because their worldview has been updated in nearly half a century.
It's a bit ironic that a conservative would laugh at Leonard Bernstein for failing to understand that the Black Panthers would take everything away from him if given the chance, considering how often conservatives tend to wax emotional about the myriad ways in which the mass movement of peoples is enriching America.

Then again, we often see the absurdity in others much more clearly than we do in ourselves. But unlike the progressives, I expect that 45 years from now, any cuckservatives still surviving will understand that the joke, such as it was, was on them.

I expect them to plead "we didn't know it would turn out like that!" And that, I think, one can accept. People are wrong. But what will not be forgiven is the way they viciously attacked those who have been warning them about the house burning down since it was little more an obvious electrical fault. Now the fire is not only burning, but engulfing entire rooms, and the cuckservatives are still sitting on the coach in the living room, watching television, insisting that nothing is wrong.

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No one likes SJWs

Not even artists on the Left. Alan Moore, the creator of Watchmen, announces that he will henceforth avoid the media rather than put up with incessant thought-policing by the SJWs:
Comics god Alan Moore has issued a comprehensive sign-off from public life after shooting down accusations that his stories feature racist characters and an excessive amount of sexual violence towards women....

The award-winning Moore used the interview to address criticism over his inclusion of the Galley-Wag character –  based on Florence Upton's 1895 Golliwogg creation – in his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics, saying that "it was our belief that the character could be handled in such a way as to return to him the sterling qualities of Upton's creation, while stripping him of the racial connotations that had been grafted onto the Golliwog figure by those who had misappropriated and wilfully misinterpreted her work".

And he rebutted the suggestion that it was "not the place of two white men to try to 'reclaim' a character like the golliwogg", telling Ó Méalóid that this idea "would appear to be predicated upon an assumption that no author or artist should presume to use characters who are of a different race to themselves".

"Since I can think of no obvious reason why this principle should only relate to the issue of race – and specifically to black people and white people – then I assume it must be extended to characters of different ethnicities, genders, sexualities, religions, political persuasions and, possibly most uncomfortably of all for many people considering these issues, social classes … If this restriction were universally adopted, we would have had no authors from middle-class backgrounds who were able to write about the situation of the lower classes, which would have effectively ruled out almost all authors since William Shakespeare."

Moore also defended himself against the claim that his work was characterised by "the prevalence of sexual violence towards women, with a number of instances of rape or attempted rape in [his] stories", saying that "there is a far greater prevalence of consensual and relatively joyous sexual relationships in my work than there are instances of sexual violence", and that "there is clearly a lot more non-sexual violence in my work that there is violence of the sexual variety".

In the real world there are, Moore tells his interviewer, "relatively few murders in relation to the staggering number of rapes and other crimes of sexual or gender-related violence", but this is "almost a complete reversal of the way that the world is represented in its movies, television shows, literature or comic-book material".

"Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented?" he asks. "Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively reared classes of the Victorian era … And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high-definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety."

Moore ended by telling Ó Méalóid that his lengthy responses to questions, written over Christmas, should indicate to fans that he has no intention of "doing this or anything remotely like it ever again".

"While many of you have been justifiably relaxing with your families or loved ones, I have been answering allegations about my obsession with rape, and re-answering several-year-old questions with regard to my perceived racism," he said. "If my comments or opinions are going to provoke such storms of upset, then considering that I myself am looking to severely constrain the amount of time I spend with interviews and my already very occasional appearances, it would logically be better for everyone concerned, not least myself, if I were to stop issuing those comments and opinions. Better that I let my work speak for me, which is all I've truthfully ever wanted or expected, both as a writer and as a reader of other authors' work."

After completing his current commitments, Moore said he will "more or less curtail speaking engagements and non-performance appearances".
Seriously, who wants to deal with them. We're seeing a lot of this in the game industry as well. The more that the game journos have tried to thought-police the developers, the less inclined the developers are to talk to them. Many designers and developers alike avoid the press because they know they won't be asked questions about the actual game and its development, but rather about tangential political issues in which they have absolutely no interest. Some companies won't even permit their developers to speak directly to the media any more as a result; all interviews have to be cleared through the PR people first.

SJW-driven journalism in the arts increasingly resembles prosecution or interrogation rather than an effort to either advertise or understand the art or the artist. It's no wonder that successful artists like Alan Moore are increasingly reluctant to permit themselves to be interviewed.

But no fear. There will always be plenty of fame whores like the Kardashians around who will be more than happy to speak to anyone with a microphone.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Those clever cuckservatives

They must think conservatives are mind-bogglingly stupid. Hot Air defends cuckservatives by claiming that trying to appeal to black voters is an effective long term strategy for Republicans:
This is horrifically shortsighted. It was amazing, yet unsurprising, how much agreement there was between FreedomWorks and Center for American Progress representatives during their joint summit on justice reform in DC. This wasn’t talking government spending, it was talking freedom, liberty, and getting the government out of things they shouldn’t be involved in. Rand Paul speaks at Bowie State and Howard universities and gets people nodding their heads in agreement. He’s discussing the importance of government getting out of the lives of others, not placating them or speaking about reparations. Paul is thinking long term and hopes to eventually get more conservative and libertarian African-Americans, instead of the current crop of leftists. It may take 30 to 50 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort.
Well, if people are nodding their heads, clearly that must trump 50 years of electoral voting patterns! What are demographics in comparison with a single politician's hopes?

1960 presidential election
White percentage of population: 85.4
Black vote: 68 percent Democrat.

1984 presidential election
White percentage of population: 75.6
Black: 10 percent of voters. 91 percent Democrat.
Hispanic: 3 percent of voters. 66 percent Democrat

2012 presidential election
White percentage of population: 63.7
Black: 13 percent of voters. 93 percent Democrat
Hispanic: 10 percent of voters. 71 percent Democrat

At this rate of progression, in 30 years the white percentage of the population will be 53.7, blacks will be voting 95 percent Democrat and Hispanics will be voting 76 percent Democrat. All of the Republican outreach efforts over the last 30 years have only made matters worse, and in the meantime, over 20 million new Democrats entered the country via post-1986 immigration. Another 30 to 50 years means another 30 to 50 million immigrants, less than 25 percent of whom will be inclined to vote for smaller government. It is obviously and observably the cuckservatives whose strategy is horrifically shortsighted.

The demographic implications are perfectly clear. Either the Republican Party moves considerably to the Left or it becomes the White Party. Those are its only two viable options. It is obvious which of those two options are preferred by cuckservatives, the only question will be whether they can retain their control of the Republican Party or not.

That being said, I happen to think the question is largely irrelevant. The current American political system doesn't have 30 years. It doesn't even have 20 left to it. As I have long predicted, I think the decline element of decline-and-fall will be complete by 2033.

Hateful Heretic's response to the Hot Air piece is straightforward and powerful:
Most of us really like capitalism, meritocracy, property rights, and the rule of law. Unlike you we recognize that the left's program of demographic replacement will destroy those things forever, and that those values, as "universally good" as they may be, are largely only attractive to persons of Anglo-European heritage....

You know what's short-sighted? Displacement-level immigration. Hispanics are not going to vote for freedom and capitalism. They don't vote for it in Mexico, they don't vote for it in Venezuela, they don't vote for it in Colombia, they don't vote for it in Bolivia, they don't vote for it in Argentina, they don't vote for it in Brazil, they don't vote for it in Chile, they don't vote for it in Guatemala, and they're not going to vote for it here.
He's right. Each successive wave of immigration, dating back to those coming from Europe, have pushed the USA further from its concept of liberty, limited government, and "the Rights of Englishmen". And on a related note, Mike Cernovich explains why he, and others on the alt-Right, have no qualms about dismissing and disregarding these theoretical "conservative" allies:
Cuckservatives control the right-wing airwaves. Have any of them reached out to me - someone who objectively speaking has a far greater reach and sells more books than the usual talking heads - to discuss men's issues? No. The right has ignored me and other men - even more palatable men like the A Voice for Men Camp - for years. They choose to ignore out concerns and refused to give us a platform.

When Gawker and MSNBC attacked me, where were these so-called "allies" on the right? 
When the only time they bother to notice you is to join the Left in attacking you, then they aren't an ally. Regardless of what they claim to believe. Also, and more importantly, the cuckservatives are on the wrong side of all three of the only three issues that really matter: national sovereignty, immigration, and the Federal Reserve. They might not be Leftists, but for all practical intents and purposes, they may as well be.

Considering how many of them have come out recently and endorsed gay "marriage", it appears that they're little more interested in conserving anything about traditional America than the neocons are. But conservatives don't agree with their cuckservative would-be leaders.

Big majority of GOP voters favors mass deportation, poll finds

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The great ones know

A fascinating article by the great Japanese writer Haruki Murakami about when he decided to become a novelist and how he developed his unique style:
To tell the truth, although I was reading all kinds of stuff, my favourites being 19th-century Russian novels and American hard-boiled detective stories, I had never taken a serious look at contemporary Japanese fiction. Thus I had no idea what kind of Japanese novels were being read at the time, or how I should write fiction in the Japanese language.

For several months, I operated on pure guesswork, adopting what seemed to be a likely style and running with it. When I read through the result, though, I was far from impressed. It seemed to fulfil the formal requirements of a novel, but it was somewhat boring, and the book as a whole left me cold. If that’s the way the author feels, I thought, a reader’s reaction will probably be even more negative. Looks like I just don’t have what it takes, I thought dejectedly. Under normal circumstances, it would have ended there – I would have walked away. But the epiphany I had received on Jingu Stadium’s grassy slope was still clearly etched in my mind.

In retrospect, it was only natural that I was unable to produce a good novel. It was a big mistake to assume that a guy like me who had never written anything in his life could spin something brilliant right off the bat. I was trying to accomplish the impossible. Give up trying to write something sophisticated, I told myself. Forget all those prescriptive ideas about “the novel” and “literature” and set down your feelings and thoughts as they come to you, freely, in a way that you like.

While it was easy to talk about setting down one’s impressions freely, doing it wasn’t all that simple. For a sheer beginner like myself it was especially hard. To make a fresh start, the first thing I had to do was get rid of my stack of manuscript paper and my fountain pen. As long as they were sitting in front of me, what I was doing felt like “literature”. In their place, I pulled out my old Olivetti typewriter from the closet. Then, as an experiment, I decided to write the opening of my novel in English. Since I was willing to try anything, I figured, why not give that a shot?

Needless to say, my ability in English composition didn’t amount to much. My vocabulary was severely limited, as was my command of English syntax. I could only write in simple, short sentences. Which meant that, however complex and numerous the thoughts running around my head might be, I couldn’t even attempt to set them down as they came to me. The language had to be simple, my ideas expressed in an easy-to-understand way, the descriptions stripped of all extraneous fat, the form made compact, and everything arranged to fit a container of limited size. The result was a rough, uncultivated kind of prose. As I struggled to express myself in that fashion, however, step by step, a distinctive rhythm began to take shape.

Since I was born and raised in Japan, the vocabulary and patterns of the Japanese language had filled the system that was me to bursting, like a barn crammed with livestock. When I sought to put my thoughts and feelings into words, those animals began to mill about, and the system crashed. Writing in a foreign language, with all the limitations that entailed, removed this obstacle. It also led me to discover that I could express my thoughts and feelings with a limited set of words and grammatical structures, as long as I combined them effectively and linked them together in a skilful manner. To sum up, I learnt that there was no need for a lot of difficult words – I didn’t have to try to impress people with beautiful turns of phrase.
I found this fascinating, because as you may recall, I studied Japanese, and although I don't speak it anymore, I retain enough of a sense of it that Murakami's writing has never struck me as "translated" in the same sense that other Japanese writers do. I'd always just assumed that he had a better translator, but apparently it is the English structural influence that he imposes on his Japanese style that creates that effect.

One Murakami fan has observed: "When you read Murakami in Japanese, it's almost like he's translating his own writing from English."

In any event, if you haven't read Murakami, he's well worth reading. He tends to stick to the same themes and Japanese fatalism runs through all of his works, but he always presents an interesting variation on those themes. My favorite Murakami novel is A Wild Sheep Chase. And I found it unsurprising to observe that the great ones usually recognize their own talent before others do:
That’s when it hit me. I was going to win the prize. And I was going to go on to become a novelist who would enjoy some degree of success. It was an audacious presumption, but I was sure at that moment that it would happen. Completely sure. Not in a theoretical way but directly and intuitively.
That's why I always laugh at those who claim that if someone openly states that they are X, it should be taken as evidence to the contrary. That's totally false. From Ruth to Jordan, from Tolstoy to Murakami, the great ones always know it and they are not at all surprised by their own success. They expect it.

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Nature beats nurture

Genetic science is not only destroying the last 50 years of educational policy, but social policy in general. The fact that up to 65 percent of the difference in academic results are genetic also explains why the post-1965 and post-1986 waves of immigration are destined to reduce the USA to Second World status:
Genes influence academic ability across all subjects, latest study shows 

The researchers analysed genetic data and GCSE scores from 12,500 twins, about half of whom were identical. Results in all subjects, including maths, science, art and humanities, were highly heritable, with genes explaining a bigger proportion of the differences between children (54-65%) than environmental factors, such as school and family combined (14-21%), which were shared by the twins.

Comparing the outcomes for identical twins with fraternal twins allows scientists to investigate the extent to which genetics influence a person’s life. Identical twins share 100% of their genes, whereas fraternal twins share on average only half of the genes that differ between people.

So if genetics were a significant factor governing GCSE results, the differences between fraternal twins’ performances would be expected to be consistently greater than those between identical twins – and this is what the scientists saw.

When the scientists factored in IQ scores, they found that intelligence appeared to account for slightly less than half of the genetic component, suggesting that other heritable traits – curiosity, determination and memory, perhaps – play a significant role.

Kaili Rimfeld, who led the study and is also at King’s College London, said: “There’s a general academic achievement factor. Children who do well in one subject tend to better in another subject and that is largely for genetic reasons.”

Plomin said that while talking about genetics and education was no longer the taboo that it was twenty years ago, education professionals were slow to adapt teaching methods in the face of new scientific findings. “It’s a problem with evidence,” he said. “Thirty years ago medicine wasn’t particularly evidence-based. I think education is fundamentally not based on evidence. What programme has been rolled out that has been based on evidence?
The "Blank Slate" theory is dead. It was never anything but political philosophy and science killed it. Every nominal justification for human equality is being gradually eliminated, one by one, as scientists revisit hypotheses that have long been passed off as pseudoscientific facts.

I suspect that what we are seeing here is not unrelated to yesterday's "cuckservative" kerfluffle, which is only going to get bigger now that Milo is working on a story. Remember, the Ciceronian political cycle predicts aristocracy will follow mob rule that has collapsed into dictatorship, and the anti-equalitarian backlash is going to have the benefit of a much stronger scientific foundation than historical justifications for the rule by the best.

I suspect that those equalitarians who claim to believe that a meritocracy is the best of all possible systems are going to rapidly change their tune once it becomes apparent that material merit is predominantly genetic in origin. Because in a post-Christian world of scientific rational materialism, there is no way that a meritocratic approach will not eventually lead to Eugenics 2.0.

The irony is that it is the equalitarians and anti-racists who will likely cling to the concept of race. Now that genetics gives us far more precise metrics, the new eugenicists won't have to pay any attention to race at all in order to achieve their desired results. And they can claim, quite truthfully, that their policies are race- and color-blind. For example, if variants of the MAO-A, DAT1, and DRD2 genes are deemed to be unsuitable for an occupation, those possessing the unwanted genetic markers can be banned with absolutely no reference to race at all.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fun with #WrongFamily

From what I understand, Nick Searcy is actually a good guy whose conservative heart is generally in the right place. However, someone should probably let him know that I'm really not the right guy with whom to play the "I adopted a black child and therefore cannot be criticized" game. I have to admit, this is the most fun I've had on Twitter in a long time.
Yes, Nick $earcy! ‏@yesnicksearcy
Do VOX & @Cernovich applaud the overt racism behind #cuckservative? Xtra hate for adoption!

Vox Day ‏@voxday
I certainly endorse use of the term to deride conservative pro-immigrationists destroying America.

Yes, Nick $earcy! ‏@yesnicksearcy
I'm not pro illegal immigration. I hosted a doc about it. But you are anti-transracial adoption?

Vox Day ‏@voxday
The adoption angle strikes me as an irrelevant rhetorical sideshow from both sides.

Yes, Nick $earcy! ‏@yesnicksearcy
Maybe you could spread the word among your fellow #cuckroaches. My transracial family offends them.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
The word isn't "transracial", Nick, it's "multiracial". Adopting kids doesn't make you black.

Yes, Nick $earcy! ‏@yesnicksearcy
Wrong as usual, anonymous internet dickweed. The term is "transracial." Eat it.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Nick, adopting kids doesn't make you black. And stop hiding behind them. It's pathetic.

Guild Carver ‏@Guildcarver
Stop trying vox the facts are against you. Definition.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Transracial would be if Nick said his family was Chinese. Do try to keep up.

Guild Carver ‏@Guildcarver
nick & family is white. Adopted son that is black. Transracial dickbag.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Godfrey Elfwick is transracial. Rachel Dolazel is transracial. I am multiracial.

Guild Carver ‏@Guildcarver
you're nothing more than a dumbass who is ignoring facts to make a bullshit point for 15 minutes in the spotlight.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Stop with the transracist hate. #WrongSkin is real! Evidence.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Perhaps we should set aside "transracial" and "multiracial" and go with #WrongFamily? Everyone agree with that?

Yes, Nick $earcy! ‏@yesnicksearcy
I'm sure all of your fellow #cuckroaches would love the term #wrongfamily.

Vox Day ‏@voxday
Cool, I'm glad we're agreed. I will join you in your fight against transfamilialphobia. #WrongFamily. 
The thing is, once you realize someone doesn't merit being taken seriously, you may as well amuse yourself at their expense. You can probably figure out the exact point at which I reached that conclusion. And their other merits notwithstanding, anyone who wants to take a serious debate about mass immigration and transform it into a posturing sideshow about their get-out-of-racism-free token is not an individual with whom one can have a serious discussion, at least on that subject.

I found it particularly amusing that Mr. Searchy managed to transform the offense he took at one hashtag into another one he likes even less. And I have a brilliant #WrongFamily graphic meme in mind for the very important fight against transfamilialphobia.

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The Greek drama is far from over

Now there are stories about two alternative angles explored by the Greek government before they finally submitted to the Eurotroika:
In short, Varoufakis claims Tsipras had pre-approved the creation of secret accounts for every tax filer (which, knowing Greece, might have left Varoufakis short on accounts for quite a few citizens). Greeks would be made aware of the accounts' existence in the event the banking system ceased to function altogether, and Athens would effectively facilitate payments through the new system in defiance of the EMU. Clearly, this would not have been well received by Brussels - especially the bit about hacking their software - but ultimately, because the new system would be entirely controlled by Varoufakis' finance ministry, it could be converted to the drachma immediately.

Kathimerini goes on the quote Varoufakis as saying that German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble intended to use Grexit as leverage to force France into supporting a system that ceded fiscal decision making to Brussels (which would of course mean giving Berlin more say over EMU countries' finances):

    "Schaeuble has a plan. The way he described it to me is very simple. He believes that the eurozone is not sustainable as it is. He believes there has to be some fiscal transfers, some degree of political union. He believes that for that political union to work without federation, without the legitimacy that a properly elected federal parliament can render, can bestow upon an executive, it will have to be done in a very disciplinary way. And he said explicitly to me that a Grexit is going to equip him with sufficient bargaining, sufficient terrorising power in order to impose upon the French that which Paris has been resisting. And what is that? A degree of transfer of budget making powers from Paris to Brussels."

The new revelations raise serious concerns for Alexis Tsipras. The deep divisions within Syriza are by now well publicized, but reports of covert plans to establish parallel banking systems using tax filers' IDs and the idea that elements within the ruling party plotted to seize billions in currency reserves and take control of the central bank have left some lawmakers demanding answers.
There is always considerably more to these things than meets the eye. But it is interesting, is it not, that a national referendum is so completely irrelevant to the events nominally happening around it? Why, it's almost as if we're living in a post-democratic age!

The one thing everyone seems to have in common is that no one wants to bite the bullet and deal with the economic realities. Debt that can't be repaid will be defaulted. Everything else follows from that.

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Media as weapon

We've certainly seen this with both #GamerGate and Sad Puppies. But given how resorting to it has failed against us, I very much doubt it will work against Google.
If you talk to the reporters who work for various big media companies, they insist that they have true editorial independence from the business side of their companies. They insist that the news coverage isn't designed to reflect the business interests of their owners. Of course, most people have always suspected this was bullshit -- and you could see evidence of this in things like the fact that the big TV networks refused to cover the SOPA protests. But -- until now -- there's never necessarily been a smoking gun with evidence of how such business interests influences the editorial side.

Earlier this month, we noted that the Hollywood studios were all resisting subpoenas from Google concerning their super cozy relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, whose highly questionable "investigation" of Google appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves. The entire "investigation" seemed to clearly be an attempt to mislead the public into believing that it was somehow illegal for Google's search engine to find stuff that people didn't like online. A court has already ruled that Hood pretty clearly acted in bad faith to deprive Google of its First Amendment rights. As the case has continued, Google has sought much more detail on just how much of the investigation was run by the MPAA and the studios -- and Hollywood has vigorously resisted, claiming that they really had nothing to do with all of this, which was a laughable assertion.

However, in a filing on Thursday, Google revealed one of the few emails that they have been able to get access to so far, and it's stunning. It's an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google. Beyond influencing other Attorneys General (using misleading fake "setups" of searches for "bad" material) and paying for fake anti-Google research, the lawyers from Hood's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

    Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

In other words, Jim Hood and the MPAA were out and out planning a coordinated media attack on Google using the editorial properties that supposedly claim to have editorial independence from the business side.
I don't know anyone who still takes the media at face value. If you do, you're obviously either a) not very bright, or, b) not paying attention.

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Why cuckservatives cry

The recent hashtag fireworks between the pro-immigration and anti-immigration right appears to be the second step of a long-awaited political battle that I have expected for more than a decade now. For years, conservatives afraid of being called racist have stupidly attempted to finesse the immigration issue, claiming that "it's not the immigration, it's the illegality" while loudly declaring their support for LEGAL immigration to balance their opposition to ILLEGAL immigration. But the distinction was always meaningless; the behavior of the individual immigrant and the cumulative effects of mass immigration have historically had nothing to do with the legality or illegality of the act of immigration. The intra-Right conflict we're seeing now is in part the result of the Obama Administration punching right through that ridiculous position by simply legalizing larger-scale immigration than before. This is the second step of the battle; the first step was the publication of Ann Coulter's Adios America, which marked the first time a major American conservative media figure besides Pat Buchanan had the courage to finally come out and admit that the real problem with immigration is a) the quality of the immigrants, and b) the quantity of the immigrants.

I am an immigrant myself; my children are second-generation immigrants. Keep in mind that to the extent you consider us to be more-or-less normal Americans, that is precisely how all of the first- and second-generation Mexicans, Chinese, Somalis, and Nigerians living in America are still more-or-less normal Mexicans, Chinese, Somalis, and Nigerians. The only difference is that we've been here longer, we're more integrated, and we speak the language. Potete domandare Giuseppe cosi. Geographical translocation is not magic. Move enough Mexicans into California, you don't make them Californians, you turn California into Mexico. I've seen the same thing over here on a smaller scale in British expat colonies where people who have lived in Italy for 15 years don't speak more than 10 words of Italian, still drink tea instead of espresso and can't cook worth a damn. Being there doesn't feel like Italy, it feels like being in England, and more properly English than Londonistan is these days.

I should probably mention that if you're going to try to disqualify me as an anti-Mexican racist simply because I observe the indisputable truth, my response is simple: va fanculo, my great-grandfather rode with Villa, fought with Villa, and barely escaped Villa's assassins. The truth is the truth regardless of the genetic heritage of the individual observing it.

The Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld has a brilliant essay on the martial implications of immigration that will be published in Volume 2 of Riding the Red Horse, which I am now beginning to assemble. And the remarkable thing is that he reaches a disturbingly similar conclusion to Heartiste's well-known aphorism, Diversity + Proximity = War, only one that is even stronger. One reason the world is in the process of descending into war all over the globe is due to the unprecedented mass movement of peoples - as Umberto Eco pointed out more than a decade ago, to call it "immigration" is fundamentally a misnomer - and the sheer scale of these mass movements makes war inevitable.

Remember, the entry of the Nazis into Austria was arguably more legal than the actions of the Obama administration with regards to immigration. The Nazis even let the immigrated invaded Austrians vote on it in a national referendum, which is something neither the Democrats and the Republican #cuckservatives would permit the American people. But the end result of the Anschluss was no different than the Nazi's subsequent illegal immigration into invasion of Czechoslovakia, Nazi rule.

I think Mike Cernovich's definition of #cuckservative is probably the most useful one. If you are in any way an advocate for those who intend to rape and pillage you and yours, you are a #cuckservative. I also think that what we're seeing is a generational divide. People my age and older tend to view things from a perspective of a permanent white majority. So, they tend to view everything from a view of racial noblesse oblige. They believe America's success can be shared with the New Americans without that success being destroyed.

The younger generation of white Americans know better. They know they are just another racial group among many, larger, more divided, advantaged in some ways, disadvantaged in others, and with a target tattooed on their chests due to their historical "privilege". Those inclined to buy into the rainbow mythology become SJWs or submissive moderates, those who are not don't buy into any of it, including the various aspects of "melting pot" theology in which their conservative elders still foolishly believe. They know that what their elders still think to be theoretically achievable is impossible, because unlike their elders, they didn't grow up with diversity being a theoretical objective to be celebrated, but a terrible reality to be suffered.

The most ridiculous thing about #cuckservatism is that it's an inherently losing strategy. If your primary political objective is to avoid being called racist, you will lose. And then you will be called racist anyhow.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mailvox: "we're waiting for ISIS"

Shimshon asks about the Middle East:
i think i mentioned before. i heard word from someone who knows. the region north and west of amman, and all along the syrian border is thick with refugees. have you seen some of the pics? there's around 600k i think. around 10% of the native population. my understanding is that king hussein is pretty terrified of the powderkeg in his midst.
Powderkeg barely begins to describe it. The refugee situation is even worse than that. I had lunch with a Lebanese Christian last week, who was visiting while on vacation. Apparently there are over a million refugees there now. I asked what the Maronites were doing and he said "we are waiting for ISIS."

That sounded rather fatalistic, so I asked him if they would fight or if they would simply submit like the Assyrians and the Yazidi did. He smiled and said "We have always had to fight to stay alive. The difference is, this time many of those we used to fight against will be fighting with us." It's perhaps worth remembering that they were winning the Lebanese civil war when Syria entered and forced a settlement.

What the US and Israel should do is materially support Assad and the Alawites, the Jordanians, and the Lebanese Christians without getting involved in the fighting, and at the same time, clean house at home. Instead, they appear to be playing the same stupid game they did in Afghanistan, where they create a weaponized puppet who rapidly grows beyond their control. Too many parties appear to be too caught up in their historical concerns, such as the Turks with the Kurds, or their grand strategic vision, such as the Israelis with Iran, to focus on the actual danger at hand.

Sure, the Islamic State is no danger to Israel or the USA now, so they think they can use it to settle old scores. But just as the anti-Soviet mujahideen eventually transformed into the Taliban, Daesh is in the process of developing into a more serious and formidable force.

The Iran agreement, and the fact that Turkey, Israel, and the USA are all cooperating to hit Daesh in Syria may indicate that they're finally beginning to rethink their previous perspectives. The one thing that is certain is that Syria is far less dangerous with Assad in control than Daesh.

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PSA: the Ctrl-X-Close fix

I've had to look this up twice in the last three months, so I figure others have probably run into this problem on occasion.
For the past couple of months I have been coping with an incredibly frustrating problem. My files in the File Open dialog box mysteriously started appearing in order of the "Last Modified" date, instead of in alphabetical order....

Here’s what you do: go into Windows Explorer and open a folder such as My Documents. Now choose View|Details. Along the top of the file listing area, you see Name, Type, Size, Modified. If you click any one of these, it will change how your files are sorted in the list.

Now here’s the part that made Windows save this sorting information everywhere. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the Window to close it.
It works. The crazy thing about this is that Microsoft barely lets you do anything without asking for confirmation. Do you REALLY want to quit? Are you sure? Do you REALLY want to save over that file? Are you sure? But if you happen to hit a key while you're doing something else, well, OBVIOUSLY that is something that can never happen by accident and CLEARLY there is no reason to confirm this obscure, but universal settings change that will fundamentally alter how you interact with every file in every folder every time you want to open one.

Over the years, I have learned that assuming Apple is evil and Microsoft is stupid is a remarkably reliable metric in dealing with their operating systems.

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It's not a new problem

Politics took the prize a long time ago and the Puppies are a response to the politicization of science fiction. Compare and contrast the latest Hugo mewling by The Guardian with Mike Glyer's count of conservative Hugo-winners:
The Hugo awards will be the losers if politics takes the prize

The controversy stirred up by science fiction’s ‘Sad Puppies’ means there will be no winners at this year’s Hugo awards

The latest furore to consume SF fandom will reach a conclusion on Friday, when voting for the Hugo awards – arguably one of the genre’s most prestigious accolades – closes. Spats around the awards are nothing new. The nominations are chosen by fans, and every year authors are accused of campaigning to get their names on the list. This year a gang of rightwing authors known as the “Sad Puppies” have taken campaigning to a whole new level. Calling on their fans to stack the nomination slate with candidates who share their political agenda, their main beef is that they believe too many genre awards go to lefty, ideological fiction, and not enough to more “swashbuckling” books. Authors and fans on both sides of the divide have written endless blogs about the controversy, big names including George RR Martin have weighed in against the Puppies, and the story has been picked up by the mainstream press.

It raises the question: who should nominate works for awards anyway? A select jury (a la the Man Booker or Clarke) or the fans who actually buy the books? Clearly there should be enough room – and integrity – for both. Yet this year’s Clarke award shortlist was almost universally praised, while, in contrast, the Hugo nominations were met with derision and incredulity (for example, so-called “rabid puppy” Vox Day, who has called women’s rights “a disease to be eradicated”, is up for two awards). You might say that this is democracy at work – the fans have spoken! – and that would be all well and good, but, tellingly, two authors recommended by the Sad Puppies have already pulled their work from the nominations, saying that they want their writing to be judged on merit and not on their assumed political affiliations. It goes without saying that all books, whatever their authors’ political stance, should be judged on whether they’re any good or not; but with some factions suggesting fans vote “No Award” on categories that they believe have been hijacked, and the Puppies urging their stormtroopers to stick to their guns, the whole thing has slipped into farce. And this is a great pity. The Hugos have always been a popularity contest, a showcase of SF fandoms’ favourite fiction, and skewing the lists for political point-scoring makes a mockery of them. Whether the Sad Puppies win the day or not, it’s the awards’ legacy that will suffer, along with the future work that would have benefited from their now damaged prestige. That’s what is truly sad.
19 of the 266 Hugo Awards that have been given out since 1996 have gone to political conservatives. And the legacy of the awards has already suffered, because they have been regularly given out to inferior work for at least the last 15 years. When Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Charles Stross, and John Scalzi have more Hugo nominations in far fewer years of professionally writing and editing than Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke, it is patently obvious that something is seriously wrong.

Meanwhile, women have won 65.7 Hugos in the same time. And keep in mind that conservatives outnumber liberals by a factor of 1.6 in the USA, which means that conservatives are underrepresented by a factor of 11.3, versus women being underrepresented by a factor of 2.

Now, if the SJWs in SF are to be believed, this is evidence that sexism is a serious problem but there is absolutely no evidence of left wing ideological bias. They keep repeating this despite the fact that the anti-right wing bias in science fiction is observably 5.6 times worse than the purported sexism about which they so often complain.

Of course, SJWs always lie.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Moira Greyland obliterates the rainbow

Given what she's survived at the hands of the gay community already, I don't think they're going to intimidate her one little bit. The daughter of feminist icon Marion Zimmer Bradley and convicted child molester Walter Breen shines sunlight on the dark underbelly of homosexual culture and its obsession with molesting children:
My observation of my father and mother’s actual belief is this: since everyone is naturally gay, it is the straight establishment that makes everyone hung up and therefore limited.  Sex early will make people willing to have sex with everyone, which will bring about the utopia while eliminating homophobia and helping people become “who they really are.” It will also destroy the hated nuclear family with its paternalism, sexism, ageism (yes, for pedophiles, that is a thing) and all other “isms.”  If enough children are sexualized young enough, gayness will suddenly be “normal” and accepted by everyone, and the old fashioned notions about fidelity will vanish.  As sex is integrated as a natural part of every single relationship, the barriers between people will vanish, and the utopia will appear, as “straight culture” goes the way of the dinosaur.  As my mother used to say: “Children are brainwashed into believing they don’t want sex.”

I know, I know.  The stupidity of that particular thesis is boundless, and the actual consequence is forty-year-olds in therapy for sexual abuse, many, many suicides, and ruined lives for just about EVERYONE.  But someone needed to say it.  Will anyone hear it?

What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial, and the sure knowledge (don’t think for a second that they DON’T know) that the only way to produce another homosexual is to provide a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be “ruined” by attraction to a girl.

If you’re OK with that, and you might not be, it is worth your consideration.  If you think I am wrong, that is your privilege, but watch out for the VAST number of stories of sexual abuse AND transgenderism that will come about from these gay “marriages.”  Already the statistics for sexual abuse of children of gays are astronomically high compared to that suffered by the children of straights.

Naturally my perspective is very uncomfortable to the liberal people I was raised with: I am “allowed” to be a victim of molestation by both parents, and “allowed” to be a victim of rather hideous violence. I am, incredibly, NOT ALLOWED to blame their homosexuality for their absolute willingness to accept all sex at all times between all people.

But that is not going to slow me down one bit. I am going to keep right on speaking out. I have been silent for entirely too long. Gay “marriage” is nothing but a way to make children over in the image of their “parents” and in ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out.
I suspect that the eventual backlash against the rainbow fascists in the West is going to make ISIS look merciful. Remember, the historical pendulum ALWAYS swings back sooner or later. Once it becomes clear that acceptance of homosexuality necessarily requires the acceptance of widespread child molestation, there will be no mercy. There is a very good reason homosexuality was historically categorized among the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; it is a mental disorder that typically stems from childhood abuse of one form or another.

That doesn't mean all homosexuals are evil individuals or are inclined to molest children. What Miss Greyland is saying makes it clear that they are, in fact, innocent victims, regardless of how proud they may claim to be of their past victimization. But the fact remains that there is an intrinsic link between the childhood abuse and the mental disorder, and if you disagree, then you can take it up with Moira Greyland. Just try to tell her she doesn't know what she's talking about.

This also provides an obvious response to those who ask "why don't you support gay marriage?" Because I oppose child molestation. If banning gay "marriage" will save even ONE child from being sexually abused, then it is a moral imperative.

Prior to the establishment of the federal parody of marriage, children were 10 times more likely to be molested by a parent or adult guardian if their mother was a lesbian and 3 times more often if their father was gay. As Miss Greyland predicts, imagine how that ratio is going to explode if both "parents" are gay; the math indicates it will be somewhere between 9 times and 100 times more often; given the greater access to children necessarily involved, it will probably be closer to the latter figure.

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Tweaks

As you can probably tell by my use of the old Blogger template, I am not inclined to make change simply for its own sake. Few site redesigns actually improve anything; I prefer a more evolutionary approach.

With that in mind, VPIT has come up with another tweak that may, or may not, improve your VP experience. Instructions follow:

You may have noticed that the comments at Vox Popoli are now numbered sequentially.  This is useful both for remembering your stopping point in a thread and referring to individual comments when you reply.

As an additional convenience, VPIT is experimenting with a Clever Browser Trick that will convert a simple reference to the number of a previous comment into a permalink to that actual comment.  You don't have to know any HTML to make it work; just refer to the comment number like this:

@42

This should work naturally in naturally-written text, e.g.:

Vox @137, I cannot agree that you have definitively proven that SJWs subsist solely on carrots and their toenail clippings.

Nota Bene:  Because Blogspot's commenting system is clownishly poor in features, it is impossible to consistently number comments when some of them get spammed. That is, if comment 17 is by a troll and is sent to spam, what was previously comment 18 will become comment 17.

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Hugo Recommendations 2015

This is how I am voting for the 2015 Hugo Awards. Of course, I offer this information regarding my individual ballot for no particular reason at all, and the fact that I have done so should not be confused in any way, shape, or form with a slate or a bloc vote, much less a direct order by the Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil to his 390 Vile Faceless Minions or anyone else.

Voting closes on July 31, so don't procrastinate.

Best Novel
  1. The Three-Body Problem
  2. Skin Game
  3. The Goblin Emperor
  4. The Dark Between the Stars
 Best Novella
  1. "One Bright Star to Guide Them"
  2. "Big Boys Don't Cry"
  3. "The Plural of Helen of Troy"
  4. "Pale Realms of Shade"
  5. "Flow"
Best Novelette
  1. "The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale"
  2. "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium"
  3. "The Journeyman: In the Stone House"
  4. "Championship B'Tok"
  5. "The Day the World Turned Upside Down"
Best Short Story
  1. “Turncoat”, Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)
  2. “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  3. “On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)
  4. “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
Best Related Work
  1. "The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF"
  2. Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth
  3. "Why Science is Never Settled"
  4. Letters from Gardner
  5. Wisdom from My Internet
Best Graphic Story
  1. No Award

Read more »

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Failing Sun Tzu

Anti-GamerGate clearly doesn't bother with opposition research.

As Milo said, "We need a better class of adversary, you guys."

Speaking of opposition research, I'm wondering if I should apply for this job. After all, I've probably generated more publicity for Tor and its authors than anyone they actually pay to do it.
Post Date 7/20/2015
Title Publicist
Organization Tor Books
Requirements         Tor/Forge Books seeks a highly-motivated and creative Publicist to join its publicity team. The ideal candidate will have three to five years publicity experience, possess excellent writing and organizational skills, be familiar with key print, broadcast and electronic media, and have a successful track record in publicizing a variety of genres. Reporting to Director of Publicity at Tor, this individual will work closely with marketing and sales efforts to implement successful campaigns while developing and strengthening media and author relationships.
If you're an unemployed member of the Dread Ilk, I'd encourage you to apply for jobs like this. Invade the entryists. Just remember to be a minority and talk SJW.

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GG tactics work

It appears #PPGate is off to a good start:
Representatives from Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co. and Xerox say they’ve asked Planned Parenthood to remove their names as corporate donors to the embattled organization.

The move follows a Daily Signal report revealing the names of 41 companies that Planned Parenthood listed as donors. That list, which was featured on Planned Parenthood’s website, has since been removed.

This latest development comes in the wake of two undercover videos that showed Planned Parenthood executives talking about the sale of fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood is facing both federal and state investigations—and the possibility of losing taxpayer funding.
Notice the language used by The Daily Signal.

We Asked Companies About Their Donations to Planned Parenthood. Here’s How They Responded.

Notice that all they did was ask about their donations in light of the new revelations of Planned Parenthood being ghouls profiting off the corpses of murdered infants. And those corporations that weren't advertisers or donors were very quick to point out they weren't.

Now, it's fair to ask why these tactics have been more immediately effective than the Tor boycott, and there are two reasons.
  1. Coke, Ford, and Xerox do NOT want to be associated with human organ trafficking. Tor Books doesn't care if it happens to denigrate a few thousand of its customers.
  2. Targeting the advertisers always works better than targeting the company responsible. It's the "Amenable Authority" problem. The Daily Signal and #PPGate would have gotten nowhere if they'd gone after Planned Parenthood directly.
The problem is that Tor Books doesn't really have any advertisers. And the only individual at Tor who gives a damn about the customers and is theoretically in a position to do something about Gallo is Tom Doherty, but he's got far less juice there than his title would indicate and he wasn't willing to let PNH storm out in a huff, which is what he would have had to do to hold Gallo accountable.

So we can't hit from outside, but only from upstairs. Which is why the only real question is how seriously Macmillan takes its code of conduct and if they're willing to call PNH's bluff.

But regardless, the key is persistence and patience. Sam Biddle was, and is, GG's top target and he's still at Gawker. Does that make #GamerGate a failure? Of course not. So, relax, and be ready to go back into action next week.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Goodbye, Dainty Flower

Good-bye my sweet mamma dog. Thank you for watching over us and loving us. We will miss you forever. -Spacebunny

We had to say goodbye to the Mamma Dog today. She practically raised the kids, whom she clearly regarded as her puppies, and she watched over them more closely than any human nanny. Every night when we turned in, she would go to each child's bed, one after the other, and sniff at them until she was satisfied they were all right before returning to our room and settling down on her own bed on the floor next to Spacebunny's side.

She had a very sweet, but protective nature, and whenever anyone visited the house, she always had to check them out before harrumphing in mild disapproval and retiring to a corner of the room where she could keep an eye on them. You know, just in case. She had a silly side to her too, as she would pick up pieces of her food and throw it in the air just for the fun of it. If you called her on it, she would stop, stare at you, and then do it again, almost defiantly. Her eyebrows were particularly expressive, as she would raise one, then the other, in a slightly skeptical manner.

She loved the whole family, but there was no question to whom she belonged, as she was always happiest being around her beloved mistress, with whom she even shared a birthday. She liked nothing more than to share a bowl of popcorn with Spacebunny, and when waiting for a kernel to be tossed her way, she had a funny habit of impatiently shifting her weight from one side to the other.

She was astonishingly athletic. I've never seen a dog with such an incredible combination of speed and power. We couldn't figure out how she was getting in and out of the house without our knowledge one summer, and it turned out that she was casually leaping six feet vertically and four feet horizontally in and out my office window. And yet, when a baby would crawl on top of her, she would hold herself perfectly motionless, her eyebrows moving up and down as she patiently waited for the baby to crawl far enough away that she could move without hurting it.

She wasn't flawless. I mean that literally, as the two whorls of her ridge were lopsided and she had an extra partial on the right side. She was literally half-price as a result, but she would have been a bargain at ten times the cost. She was also pigeon-toed, which gave her slightly unusual stance, and she was tall for her breed, bigger than many of the male Ridgebacks we encountered.

I only heard her "serious" bark twice. It was a deep, chesty roar that sounded as if it came up from one of the pits of the lower hells. It didn't even sound like a dog, but some sort of cross between a lion and a hellhound. And yet, for all her size and strength, she was extremely feminine, hence the Dainty Flower. But to the kids, the cats, and the other dogs, she was always the Mamma Dog.

After my Viszla died in 2010, she went into a bit of a decline, and when she was subsequently diagnosed with cancer, we wondered how long she was going to last. But then the Prodiguously Large Puppy joined the household, she seemed to absorb some of his excessive energy, and she was visibly revitalized, going on long walks with the family and playing happily with her new responsibility out in the yard as well as inside the house.

She made it to Christmas, and then to another Christmas, and then was less than entirely pleased when a Ridgeback in need of a new home joined the family a year ago. She seemed convinced that the poor little puppy needed to be defended from The Other Ridgeback, never mind that he was not only a full-grown Viszla, but such an oversized and muscular version of the breed that he was frequently mistaken for a Ridgeback himself. Even though she couldn't keep up with the two other dogs as they chased each other back and forth outside, she would bark warnings at The Other Ridgeback, promising dire retribution and serious consequences if The Other Ridgeback should somehow harm her tiny, defenseless 70-pound puppy in any way.

She lived three years longer than we expected, but the cancer finally caught up with her. Her heart was still strong, her eyes were still bright, and she would still perk up and flick her tail when she smelled espresso - she considered any cappucino placed within reach fair game for Ridgebacks - but her rear legs were withered and she was wasting away. We had the vet come out to the house to examine her, but no one knows dogs better than Spacebunny and we already knew what the verdict would be. After everyone had the chance to say their goodbyes, the vet put her to sleep for the last time in her beloved mistress's arms.

It may be questionable theology, but I personally cannot conceive of anything that could possibly call itself Heaven or Paradise that does not contain dogs. And I have no doubt that only a little while ago the Viszla came enthusiastically bounding up to her, his tail wagging furiously, barking, "you're here, you're FINALLY here! What took you so long?"

To which I expect the Mamma Dog replied, "I had to watch over my puppies as long as I could."

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Jeu vidéo et «suprémacisme»

Causeur responds to Le Monde's coverage of #GGinPAris:
Video Games and "Supremacism"

#Gamergate might not ring a bell with readers, but Le Monde / Pixels recently covered its recent meet-up in Paris. Concerned vigilance sums up the tone of the article. The author ventured onsite ready to ferret out any signs of Evil on the prowl. This unwittingly comic posture does not prove we should all bless #GG, even if it does incline us to consider this affair from a benevolent perspective. If you’ve read Alban Agnoux’s paper in Causeur #26, #Gamergate will seem like familiar territory: it is an online movement engaged in a cultural war to protect freedom of speech in video games. Against whom? Mainly against those #GGers denounce using the term social justice warriors (SJWs). In a nutshell, if you like Lara Croft, you are not an SJW. Does this also make you an antifeminist? It doesn’t take much to become a suspect these days.

Ah, how the young generation sometimes leaves us scratching our heads in perplexity! The author of the Le Monde article did not evade the polychromatic aspect of the #GG phenomenon. In order to balance his depiction, as well as to avoid bewildering his readers more than was necessary, it is understandable that he also chose to take some harder lines. Did he do so in order to quiet any inner doubts about his own orthodoxy as well? I would not go so far. In any case, this is where Vox Day, one of the gamers behind #GGinParis, came in handy: not too young, easier to classify, especially if you put words in his mouth. Given the number of detractors the man has already accumulated, why not join the pack? The threat lying hidden in the shadows of #GG would thus appear to boil down to him. Him, and his ideology: supremacism.

Perhaps it is me, but as characterizations go, this one comes across as vague, if not outright flippant. It is an accusation made in bad faith, without force and without conviction. Check out the second photo of the article, in which the alleged supremacist Vox Day appears, but which also inexplicably features the beaming smile of the black owner of the bar: how is the reader not expected to start having doubts after seeing that? If, on top of that, the readers goes off exploring the chap’s blog, well, at least all is not lost. From what I understand, accusations of supremacism sadden the accused greatly, as he never misses a chance to assert his Native American and Mexican heritages. And does he not seem a little too satisfied with the attention bestowed upon on him by Le Monde?

Yes, why not reduce the enemy to a caricature — but one has got to put some heart into it, lest the effort prove counterproductive.  
It's a strong and wryly jaundiced response to the Le Monde author's apparent determination to stick to the Narrative, and to take the occasional cheap shot. Don't get me wrong, I was impressed to see that the journalist not only made the hitherto unseen effort to show up at the event, but spent several hours there and talked to many people there. However, it was disappointing that he elected to run with the "supremacism" line even after acknowledging that my ancestry made the claims of being a white supremacist absurd and that a response to a single attacker cannot seriously be considered a reliable indicator of one's perspective on a group consisting of hundreds of millions of people.

Then again, the journalist openly admitted that he did not know how to describe my actual ideology, libertarianism. And he did make an effort, as he even made reference to my attempt to put it in French terms: "Voltairean revolutionaries dedicated to liberte' while rejecting egalite'". But the Causeur author is correct to call him to account for taking, shall we say, liberties with the truth, as the fact that communicating a hard-to-translate perspective does not justify inventing your own version of it.

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An existential threat

Christianity is being eradicated from the Middle East.
From 1910 to 2010, the number of Christians in the Middle East — in countries like Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan — continued to decline; once 14 percent of the population, Christians now make up roughly 4 percent. (In Iran and Turkey, they’re all but gone.) In Lebanon, the only country in the region where Christians hold significant political power, their numbers have shrunk over the past century, to 34 percent from 78 percent of the population. Low birthrates have contributed to this decline, as well as hostile political environments and economic crisis. Fear is also a driver. The rise of extremist groups, as well as the perception that their communities are vanishing, causes people to leave.

For more than a decade, extremists have targeted Christians and other minorities, who often serve as stand-ins for the West. This was especially true in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, which caused hundreds of thousands to flee. ‘‘Since 2003, we’ve lost priests, bishops and more than 60 churches were bombed,’’ Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, said. With the fall of Saddam Hussein, Christians began to leave Iraq in large numbers, and the population shrank to less than 500,000 today from as many as 1.5 million in 2003.

The Arab Spring only made things worse. As dictators like Mubarak in Egypt and Qaddafi in Libya were toppled, their longstanding protection of minorities also ended. Now, ISIS is looking to eradicate Christians and other minorities altogether. The group twists the early history of Christians in the region — their subjugation by the sword — to legitimize its millenarian enterprise. Recently, ISIS posted videos delineating the second-class status of Christians in the caliphate. Those unwilling to pay the jizya tax or to convert would be destroyed, the narrator warned, as the videos culminated in the now-­infamous scenes of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians in Libya being marched onto the beach and beheaded, their blood running into the surf.

The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is now uncertain. ‘‘How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?’’ says Nuri Kino, a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action. According to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history. ‘‘ISIL has put a spotlight on the issue,’’ says Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, whose parents are from the region and who advocates on behalf of Eastern Christians. ‘‘Christianity is under an existential threat.’’
I expect it won't be long before the West will return the favor. If you think the mass immigration of the last fifty years can't be turned around, remember that in Spain, the Ummayads reigned for 700 years before they were driven out. History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes, and the same patterns play over and over and over.

But this is not the end of Christianity in the Middle East. It may only be four percent of the population there now, but there was a time when it was only 11 men. The river of the blood of the martyrs is running high right now, and this is neither the first time nor the last time that has happened. It wasn't all that long ago that Christianity was supposedly dead in Russia, after all.

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