||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Monday, September 01, 2014
Suspended for writing a book
We can spot some journalistic / blogger Fail here and there. First, Older wants us to know that the author / teacher Patrick McLaw / Dr. K.S. Voltaer happens to be black. No, dude; that doesn't matter, not in Maryland which has a large middle-class black population and votes overwhelmingly Democrat. On the other side, there's The Daily Caller which called this man "disturbingly stupid". All one can say to that is - get bent.
I'll need to raise this at the next Moron Book Thread. If not before.
Andrea Harris update
I was shocked to read it - this wasn't the Harris I thought I knew - so I went looking for that nostalgic-value blog. This is what came up:
I do recall from back in the day when she was a Carlene follower, that at one point she noted how men commenters differed from women commenters. When women get rebutted in an argument with a woman, they leave. Men would keep up the harassment. It was of course a sexist thing to say, and I didn't like reading it; but I didn't argue the point. I mean, I'm a sexist. I know that men and women are different - or we wouldn't even have the words "men" and "women" in our language. I also saw some of the obnoxious comments she got... which proved her point. That's when I figured her for a feminist. Which was still fine. I was a feminist at the time (it's not possible to be both non-sexist and non-feminist); and she was honest, and also observant.
Later, there was this, and this is which decided me that I should step away. I only found out she was even still alive because of "you are the solution". (I think that at least I can get away without being called out as a stalker since it's been, like, over three years and, you know.)
I don't know what happened to her outlook. But at some point, between 2010 to 2011ish, she decided that seeking the truth was less important than speaking her mind.
Well - it's not. If you seek the truth, you serve the Good. If you just speak your mind you're just another ranter on the 'web. And if you think "journalistic integritaaah" is a punchline then you're being flippant.
So... back to "you are the solution"... it could probably stand to be watched and rewatched. I'm sure I've broken every rule in the book.
Silverstring, Sarkeesian, Quinn
There sure has been a lot of social-justice bullshit over the past year in the video-gaming community / sphere / ghetto. I mean - there've always been complaints about "sexism" in games, but most of us have let it all slide. The sexists know who they are; they don't care. As for me, minion of Darkness - the very issue has rarely come up in the sorts of games I play. But that's just me. Leave me alone to play, has generally been my motto. But over the last year, the white knights have launched what I can only describe as a holy crusade, or jihad - whichever - against this phantom heresy.
The catalyst, best I can tell, was one Anita Sarkeesian - who doesn't play many games as such (probably about as many as I do), yet somehow has raised herself as an authority on the topic (which I would never claim to be myself). I now find that Sarkeesian is an "advisor", whatever that means, for this creepy outfit called Silverstring. This is a PR firm, -ish, with links with several indie-gaming blogs. Against her opportunistic trolling, Sarkeesian has predictably received some pushback; and some of it has been less polite than what you are reading here.
The video-game journalists jumped right into action... blaming us. Jim Sterling has got into it. Even Angry Joe took it upon himself to berate his fans for issuing "death threats" and other horrible things. The journos sided with our accusers, despite the very serious questions about the motives and connexions of those accusers.
Gaming journalists, in short, don't like gamers very much.
And now all manner of cockroaches are scurrying out of their hideyholes.
Can we at least get an acknowledgement, if not an apology, from Angry Joe and other journos whom we've (for whatever reason) been following lo these many years - that perhaps we their audience weren't their enemy all along?
The Rapture is racist
...not that there's anything wrong with that. But it is.
To back up: A few years back, a fellow named Mr Levine developed this game which ended up with the title Bioshock. In it, Levine explored a realm based on Exit, whence Atlas has Shrugged, whither the world's productive people (who believe in Exit) have fled. The name of this sunken seasteading? "Rapture". SPOILER: It wasn't a nice place, and the reason it wasn't nice was because of the people in it.
There existeth a strain of Christianity - the majority strain, now - in which God "saves" those who believe in Christian doctrine and doesn't save the rest. (Morality is beside the point. There's handwaving about sin, redemption, the Saved naturally doing good because of the Spirit but feh.) A turbocharged version of this, teaches that God will intervene and save His people outright - will just pull the true Christians off the Earth and bring them to His Presence.
This "premilleniarial dispensation" doctrine is silly, irrational, and not very well supported in Scripture. But many Christians believe in it anyway. Nobody believes in something that is silly unless they want to believe in it. So... why do they want to?
I'm guessing that these people mainly live in the American South or in Ulster. They are living cheek-by-jowl next to people they hate. Oh, there are exceptions. "One of my best friends is [x]." But mainly, they don't want to spend Eternity next to those dirty [x]'s - at least, not to many of them.
With Rapture, the believers don't want even to spend this life near these damnable [x]'s. So, they go for a doctrine that will imminent-ize this eschaton. (Yeah, I know... same old tired Monte "Chaositech" Cook pun.) The secular version of this is the libertarian "seasteading" movement, or good ol' plain white-flight... for those who can afford it. The low-rent Christian version is as I've described it.
Again: I'm not about to condemn the thought behind it. But I do believe that people should confront the Mirror Gate, from time to time. I further consider Divine Justice, that believers in exclusionary visions of God should be judged by their own criteria.
Is the absence of charity a sin, God will say; and is the mere thought of sin itself a sin?
But of course, the Rapture-believer will respond.
God will then ask: Is it just that the righteous should, as part of their reward, be freed from the presence of sinners?
Yes, the Rapture-believer will say: that is just.
God will then bear witness that the Christian has chosen the game to be played, and has chosen the cards he wanted played in it.
*pop* goes the trapdoor.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
I'd earlier pointed to Baghdadi's Caliphate as having cut itself off from the Sunni Umma. It might be worth out time to explore some ways in which his regime sets itself out as purely Islamic, and not Sunni.
(Oh, the title. We Brits had a thing going on at the end of the 1970s called "post-punk"; in this context, one usually reads of Joy Division. You can kind-of see the lo-fi punk origins in some of Curtis's work, especially the early stuff. But anyway.)
First, Baghdadi wants to rid Mecca of the Black Stone. The Sunnis and Shia-sects would never do that; it's in the Hadith.
Also, Baghdadi effectively expelled the Christians from their territory. This is not a Sunni act; a Muslim jurist would set out terms of taxation, but to offer real protection in return.
And now we're hearing that even the boxthorn will not protect the Jews. In Sunnism, the gharqad is supposed to protect the Jews. Again, Baghdadi knows better than the hadith.
Ultimately, Baghdadi sees himself as the caliph, in line from `Abd al-Malik. The Sunna doesn't bind him; the Caliph of God binds the Sunna.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The First Amendment protects the rude
[Chavez] wore a t-shirt with the message, “Fear God” on the front and “Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus” on the back. Fisher wore a t-shirt with the message, “Trust Jesus” on the front and “Fear God and Give Him Glory” on the back, and he carried a banner that said on one side, “Only Jesus Christ Can Save You From Sin and Hell,” and on the other side it said, “Jesus Is the Judge, Therefore, Repent, Be Converted That Your Sins May Be Blotted Out.” Other messages conveyed on t-shirts, signs, or banners displayed by the [other Bible Believers] included, among others, “Fear God,” “Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus,” “Prepare to Meet Thy God – Amos 4:12,” “Obey God, Repent,” “Turn or Burn,” “Jesus Is the Way, the Truth and the Life. All Others Are Thieves and Robbers,” and “Islam Is A Religion of Blood and Murder.”
One could easily imagine an evangelical mission unto the Arab population. The missionaries could have offered trilingual messages in Syriac and Coptic as well as Arabic. Near Eastern Christianity after all boasts a history, a much more venerable history than we Brits can boast - Christian or pagan. Given that the first-named demonstrator was a Chavez even he might have gone to them as "Ibn al-Hafiz al-Andalusi". But really this crew needed more Syrians and Copts. Much many more.
I don't think that their anti-Islamic demonstration convinced anybody of anything. What we had there was an exercise in trollery. They wanted their day in court. Well - they got it.
If saying all this puts me on the side of evil, then... well, watch me not care. Wouldn't be the first time these past eleven years.
Sociopaths and the second gate
Michael Ende's book Die unendliche Geschichte is a meta-fantasy: like Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth or, heavens, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. For instance, the Swamp(s) of Sadness is clearly a depression analogy. Much that is in the book, therefore, has to do with human character. Maybe all of it; I last read this in translation and many years back. I wish here to discuss one detail that has nagged at me for decades. I just never got around to it here, yet.
So: hero Atreyu is on a quest to save Fantas[t]i[c]a, and must consult the Southern Oracle. The Oracle happens to be a sphinx, or at least a sphinx-spirit; and such requires a test. This test is in three parts, via gates. (I could not resist the pun; apologies.) The first gate tests the petitioner's own self-regard. If he doesn't really think himself worthy, he dies. The second gate then throws this back upon the petitioner. The petitioner is shown his true self, which - if he is evil - he had never ever seen before. (The first gate has already screened out the bad guys who both know and feel their shame.) By going through it, the petitioner would effectively be saying that he didn't mind his other "true" self. The third gate, lastly, screens those who want to meet the Oracle. Anyone who passes all three tests, then, is a disinterested seeker of whatever. Apparently.
[I never much liked the third gate. The Movie agreed and omitted the thing. But I did miss Ygramul the Many, earlier on.]
When I was younger - as in, a day younger - I'd also had a problem with Door Number Two, the mirror. Even as a ten-year-old I wondered if the mirror was just being a jerk. A petitioner who had done good works because he was afraid of evil might be shown an evil image because, hey, G-d has his own standards. I also wondered how many petitioners would see the image, and then shrug and march right through.
Against that I had one revelation today: The villains who turned back screaming could then, on their way out, be frozen / shot by that first gate. These might even welcome their death. As for those who gritted their teeth and marched through the second one - these, too, if they then felt a glimmer of self-doubt, might not be allowed back out. So yes. The mirror in that Mittelzugang was terrible. Literally.
One problem. The Oracle still fails to screen the sociopaths.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Saudis are doomed
[UPDATE 7:15 PM: I'd earlier wondered if the statistic excluded the Shi`ites along the Gulf. But then I read this quote from the article:
Baghdadi, then, is about done with the Fertile Crescent. He won't be able to do much in Turkey or Iran. But Arabia is, literally, just waiting for him.
Weird nut posts something on Weird Nut Daily
Let's concede that, within Islam, there can be crossover between sects. To invert a term from the once-Monothelete, now-Catholic Marûnûtâ: Hamas is at this point western-rite Shi`ism. They are in tight alliance with the Hizbullah and with Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood at large is following Hamas's lead. Elsewhere, the Ibadis in Oman have already thrown in with Iran and the Sunnis are split: all over what to do with the caliphate. Even al-Qaeda are afraid of ISIS. Worldwide, the Muslim ulama' are coming around to the same notion: Baghdadi may be Muslim, but he is not their Muslim.
There are several reasons to oppose Hamas, among which I simply take for granted the need to support Israel. But if we are going to support Israel, we need to do it right. Making silly analogies isn't doing it right. Any propagandum has failed if it is debunked.
Monday, August 25, 2014
The so-called "Nicene" creed:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.
Catholics and their Prot offspring do the "and the Son". Orthodox communions don't.
I wonder if what we have here, is a (clumsy) attempt by the West to carve out a separate space for the Church. They would say of the East - Of course God's command comes from the one God. Of course hierarchy is good. But... the restriction of the Spirit to the Father chains up Christ and leads to Arianism. Incidentally it also encourages subordinational thought generally on Earth.
Which brings us to Islam. The Western Church had seen a lot of Islam as of the mid-1000s. They were contesting Spain and Sicily, they worried about the molestation of pilgrims in Palestine and they were soon to embark upon the Crusade. The West, by splitting the Spirit between Father and Son, allowed for dual sources of inspiration: a holy Empire and a holy Church.
If that was filioque's intent, I don't think the analogy translated well. On its own terms it's never made sense. The Byzantines didn't like it either; it resulted in the 1054 schism.
I could just be missing something.
I have just now via email (thanks, "Maxim") been alerted to the Âshtinâmeh.
I know of several other sulh-pacts in this general format. If you flip through the translation of Baladhuri’s Futuh al-Buldan you’ll see some examples: treaties with Yemeni notables, mainly. Several more are footnoted in Robinson's book Empire and Elites. And I won't dismiss these pacts out of hand. The so-called Constitution of Madina is usually thought to be a compilation of pacts with Hijazi Arabs and Jews from the Prophet’s time. There also survives a Pact of Umar; although this one is more likely a codification of later practice (Milka Levy-Rubin, Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire).
The Âshtinâmeh for its own part quotes from sura 29. I happen to think that sura 29 belongs to the Marwânî era. This makes me suspect the Âshtinâmeh, too, as late (or at least as interpolated). Worse, the repetitive disavowals of poll-tax make me suspect special-pleading - a Christian origin. And where is this document in the Arabic sources? Where is it in Baladhuri? Where in Ibn Asakir and the historians in Egypt?
I would, myself, pin this forgery upon the monks living under the early `Abbasids. First, the very term âshti-nâmeh is Persian. Mainly, that sect's takeover was about when Palestinian communities worried about the “new deal” they’d be getting. Milka Levy-Rubin has also penned a translation of the Samaritan chronicle; this shows how rough the Syrians had it. Ditto the Christian chronicle at Zuqnin. Further south at Sinai, the `Abbasids were getting further from their Iraqi / Khurasani base and too close to Egypt’s vast population. More generous terms could be negotiated there. They still had to be negotiated.
The document wouldn't be fit for display to the historians. This was shown to Muslim bands who had been hoping to shake the monks down.
UPDATE 8/30/2014: Ahhh... so that is why we've been hearing about it this month.. Spencer has floated some other rebuttals.
Baghdadi leaves Sunnism
It is often mooted around the blogosphere that Zawahiri and al-Qaeda have kicked Baghdadi from their ranks. I've done some cursory googling; expulsion doesn't quite fit what happened.
In one document, al-Qaeda's amir Zawahiri has more been assuming that he's the leader of the Jihad, and that Baghdadi is a rogue subordinate. Baghdadi, instead, understands himself as having rejected al-Qaeda.
The Islamic extremists of al-Qaeda are Sunnis. However extreme they are, they are proud to sit within the tradition of Hanbali fiqh. To paraphrase "Berserker" @ace last night: Baghdadi is the freebase version of Islam's coca-leaf.
Anyway, now, Baghdadi has gone on to fatwa the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as apostates. Baghdadi is not willing to be a vessel of al-Azhar University - or of Sunnism at all as such. He sees himself as the caliph, in line from `Abd al-Malik. The Sunna doesn't bind him.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The Holocaust revisionism of David Cole (Stein)
The terlit hobo's been at it again: reviewing Republican Party Animal. Scroll down to #29 in lieu of pixyware. I didn't say much there on the "Holocaust revisionism" thing; so I'll do that here.
As you know - as I've mentioned last month - I am not a fan of most people working the revisionist beat on that particular topic. I find the average commenter on the "holohoax" to be an antiSemite. The above-average poster here is an obsessive antiSemite. Since [blahblahblah]: when someone like this shows up spewing his talking-points, I tune out.
We cannot dismiss Cole as in this "denialist" camp. If we are to trust his book, he was never in this camp. The man is a freakin' Zionist for G-d's sake. He was at most guilty of corresponding with and abetting said camp (to his own stated regret, in the case of some in it). This was enough to get the JDL to declare him a Kapo and to issue a bounty on him. It was also enough to get a bunch of historians and museum-curators to dial back on their claims.
So, this is what we get from RPA's appendix: the Holocaust probably shouldn't even be thought of as "the Holocaust". The mass murders were the end-result of several situational atrocities, more the result of an absence of policy on the ground than of a deliberate decision by Hitler and his boys. Hitler was AWOL on what to do with civilian minorities, says Cole; mostly he was prosecuting a war. The next tier down, people like Goebbels and Goering, wanted slave-labour from able-bodied Jews (and others).
What I was reminded of, was Snyder's Bloodlands. Bloodlands for its part says exactly that: the Nazi invasions were brilliantly planned as far as defeating enemies was concerned, terrible for dealing with the new subjects of the newly-expanded Reich. We read a long and depressing litany of whole communities gunned down out of hand, not because of orders and not even because the local authorities disliked them personally - but just because these pathetic schlubs weren't convenient.
Now, those other missing postwar Jews - what does Cole say of them? First, many hoofed it. Still more died of disease or old age. Many of the Jews who were actually killed, were killed after the war - by Poles and so on, when they went home to reclaim their own homes. (One such sordid occasion is depicted in Spiegelman's Maus.) Others went underground as Hungarians or Poles or whatever, and failed to tell their children. In situ, the next generations failed to bear children as Jews in these tumultuous times. (Children like this guy.)
To offer up an analogy from another atrocity, think of Cromwell in Ireland. Does this make Cole a "denier" or even a minimiser of what happened? Hardly. He fucking hates Hitler. For my part I still find myself hating Uncle Addie just as much as I always did. Nazis suck; so do their apologists. None of Cole's claims change anything except maybe our degree of understanding.
Cole was, as others have noted, ahead of his time. It may even be thanks to Cole, that Snyder was able to write Bloodlands without all the clutter from the JDL-Jewish mythology around the subject (which, to be fair to Spiegelman, we didn't get from Maus either).
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Cory Gardner hates private spaceflight
Again: Coloradans, please do not vote for this man.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Why the Islamic State kills minorities
A few weeks back, Vox Day pointed out that diaspora Judaism and the Zionist nation of Israel - though not the same - have been acting in concert. This has led certain Europeans, and certain other Near Easterners living in Europe, to assume that the one is an agent for the other. As example, we might look to Jews in Sweden who fly Israeli flags in their neighbourhoods and, oh my, look at the reaction they get.
I am compromised mine own self. I am not just part-Jewish but part-Israeli, and staunchly Zionist. This is why I hadn't posted about this earlier - despite that the logic is inexorable, that Zionist Jews living abroad have dual loyalties. I admit it; it's all true, and certainly true in my case. But since it's so personal, I wouldn't have been able to post anything coherent on the topic until I'd calmed down some.
Back to Vox, and to the topic: he subsequently went into even darker territory, culminating in this epic on how come Jews have been booted out of so many countries over their history. I might have an idea about that - which follows on why Baghdadi's caliphate has behaved as brutally toward their minorities as they have.
The caliphate understands what the Young Turks understood: that minorities are okay when they know their place, but that minorities are always on the lookout to improve their own position. Where there is a foreign government on the prowl, the foreigners can easily make a separate bargain with the local minorities. Christian nations like Russia and, before them, the Byzantines have historically appealed to local Christians: back then, they reached out to Melkites and Maronites, and in the 1800s to Orthodox Armenians and Syrians. Under Clinton, the US took the side of the Bosniaks and then of the Albanians. Obama is a gnostic and a follower of Alinsky the Luciferian. Vox would probably say that Jews have set half a foot in the Islamic camp historically, as with Andalusia, and he'd be right; although these days, I think that any Jew with a firing neuron is wise to the impossibility of longterm peace with that bunch.
For an action, a reaction - if the targetted entity has any survival-interest. Against the Tsar, the Young Turks purged the Armenians. Against Clinton, Milosevic tried to purge the Kosovars. And now the caliphate is exterminating the followers of the Peacock Angel. (We've already linked about the Jews.)
So I cannot condemn V.D. for making simple observations and for extrapolating thence. There are some points we could dispute with him - and I absolutely have done, when he assumes that Gazans are a people but that the Israelis are not.
This blog on the other hand has consistently held to a proposition, that ethnic-cleansing, even genocide and - more so - political oppression all depends on whether the targets deserve it. I don't happen to think that the Yazidis or the Near Eastern Christians deserve it. (Jews aside.)
I do think that Hamas and the caliph deserve it. They're upfront about their desire to raise the black banner over the White House.
So that brings us full-circle. Do we retract and hold our own minorities (including myself) in suspicion? or do we learn from our minorities and turn this dynamic against our enemies - and support our friends in the enemy camp?
The Koch Brothers and Cory Gardner
Via AmRen: Koch Brothers Reach Out to Hispanics. I mean, besides the support of Cato which - in turn - supported the Bush amnesty.
Gardner's opponents in Colorado would like us to know that the Koch Bro's be supporting Gardner, too. The Kochs are thick with McConnell and Rubio as well. (And, whilst we're on topic of McConnell...)
Gardner must not win the election. It's sad to say it, but it's true.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Death of a Gramscian
The Birdcage: Conservatives want to stop you from having a good time and from living your life. Homosexuals are just like us.
Dead Poets Society: Authority is limiting and deadening. Rebellion is life.
Good Morning Vietnam: The Viet Cong were the good guys. The only Viets supporting the southern government were whores. (The American troops were okay though... just misguided, mostly.)
Good Will Hunting: Howard Zinn! You like them apples?
After a certain point, you start wondering if there's a pattern...
Anyway, rest in peace, Robin Williams, for the sake of Aladdin at least. We can be grateful that Good Morning Vietnam didn't go as far as Casualties of War or Full Metal Jacket went (it was more like Platoon in spirit). And we are all agreed that depression is horrible.
Perhaps, with some of these hateful movies, the poor man was misled.
UPDATE: Here are some films which can at least be mined for Right messages: Aladdin, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire.
UPDATE 8/12: Oh, Lauren Bacall? Have fun in Hades.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I know I'm late, but here's Scott Alexander from last month. I figured I'd post it so that I can get access to the article, and to the link, for when I have need of it. (Like when I was discussing Pascal-Complete arguments a few years ago.)
The classic example will be the Christian insistence that the only reason they are persecuted is because they say "Jesus is Lord". How simple a thing! Likewise, the movie The Message wanted us to sympathise with the man who was tortured because he said "no god but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet". You might also try this link.
Thanks to Mr Alexander, one more rhetorical trick is unveiled.
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