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Author Archives: Matthew

About Matthew

Order from chaos.

The God of the Blacksmiths

First, before I descend to my customary snark, this is a beautiful depiction of smithery:

Now: Why isn’t Jesus the god of blacksmiths? How far badly down the hole wrong has Christianity gone that this fellow finds himself more able to revere an obscure deity? Lest we forget, Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter, not a simonist attention whore in an expensive suit, nor a sodomite in a cassock, nor a pusillanimous pastor in a cheap suit. Vestments, icons, felt boards, hymnals, store-bought matzoh: put it all on the anvil, and let us forge-weld it into a sword.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Heresy

 

Athena Made Me Do It

Untold number of awesome points to the first commenter who gets the classical reference.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Life is stranger than fiction

 

Double Standards: Founding Father Style

Samuel Adams:

In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.

 
13 Comments

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Fuck Yeah!

 

Therapy Bags

Coming soon to a school near you.

At a meeting with school district officials, the bag was described as a “therapy bag,” Baker said, though she wasn’t clear exactly what that meant. She said her son would sometimes be asked to roll over a bag filled with balls as a form of therapy, but she didn’t know her son was being placed in the bag. She said school officials told her it was not the first time they had put him in the bag.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Jail for Kids

 

What is Wrong with Our Thoughts?

My second favorite atheist philosopher is David Stove, primarily because of his trenchant attacks on my favorite atheist philosopher, Karl Popper. This is, perhaps, a bit unfair to Popper, as he had enough humility about the world we live in, and life in general, to rank as an agnostic fellow traveler. Stove, though, was an outright atheist (on which more in a moment).

See him at his finest, which is to say, his most characteristically caustic, hubristic, dismissive, and sneaky-evil in his essay “What is Wrong with Our Thoughts?”. The essay is long, but very worth reading. In a word, he cherry picks some crazy shit from Plotinus, Hegel, and Foucault, squeezes a bit, then paints all philosophers with the resulting ordure.

From an Enlightenment or Positivist point of view, which is Hume’s point of view, and mine, there is simply no avoiding the conclusion that the human race is mad. There are scarcely any human beings who do not have some lunatic beliefs or other to which they attach great importance. People are mostly sane enough, of course, in the affairs of common life: the getting of food, shelter, and so on. But the moment they attempt any depth or generality of thought, they go mad almost infallibly. The vast majority, of course, adopt the local religious madness, as naturally as they adopt the local dress. But the more powerful minds will, equally infallibly, fall into the worship of some intelligent and dangerous lunatic, such as Plato, or Augustine, or Comte, or Hegel, or Marx.

I encourage you to go read the essay before reading on. Pay no attention to the blockquote below the fold, until you have vanquished the wicked essay of the west.

Okay, ready? Here’s R. J. Stove writing about his father’s end:

All Dad’s elaborate atheist religion, with its sacred texts, its martyrs, its church militant; all his ostentatious tough- mindedness; all his intellectual machinery; all these things turned to dust. Convinced for decades of his stoicism, he now unwittingly demonstrated the truth of Clive James’s cruel remark: “we would like to think we are stoic…but would prefer a version that didn’t hurt.”

Already an alcoholic, he now made a regular practice of threatening violence to himself and others. In hospital he wept like a child (I had never before seen him weep). He denounced the nurses for their insufficient knowledge of Socrates and Descartes. From time to time he wandered around the ward naked, in the pit of confused despair. The last time I visited him I found him, to my complete amazement, reading a small bedside Gideon Bible. I voiced surprise at this. He fixed on me the largest, most protuberant, most frightened, and most frightening pair of eyes I have ever seen: “I’ll try anything now.”

(Years later, I discovered—-and was absolutely pole-axed by-—the following passage in Bernard Shaw’s Too True To Be Good, in which an old pagan, very obviously speaking for Shaw himself, sums up what I am convinced was Dad’s attitude near the end. The passage runs: “The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. Its counsels, which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshipers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith.”)

Eventually, through that gift for eloquence which seldom entirely deserted him, Dad convinced a psychiatrist that he should be released from the enforced hospital confinement which he had needed to endure ever since his threats had caused him to be scheduled. The psychiatrist defied the relevant magistrate’s orders, and released my father.

Within twenty-four hours Dad had hanged himself in his own garden.

This was in June 1994. I cannot hope to convey the horror of this event. It dealt a mortal blow to the whole atheistic house of cards which constituted my own outlook. Was Dad in hell? If not, did he have the smallest hope of heaven, despite the manner of his death? If so, by what means? How much did my own evil contribute to his suicide? And how could I even begin to make amends? The story of the next eight years, until my own gruesomely belated baptism on August 11, 2002, is very much the story of how I writhed over—and wrestled with—such questions.

On a happier note, “gruesomely belated baptism” is one of the best phrases I have ever read.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Sin

 

Tolkien on democracy

“King Bard! King Bard!” they shouted; but the Master ground his chattering teeth.

“Girion was lord of Dale, not king of Esgaroth,” he said. “In the Laketown we have always elected masters from among the old and wise, and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men. Let ‘King Bard’ go back to his own kingdom-Dale is now freed by his valour, and nothing binders his return. And any that wish can go with him, if they prefer the cold shores under the shadow of the Mountain to the green shores of the lake. The wise will stay here and hope to rebuild our town, and enjoy again in time its peace and riches.”

“We will have King Bard!” the people near at hand shouted in reply. “We have had enough of the old men and the money-counters!” And people further off took up the cry: “Up the Bowman, and down with Moneybags,” till the clamour echoed along the shore.

“I am the last man to undervalue Bard the Bowman,” said the Master warily (for Bard now stood close beside him). “He has tonight earned an eminent place in the roll of the benefactors of our town; and he is worthy of many imperishable songs. But,
why O People?”-and here the Master rose to his feet and spoke very loud and clear – “why do I get all your blame? For what fault am I to be deposed? Who aroused the dragon from his slumber, I might ask? Who obtained of us rich gifts and ample help, and led us to believe that old songs could come true? Who played on our soft hearts and our pleasant fancies? What sort of gold have they sent down the river to reward us? Dragon-fire and ruin! From whom should we claim the recompense of our damage, and aid for our widows and orphans?”

As you see, the Master had not got his position for nothing. The result of his words was that for the moment the people quite forgot their idea of a new king, and turned their angry thoughts towards Thorin and his company. Wild and bitter words were shouted from many sides; and some of those who had before sung the old songs loudest, were now heard as loudly crying that the dwarves had stirred the dragon up against them deliberately!

“Fools!” said Bard. “Why waste words and wrath on those unhappy creatures? Doubtless they perished first in fire, before Smaug came to us.” Then even as he was speaking, the thought came into his heart of the fabled treasure of the Mountain lying without guard or owner, and he fell suddenly silent. He thought of the Master’s words, and of Dale rebuilt, and filled with golden bells, if he could but find the men.

At length he spoke again: “This is no time for angry words. Master, or for considering weighty plans of change. There is work to do. I serve you still-though after a while I may think again of your words and go North with any that will follow me.”

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2011 in government

 

Women are lovable

7man:

A woman can have unlimited influence over a man, but not if she chooses to exercise control. If a man is not allowed room to breathe, he will give up on trying to do things for her; serving her becomes a chore rather than a pleasure if she is a shrew. Roissy tells it as it is, not as it should be. Roissy reveals the true nature, actions and motivations of women. Is this talked about in Conservative circles or in the churches? (NO) Do women think that they are unlovable if their true natures were known? (YES)

Nate, at Alpha Game Plan:

what’s so hard to understand? Alphas like women. Gammas hate them.

A woman is lovable when both you and she understand her true nature.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Sex

 

Submission and Obedience

What is the relationship between submission and obedience? Can a wife be obedient without submitting? How much of submission does not involve obedience?

 
25 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Sex

 

Most research results are crap

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/09/false-findings-.html

Dr. Ioannidis and his colleagues analyzed 432 published research claims concerning gender and genes. Upon closer scrutiny, almost none of them held up. Only one was replicated….

[T]he likelihood of a published research result being true increases when that finding has been repeatedly replicated in multiple studies

But replicating results is haaaard.

Here’s the Ioannidis paper.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2011 in "science"

 

Scrubbing the law

In the comments to a Vox Popoli post about Rubio’s presidential eligibility, HongKongCharlie writes:

“Natural Born Citizen” was defined by an 1875 Supreme Court ruling (Minor v. Happersett) as children born of two U.S. citizens – regardless of the location of the birth. It found: “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

Some of the posters of late in this forum are somewhat maleducated. However the information is out there. (minor v. Happersett) has been shuffled and partially removed from some so called legal websites. It can still be found in it’s entirety if one perseveres.

I went on a bear hunt, and what did I see?

Meanwhile, at the “Supreme Court Center” of the influential legal research website Justia.com, efforts were underway corrupting at least 25 Supreme Court cases by erasing references to the words “Minor V. Happersett” along with references to other relevant cases on the issue along with the insertion of misleading numerical citations. And In two documented cases actual text was removed.


It appears that whoever tampered with these cases went back and “fixed” all of them, including 23 Donofrio wasn’t aware of until this week when he conclusively established the sabotage by Justia. For all 25, the pattern is precisely the same. In 2006, the cases at Justia are pristine in the Waybackmachine; word for word from official Supreme Court cases. Then at various points in 2008, the cases are corrupted by removal of the case name “Minor v, Happersett” (as well as some other case names and text.)

This appears to be the full case record.

This page omits the text HKC quoted.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2011 in law