Sunday, May 20, 2018

The corruption of the neo-liberal world order

The importance of the revelations concerning the Deep State's involvement in directly manipulating US democracy for the last 38 years is going to have global repercussions, even if absolutely nothing comes of it in the USA itself. I addressed these recent revelations about Stefan Harper's interference in the presidential elections in a Darkstream.

I've always been very cynical about US politics, but the thing that is amazing is that I wasn't anywhere nearly cynical enough. It was it was just astonishing to me to read these revelations of what Stefan Harper has been doing since the 1980 elections. I mean this is absolutely and utterly remarkable, and you know, a lot of people are pessimistic that anything's going to happen. A lot of people are saying "oh well what difference does it make now that we know, what is anyone going to do about this?" but the reality is that it is bringing the end of the neo-liberal world order closer.

The neo-liberal world order has already failed. Even people who were part of constructing it, and  people who are true believers in it, people like Henry Kissinger, they know this. I mean, when you've got people like Francis Fukuyama, who was a firm and strong believer in the neo-liberal world order and he famously pronounced "the End of History". Not fifteen years later, he's been desperately trying to walk back his words and claim that that he meant something other than than his actual meaning and so forth because it is so readily apparent to everyone that the neo-liberal world order is failing.

But what we're seeing here is that in addition to it failing, people are increasingly unable to even believe in the false front that it presents, and so it's really, really remarkable to see how much this has changed, how much people's perceptions have changed, not just in the United States, but around the world. Think about what this is doing in Russia, think about what this is doing in China, even more importantly, think about what this is doing in all the countries like Indonesia, in countries like Korea, in countries that are currently making decisions about which way they are going to go.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Defend the Right

Jon Del Arroz explains why it is wrong for those on the Right to attack Right-wing creators:
I will not attack fellow creators on the right ever. We’re already under immense pressure from above. We’re being banned from conventions en masse. We’re being blacklisted from publishers by threats from industry professionals. There’s no way you can ever get me to talk smack about someone who’s struggling as an independent to create art and make it against these insurmountable odds.

Every time you do it, you are holding our movement down.

I know it sounds counter intuitive, as the media will lambast Person X and make them look really bad! If only we had respectable creators, well then they couldn’t lambast and that’s what we need, right?

It’s wrong. No one on our side is respectable to their media machine or legion of groupthinkers. No one is even HUMAN on our side according to them. So what if we have some ideological differences? So what if the artistic project isn’t my cup of tea? It’s not like it’s some giant corporate promoted propaganda, it’s an independent person doing it on their time, taking enormous risk.

I’m only here to lift up the movement. I don’t care about disagreeing with someone on minor matters, I don’t even care if I love the product they put out. There’s personal reasons their product is done the way they want — that’s what art is all about. Sometimes there’s financial reasons that it looks or feels a certain way as well.

So I urge you, if you don’t like a book or whatnot or someone on our side, don’t say anything.That’s the best you can do. You’re not obliged to promote everything, but don’t squash this movement in its infancy.
I absolutely agree. Look at how the Left does it. They unstintingly praise even the most shoddy, error-filled nonsense as brilliant works of genius. Look at how the Fake Right does it; you need only read the recent reviews of Jonah Goldberg's eminently forgettable new book by all the neocons hailing it as "a new conservative classic" and praising it to the skies.

They do this because it works. Hell, look at how most of you genuinely believed - and some of you still believe - that Jordan Peterson is a brilliant and important intellectual on the basis of nothing more than an extensive public relations campaign that began back in 2004 at Wodek Szemberg's house.

Now, you might ask how I can reasonably endorse Jon Del Arroz's policy when I have so publicly criticized Richard Spencer, Jordan Peterson, Andrew Anglin, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg, and others. The answer is very simple: they are neither creators nor are they genuine men of the Right.

People repeatedly ask me to denounce, disavow, or otherwise attack men like Stefan Molyneaux, Mike Cernovich, John C. Wright, Larry Correia, and other men of the Right on the basis of our various philosophical and ideological disagreements. Don't even bother. It's not going to happen. Because I support what they are doing even though I don't agree with them on everything.

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FBI spy ID'd

The mysterious professor who spied on the Trump campaign for the FBI is identified:
In mid-July 2016, a retired American professor approached an adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign at a symposium about the White House race held at a British university.

The professor took the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Carter Page, whom Trump had named a few months earlier as a foreign policy adviser.

But the professor was more than an academic interested in American politics — he was a longtime U.S. intelligence source. And, at some point in 2016, he began working as a secret informant for the FBI as it investigated Russia’s interference in the campaign, according to people familiar with his activities.

The role played by the source is now at the center of a battle that has pitted President Trump against his own Justice Department and fueled the president’s attacks on the special counsel’s investigation. In a Thursday tweet, he called the probe “a disgusting, illegal and unwarranted Witch Hunt.”

In recent days, Trump and his allies have escalated their claims that the FBI source improperly spied on the campaign.

“Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” he tweeted Friday. “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a ‘hot’ Fake News story. If true — all time biggest political scandal!”

There is no evidence to suggest someone was planted with the campaign. The source in question engaged in a months-long pattern of seeking out and meeting three different Trump campaign officials.

The Washington Post — after speaking with people familiar with his role — has confirmed the identity of the FBI source who assisted the investigation, but is not reporting his name following warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.

The source declined multiple requests for comment. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment.

Page was one of three Trump advisers whom the FBI informant contacted in the summer and fall of 2016 for brief talks and meetings that largely centered on foreign policy, according to people familiar with the encounters.

“There has been some speculation that he might have tried to reel me in,” Page, who had numerous encounters with the informant, told The Post in an interview. “At the time, I never had any such impression.”

In late summer, the professor met with Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis for coffee in Northern Virginia, offering to provide foreign-policy expertise to the Trump effort. In September, he reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign-policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper.
It wasn't too hard to work out this "secret FBI source" thanks to a Daily Caller article linked on Drudge directly below the Washington Post piece.
Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign.

The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper’s September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn’t his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned.
The Washington Post's feeble attempt to spin this is particularly amusing when it goes to the trouble to underline, "There is no evidence to suggest someone was planted with the campaign." They can't even name the guy, but they are certain that no evidence concerning the nature of his involvement with the Trump campaign will be found?

Anyhow, Stefan Halper is a card-carrying neocon and Deep State operative. This is a MUCH bigger deal than Watergate ever was, and indicates that a serious fumigation of the FBI and other federal agencies is in order.

UPDATE: Holy cats, there is NO WAY this guy's actions were even remotely innocent.
Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

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The Great Dumbing-Down: Graduate School edition

More evidence that a college degree is literally worse than useless:
I am an instructor at a [university you would immediately recognize]. The director of the program is encouraging the entire faculty to alter their own teaching methods, based on an article that discusses how a professor at [another well-known university] found that she could improve the grades of her minority students through “inclusive teaching.”  By this she meant creating mandatory worksheets for students to fill out during each lecture (to "teach students how to take notes”), guided reading assignments, required class participation, online quizzes to check their progress,etc.  Basically all the busy work that everyone with an IQ over 95 hated in high school. The article was about implementing this regime in an undergraduate program, which is pathetic enough.   My [spouse] is being encouraged to use it in graduate level courses.  This is in a program that is considered to be extremely selective.
I always find it amusing when people expect me to show deference on the basis of someone's academic credentials. As far as I'm concerned, a PhD is a reliable indicator that you're dealing with a midwit.

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Should have known better

Last year I made an exception to my "do not talk to the media" policy when a journalist who contributes to Rolling Stone and has a history of writing relatively fair and substantive stories contacted me about doing a story on Castalia House. We arranged to meet for lunch, and the interview was a reasonably free-ranging one that was not indicative of the usual "bad person du jour" hit piece. So, I felt that it went pretty well and that it would not be a repeat of the usual "isn't it terrible that you are such an unrepentant badthinker" narrative.

Spacebunny, of course, knew better. I should have listened to her when she told me to just ignore this request like all the others.

Last week, the same journalist went to visit Chuck Dixon in the company of another journalist, who turned out to be Al Letson, the host of Reveal, a public radio program and podcast showcasing investigative stories. They were not particularly interested in talking to Chuck about Arkhaven, about his books, about the comics industry, about how he "broke the Bat", or about the fact that he is an industry legend, the most prolific comics writer of all time, who has been openly blackballed by Marvel. Instead, they were primarily interested in playing the "you're really a bad person, aren't you" prosecutorial game in support of the usual disqualify-and-discredit narrative for a story that is intended to run jointly in Rolling Stone and National Public Radio.

Apparently the straight story on Castalia House didn't sell, because I received a request for a second interview from them yesterday. I declined the request, and informed them that if they require further support for their tedious narrative, they are certainly welcome to report that I literally feed SJWs to my Vile Faceless Minions and drink SJW blood while sitting on a pile of silvered SJW skulls and watching old newsreels of Mussolini. Let's face it, that's more accurate than anything they are likely to "report" now.

So, I will be returning to my previous policy of simply not talking to anyone in the mainstream media. Forget the nonexistent upside, there simply isn't any point in doing so. One can get the same narrative, more or less, from Wikipedia and RationalWiki, if one so desires. And there is no shortage of books, blog posts, and videos from which one can ascertain my views and quote-mine my words.

Now, here is what may be a useful observation in case you do happen to make the mistake of talking to the media. The journalistic responsibility of a reporter or interviewer is to give you the opportunity to speak for yourself, in your own words. Contrary to what many of them appear to believe, they are not prosecutors or debate antagonists, so the moment that they start "pushing back", cross-examining, or attempting to argue with you in any way, end the pseudo-interview and send them packing.

If a reporter wishes to publicly debate me as an equal on a level playing field, that's fine. If a journalist wants review copies of a Castalia House book or an Arkhaven comic book, I'll be happy to send a digital edition. I can't prevent them from playing the "bad person du jour" game, but I will not participate in it.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The Suicide of the Conservative Movement

Paul Gottfried points out that the title of Jonah Goldberg's recent book could be more accurately named, in his review of Suicide of the West:
For his newest venture into deep thought, Goldberg has crassly stolen the title of James Burnham’s great work, Suicide of the West, published in 1964 at the height of the Cold War.

That is where the similarity ends. Unlike Burnham’s scalding indictment of liberalism as “the ideology of Western suicide,” Goldberg’s random opinions represent the very pathology that Burnham railed against. Goldberg hates national identities (although he makes an exception for Israel), opponents of the Deep State, immigration patriots, and those who imagine that democracy has something to do with the popular will. Rather his “conservative” view of democracy privileges public administration, the operation of multinational corporations, and socially sophisticated journalists such as like himself.

One need only cite this passage from Burnham’s work to grasp the extent to which Burnham might have been thinking of someone like Goldberg when he described the quintessential liberal:

“Liberalism has always stressed change, reform, the break with encrusted habit whether in the form of old ideas, old customs or old institutions. Thus liberalism has been and continues to be primarily negative in its impact on society: and in point of fact it is through its negative and destructive achievements that liberalism makes its best claim to historical justification.”

By now, however, Burnham’s Leftist hallmarks are “conservative” positions. After all, Goldberg’s book, which abounds in the Leftist virtue-signaling mandatory for Main Stream Media Token Conservatives, is being sold by “conservative” book clubs. It is also featured in a Crown Forum Series devoted to conservative thought. For those who may doubt whether the author is an authorized “conservative,” one need only turn to National Review, a publication at which Goldberg still holds an editorship, or else watch him jaw with other Fox News Allstars as a designated Man Of The Right.

I regard Goldberg as a prime example of the near-total ideological primacy of the Cultural Marxist Left. We are living in a time and place in which what would be crazy-Left up until about two generations ago is assigned a “Right-Wing” label, in order to keep alive a dialectic that is transparently phony.

In about a ten-page digression into the nature of conservatism—his entire book is really nothing more than a series of digressions—Goldberg identifies “conservatism” with resisting Donald Trump. The U.S. President, whom Goldberg with other Never-Trumpers has inflexibly opposed, is described as a vulgar throwback to the 1930s “on both sides of the Atlantic.” People back then believed “decadent Western capitalism and ‘Manchester liberalism’ were inadequate to the challenges of the day.”

All of this coming from Goldberg is utter chutzpah, considering that he now happily accepts massive social engineering in order to overcome “discrimination” against certain groups.
This false dialectic is precisely why The New York Times anointed the Brothers Weinstein, the Littlest Chickenhawk, and Dr. Jordanetics as the Approved Opposition. They are selected as the anti-narrative to the mainstream media's narrative, which is intended to produce a leftward-trending synthesis.


Suffer the children

Peter Grant hammers the Catholic hierarchy for its latest massive moral failing:
Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church's long-running abuse saga. It marked the first known time in history that an entire national bishops conference had offered to resign en masse over scandal, and laid bare the devastation that the abuse crisis has caused the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond...  The whole report hasn't been made public, but even the highlights Francis included in his footnotes were astonishing. The gravity of the accusations appeared to lay the foundation for a full-scale Vatican investigation of Chilean dioceses, seminaries and religious orders. Such an investigation was ordered up after a similar 2010 summit that Pope Benedict XVI called for Irish bishops over their dismal record dealing with abuse.

Let me be absolutely blunt about this.  The Catholic Church, as an institution, and its bishops acting as a collective, have lied, are lying, and will continue to lie to the people of God about this problem.  They have no interest whatsoever in resolving it - only in protecting their own power, and the institution of the Church as a whole, and its power and prestige in society.  They do not care about the individuals involved, or the victims . . . or the good clergy who have been tainted with the stench of this scandal.

How can I say that?  It's very simple.  Actions speak louder than words - and lack of action is, in itself, an action.  The Church, in the United States, in Chile, in the Vatican, and elsewhere, has taken little or no effective, meaningful action against those who were ultimately responsible for this scandal - namely, its bishops and administrators, who routinely concealed the extent of the problem, shuffled offenders around among themselves, and allowed them to continue to offend, rather than deal with the matter.  Even after the scandal blew up, many leaders of the Church continued to try to defend their offices and the institution of the Church, rather than admit that the situation was absolutely indefensible.  Many of the worst offenders were whisked off to Rome and given sheltered employment there, safe from extradition or any legal consequences of their neglect.  Many are still there.

The Church has also failed to act against the breeding-grounds for so many of these problems - its seminaries.
Let this be a lesson to you. No organization is safe, no matter what is professed intentions are. If you do not actively seek to eradicate evil from creeping in, it will do so. There are worse things than SJWs.

Do not seek to defend the Roman Catholic Church. It has manifestly become an institution utterly riddled by evil. Pray for it, demand its reformation, work to restore it, as you see fit, but do not think to defend it. There is no defense of what it has become since the cancer of Vatican II.

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School shooting in Texas

A school shooting is reported in Texas:
As many as eight people have been killed Friday in a shooting at Santa Fe High School, according to a source close to the investigation. Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trouchesset said authorities have arrested one person and are still trying to determine if there is more than one shooter. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet that two people have been taken into custody and that an officer is being treated for injuries.
No word on David Hogg's whereabouts, but I'm sure he'll be on TV soon. A lot.

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The freaks of Star Wars

I'm a little surprised that the SJWs aren't out in force protesting Disney's shockingly racist characterization of the only black man in space as a sexual freak who will attempt to molest pretty much anything within reach:
Solo: A Star Wars Story is chock full of all kinds of interesting new background information about some of Star Wars’ most iconic characters, and one of the most significant revelations to come out of the film is as subtextual as it is important. In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Solo screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan confirmed what a significant part of the Star Wars fandom has suspected about Lando Calrissian for quite some time now. Lando’s a ladies’ man, yes, but he’s by no means straight. When asked specifically if Lando was pansexual, Kasdan replied, “I would say yes.”

Historically, the Star Wars franchise has been doing very poorly when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, which is weird when you consider the expansive nature of the universe. So when asked about Lando’s sexuality, it was nice to see Kasdan reply thoughtfully. He said that while the smuggler wouldn’t put a specific label on himself, he’d be even less likely to buy into the traditional ideas about sexual preference:

“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”
It's only a matter of time before we are informed that Lando Calrissian is involved in a committed trans-species post-gender polygamous relationship with Chewbacca and BB-8. Shameless doesn't even begin to describe these lunatic wreckers. I'm only surprised that Solo did not turn out to be a tribute to the young Han's career as an artistic auto-eroticist when he was young and needed the money.

From a comment at John C. Wright's blog. People may not be quick to accept the truth, but they eventually learn they have no other choice:
The Last Jedi is the most franchise destructive movie I've ever seen. Worse than Alien 3 (which I would actually pay to have removed from my memory). They took something that had something for everyone, made it explicitly female (the force is not gendered you assholes!!!), made it all shades of grey and removed the fight between good and evil, and devastated one of the greatest heroes of our time.

I think they've lost millions upon millions of their most ardent fans in exchange for luke warm SJW fans. I had worries when Disney bought Star Wars, and they were all on display in The Last Jedi.

My daughter and I waited in line for 2 hours to be one of the first in the theater for The Force Awakens, we waited for 2 hours to be one of the first to Rogue One, and then 3 hours to be the first at The Last Jedi. We aren't going to Solo opening day or weekend.

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A misrepresentation by Sargon

The Public Space asserts that my fellow GamerGater misrepresented me in a YouTube video entitled Sargon Misrepresents Vox Day About Jordan Peterson:
Sargon of Akkad is ruining my name now because there's text that I've written which says Sargon of Akkad is solid, he always fairly represents even his opponent, but on a video published two days ago he misrepresents Vox Day, presenting his blog post as attributing a communist conspiracy to Jordan Peterson, which is not at all what Vox Day was saying. Let's hear the statement by Sargon:

So in the last few days an Alt-Right science fiction author called Vox day on his blog has exposed Jordan Peterson being involved with a new global partnership to eradicate poverty and transform across economies through sustainable development, which I guess is some communist globalist conspiracy or something. I haven't bother looking into it, I don't even care if he's associated with it.

"So I guess it's a communist globalist conspiracy or something like this, I didn't look into it." If you want to make a video about this subject - and then Sargon goes on, by the way, to counter the point that he imagines Vox Day may have done while he admittedly didn't read the article. Of course, the article by Vox Day was not saying that Jordan Peterson is involved in a communist conspiracy. The point by Sargon passes right beside the point made by Vox Day.

The point made by Vox Day is that Jordan Peterson is involved in international conferences that talk about immigration, that seek to open countries to immigration, and that also featured speakers like John Podesta with a known share from the Democratic Party. He is the gateway for the control of the Democratic Party by rich elites and so this is a fair critique that Vox Day has done of Jordan Peterson, and Sargon misrepresents it as a paranoid representation of Jordan Peterson being involved in a communist conspiracy.
They go into more detail; watch the video from 36:06 to 41:00 to catch their whole take on it. And JFG is absolutely right; if one is going to opine on a paper, one has the duty to actually read it. It is because Sargon disagrees with me that he really ought to do better. As he would learn if he actually bothered to look into the matter, Jordan Peterson is involved in the opposite of a godless communist conspiracy, he is the author of the narrative for a massive globalist corporatist campaign that involves governments, NGOs, international corporations, and academics.

But Sargon isn't the only Peterson defender determined to avert his eyes rather than discover what the Prophet of Do What Thou Deemest to be Desirable is actually doing. One poor Jordanologist who is destined for disenchantment was clearly grasping at straws when he decided to advocate for the devil.
Devil's Advocate for a moment: The UN's IPCC report had many scientists ask to have their names removed because they disagreed with the conclusions and how the report was being used for political purposes.  Do you think that could be the case here? That JP was a "contributor" the UN report, but if you asked him about it, he would disagree with its conclusions?
No, that cannot be the case here. Given that Jordan Peterson himself publicly claimed to have written the narrative of the final draft, from which he removed "the ideological claptrap" contained in the previous drafts, there can be no question that he is not only a full-blown supporter of A New Global Partnership, but that whatever ideology remains in it is something with which he, at the very least, has no problem. Read the report; it's only 81 pages and it's considerably easier to read than either 12 Rules of Life or Maps of Meaning.

This whole Jordanetics affair reminds me more and more of the New Atheists. Then, as now, I appear to have read considerably more of their works than any of their fans appear to have bothered reading.


It's nearly started!

George R.R. Martin is seriously thinking about starting on his next book:
SANTA FE, NM—Stoking readers’ anticipation about the long-awaited Game Of Thrones sequel, best-selling author George R.R. Martin promised fans Thursday that his upcoming novel The Winds Of Winter was nearly started. “I wanted to let everyone know that I’m sitting at my desk with a nice cup of tea, I’ve got a Word document open, and I’m just about ready to go,” Martin wrote in a blog post on his website, assuring readers that as soon as he cleared off his desk and threw a load of laundry into the dryer, he could pretty much begin. “I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but at this point, I’ve basically already brainstormed a couple of character names and written part of an outline for chapter one. After that, it shouldn’t take more than another three or four weeks until I’m ready to check a few emails, grab some groceries, and put the very earliest touches on the manuscript. Can’t wait!” At press time, the author had been forced to return to square one after realizing he needed a better title than The Winds Of Winter.
If you ever doubted success being a demotivator for a certain type of writer, you need look no further than Martin. Although Scalzi would appear to be giving him a pretty good run for his money. It must be incredibly frustrating to be a mainstream publisher having to deal with these guys.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Twitter Purgatory

Twitter has taken the Twitter Jail concept one step further:
Are you the sort of person who annoys, frustrates, and offends lots of people on Twitter—but manages to avoid technically violating any of its policies on abuse or hate speech? Then Twitter’s newest feature is for you. Or, rather, it’s for everyone else but you.

Twitter is announcing on Tuesday that it will begin hiding tweets from certain accounts in conversations and search results. To see them, you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the conversation and click “Show more replies,” or go into your search settings and choose “See everything.” Think of them as Twitter’s equivalent of the Yelp reviews that are “not currently recommended” or the Reddit comments that have a “comment score below threshold.”

But there’s one difference: When Twitter’s software decides that a certain user is “detract[ing] from the conversation,” all of that user’s tweets will be hidden from search results and public conversations until their reputation improves. And they won’t know that they’re being muted in this way; Twitter says it’s still working on ways to notify people and help them get back into its good graces. In the meantime, their tweets will still be visible to their followers as usual and will still be able to be retweeted by others. They just won’t show up in conversational threads or search results by default.
I'd pretend that I care, but they suspended me for good back in November. Of course, it's just a matter of time for most of the rest of you. In the meantime, give Idka a try; many of the Daily Meme Wars memes are posted there on a regular basis.


And yet the population grows

As US birth rates continue to fall:
The number of babies being born in the United States continues to fall, with the birth rate reaching a new record low in 2017, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, about 3.8 million babies were born in the U.S., which is 2 percent lower than the number born in 2016, and the lowest recorded number of births in 30 years, according to the report.

What's more, there were about 60 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, which is 3 percent lower than the rate in 2016, and the lowest recorded rate since the government started tracking birth rates in 1909.
This is the real reason for the sterile and secular Left's staunch devotion to immigration. Without it, the fertile religious Right would outnumber it completely in two generations. So, they have recruited alien mercenaries to buy themselves time and keep themselves in the game.

Unfortunately, foolish cuckservatives have embraced the Left's immigrationist rhetoric and are actively cooperating in their own marginalization.

Want to win the cultural war? Get married, have kids, and homeschool them.

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Alt★Hero #1: the initial reactions

Some of the initial reactions to the first digital edition of Alt★Hero, Issue #1, from email and the forums. The general reaction is extremely positive.
  • I liked the artstyle and colouring. The story so far is gripping, and as someone who backed this project in order to start hitting back in the culture war in order to provide some sensible reading material for the next generation, I love the result.
  • Really loving the story so far! One satisfied backer!
  • I just wanted to congratulate you and your production team on Alt*Hero 1.  It's spectacularly well-drawn, and the story line, while still abbreviated, holds promise for a lot of development further down the road.  I think it's more than capable of giving Marvel, DC, etc. a run for their money.
  • Overall, well done.
  • First thought: nothing like clearing the fences on the first swing, with the grumble that you were just warming up. The coloring was great, story was succinct and spot-on; it's amazing what you can do with the correct amount of dialogue. Excellent artwork that showed the story and reaction without needing to tell. That's a lot of dynamic range in the action and wording. The climax and ending surprised me.
  • The coloring was wonderful, art was solid and the story was well-paced and not overly talk-y (a la Bendis, which I hate). Rainbow was handled perfectly, I thought, all body language and natural dialogue with none of the SJW preachiness we're used to, either in one direction or another. Great start overall. Vox is definitely on to something here.
  • Just finished reading Alt*Hero #1. I really enjoyed it. Topical to world events, fun "bad" guys, with a sense of ominous foreboding on what's coming up in the series.
  • This is why I donated. A big thank-you to the Alt-Hero and Arkhaven teams.
  • Congrats mate.  Huge professional accomplishment.
That being said, we are absolutely not resting on any initial laurels. Some professional criticism from various industry pros:
  • This was a very nice origin story for Dynamique and set up the global landscape for the series. I think starting in Europe is smart as everyone's going to expect #MAGA American politics.
  • Fast-paced. Funny where it needs to be. God, could comics use some humor right now.
  • The lettering. The balloons are too cramped and the lettering doesn't stack right. The font is bad as well. The worst aspect is the placement. Too often balloons are placed to cover actions or primary figures. It's especially frustrating when plenty of available negative space is left uncovered that would been better real estate for the balloons.
  • Overall I'd call the story 4.5/5. It's just minor elements, nothing major. Art I'd call at 2.5/5 could use major improvement.
  • Establishment panels. Reading this whole, I see that it needed establishment panels at the beginning of most transition scenes. We need to know where the characters are in relation to one another and their environment before proceeding. 
  • The characters are very distinct, and you can tell who is speaking mostly just based on the dialogue itself which is much better than most comics. Your use of humor is also very important -- it sets the stage that this is not all that serious, which actually helps the reader forget about the art a little bit. If the tone was more serious, the art would matter and stick out more. Overall, it's compelling.
And not everyone was equally enthusiastic.
  • I read the backer copy of Alt★Hero #1, and I have to be honest with you. It was total crap. The art was atrocious and amateurish. Scene transitions were awkward. Also, certain shots were composed in a confusing way. I got no sense of Dynamique's motivations. There were way too many characters introduced from the beginning, drowning out Dynamique even further. The beginning itself had a very basic flaw -- why should we care that this redheaded model is being kidnapped at all? 
I am not at all fazed by the criticism, and I think most of the professional criticism is both valid and worthy of figuring out how to address in the future. Let's face it, it is a better first effort than my first solo novel. I am very pleased with the general nature of the professional criticism, because I have known from the start that the technical elements would inevitably take us time and experience to master. As I mentioned in my conversation with Ethan van Scriver, you can fix the art, you can fix the technical aspects, but you cannot fix the story or the characters. They are either interesting or they are not. And ultimately, it is the story and the characters that will determine the success of the endeavor.

UPDATE: As many people predicted, the naysayers who claimed Alt★Hero was a scam are simply moving the goalposts now that Issue #1 has been released. Which is why I never bothered to engage with any of them, but just ignored the petty little anklebiters from the start. And I will continue to do so. They never had any credibility in the first place, as I'm from the game industry, I subscribe to the id Software philosophy of "it's done when it's done," and I never gave any hard release dates in the first place. People will continue to trash it - especially Jordan Peterson fans, it appears - and that will only help us become more successful over time.

I also note that we are providing considerably more than we promised. Yes, the digital version of the first issue is out to backers. But we will also release a print edition of that first issue very soon, which we neither planned nor promised to do, and we will release it in four languages. I'm selecting the font for the French, Italian, and German versions this week, because Backissues BB, the Blambot font we used for the digital edition, does not have the necessary accents.

Also, our comics will never appear in the previews. We don't work with Diamond and we don't talk to the comics media. If you want to know what we're doing, you'll have to subscribe to our email newsletter, which right now is only available to backers.

I've been calling Vox Day's #althero a scam since day one. Even argued with him about it. Still no comic hahaha.... what a JOKE!

So far every deadline has been missed, it's not in previews and I haven't seen a single person review it. Vox Day is a liar and #althero is a scam that hurt our side. Vox can either deliver the issue or refund the money he took under false pretenses.

Sorry Jon I know you and Vox are boys you should encourage him to be a man and follow through on his word instead of getting himself banned on purpose and pocketing the money.

If @DiversityAndCmx pulled the same bullshit as Vox Day I would never stop calling him out. @JonMalin and @BrettRSmith76 have reputations worth protecting I guess Vox doesn't care what people think about him.

He paid the people he needed to pay so there's that at least. It just hurts all indie fundraisers when crooks and liars get involved in our hobby and trash it with bull crap like #althero

Flannel Avenger
So, when Alt-Hero ships I take it that you will publicly recant your accusations of scam?

No I won't it's still a garbage comic and he still pocketed most of that money to prop up other projects.

Jawbreakers Fan Jon Del Arroz
How do you know it's a garbage comic when you just said it doesn't exist? This is backward logic and haterade nonsense.

Maybe you're right and Vox is simply horrible at marketing his product. He was high energy when he was fundraising now it's sleepy time once the checks cleared.

If Vox wanted people like me to shut up he could announce a hard release date or eat his shorts.

Jawbreakers Fan Jon Del Arroz
Yeah, we're talking 2 months late from the goal which was made clear was not a promise timing wise from day one and this guy's flipping out.

I'm not flipping out, I'm calling out. It's got to be done sometimes and horrible customer service is Dan Slott/ Mark Waid behavior. I just had hoped Vox would be different than those guys.

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It doesn't take two to tango

In which I address Larry Correia's disinvitation to Origins in light of my own banning from ConSimWorld over an argument with a proto-SJW demanding the elimination of black SS counters from wargames about 15 years ago in a Darkstream.

The thing is that nothing has changed, it's only gotten worse, things are only getting worse because nobody is fighting back. I mean even someone like Larry Correia, whom I admire, whom I respect, and who in creating Sad Puppies launched what until recently was the only effective response to the SJWs, now even he just wants to be left alone. And that is the fundamental flaw of the Right; you cannot win a war that you refuse to fight, you cannot win a war by being left alone, and the SJWs have made it very very clear that they will never ever leave us alone.

The woman who complained about Correia to Origins and managed to get him disinvited was bitter at him over a takedown that he had done of her boyfriend back in 2014, four years ago! So these people do not forget and they are going to continue to come after you. They would continue to come after me if they could, you know, if they didn't know that I am always ready for it, I'm always anticipating it, and they also know damn well that I'm going to go after them harder than they come at me every single time, and so they tend to go, "you know what, maybe we'll go after easier targets." I mean it's not like there aren't a plethora of them out there.

And so what what you need to understand is that there is no telling them "that's enough", there is no warning them, the point is that you keep reading these articles, you keep seeing these comments, you know, now they've gone too far, now it's too much, and that's not going to achieve anything. There is a standard boilerplate conservative column that I could probably write in my sleep, I've been reading that same column for 30 years now and I call it the conservative dire warning column. If the Left doesn't watch out, they're not gonna like what happens! Well, guess what? Nothing's gonna happen. You're not going to do anything! You know, and they already know, that you're not going to do anything. They already know that John Ringo is not going to do anything, they already know that Larry's not going to do anything.

I mean, these guys are successful. These guys are successful and it's not worth it to them. I understand that. I'm not unsympathetic. You know the problem is, that is the response of everybody: well, you know, it's not that big a deal. Well, it's not that big a deal to you, but it is a big deal collectively to everyone else that is now affected by it. Now I'm not condemning or criticizing anyone who just wants to wash their hands and walk away from that. I don't go to conventions, it's not my thing. I don't want to be around a bunch of people, so if someone says "hey, you know what, I'm just not gonna go" hey, that makes perfect sense to me.

But here's the problem. Every time you do that, you're conceding space, you're providing moral comfort to the enemy, and you are encouraging them to continue doing it. And eventually they're going to push into spaces where it actually affects you. For example, you know someone like John Ringo doesn't really care about getting disinvited from a convention, right? But he's going to care a whole lot if he ends up getting dumped by Baen for his political views. Now you might say, oh, that's ridiculous, he's very successful, why would they ever do that? Well, because SJWs are not rational people. They don't look at the situation and say "gee this guy is one of our best-selling authors, we shouldn't get rid of him", they're just going to look and say this is a bad person and we're going to go after them now.

If Disney was willing to throw away a billion dollars in order to turn Star Wars into an SJW fest, do you really think that a publisher is going to be unwilling to give up some book sales? They are not primarily motivated by money so you cannot anticipate their behavior on the basis of whether it's in their economic self-interest or not.

UPDATE: Neither Bridget Correia nor John C. Wright appear inclined to take this lying down.
The SJWs have already ruined STAR WARS, STAR TREK, DR WHO, Marvel Comics, the Hugo Awards, the News media, the Anglican Church, and the Boy Scouts.

They ruin the fun for everyone.

They nag, they lie, they play holier-than-thou, and at the same time promote moral depravity that makes your stomach turn. These are the same people, allegedly so afraid of Larry Correia, who defended and continue to defend Marion Zimmer Bradley and her homosexual husband running a pedophile ring at conventions.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The anti-SJW front in comics

Arkhaven and Dark Legion are not alone:
Jawbreakers made history with one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns ever. The industry professionals who worked so hard to create a left-wing echo chamber, however, would not let this stand.

A Harassment Campaign Against Meyer

Once the project funded, Mark Waid opened fire on Meyer again, posting several rambling Facebook messages. “I have a call in to Antarctic Press,” Waid said. “Curious as to how they feel about publishing creators whose marketing strategy is to allegedly (*koff*) encourage their fans to threaten the employees of stores, and/or harass and one-star-review-bomb stores, that don’t offer their product.” There is nothing written on Meyer’s public social media profiles that come anywhere near the accusations Waid made. Waid did, however, encourage the industry to attack Meyer.

“Gee, I can’t imagine why publishers wouldn’t want to affiliate with this audience,” tweeted Gail Simone, a feminist icon in the industry.

“Is that the thing where those twits started bullying female Marvel editors after Flo’s memorial? Yup, that was creepy,” said Neil Gaiman, speaking of #ComicsGate and citing left wing op-eds as his source for his alleged facts.

“The game plan of targeting, attacking, labeling, threatening, and harassing people followed by ‘if you don’t buy MY book I’m going to attack, label, threaten and harass YOU!’ Seems a problematic one,” commented Erik Larsen, founder of Image Comics, who published a book by Michelle Perez, earlier in 2018, mocked Richard Meyer’s prior military service and publicly wished he had been killed in combat.

These creators inspired retailers to make tweets about refusing to carry Jawbreakers. Left-wing activists then became involved, sending a flurry of hatred against Meyer and his team. “Hate speech is not free speech & fascists like [Meyer] have no place in this diverse, inclusive industry,” posted one woman, who claims in her Facebook profile that she works for Planned Parenthood.

Conservative Creators Speak Out

The industry stood firm against conservative creators because they are outspoken against the extreme politics in comics, and as the left is wont to do, mischaracterized them in an effort to delegitimize their product. It worked to some extent, as Antarctic Press was pressured into backing out of publishing their book for comic store distribution.
I'm very pleased that Jawbreakers II got such strong support; it sends a clear message to the industry that the success of Alt★Hero was not a unique one-off and that there is a real market for non-SJW comics. However, I do wish they had decided to bring it to Dark Legion rather than trying to set up yet another new independent publishing company, because after spending the last three years building up a team and distribution channel, I am well aware of how much work is in store for them. For the record, I'm not simply saying this out of self-interest; I told Team Milo the exact same thing when they elected to try setting up their own publishing company on the basis of Simon & Schuster's success with Dangerous. Even starting with a #1 bestselling hit is no guarantee of short-term survival, let alone lasting success.

But this is one of the ongoing challenges that will be faced by the Right as our options for working with SJW-converged institutions continue to disappear. Everyone who is successful tends to want to do their own thing and maximize their short-term interests, which is why we tend to have so much trouble successfully building strong, stable, alternative institutions. I don't blame creators who prefer to go their own way, indeed, I freely admit that it is often to their short-term interest to do so right now. But I won't shed any tears when they eventually discover why institutions are important either.

It is, however, a little frustrating to see one creator after another soar, Icarus-like, sunward on a solo flight, only to crash into the sea before long. Especially when I think about where Castalia might be right now if I had been able to convince some of them that they would have been better off in the long-term by working with us rather than going it alone.

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The critical narrative

It's a good thing Man has moved beyond thinking in narrative, unlike the human race before the Sixteenth Century, or one might suspect that the collection of Jordanologists at Steve Sailer's place are guilty of doing so. Of course, this little collection doesn't even begin to address the many comments at YouTube insisting that I am only criticizing Jordanetics because I am, and one really has to quote one particular gentleman in order to fully appreciate the sentiment, "jelly".
I’m fascinated by the fact that Jordan Peterson has caused Vox Day to to go completely off the rails. I don’t get it, honestly. Can’t a man have many things to say that you find interesting and worthwhile, and others you disagree with without it causing you to condemn him unreservedly?

Vox Day is sort of a professional egotist. I suspect that Vox really hates Peterson because he thinks that he deserves Peterson’s large fanbase, salary and media attention.

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that Vox Day is loosing his cheese-wizz over this. As I said in other words in another post still awaiting moderation: Peterson may be the single greatest existential threat to the alt-right – and the Alt-right understands that. I think the Maoist left understands him as a enemy they are programmed to try to destroy at all costs, but they probably don’t understand that if he succeeds, he’s their death too, as much so as that of the Alt-right.

People like Vox Day are coming down with PDS (Peterson Derangement Syndrome). It’s most likely because they narcissistically think of themselves as more deserving of delivering the masses from evil.

Vox Day is an amateur troll who’s obviously chaffing at the reality of Jordan Peterson’s popularity and impact, while he toils away in obscurity, egged on only by his amen chorus of commenters who can’t tolerate even the mildest criticism. His latest Dorkstream is a rambling, incoherent assemblage of ad-homenims, such as saying Peterson is an “intellectual fraud”, whatever that means. Peterson is also claimed to have some five-degrees-of-separation link to John Podesta and George Soros. Yeah, whatever.

Vox has developed a strange obsession with Peterson, and at this point it’s rather pathetic. Vox is obviously a bright guy, but he has torn into Peterson with the fury of a scorned lover. He has convinced himself that Peterson is a minion of the Anti Christ, and Vox’s fanboys have gone all in with this supposed takedown. Not that Peterson cares, or even knows, who Vox is. Vox is sperging on Peterson and I think there is some serious projection going on.

Vox Day was never on the rails. Regardless of his ideology it’s pretty clear from his writing style that he’s a psycho.

I agree with your take on Auster and Vox Day, but Vox is in no way as intelligent as Auster was. Not even in the same league. Vox Day is an angry crank who babbles on and on about his 150+ IQ. If his IQ was above 110 I would be shocked.

You are right that Poz Day has lost his mind about this. Jealousy? Did JP bag Space Cunny?

The Vox Day vs. Jordan Peterson/Lawrence Auster vs. Mark Steyn thing is a sufficiently common phenomenon that it’s got a name: “the narcissism of small differences.” Back in the day, I was thoroughly dismayed by Auster’s constant attacks on Steyn, which seemed to surpass in vitriol anything he ever said about genuinely bad actors like, say, David Frum. And Day’s scorched earth tactics against Peterson are, if anything, still more “off the rails” – as you aptly put it. The word “narcissism” is particularly apropos in Day’s case – is there anybody on the internet so quick to toot his own horn – and to toot is so loudly?

it really is weird. i think VD is a very good ideas man and enjoy reading his thoughts on just about every topic (save sci-fi), but it seems like 15+ posts on JP in the last 3 days means jp is in his head like a blood clot.

I like Vox, but his reaction to Peterson is a bit cringey, he seems to be disagreeing with him on a different plane than Peterson intends to operate. He’s a shrink, not an Aristotelian philosopher – and he never claims to be. Vox’s reaction to Peterson’s sympathizers is also striking in that it feels unhinged.

VD is a joke. I stumbled on his blog one time. I saw he was making a big deal of his so-called American Indian heritage for some reason, so I mocked him by calling him Big Chief Blogging Eagle. Then he responded by saying “look how racist these leftist SJWs are” even though I had said nothing that could be construed as leftist. All I had done was mock him, which in his mind automatically makes me an “SJW.”
I find it mildly ironic that Peterson's defenders are defending an emotionally unstable, mentally ill individual who proclaims his dependence on mood-altering drugs using the narrative that I have lost my mind. The thing is, they are constantly attempting to set up a "I win, you lose" scenario, which is quite funny when you compare the critics of one Darkstream to the critics of a later one.
  1. How can you criticize him when you haven't even watched his videos?
  2. Well, maybe you've watched a video or two, but how can you criticize him when you haven't even read his book?
  3. He's just a psychologist helping people, he's not a philosopher! Wait, he said what?
  4. Well, just because he is trying to create a new philosophy doesn't mean it's a bad one!
  5. Just because you write a UN report doesn't mean you agree with it!
  6. Just because you worked with John Podesta was on doesn't mean you're associated with him.
  7. Just because the media asks you to appear on all the shows and leaps to your defense whenever someone calls you names doesn't mean you're not the legitimate opposition to the media.
  8. Why is Vox so obsessed with this? Something must be wrong with him! He must be jealous. Or crazy!
They can't seem to grasp that all I have been doing is systematically responding to their various defenses of the man, which keep popping up anew every time I knock one down. I don't care about Peterson himself, his life is a living hell of insecurity and fear. How stupid would you have to be to envy a man who sincerely believes that life is suffering; apparently the man can't even eat chocolate. It's his philosophy and his defenders with which I have the problem.

Of course as one wiser commenter noted, I agree in your description of VD’s personality, yet you do not address any of the arguments he has made. Weak sauce, that. And the differences between VD and JP are not small. They are at the foundations of their respective philosophies. Understanding this would require, again, reading what they have written. 

As far as the idea that I am jealous of Peterson, to the contrary, what profit a man to top the bestseller lists at the price of his intellectual soul? If I was prone to envy, I'd envy NN Taleb, or perhaps the guy who wrote Who Moved My Cheese. Anyhow, at this point, I've said pretty much all I needed to say until the book comes out. If you still take the man seriously at this point, that's on you now. The information is there.

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In defense of Jordan Peterson

You know, Jordan Peterson must be a real threat to the mainstream, a true dark intellectual renegade, when The Weekly Standard rushes to his defense because someone suggested that he just might possibly be less than entirely philosemitic. After all, we know that the mainstream media always makes it an absolute top priority to see that false accusations are exposed whenever someone is inaccurately accused of being insufficiently enthusiastic about minorities who are no different than anyone else except for being smarter and harder working and more successful or are falsely accused of membership in the defunct German National Socialist Workers Party, right?

I know I have always appreciated the forthright way with which The Weekly Standard staunchly defended President Trump, and all his loyal supporters, and GamerGate, and the Sad Puppies, and indeed, myself, from all manner of false and scurrilious charges.
Unscrupulously, Feldman also hid from readers all the notable Jewish individuals from across the political spectrum who’ve written or spoken positively about Jordan Peterson and his work. To name a few: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Harvard’s Steven Pinker, psychiatrist Norman Doidge, professor Jonathan Haidt, author Howard Bloom, novelist Melanie Phillips, journalist Barbara Kay, professor Gad Saad, editor Jonathan Kay, comedian Dave Rubin, writer Cathy Young, biologist Bret Weinstein, author Ben Shapiro, comedian Bill Maher, New York Times columnists David Brooks and Bari Weiss.

It’s frankly astonishing that not one editor at the Forward had the professionalism to insist on gathering some testimony on behalf of the accused from any of these reputable people. Evidently, at the Forward, it’s perfectly acceptable journalism to ask a loaded question about a man and then stack the deck against him by quoting only his accusers. One of those anti-Peterson complainants—Heidi Beirich from the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center—even suggested (without any evidence) that Peterson could be seen as “a possible ally in Holocaust denial.”

In sum, what Feldman did was to 1) lie about a neo-Nazi’s opinion of Peterson; 2) use that lie to suggest he has a vast neo-Nazi following at the Daily Stormer; 3) conceal all the Jews who like him; and 4) seek out political partisans to smear him as a possible Holocaust denier.

It’s as unethical as it’s unconvincing. Even the most superficial reading of Peterson’s oeuvre suffices to show he’s an uncompromising enemy of anti-Semitism–and a real friend to the Jewish people. As he demonstrates in his detailed response to Feldman, he has spent the last 30 years “lecturing and teaching about the horrors of the Holocaust.”
It's interesting, is it not, that it is so important for the media - supposedly Peterson's enemy, who, we are told are just waiting to pounce on any mistake it can use to ruin him - to defend him from discrediting and disqualification? After this and The New York Times puff piece, how much more confirmation do you require to accept that he is Fake Opposition?

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For backers only

I'm very pleased to be able to finally announce that the digital edition of Alt★Hero #1: CRACKDOWN has been released to the backers of the Alt★Hero project. If you are a backer who unsubscribed to the Castalia House bookclub or if you did not receive the email, please email me with BACKER in the subject and I will send out second mailing tonight with the link that will allow you to download the 11 meg file.

The digital edition is in the MOBI format, which will work on your Kindle. You can also use download the free Kindle Previewer for Windows  or Macintosh to read the digital edition on your computer. This is the same file that will be released for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited next week, we're just getting it out early to the backers.

We anticipate having the first print edition out in about two weeks. It will retail for $3 and will be in the same royal octavo size as the QM and Jeeves comic books. French, German, and Italian editions will soon follow.

Please feel free to discuss the first issue of Alt★Hero in the Forums. I look forward to hearing your reactions. Thanks to all the backers who have made this possible, and thanks to the Arkhaven team, especially Cliff Cosmic and Matteo Mystic, for all their hard work in bringing this from concept to comic book.

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Speaking of charlatans

The Weekly Standard attempts to redefine the term "protest":
They’re not protests. They’re suicide-riots.

On Monday President Donald Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to move the United States embassy in Israel to the country's capital, Jerusalem. As usual, the American and European media’s coverage interpreted the event in the worst possible light for the nation of Israel. One learns very little from our mainstream news sources about what the move may mean for the nations primarily concerned—Israel and the United States—but a great deal about the Palestinian “protests” happening along Israel’s southern border with Gaza: Headlines in the New York Times and Washington Post proclaimed (misleadingly) “Israel Kills Dozens and Wounds 1700 at Gaza Border” and “Over 50 Killed in Gaza Protests as U.S. Opens Embassy in Jerusalem.”

We put the word “protests” in quotation marks advisedly. In ordinary English usage, a protest is a collective action or gesture meant to bring pressure on a government or corporate entity. The Gaza “protests” are meant to bring pressure on Israel, but they’re intended mainly to kill and maim both Israelis and the Palestinian “protesters” themselves.

These demonstrations would be better described as suicide-riots. For nearly two months, Hamas and other militant factions have been encouraging young Palestinian men to storm the fence separating Gaza from Israel. The rioters cut holes in the fence, charge Israeli guards with crude weapons like axes, and lob fire bombs over the wall in attempts to set Israeli fields on fire. Hamas has pledged to massacre those on the other side of the fence, and these riots are expressions of that intention. Israeli defense forces are obliged to respond with force. An axe-clutching Palestinian insanely charging into Israeli territory isn’t a “protester” but a combatant and a terrorist. The fact that he doesn’t expect to prevail against the might of the Israel Defense Forces—he is in essence on a suicide mission—doesn’t somehow oblige Israeli soldiers not to use force to stop him. The Israelis have no choice but to fire back, and they do, often with deadly results.
If the Gaza protests are intended mainly to kill and maim Israelis, they are making an incredibly ineffective job of it, given the lack of Israeli casualties. On the other hand, these "suicide-riots" are proving to be very effective at bringing political pressure on the Israeli government from a broad global spectrum.

The Turks have expelled the Israeli ambassador. China has expressed serious concern. Russia has condemned the "indiscriminate" nature of the thousands of shootings. The UK government has urged restraint. These protests may be suicidal, but they are absolutely and without question protests, and to the extent their objective is to put international pressure on the Israeli government, they are successful.

Prime Minister Netanyahu clearly needs to read more Martin van Creveld than he has.

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Seven signs of the charlatan

The Seven Signs of the Charlatan
  1. Redefines commonly understood words to suit his arguments.
  2. Prefers speaking to writing.
  3. Provides evasive answers to relevant direct questions.
  4. Utilizes his answers to self-posed questions as propositions for logical syllogisms.
  5. Cites secondary and tertiary sources instead of primary sources.
  6. Substitutes superficial knowledge about a subject for substantive knowledge of it.
  7. Advertises credentials and accolades and avoids addressing criticism.
Any time you see someone changing the definition of a well-defined, commonly-understood term, that's a reliable sign that they are full of it.

The sign number two: they prefer speaking to writing. I realize this is a little ironic because here I am in a spoken medium, but you know, the genuine intellectual always prefers writing. Writing forces you to articulate more precisely. There are many things that sound pretty good, but once you put them down on paper, you realize that the argument has holes in it, you start to see the problems with it. It is much easier to baffle and dazzle and bypass people's reason when you're speaking to them. You know, speech is more intrinsically rhetorical than writing, and so anytime you see someone who is really big on speaking and who much prefers lecturing to writing, that's a clue. It's not as reliable as the first sign, but it is definitely an indicator

Sign number three: they reliably provide evasive answers to direct questions. Now, there are times when you have to avoid a direct question, you know, when someone poses you the equivalent of a "have you stopped beating your wife: type of question, it's totally legitimate to refuse to answer it. So whenever you are dealing with somebody who is asked a relevant direct question, when you're dealing with someone who is asked a pertinent question that is substantive, and is not a gotcha question, when it's aimed at understanding or clarifying something the person has said, or what the person's position is, and they respond evasively... if they respond to a question that is meant to clarify their position and their response is to try to fog it up even more, this is also a very reliable sign that you're dealing with a charlatan.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Excerpt: The Stones of Silence

Peter Grant is self-publishing a new trilogy. An excerpt from The Stones of Silence:

On Colomb’s bridge, her duty watch felt no tension at all as they looked at the Plot display. The cargo shuttle was almost ten minutes out, arrowing toward its rendezvous with the first satellite. They’d all shared in a handsome bonus for capturing the first three satellites, some months before. If they picked up the next three as well, plus the monitoring station that they now knew existed, they’d get the same again – something to look forward to when they got back to Callanish.

Their anticipation was rudely shattered as three traces appeared in the Plot display, the first above them, the second thirty degrees below and to starboard, and the last thirty degrees below and to port. The Plot operator froze for a disbelieving second, then almost screamed, “Vampire! Vampire! Three missiles launched from… they’re all around us!”

Almost before he’d finished speaking, Lieutenant-Commander Macaskill’s voice cut over his from the Navigation console. “They’re not aimed at us! They’re offset to one side, sir!”

Lamprey felt as if he were wading through mental molasses as he tried to cudgel his astonished brain into action. He raised his voice over the sudden hubbub of startled cries and oaths. “Silence! Silence on the bridge!” Every instinct screamed at him to cut in the drive and head for safety right away… but those missiles proved it would be futile. Every one of them had been launched from only half a million kilometers away.

They watched in frozen, dumbfounded silence as the three missiles arrowed closer, then detonated in three starburst icons in the Plot display. Their laser beam cones were aimed away from Colomb, so they did no damage, instead slashing harmlessly through the vacuum of space.

Almost as soon as the last missile had detonated, a voice crackled over the Communications speaker on the interplanetary emergency channel. It was filtered through a voice modulator, so that it came over in a flat, mechanical monotone.

“Attention! Colomb, you are surrounded by armed vessels. Any attempt to flee will result in your instant destruction. Your ship and crew are under arrest. Order your cargo shuttle to return to your ship immediately. Your crew is to enter Colomb’s lifeboats, taking nothing with them, and remain there until further orders. The Commanding Officer, plus a skeleton bridge and drive room crew, are to remain at their stations. Send your Executive Officer to meet an armed boarding party in your docking bay. They will give you further orders. In the meantime, you are not to damage your ship in any way. Leave all systems and equipment in fully operational condition. Do not erase any records, files or programs. If you do, those responsible will face the most severe consequences. Acknowledge. Over.”

There was a stunned silence in the control center as Lamprey reached for his microphone. He somehow managed to keep his voice steady, even though his body was trembling with the shock of his reaction to the missiles that had come out of nowhere.

“Colomb to unknown vessel. Who are you? Identify yourself! By what authority are you trying to arrest us? There is no System Control Service in the Mycenae system, and no laws or regulations authorizing you or anybody else to arrest anyone for anything. This is an act of piracy! Over.”

“Colomb, we are the new security service for the Mycenae system. That’s all you need to know. We don’t care whether you recognize our authority. You’d better recognize the authority of our missiles, if you value your lives! As for your arrest, what did you expect after you stole three satellites from around this planet? Your presence here was recorded, and your ship identified. You are now being brought to justice for that theft. It may be frontier justice, but it’s justice nonetheless. Your ship is forfeit for your crimes. You and your crew will be placed under guard while Colomb is taken away for disposal. After that, plus a suitable interval to make sure you haven’t sabotaged her in any way, you’ll all be returned to Callanish, to explain to your bosses how you lost their ship. Over.”

Lamprey wanted to spit on the deck next to his console, but restrained himself. He was filled with bitter anger and frustration. He knew they had no defense against… whoever these people were. They’d heard vague rumors that the New Orkney Enterprise was considering system security in Mycenae, but his superiors had assured him that nothing had been done about it yet. They’d claimed it would take months, if not years, for NOE to buy patrol craft, hire qualified and experienced crews for them, and set up a formal security operation. What’s more, NOE didn’t have the money to spare for that right now. He couldn’t help thinking bitterly, It looks like they had a lot more money than we thought. They must have hired an existing outfit, rather than taken the time to raise their own. Who the hell are these people? There aren’t many space security companies out there, and I don’t know any who can afford to expend nuclear-tipped missiles as a demonstration like that. They cost too much.

Slowly, he raised his microphone. “Colomb to… whoever you are. We shall comply, under protest. I am recalling my cargo shuttle, and will send my crew to the lifeboats and my Executive Officer to the docking bay. We await your boarding party. Over.”

“Very well. Do as you’re told, and no-one will get hurt, and you’ll all get home safely. Stand by.”
Lamprey switched to intercom. “Drive compartment, stand fast. Bridge, stand fast. The rest of the crew is to proceed to their lifeboat stations at once, and take their places in the lifeboats, but do not launch, I say again, Do. Not. Launch. This is not a drill. I repeat, This. Is. Not. A. Drill. Lifeboat commanders, call the roll. Report to me as soon as all assigned personnel are in their places.”

Faintly, echoing up and down the main passageway, he could hear shouts of astonishment from the crew. Most of them knew nothing of the drama outside the hull, he reminded himself. He’d have to broadcast to them in the lifeboats, and explain what had happened.

He nodded approvingly at Lieutenant-Commander Macaskill, who’d taken it upon himself to radio the cargo shuttle and order its immediate return. “Thank you, Exec. You’d better head for the docking bay to meet the boarding party. Be careful. They may be trigger-happy.”

“I’ll be careful, sir.” Aidan’s voice was tight with anger and concern. “I wonder where they’re going to put us while they take Colomb to… wherever she’s going?”

“I daresay we’ll find out soon enough. As to where she’s going, surely that’s obvious? They’ll take her somewhere they can sell her for a lot of money, cash on the barrelhead. A newly refurbished repair ship, with all its equipment intact, is worth hundreds of millions, even in a no-questions-asked under-the-counter sale. They’ll want to recover as much as they can of the value of the satellites we took from them.”

“I wish we could hand them a worthless, burned-out hulk!”

“It’s a tempting thought, but what would happen to our crew if we did?” They stared at each other for a wordless moment, then Lamprey shook his head. “No. We can’t risk it. Our people deserve better than that.”

“I… yes, sir. You’re right.”

“I’ll broadcast to the ship’s company once they’re in the lifeboats, and make sure they understand that too. No resistance, no sabotage, no funny business at all. Our families want us back alive, not in coffins!”

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Please to disavow

Sam Rocha would like to make it very, very clear that he does not approve of me, this blog, the Israeli government, or anything else that can possibly be described as Alt-Right.

I have been informed that the Alt-Right blog *Vox Populi* has a sympathetic post excerpting and linking to my critical review of Jordan B. Peterson that ran yesterday morning at Catholic News Service and listing my 12 rules parody thread.

I fully, completely, and totally reject any form of sympathetic association to this site and its ideology.

More than that, I see these people's ideological platform as a grave evil. As a Mexican-American, I cannot assume if they take me to be "white" or not. So let me assure them that I am a racial mestizo and proud of it.

All intellectual debates aside, I want nothing to do with any person who advocates for anything approaching any form of political ethnonationalism, most of all that falsely conceived, racist ethnos called "white."

I have been extremely critical of Rod Dreher and Jordan Peterson and others for not distancing themselves immediately from any form of alt-right sympathy. I hold myself to the same uncompromising and absolute standard. As soon as I found out, I posted this thread.

My Roman Catholic faith -- and every other institution I am affiliated with -- also condemns this ideology, but, tragically, it is the particularity of my race that is now the clearest bright line. All the same, I condemn the Alt-Right, totally.
Since we're playing identity cards here, let me state that it is mildly amusing to me, the great-grandson of a Mexican revolutionary, to see a Catholic wildly waving his Mexican identity like a flag in defense of his desire to continue living as a mestizo invader in an Anglo-Saxon Protestant country. While my great-grandfather was of the revolutionary faction that more or less tolerated Catholics instead of slaughtering them out of hand, there is an irony there that will likely escape those who are insufficiently familiar with La Reforma, La Cristiada, and the Calles Law.

But Mr. Rocha need not worry. I can assure him that I have zero sympathy for him or his Bronze Catholic pride in La Raza Cósmica. I merely found it both interesting and informative that even people as ideologically divergent as we happen to be can find common ground with regards to the observation that Jordan Peterson is an intellectual charlatan.

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12 Rules for Life: A Catholic review

Sam Rocha does not think much of Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life either, and reaches much the same conclusion about the charlatan that I have in his review of the book at the Catholic News Agency.
In 12 Rules for Life, Peterson makes a number of claims that obliquely relate to his opposition to the C-16 bill and to the points he has raised in his media appearances since then, but he does not credit any of this as contributing directly to this book. Instead, he cites his hero, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as articulating Peterson’s core idea for the book: an opposition to the view that human beings are created for happiness. In this respect, Peterson unwittingly picks a fight with Aristotle’s ancient and enduring ideas of human flourishing and the good life within the first three pages of his 2018 book about how to live.

Peterson also provides an early footnote explaining his usage of the capitalized word “Being,” a term he uses throughout the book’s nearly 400 pages. Peterson credits his repeated usage of this term to Martin Heidegger. Anyone who has read Heidegger’s Being and Time, however, will find no resemblance between Heidegger’s and Peterson’s notions of Being, including the undifferentiated spelling (Heidegger distinguished between Being and the beings). Peterson’s reference to Heidegger is ultimately an appeal to authority, attempting to justify his use of the term “Being” as an abstract neologism. But it is not remotely true that Heidegger was using Being as a neologism. After all, Heidegger did make up an abstract neologism, Dasein, to explain the way in which Being is experienced through our particular existence. Peterson’s repetition of the word “Being” throughout the book is impossible to understand on Heideggerian terms, and Peterson provides no explanation for it but this one, in his footnote. This example is par for the course: Peterson employs a litany of big names without substantive engagement, while missing the sources that his own ideas are in passive dialogue and conflict with.

In other words, Peterson’s book begins with an oddly incomplete account of its origins and motivations, followed by an unconscious dismissal of Aristotle’s most compelling account of the purpose of life, followed by a lazy attempt to justify using a specialized term as a mystical buzzword for the rest of the book. Yet in some respects, these are the most reasonable eight pages of the book.
In case you haven't noticed, the more intelligent and the better-read the reader happens to be, the less he thinks of Jordan Peterson and the ludicrous pseudo-intellectual bafflegabbery that comprises Jordanetics. In case Sam's review convinces you to give the book a pass, Sam has helpfully put together this list of twelve rules for approaching life as Jordan Peterson and his fans do.

Rule #1: Dominance Hierarchies Dominate, Hierarchically ( OF COURSE!), But They Don’t Really Know How to Make Upright Arguments or Provide Broad-Shouldered Reasons or Offer Serious Examples That Don’t Involve Psychologizing Crustaceans

Rule #2: “Postmodern Neo Marxists” Refers to Lacan But Not Jung, To Derrida But Not Nietzsche, To Foucault But Not Freud, But Please Don’t Ask Peterson About Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Or Anyone Else Alive Today Who Is This Thing He Repeats Over And Over

Rule #3: If You Write One Book In 1999 With Routledge About Being Scared Of Nuclear War And You Cannot Get Enough Attention, Find A Good Culture War In 2016, Open a Patreon Account, And Get A Book Contract With Random House.

Rule #4: If Someone Critiques Peterson in 2017, Ask Them To Stop Being A Scaredy-Cat And Get In Touch With Him Directly; If Someone Critiques Peterson In 2018, Call Them Jealous And Bitter And Question Who They Are To Think They Could Debate JORDAN B PETERSON

Rule #5: As You Are Working As A Tenured Full Professor At A Major Research University, Convince Culture Warriors To Pay You Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars ON Patreon To Protect You From Something Bad From Happening To You

Rule #6: When You Are Promoted To Full Professor, Instead Of Writing An Opus Or Taking Joint Appointments Or A Chair Or A Distinguished Professorship, Publish A Rule Book Based on Your Quora Profile, YouTube Channel, And Your Only Other Book From 1999 Instead

Rule #7: If Jordan B Peterson Is Ever Criticized, Be Sure To Follow His Lead And Never Provide Reasons, Examples, Evidence, Counterfactuals, Arguments, Or Anything That Is Substantial Because You Are More Into The Phenomenon Of Peterson And His Effect On Society And He Is AMAZING

Rule #8: Quote Tons Of Philosophers In Your Books And Claim To Base Your Ideas Off Of Philosophical Ideas But Always Refuse To Debate Philosophers, Excepting Sam Harris Who Owned You In Your First Debate So Much You Wrote Him A Letter Afterwards—Debate Journalists Instead

Rule #9: Talk A Lot About IQ And Your IQ And Social Darwinism And Jungian Psychoanalysis And The Ying Yang And The Dragon Of Chaos And When You Get To The Book Of Genesis Christians Will Immediately Count You As An Exegete And An Evangelist For Their Cause

Rule #10: Anytime You Try To Defend Your General Position Against ALL Forms Of Marxism, Find A Way Back To Hitler And Stalin And Make Anyone Who Disagrees With You A Moral Monster, But Be Sure To Get VERY MAD About It And Show Them You Mean Business And Quote Adorno—Oopsies...

Rule #11: Talk More Than You Write Because It Is Hard To Be Pinned Down On What You Say, Also Use Your Professor Position To Add Credibility As A “Scientist” While You Try And Destroy The Corrupt Social Justice University—It Really Covers All Your Bases, Like The Salary + Patreon

Rule #12: Don’t Tell Marshall McLuhen, George Grant, Naomi Klein, Or Charles Taylor That Jordan Peterson Is Canada’s Greatest Intellectual And A Prophet For Our Time And When Someone Shows You Exactly How Nutty This Is Tell Them “Okay Man; I Only Think Peterson Is Just All right”

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Foundation follies

The NGO class is comprised of high-level financial predators who have refined the art of capturing and converging new foundations and charities in order to control the resources they contain, as they've been doing this for more than 100 years. Not even the Left is safe from their rapacious predations:
In the Democratic Party’s reckoning following the election of Donald Trump, an unlikely feud has erupted inside an organization at the heart of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the board of directors of Wellstone Action — an influential training group formed after Paul Wellstone’s death — dumbfounded Minnesota Democrats when it voted the late senator’s sons off the governing board.

Founded after Wellstone’s death in a plane crash in 2002, Wellstone Action has trained thousands of progressive candidates, campaign operatives and community organizers throughout the country, with alumni serving in local and state offices and in the U.S. House. In 2016, the last year for which tax filings are available, the group reported providing training to 2,135 data and digital strategists, 723 nonprofit leaders and community organizers, and 854 aspiring political leaders.

David Wellstone and other Democrats close to his father began objecting last year to what David Wellstone described as Wellstone Action’s abandonment of disaffected Democrats in the rural Midwest — the rural poor were an early focus of the late senator — with an increasingly narrow focus on gender politics and people of color.

“I said, ‘After Trump, we’ve got to figure out how we are going to go back after those Democrats that we lost,” David Wellstone said. “We can do all the stuff we do. We do great stuff on communities of color; we’re doing great stuff on gender identity politics. But we need to do some of these other trainings. … Nobody wanted to have a discussion about that.”

In a prepared statement, Connie Lewis, chairwoman of the Wellstone Action board, said the group’s “mission has not changed.” But the group’s staff and board of directors appeared to suggest a shift in the progressive movement since Paul Wellstone’s death, asserting in a statement on its website that “a lot has changed over the last fifteen years” and that “the progressive movement also looks different today than it did when we first started.”
If you're a high-wealth individual, the world would be much better off if you left all your money to your cats or simply set it on fire instead of putting it into a trust or charitable foundation. It took the predators just 16 years to capture the Wellstone Foundation, and they did so despite the man's own sons being on the board. It doesn't matter how clever you think you are or what preparations you make, they've been doing it a lot longer than you've been alive and all it takes is one weak director to be bribed, bullied, or otherwise convinced to start packing the board with their people.

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Massive immigrant fraud in Minnesota

Somalis and other African immigrants in Minnesota sent more than $100 million in welfare-provided cash back to Africa:
Last year, more than $100 million in cash left the Twin Cities airport in carry-on luggage, bound for the Middle East and Africa: As Kerns dug deeper, he found that some of the individuals who were sending out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of remittance payments happened to be on government assistance in this country.

How could they possibly come up with such big bucks to transfer back home?

“We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,’” said Kerns.

Five years ago the Fox 9 Investigators were first to report that daycare fraud was on the rise in Minnesota, exposing how some businesses were gaming the system to steal millions in government subsidies meant to help low-income families with their childcare expenses.

“It’s a great way to make some money,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

In order for the scheme to work, the daycare centers need to sign up low income families that qualify for child care assistance funding. Surveillance videos from a case prosecuted by Hennepin County show parents checking their kids into a center, only to leave with them a few minutes later. Sometimes, no children would show up. Either way, the center would bill the state for a full day of childcare.

Video from that same case shows a man handing out envelopes of what are believed to be kickback payments to parents who are in on the fraud.
It absolutely boggles my mind that anyone is still able to publicly subscribe to any form of civic nationalism at this point. How can anyone possibly believe that a people who are capable of engaging in this behavior on such a massive scale are even remotely capable of living in peace and mutual harmony with other people who would never even imagine doing such a thing?

And how can anyone imagine that there is going to be any outcome that does not eventually involve a considerable amount of bloodshed, ethnic cleansing, and other serious unpleasantries, given the entire written history of human behavior?

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A foundation of intellectual sand

This is the sort of basic historical error that Jordan Peterson commits with a surprising degree of regularity. From Maps of Meaning:
Prior to the time of Descartes, Bacon and Newton, man lived in an animated, spiritual world, saturated with meaning, imbued with moral purpose. The nature of this purpose was revealed in the stories people told each other—stories about the structure of the cosmos and the place of man. But now we think empirically (at least we think we think empirically), and the spirits that once inhabited the universe have vanished. The forces released by the advent of the experiment have wreaked havoc within the mythic world. Jung states:

How totally different did the world appear to medieval man! For him the earth was eternally fixed and at rest in the center of the universe, encircled by the course of a sun that solicitously bestowed its warmth. Men were all children of God under the loving care of the Most High, who prepared them for eternal blessedness; and all knew exactly what they should do and how they should conduct themselves in order to rise from a corruptible world to an incorruptible and joyous existence. Such a life no longer seems real to us, even in our dreams. Natural science has long ago torn this lovely veil to shreds.

Even if the medieval individual was not in all cases tenderly and completely enraptured by his religious beliefs (he was a great believer in hell, for example), he was certainly not plagued by the plethora of rational doubts and moral uncertainties that beset his modern counterpart. Religion for the pre-experimental mind was not so much a matter of faith as a matter of fact—which means that the prevailing religious viewpoint was not merely one compelling theory among many....

Medieval people, unused to rhetorical speech, were easily seized emotionally or inspired to action by passionate words.
This is little more than a mystic's poetic version of the false science-religion polarity put forth by historically ignorant atheists. Infogalactic:
After the breakup of the western Roman Empire, the study of rhetoric continued to be central to the study of the verbal arts; but the study of the verbal arts went into decline for several centuries, followed eventually by a gradual rise in formal education, culminating in the rise of medieval universities. But rhetoric transmuted during this period into the arts of letter writing (ars dictaminis) and sermon writing (ars praedicandi). As part of the trivium, rhetoric was secondary to the study of logic, and its study was highly scholastic: students were given repetitive exercises in the creation of discourses on historical subjects (suasoriae) or on classic legal questions (controversiae).

Although he is not commonly regarded as a rhetorician, St. Augustine (354-430) was trained in rhetoric and was at one time a professor of Latin rhetoric in Milan. After his conversion to Christianity, he became interested in using these "pagan" arts for spreading his religion. This new use of rhetoric is explored in the Fourth Book of his De Doctrina Christiana, which laid the foundation of what would become homiletics, the rhetoric of the sermon. Augustine begins the book by asking why "the power of eloquence, which is so efficacious in pleading either for the erroneous cause or the right", should not be used for righteous purposes (IV.3).

One early concern of the medieval Christian church was its attitude to classical rhetoric itself. Jerome (d. 420) complained, "What has Horace to do with the Psalms, Virgil with the Gospels, Cicero with the Apostles?" Augustine is also remembered for arguing for the preservation of pagan works and fostering a church tradition that led to conservation of numerous pre-Christian rhetorical writings.

Rhetoric would not regain its classical heights until the renaissance, but new writings did advance rhetorical thought. Boethius, in his brief Overview of the Structure of Rhetoric, continues Aristotle's taxonomy by placing rhetoric in subordination to philosophical argument or dialectic. The introduction of Arab scholarship from European relations with the Muslim empire renewed interest in Aristotle and Classical thought in general, leading to what some historians call the 12th century renaissance. A number of medieval grammars and studies of poetry and rhetoric appeared.

Late medieval rhetorical writings include those of St. Thomas Aquinas, Matthew of Vendome (Ars Versificatoria, 1175), and Geoffrey of Vinsauf (Poetria Nova, 1200–1216). Another interesting record of medieval rhetorical thought can be seen in the many animal debate poems popular in England and the continent during the Middle Ages, such as The Owl and the Nightingale (13th century) and Geoffrey Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls (1382).
The historical truth is that the average medieval man was probably more cognizant of the distinction between rhetorical speech and dialectical speech than postmodern man is, and the average educated medieval man almost certainly had a far more sophisticated technical understanding of rhetoric than the average modern or postmodern academic. Including Dr. Jordan Peterson himself.

Moreover, note that while Jung's erroneous assertion is limited to the medievals, Peterson's is not, as he extends Jung's false claim to includes all men prior to Descartes, Bacon and Newton. Anyone even remotely familiar with classical or Eastern philosophy will immediately recognize the absurdity of the statement. How could anyone who has read Outlines of Pyrrhonism possibly accept the idea that no one before Descartes thought empirically? Even if one hasn't, the fact that the author's name is Sextus Empiricus should provide at least a hint that something is seriously wrong with the notion.

Does Peterson genuinely believe people today do not respond emotionally to charges of racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, and now transphobia? Does he truly believe they are not "easily seized emotionally or inspired to action by passionate words"? As for the idea that Man today thinks empirically, one has only to review a few of the furious responses of Jordan Peterson's fans to the revelations concerning his genuine beliefs and philosophy to wholly disprove that notion.

The chief problem, as near as I can tell, is that Peterson seldom bothers reading much actual source material, preferring to rely instead on what academics have written about it. In the case of his absurd claim concerning the unfamiliarity of medieval people with rhetorical speech, he refers to a 1967 study by Huizenga, while his failure to cite Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine or Cicero even once while discussing the subject strongly suggests that at the time he wrote Maps of Meaning, he had never read any of them.

From a review of Thomas Aquinas on Persuasion: Action, Ends, and Natural Rhetoric by Jeffrey J.Maciejewski.
Much has been written about the early Church Fathers and their efforts to adapt Classical rhetorical theory to Christian thought. The greatest focus here has been on the philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo (345-430), whose contributions to a uniquely Christian rhetoric have been described by George Kennedy and Calvin Troup to name but a few. The focus on Augustine has perhaps overshadowed another influential Christian thinker, Thomas Aquinas. He also adapted Classical precepts, namely, Aristotelianism - and his impact on the development of the (Catholic) Christian CHurch has been as formidable as Augustine's, if not more so.
What sort of architecture of belief can any man hope to construct without Aristotle, let alone Augustine and Aquinas? And what sort of belief system can be expected to stand when constructed upon on a foundation of such shoddy intellectual sand?

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