Rothbard: Be the Best

I like Gary North’s inspirational article on Murray Rothbard. I hope my readers will take a careful read on this public article, read it twice, and then put it to work.

Let me just put the ending — what we must do to WIN —  here:

How many people do you think are in this room? If each of you wrote three articles or five articles in the next five years and you stayed in communication with each other, just keeping up with each other in this room would keep you very busy. And it can be done at almost no cost because of the Web. So, that’s what I would tell you to do. Go and do thou likewise. You will not be as gifted as Rothbard. You will not write Man, Economy, and State. You will not write — I guarantee you — you will not write a monograph as revolutionary and yet as accurate as America’s Great Depression, even if you work really hard. And you know the great thing about it? You don’t have to. Because it got done. It’s been done. Been there, read that.

But what you can do is to go where no one else you know has gone, and hardly anybody else is interested in, and nobody really wants to focus on, and you can niche that; you can own it; you can make it yours. And if all you do is put up a Website with links to all the other Websites or articles or materials — if all you are is a clearinghouse on the Web — you are doing something tremendously important. You’re reducing other people’s difficulties in locating information. You are participating in the intellectual division of labor.

That’s my call to you, my challenge to you. When you go out of here, when you leave this conference, you’ve had it poured into you. Now what’s going to come out? You’ve had enormous benefits poured into you; you’ve had advantages given to you; and you have just — whether you know it or not — increased your personal level of responsibility. You can’t avoid that, because you’ve been here. It’s too late. Now, go apply it. I don’t know where you’re going to do it; I don’t know what your major is; I don’t know what your interest is. Whatever it is that you really love in which you’d be most difficult to replace — get online, get used to writing, crank the stuff out. If you need to revise it, you don’t even need the X’s — just use the delete key. Murray may not have liked modern technology, but I really believe he would have loved the delete key. We have the delete key.

It’s time for everybody in this room — not tonight; I’ll give you a week — either to be online with his own Website or participating in a joint effort by the time you graduate from whatever program you’re in. When you walk out of that program, you better have something online. If you’re an undergraduate looking for a graduate degree or your graduate fellowship, and you can say “Here’s what I’ve done, and it’s online, and you can see it” — that’s an advantage. That’s an edge in a highly competitive world. You go out to get that job, and you can say “I’ve got my own Website; you can take a look at it; you can see what I’ve done” — that is a competitive advantage.

So that’s my challenge. Go and do thou likewise.

Stop whining. Start fighting.

Even words, strong, true, and well-targeted have power. John did not write “In the beginning was the sword” or “In the beginning was the gold.”

He wrote, “In the beginning was the Word.”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 1No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 1: 1-14 English Standard Version

We know what’s right thanks to Moses, who spoke God’s Word.

We can DO what’s right thanks to Jesus Christ, who IS God’s Word.

Every believer here can set up a free WordPress blog, and get the Word out.

And change the world… for the better.

If an agnostic unbeliever can, just by putting his gifts to work, staying in good humour, using strong self-discipline, and never giving up, then definitely thoughtful Christians can do the same… or better!

Yes, with some care and a bit of extra work, even better than mine 😉

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A School to Build the Far Future

From Ars Technica

First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education

LA’s most exclusive school sits on SpaceX’s campus and skips sports, music, and languages.

In a corner of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a small, secretive group called Ad Astra is hard at work. These are not the company’s usual rocket scientists. At the direction of Elon Musk, they are tackling ambitious projects involving flamethrowers, robots, nuclear politics, and defeating evil AIs.

Those at Ad Astra still find time for a quick game of dodgeball at lunch, however, because the average age within this group is just 10 years old.

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious private schools for gifted children. Hiring one of his sons’ teachers, the CEO founded Ad Astra to “exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a previously unreported document filed with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education – Mark Harris

Of course, I am assuming that the reader is a post-millennialist. That is, he’s eager to build and shape the future, and expand the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in this life, on this world.

And I take it for granted that the long-term goal is not so much expansion into space — something that this blog promotes — as much as the shorter-term, but still very worthy goal, of defeating death.

Remember Christ,

  • that He is King over the Earth, and all that is in it, TODAY.
  • that His Law-Word is to be enforced and upheld, TODAY, by ALL the nations.
  • that death is the final enemy.


( treat the stars and worlds as great working material in the future…
but Jesus is right. First things First!

Break the back of Death first,
and then reach Christ returns to the Earth, to judge the quick and the dead,
and then, if He wills, reach for the stars.

Seeing that Christ is Lord of the Stars,
as well as the Earth,
as well as the flesh and soul of every man, woman, and child, born or unborn,
I strongly believe that He won’t tolerate those dead balls of gas and rock to just stay dead.

But death — and what causes death, sin — must be crushed first.
We must strive for holiness now, even as we lawfully increase our knowledge and power and wealth.

Then, we can life, and joy, and dominion, on a cosmic scale, for eternity.

War Stories of the Distant Past

This is an edited version of the post I made on my sci-fi blog.

Much of Traveller focuses on war stories of the far future. But something can be gained by remembering the war stories of the distant past.

Here, we’re going civilian, small-scale, long ago, and far away rather than the larger scales, clearly military operations of the more recent past, a la World War II.

The Stories

13,000-year-old Saharan remains may be evidence of first known race war

A new analysis on a set of human remains dating back 13,000 years, which were found on the east bank of the Nile in northern Sudan, suggests the individuals were victims of a race war, according to a report in The Independent .  The finding provides evidence for the oldest known, relatively large-scale human armed conflict.

[…]

The remains of nearly 60 men, women, and children were recovered and sent to the British Museum for safekeeping. Now a team of French scientists from Bordeaux University working in collaboration with the British Museum have been examining dozens of the skeletons. Their analysis has revealed numerous arrow impact marks and flint arrow head fragments on the bones of the victims, suggesting that the majority of the victims were killed by enemy archers. Furthermore, the new research demonstrates that the attacks took place over many months or years.

[…]

Parallel research conducted by John Moore’s University, the University of Alaska and New Orleans’ Tulane University, suggests that the victims were part of the general sub-Saharan populations, the ancestors of modern black Africans, while remains of another race, the North African/Levantine/European population group, have been found close to Jebel Sahaba.

[…]

During the period in which the sub-Saharans violently perished, northern Sudan was a major ethnic interface between the two racial groups. At the same time, there was a huge competition for resources due to a severe climatic downturn in which many water sources dried up, and people of all ethnic groups were forced to migrate to the banks of the Nile. Researchers suggest that the different racial groups would have inevitably clashed under these circumstances, resulting in the violent ending of a group of sub-Saharans more than 13,000 years ago.

…and…

Heart Wrenching Letters Reveal the Traumatic Life of Miwnay, A Sogdian Woman in China 1,700 Years Ago

“From her daughter, the free-woman Miwnay, to her dear mother Chatis. I am very anxious to see you.”

History rarely remembers the little people. Our history books are full of stories of kings, queens, and conquerors; of influential men and wealthy people who lived in gilded castles. But the rest of us are forgotten.

The lives of countless ordinary people — people who loved and lost and struggled and died – have been completely forgotten. To them, their lives were the most important thing in the world; but today, no one even remembers their names.

That’s what makes a box full of 1,700-year-old letters found in the Chinese town of Dunhuang so incredible. Because in that box are two letters written by an ordinary woman named Miwnay.

They’re a rare glimpse into the life of the Sogdian people who, in 313 AD, were living under Chinese rule. But more than that, they’re a glimpse into the love and pain that filled the life of an ordinary woman – one of only a few who will never be forgotten.

[…]

Sogdian women, like Miwnay, were second-class citizens in Dunhuang. Their homeland, Sogdia, had once been a province in the Persian Empire; now, though, Miwnay was living in China’s Gansu province, just outside the frontier wall that divided China from the rest of Asia. And there, the Chinese made the rules.

Many of them ended up being a sold into sexual slavery . It was a common fate for Sogdian women, especially the poor. They would be bound up and sold off to the wealthiest Chinese, who had the legal right to beat them, tie them up, and do anything they wanted to do them.

Miwnay, in a way, had been lucky. She’d married a Sogdian man named Nanai-dhat, a merchant who’d placed his home on the Silk Road. There was a good chance that he was a wealthy man – the Sogdians, it’s said , were experts at making a fortune through trade.

By law, if she couldn’t get her husband’s consent, she would have to get the consent of his closest relative, a man named Artivan. But Artivan had refused, and no one would help her. Everyone she turned to told her the same thing: “Wait. … Perhaps Nanai-dhat would come.”

But Nanai-dhat wasn’t coming. Nobody knew where he was – and if Miwnay couldn’t get out of Dunhuang, there was a chance she’d end up like those other poor women, left with no choice but to sell their daughters as slaves.

(…snip..)

…there is also strong evidence that warfare is a very recent invention from the evolutionary standpoint. I quote below from the article, 10,000-Year-Old Massacre Does Not Bolster Claim That War Is Innate

[Quote begins]

  • The theory [of warfare being innate to humanity] holds that lethal group conflict evolved not ten thousand or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands but millions of years ago. Critics of the theory have long accepted that some humans, including hunter-gatherers, engaged in group violence 10,000 years ago and even earlier. As I note in a 2010 blog post, the oldest clear-cut relic of group violence is a 13,000-year-old grave in the Jebel Sahaba region of Sudan. The grave contains 59 skeletons, 24 of which bear marks of violence, such as embedded projectile points.
  • Other than the Jebel Sahaba site, evidence of war or even homicide dating back more than 10,000 years is extremely rare. As I reported in 2013, anthropologists Jonathan Haas and Matthew Piscitelli have carried out an exhaustive review of hominid remains over 10,000 years old, including more than 2,900 skeletons from over 400 different sites. Excluding the Jebel Sahaba skeletons, Haas and Piscitelli found only four skeletons bearing signs of violence.
  • The West Turkana massacre victims might not have been nomadic hunter-gatherers, as our ancestors were throughout most of the Paleolithic era (which began just over two millions years ago and lasted until the dawn of agriculture). Instead, the victims might have been making the transition to a more settled mode of existence, as were other societies in northern Africa, Mesopotamia and elsewhere. According to the Nature authors, 10,000 years ago West Turkana was “a fertile lakeshore landscape sustaining a substantial population of hunter-gatherers; the presence of pottery may be indicative of some storage and so reduced mobility.”
  • Research by anthropologist Brian Ferguson shows that even after humans began settling down, war emerged slowly and sporadically. As I wrote in a post on Ferguson’s work, hunter-gatherers started settling in the Southern Levant 15,000 years ago, and populations surged after the emergence of agriculture there 11,000 years ago. But there is no significant evidence of warfare in the Southern Levant until about 5,500 years ago, when the region increasingly came under the influence of the emerging military empire of Egypt.
  • A study by anthropologists Douglas Fry and Patrik Soderberg found scant evidence of warfare among 21 modern-era hunter-gatherer societies on five continents. As I reported in 2013, three of the societies had no observed killings of any kind, and 10 had no killings carried out by more than one perpetrator. In only six societies did ethnographers record killings that involved two or more perpetrators and two or more victims. A single society, the Tiwi of Australia, accounted for almost all of these group killings. Their findings, Fry and Soderberg concluded, “contradict recent assertions that [mobile foragers] regularly engage in coalitionary war against other groups.”
  • Finally, there is little evidence that inter-group violence among chimpanzees is innate. As I reported in 2014, researchers tracking 18 chimp communities for an average total of 23 years per community have observed only 15 inter-group killings of adults and adolescents. That comes to one inter-group killing every 28 years in a typical community. Even Wrangham has acknowledged that such killings are “certainly rare.” Moreover, researchers have not observed a single deadly attack by the chimp species Pan paniscus, or bonobos, who are as closely related to humans as the more common species, Pan troglodytes.

[Quote ends]

Of course, as a Christian who takes the Biblical record as true, I disagree with the dates given: but I do agree with the basic message of the article. There is nothing innate or natural or inevitable about violent communal warfare. Warfare exists because we choose to make it so; we kill because we consciously will it, not because of ‘evolutionary pressures’ or ‘our environment/scarcity/our genes made us do it.’

The snake whispers his poison: but we can fling the lies aside, if we choose to.

Mass murder is just like any other sin, be it theft or rape or lying. We merely hide behind a leader and his court intellectuals/priests to justify it, instead of using our own tongues and fists to silence opposition.

The debate over the deep-roots theory matters. As a New York Times editorial on the Kenyan dig points out, President Barack Obama seems to favor the notion that war has “deep biological roots.” During his 2009 Nobel Prize speech, Obama stated that war “appeared with the first man” and that “we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes.” This sort of fatalism could undermine efforts to achieve permanent peace.

The evidence is overwhelming that war, far from being an innate behavior that evolved millions of years ago, was a cultural innovation—an “invention,” as Margaret Mead put it–that emerged relatively recently in our prehistory, toward the end of the Paleolithic era. We should take responsibility for our wars instead of blaming them on our genes.

“Taking responsibility.” Now, that’s Christian language I can back to the full!

(…snip…)

Swords into Plowshares
(or O’Neil Stations, as the case may be)

I strongly endorse technological advancement, widespread wealth generation, the free flow of information, and the widespread protection of life, liberty, and property. China has had made the greatest advances here in recent decades, and reaped the rewards of doing so: but many nations are far better off than when I was born, about five decades ago.

AND the threat of nuclear was has declined sharply, too.

Horray!

(But a moment of silence for the IMMENSE opportunity cost that Marxism inflicted on the world. And absolutely unnecessary, too!)

My greatest hope, though, remains in the Holy Spirit changing the hearts of men (as opposed to properly rational Vilani methods of peace creation). That means not only Christian preaching and Christian conversions, but Christian behaviour as well, on individual and group levels. Not so easy, but progress is steady on a global basis.

(Not so much in Europe: but sin equals sterility and death, so their apostasy is a temporary setback by its very nature. “Christ is necessary for survival, integrity and growth… but European Civilization? Not so much.”)

Earth Sorrows

 From The Insect Apocalypse

In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, “all we can do is wave our arms and say, ‘It’s not here anymore!’ ” Still, the most disquieting thing wasn’t the disappearance of certain species of insects; it was the deeper worry, shared by Riis and many others, that a whole insect world might be quietly going missing, a loss of abundance that could alter the planet in unknowable ways. “We notice the losses,” says David Wagner, an entomologist at the University of Connecticut. “It’s the diminishment that we don’t see.”

I strongly believe that this is tied to human activity, probably agribusiness. I don’t think that this will bring about the end of civilization… but there will be losses. And it will take decades, quite likely centuries, before we can rebuild even part of what was lost, or even understand what is gone.

God told us that the earth has been cursed for our sake. I wonder when we will take His work seriously. Not only understanding that our own evils wound the earth, but that the converse is true: our repentance, our compassion, our love heals the soul and the living things around us, too.

God, I will be so happy when Christians finally ditch the materialist-evolutionist mental framework. It is even more worthless then the escapist, defeatist, “who cares about building the Kingdom of God, redeeming the world, or the salvation of nations?” view of the Rapture-inclined…

…and that’ saying something!

HT: Gary North

The Face of American Christianity

That would be John MacArthur, who is the wrong man for the job. I will be (largely) quoting the American Vision website regarding MacArthur, as they point out the problem more clearly than I could.

His interview with Ben Shapiro is here.

I was asked for my thoughts on the Ben Shapiro interview of John MacArthur. I had a difficult time listening through much of it, despite several points of agreement.

[…]

I have to say, for a man in such an exalted position among evangelicals and revered by many conservative Christians as one of the best Bible exegetes of our time, MacArthur says some of the most fundamentally ignorant things that dishonor the Bible and damage the mission of the body of Christ. I will share a few of my core concerns here briefly.

In this article I will cover four points:

1. The false dichotomy between “political” and “moral” issues

2. The Old Testament church-state separation blunder

3. The end-times pessimism error

4. MacArthur playing the race card

If you are in a pinch for time, skip to the second point, for it is the most startling error I have heard in a long time; though, all four points are equally important.

Comments on John MacArthur’s interview with Ben Shapiro, By Joel McDurmon

For more on the Divinely commanded separation of Church and State, go here.

Now, how MacArthur…

and the “escape-reality” Rapture people he represents –
the solid majority of American Christians, by the way

gutted the gospel, and thus please those who oppose Jesus Christ and the Kingdom He came to build:

Remember, MacArthur had over an hour to explain the Gospel. Nowhere in that interview did MacArthur explain how through the atonement we are redeemed to be faithful and obedient servants of God in the kingdom of God and that we can be restored to succeed in fulfilling God’s greater plan of fulfilling the dominion mandate to flourish in all the earth and to extend the justice of God to every nation. Nowhere was it explained that the propagation of Christianity and obedience to the Kingdom of God is the only thing that will bring about real positive change in the world—even though he was asked about these very things and was given opportunity. In fact, the opposite was communicated. We can’t even expect this to happen.

Certainly, if pressed, MacArthur would have been able to make the case that even if the Kingdom is not arrived in his dispensational premillennial conception, Christians should still seek peace with their neighbor, to do good and vote to that end. But we have to understand that the truncated Gospel of the atonement only, hell-fire-escape message actually does damage to the acceptance of the Gospel. God-haters are given vindication for their objection that Christianity does not include a fundamental component that has immediate relevance to neighborly justice and human flourishing on the earth in the here and now.

Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and the sad consequences of the truncated Gospel , by Jordan Wilson

Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew who has no interest in escaping reality, has his strengths… and his flaws. Sadly, one of his flaws include  a respect for public education, which weakens his case against socialism. Sadly, this flaw – to accept government theft, when it’s YOUR pocket that is being filled — is common to many Christians as well.

The weakness and craven nature of Christian believers today — especially those in wealthy nations — signifies that God has no tolerance for this corruption.

God strengthens His people when they obey Him, and rewards them with victory – in the here and now, and eternally. Corrupt Christians are rebellious servants, and are rewarded with weakness and defeat – in the here and now, and in eternity.

Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor”, presided over the breaking of the Christian Faith in America, from the rich and comfortable ’50s until his death. The current Calvinist Pastor of America is will on track to pull off the same confidence trick – tons of money, lots of status and respect… no fruits or results.

Once again, Bojidar Marinov:

There are a number of those organizations that are supposedly conservative or even Christian, whose professed goals are to be Guardians, that is, to protect us, the individuals, from the ever encroaching totalitarian state. And they have become rich on our money, and yet, they have been losing the battle, step by step, little by little, with every year. We will shortly see how this scam works.

Before we start, let me return you to a previous episode of Axe to the Root, Episode 6 – one of the earliest episodes, titled “Denethor Ministries.” In that episode, we talked about the fact that modern American Christians spend billions of dollars in donations to ministries headed by churchian celebrities, and there is nothing to show for that money. Every time I mention this fact to modern Reformed Christians, they agree with me and they start pointing to people like Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and other hyper-charismatic preachers. But the truth is, these hyper-charismatic ministries and celebrities are way poorer than many supposedly “Reformed” and “conservative” and “Bible-believing” ministries and celebrities. I mentioned a few of those in the episode: Franklin Graham with about $120 million a year in revenues, John MacArthur with over $70 million, Albert Mohler with over $30 million, etc. Numbers like this beat most of the hyper-charismatic preachers, and yet, for some reason, the majority of Reformed Christians are never capable of grasping that John MacArthur, for example, rakes in 2 to 2.5 times more than Joel Osteen. In general, when it comes to revenues, non-charismatic, supposedly “Reformed” celebrities beat the whole TBN Channel cast.

Anyway, the problem is not that so much money is given to them. The problem is rather that there is nothing to show for it. As I pointed out in that episode, even the very celebrities we are talking about admit that for the last decades Christianity in the US has deteriorated and weakened, and has become incapable of making a difference in the world. But that’s on their watch, for the same period they have been taking all that money and building their ministries with it. They have been the teachers and leaders of Israel all these years. They have been training pastors and theologians and church leaders. They have been doing all these gigantic conferences in those fancy air-conditioned buildings. So what do they have to show for the money we have paid them, again? What has come out of all these expensive activities? A decline. In that episode I made the supposedly scandalous remark that we could have had better results if we had spent all that money on bourbon instead. (Boy, did I get some flak for it.) But is it really scandalous to say that? Look at the churches in China, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America. Compared to our own churchian celebrities, they operate on almost zero budgets, and yet, in many of those places, Christianity has been winning people and has been changing cultures. Perhaps, judging from the facts, we should have spent our money somewhere else, and may be then we would have some victory here in America, don’t you think?

In that episode, I also pointed at the real reason why they produced such negative results for all that money: namely, their pessimistic eschatology. “It shall be done to you according to your faith,” Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, and this principle applies to more than healing: “The righteous shall live by faith.” When your expectations are that you will lose in history and on earth, and the only real victory in the world you can have is as remote as the end of history, it will be unto you according to your faith: you won’t see any victory, or progress, or increase from your efforts in history. Your own faith will doom you to a life of fruitlessness and stagnation.

Perpetuating Problems for Profit, by Bojidar Marinov

Way back then, the Establishment Media – the Hearst newspaper chain, in this instance – had to show respect to the more useful tools, even as they pushed them into the limelight:

Evangelist Billy Graham recalls in his new book the pivotal point in his young ministry when, during a 1949 Los Angeles crusade, a two-word directive from publisher William Randolph Hearst to “puff Graham” made him an instant celebrity nationwide.

The sudden front-page coverage showered on Graham by Hearst newspapers in mid-October (after three weeks of little notice) was quickly matched by other newspapers and newsmagazines–literally a media circus descending on his rallies under a big tent.

Billy Graham Recalls Help From Hearst, by John Dart

Rest assured, MacArthur will never get an ounce of the Establishment respect Graham got. Seventy million a year is of far greater value, I guess.

And if he does want that kind of Establishment respect, he knows what multi-colored flag to kneel to. I bet he’ll get even more money and public honours than Tony Campolo got!

Strange, that nobody mentions Campolo anymore. His usefulness has come to an end: “We got what we wanted: now, you go take your money and scram!”


Cheating Christians for Money

Thanks to the American Vision article here, I can see why Christian colleges love accreditation: and it’s not ONLY to bow and grovel before their social betters, the secularists.

It’s ALSO to get their hot hands on Federal Money, a.k.a. “Federal Student Aid”

The fact that this dumps Christians with tens of thousands of unnecessary debt, in return for a neutered and powerless, secularized education, will (and has!) called down the wrath of God on us.

God’s Kingdom will expand and grow, despite this treason and corruption (not too far from that of Judas).

It’s just that most Christian universities in the US will have no part in the future God is bringing to pass.