The Mother of All Chicken-and-Egg Problems

Or, things that don’t work in a Darwinian universe… so the questions go unasked.

We will have to ask the questions.

From Evolution News, For Darwinism, Pregnancy Is the “Mother of all Chicken-and-Egg Problems” by David Klinghoffer

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Here’s a really devilish problem to pose to your favorite friend, teacher, or relative who’s a Darwinist true believer. As Your Designed Body co-author Steve Laufmann observes, the relationship between an embryo and its mother is a relationship between unequals. The embryo’s systems are not yet complete so it depends on its mother for its life. This entails communication between the entities. 

But as Laufmann asks, how could such a thing as pregnancy evolve gradually, without guidance or foresight, “when you have to have it in order to have a next generation. Nobody has ever addressed a problem like that.” No, they haven’t, at least not persuasively, which is why Laufmann calls it the “mother of all chicken-and-egg problems.” Darwinian evolution has many of those, as it takes an engineer like Steve Laufmann, or a physician like his co-author Howard Glicksman, to fully recognize. Evolutionary biologists tend to silently glide over such issues, which clearly point to intelligent design. Either that, or they are satisfied by vague speculations. Watch:

Engineer Steve Laufmann discusses “the mother of all chicken and egg problems” that can be found in the human body. Laufmann is co-author of the book Your Designed Body: https://www.YourDesignedBody.com

Every day, your body must solve hundreds of hard engineering problems simultaneously, or else you’ll die. In the book, Your Designed Body, systems engineer Steve Laufmann and physician Howard Glicksman explore this extraordinary system of thousands of ingenious and interdependent engineering solutions that impact your heart, your lungs, your feet, your eyes and ears, and more.

Praise of Your Designed Body
“A masterful synthesis of modern medicine and engineering.”—Stephen C. Meyer, PhD, author of Return of the God Hypothesis

“Captivating… a magnificent and much-needed accomplishment—the indispensable book on the intelligent design of the human body.”—Michael Egnor, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook

“A brilliant tour of the mind-boggling interactive complexity of the human body.”—William S. Harris, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota

“I particularly enjoyed the way the authors tackled claims about ‘botched design.’”—David Galloway, MD, former President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

About the Authors
Steve Laufmann is a computer scientist and consultant in the engineering of enterprise-class computer systems. Dr. Howard Glicksman is a general practitioner with more than forty years of medical experience in office and hospital settings.
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Want to Build a Free Society? Don’t Embrace “Safetyism”

Keep those slave-safety chains out of your home.

From Mises: Want to Protect Children? Don’t Embrace “Safetyism” by Julian Adorney

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Earlier this year, Anna Hershberger had the cops called on her because she let two of her kids—ages five and almost seven—walk outside with a trash bag and pick up litter unsupervised. The cop who showed up didn’t arrest Hershberger but did warn her that something terrible could have happened to her children.

Hershberger’s police visit was one of thousands of examples of safetyism in America. Safetyism is the idea, pervasive among schools, police stations, and well-meaning parents, that children can’t so much as walk down the street or play a game without constant adult supervision. If you leave your kids alone for a minute, who knows what might happen?

Many psychologists and parenting experts argue that our cultural obsession with safetyism is depriving kids of the experiences they need to develop a sense of individual identity. Dr. Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston University who specializes in studying how children learn, argues that when kids are free to pursue their own interests free of adult intervention, they acquire “skills, values, ideas, and information that will stay with [them] for life.” In the absence of that freedom, kids don’t acquire the skills, values, and ideas necessary to become their own persons.

Lenore Skenazy (founder of Free Range Kids and president of Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting childhood independence) told me in an interview that constant adult supervision is killing kids’ ability to cultivate real hobbies and passions. Children aren’t allowed to just write a story anymore, Skenazy explains. Instead, as soon as parents see them put pen to paper, they’re plonked down in a creative writing class, where they’ll be under the well-meaning but stultifying eye of a writing teacher drilling them on form and technique. “Write something just for you” becomes “I want to see you practice that use of imagery I showed you yesterday.”

It’s tough to overstate how easily adults can kill a kid’s enthusiasm by trying to instruct them. As Skenazy notes, this approach takes an internal drive (I want to write just for me!) and turns it into an external drive (I need to write five hundred words today to get a gold star from my new writing teacher). Holly Lisle, a professional writing teacher who’s published over thirty novels of her own, says that tons of writers lose their passion precisely when drills and techniques replace self-directed exploration. What’s true of writing is equally true of every interest, from playing jazz to shooting hoops in the backyard.

When we think about what makes us unique individuals, most of us think of interests we’ve cultivated since we were kids. What’s going to happen to a generation whose passion has been trained out of them by well-meaning authority figures? There’s a good chance that all this adult supervision is depriving us of musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs–of the next Lady Gaga or Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It’s not just hobbies, either. Skenazy says that constant adult supervision can “cauterize curiosity.” She warns that, “we’re not teaching [kids] to think. We’re teaching them to await instructions.” Unfortunately, there’s substantial evidence to support her views. One study compared how children from different cultures responded when an adult gave them an opportunity to learn but, crucially, no assignment. The researchers studied forty white, middle-class kids from California and another forty Maya children from Guatemala. Each child was told to sit at a table while a research assistant taught another kid in the room how to assemble a toy. The question was: Would the first kid watch and learn how to assemble the toy too, just out of natural curiosity, or do something else?

The results were stark. The Maya kids watched the interaction and quickly learned to assemble the toy. The California kids were more likely to goof off or just stare at the floor. An NPR story on the study reports, “The Maya kids showed sustained attention [to the toy-assembly] about two-thirds of the time…. The middle-class, American kids did so exactly half as often.”

Why the discrepancy? One big reason is that the Maya kids were raised with a lot of autonomy. They could go to the store to shop, slip out of the backyard to hang with friends, and set their own goals. That kind of autonomy naturally engenders curiosity. When the world is yours to explore, you want to explore all of it. Psychologist Edward Deci, who’s been studying child motivation for half a century at the University of Rochester, says that autonomy stimulates kids’ motivation to learn.

By contrast, American kids have lost much of their autonomy–and, as such, their natural curiosity. When there’s always an adult around to tell you what to do next, your brain adapts to that. Instead of building the muscle of your curiosity, you learn to sit and wait patiently for instructions. As Skenazy puts it, in the United States kids are trained to think, “Is this going to be on the test? If not, I won’t learn it.”

The problems caused by safetyism go deeper than just cauterizing curiosity and killing passion: safetyism strikes at the very heart of our attempts to build a free society. A healthy sense of individualism is essential to creating a libertarian society. A generation raised to never explore or color outside the lines is unlikely to see the appeal of freedom.

Students raised under safetyism are more likely to clamor for big government, because they have no idea how liberating life can be without the stultifying influence of an ever-present nanny (or nanny state). If we want to get back to our freedom-loving roots, we need to turn down our collective hovering and give our kids the space to figure out who they really are.

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Note that Guatemala is not a Good Place to Live with Safe Neighbourhoods.
Far from it.

Their children will have the ability to think independently, though.

Unlike coddled American children.
Especially the Californian kids, from the most Progressive of environments.

We must raise free men. Not slaves.

For one thing, the Masters has nothing for us but a quiet, bone-deep malice.

Even if they can – somehow – restrain themselves from building a mass grave/GULAG network just for us, we must still work to avoid the grim destiny of the welfare-state crippled American Indians and Black Americans: forever dependent, forever looking up to the loving hand of the Progressive to guide them and feed them.

It starts with the children.

Get your kids out of the Public Schools.

Build God’s people, able to take the initiative and think for themselves.
Not disposable, dependent tools for the Masters.

Build God’s Kingdom.
Not the kingdom of the Masters.

Kinism, Short Pants, And A Naked Emperor

Yeah, its those guys again.

A repost of the Lamb’s Reign article Kinism, Short Pants, And A Naked Emperor, by Joel McDurmon

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Because he thinks I have driven the “cancel car” a little too recklessly and sideswiped Rod Dreher and his beloved pet classical education, Doug gave me a recent cameo. Of course, in his show, he writes the script, so be aware the genre is sure to be fiction. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify a few things. A rambling review:

DW has a warning (and veiled insult) for me:

Winston Churchill once defined an appeaser as one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last. So Joel really needs to be more wary. The day will come when being pals with Rachael Denhollander won’t be sufficient protection. Somebody on the Inquisition Council might look into the contents of American Vision’s book catalog during Joel’s tenure there. I don’t know, man. There’s an awful lot of white people in that thing. There are even Christian histories of America, as white as . . . oh, I don’t know . . . as white as Sequitur Classical Academy maybe. There are defenses of the American founding, and that was a slave-holding era. That catalog is just teeming with Eurocentric concerns, and Joel oversaw it for years. A little more self-awareness, Joel.

We’ll return to the “white people” thing in a minute. For now, a few notes on my self-awareness.

First, I love Rachael Denhollander’s work. I have spoken to her once. Never met her. She has not interacted with me online (to my immediate recollection). She is a careful and very skilled legal mind. I cannot stake a claim to being her “pal,” but I am eagerly her reader, student, and admirer. I expect nothing in return from her, including “protection.”

She is also a model of courage. You could round up all the boasted manhood and manliness from every DW disciple from the past forty years, and their combined courage and fortitude would not budge the needle in a scale opposite hers. Her shadow has more weight than his entire corpus of work. DW has spent his entire career trying to be a prophet of Christian society (albeit the Lost Cause), and yet all of his barbed brambles of rhetoric amount to ashes against the prophetic fire God hath wrought through this diminutive model of femininity. He should give his pulpit to her.

Dragging her name into this is shameful for him, if he could feel shame, but I am honored to be mentioned in the same sentence.

And no, not a bit of that is over-the-top.

Next, more self-awareness is indeed in order. I mean, I can use more, don’t get me wrong; but did DW really think I didn’t consider the risks of my background and trail of published works before entering a purely secular study and work space with a high percentage of secular liberals and leftists?

All throughout my growth over the past several years, I have been more than candid, to everyone involved, about my past views and my changes in views. Even in taking legal internships, I informed them ahead of time about my past. I have been very open.

I don’t think DW understands this, and honestly don’t think he could, because it involves taking initiative in candor, repentance, and confession of things that were not only wrong but very hurtful to many people. Admitting such things, in the view of the faux steely machismo kultur seen in DW and his disciples, is weakness, see. Apology is weakness (except when it may have PR value). Any flinch toward biblical kenosis is early suppressed and trained out as a shameful sign of loss of manhood and is without question a disqualification for leadership.

It is the way of Cain, but more on that another time.

Yes, it is true that there were veiled and negligent histories of slaveholding America in the old AV catalogues. But DW knows well what I did to correct that. I don’t think I am too afraid to have anyone dig through my background on that score (please do!). I made many very understanding friends when they found that The Problem of Slavery in Christian America was the beginning of the end for me at AV.

Or maybe DW doesn’t remember that book, given that he refused to review it. His neoconfederate partner in crime, Steve Wilkins, I am told, refused even to read it.

What DW probably does recall is that the “cancel car” to which he refers was actually driven against me first, not by liberal “intoleristas” digging up my background, but by a band of Christian Nationalist types with a gang of kinists and neoconfederates praying imprecatory psalms in the back seat. When the dust settled, the car was found ditched behind a burned-out warehouse in Moscow, ID, with a copy of Cantus Christi in the seat.

KINISM AS IT WAS AND IS

Speaking of smoking guns, DW works hard to exonerate his boys from the charge of Kinism, especially against my insinuations. He mentions recent overt “attacks” of his on racism. These are nothing new, he says, for he has “been fighting with kinists and their ilk since Joel McDurmon was still in short pants.”

He proceeds to link to three articles as proof, beginning with one in 2005. These articles all create a convenient, false foil of “kinism” as malicious hatred or contempt toward other ethnic groups. Against this, Doug asserts his own view: “I freely assert that honoring my father and mother brings with it a requirement to honor my people.”

Problem: that assertion is the lone universal of kinism agreed upon by all kinists as the fundamental Kinist creed. DW’s strawman definition of kinism as requiring contempt for other peoples is almost universally denounced by kinists.

Compare these attitudes:

While I am not a Kinist, (in point of fact I’ve been severely insulted by them in the past for my rejection of their doctrines) I do believe that Kinism has put its finger on a significant problem (i.e. — the death of the West & the death of the faith, culture and people who made the West the West) and that problem must be addressed with precision and nuance. It will do no good to just dismiss Kinist arguments by ad-hominem. I will go on the record as saying I do not believe that all Kinists are racists (whatever that word means) . . . . The issues that Kinism raise are tougher nuts to crack then many people believe.

Here are a few starting points. . . .

Salvation is by grace alone and people from every tribe tongue and nation will be represented in the New Jerusalem. . . .

It is possible for varying ethnic groups / races to be Christian and yet have significantly different civilizations. . . .

People groups are not to be understood solely as a genetic grouping. People groups also include belief systems. It is the interplay of nurture, nature, and belief that makes people groups, people groups. This is why the subject is so complex and difficult … you just can’t extract any of those three from the other two without involving oneself in significant error. . . .

Just as most family members prefer their family to all other families, so most people groups instinctively and rightly prefer their people group to all other people groups. Even the Apostle Paul reveals this (Romans 9:2f).

The man who wrote these words refused at that time (2010) to accept the label Kinist because it had so much negative baggage attached by its critics. He later accepted it (seeing no better alternative to him), has defended Kinism under that label ever since, and was kicked out of his denomination for it. Today, he is widely accepted as one of the main thinkers and pastors within the Kinist movement.

His name is Bret McAtee.

His expressions here are no different than DW’s. (I did edit out points that were superfluous to our discussion, but not contradictory.)

I am not sure what type of “short pants” I may have had on in 2005 (I was in seminary then), but at least they were pants. Shouldn’t someone tell the Kirk Emperor that he has no clothes on at all?

Do you think it would do any good?

This is why DW tries so hard to redefine Kinism as including hostility to other races. He must do so to differentiate his views (and Wolfe’s and Achord’s) from kinism. But there is no real distinction from what kinists actually teach, with the possible exception that DW inconsistently holds (publicly at least) that interracial marriage is not off-limits (but, by the way, so do some of them). But that is not how he chooses to distinguish his view: he harps, dishonestly, on contempt for other races allegedly expressed in the official views of these kinists. They keep admonishing him for misrepresenting them, but he persists. He has to.

This is also why DW’s CrossPolitic disciples had to fudge the kinists’ views. They unwittingly published an overtly Kinist article on A Christian Defense of Nationalism and were alerted afterward that they had promoted a Kinist author and Kinist views. They remedied this problem by adding a disclaimer that they were not kinists because they did not harbor “racial malice, pride, or vainglory.”

Kinists online were understandably miffed at being used and abused with such dishonesty.

(As an aside, I watched with a smirk as the Fight Laugh Farce guys decided to put their money where their mouth is on censorship and entertain Kinist debate. Their FB group turned into Gab in about three seconds as kinists swarmed and every thread erupted into arguments that the FLF guys were not being consistent with their presuppositions and tradition. It was so overwhelming that after about a week or two, the moderators predictably gave a stern warning that, while we do believe in not censoring, we’ve got to have some limits after all. The message was received; the debates were suppressed.)

In the end, DW has done no real “fighting” with Kinism. He only redefined things conveniently enough to fool some people.

Suppose we go back further, though, near when I was “in short pants.” How hard was DW fighting this specter of “Kinism” then?

Well, we can look back to when his friend, colleague, and co-author Steve Wilkins co-founded the League of the South in the mid-90s (I was in college, still not short pants territory, but closer). Yeah, I know that’s “old news,” Doug, but really, many of your younger disciples were probably not alive or reading at this point. They’ve never had a chance to hear it yet! Someone should tell them the old war stories.

Allegedly Steve only helped found the LOS on the promise there would be no racism. No sir-ee, none tolerated here at all! Got that, guys? No racism in our little League of Southern glory founded on Robert Dabney’s totally non-racist theology!

Over the next several years, the leader of the LOS spewed racist diatribe after racist diatribe, such that by 2003 or so, the handful of distinguished scholars who’d lent the organization some credibility denounced the leadership and left. The organization began to collapse. Without the veneer of respectability, DW and Wilkins left too. Still, with the racist PR surrounding LOS leadership and some national news (including racist-driven felonies committed by one of its leading spokesmen), the Dabneyite wonder twins had to give an accounting for their departure without blowing cover. DW wrote a letter to church members in 2004 still expressing deep admiration for the LOS, praising its work, and expressly denying that Wilkins resigned from the board due to any racism!

Somehow, the two leading worldview minds maintained active connections with the LOS, and one sat on its board, for ten years (!) while its leader expressed all kinds of racist views recorded all over their publications. Yet, DW and Wilkins never once saw any racism.

Nope, no racism here. No sir-ee! None at all.

It was also within this neoconfederate safe space that DW and Wilkins published their incomparable Southern Slavery As It Was. About the time they left the LOS was also when they got exposed for plagiarizing a huge chunk of it. Worse yet, they plagiarized a scholarly work which the author himself later retracted—but DW and Wilkins did not!

For a taste of what DW/Wilkens have not retracted:

We have all heard of the heartlessness — the brutalitites, immoralities, and cruelties — that were supposedly inherent in the system of slavery. We have heard how slave families were broken up, of the forcible rape of slave women, of the brutal beatings that were a commonplace, about the horrible living conditions, and of the unrelenting work schedule and back-breaking routine — all of which go together to form our impression of the crushing oppression which was slavery in the South. The truthfulness of this description has seldom been challenged.

The point of this small booklet is to establish that this impression is largely false.

. . .

Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.

. . .

Slavery produced in the South a genuine affection between the races that we believe we can say has never existed in any nation before the War or since.

. . .

The abolitionists maintained that slave-owning was inherently immoral under any circumstance. But in this matter, the Christians who owned slaves in the South were on firm scriptural ground

Nevertheless, at about the same time, DW pulled the book and then tried to whitewash it without actually changing his views in a different book. He has to date, never retracted the racism and pseudohistory in the first one (and this includes his non-retraction “clarification” that I discuss here).

So, about those pants. Are DW’s pants gone in a classic “emperor has no clothes” moment, or was it because of “liar, liar, pants on fire”?

My guess is both. Either way, using a confederate flag for a sarong is not a much better option, but as I can see, that’s about all he has left.

SEQUITUR AND NON-SEQUITURS

There are a couple of random fictions left to discuss. DW said I called Rod Dreher “complicit” in Achord’s racism. Well, no, except maybe very indirectly. I said that I found it hard to believe that the Sequitur school’s board of directors had no inkling of Achord’s “secret” life given that he’d published his Kinist views with a Kinist co-author openly in a large book nearly two years prior, all while being headmaster and a board member of the school. Even his friend Wolfe shared and recommended the book on social media. Yet the board had no idea of these things? For years? I don’t believe that. But since Rod Dreher is not on that board, this critique does not touch him.

Where I did address Dreher more directly, I said that his fluency in the CREC and the Classical Christian School movements at large is sufficient for him to know that that world is filled with racists, neoconfederates, antisemites, and kinists of all degrees. His expression of utter shock at the Achord revelations is not very believable.

DW further represents me as complaining of the “intolerable whiteness of the people” in the school’s brochures and that this “indicates that Rod Dreher was as much in bed with Achord as Wolfe was.”

I said nothing about intolerable whiteness. This rhetorical tactic is common among kinists, though: when you mention diversity, they paint you as hating white people. (This is how pagan tribal thinking works: when members of the klan don’t fall in line with prescribed klanthink, they are exiled as an enemy of the klan. DW exhibits this behavior perfectly. It’s part of how cults operate, too.)

I did, however, highlight the fact that the school’s website presents idealized pictures of only (i.e., exclusively — note: read that again DW) white people, while the school sits in a city that is only about a third white demographically. Baton Rouge is 54 percent black. From such a “brochure” alone, inquiring parents can see that “our schools are different,” indeed!

I also noted Sequitur highlights the same type of coded language all white separationists and supremacists use to advertise who they are while under the radar.

One very common and effective way of doing this in these circles is to speak like this:

By “preserving” our Western “heritage” we mean obeying the commandment to honor our fathers and mothers on a cultural and historical scale. Honoring and preserving our heritage is little different than honoring our own mothers and carrying them when they are old, like Aeneas did to his father. A healthy love for heritage should not create animosity toward others, just as loving your own mother best of all doesn’t require you to hate other people’s mothers.

The writer slipped up here a little bit by being just a tad bit defensive. Why do you think they needed to add that last sentence? Nothing they said before even implied that their view would entail animosity or hating other people’s mothers. Odd, eh?

It’s not odd when you realize the backdrop is that “heritage” in such settings often means the same thing as it did for the Lost Cause: white heritage. For already white families, honoring your father and mother signals that white parents make white babies. “Honoring” by “preserving” means “make sure it stays white.” Honoring them on a “cultural and historical” scale means honoring white history perspectives and white “culture.” Loving your mother more than others means loving whites more than others.

If you had all that in your psyche while writing such copy, you, too, may be tempted to add, “But that doesn’t mean we hate the others.”

By the way, note the similarity to views of both DW and the kinists discussed already. “Preferring our own people doesn’t mean we hate others” is a universal Kinist creed.

Such code is real. I know a guy who, even though he admitted he had no effective biblical argument against interracial marriage, and didn’t want to offend me at the time, nevertheless confessed point blank, “I wouldn’t want my daughter marrying a black guy.” But he never speaks that way in public. Instead, as he showed me, they speak in code of growing “covenant community” against the background assumption of already white families and paedobaptism. In other words, marry whites, have white babies, and grow the church by baptizing your white babies so the church and community stay white. Of course, you can see how, being accused of such a thing, he could easily deny it. “Salvation is by grace, not skin color, and people of all races can join the church!”

Indeed, remember that racialism-spewing LOS leader-friend of DW and Wilkins? Despite his open plans and promises of white domination in his imagined Christian civilization, that guy’s “brochure” read like this:

The League of the South is a Southern nationalist organization. It believes in preserving Southern heritage and culture, believes in states’ rights, believes in Southern independence.

No racism here! No sir-ee!

Indeed, the LOS Kinism sounds just like all the rest we’ve heard:

Each time the League leadership addresses itself to the issue of race, the policy we advance must be free of hatred and malice. This has been our position from the start. [see link, p. 161]

But then racism is in the details:

This does not mean, however, that . . . white Southerners should give control over their civilisation and its institutions to another race, whether it be native blacks or Hispanic immigrants. . . .

And,

[T]he present-day South is the remnant of a nation built on the realities of place and kin that we must revitalise to the best of our abilities. At its core is a European population, especially Anglo-Celts, that must be preserved as the dominant majority. [p. 159; my emphasis]

(Note: that last statement is not only pure racist kinism, but it was also published in the LOS’s magazine in 1996, when Steve Wilkins sat right smack in the middle of the Board. He remained on that board for eight more years. DW never made a peep. No racism here!)

Perhaps they don’t think it’s racism as long as they claim to do it without “hatred and malice.” Do just speaking those words change the hatred and malice of racist realities?

I think they realize their views are racist, so they use the code language: “Let us in the League, then, confidently defend our ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage.”

Did I mention this LOS leader/author frequented Wilkins’s church? DW never made a peep.

DW didn’t like me alerting people to such code language. So, he accused me of smearing Dreher. His logic is impeccable:

McDurmon said there are white people in the brochure,

Therefore, McDurmon indicates that Dreher was as much in bed with Achord as Wolfe was!

Mind. Blown.

Do they teach such non-sequiturs at Sequitur, or do we have to go to New Saint Andrews to learn that?

Does my noting a type of code language indicate Dreher is as much in bed with Achord as Wolfe is? Aside from DWs passing admission that Wolfe is indeed in bed with Achord in all this, DW again misses the mark. I think Dreher is at best negligent if his alarm at finding racism in that community is honest. Perhaps he has been naïve all along? I admit that is possible, having been naïve to many things in that world myself for a long time. But as in bed as Wolfe is? That is as far from clear as the notion that I “indicated” any such thing.

A FEW RANDOM CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Kinists routinely say that they just want to return to old conservatism, what they think is Christianity of old: a world in which racial separatism is freely accepted and unimpeded even by social pressure, but of course without racial animosity, supremacy, or inferiority.

DW can’t really distinguish his views from this kinism, so he claims kinism is something that requires racial animosity. Card-carrying kinists deny this.

Either way, the teaching that kinists themselves say is actual kinism finds clear expression in DW, as well as Wolfe. It hardly needs to be as overt and hateful as Achord’s posts, but the DW/Kinist variety always seems to create space for the Achord types, who just always seem to emerge from that space when their more explicit statements are outed.

Still, let’s presuppose the type of Christian Nationalism that DW and Kinism both say they want — a familial and klan-centric society freely self-separated by ethnic and racial preferencing, people sticking with “my people” over others, but not officially expressing malice or hate.

Well, congratulations, Doug. You just arrived at Plessy v. Ferguson — separate but equal! Listen to the classic American paleoconservatism of 1896:

The object of the [14th] amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but, in the nature of things, it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political, equality, or a commingling of the two races. . . .

Laws permitting, and even requiring, their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other, and have been generally, if not universally, recognized as within the competency of the state legislatures in the exercise of their police power. . . .

We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 544, 551 (1896).

Granted, DW is not proposing state laws for “separate but equal” public services, but if the authors of Southern Slavery As It Was get their way on states’ rights, could we really prevent it?

We already hear from all of them that social inequality is natural, preference of their own race is natural and desirable, and upholding that view does not mean they find others inferior. If blacks feel white separationism is a statement of black inferiority, then that’s clearly a problem of the blacks’ imagination! Blacks’ feeling of rejection from being excluded is their own problem!

My great sin in all of this has been to maintain, in my books and articles opposing all these guys, that we ought to be proactive in advancing social equality as well. There must be conscious and concerted efforts at being a bridge and healing those divides. I want to do this to my ability in the area of criminal justice and criminal justice reform. I also do it by writing and speaking. But most of all, I have to start by building relationships in humility, listening, and learning. That requires humility and selflessness.

I have a tremendous amount to learn in all those areas. But I don’t quit, and won’t quit working for progress. I encourage you to do so, too.

I encourage all young men and women to liberate yourself from any would-be thought leader, gluttoned on their delusions of grandeur and sense of self-importance at the center of some imagined reformation, who would hold you back from investigating the full truth of such matters as racism, the Lost Cause myth, women’s rights, equality, a career, and any other disapproved education in which you may be interested. Rebel against their self-professed authority on such matters. Tell them to take a hike, you’ll follow what you want to read beyond your primary studies.

There are, of course, costs to standing up to their shaming and threats. Some costs are social shunning or may even be physical. That is awful to say, but true. I have found there are long-term rewards that outweigh the immediate costs. Don’t be bullied, especially by paleoconservative bullies who claim to be protecting you from bullies.

—<Quote ends>—

Who Gave Caesar Power Over Marriage?

The Protestants did, via their “Two Kingdom” philosophy in Europe.

A most unbiblical belief system – there is only One King Over All – but it was politically convenient, and pleased the Nobility that the Protestant leadership depended on for their physical safety from Rome.

This longing for the protection of Powerful Men in Europe was supplemented by the racism of Americans – including numerous American Christians – in undercutting the authority of the churches in regard to marriage.

As for Christ and His Kingdom – over both Church and State institutions, and everything else?

“That’s not the point. The point is to Please Powerful Men, the Source of our Safety… and, soon enough, the Source of the Law as well.”

One kingdom, the Institutional Church will forever shrink.
The other kingdom, the State, will forever grow.

Until the Great King breaks the back of the traitors within the camp. And then, afterwards, flicks away the enemies outside of the camp from their fragile positions of power.

To start, let’s look at the Mises article How the State Seized Control of Marriage by Ryan McMaken

—<Quote begins>—

Both the US Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to pass new same-sex marriage legislation in coming days. The legislation is expected to codify what is already de facto law in the US under the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obgerfell v. Hodges. The legislation further solidities federal law stating that states are required to recognize same-sex marriages that are legal in other U.S. member states. The legislation also ensures that same-sex spouses will continue to be eligible for federal benefits through programs like Medicare and Social Security. The legislation does not mandate that each state government establish its own provisions for same-sex unions, however.

In the year 2021, there’s not really anything remarkable about this in the minds of most people. To most modern thinking, marriage is just yet another thing that is to be regulated and modified according to the whims of a civil government’s lawmakers and judges. Even among those who think there ought not be any federal role in marriage legislation, very few dispute that the governments of the member states themselves—or foreign national governments, for that matter—can rightfully exercise immense legislative authority over the regulation of marriage. The only disagreement is often over how government officials ought to regulate marriage, and to what ends. 

“Historically, the Government Was Very Uninvolved in Marriage.”

The only dissenters to this consensus appear to be some libertarians like Ron Paul. For example, in 2012, Paul told a rally audience “I’d like to see all governments out of the marriage question. I don’t think it’s a state decision. I think it’s a religious function.” These comments followed earlier comments from Paul contending that “Biblically and historically, the government was very uninvolved in marriage.”

Paul is right in saying that marriage historically had (often) been a matter for religious authorities instead of agents of the civil governments. Yet, given the rise of the modern sovereign state, which is currently the ultimate legal authority on virtually all matters, it has become difficult to even imagine the particulars of the historical reality to which Paul refers.

Nonetheless, state regulation of marriage—and the ensuing secularization of marriage that followed—is a historical development that was part of the larger trend toward the expansion and consolidation of state power that began in the late Middle Ages. It was during this period that states gradually came to exercise monopolistic authority over all of society’s institutions including the towns, the nobility, and even the monarchies themselves. Also brought under the state’s power were the churches and state control of marriage was an important component of this. State control of marriage, that we now consider to be so normal, was simply one aspect of the state building that set the stage for our modern era of nearly untrammeled state power.

Privatized Marriage in the Middle Ages

Because marriages can have such far-reaching effects even for those not directly involved, government officials as well as family members of the betrothed have long sought ways to exercise power over who gets married to whom. The desire to exercise this sort of control can be seen in the negative reaction to changes in the Catholic Church confirmed by Pope Alexander III.  In the late twelfth century, Pope Alexander clarified that marriages did not require the approval of government officials—or even church officials—to be valid and legally binding. Rather, a valid marriage required only the consent of both the husband and wife. No other parties possessed a veto. 

This necessarily reduced the power of both parents and local government officials in regulating marriage. For example, even in a case in which certain parents were insisting that their son marry a pre-selected woman of the parents’ liking, the son could do an end run around the parents by simply marrying someone else without their permission. For those who felt outside pressure to be especially overwhelming, a couple seeking marriage could pursue a “clandestine marriage” potentially conducted entirely without the parents’ knowledge and without outside sanctioning or church solemnization at all. These secret unions might incur a temporary ecclesiastical sanction, but this did not invalidate the marriage, and there was nothing the parents or government officials could do to invalidate the union. (Notably, the consent model also limited the church‘s ability to veto proposed unions or otherwise directly control the formation of marriages.)

This “consent model” of marriage was not exactly acclaimed by Christendom’s parents and government officials. After all, Alexander’s efforts to make marriage requirements more uniform and accessible interfered with officials and family organizations that had long exercised considerable control over marriage at the local level. Customs varied considerably from place to place, but now the Pope was telling everyone that couples could marry without the consent of others so long as they conformed to a short list of prohibitions designed to avoid incest, polygamy, and other conditions believed to be prohibited by divine law.  According to Andrew Finch, in Pope Alexander’s view:

Marriages of love were to be promoted at the expense of those of economic convenience or feudal necessity and the church was made to stand as guardian for individual freedom in this area. This was, however, a vision very much at odds with existing notions of parental and feudal authority.1 

What resulted was an essentially private system in which marriages could be contracted among individuals with a presumption of validity. Outside adjudication only became necessary when there were disputes over whether or not a marriage was valid or if one of the parties was accused of somehow violating the agreement. This arbitration was done through private, international ecclesiastical courts staffed by church personnel and through which a plaintiff or defendant could appeal to a transnational Pope. This system of law was outside the control of the civil governments courts which were staffed by a temporal king’s appointees and allies.

This private adjudication of privately contracted marriages became common as access to ecclesiastical courts became more widespread in the thirteenth century. By the end of the century, they were present in nearly every diocese. Records of lawsuits over the validity and exercise of marriage contracts piled up in many church courts over the following centuries. Finch concludes these records “reveal an institution that was much more a center for dispute resolution than family-inspired repression,” and the effect was to further diminish interference from the civil law courts in matters of marriage formation.2

Of course, the king’s law courts were still very much involved in what Saskia Lettmaier calls the “mundane legal consequences of marriage, in particular the property and inheritance rights arising from it.”3 Such matters, after all were essentially about property and contractual agreements determining ownership. However, “all matters that essentially concerned the existence of the marriage bond, such as formation, impediments, and dissolution were, legislatively and jurisdictionally, within the exclusive competence of the Catholic Church.” [emphasis added]4

A Separation of Church Law and State Law

This placed oversight of marriage formation and dissolution within the purview of a rival institution separate from temporal princes and officials, and as such provided an additional check on burgeoning state power as the Middle Ages came to a close. This began to change again during the early modern period, however, as monarchs increasingly asserted their own power over the Church. Moreover, this process was accelerated by the Protestant Reformation.

As early as the fifteenth century, western Europe’s monarchs had fought hard to increase taxation on the church and these regimes found they could further limit church influence in their kingdom by prohibiting the appointment of foreigners to ecclesiastical positions. The result was that such offices ended up being filled by personnel with greater personal affinity for local princes instead of to an independent church. During this period, the making and execution of wills was handed over from church officials to civil governments. Moreover, penalties handed down by ecclesiastical courts increasingly required the cooperation of civil officials to be carried out. Some institutions that were ostensibly thought to be church operations became wholly controlled by the monarch, and as Ven Creveld notes, “indeed it has been said that no institution was so completely under royal control as the Spanish Inquisition.”5 

With the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century came rapid moves toward state control of marriage. While much of the fight over church prerogatives had been mere matters of power politics, the Protestant reformers provided supercharged ideological and theological fuel to claims that marriage must be removed from the control of the Pope.

Replacing the Church with the State

In contrast to the Alexander’s individualist notions behind the consent doctrine, “Luther called for [marriage] formation to be a public act, requiring the consent of father, mother, or those standing in loco parentis.”6 This was met with approval in Germany where “the requirement of parental consent was almost uniformly accepted in [the] sixteenth century.”7 But of course, the Reformers’ more philosophical objections against the Catholic hierarchy met with success in other areas as well, and ultimately “the Reformation unequivocally made the temporal ruler, rather than the pope, the ultimate locus of jurisdictional and legislative authority over marriage.”8

This, however, created a need for state-controlled legal institutions to replace the now-abandoned church courts under regimes that embraced the Reformation. Lettmaier continues: “Luther’s … wholesale rejection of the canon law … led to a legal vacuum, which made the creation of a new court system and a new law of marriage a matter of urgency.”9 Eventually, state rulers settled on “the establishment of consistories; that is, special courts for matrimonial and other ecclesiastical causes that were part of the state judicial system.”10

A similar move toward replacing church courts with state courts occurred in England, but without the radical changes in theology. The English reformation, of course, was marked less by doctrinal change than by political efforts to simply replace the Pope with the English king as the head of the Church. Thus, the ideology of marriage changed little, except to ensure that the monarch retained freedom to act as he wished.  The end result was akin to the German situation in that formerly ecclesiastical institutions were now fundamentally under the control of state institutions.

The Secularization of Marriage

In the twenty-first century, marriage is now firmly under the control of state institutions in nearly all jurisdictions. This in itself, however, is insufficient to secularize marriage in the sense that it becomes defined and modified according to secular concerns rather than religious ones. It is theoretically possible, of course, to have state control of marriage while also regulating marriage in line with the sensibilities of a specific religion. 

This appears to have been the case in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In neither England nor the German Protestant states did the assertion of state control over marriage immediately lead to the secularization of marriage in which marriage ceased to be seen as a religious institution. Both Protestants and Catholics viewed themselves as the protectors of marriage as a religious and spiritual institutions. In both cases, ideals of marriage remained closely tied to what both sides viewed as holy scripture—albeit with widely differing interpretations. This remained the case even in absolutist and regalist Catholic countries which by the seventeenth century had begun to insist the monarch must have the final say even over religious matters. Thus, the changes that did occur to church law were primarily institutional in nature, changing the nature of authority without changing the religious foundations of marriage.

Secularization did finally occur in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the advent of the so-called Enlightenment. Government elites—especially on the German-speaking Continent—began to abandon Christian ideals altogether and insisted that law be based only on “reason.” Lettmaier concludes “[t]his basically eliminated all supra-positive guidelines for (and binding limits on) human marriage legislation.”11 This gave state rulers even more freedom to fashion marriage in a way most convenient to them. Secularization of marriage laws finally became widespread in the nineteenth century and marriage policy from then on became whatever policy was viewed as politically prudent, utilitarian, or expedient. 

Today, the nature of marriage has been so divorced from its private religious aspects as to be thoroughly malleable in accordance with purely secular legal, political, and legislative considerations.  The catalyst for all of this, however, remains with the revolutionary institutional changes that changed marriage from a matter of private agreements within a religious institution into a “public” matter defined and regulated by an increasingly powerful state. 

  • 1.Andrew J. Finch, “Parental Authority and the Problem of Clandestine Marriage in the Later middle Ages,” Law and History Review 8, No. 2 (Autumn 1990): 190.
  • 2.Ibid., p. 199.
  • 3.Saskia Lettmaier, “Marriage Law and the Reformation,” Law and History Review 35, No. 2 (May 2017): 463.
  • 4.Ibid.
  • 5.Martin Van Creveld, The Rise and Decline of the State, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999) p. 67.
  • 6.Lettmaier, “Law and the Reformation,” p. 484.
  • 7.Ibid.
  • 8.Ibid., p. 501.
  • 9.Ibid., p. 477.
  • 10.Ibid., p. 478.
  • 11.Ibid., p. 509.

—<Quote ends>—

Then, onto an earlier article, The Racist Origins of Government Marriage in America also by Ryan McMaken

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A reader sends along this link, and notes:

Marriage licenses came about in the late 19th century to prevent mixed-race marriages. That should be appalling to anyone, and is in my opinion the strongest argument to privatize marriage.

The linked article makes many points similar to those I made in my article from Friday. And it notes that:

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, but until the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later part of that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-law marriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.

By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos.

At the heart of it all, predictably, is the urge to control the lives of others. White people might marry black people! Horror of horrors. Therefore, the state must get involved. No doubt these arguments in favor of more government meddling were made with an overlying patina of “freedom.” Just as the modern anti-immigration crowd today argues that we must destroy freedom in order to save it, the old racist proponents of government marriage likely argued that we must abolish freedom in marriage or the “Negro agitatuhs” and their dusky-skinned allies will destroy freedom. Conservative “logic” at its best.

—<Quote ends>—

And finally, a nice strong dose of day-to-day reality from Who Has Denigrated Marriage? by Laurence M. Vance

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Conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians are not going to like what I am going to say. And neither are most ordinary conservatives. But that has never stopped me before.

The recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges was inevitable:

The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.

It was inevitable because exactly two years before, the Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Windsor, by the same 5-4 majority, overturned section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and extended federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.Laurence M. VanceBest Price: $15.25Buy New $16.50(as of 09:10 UTC – Details)

It was inevitable because same-sex marriage was already legal in an overwhelming majority of the states. Beginning with Massachusetts in 2004, thirty-five states and the District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage state wide via legislative statutes, ballot initiatives, state court decisions, or federal court decisions before Obergefell v. Hodges. Same-sex marriage was also legal in parts of three other states and pending in six other states.

It was inevitable because the tide of public opinion regarding same-sex marriage has shifted. In a number of polls taken over the past five years, support for same-sex marriage has consistently been growing. Clearly, it is not members of evangelical churches who are being polled. But neither is it just members of San Francisco gay bathhouses who are being polled. I do think, however, that if the poll question asked about “marriage redefinition” instead of “marriage equality” that fewer people would express support for same-sex marriage.

This doesn’t mean that I agree with the decision or deem it to be the right decision. I think neither.

The case of Obergefell v. Hodges (and the cases it was consolidated with) should have never made it to the Supreme Court. The case (and the cases it was consolidated with) should never have made it to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case (and the others like it) should have never made it the Federal District Courts. No cases like this should have ever made it to state courts. No legislation regarding same-sex marriage should have ever been passed. No ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage should have ever been voted on. Why? Because no government at any level should have anything to do with marriage in the first place—traditional, same-sex, or otherwise. No one should have to get a license from the government to get married any more than he should have to get a license from the government to cut hair or a permit from the government to have a garage sale.

But, as I wrote in “Is There a Libertarian Position on Same-Sex Marriage?” back in 2012: “Even governments at all levels getting out of the marriage business – like they should – still wouldn’t make a same-sex marriage a marriage.” For as I also said: “Marriage predates the nation-state, the community, society, states and counties, cities and towns, governmental bodies of any kind, and even the church. If words and 6,000 years of human historyLaurence M. VanceBest Price: $5.24Buy New $9.79(as of 09:10 UTC – Details) mean anything, then there can be no denying the fact that marriage means only marriage in the traditional sense.” And as Matthew recorded from the lips of Jesus: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew19:4-6).

The future results of the Obergefell v. Hodges case are potentially more troubling than the decision itself:

  • Will a woman who gives up her child for adoption be able to refuse to give the child to a same-sex couple?
  • Will a minister who opposes same-sex marriage be charged with a crime if he refuses to marry a same-sex couple?
  • Will children raised by same-sex couples have “issues” throughout their life because of it?
  • Will the legalization of marriages between three or more people, between relatives, and between men and animals be next?
  • Will the government institute de facto employment quotas for members of the LGBT community via anti-discrimination laws?
  • Will the Supreme Court discover other dubious “rights” next to the constitutional rights to abortion and same-sex marriage?

Now we have come to the point in the article where Christians and conservatives are not going to like what I am going to say.

Back in 2013, in the midst of his campaign for governor of Illinois, Republican state senator Kirk Dillard addressed a crowd of traditional marriage supporters at a rally at the state capitol:Laurence M. VanceBest Price: $8.95Buy New $9.95(as of 09:10 UTC – Details)

I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to speak to this amazing crowd this morning about marriage, and why, I, as governor of this state, will veto the bill that attempts to legalize same sex marriage.

He then said that Senate Bill 10, the same-sex marriage bill that was then pending in the Illinois House of Representatives, “would denigrate marriage as we know it in this state.” The bill was passed by the Illinois General Assembly but Senator Dillard was not elected governor of Illinois. He resigned in August of 2014 to be the chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority.

In addition to opponents of same-sex marriage saying that the practice will “denigrate marriage,” they have also said things like:

  • Same-sex marriage threatens traditional marriage.
  • Same-sex marriage undermines the institution of marriage.
  • Same-sex marriage further isolates marriage from its procreative purpose.
  • Same-sex marriage destabilizes the norm that adults should sacrifice to get and stay married for the sake of their children.
  • Same-sex marriage institutionalizes the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father.
  • Same-sex marriage will fundamentally alter the institution for the worse.

But it is not just homosexual participants in same-sex marriage who have “denigrated” marriage. It is heterosexual proponents of traditional marriage as well, including many who profess to be Christians.

I told you that Christians and conservatives were not going to like what I am going to say.

  1. Heterosexual couples who live together before marriage denigrate marriage.Laurence M. VanceBest Price: $19.84Buy New $29.95(as of 08:35 UTC – Details)
  2. Heterosexual couples in long-term relationships who enjoy the sexual benefits of marriage denigrate marriage.
  3. Heterosexual couples who cohabitate denigrate marriage.
  4. Heterosexual couples who engage in casual sexual encounters denigrate marriage.
  5. Heterosexual couples who have “open marriages” denigrate marriage.
  6. Heterosexual couples who are married and commit adultery denigrate marriage.
  7. Heterosexual couples who have children born out of wedlock denigrate marriage.
  8. Heterosexual couples who abort their unwanted children denigrate marriage.
  9. Heterosexual couples who are married but separated denigrate marriage.
  10. Heterosexual couples who promise to love and cherish till death do us part and then get divorced denigrate marriage.

Perhaps the worst offenders are Republican politicians who preach family values and then have affairs, go through divorces, or get caught with their pants down. They denigrate marriage far more than same-sex couples who want the state to sanction their “marriage.”

—<Quote ends>—

Christians – the Body of Christ – hold the keys to heaven and earth. What they say and do has effects across heaven and earth.

When we decide to repent and uphold the Law, in our own lives and our own communities, then that will shape the world more than any ruling from any Supreme Court.

And if we decide not to repent? We remain in our filth, with our chains, before Our Betters.

Just as we are today.

Additional interesting articles regarding Marriage and Race can be found on Lewrockwell.com

Regarding the Reformers and their capitulation before the European Nobility, see McDurmon, Blaming Moses: Rejections of Mosaic Civil Law During the Early Reformation . On the poisionous Two Kingdoms theology, see McDurmon, Inglorious Kingdoms: Saving the Public Square from the Tyrannies of Bad Theology.

Anti-Twitter and the Dark Money Network

Hit the bad guys, and the bad guys will hit back.

Even so, things change.

Despite the desires of Our Betters.

The reality and the laws God made find ways to manifest themselves.

Slowly, with setbacks, but relentlessly.

And, often enough, in unpredictable ways.

A quote from Dark money network’s anti-Twitter censorship campaign coalesces behind App Store attack vector: Will they succeed? by Jordan Schachtel

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In the month since Elon Musk took the reins of Twitter, more than half of the company’s biggest advertisers have suspended ads on the platform. They’ve been driven into action through a relentless dark money political operation funded by some of the wealthiest individuals and organizations on the planet. Countless American and multinational corporations have bent the knee to accommodate this dark money political ruling class cancel campaign.

Under the guise of demanding a “safer” platform, the forces for technocratic tyranny and political censorship have, through their billionaire donor network, succeeded in chipping away at Twitter’s most potent revenue stream.

The Dossier has already reported on the origins of the campaign and its backers. We identified Arabella Advisors, a dark money progressive advocacy group funded through sister entities by the likes of Bill Gates, the Soros empire, and a far-left Swiss billionaire, as the network behind the anti-Twitter cancel and censorship campaigns.

Given the success of their ongoing advertiser boycott campaign, these same operatives have set their sights on a new mission: removing Twitter from the invaluable Apple and Google App Stores.

[…]

—<Quote ends>—

Powers and principalities, struggling over politics as the flood — the bankruptcy of the welfare states — slowly swishes around.

Building strength, as it has for decades.

It’s that bankruptcy you should prepare yourself and your people for.

In the meantime, consider this: why are there always hundreds of billionaires willing to stand for evil, and none that stand for God?

  • Partly: yes, God’s people love to run away from fights.
  • Partly: yes, the clergy prefers to go along to get along, and are careful to never rock the boat by challenging Caesar.
  • Partly: yes, most Christians are escapists, who do not believe that Christ is King over this world today, and do not believe that Satan will lose. They simply do not believe Jesus when He says that the meek (…before God…)1 will inherit the earth.

But perhaps there is more to it than that.

I suggest that God is delighted to act if, say, His people publicly pronounce imprecatory prayers against the wicked men in church… but has zero interest in moving His Spirit, His Hand, because some billionaire waves a fistful of dollars in front of His altar.

God loves to show His power working on behalf of the weak, the poor, the stranger. And we, in our finite and limited way, should move as He does.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
-- First Corinthians 1:26-31, English Standard Version

This does not mean that it was wrong for Elon Musk to buy Twitter. Maybe it was the right thing to do, maybe not. It’s not my decision to make.

A better lesson is that the People of God should not look to wealthy men to save them, no more than they should look to politicians or clergymen for rescue.

We must look to God, and get to work with our own two hands, guided by His Holy Spirit.


1 Obviously, Jesus in Matthew 5:5 is referring to those who are meek before God (as Moses was: Numbers 12:3), not those who are meek before powerful men, placing their desires above the God of Abraham.

People who place the will of powerful men above the commands of the Son of God can fry with the god, the lord, the Ba’al they have chosen.

Choose your Source of the Law wisely.

Evolutionary Pump-n-Dump

The Tiktaalik fiasco – pumping a fossil as the in-your-face Darwinian transition in 2009, to have it blow apart in 2010 because of the discovery of an earlier fully-formed Tetrapod – outlines how much Our Betters rely on hype, emotion, and propaganda to keep their control.

The Darwinians have only grown weaker since then. Habit, institutional incentives, government/media/academic bias, and government funding keeps them on top, not logic and evidence.

They are the past. We need to build the future.

Non-Crimes

Progressives, statists, secularists, etc. love their ever-expanding list of criminalizing non-crimes.

(Preferably, while yelling about those Christians and their concepts on justice. Concepts that are evil, as defined by Progressives, statists, secularists, etc.)

Christians serve a God who cares about the Law and Public Justice. So, we will need to fix this nonsense.

(Because the secularists never will, not left-wing nor right-wing.)

It helps when you don’t see the State as the all-powerful messiah.

From Money Laundering: Another Noncrime Pursued by Criminal Authorities by Lipton Matthews

—<Quote begins>—

Money laundering is the process of concealing the source of funds derived from illicit activities to present a veneer of legitimacy. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, yearly money laundering flows account for 2.7 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, countries are investing in anti–money laundering regulations to strip criminals of opportunities to profit from illegal activities. Some respond that anti–money laundering regulations make it easier for officials to trail the spoils of crime and prosecute offenders.

But are such regulations effective at curbing the flow of illicit transactions? Governments might think so, but research says otherwise. As pointed out by economist Aaron Klein, American financial institutions incur $50 billion annually in anti–money laundering compliance costs, even though they nab less than 1 percent of the reported $2 trillion that financial crimes generate. Financial corporations are also saddled with requirements that mandate close monitoring of clients’ accounts and reporting of mundane activities that suggest illegality like wire transfers.

Anti-money laundering regulations have diverted banks from their core activities to policing their clients to uncover criminal activities. For instance, in 2014 HSBC informed the financial world that it spends $750 million to $800 million annually to combat money laundering. Banks are forking out hefty sums to prevent money laundering, and yet they are barely able to clamp down on unscrupulous actors.

A review by Reuters shows that despite billions in industry investment, more than 95 percent of system-generated alerts are written off as “false positives” in the first phase of review, whereas 98 percent of alerts never result in a suspicious activity report. As such, anti–money laundering controls are failing to deter terrorists, cartels, and rogue states from exploiting the benefits of criminal enterprises. Proponents of anti–money laundering laws contend that banks require sophisticated technology to identify criminal activity; however, they are missing the point.

Upgrading technology to track criminal activity is not only costly, but it should not be the duty of banks. Evidence compiled by Lanier Saperstein and colleagues argues that anti–money laundering laws are defective at curtailing money laundering and impose a cost on consumers in poor countries. Due to political pressure, major banks in America and the United Kingdom abandoned wire transfers to Somalia to prevent the financing of terrorist groups.

But, as Saperstein and coauthors show, such policies led to a humanitarian tragedy:

Many families in Somalia depend upon relatives working abroad to send money home in order to pay for food and medicine. Somalis living in the United States now hire third-party agents to physically carry the money on suitcases on flights to Somalia. The money still flowing to Somalia has thus become unregulated, untraceable, and more expensive for Somalians living hand to mouth … it is also riskier for money laundering than if banks had continued to provide wire transfer services.

Fears stemming from managing money linked to drug trafficking have even led American banks to close branches along the Mexican border. The obsession with money laundering is making banks more responsive to enforcing regulations and less receptive to catering to customers. One survey indicates that high compliance costs have forced banks to limit services and raise fees, thereby reducing consumer welfare.

Besides limiting services available to consumers, anti–money laundering regulations make it difficult for consumers to do business. Research gathered by the World Bank posits that anti–money laundering regulations require poor customers to present documentation that they often lack. For example, self-employed people could be required to provide proof of income, and this is burdensome for those whose services are not formalized.

Even more alarming is that customers are burdened with the task of explaining the source of funds when the origin is stated on customers’ accounts. Bank officials will observe that a customer was paid $2,000 by an organization and still ask him to identify the source of funding, and in a worst-case scenario, he could be barred from accessing the funds. This writer has had such experiences. Lawyers and accountants also lose valuable time because anti–money laundering regulations compel them to attend costly training seminars to be in compliance with regulations.

Few people engage in illicit activities like terrorism and fraud, yet the costs of anti–money laundering rules are diffused throughout the economy. In America alone, complying with anti–money laundering rules is costing the economy $8 billion a year.

A better alternative to combat fraud and other illicit activities would be for companies to innovate in technology at their expense, whereas the state should focus on prosecution. The truth is that people will always partake in unscrupulous activities and although such activities can be minimized, they cannot be completely eradicated. In short, aiming to do so by viciously pursuing intrusive anti–money laundering regulations will only make businesses and consumers worse off.

Author:

Contact Lipton Matthews

Lipton Matthews is a researcher, business analyst, and contributor to Merion WestThe FederalistAmerican Thinker, Intellectual Takeout, mises.org, and Imaginative Conservative. Visit his YouTube channel, with numerous interviews with a variety of scholars, here. He may be contacted at lo_matthews@yahoo.com or on Twitter (@matthewslipton).

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Smart People

Smart people of 2022 are different than smart people of 1992.

Never mind 1942.

Much of this is the tools that are available. I am unsure how much of it is culture.

Certainly, what fascinates them has shifted over the decades.

But the cream will indeed rise to the top, then and now.

Deutsche James
So knowledgeable. The amount of work put into this; the research, videography, edits. It’s all amazing

The nature of geekdom has also been changing.

Progressive Power, Progressive Corruption

There is no need to be even-handed here.

Progressives have owned the country — and Western Civilization — since at least Theodore Roosevelt (and more obviously since Franklin Delano Roosevelt): THEY are the Party of Power.1

With Republicans occasionally warming the seat, keeping things the same until the Progressives decide on a glorious new initiative to centralize more power into their hands.

The corporations naturally play court to Power. Always.

So do the media. And academia.

And this will be the way it will always be. Forever and forever and forever and forever…

Until God decides otherwise.

Typically, without a lick of help from even the fearful and faithless common believer in the pew, never mind the carefully, studiously irrelevant men at the pulpit (that the pew-warmers put there, by the way.)

Losers will lose.

Officially, because they fear Men more than God. But really, because they quietly hate God, His Law, His Authority… with a greater, more venomous hatred than any atheist could ever dream of.

Jesus never concerned Himself with the philosophers of Athens. It was the pious religious leaders and commoners of Jerusalem and the Temple who screamed “Crucify Him!”

Internal enemies do more damage than external enemies.

But God plans to win.

And win He will.

Over both the passive enemies in the camp, and the obvious enemies outside of the camp.

From As Easy Money Crashes, the Political and Legal Effects Appear by William L. Anderson

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In his recent article targeting the collapse of the FTX exchange, Ryan McMaken noted that the easy money regime we have lived under for more than two decades has led to yet another bubble with a spectacular crash. Enron and WorldCom blew up in the wake of the first bubble; Lehman Brothers and other investment banks and Wall Street firms went down in the 2008 collapse of the infamous housing bubble. The third iteration of the great bubble economy not only gives us a housing crash, but throws in Silicon Valley and the troubles of the social media giants to boot.

Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter, the company already adept at losing money, is turning out to be a financial loss. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Tesla, the company that made Musk famous, is also in a financial tailspin. Amazon already is laying off employees and Silicon Valley’s hiring boom has turned into a firing boom as firms seek to pare down staffs to people who actually contribute something to operations.

Equities, which not long ago were the only game in town, given interest rate suppression, now are officially in bear market territory, and many of us who had at least some money in equities are looking at losses, some substantial. Moreover, because securities that pay interest still have not caught up with inflation, no matter where we put our money, losses in real terms are almost a guarantee. White House claims of a great economy notwithstanding, the near future, if not grim, certainly is uncertain.

The reverberations will not just be felt by businesses, but also by the politicians that received vast amounts of campaign cash from Silicon Valley companies and employees, with Democrats being the big winners, raking in 98 percent of political tech money and personal contributions from billionaire CEOs. In this year’s Georgia US Senate race, Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock received substantially more money from California donors (including Silicon Valley and Hollywood) than he received from contributors in his own state.

Indeed, the easy money regime has been quite good not only for the tech and social media firms, but also for the Democratic Party. Before the FTX exchange blew up, Sam Bankman-Fried, the supposed genius that created it, gave Democrats nearly $40 million for the 2022 elections, putting him second only to George Soros in money sent to Democrats. Because financially the next two years (at least) do not look good for the tech-internet-crypto sector, one doubts that the Democratic Party is going to experience the financial windfall it received not only from California-based firms but from many other US corporations and Wall Street companies again any time soon.

These developments might have a significant effect on the 2024 elections, as Democratic candidates will not be as able to outspend and overwhelm their Republican opponents as has been the case ever since the Barack Obama years. But there is another factor that will be significant, and that is the possibility of criminal charges being brought against people—like Bankman-Fried—whose firms have collapsed spectacularly, evaporating billions of dollars in the process.

The George W. Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) won convictions against WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers in 2005 and Enron leaders Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling the next year. Like in so many other federal cases, the actual charges fell into the murky categories of “fraud” and “conspiracy,” which jurors tend to convict under because they believe that “something happened,” as opposed to there being clear, direct violations of federal criminal law.

For example, both Lay and Skilling sold some of their Enron stock before the price collapsed, but they also purchased Enron stock later. Prosecutors (and journalists) claimed that the two were “dumping” their stock in advance of a meltdown they knew was coming, but the facts were much more complicated and didn’t follow the narrative. However, since the trial was held in Houston, where most people who lost money in the Enron collapse lived, it was inevitable that the two would be convicted no matter what the evidence. It turned out that prosecutors were hiding evidence and suborning perjury with some of their “star” witnesses, but no matter. Enron lost a lot of money, and someone had to pay.

Skilling and Lay had given money to Republican candidates, but that didn’t buy any legal protection from the Bush administration. It will be interesting to see if Merrick Garland and his boss, Joe Biden, go after Bankman-Fried with the same vigor that the Bush DOJ pursued people whose companies blew up.

If Garland looks to prosecute, he certainly has a case, based on fuzzy accounting that borders on outright fraud. Writes McMaken:

The “genius” in this case is Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), a thirty-year-old MIT grad who ran FTX into the ground and had placed control of his clients’ money in the hands of a small number of friends with virtually no real experience, knowledge, or scruples about how to responsibly manage funds. Financial record keeping and reporting at the company were haphazard at best.

The calculations will be murky for a while, but it now looks like FTX has “lost” at least $1 billion to $2 billion of client funds, not to mention billions of dollars in investments in the company that evaporated. Much of it was probably just stolen. But it’s difficult to guess at this point because FTX didn’t bother to put together an accounting department.

Robby Soave writes in Reason:

John Ray III, who was brought in to manage Enron following that company’s self-destruction in 2001, is now the CEO of FTX. In a court filing last week, he said he has never seen such “a complete failure of corporate control,” including at Enron.

“From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented,” he said in a court filing.

However, Soave also points out that mainstream media coverage of the FTX collapse has been scant at best. This is not due to a lack of interest in a major financial scandal per se, but rather reflects the reluctance of the media to criticize someone who gave millions of dollars to mainstream and progressive news outlets like Vox and ProPublica. Soave writes:

SBF is still benefitting from some kinder-than-expected coverage from the mainstream media, even in the wake of the revelations about his fraudulent activities—and even from outlets that did not receive his largesse. The New York Times’ report on this disaster uses soft, passive language to disguise blame at every turn. This is the outlet that treats nearly every development in the tech sector as an existential threat to democracy, yet its summation lets SBF write his own verdict. Expanded too fast? Failed to see warning signs? He defrauded people out of millions of dollars! The empire didn’t collapse of its own accord; it collapsed because its foundations were fraudulent.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s reporting on this subject has centered on SBF’s “pandemic prevention” spending. “Before FTX collapse, founder poured millions into pandemic prevention,” writes the paper“Most of those initiatives have come to a sudden halt.”

But will the Biden DOJ investigate, or will it look the other way? For that matter, while the FTX collapse is the most spectacular collapse of our present age, the end of easy money is going to produce a number of other bankruptcies. The difference is that many of the firms that go under will do so because they became highly leveraged and were on a branch being sawed off behind them when interest rates rose.

For now, Merrick Garland and his underlings are directing most of their energy at finding ways to prosecute Donald Trump and his supporters. But the financial fallout from the third major financial crisis of the twenty-first century may become so widespread that even Garland, Biden, the Washington Post, and the New York Times may have to notice.

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1Of course, the Nazis, the Fascists, and the Communist all described themselves as Socialist and Progressives, never as Conservatives. They all know who aims to win, and naturally positioned themselves in the winner’s circle.

China To Double Coal-Fired Power Plant Capacity

Note that China is already, by quite a bit, the world’s largest producer of carbon gasses.

Oddly for me, I am not criticizing China here.

Energy is tied to wealth, and China has no intention to freeze. They have serious economic problems due to other policies — see “centralized command economy”, “COVID-19 lockdowns”, “trade war”, “rapidly aging population” — but energy won’t be a factor here.

I do hope that they make an attempt to keep their emission pollution down: not because of carbon dioxide (a puffed-up problem), but because of acid rain (a real issue).

But that is China’s call, not mine.

From China To Double Coal-Fired Power Plant Capacity…Aims to Avoid European, US Blunders from the https://wattsupwiththat.com/ site.

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From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin

hina continues to barrel ahead with the new construction, expansion of coal fired power plants

In Germany, while radical groups of climate-crazies like Extinction Rebellion and Last Generation are gluing themselves to road and airport tarmac surfaces to rescue the planet from the myth that is the climate catastrophe, China is planning to double the capacity of its coal-fired power plants, reports German online Blackout News here.

A long way to go before China turns green. Coal still number 1 by far. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/energy

“China is building a huge number of new coal-fired power plants, possibly more than the rest of the world combined,” reports Blackout News, citing Bloomberg. But that huge added capacity allegedly will only serve as back-up for renewable energies. “The power plants will likely never operate at full capacity.”

4 times more than what Germany needs

By the end of 2023, China plans to build new coal-fired power plants with a capacity of at least 165 gigawatts – which is equivalent to more than double of Germany’s current total electric power demand.

That figure is estimated to rise to “a total of 270 gigawatts in the five years to 2025”. China’s planned added capacity would be more than the rest of the world.

So why would China barrel ahead at warp speed to install coal-fired power plants?

The answer is that its leaders see the huge blunders made by countries who chaotically rushed into green energies without any plan whatsoever, like Germany, which this winter is facing rolling brownouts due to a grid that’s been made unstable by green energies and shutdowns of coal and nuclear power plants. China aims to avoid the German power debacle.

“China’s strategy is responding to mistakes made in the U.S. and Europe with its expansion. There, people stopped investing in fossil fuel production and infrastructure before renewables were able to replace them,” summarizes Blackout News.

No way around conventional power plants 

Also China’s strategies demonstrate how it is physically impossible to solely rely on wind and solar energy, and that a huge fossil fuel back-up system is imperative and unavoidable. President Xi Jinping claims the country’s aim is to eventually phase out fossil fuels, and is following the strategy of “building new before discarding old.” But clearly China is doing lots of new building of the old, and little discarding.

The wacko protesters should be gluing themselves in China if they’re really concerned about green energy progress.

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Hat tip: Kajim