William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Page 2 of 700

Why Does The Left Always Win?

bb

Why does the Left always win? Easiest answer in the world! They fight. They shoot to kill. They hang traitors. They do not retreat unless faced with overwhelming forces. They say “The hell with the rules.”

Those with some reading will recognize that these are the same characteristics that allow any army to win. It was not in the spirit of dialog that George Patton crushed utterly his foe in the Ardennes—a practice he would have repeated with the detestable Soviets, thus preventing the Cold War, had enemies on the Left in his own government had not in turn crushed him. Compromise was not on the Left’s great General Sherman’s mind as he carved a scar through the country, which to this date has still not healed over.

Headline: Samantha Bee Condemns NBC and Jimmy Fallon’s Trump Interview. Fallon was a traitor because of the sin of parlay, of consorting with the Enemy. This stingless Bee said, “Network execs, and a lot of their audience, can ignore how very dangerous Trump is because to them, he isn’t.” Fallon, flying a flag of truce, failed to thump Trump. Fallon should have lured Trump in under the false flag and ambushed him. No rules.

Headline: Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum. Lauer, a man who (as the Blonde Bombshell puts it) is paid to drink coffee on TV, committed the same blunder as Fallon. Though Lauer was outmatched in the ring as a Wymen’s Studies Graduate would be to Mike Tyson and would have been reduced to a greasy spot on the carpet had he attacked Trump, that he failed to volunteer for this suicide mission brought the ire of his comrades. No compromise.

Peter Kreeft, the gentle Boston philosopher, man of brilliance, and solider for Tradition, was asked “about the simultaneous rise of militant Islam and the homosexual activist movement despite their opposing ideologies, Kreeft replied: ‘They’re the only two movements in Western civilization that will fight and die for their beliefs.'”

“It is an amazing paradox that they’re opposites in almost every way, and yet they’re similar in that they will still fight,” added Kreeft. “Christians are supposed to fight too, the notion of spiritual warfare, the true meaning of jihad — a war against sin rather than flesh and blood. This is central to Christianity and we’ve lost it, and therefore opposite forces are entering the vacuum.”

Instead of fighting, we surrender apologetically when pushed, and as we fade we mouth words about accompanying people on their “spiritual journey” or “My Constitution guarantees free speech.”

Jihad headline. Indiana pizza shop that won’t cater gay weddings to close. A Left foot-solider on patrol armed with a camera searched for a kill, entered Memories Pizza in Indiana and asked the owner whether they would cater a gay “wedding.” The owner said no. The Left army responded with every weapon at their command. The Mongol horde would have been jealous by strength of the onslaught. Insanely screeching banshees weren’t in it. The Battle of The Slice had its effect: the timid generals of the Right, after hinting they might resist, surrendered without honor and unconditionally.

But this isn’t a history of the Culture Wars, and in any case examples are easily brought to mind, especially if you’re on a college campus. Why do we lose? “Because,” says Kreeft, “we became sheep.”

We said, “Abuse us. We’re polite. We’ll smile at you. We are tolerant of everything.” When people are that way, someone who has principles, bad or good, enters. We so worship equality that we are afraid to be different, to be distinctive, to have a distinctive message. And equality is a good defensive weapon, but it has no offense in it. We need equal rights to protect ourselves, but we need something much deeper than equality: We need distinctiveness, we need identity. And if we abandon that, others will come in and take over.

Trump fights. His supporters, many still wearing masks, fight. You might not like the tactics or even the goals of the Alt-right, but, really, after so many decades of systematic withdrawal by the Normie-right—nay, a route, a retreat littered with position papers and think tank budget forecasts—what authority remains to complain?

The most gratifying thing about the rise of Trump and his army is the look of shock horror on the face of his Left enemies as they realize their nose has just been bloodied. Our prayer is that the generals of Right take notice (the Field Marshals of Tradition never forgot) that fighting works.

Researchers Discover Parents Label Animals By Binary Sex At Zoos

The second author, whom you might judge to be male, but then that would make you a nasty bigot.

The second author, whom you might judge to be male, but then that would make you a nasty bigot.

Today a paper which is the almost certain winner of the Third Annual WMBriggs.com Bad Science Award (First winner; Second winner). Discovered by reader Nate Winchester, we have the peer-reviewedNaturalizing Gender through Childhood Socialization Messages in a Zoo” by Betsie Garner and David Grazian in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly.

The shocking discovery: “adults mobilize zoo exhibits as props for modeling their own normative gender displays in the presence of children”. In other words, normal parents teach normal kids facts about normal animals. Which is unacceptable, evidently, when the parents could have taught their kiddies about transsexual aardvarks and homosexual snakes.

For a long time, I was at a complete loss how to explain this paper. I decided finally to let the authors speak for themselves.

Social psychology reminds us that parents and other adults transmit socialization messages to children about the ideological meanings associated with social distinction and boundary-making in everyday life.

Who knew?

[A]ccomplishments of human behavior, models of masculinity and femininity appear natural because gendered individuals adhere to an institutionalized set of myths they learn through everyday forms of socialization in their formative years of development from birth through preschool and elementary school. Children learn how to “do gender” by participating in “activities that cast particular pursuits as expressions of masculine and feminine ‘natures'”.

Myths? Myths? Myths? Or maybe children “do gender” because there is such a thing as boys and girls, and their minds have not yet been addled by fanatical adults.

Now what the authors did was to set loose spies at a zoo to surreptitiously watch families. Here are some of the observations the authors thought horrifying (all emphases original; I wish I could show them all).

One mother at an ape pavilion pointed to a gorilla and said to her daughter, “See how his hands look just like our hands? Well, they are bigger. They are like Daddy’s hands, I guess.”

…a mother pointed out a wandering peahen and peacock. “That’s the female and that’s the male,” she said. Her daughter was not so sure, and asked, “That’s the boy? And that’s the girl? I don’t think so.” The woman explained, “No, I’m sure. The males are the pretty, bright ones, and the females are the plain ones. You would think the pretty one would be the female, but it isn’t.”

…one father pointed to a group of river otters and said to his two toddler boys, “Look, it’s the momma and the papa and their babies!” without verifying whether the animals were actually related in that way.

In the zoo’s primate house, a mother held her young daughter up to see the orangutans and compared the mother ape to herself: “That’s like you and me. The mommy is taking care of the baby.”

Now comes the theory.

As family-friendly public spaces that simulate the wild, zoos provide a convenient site for observing adults as they draw on the symbolic power of nonhuman animals and their staged environments to quite literally naturalize hegemonic gender ideologies when interacting with children. We identified three instances in which families and other groups of adults with accompanying children make use of the zoo’s specific spatial and symbolic resources to transmit socialization messages to children according to naturalized models of hegemonic gender difference.

Gender ideology ranks as one of mankind’s most idiotic intellectual creations, if not reaching that abyss. But it is obviously false. A man can decide he is a woman, and say so. Gender ideology says he is a biological man and a “gendered” woman. But how does he know what a woman is to claim he is one? There has to be a referent.

He must be referring to a biological woman and not a “gendered” woman, else his identification falls into infinite regress. Think about it. If our first man thinks he is a woman based on his notion of a second man’s “gendered” woman status, that second man must have got his notion of woman from actual biology, or he must have got it from a third man’s “gendered” woman status, and so on. Somewhere down the line there necessarily had to be a biological notion of woman. Therefore, the biological man in calling himself a “gendered” woman, and who is in earnest, must really think he is a woman, which is impossible. Therefore the man is insane.

But his insanity is only of a mild grade, of the same kind suffered by men who think they are Napoleon. Worse is the utter madness of people like Garner and Grazian, who not only pretend with the man calling himself a woman, but who insist you do so, too.

A skeptical critic of our analysis might argue that our observations of gender socialization simply reflect empirical differences between boys and girls rather than their social construction. Yet our ethnographic observations in their totality do not bear this out. As we have illustrated throughout this article, we observed numerous (albeit far less frequent) cases in which both parents and their children contradicted such expectations, thus confirming that the differences we did observe in parent-child interactions reflected normative regimes of gender socialization and accomplishment rather than the natural order of things.

This is the ripest Bovine Spongiography, an example of the rottenest inference you can imagine. Because some parent or kid acted differently than the norm therefore the norm isn’t the norm? This is like saying that if your car broke down the idea of smoothly running cars is “functioning socialization” rather than the natural and expected order of things.

Sociologists have long understood gender to be a cultural artifact, but so too have they lamented the persistence with which biological determinism is credited with explaining gender differences.

Sociologists have not long understood gender to be a cultural artifact. That disease is a modern invention.

Russia’s Rise: Part I — Guest Post by Ianto Watt

cent

This is Part I of II parts. The second part will run next Tuesday.

I have been asked why I think Russia has returned to the center stage in world events, despite all attempts to push her off the edge. The reason is simple enough. Russia will not obey. She will not obey Imperial Rome, nor will she obey Holy Rome. Not that either Rome is demanding much obedience of anyone lately, but that’s another story. Or two.

In addition to that attitude, Russia will not beg for mercy either, from anyone. Especially the Emperor or the Pope. And maybe that’s a good thing, at the moment. But in the long run, there’s going to be trouble. And maybe in the short run as well. I’m not sure if there’s still time for 2 runs. But let’s get back to the situation as it exists today. In order to understand Russia, we simply have to understand mankind as a whole. Easy enough, eh? All we have to do is study what I believe is the greatest lesson in purely human humility that history has bequeathed us. But to do this properly, we have to have the right approach. So let’s ask ourselves a few questions before we begin.

First of all, can a subordinate extend mercy to his superior? Well, no. He can only offer obedience. True, he can be merciful to an individual who happens to be his superior, but only in cases outside their superior/subordinate relationship, which is strictly business. The very meaning of the two words, superior and subordinate, require that. But let’s reverse the question and ask if a superior can extend mercy to a subordinate within this same business context. Yes, obviously, the superior has the power to do so. It is innate to the position he holds. Simple enough?

Now then, can a superior give obedience to a subordinate? Again, no, ontologically speaking. He can demand obedience from his underlings, but he can’t give it to them. And once again, he could obey an individual, in some setting outside of the superior-subordinate relationship. But that destroys the original premise. The point is that the relationship determines the relative powers and obligations of each position. If this is so then here’s what we have: a subordinate owes obedience to his superior, and the superior has the power to extend mercy to a subordinate. The question, of course, is whether the superior actually owes his subordinate any mercy. Now we’re getting somewhere. And it all depends on the morality governing the relationship. What’s in your wallet?

So what does this have to do with Russia? Well, let’s not deal with that yet. At least, not directly. Let’s first take a look at a particular situation from the distant past that almost everyone is (or should be) aware of. Let’s look at the story of the Roman Centurion. You know, the guy who came to the God-man Jesus (as Solovyev would describe him) to beg help for his dying servant.

Now let’s apply what we know about obedience and mercy to this Roman Centurion. First of all, the setting is in Israel, where the conquering Romans have subjugated the stiff-necked Jews. At least, for the moment. And the Centurion, as an officer of the Empire, is a man of authority and power. But he too is under the authority of his superior, who is answerable to his General. And the General is answerable to the Emperor, who answers to the gods. They all understand the need for obedience. It’s what keeps the Empire together. Long live the Empire!

The Centurion has a servant who is deathly ill. We don’t know if the servant is Jewish or Roman, but that doesn’t really matter (although for the sake of irony, I’m betting he was Jewish). Anyway, the Centurion has tracked down the Godman in an attempt to get help for his servant. Just like a lot of other people were doing at that time in Judea. Word of mouth has always been the best advertisement.

Now let’s apply what we know to this relationship and this time context. The Centurion is the superior to the servant. The Centurion, from an Imperial Roman legal standpoint, owes the servant nothing except his wages (if even that). As long as the servant performs well, the Centurion is more than likely to keep him alive by feeding and clothing him. But little else, from the standpoint of equity. In fact, in the ancient world, a master could even put his servant to death, for no reason, without violating Imperial law. Yet here is the Centurion, coming to beg help for the servant. Surely it would have been easier to let the man die and simply replace him with another slave. The army had a cheap and routine way of replacing slaves. They would simply substitute one Slav for another. Yes, I said Slav. That’s where the word came from, you know. As in ‘let’s cross the Danube and capture some more Slavs’.

Anyway, let’s look at what the Centurion replies when the Godman says ‘Sure, I’ll help. Let’s walk the umpteen miles to your tent and have a look’. The Centurion says ‘Oh no, my Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. Just say the Word and my servant will be healed’. Notice that the Centurion has just recognized the Jewish Godman as his superior. He called him Lord. That is not a small thing, especially given the cultural context. The Centurion then goes on to say that he too is a man under authority, and that when he is called by his master, he comes, and when he is sent by his master, he goes.

So what has the Centurion actually said? First, he has explicitly said that he believes the Godman has the power to heal, and to do it remotely, with just a word. I don’t know about you, but I think that comes pretty close to saying that he believes that this man is actually God. Why? Because that is the description of the power of a god, at the very least. And he has also said, implicitly, that he (the Centurion) believes that this Godman is approachable, even by one who is not ‘worthy’ to ask such a mercy. Obviously, the Centurion was under the impression that mercy could be had by anyone (Jew or Gentile alike) in this Godman’s book. All you have to do is ask. As in all of life, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. That’s what prayer is all about, right?

Here’s the point. The Centurion wasn’t demanding mercy, as if Jesus owed him some obedience. After all, the Centurion was the conquering Roman, right? No, here the conquering superior was begging for mercy. From the conquered Jew. Which obviously placed the two of them outside the Roman concept of a superior/subordinate relationship. As a matter of fact, that might be enough to get the Centurion killed by his own Roman superior. And notice also that the Centurion wasn’t begging mercy for himself. He was begging for someone else, someone to whom he owed no debt. And what does the Godman reply when he has heard all of this from the Centurion? He marvels at him, telling the crowd of Scribes and Pharisees (money-grubbing lawyers and moral lepers, same thing) that He has not found such faith in all of Israel. You can guess how well this went down with that crowd. My guess is that was the moment when this crowd of elite Hebrews said to themselves ‘Can you believe this crap? He’s saying a filthy Roman pig is better than all of us! This guy’s gotta die!

And so it came to be. But not before the lesson was given, for them and for us. This, I believe, is the singular lesson that encapsulates all of the Scriptures. Obedience and mercy. These are the two means to salvation. Give obedience to your superiors and mercy to your subordinates. Do both of these, at whatever cost, and you have fulfilled All of The Law. Your faith is complete. Welcome to Valhalla. Allow me to show you to your table. It’s up front. Where your enemies can see you. What can I get you to drink?

‘Yeah, so what’, you may say. Everyone is in awe of the Centurion’s mercy. Even a Pharisee would have a hard time openly carping about this act of generosity. But I never hear anyone marvel at the Centurion’s obedience. No one goes on about this ‘bending of the knee’ to authority. And why is that? It’s because the proud (that is, all of us) like to think that we too are merciful, and that will be sufficient to save our skin in the end. It’s like the Pharisee who says ‘It is a gift‘ when he does something good for his elderly parent. No, I’m sorry, you idiot, it’s not a gift. It’s a duty. You owe it to your superior. Bend that knee now, while you still can.

And therein lies the problem of the proud. They know in their heart that there is a superior but they cannot openly acknowledge the fact. That would diminish their worldly status. They are more than willing to grant mercy, but only if it makes them the ultimate superior. In other words, it makes them a god. And the gods owe nothing to anybody. Well, maybe to Zeus. Maybe. But we can always outfox that dolt, right? After all, just look at him—his sister/wife Hera beats him up all the time! What a wimp.

So just what in the world does this have to do with Russia? Everything, actually. Because Russia has a hard time with both concepts. Both mercy and obedience. And why is that? It’s partly because she has not received much of either from the rest of mankind. And so a big part of the problem lies West of Moscow. Or Novgorod, actually. We’ll get to that in Part II.

But let’s be fair to the West. Why should we obey Moscow/Novgorod? Well, we shouldn’t, actually. But we should obey someone, right? Yes, of course. But who? Napoleon? Charlemagne? Henry VIII? Hitler? Churchill? Eva Peron? Hillary? Any Bush? Well, no. Well, who? The answer of course, is that mankind, either East or West, cannot follow a nationalistic leader without following them into war. Because that’s what Emperors (and would-be Emperors) do. They go to war. To demand obedience. Obedience to them. And so now we are back to the problem of individual mankind, writ large. And so, who do we finally bend the knee to, here on earth? After all, even the Centurion followed his Imperial superior, right?

Yes and no. He followed his Imperial superior up to the point of moral righteousness. We’ve all read the stories of Roman soldiers who balked at the orders to slay the Martyrs, right? And that they were slain in their turn for their disobedience to their earthly superior. But nonetheless, these soldiers had stayed true to their ultimate superior. And so, they too embodied the dual acts of the Centurion; they gave mercy to the incipient martyrs (by refusing to slaughter them) and gave obedience to their ultimate superior in this same act. Their faith was complete.

The same can be said of moral (versus secular) authority. Whom shall we follow? To whom do we give our allegiance? Can it be to a nationalistic sect? If so, how can there ever be a reality to the concept of a universal belief system that is true? How can a nationalistic Church be the head of a universal Church? Will this not also lead to war among nations? What can make one nation or race morally superior, genetically speaking? Doesn’t this destroy the commonality of all mankind? As Vladimir Solovyev said in The Russian Idea, how can this lead to peace?

So here is the answer to the question of ‘to whom do we bend the knee?’ (not that it is any great revelation); we bend it to the Ultimate Authority. The Buck doesn’t stop at the Emperor, whoever he may be at the moment. He has a boss too, whether he realizes it or not. And most do not. Our ultimate allegiance must be to The One who is actually in charge. And that’s not me, I’m quite sure. And it’s not you either, correct? You, as in any purely human being. In Part II, we (finally) get back to the problem of Russia. The Russia that will not obey.

Pope Says Using Paper & Plastic A Sin

14565568669_e09b3d1101_k

If you’re a Christian, what do you suppose is the most pressing problem in the world today? The rapid fading of Christianity in the West? The dramatic increase in, and official approval of, sexual licentiousness and perversity? The wholesale slaughter of the unborn? The martyrdom and suffering of Christians in the Mid-East? That it seems likely many souls are being lost to Hell?

Or that there is a slight chance that because of mankind the global average temperature will increase by a few tenths of a degree or so, a change which will materially benefit some and perhaps faintly increase the financial burden of others?

Or maybe the chief concern is that there are no more trilobites, a kind of armored aquatic cockroach, and that Tyrannosaurus Rex, Archaeopteryx, Saber-toothed tiger and a great host of other animals which have gone extinct cannot therefore creep and crawl across the earth and “give glory to God”?

Opinions differ.

Pope Francis, God bless him, says the possibility of man-caused global warming, the disappearance of species, and, yes, the use of plastic and paper are among the most crucial matters facing the Church.

The Pope recently said it was a “sin” to “destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation,” and this might be so. But since well above ninety-nine-percent of all species that have ever lived have gone extinct, mercilessly destroyed by natural processes, it’s not clear that mankind has any special culpability.

Yet Francis said, “Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us.” Thousands? Millions (like the dinosaurs) are no longer giving glory to God. Should we weep for them? Predictions of species extinction are prone to preposterous exaggeration. At worst, man can be said to have contributed to the extinction of a few species, like the Passenger Pigeon, but we have also given support to others: there is no danger of lettuce, cows, and chickens going extinct. Don’t laugh: this is a serious theological point. Why?

We need to make some distinctions here, since it is impossible—not unlikely, impossible—for man not to influence his environment. People must eat, and our food is plants and animals, and plants and animals must be grown. To live, we must change the environment—all of it. Since everything on the earth is connected to everything else, for man to live means his effects will touch the land, waters, climate and every living thing. The question then becomes: what are the limits of our influences?

God loves people. God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” Filling the earth with people necessarily means people will and must change the earth for the benefit of people and not the benefit of “creation.” Yet many see the non-human creation as the equal, if not the superior, of man, and this accounts for these folks’ dislike of people and their efforts to curtail mankind’s number.

The Pope said, “To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.” Filling the earth is not license to abuse it. One can certainly mistreat creation, and some do. Would that people abandon their materialist lives and philosophies, lead more peaceful existences, and turn their faces to God!

Lamenting this materialism, Francis said, “We have turned [the earth] into a polluted wasteland of debris, desolation and filth”. Sadly, this is hyperbole; worse, with local exceptions, it is false. Indeed, the world is better off for mankind now (materially, not spiritually) than it has ever been because of man’s efforts. The earth is greener: crop output is up amazingly. Fewer people go hungry. Storms are down in number and intensity. Inclement weather is not nearly as destructive as it once was.

All the horrors that await us under global warming are mere projections, and, so far, empty threats. Unfortunately for scientists, reality has not cooperated with their doom-laden predictions, which is ample reason to ignore their forecasts until they can produce skillful ones.

Yet for our alleged “sins” against creation, the Pope has asked Christians to undergo an “ecological conversion.” Instead of admonishing us “to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” he demands we separate our refuse, plant trees, and car-pool.

We have to ask: will “avoiding the use of plastic and paper” really lead more souls to Heaven? Or will inculcating an ardent environmentalism cause even greater misunderstandings of man’s true relation to creation and to God?

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2016 William M. Briggs

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑