John C. Wright's Journal » John C. Wright's Journal Fancies, Drollery and Fiction from honorary Houyhnhnm and antic Science Fiction Writer John C. Wright Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:46:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 You Cannot Boycott a Nobody Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:00:25 +0000 By definition, one can only boycott a vendor one patronizes, perhaps even patronizes on a regular basis. So, one cannot boycott someone of whom one has never heard, or someone one already avoids as a matter of course.

That said, I know nothing of Gamergate, aside from dim echos and third-hand accounts from partisans involved in the matter. I do not know what it concerns and I could not care less. However, I can tell, even from a distance, what the tone and the tactics of the self-appointed Social Justice Crusaders, or, as I call them, Morlocks, are attempting: accuse, accuse, accuse, ad hominem and personal destruction.

Had I not been on the receiving end of similar tactics myself, I might be willing to extend the Morlocks the benefit of the doubt. As it is, after the boy who cries wolf has cried it for over a hundred years and never once, no, not once reported a real example and real instance of a real injustice, but instead always and forever without a single exception used the cry merely to savage and silence decent and normal people going about their normal business, I would, myself, far rather see the boy who cries wolf eaten by the wolf than run the risk of listening to what I damn well know is one more false alarm turned in by professional false alarmists who hate me and everything I love, my clan and nation, way of life, philosophy, worldview, church.

So I was bemused by this list, found at Vox Day’s website, complied by a Morlock boasting of the relevance and victorious might of the forces of Morlockery.

Look it over. Notice anything odd about the list?

I compiled a list of the news and opinion outlets that have published articles critical of #gamergate just in the last few days. They’re welcome to boycott these all, it’ll just hasten their increasing irrelevance.

Here is what I notice: two items from the BBC; one from Buzzfeed, the honesty-challenged persons who called me the sixth biggest bigot of all novelists; CBS; CNN; two items from the Guardian, which employs the honesty-challenged loser whose name I forget who has never written a SF novel, but pontificates endlessly about novel writing, insulting me and Larry Correia and writers infinitely his superior, because we do not bow the knee to his Politically Correct dipshittery; two items from the Huffington Post; one from the New York Times; one from the New Yorker; Newsweek; Reuters; Rolling Stone; Slate; Time Magazine; four items from the Washington Post; one from Boing Boing.

And the rest from news organs I have either never read or never heard of, including  a suspicious number from Canadian or overseas sources. (The Irish Times? Really? My mouth is dry with semi-ecstatic excitement waiting for their next world-shaking opinion of paramount significance.)

Here is what I notice: the list is padded. I do not have the patience to click through all the links, but I would unsurprised to discover they all lead back to one or two press releases by an interested party, taken as Gospel by a compliant and lazy journalist, not fact-checked, and the rest are repeats of the same few stories. It looks like a snowball-job, the kind of thing newspapermen (like me) see all the time: the artificial inflation of a minor story through endless repetition. It is an old trick in my field.

Here is what I notice:  Of those I recognize, these are all Leftwing rags whose integrity and journalistic ethics died during the Clinton Administration, and the corpse was burned during their bouts of Bush Derangement Syndrome in the administration after that; and the burnt ashes scattered to the far corners of the universe, no scintilla thereof ever to be found again, no, not by the most persistent forensic paleontologist, during the rapture and the coming of the Messiah, Obama the Lightworker, whom they all adore in grovelling transports of ecstasy indistinguishable from bouts of epilepsy.

This list is about as convincing to a skeptic as hearing a true believer in Marxism quote from Pravda to prove his point.

Here is what I notice: without knowing anything whatsoever about the issues, or who started what, or what the facts on the ground might be, I notice that there is one accusation of McCarthyism, which tells you right away that the accuser here is a liar with no substance to his claim; one of relentless death threats forcing someone out of her home, which tells you right away that liar does not know enough to tell a convincing lie; countless accusations of harassment, threats of massacre, misogyny, threats of gun-violence, which tells you right away we are dealing with freaking paranoid lunatics who are trying to outdo each other with hysterical shrieks of make-believe fear. Of course they are talking about the normal rudeness accompanying any typical internet debate among the young. What they call violence, misogyny, and so on is what sane people call a robust debate between equals, protected by the First Amendment.

Here is what else I notice: If I had not heard this before roughly a zillion times, I might be curious enough to look into the matter, and hear what each side has to say. But since one side has decided on the screaming lunatic method of making its point, my normal curiosity is abated.

This is a rerun.

My reaction to the shrieking hypochondriac-of-injustice who yet again claims he is the innocent victim of relentless evil, and rolls at my feet in a puddle of his own spew, screaming in tones of utterly hypocritical self-righteousness that I must side with him, because his foes are so hateful that they must never be allowed to give their side of the story — my considered and healthy instinct is to wish for an excuse to trample his face below the bubbling mud until he shuts the hell up.

I am haunted by the thought that there may be a real person with a real problem suffering a real evil, a person whose cry I cannot hear because of this noise, such as, for example, Copts in Egypt having their churches burned down, or Christian girl-children being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery by the Islamic jihadis.

These are the Jihadists whom the Left are so swift and so vehement to defend from criticism, that they start up new comic book superheroines, for example, to show their broadminded love for everything Islamic.

I do not have the patience to compile a list as long as the forgoing, but for those of us who are comic fans, just the titles are telling

and note the company they keep:

When one comedian  made a pointed joke mocking the preposterous political correctness of Marvel Comics for toadying up to the Muslims while we are at war with them, the Left played pile-on, not just on him, but on anyone who applauded the joke. It was freakish, as if one were to see Jews during World War Two drawing or praising a comic book starring the superhero Captain Jewhunter, Champion of Racial Purity, and other Jews lambasting anyone who mocked the comic, calling them an anti-German bigot.

And, why, look, we are seeing the same names there, concerning that tempest in a teapot, as here. Making the same accusations.

These accusations, these humbug reports of death-threats and riots and gun-violence and misogyny.

All bull.

This is all for their internal consumption. They neither believe this nor expect to be believed: it is like the fretting and fuming of those who dwell in a floating island above Cloudcuckooland, as reported by that honest historian, Lemuel Gulliver, and which I am pleased to repeat yet again:

These People are under continual Disquietudes, never enjoying a Minute’s Peace of Mind; and their Disturbances proceed from Causes which very little affect the rest of Mortals. Their Apprehensions arise from several Changes they dread in the Celestial Bodies. For Instance; that the Earth by the continual Approaches of the Sun towards it, must in Course of Time be absorbed or swallowed up. That the Face of the Sun will by Degrees be encrusted with its own Effluvia, and give no more Light to the World. That, the Earth very narrowly escaped a Brush from the Tail of the last Comet, which would have infallibly reduced it to Ashes; and that the next, which they have calculated for One and Thirty Years hence, will probably destroy us. For, if in its Perihelion it should approach within a certain Degree of the Sun, (as by their Calculations they have Reason to dread) it will conceive a Degree of Heat ten Thousand Times more intense than that of red hot glowing Iron; and in its Absence from the Sun, carry a blazing Tail Ten Hundred Thousand and Fourteen Miles long; through which if the Earth should pass at the Distance of one Hundred Thousand Miles from the Nucleus or main Body of the Comet, it must in its Passage be set on Fire, and reduced to Ashes. That the Sun daily spending its Rays without any Nutriment to supply them, will at last be wholly consumed and annihilated; which must be attended with the Destruction of this Earth, and of all the Planets that receive their Light from it.

A Laputian gentleman taking a walk.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1909.

They are so perpetually alarmed with the Apprehensions of these and the like impending Dangers, that they can neither sleep quietly in their Beds, nor have any Relish for the common Pleasures or Amusements of Life. When they meet an Acquaintance in the Morning, the first Question is about the Sun’s Health; how he looked at his Setting and Rising, and what Hopes they have to avoid the Stroke of the approaching Comet. This conversation they are apt to run into with the same Temper that boys discover, in delighting to hear terrible Stories of Sprites and Hobgoblins, which they greedily listen to, and dare not go to Bed for fear.


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Snap Out of It Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:00:15 +0000 The proponents of what is called (with unintentional hilarity) gay marriage express the gaiety for which they are named by crowing and gamboling with delight that the Supreme Court has declined to do its core Constitutional mission of interpreting the law, and chastise and check the abuses of activist judges overruling the sovereign votes of the decent and sober majority.

They should perhaps rein in their gay celebrations: gay marriage cannot be justified either in law or logic. This means the law has just departed from the environs of law and logic.

The gay partisans should instead recoil with dread, for the thing, by being given into their hands, is effectively destroyed. Whatever meaning or sanction the pairs of homosexuals are seeking out of the pretense of marriage is destroyed by the very fact that it is a pretense, not a marriage.

I am not speaking about an abstraction, but as a matter of law. The way law works, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the basic principle, is that once a precedent is established, until and unless it is definitively overruled, it has controlling authority over every case standing on similar facts, and the degree of similarity is the core of what all legal arguments are about.

This ruling, now left to stand, will and must create more havoc with family law, with testaments and estates, divorce laws, property laws, far more than if the government simply decreed marriage to be a private contract. No matter what the desires and tastes of the reformers, and no matter their promises, once set in motion, the law operates by a logic and by an inertia of its own.

Let us take it as a given that all men are sinners, and that my personal motives are malign beyond description. Nonetheless, if I speak the truth, my words are true, no matter what my motives are, and if an malign man says twice two is four, the statement is true. Those who argue that twice two is three must address the argument given, not the man who gives it. It is a sign of the deep mental corruption of our times that I must preemptively fend off the yawningly irrational personal attacks and informal logical error that just so happens to be the only counterargument ever encountered to an argument in favor of chastity, marriage, decency, sexual normalcy.

Such nonsense is predictable to the point of tedium. Gossipy, shrill and groundless accusation is the way schoolgirls maintaining a clique punish dissenters, not the way sober men debate the great issues of the day. If one argues that the law concerning marriage must concern marriage and does not concern sodomy, if one argues that a thing is not its very opposite, if one argues that twice two is four and not three, the only response will be an eructation of scorn directed against the speaker, not a response addressing the points spoken.

That said, for those who read these words with the eyes of sober men, with a refined sense of logic and a stern and clear understanding of justice, let us turn to the matter:

First, there are those, including a surprising number of conservatives, who hold that it is a matter of fundamental moral right that two sodomites who wish to solemnize their alliance with a marriage-like ceremony or civil union should be seen and celebrated by the same customs, mores, and obligations society beholds and celebrates a husband and wife establishing a family. We should throw rice, and cheer, and teach our children that such unions are romantic and healthy and normal and permanent, and we should scorn and condemn, and perhaps punish at law, those who teach their children otherwise.

Second, there is a parallel legal argument that it is a matter of fundamental justice that the same legal privileges and rights awarded to a marriage couple should be extended to an alliance of sodomites, such as tax loopholes and hospital visitation rights and child custody and survivor’s benefits.

Third, there is a technical legal argument that the Fourteenth Amendment is properly interpreted to mean that should a state government treat a married couple and an alliance of sodomites with two different ergo unequal rules, such is a violation of the Constitution.

Fourth, there is a Civil Rights argument that for a private individual to refuse to do business, to hire, or to serve a pair of sodomites who wish to represent themselves as a married couple is a violation of the fundamental human dignity of the sodomites. The argument here is that the same penalty at civil law should obtain which prevents, for example, a diner from refusing to serve Negroes, or seating them only in the back of the restaurant. This argument mainly applies to businesses such as bakers, caterers, photographers whose services are purchased for weddings, to bake wedding cakes and such, or to institutions renting halls, or clergy performing the ceremony.

Finally, there is the libertarian argument that a man’s vices are private, and that the state should have no power to say as to which marriage ceremonies shall be recognized and which not recognized, allowed or prohibited, for the same reason that the state should have no power to interfere with private contracts.

Let us take matters in reverse order, starting with the Libertarian argument.

There are two insurmountable obstacles to the Libertarian argument: first, Libertarianism, in reality, requires that both side of a dispute agree to rely on peaceful, non-coercive means to settle the dispute. In other words, it is obvious that if one side refuses to promote or pass laws supporting his side, but his enemy does not refuse, the enemy without hindrance will prevail. Second, the state can and must and does interfere in matters where no peaceful and non-coercive means to settle disputes of this kind is possible. In the current case, marital status effects disputes about marriage and family matters, divorce, child-rearing, education of the young, and inheritance laws.

The first Libertarian argument can be safely ignored as irrelevant to the real world as things stand now.

If, at some point in the future, the pervertarians pushing the gay agenda wish to stop using gays as their mascots, and stop using gay issues as a battering ram to smash in the doors of the Church, then indeed, in that pastel-pink future, faithful Churchgoers could live in a commonwealth where sodomy was legal, in the same way sabbath-breaking or idol-worship is legal, praying for the sinners but not calling upon legal sanctions to harass them. All that would be required is for the pervertarians likewise to agree not to call upon legal sanctions to harass Churchgoers.

But keep in mind most pervertarians are not homosexuals themselves, or have anything they stand to gain personally from abolishing marriage in the name of marriage equality. They are enemies of the Church, and have found a convenient stick with which to beat the Church: they can claim that laws against sodomy, or laws acknowledging marriage, are just like the Jim Crow laws the Democrats enacted in the South after the Republican Union smashed the Democrat institution of slavery. What the connection is between race-hatred, which is an irrational antipathy of a whole racial group of man based on a trivial external characteristic no one can control or change, and a moral opprobrium against sexual perverts, which a rational antipathy against those individuals who freely decide to transgress the bounds of law and of nature, is a mystery of the Democrat faith. It is a talking point, something said without substance, neither meaningful nor meant to be believed, merely an emotional appeal, like calling someone a bad name, or calling an atrocity by an nondescript euphemism. It is a word-fetish.

The point is that even if the gays themselves wanted to live in peace with the Church, not approving of each other but tolerating each other, the pervertarians using the gay issue as their battering ram and their excuse to batter the Church will not allow that to happen.

There are many examples. I will mention but one: the Bible has been outlawed in Canada, and quoting from it is a hate crime, at least in cases where sins are condemned. Or, rather, sexual sins involving unnatural acts:

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior, including in written form, is essentially a hate crime.

On Wednesday, the court upheld the conviction of activist William Whatcott, who found himself in hot water after distributing flyers regarding the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexuality throughout the Saskatoon and Regina neighborhoods in 2001 and 2002. The 7-judge panel consisted of Justices Beverly McLachlin, Louis LeBel, Marie Deschamps, Morris Fish, Rosalie Abellia, Marshall Rothstein and Thomas Cromwell.

“The Bible is clear that homosexuality is an abomination,” one flyer that was found to be in violation stated, citing 1 Corinthians 6:9. “Scripture records that Sodom and Gomorrah was given over completely to homosexual perversion and as a result destroyed by God’s wrath.”

Another flyer, entitled Keep Homosexuality Out of Saskatoon’s Public Schools, was written in response to the recommendation of the Saskatoon School Board that homosexuality be included in school curriculum. The Supreme Court declared the document to be unlawful because it called the homosexual acts that would be taught to children “filthy,”

The thing speaks for itself. It is illegal in Canada to quote the Word of God while speaking in favor of not teaching small children to celebrate and applaud a grotesque and unnatural sexual perversion.

Think it cannot happen here? It already is happening:

… in June the Houston City Council passed, and Mayor Parker signed, a “human rights ordinance” that panders in numerous ways to activists pushing for gay and “gender identity” rights, including a requirement that men be allowed to use women’s bathrooms and vice versa. Not surprisingly, many local pastors opposed the ordinance, and more than 17,000 residents filed referendum petitions to get it repealed – which the city blatantly threw out alleging “irregularities”.But lest you thought Houston politicians were done playing hardball with their critics, not a chance.

[Houston's] City attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists that have sued the city.

City attorneys issued subpoenas last month during the case’s discovery phase, seeking, among other communications, “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

The subpoenas were issued to several high-profile pastors and religious leaders who have been vocal in opposing the ordinance. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion on behalf of the pastors seeking to quash the subpoenas.

The subpoenas are supposedly to see if pastors had in any way violated the law by using the pulpit to preach about the law. Aside from the obvious First Amendment problems here, the pastors weren’t even involved with the petition drive, so the city had no basis for issuing them subpoenas.

Not that this would stop them. The secular cultural left smells blood when it comes to gay rights, and they think they are now free to take any action – no matter how unconstitutional or illegal – against those who oppose the gay agenda…

Big picture: If a city can subpoena a pastor’s sermons just because the pastor preaches from the book that includes 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and other passages that call homosexuality sin, then we no longer have freedom of religion. At all. Period.

Which is the purpose of the exercise.

So, O Libertarians, we Christians find ourselves in a position where no compromise nor peaceful coexistence is possible because the Pervertarians, the Left, the Democrats, the Progressives, the Cultural Marxists, that amorphous blob of darkness that continually changes its name each time the public becomes of aware of who and what the name masks — they will not leave us in peace. For us to drop the sword of the magistrate now is not burying the hatchet; it is unilateral disarmament. The Sabbath-breakers and idol-worshiper are willing to leave us alone to worship and live our lives as we see fit. The Pervertarians, no matter what falsehoods they mouth, have abundantly proven by their actions that they will not.

But even if the situation in the real world were not so dire and clear, even on theoretical grounds, no matter what the situation, the Libertarian argument must fail: because marriage is not a contract. It does not involve two people dealing with each other at arm’s length for the exchange of goods and services or even for the exchange of sexual favors. Attempts to call marriage a contract are as phoney as calling it a bicycle or a three-ringed circus or a jar of sour gooseberry jam.

A marriage is a covenant for the foundation of a family, and also the building block of civilization. It is the primary mechanism by which civilization reproduces itself, and the legal and moral foundation for the race to reproduce. For an allegedly sex-obsessed age, this generation seems not to notice the most blatantly and painfully obvious thing about marriage: marriage is all about sex and sexual reproduction and children and families.

When a wife divorces a husband, the dispute over how to split shared property cannot be settled by the parties themselves, nor the rights and duties surrounding child-rearing. The matter must be settled by a court of law or public magistrate for the same reason that invasions from over the border by Huns must be settled by the public legal authority: because no private and voluntary system can enforce due process, uniformity, equality, and finality.

Even the commercial contracts to which the Libertarians awkwardly analogize the marriage covenant can rarely if ever be settled merely by private and mutually voluntary negotiation or private arbitration. Such arbitration agreements inevitably contain provisions referring the matter to the civic authorities if negotiation breaks down.

If a libertarian commonwealth were founded starting with a blank slate, and all marriages were handled in the same fashion as hiring a woman as a permanent live-in prostitute (which would be perfectly legal under a libertarian commonwealth) the moment the first child in the commonwealth is born, assuming the child is not treated as chattel but as a human being with rights, he has a right to be raised by his parents, who are under a natural duty to nurse and house and feed and rear and govern and educate and protect him — and these rights predate all human institutions, indeed all human law and writings, as they are derived from nature.

All that would happen in such a blank slate commonwealth is that the contract law would evolve into a specialized branch outlining the duties and obligations of filial and maternal obedience and child-rearing which would be indistinguishable from family law. Some legal theory would be created to make the natural duties of child-rearing controlled by the rubric of mutually beneficial private contracts, but there would be no contract. Babies do not sign contracts.

Privatizing family law is as unsound and unlikely an idea as privatizing the Navy, and letting all-volunteer militias fund and build and man the battleships.

In a commonwealth with a powerful, popular and Established Church enjoying exclusive and authority over matters of marriages, trusts and estates, inheritance and so on, the Church rather than the secular authority would handle family law and apply the coercive measures needed, but I doubt this is what the Libertarians who wish to abolish family law altogether, and replace it with contract law, have in mind.

Turning from this arid area of speculation to a more practical matter, the next question is whether there is a civil right by which a sodomite couple wishing to purchase the services of cake-bakers and wedding photographers and wedding planners, rent chapels or halls, or call upon Christian Churches to solemnize their vows of sodomy, must be served.

If a wedding dress tailor refuses to sew a pair of bridal gowns for a pair of lesbians wishing to enter into an unnatural, abominable, and truly sad and pathetic mockery of marriage, is that tailor the same as a clerk or cook refusing to serve Negros at a department store counter or diner?

The difference is so painfully obvious that I have trouble bringing myself to believe all Liberals and an embarrassing number of conservatives do not grasp the answer.

Our friend the Libertarian would say that the clerk and shopkeeper for any reason or no reason has the right to deny service to anyone, either due to the customer’s race or for any motive, fair or foul, honest or hateful, full stop. Let us consign that answer, for better or worse,  to an academic discussion having no bearing on the present case.  The fact of reality is that this is not the law as it stands in the United States in the current generation. There are abundant court cases confirming the interpretation of the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment as granting to any potential customer a right to be served or sold any good or service offered to the general public, not to be denied on the basis of race.

Now, nothing in the civil rights law says that if a man offers firearms for sale to the public, he is required to sell a gun to a member of a minority who tells him he means to use the weapon to rob a bank.

Nothing in the law says that a house-painter who offers his skills to the public is required to accept a job from a member of a minority who asks him to paint graffiti on the Washington Monument, or a mustache on the Statue of Liberty.

Nothing in the law says that a tap dancer who offers his skills to the public is required to accept a job from a member of a minority who asks him to trample the crucifix, or burn the flag, or spit on his mother’s face.

Indeed, nothing in the law requires me, a writer who offers his skills to the public, to accept a job from a member of a minority to follow his orders to pen a 3000 word document containing nothing but blasphemy against my God, treasonous sentiments against my nation, or filthy insults against my wife.

This is simply not what the civil rights law says and not what it is meant to say.

Likewise here.

When a baker or a tailor or a Church renting a hall to a pair of sodomites whose express the intention to make a mockery of the sacrament of marriage and desecrate it, a faithful Christian cannot aid, participate, or assist this desecration, lest the sin be his. He is not asking Caesar to draw the sword of the magistrate to prevent the desecration — our First Amendment as a matter of law makes all protection of sacred things to be a private matter, handled, if at all, by the customs and non-coercive mechanisms of courtesy and shame — he is merely asking Caesar to be excused from doing that which his religion forbids, that is, namely, materially aiding and abetting in the commission of a notorious and public sin.

It simply baffles me that I hear few or no conservatives address this argument. The baker, under our current laws, has no right to refuse to sell a gay man a cookie if such cookies are offered for sale to the general public. This is because selling a cookie is not prohibited by the baker’s religion, or else he would not be offering them for sale to the general public. The florist willing to sell a wreathe to a gay man holding a funeral again violates no stricture of religion. But asking the baker to bake a wedding cake or the florist to make a bridal arrangement to celebrate a gay so-called wedding does clearly and unambiguously propose that the baker and the florist aid and abet the desecration of the marriage sacrament.

No matter what the civil rights laws say, the First Amendment clause concerning the free exercise of religion overrules this. If the florist or the baker is being asked to desecrate something their religion holds sacred, they have a right not to be forced to participate, the same right they have not to be forced by public law to offer incense to an idol.

Any law that requires a man to trample a crucifix, or burn a Torah, or make and worship and image of Mahound, is null and void as a matter of primary Constitutional principle, and enjoys an endless line of court cases to support this construction.

Note, please, that this is a non-issue as far as real gays and lesbians are concerned: any of them can find a Jewish or Anglican or Unitarian baker or a florist, or a lapsed Catholic. The non-Christians and lukewarm Christians and lapsed Christians by such astronomical numbers outnumber the serious, practicing Christians who might voice a serious objection to the desecration of marriage, that a pervert couple who actually just wants a cake or a floral wreathe can easily obtain it, and no one stands in their way, not in America, not in this generation.

Only those who are seeking to make an issue out of it, to pick a fight, to disturb the public peace, and to trample the Constitution in the name of all-inclusive diversity (or whatever the bafflegab non-word of the day is today) have the time and patience to track down the practicing Christian bakers and florists to demand they publicly humiliate their faith by betraying Christian teaching.

So the legal argument that civil rights are being offended fails both as a matter of law, since the Free Exercise Clause is controlling legal authority, and as a matter of practical fact, since the matter only comes up for perverts seeking to be offended by hunting out those rather few Christians with faith enough and loyalty enough to defy the perverts and turn away their business.

And only their business in this one area: the bakers and photographers and florists and hall renters will sell and rent to them their skills and facilities for any other purpose other than a wedding.

The Christians will happily bake birthday cakes and sew confirmation dresses and rent halls for gay dances or any other purpose whatsoever, because we have no objection to sinners existing. We are all sinners. But the Christians would also refuse to bake cakes, sew dresses, take photographs, and rent halls to a man marrying his sister, or a man marrying as two wives, or a man marrying a child.

We do not refuse to participate in desecrating marriage because we hate desecrators, but because we love marriage.

It is because marriage is  sacred, a thing established by God whom we dare not disobey, not because sinners are sinful, that we ask you to take your business elsewhere. It has nothing to do with you. It is not all about you.

Get over yourself. Unglue your eyes from the looking glass, Narcissus. Snap out of it.

All we ask is that you not compel us to participate in your blasphemies and desecrations when you commit them. All we ask is to be left in peace.

So the Fourteenth Amendment argument fails because the cases are not parallel between a baker who refuses to be hired (and it does not matter who hires him, gay or straight) to help celebrate a gay wedding that desecrates his religious faith, and a baker who refuses to bake anything for Black customers. The first is protected by the Free Exercise Clause and the second is not.

We turn now to the more general legal argument, which says that, as a matter of fundamental fairness and equality, we cannot afford the right to marry to a man and his wife unless we also extend that right to a sodomite and his catamite, or to two lesbians. The argument is that the law should be blind to the difference between the sexes and sexual orientations, just as it is blind to the fame or wealth or race of the citizens, and is thus obligated to treat all equally, by their acts.

This argument is so utterly insincere and fallacious that I have difficulty imagining why any man finds it persuasive, or thinks others will. It is the same as the argument that, since it is legal for a man to marry his bride, he should be able to marry his mother or sister, or to marry a pair of twins, or to marry a women currently married to another man, or marry an animal, a slave, a child, a corpse, an inanimate object or national monument, or anything else his fancy says.

Now, one might object that slaves, children, monuments, corpses and animals cannot give informed consent to marriage. Christian marriage requires consent, but no other religion, so far as I know, requires it: hence consent is not a central and essential property of the mating ritual we call marriage, but the ability, at least in theory, to mate and form a sexual dyad, a couple, is and must be a central and essential property.

But even putting that question to one side, the lack of informed consent does not apply to incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages, or bigamy. Your adult sister or mother can give her informed consent, and so can the Barnstable twins  and so can Draupadi.

Moreover, as Antigone and King Rehoboam and King Edward VIII will testify, such matings are indeed matings, and will in the natural course of events produce offspring.

The alliance or agreement between two men or two women to masturbate each other, while it is a sexual or sex-like act, is not copulation, is not mating, and is not sex.

It is the stimulation of the sex organs without the actual mating act, the act of sex.

As far as I can tell, the strongest argument as to why this alliance should be granted the formalities and solemnities and legal rights of marriage is that the feelings of the homosexuals toward each other are the same romantic and tender feelings as a man toward his wife or her toward him.

So if the feelings are sexual but the sexual act is by nature impossible between them, the argument is this is feeling is sufficient to justify the calls for equality, equal rights, and to have the laws concerning paternity and inheritance apply to them, even though the pair is not a couple and cannot have any biological offspring.

If we grant this argument, then the same argument applies with more force to incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages, marriage to a fertile but underage teenager, or bigamy. Indeed, the argument is more forceful in such cases, because mating is biologically possible between such pairs. A man and his sister or a man and his second concubine form a couple, a male-female dyad.

Now, the libertarian argument at this point is to say that, just as granting homosexual allies who masturbate each other the same solemnities and legal rights as a man and wife who copulate, we should grant such rights and solemnities likewise to Oedipus and Jocasta, Solomon and his three hundred wives, Joseph Smith and his dozen wives, Mohammed and his child-bride Aisha, and (why not?) Pasiphae and her bull.

The problem is one of definition. If marriage is, like posting a valentine card, nothing more and nothing less than a public expression of affection, erotic longing, and romantic tenderness, then the object of the affection should not matter as far as the law is concerned. But if that is all marriage is, it is not marriage. It is not a legal institution at all, merely a symbolic expression of sentiment.

Defining marriage as a public expression of private sentiment is the same as abolishing marriage altogether. While, given the state of the law and the customs concerning contraception, fornication, adultery and no-fault divorce, a strong argument could be made that marriage de facto has already been abolished in any serious or binding sense, nonetheless, as a matter of law, it has not.

The question of abolishing marriage has already been discussed above, and, I trust, conclusively: the thing is merely impossible. As stated above, the attempt to reduce marriage to a private contract is vain and illogical. The only real result is that marriage vows will no longer be enforced, and will create no legal ramifications.

If marriage is defined as a public oath which binds one to a law that will identify paternity, this has no bearing on homosexual alliances one way or another: the question never comes up. Paternity in the case of adoption is voluntary, and the person to be recognized as the guardian of the child, with the legal rights and duties to govern and rear the child, are clearly identified, and again this has no bearing on the role of marriage in identifying paternity.

If marriage is defined as a public oath which binds one to a law that will punish unchastity, so that a bachelor copulating with a willing maiden is licit and legal, but a married man runs afoul of a public law against adultery, all one need say is that none of the pervertarians are asking for this or even discussing it. I am also not sure what the applicable law would be to try a case where a man was accused of cheating on his homosex partner to whom he had vowed to ‘forsake all others’ by copulating with a maiden.  The concept is innately risible. Are the gays now celebrating because the state will penalize them for committing sodomy outside their avowed single partner to whom they have vowed exclusive and lifelong love? Should the dubious privilege of no-fault divorce be granted them? What about annulments on the grounds of an inability ever to consummate the marriage?

If marriage is defined as a mating ritual to solemnize a male-female couple who have vowed themselves to each other, and to serve all the above purposes and many more, then the wish of homosexuals to participate is meaningless. It is not through some cruelty that the law forbids male to copulate with male; it is a fact of biology. Marriage is a copulation ceremony used to cement, celebrate, and enforce the bonds of love (or of cynical mutual convenience) that form the sexual dyad that reproduces the species and forms the family unit. We don’t need gay marriage to cement the reproductive bond between a man and his mate.

The pervertarians do not want gay marriage recognized at law for this purpose: the ceremonial and legal bond tying together the reproductive dyad has nothing to do with the pervertarian cause. All they want is to shatter the bond. They say they are shattering this bond in the name of equality, but the progressives and their spiritual forbears have been trying to untie the knot of Christian marriage since the days of Henry VIII. Equality is merely the latest excuse. Privacy and population-prudence was the excuse used to usher in contraception; convenience was the excuse to usher in no-fault divorce.

Civilizations have a choice whether to recognize and enforce the union of man and wife as a sacrament, or to ignore and discourage such unions and pretend they are a private matter, like friendship, and ignore the social ramifications and implications of family loyalties, inheritance, property, childrearing. Those civilization who chose the former prosper; those who chose the latter fall into increasing disarray, and the generation of bastards, reared by no fathers, having no emotional ties to and stable social organs, tend to cluster in gangs for their own protection, and tear the body politic to shreds.

So the assault of the giants called law and custom against the Olympian mountain of marriage cannot end in any other way: the mountain will stand, and those who seek to tear the mountain down will fall beneath the landslides they unleash.

Marriage serves a variety of purposes, not the least of which is to delimit with whom copulation is licit versus illicit. Since copulation, in the natural course of things, is directed toward the end result of reproducing the young, marriage laws also treat with trusts and estates, wills and inheritances, child-rearing, custody and support. These things cannot be applied to an alliance of sodomites or lesbians in any logical way, or any way that comports with common sense or common law.

If a man is hired for pay by a lesbian couple to father a child which they will then claim as their own by adoption, and then they divorce, either the law (as it now does) holds him liable to a duty to rear and protect the child as its father, or the law (as it soon must, given the logic of homosex) must hold him able to divest himself of that duty by contract, which, in effect, makes the child a chattel, a parcel to be bought and sold. In the first case, the father has the burdens of fatherhood without the right as a father to his child, and in the second case, the child has no rights as a child to his father and mother, or even his human right not to be bought and sold. And likewise for a surrogate mother negotiating with a pair of sodomites.

The possibilities for legal mischief and absurdity is rife: it gives our unelected judges the right to decide that strangers unrelated by blood to the child, such as the ‘marriage partner’ or live-in lover of a lesbian who bears a bastard from the seed of a hired man, is the one who bears the duty of child-rearing. The judges will be deciding and re-deciding the definition of marriage on a case by case basis, with no guide but their personal discretion, and, since the law will be in a state of confusion, personal whim.

The least convincing argument commonly encountered is the claim that gay so-called marriage will not harm nor even influence nor touch real marriage. I am, once again, unable to comprehend what relation this argument has to reality, or even what it is purporting to argue. Affirming gay marriage as a matter of law affirms that marriage is not marriage, that there is no such thing as marriage, that the thing called marriage is actually its own direct opposite. I cannot see how the abolition of marriage fails to harm marriage. That is the harm of which none greater can be conceived.

No matter what sentiment or kindly fellow-feelings to our neighbors suffering from the scourge of same-sex sexual attraction, the fact of the matter is that, if their sexual adventures are licit, then there is no sexual action which is illicit, save those that are illicit on other grounds (as when force or fraud is involved). This means that there is no dividing line between licit versus illicit sex, allowed partners versus not allowed. But the whole point of marriage is to draw a dividing line between licit versus illicit, allowed versus disallowed sexual partners.

Ergo celebrating an alliance or agreement of sodomites only to masturbate each other (perhaps forsaking all others and perhaps not, as they like) as if that is a marriage vow is inescapably the same as rendering all marriage vows to be of none effect.

The counterargument is that once marriage is (all but in name) abolished in order to allow sodomites to pretend they are married, the normal people are unharmed, on the grounds that they too can pretend to be married.

The fact that the pretense of marriage is not marriage is not addressed by this counterargument.

The fact that married couples do not want to pretend to be married but to be ACTUALLY married, and to live in a society where custom and law discourages and deters violations of the marriage vows, is dismissed without being answered.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, serious folks and even more serious romantics do not want to pretend to be married. I want to be married.

When I vow a vow, I want society to hold me to it. There is no point in wagering if you cannot be made to pay.

If society lets every man for himself decide how seriously his vows are to be taken, logic says all vows fall to the least common denominator, and become, not vows, but merely words expressing one’s current, and perhaps passing, sentiment.

Once the marriage vow is held, as a matter of law, to be everything and nothing, to apply to illicit as well as to licit sex, to apply to natural as well as unnatural sexual acts, to apply equally to chaste desires as well as perverse desires, then society will not and can not hold anyone to his vows.

So, the argument that, as a matter of law, the institution of marriage must be applied equally to those whose coupling can form a marriage as it is applied to those whose mutual masturbation is the direct opposite of marriage fails as a matter of simple logic. Equality does not mean abolishing the thing to be shared equality.

Equality means that we should not have one set of laws for sinners suffering same-sex attraction as for sinners suffering from other temptations and false desires. And this is the exact situation we have at present: any man, gay or straight, drunk or sober, can marry any woman not his blood-relation who is of age and can give informed consent to the vow, just as any man of any race, origin, or sect can.

No man, gay or straight, of any race or origin can wed two wives, or wed a child or another man’s wife, even with the other man’s consent.

Equality is preserved: the same law applies equally to all, and their race and so on, including whatever sexual temptations, natural or not, they suffer, simply and absolutely are not taken into account by the law.

Nothing in any statute, now or in the past, in any jurisdiction in America or in the English-speaking world, says “Men not sexually attracted to other men may not marry a woman, but men attracted to women may.”

Whether or not a man suffering this unnatural sexual perversion has the desire to wed is beside the point. I do not want to learn to fly a plane, but it would in effect abolish the licensing of pilots if I were to call (in the name of Equality) for non-pilots to receive piloting licenses by demonstrating an utter inability to fly. Under such a law, the ability to fly and the inability are treated as one and the same, which is to say, obtaining a piloting license no longer means anything. Under such a law, obtaining a piloting license means you had the hankering to go get a meaningless bit of paper.

Turning from the legal to the moral argument, the argument here is that as a matter of morality, society should allow each man the maximum scope for liberty as is consistent with an orderly and law-abiding society; and moreover it is no place for the force and majesty of the law to enforce moral rules, and that sexual perversions, if kept private, are not a legitimate concern of the public.

This argument can be dispensed with in a word: it is not pertinent, even if true, to this discussion. We are not now discussing what two people do in the privacy of their own home, but what the public law concerning marriage versus the abolition of marriage should be. That marriage laws are necessary for a law abiding society is too obvious a point to discuss: absent marriage laws, either the state claims all property of a man who dies without a will and gives it arbitrarily to whomever the presiding probate judge sees fit,  or the state treats all matings that produces a child as a de facto marriage, a common law marriage, and imposes on the biological father the financial and moral duty to rear the child, and the state grants that child a claim in the estate of any deceased father, marriage or no marriage. The legal nightmare can only be imagined, since no record would be kept of such matings, and every child would have to be identified by medical test.

The neutrality of the law toward moral questions is a chimera, a figment as unimaginable as an octagonal triangle. Either the law recognizes marriage, in which case the law deters unchastity and encourages chastity by rewarding it with its due dignity; or the law renders marriage to be of no legal effect, in which  case the law encourages unchastity by granting it equal respect with chastity, and deters chastity by robbing it of its due dignity.

You have sold your birthright for not even a mess of pottage: you have given away the most precious, civilizing and crucial institution of civilization, and in return, you get a false promise of equality.

You get nothing.

Such a state is not equality. It is not even tyranny. A tyrant at least is in charge of something, and can make decrees and give orders which have his name on them. I doubt one person in ten, or a hundred, reading these words knows, off the top of his head, without looking it up, the name of a single one of the judges who overruled the state constitutions of these states and spat in the face of each and every voter.

This is the one thing worse than tyranny: this is anarchy.

This ruling, now left to stand, is that any judge of any level can overrule valid state constitutional amendments on core features clearly matters of local jurisdiction, can decree all voters to be ‘irrational,’ and can redefine institutions older than written history to mean anything and nothing, on the grounds that, if two people want to clam to be married, no one  can dispute the claim.

The way the law works is this: the claim of a polygamist to marry many wives cannot be held as false if the claim of two men to be married is true, not if the mens’ claim rests on nothing but their desire to make the claim, for the polygamist can likewise entertain the desire to make the claim. And likewise for any number of persons in any condition, such as the congregation of a Church — why cannot all the Unitarians or Unificationists, for example, all marry each other as a group, en masse, and form one, big happy family?

And, once marriage is not sacrosanct, what other institution is left?

What makes anyone think private contracts for the sale of goods will be held in more reticent respect than the mutual vows of man and wife to form a family?

If any random judge, at any time, based not on the law but on the judge’s personal political opinions about what is just and unjust, can overrule the marriage institution, the most ancient and most worthy of respect of all institutions, then there is no basis in law or logic to prevent that judge (or any officer at any level of government) from overruling, redesigning, rewriting, or abolishing any church, any priesthood or sacred brotherhood, any school or university, any academic or scientific institution or body doing research, any aspect of the criminal justice system, or civil or administrative courts, any military or paramilitary arm or service, including the Boy Scouts, any police force, any corporation or industrial institution, the arts and entertainment, the medical community, the press, any family business or social club or civic society.

If marriage is not sacrosanct, safe from arbitrary and fickle amendment by unelected lunatics, none of these are safe.

None of these institutions have any power to conduct themselves as they see fit; all are now vulnerable to amendment or abolition by a random stranger in a black robe drunk with power, and acting with dismissive and arbitrary powerlust. What makes you think some random judge in California will not outlaw, let us say, doctor-patient privilege, or lawyer-client privilege? Or the spelling of words in the dictionary, or anything else he sees fit? Is your relationship to your doctor or your attorney more sacrosanct than your relationship to your wife?

Marriage is a private institution that merits public recognition for a variety of legal reasons, most particularly those dealing with adultery, child-rearing, and inheritance.  Absent marriage laws, the State will be thrust in the role (as has largely already happened) of deciding the paternity on a case by case basis of every child born, and compelling absent or (much more likely) abandoned fathers to support children being reared by the biological mother’s current live-in lover of either sex or any number; and all taxpayers likewise to help the mother foot the bill.

In Christian marriage, God, the Husband and the Wife, all three, together form the irreducible unit of the marriage. In antichristian unmarriage, the gaily-named and frivolous jabberwocky called gay marriage, the three are the person, the second person, and Caesar.

You are all making the state the center and main stay of your marriages. But this is hardly a reason for gaiety.

At the same time, this precedent unmoors the state from any legal precedent limited the jurisdiction of judges or defending the sanctity of marriage or, indeed, of any institution. With this, a precedent has been set which allows any non-elected officer has just as good a reason to break or rewrite  or ignore the law as to enforce it. It is the death of law as a concept.

Laugh, fools, laugh. Enjoy your triumph. You have thrown open the gates, not to a returning hero, but to a barbarism of chaos.


ADDENDUM: The day after the above column was written, this news came out:

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order Friday to stop officials in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from forcing two ordained Christian ministers to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly. The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”

The couple would face 180 days in jail and up to $1000 in fines per day if they dared to adhere to their religious beliefs.




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Purple Penguins and Black Sheep Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:00:12 +0000 This is not a parody:

Staff at childcare centres in the south-eastern suburbs told the Herald Sun the lyric was being changed because of concerns over the racial connotations of “black”, and to reflect a multicultural community.

Kindergarten teachers have told the Herald Sun a centre in Melbourne’s east had also considered changing the line “one for the little boy who lives down the lane” in case it could be deemed sexist. [Emphasis added]

Celine Pieterse, co-ordinator of Malvern East’s Central Park Child Care, said children could still use “black” if they chose to.

“We try to introduce a variety of sheep.”

Cheltenham’s Lepage Primary principal came under fire in 2010 after pupils were told to replace “gay” with “fun” in Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree.

The Education Department said it did not tell early learning staff what to teach children.

It should be bothersome, at least to some people, that their actions are indistinguishable from parodies.

Please note, this is merely one example of countless daily examples of similar madness.

This is not an extreme aberration or one unusual bad apple in a barrel of healthy apples with healthy ideas. This is their idea, their core idea, the essence of their philosophy. Political Correctness consists of accusing the innocent, of finding problems where none exists, and teaching the young, the trusting, and the naive to think likewise.

These are the same people supported, encouraged, lauded, applauded, and defended by those who, everywhere from here on this blog to the White House, attack George Bush for invading Iraq, and call him a liar, even though he history has vindicated him beyond doubt, attack the Catholic Church for a ‘War on Women’ because we don’t want our Pope to pay for your birth control and abortion pills, attack Arizona for wanting to impose reasonable enforcement of existing laws deterring trespassing on our border, and who called JONNY QUEST racist, call imposing travel bans on Ebola-infected countries racist, call judging a man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin racist, call someone who says scientific controversies should be settled using scientific methods racist, call the Tea Party racist, call Science Fiction writers racist, call Santa Clause racist, call everyone and everything from Job’s Turkey to God’s Stepfather racist.

These are people who are one and the same in mind and spirit with the media, the establishment, and voters who supported Obama, the voters who voted in your local and municipal government and school board. They decreed unborn babies not to be babies, marriage not to be marriage, health care to be the one good and service in the economy which, when rationed, will somehow grow more abundant, and the price going up is actually going down. And unemployment is not a problem. And running from a fight is winning a fight. And trading a traitor for five Al Quaeda top brass is a good deal. And it was only two rogue IRS agents who blocked the creation of groups opposing the Administration during the last election. And a Jihadi shooting our servicemen is workplace violence. And peace is war and ignorance is strength and Big Brother is Your Friend.

Leftism is a self-imposed mental disease. And Big Brother is not your friend.

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Solitudines Vastae Celeste Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:00:11 +0000 I am begging for more help with my Latin from my kind and helpful readers. I am trying to name a starship ‘Wastlands of Heaven’ in Latin. I know from studying old maps that the poetical term for an empty area on the map filled with dragons is Solitudines Vastae (3 1 NOM P F). But I cannot figure out the proper declension for the adjective ‘celestial’. Would it be Solitudines Vastae Celeste ? or Solitudines Vastae Celestissimus ?

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Publications Thu, 16 Oct 2014 05:12:14 +0000 I was updating my list of publications, both current and forthcoming, but I am haunted by the thought that there is one or two I forgot. So, as a service to any reader who wishes a complete list of wrightabilia, and a service to me from any editor or reader who bought or read something of mine not on this list, I thought it was fitting to draw your kind attention to it.

If you see anything missing from the list, please tell me.

Publications by John C. Wright:

Short Fiction:

  • Farthest Man from Earth, (novella) Asimov’s Science Fiction Vol. 19 # 4 & 5, No.229-230, April 1995.
  • Guest Law, (novella) Asimov’s Science Fiction Vol. 21 # 6, No.258, June 1997;

–reprinted in Year’s Best SF 3, ed. David G. Hartwell, HarperPrism, 1998.

  • Not Born a Man, (short story) Aberrations #24, October 1994.

– reprinted in No Longer Dreams, ed. Danielle McPhail, Lite Circle, 2005.

  • Forgotten Causes, (short story) Absolute Magnitude #16, Summer 2001.

–reprinted in Breech the Hull, ed. Mike McPhail, Marietta Publishing (October, 2007)

  • Awake in the Night (novella) appearing in William Hope Hodgson’s Night Lands: Eternal Love, edited by Andy W. Robertson, Wildside Press (December 2003).

–reprinted in: The Year’s Best Science Fiction 21st Annual Collection, ed. Gardner Dozois,

–and Best Short Novels 2003 (Science Fiction Book Club), ed. Jonathan Strahan

–and published separately as Awake in the Night Castalia House (May, 2014)

  • Last of All Suns (novella) appearing in William Hope Hodgson’s Night Lands II: Nightmares of the Fall, edited by Andy W. Robertson, Three Legged Fox Books (2006).
  • Silence of the Night (short story) Readercon 18 Souvenir Book, 2007 Readercon, Inc.

– reprinted in electronic publication, Andy W. Robertson, ed. His website

  • Cry of the Night Hound (novella) appearing in William Hope Hodgson’s Night Lands II: Nightmares of the Fall, edited by Andy W. Robertson, Three Legged Fox Books (2006).
  • Father’s Monument, (short story) No Longer Dreams, ed. Danielle McPhail, Lite Circle (2005)
  • The Kindred, (short story) No Longer Dreams, ed. Danielle McPhail, Lite Circle (2005)
  • Peter Power Armor, (short story) Breach the Hull, ed. Mike McPhail Marietta Publishing (2007)
  • Guyal the Curator (short story) Songs of the Dying Earth, ed. Gardner Dozois, Subterranean (2008)
  • The Far End of History (short story) New Space Opera II, ed. Gardner Dozois, Eos (2009)
  • One Bright Star to Guide Them (short story) The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction, ed. Gordon van Gelder, April-May 2009 issue.
  • Last Report on Unit Twenty-Two (short story) So It Begins, ed. Mike McPhail, Dark Quest book
  • Choosers of the Slain (short story) Clockwork Phoenix, ed. Mike Allen, Norilana Books (July 1, 2008)
  • Twilight of the Gods (novella) Federations, ed, John Joseph Adams, Prime Books (April, 2009)

—Reprinted in Years Best Science Fiction 27th Annual Collection ed. Gardner Dozois

  • On the People’s Business (short story) Dappled Things, ed. Katy Carl, Mary Queen of Angels 2009 issue (web publication)
  • Murder in Metachronopolis (novella) Clockwork Phoenix, ed. Mike Allen, Norilana Books (July, 2010)
  • Judgment Eve (novella) Engineering Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris Books, London (2011)
  • A Random World of Delta Capricorni Aa, Also Called Scheddi (short story) electronic publication Flash Fiction Online, ed. Jake Freivald, May 2010 issue.
  • The Lunar Sacrament of Confession (novella) Altered Perceptions, ed. Brandon Sanderson (2011)
  • The Ideal Machine (short story) Sci Phi Journal: Issue #1, October 2014.

The Golden Oecumene Trilogy:

THE GOLDEN AGE (novel) Tor Books (April 2002)

THE PHOENIX EXULTANT (novel) Tor Books (April 2003)

THE GOLDEN TRANSCENDENCE (novel) Tor Books (November 2003)

The Books of Everness

LAST GUARDIANS OF EVERNESS (novel) Tor Books (August 2004)

MISTS OF EVERNESS (novel) Tor Books (March 2005)

The Chronicles of Chaos

ORPHANS OF CHAOS (novel) Tor Books (November 2005)—Nominated for a Nebula

FUGITIVES OF CHAOS (novel) Tor Books (November 2006)

TITANS OF CHAOS (novel) Tor Books (April 2007)

A.E. van Vogt’s Null-A

NULL-A CONTINUUM (novel) Tor Books (May, 2008)

The Count to the Eschaton Sequence

COUNT TO A TRILLION (novel) Tor Books (December, 2011)

THE HERMETIC MILLENNIA (novel) Tor Books (December, 2012)

JUDGE OF AGES (novel) Tor Books (February 2014)

ARCHITECT OF AEONS (novel) Tor Books (April, 2015)

VINDICATION OF MAN (novel) Tor Books (forthcoming)

COUNT TO INFINITY (novel) Tor Books ( forthcoming)

A Tale of the Unwithering Realm

SOMEWHITHER (novel) Castalia House (forthcoming)

NOWHITHER (novel) Castalia House (forthcoming)


AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND (anthology) Castalia House (April, 2014)

  • Introduction: On the Lure of the Night Land (essay)
  • Awake in the Night
  • Cry of the Night Hound
  • Silence of the Night (revised for this volume)
  • Last of All Suns

CITY BEYOND TIME Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis (anthology) Castalia House (June, 2014)

  • Murder In Metachronopolis
  • Choosers of the Slain
  • Bride of the Time Warden
  • Father’s Monument
  • Slayer of Souls (original to this volume)
  • The Plural of Helen of Troy (original to this volume)

THE BOOK OF SEASONS Tales Inspired by Feasts and Fasts (anthology) Castalia House (forthcoming)

  • Pale Realms of Shade (original)
  • A Random World of Delta Capricorni, Called Scheddi
  • Nativity (original)
  • Sheathed Paw of the Lion (original)
  • On the People’s Business
  • The Meaning of Life as Told Me by an Inebriated Science Fiction Writer in New Jersey (original)
  • The Parliament of Beasts and Birds (original)
  • Eve of All Saints Day (original)
  • Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus (original)

Awake in the Night (Novella) Castalia House (May, 2014)

One Bright Star to Guide Them (novella) Castalia House (September, 2014) — expanded and revised from a previous short story for this publication.

Nonfiction Collection:

TRANSHUMAN AND SUBHUMAN Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth (collected essays) Castalia House (May 2014)

  • Introduction: The Wright Stuff (by Mike Flynn)
  • Transhuman and Subhuman
  • The Hobbit, or, The Desolation of Tolkien
  • Whistle While You Work
  • Science Fiction: What is it good for?
  • John C. Wright’s Patented One Session Lesson in the Mechanics of Fiction
  • Swordplay in Space
  • The Glory Game, or, The Bitterness of Broken Ideals
  • Gene Wolfe, Genre Work, and Literary Duty
  • Storytelling Is the Absence of Lying
  • The Golden Compass Points in No Direction
  • Faith in the Fictional War between Science Fiction and Faith
  • The Big Three of Science Fiction
  • The Fourth of the Big Three of Science Fiction
  • Childhood’s End and Gnosticism
  • Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters
  • Restless Heart of Darkness

Nonfiction Articles:

  • May The Midichlorians Be With You; The absence of religion and ethics in Star Wars, (essay) Star Wars on Trial, ed. David Brin, Benbella Books (June, 2006).
  • Twas Beauty Killed The Beast; King Kong and the American Character, (essay) King Kong is Back, ed. David Brin, Benbella Books (November 2005).
  • Just Throw Him In The Engine; Or The Role of Chivalry in FIREFLY, (essay) Finding Serenity, ed. Glen Yeffeth, Benbella Books (April 1, 2005).
  • Heroes Of Darkness And Light; Or, Why My Girl Goes For Batman over Superman (essay) Batman Unauthorized, ed. Glen Yeffeth, Benbella Books (March 1, 2008).
  • Faith And Scientific Imagination (Published as Aliens Need Christ’s Redemption, Too) (essay) Catholic Herald (June 2008)
  • C.S. Lewis Was The Joshua Flattening The Walls Of My Disbelief (testimonial) Mere Christians—Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis, ed. Andrew Lazo and Mary Anne Phemister, Baker Books (February, 2009)
  • Heinlein, Hugos, and Hogwash (essay) Intercollegiate Review May 7, 2014 (web publication)
  • Faith and Works in a Science Fictional Universe (essay) One Peter Five, ed. Steve Skojec, August 2014 (web publication)
  • Prophetic & Apotropaic Science Fiction (essay) Sci Phi Journal: Issue # 2 (forthcoming)
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Oceania Has Always Been at War with Eastasia Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:00:49 +0000 Bush, and all Republicans, have been vindicated in everything we said about the Iraq War.

Lest I be accused of cherry picking my sources, allow me to quote from an ardent sufferer from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any reader reading these words can tell they mean the exact opposite of what the writer is saying, and I am so confident that any reader can tell the truth hidden beneath the layer of bullshit, that I will not bother to interpret it from Newspeak to English.

This article is one taken at random from dozens:

On Tuesday, an investigation by veteran New York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers revealed that between 2004-2011, American troops fighting in the Iraq War found over 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, and aviation bombs. The discoveries were never publicly disclosed by the military; U.S. soldiers who were exposed to nerve agents like sarin and mustard gas while attempting to remove conventional weapons were denied appropriate medical care and ordered to remain silent about yet another miscalculation of the Iraq War.

But in the midst of the revelation about the Bush administration cover-up, conservatives took to Twitter to express vindication for the former President who embarked on the ill-fated war.

The debate over the legitimacy of the Iraq War was never about whether or not Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction at some point in history.

Five thousand warheads and shells, eh? FIVE THOUSAND!?!

The Iraq War was never about WMDs? WAS NEVER ABOUT??

Wow. It boggles the mind.

Note the utter lack of dignity present in the act of humbly admitting being proved wrong, or, rather, note the psychotic ferocity with which the parties proved wrong pretend not to notice themselves proved wrong. They are as elegant as if the Queen of England were to be found at a public function with a leprous wet dog slumped from ear to ear on Her Majesty’s head, dripping, barfing and puking down her shoulders and bosom, but grandly not noticing the faux pas.

Leftism is a mental disease, or, specifically, a self-induced rejection of religion, reason, decency and shame wherein the victim deliberately at first (but rapidly losing the ability to correct or control his behavior) impersonates the behavior of a neurotic, and, for more hardcore Leftists, a psychotic. The neurosis is an inability to grasp history, economics, or political realities, and a pathological need for self flattery and for an unearned moral superiority.

The day is fast approaching when we should all rise up and club to death all Leftists as one would club down a shambling mob of zombies. The shambling Leftists can avoid being on the receiving end of the real version of the Zombie Apocalypse — for the living shall surely overwhelm the dead — if and only if they wake up and shake off their addiction to lies, delusions, delirium, self-righteousness, falsehood, sleaze and bullshit.

But Leftists never wake up. Never.

* * *

As a public service, for those with short memories, I here reprint an article that I have reprinted more or less annually to remind the zombie hoards of Leftists allergic to thinking what the causes of the war were. Note that the sole claim not proved was the WMD claim, which, at the time this was written, had not been found. Now they have been.

This article is now so old that I cannot confirm all the links are still good. That is how long this easily-debunked lie has been going on.



I had thought this topic long dead, as the title indicates. Since someone brought it up again, I reprint my previous thought on the subject, not seeing the need to add or subtract any words.

With the end of the Iraq war, comes the question…was the war justified?

Of course, one must define the justification for war first.

Was it human rights? Was it terrorism? Was it WMDs all along, with the others justifications only claimed after the fact?

Well, there’s only one definitive answer, and it always suprises me that this is still debated. The justification for war has long been codified and official.

It is described in the October 10th, 2002 “House Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq“, and it is quite clear.

We’ll list the justifications and see if they have been confirmed, or found wanting.

1: First justification:

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;”

Simple statement of fact. The UN resolution which authorized the Gulf War can be found here.

Conclusion? Accurate

2: Next justification:

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

As stated, Iraq accepted these terms on April 6th 1991.

Conclusion: Accurate

3: Next justification:

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Statement of fact. These were the circumstancesthroughout the inspections.

Conclusion: Accurate

4: Next justification:

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Iraqi intransigence with regards to the UN inspections is listed on the UN Website.

Conclusion: Accurate

5: Next justification:

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in ‘material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’ and urged the President ‘to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

The cited Public Law 105-235 can be found here.

Conclusion: Accurate

6: Next justification:

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Here are specific and contested claims. Let’s examine them one by one:

a: “Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace…”

– Says who?
Well, the UN said so in resolutions up to and including 1441, where they say “Recognizing the threat Iraq’s noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,”

The United States concluded such in 1998, when President Clinton said “There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us.”

The CIA concluded such in the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, when it stated “Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge. Such attacks–more likely with biological than chemical agents–probably would be carried out by special forces or intelligence operatives.”
Tenet, who also said that Saddam was more likely to cooperate on attacks against the US as he grew stronger, later added “Let me be clear: Saddam remains a threat.”

So, while there was no claim that Iraq was an imminent threat, there was broad consensus that Iraq was a “grave and gathering” threat.

b: “….remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations…”

– Per Resolution 1441“…Iraq remains in material breach of council resolutions…”.

c: “…continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability…”

– Did Iraq do so? Let’s reference the evidence:

We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipmentthat Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002.
Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist’s home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.
New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN.
With regard to biological warfare activities, which has been one of our two initial areas of focus, ISG teams are uncovering significant information – including research and development of BW-applicable organisms, the involvement of Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) in possible BW activities, and deliberate concealment activities. All of this suggests Iraq after 1996 further compartmentalized its program and focused on maintaining smaller, covert capabilities that could be activated quickly to surge the production of BW agents.

Clearly, Iraq did continue to possess and develop significant chemical and biological weapons capability, in violation of the UN resolutions.

d: “…actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability,”

– Again, to the evidence:

“With regard to Iraq’s nuclear program, the testimony we have obtained from Iraqi scientists and senior government officials should clear up any doubts about whether Saddam still wanted to obtain nuclear weapons. They have told ISG that Saddam Husayn remained firmly committed to acquiring nuclear weapons. These officials assert that Saddam would have resumed nuclear weapons development at some future point.
Starting around 2000, the senior Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) and high-level Ba’ath Party official Dr. Khalid Ibrahim Sa’id began several small and relatively unsophisticated research initiatives that could be applied to nuclear weapons development. These initiatives did not in-and-of themselves constitute a resumption of the nuclear weapons program, but could have been useful in developing a weapons-relevant science base for the long-term.

This justification is less clear than the preceding. It appears that Saddam had an ongoing interest in a nuclear program, and had maintained programs for turning that interest into a program and some point in the future. It is not clear that he had taken material steps toward acquiring those items necessary to actually builda nuclear weapon.

e: “…and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations”

– The list of State Sponsors of terrorism has not changed since 1993, and Iraq remains on that list.

It was also the judgment of the world that Iraq continued to support terrorism, per Resolution 1441 , which states “Deploring also that the Government of Iraq has failed to comply with its commitments pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) with regard to terrorism…”

Conclusion: Largely accurate
***The only justification, among those cited in item #6, that can be questioned is the claim that Iraq was actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability. It is not clear, with publicly available evidence, that Iraq was doing so…although such cannot be ruled out, yet. Certainly Iraq was maintaining the potential to regain the capability.

7: Next justification:

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

– This is a no-brainer. According to human rights groups, the Iraqi government was oppressing its people.
Human Rights Watch says:

“The Iraqi government continued to commit widespread and gross human rights violations, including the extensive use of the death penalty and the extrajudicial execution of prisoners, the forced expulsion of ethnic minorities from government-controlled areas in the oil-rich region of Kirkuk and elsewhere, the arbitrary arrest of suspected political opponents and members of their families, and the torture and ill-treatment of detainees.”

The UN agreed:

Iraq has been condemned by the United Nations’ top human rights body for conducting a campaign of “all pervasive repression and widespread terror”.

Post-war findings once again vindicate this claim, while debunking the myththat the suffering was “caused by the sanctions”.

Conclusion: Accurate

8: Next justification:

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

– A clear citation of history.
Specific instances…….”1986 March – UN Secretary General reports Iraq’s use of mustard gas and nerve agents against Iranian soldiers, with significant usage in 1981 and 1984.” and “1988 March 16 – Iraq attacks the Kurdish town of Halabjah with mix of poison gas and nerve agents, killing 5000 residents.”

Conclusion: Accurate

9: Next justification:

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

– The attempted assassination of former President Bush, in 1993, is a matter of record, as is President Clintons response.

– The attacks on US/Coalition planes enforcing the No-Fly zones is also a matter of record. These attacks constituted a violation of UN resolution requirements, whichbrequired Iraq to cooperate with the UN resolutions, and which expressly prohibited Iraq from taking or threatening any “hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution.”

Conclusion: Accurate

10: Next justification:

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

– This is a two-parter.
Were Al Qaeda members known to be in Iraq, prior to the war, andwere those claims justified by post-war evidence?

a: The Powell-cited case of Abu Mussab Zarqawi, who sought medical treatment in Baghdad.
b: Ansar Al-Islam operated out of Northern Iraq, out of Saddam’s immediate control, but without any attempt to quell their operations.
c: Powell also claimed that “There have been contacts over the years….” between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

a: Regarding Abu Mussab Zarqawi…..

“U.S. forces near Baghdad have captured a man they describe as a midlevel terrorist operative with links to al Qaeda, a counterterrorism official said.
The operative, whose name was not provided, works for Abu Musab Zarqawi, a senior associate of Osama bin Laden…”

b: Regarding Ansar Al-Islam….

Evidence has been found in the Kurdish-controlled regions of northern Iraq that the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam was working on three types of chlorine gas and ricin and has ties to Al Qaeda….”

c: Regarding the claimed contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda:

Iraqi intelligence documents discovered in Baghdad by The Telegraph have provided the first evidence of a direct link between Osama bin Laden’s al-Qa’eda terrorist network and Saddam Hussein’s regime.Papers found yesterday in the bombed headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq’s intelligence service, reveal that an al-Qa’eda envoy was invited clandestinely to Baghdad in March 1998.

There is also this article, full of additional connections.

Conclusion: Accurate
While individual charges may, or may not, turn out to be accurate, that is within the normal range of intel-reliability. However, the post-war findings are quite conclusive that the charge, itself, was accurate.

11: Next justification:

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

– Reference Iraqi support of terror organizations, which has been widely ackowledged for a decade or more.

Many of these groups and terrorists have been caught or killed since the war.

Conclusion: Accurate

12: Next justification:

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

– Hard to explain this one. Either you get it, or youdon’t.
Bush confirmed that 9/11“changed my calculation”.

This is not to say that the authorization claimed revenge as justification. It simply underscored the danger of allowing nations, like Iraq, to freely maintain WMD capability and support terror.

Notable figures like John Kerry, Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman and others concurred in that assessment.

Conclusion: Accurate, albeit opinion

13: Next justification:

Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

– The capability, willingness and risk has already been discussed above.
The magnitude of the harm of such an attack would depend on the nature of the attack, of course.

Conclusion: Accurate, still

14: Next justification:

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

– Simply a recitation of relevant documents.
Review 678, 660, 687, 688 or 949to verify.

Conclusion: Accurate

15: Next justification:

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President ‘to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677′;

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),’ that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and ‘constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,’ and that Congress, ‘supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688′;

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support effortsto remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

– A citation of the 1991 authorization and for war against Iraq, a supporting resolution, and the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.
Review transcript of authorization here, supporting resolution here, and the Iraq Liberation Act here.

Conclusion: Accurate

16: Next justification:

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to ‘work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge’ posed by Iraq and to ‘work for the necessary resolutions,’ while also making clear that ‘the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable';

– A citation of a speech given by Bush, to the UN, on September 12th, 2002.
It is important to note that Bush made it clear that we were not just dedicating ourselves to renewed inspections, or renewed negotiations, but to actual action….either on Iraq’s part, or, absent that, our own.

Some now claim the October 2002 resolution was just a profession of “support for the Security Councils decisions”….one should remind them of this speech, nearly a month ahead of that resolution, in which Bush said “But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced — the just demands of peace and security will be met — or action will be unavoidable.”
It was clear to everybody that the only outcome was full and immediate compliance. It was for Iraq, alone, to decide whether that would be voluntary or forced compliance.

Conclusion: Accurate

17: Next justification

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

– Two controversial statements herein:

a: Iraq’s “development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire…”
– This had been going on throughout the inspections of the 90s, and continued thereafter, according to the Kay report, which notes “ISG teams are uncovering significant information – including research and development of BW-applicable organisms, the involvement of Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) in possible BW activities, and deliberate concealment activities” and “…ISG teams have developed multiple sources that indicate that Iraq explored the possibility of CW production in recent years, possibly as late as 2003.”

b: “it is in the national security interests of the United States…”
– One might argue whether this is true, but this must be a decision made by those given responsibility to make that call. And did they decide such was the case?

The President, CIA, UN, and Congress have all affirmed this decision, in variousstatements, UN resolutions and Congressional resolutions.
One may disagree with their judgments, but their authority was clear and due process was followed.

Conclusion: Accurate

18: Next justification:

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

– A citation of the Congressional authorization for the war on terror.

Note: Authorization includes those responsible for 9/11, but is not exclusive to those responsible.
Iraq, per preceding citations, was unequivocally a supporter of terrorism.

Conclusion: Accurate

19: Next justification:

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40);

– A citation of the previous authorizations.

Conclusion: Accurate

20: Next justification:

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region:”

– One can hardly argue that a peaceful Middle-East would not be in our national security interests.

President Clinton and Congress certainly believed Iraq constituted a threat when they passed Public Law 105-235, which stated “…Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threaten vital United States interests and international peace and security”.

President Clinton and Congress even voted to “support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.”

Again, one may argue that this potential threat was not the case today, but the figures tasked with making that determination decided differently.

Conclusion: Accurate

Final Conclusions:
The inescapable conclusion is that, with the sole exception of the claim that Iraq was “actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability”, the justification for war was completely accurate. And that claim has yet to be settled either way.

No facts subsequent to the war have proven any of the official justifications false.

Even the nuclear claim may be described as accurate depending on the extent to which Iraq is alleged to have “sought” the capability.

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Darwinian Blithering Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:00:47 +0000 One Mr. David P Barash wrote a bit of typical Hitchens-style Christ-bashing, but without the stylistic wit of Hitchens. Also without the manly courage: Unlike Hitchens, Mr. Barash never actually finds the fortitude to come out and say what he means to say. This affords him wide avenues of retreat, as well as a mask of objectivity. Because he is a professor.

He has the startling news that science exiles faith! Because Darwin!

It is astonishing that some parents somewhere are paying this inarticulate or uneducated windbag good money to ruin the minds and souls of their impressionable schoolchildren. Simply the errors in straightforward logic are appalling, not to mention the lack of structure in his column: he seems to drift from topic to topic without any rhyme or reason.

Let us fisk this bit of blather.

The original is in italics, my comments in bold:

EVERY year around this time, with the college year starting, I give my students The Talk. It isn’t, as you might expect, about sex, but about evolution and religion, and how they get along. More to the point, how they don’t.

As a professional rhetorician myself, I am sensitive to the nuances of persuasive writing. The opening paragraph here attempts to raise a chuckle by likening the annual anticlerical screed he puts across to his captive audience of helpless students, a talk wherein he dismisses the compatibility between evolution and an unnamed religion, to the talk parents give to young teens about the realities of sex.

The parallel is clever, and utterly dishonest, because it casts those who believe the unnamed religion and evolutionary theory are compatible in the role of the foolish children who still believe babies are found under cabbage leaves, and casts himself, the antichristian, in the role the wise and mildly-embarrassed father.

Is it necessary for me to mention that the foolish cabbage children here happen to be the vast majority of scientists, scholars, learned men, theologians, and Christians? The only people who hold the unnamed religion and evolutionary theory to be incompatible are a small sliver of Biblical-literalistic Christians and an even smaller sliver of Biblical-literalistic atheists.

Note that the unnamed religion is unnamed in the opening paragraph precisely because to state the real thesis of ‘the Talk’ — which is, namely, to blacken the name of Christ and enforce social uniformity in blackening that Name — would be to undermine the attempt. It would be too obvious, too great a shock of cold water. The persuasive writing here is attempting, slowly, subtly, to put across an idea without naming the idea, or, rather, not an idea but an emotion: smugness and condescension.

That is the second reason why the talk is likened to telling youths about sex: the persuasion here is not logical but emotional. It is an attempt to associate the idea of the unnamed religion with the idea of childish naivety, while at the same time associating the idea of atheism with sober maturity, but more than that, to associate the idea of atheism with a feeling of fellowship, as if all we fathers who know about sex share a joke and share a wink and a smile, because we are the smart people together.

Hence, as we continue, let us count the actual number of scientific or logical arguments made, versus the number of emotional appeals to this sense of smug superiority.

I’m a biologist, in fact an evolutionary biologist…

The point of this clause is to establish the authority of the writer. He is giving his credentials as a member of the priesthood of science, I assume so that his statements will be taken ex cathedra, an infallible. In my case, since I know more than a little about biology and a lot about Darwin, I am not inclined to accept that authority since he is abusing it here.

… although no biologist, and no biology course, can help being “evolutionary.” My animal behavior class, with 200 undergraduates, is built on a scaffolding of evolutionary biology.

Here he makes a false statement, and I am a little surprised he just states it baldly, with no attempt to support it, no references, no facts, no data.

Actually, very little or nothing in biology requires knowing the ‘just-so’ stories evolutionists invent to ‘explain’ things like the size of the tail of the peacock or how the elephant got his trunk. Whether Mr Barash’s class is built on a scaffolding of evolutionary biology or not, the scientific study of biology predates Darwin by two thousand years or more, going all the way back to the Leeuwenhoek and Linnaeus, Harvey and Galen, to Alcmaeon and Aristotle.

Darwin’s theory is that the division of animals into species occurs by means of an unintentional natural selection of mates from a pool of parents who survive the rigors of the environment. These parents have a variety of traits, some of which by happenstance are better able to aid the survival chances of some parents than others traits. Hence any hereditary traits unsuccessful for a given environment during a given generation have a statistically lower chance to be passed along to the young. So, for example, among finches, a longer or shorter bill might enable the parents to crack nuts or find bugs in tree bark, and if the nuts are more nutritious or more available than the bugs that generation, the long-billed finch will outnumber the short-billed finch, and after repeated generations, the short-billed finch will die out, and then the long-billed finch will turn into another species altogether, let us say, an ostrich, with different numbers of genes, a different physiology, different behaviors and instincts, and this new species somehow becomes no longer inter-fertile with the short-billed finches.

Nothing in this theory has anything to do with animal behaviors, except for the idea that some behaviors aid in the statistical survival of the race. This is an idea that even those people who do not see by what obvious mechanism finches turn into ostriches without any intermediate forms do, in fact, accept as reasonable.

Again, I have no knowledge of how this particular teacher conducts his class, or what pains he takes to force Darwinism into the subject matter, but the fact is that Darwinism as such concerns the origin of species, not the specifics of animals behaviors. You can read THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES if you doubt me.      

It’s irresponsible to teach biology without evolution…

Nothing in the remaining article supports this extraordinary (and false) statement.

Biology is a vast field, and Darwinism is a speculation about the origin of species that does indeed offer a persuasive explanation for a wide number of related speculations about biology. But, technically speaking, it is not a scientific theory but a philosophical one, on the grounds that it offers no testable hypothesis. It is not ‘falsifiable’ that is, there is no possible configuration of evidence that has any ability definitively to disprove it.

Even if we saw a news species emerge from an old one (we never have) we would have no way to measure whether the emergence of the species was due to natural selection rather than some other cause.

… and yet many students worry about reconciling their beliefs with evolutionary science.

Non-sequitur. Whether it is responsible or not to teach biology without evolution has nothing to do with whether many students worry (rightly or wrongly) about reconciling their unnamed beliefs of an unnamed religion with evolution, wrongly here called a science.

Just as many Americans don’t grasp the fact that evolution is not merely a “theory,”…

Note that, with this backhanded sneer, Mr Barash attempts to put across one of the main issue in question as if it had already been decided.

This is not even a logical error with a fancy Latin name, like ad hominem or ad verecundiam. Is it just jeering at those who have another opinion on the matter, whether the opinion is reasonable or not. It is a statement that the only possible grounds for disputing with the professor is due to an inability to grasp the question.

Mr Barash here is calling himself smart and everyone else stupid.

So, here is the second emotional appeal: please agree with Mr Barash and bask in the warmth of having the right-thinking opinions.

Darwinism is not only correctly called a theory, it even more correctly called an unscientific theory, a philosophical theory, in that it is not open to disproof by normal scientific means of measurement, observation, experimentation; and it makes no testable predictions. There is no such thing as ‘Darwin’s Law’ parallel to ‘Newton’s Law’ because Darwin makes no predictions of outcomes.

If one biologists think the peacock’s tail is large and splendid due to sexual selection by means of displaying health to male rivals, and another thinks it is due to a way to display health to potential female mates, or if a third thinks the size and splendor of the peacock’s tail has some other advantage having nothing to do with sexual selection at all, there is no possible experiment to prove or disprove one theory or the other. All three researchers can go out into the field and try to count how often large tailed peacocks versus short tailed peacocks (if any exist) attract mates or escape from predators, but the question at hand is the purpose served by the large tail, and the counting of mates and predators will not tell you that.

… but the underpinning of all biological science, a substantial minority of my students are troubled to discover that their beliefs conflict with the course material.

Note the careful ambiguity here. The beliefs of the unnamed religion conflict with the course material. What conflict? In what way? A disagreement about the mechanism of evolution is being conflated with a rejection of the course material as a whole.

The reader is being asked to swallow the extraordinary assertion that animal behavior cannot be taught without teaching Darwinism. No evidence is given for the assertion.

And it not self evident, not even likely: common sense says that one can spend a lifetime looking at the reproductive strategies or food-gathering tactics of ants or clams without once investigating the origin of these species from any alleged common ancestor.

If common sense is wrong on this point, as it is on many points of science, we need some proof that it is.

Until recently, I had pretty much ignored such discomfort, assuming that it was their problem, not mine.

Another sneer. Now the unnamed religion is a ‘problem’, like a head-cold.

Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching chemistry without molecules, or physics without mass and energy.

Or like teaching chemistry without phlogiston, or teaching physics without reference to Aristotle’s theory of impetus.

The statement is unsupported and, as far as I know, simply false. How do the vast majority of biologists manage the task of teaching biology without evolution, if it is like teaching chemistry without molecules?

By my count, the article so far is up to three emotional appeals, and still at zero rational arguments.

But instead of students’ growing more comfortable with the tension between evolution and religion over time, the opposite seems to have happened. Thus, The Talk.

Again, I am sensitive to the nuances of persuasive writing. Note here that the assumption is being put across that Mr Barash was expecting students with the ‘problem’ of religion were going to become comfortable over time with the alleged tension (assumed without proof here to exist) between evolution and the unnamed religion. This is meant to imply that the Godbotherers are making themselves uncomfortable for no good reason, and that the father-figure of the teacher, reluctantly, worldly-wearing of their foolishness, now finds he must preach antichristianity as part and parcel of his course on animal behavior.

Note how he could have worded this sentence: ‘Many students, whose eager and bright young minds I respect, seeing a possible conflict between the conclusions of evolutionary biology and the beliefs of the unnamed religion, called upon me to ask if and how the two could be reconciled. Hence, the Talk.’ Do you see the difference between this sentence and the sentence as worded by the writer?

The wording of his sentence is meant to justify and excuse his stepping out of his role as a professor of biology and into the role of lay preacher preaching atheism, not what he is paid to do. He is in the role of ministering to their self imposed discomfort.

There are a few ways to talk about evolution and religion, I begin. The least controversial is to suggest that they are in fact compatible.

Least controversial? Again, an interesting way to word the idea. Mr Barash did not say that this is the majority view, the view most easily defended, or the true view. He dishonestly fails to note that he is supporting a minority viewpoint to challenge a well established and well respected one.

Perhaps I reading too much into the word choices, but if ‘controversy’ is taken as a sign of an active, courageous and intelligent mind, the sentence is not very flattering to the majority of scholarly opinion.

Score: emo appeal 4 / reason 0.

Stephen Jay Gould called them “nonoverlapping magisteria,” noma for short, with the former concerned with facts and the latter with values. He and I disagreed on this (in public and, at least once, rather loudly); he claimed I was aggressively forcing a painful and unnecessary choice, while I maintained that in his eagerness to be accommodating, he was misrepresenting both science and religion.

In some ways, Steve has been winning. Noma is the received wisdom in the scientific establishment, including institutions like the National Center for Science Education, which has done much heavy lifting when it comes to promoting public understanding and acceptance of evolution.

Finally, an admission that the viewpoint of Mr. Barash is the minority.

According to this expansive view, God might well have used evolution by natural selection to produce his creation.

This is undeniable. If God exists, then he could have employed anything under the sun — or beyond it — to work his will. Hence, there is nothing in evolutionary biology that necessarily precludes religion, save for most religious fundamentalisms (everything that we know about biology and geology proclaims that the Earth was not made in a day).

Finally, the statement of the substance of the case to be argued. This is buried in the middle of the article.

So far, so comforting for my students.

Following immediately by a sneer, another emotional appeal. (The fifth in ten paragraphs, but who is counting?)

Let us call the majority opinion (and I will take Mr. Gould as a fair representative of the opinion that has the weight of authority in the field over this fellow I’ve never heard of) the “compatibles” and the writer’s view the “non-compatibles”. This wording here is meant to dismiss the compatibles’ conclusion as being ‘comfortable’ — a subtle way of accusing the opinion of being false, adopted only for comfort’s sake, not for the truth value.

But here’s the turn: These magisteria are not nearly as nonoverlapping as some of them might wish.

Note yet again the wording. He does not say, the topics are not as nonoverlapping as the compatibles ‘hold’ or ‘conclude’ or ‘argue’ or ‘maintain’ — all of these would be to admit the rival argument is worthy of addressing like a grown up. No, Mr. Barash here once again simply thinks he must slyly imply that all opinions other than his own are based on wishful thinking, nothing else.

At this point, however, we can look forward to reaching the meat of the matter: we will be told what conclusions of the biological sciences specifically contradict the theological teachings of the unnamed religion. We should expect the writer to name a specific biological fact, and show how it contradicts a specific theological teaching. (Need I say that this expectation is naive?)

As evolutionary science has progressed…

Actually, the state of the argument today is precisely the same as it was in Darwin’s day.

If anything, the discovery of genetics and the more careful study of the fossil record has demolished both the idea of gradual changes, and robbed the Darwinists of any understandable mechanism whereby organisms gradually and naturally go from, for example, 48 chromosomes in an ape to 46 chromosomes in their alleged descendants, human beings.

The word ‘progress’ is thrown in here for the emotional appeal of making the writer’s view seem to be the modern one, and the compatibles are the throwbacks, old news, out of date.

As evolutionary science has progressed the available space for religious faith has narrowed: It has demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God.

I am flabbergasted by the sheer, appalling and unapologetic falsehood of the claim here.

Evolutionary science has performed no experiments and made no observations about the belief in an omnipotent God, nor about the belief in a benevolent God. Nor are these the pillars, potent or otherwise, of the belief system of the unnamed religion, but a conclusion, an article of dogma.

The illogic here is merely astounding, as if I were to announce that recent discoveries in etymology and economics had demolished those two potent foundations of entomology: that Grimm’s Law and Saye’s Law had undermined the Frabricius system of classification based entirely on mouth parts. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with linguistics or economics would merely standing blinking in astonishment, unable to comprehend the sheer insolent stupidity of the assertion.

Reasoned arguments about the omnipotence and benevolence of a divine being are part of theology, not a part of biology. So, Mr. Barash is about to depart from his role as expert biologist and enter his role as amateur theologian.

I await with sarcastically bated breath to discover whether he will use the proper data and proper procedures of a theologian, or merely give us a brash and uninformed opinion without a single reference to scripture in Latin or Greek, or naming a single Antenicene Father. To discuss theology without reference to the subject matter and methods of theology is like, well, like discussing chemistry without believing in molecules.

The twofold demolition begins by defeating what modern creationists call the argument from complexity.

Non-sequitur. The argument from complexity is an argument for the existence of an intelligent deliberate creator behind the beauty and organization of the universe. It has little or nothing to do with the benevolence or the omnipotence of the creator, only with his intelligence, the deliberate nature of the design.

This once seemed persuasive,

Again, note the wording. Mr. Barash is appealing to the chronological snobbery of the current generation yet again. Actually the persuasive value is unchanged from Paley’s day, or, for that matter, St Paul’s.

… best known from William Paley’s 19th-century claim that, just as the existence of a complex structure like a watch demands the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of complex organisms requires a supernatural creator.

Here please note even in his own wording, Mr. Barash only concludes the argument is about the existence of a Creator, not his benevolence or omnipotence. If one wishes to make an argument that a creator must logically be benevolent and omnipotent, that is a separate argument that stands on separate grounds.

Since Darwin, however, we have come to understand that an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness. Living things are indeed wonderfully complex, but altogether within the range of a statistically powerful, entirely mechanical phenomenon.

This is a fair statement of the counterargument. Note again it is worded as if this second argument has somehow prevailed over the first and that the matter is settled. Whether settled or not, this is a philosophical and not a scientific argument, since no observation, no measurable phenomena, and no experimentation is involved at any level to resolve the dispute.

Note the non-sequitur here: Paley’s argument was that a tool that served a purpose, such as a pocketwatch telling the time, implied the existence of a toolmaker, a mind that could draw the connection between the intricate mechanisms of spring and wheels and gears and the act of counting the hours. That connection is mental, symbolic, associational, purposeful, and therefore implies the existence of a mind that can form symbols and associate symbols with purposes. The Darwinian counter argument is that a process of random natural selection can produce complexity, even great complexity.

The second non-sequitur is the assertion that because living things are complex and random mechanical processes can produce complexity, ergo random mechanical processes are sufficient to explain living things. The proper conclusion is that random mechanical processes are sufficient to explain the complexity of living things, but not their other properties, such as the purposeful nature of their organs.

And nothing in the argument proves or disproves the existence of an organizing supernatural intelligence one way or the other, or even addresses that issue.

And no Darwinian worth the name argues that proving one mechanism is sufficient to explain a phenomenon proves that the phenomenon did in fact arise from that mechanism. Proving that the pocketwatch is not so complex that a natural and unthinking process could not have created it does not prove that a natural process did in fact create it.

That is why Darwin’s theory is still a theory. It attempts to prove that the division into species is not so complex that a natural and unthinking process could not have created news species out of old. It offers no argument and no proof that this did in fact happen in this way.

A few of my students shift uncomfortably in their seats. I go on.

Again, an emotional appeal is being made very subtly by this wording. The dullard children are being told that babies are not brought by the stork.

Myself, were I in his class, I would be shifting uncomfortably in my seat once I realized my tuition money had been wasted on a loon who cannot even frame his arguments in a logical format, or stick to the topic he is being paid to teach.

Next to go is the illusion of centrality.

Wait. What? Was that the whole argument on point one? Just a blanket assertion that Darwinian speculations can explain the complexity of life, therefore Paley’s argument need not be addressed?

The central claim of Paley is that organs like wings or eyeballs have an identifiable end-purpose, a task for whose sake they exist, such as flying or seeing, and that therefore by random mutation and natural selection is insufficient to explain why blind slugs and unflying worms would develop quarter-eyes, then half-eyes, and then by random mutation give birth to a child with working eyes; or likewise half a wing, one wing, a wing and a half, than from this by random mutation give birth to a flying insect or a flying bird. In order to go from half a wing to one wing, the process of change must be directed at forming a wing, and the wing must be directed to the purpose of flight, or otherwise the half a wing would be just as likely, if it is random mutation, to turn into a fin or an organ utterly useless for any cause.

I am not saying Darwinism does not have a believable rebuttal to give to this argument, but I am saying the rebuttal needs to be on the same topic as the conclusion being rebutted. A casual dismissal that fails to distinguish between purposefulness versus complexity is an illogical response, and not a rebuttal at all.

Next to go is the illusion of centrality. Before Darwin, one could believe that human beings were distinct from other life-forms, chips off the old divine block. No more.

Again, another non-sequitur. The two pillars of the unnamed religion were given as belief in the omnipotence and benevolence of God. The two arguments given in reply or rebuttal are (1) the claim that natural selection can produce complexity refutes Paley’s argument that evidence of purposeful design implies a purposeful designer and (2) the claim that Darwinian evolution proves man is not distinct from other life forms.

Nothing was said hitherto about the centrality of Man to the universe (which is not something the unnamed religion believes in any case). This is a new topic.

While, I suppose, someone could make an argument linking the old topic and this new one, none is provided here. The column so far seems to be merely one random assertion after another.

And, again, the counterargument is dismissed as an illusion, and called something that people believed only because no one could believe otherwise. The assertion is false: Lucretius was born in the First Century BC, and believed and taught an elaborate theory that human beings are atoms thrown together by blind natural processes. The Hindus from time immemorial taught that the souls of animals are caught in the same wheel of reincarnation as men and titans and gods, so that merit in one life could lead to a different rank in the next: this is the exact opposite of what Mr. Barash claims.

Again, this is merely one more appeal to chronological snobbery. The Christians teach that Man is a unique creature of a loving creator endowed, like him, with reason and moral sense and an immortal soul. That teaching whether right or wrong is not an old teaching and teaching that men and animals are indistinguishable is a new teaching. If anything, the opposite is the case: philosophies and religions that teach man is not distinct from the animal world are commonplace.

The most potent take-home message of evolution is the not-so-simple fact that, even though species are identifiable (just as individuals generally are), there is an underlying linkage among them — literally and phylogenetically, via traceable historical connectedness.

Technically, he means pre-historical. The linkage is speculative, to say the least, including an nearly infinite number of transitional species for which there is not a scintilla of evidence.

Moreover, no literally supernatural trait has ever been found in Homo sapiens

I am not sure what to make of this statement. It appears to be meaningless.

It is like saying the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has never been found as a ‘trait’ in Homo sapiens. The problem is that the right to life and liberty is a legal concept, not a biological one, and the means used by biologists to detect physical traits has nothing to do with the legal concept.

So, here. The immortality of the soul, the faculty of reason, the use of speech and tools, and the innate dignity of man and the brotherhood of man as being in the image of God are things perhaps related indirectly to biological traits, but they are not, strictly speaking, biological traits.

To the degree that, for example, the structure of mouth parts or brain elements has a bearing on the ability of man to speak and reason, create a civilization and right laws based on legal abstractions, these things set him apart from the other animals so dramatically that the statement on its face that man is merely a beast like a horse or mule is so obviously and insolently false as to defy mockery.

It is too stupid to mock. I can find nothing sufficiently insulting to say about it: I suggest any skeptic on this point discuss the matter with the highly intelligent and accomplished biologists, historians, and philosophers found among the horses and mules: start with Mr. Ed and Francis the Talking Mule, or Gulliver’s master among the Houyhnhnms.  

…we are perfectly good animals, natural as can be and indistinguishable from the rest of the living world at the level of structure as well as physiological mechanism.

‘Indistinguishable at the level of structure and physiological mechanism’ is precisely what we are NOT talking about, and Mr. Barash certainly knows this.

It is precisely in the areas where we are talking about mental, moral, spiritual and abstraction behaviors that we are NOT talking about structural elements. It is not the fact that man stands on two legs or has two sexes that sets us apart from Apes, it is the fact that we invent dances and pen bad love poems that sets us apart.

More dramatically, it is the fact that man is a political animal, capable of inventing speech and capable of reasoning in the abstract, that sets us clearly apart. Even social animals like insects do not write laws.

Adding to religion’s current intellectual instability is a third consequence of evolutionary insights: a powerful critique of theodicy, the scholarly effort to reconcile belief in an omnipresent, omni-benevolent God with the fact of unmerited suffering.

Note again, by calling the alleged intellectual instability of the unnamed religion ‘current’ he implies, or attempt to imply, that the is some new argument being leveled against the unnamed religion which has the Pope and the Dalai Lama all a-twitter, a-quiver and confounded: and then Mr Barash speaks to literally the oldest question in the book, perhaps the oldest question ever addressed by man.

Theological answers range from claiming that suffering provides the option of free will to announcing (as in the Book of Job) that God is so great and we so insignificant that we have no right to ask.

Pfui. A strawman argument. That is not the message of the Book of Job.

And, again, another emotional appeal: the implication is that clear-eyed priests of science, like Mr Barash, fearless have a right to ask theological questions, whereas the unnamed religion which has the Book of Job in its scriptures, are fearful people.

Note that our amateur theologian mentions in half a sentence the core answer to the problem of pain, at least the answer offered by the unnamed religion, but he does not say what it is. This is at the same level of intellectual honesty as the joke near the end of the movie TIME BANDITS where the Supreme Being answers the problem of why God would create evil by blinking in confusion and muttering, “Something to do with Free Will, I think.”

But just a smidgen of biological insight makes it clear that, although the natural world can be marvelous, it is also filled with ethical horrors: predation, parasitism, fratricide, infanticide, disease, pain, old age and death

A non-sequitur. The question being discussed is not whether suffering exists in nature, but why a benevolent God permits it. Both sides of the argument obviously agree that suffering exists.

And this has nothing to do with whether the unnamed religion is compatible or incompatible with Darwinian theories about the origin of species.

And I cannot help raise a Vulcan eyebrow over the idea that biology rests on smidgens of insights rather than, say, scientific theories confirmed by observations of fact.

— and that suffering (like joy) is built into the nature of things.

Another non-sequitur. It is a logically impermissible conclusion to say that because suffering exists, it is built into the nature of things, if by ‘built in’ we mean that only a natural and not a supernatural explanation is called for.

The data to be explained, the existence of suffering, is a meaningful question only in light of the supernatural. If we restrict our comments to the natural world, all that can be said about it is the fact that suffering exists: a fact no one disputes. The natural world cannot answer ‘for what purpose’ suffering exists, because such questions are philosophical or theological, which deals with the abstract or the supernatural.

The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.

I wish the writer had seen fit to include a few examples, or one, of where some biological fact has any bearing on the conclusion he claims follows from modern science. I would have liked the name of the experimenter and what his experiment was, so that I could reproduce it in my basement lab bench, and see for myself that all living things are produced by a natural amoral process with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator.

As it stands, the statement is another airheaded non-sequitur.

Evolution does not necessarily lead to this conclusion one way or the other, nor does this statement follow from the previous statement or paragraph or chain of thought. From the fact that suffering exists it is impermissible to leap to the conclusion that living things are produced (I assume he means that species are created) by a natural process.

He does not show that the conclusion is unavoidable, he merely says that it is, without saying what the conclusions is, or why it is inevitable. I would have liked even an mention of what the other possible conclusions are that modern science has somehow entirely disproven.

The conclusion that the process, once proved to be natural, is amoral is a permissible conclusion once we accept the idea that moral reasoning rests on a supernatural foundation, which I am willing to grant.

The indications that there is a benevolent, controlling creator are the same now as they were in Job’s day, and the knowledge or ignorance of Darwin’s theory of the origin of species by natural selection has no bearing on this question one way or the other. We did not need Darwin to tell us that suffering exists. Every child knows this from the hour that they are born screaming.

And to debate the issue is a question of theodicy, not of evolutionary biology, and requires the means and methods of theology. Not only has that not been done in this argument, the basic question has not even been addressed.

If the answer of the unnamed religion is that suffering is possible under the reign of a benevolent creator either as a penalty for ancestral disobedience or as an expected consequence of the free will among rebel angels, or as a harsh medicinal therapy, or a consequence in nature of the disobedience of man, or a by-produce of Karmic sins accumulated in past incarnations, or whatever, then I would expect for a biological argument to be presented showing what recent conclusions of biology prove that suffering is not possible either as a penalty for ancestral disobedience or as an expected consequence of the free will among rebel angels, or whatever. Instead, we are not even explicitly told what the alleged connection is to between the existence of suffering and free will is.

That argument is not onstage in this column, merely a blanket statement, unsupported by anything, that there is some sort of alleged conflict between theological questions of theodicy and the mating habits of digger wasps except that he does not even mention digger wasps, or give any examples, evidence or persuasive words to show that the alleged incompatibility exists.    

I CONCLUDE The Talk by saying that,


My jaw drops open at this point. If this were a legal case, I would now immediately move for dismissal on the grounds that a cause of action had not been alleged. He is closing his case before having called any witnesses or offering any exhibits into evidence, indeed, without anything but an opening statement of what he hopes to prove. 

I had reached twelve examples of emotional appeals before I lost count. The number of non-sequitur was eight. In a column this brief, those are appalling numbers. It take real work to cram that many errors in this short a space. The number of attempts are rational argument stands at an even more appalling zero.

I was waiting for the argument, the proof, to be given for the basic point Mr. Barash was trying to make: that belief in the conclusions of Darwinian evolution precludes a belief in the teachings of the unnamed religion. But he neither mentioned any conclusions of Darwinian evolution, not one, he also gave no argument, and did not even make a statement, showing where the incompatibility rests.

This is pathetic. I could write a better argument in favor of incompatiblism. Anyone who actually addressed the topic could.

All we have here is one blanket, unsupported statement that Darwinian ideas of natural selection are sufficient to account for the complexity of biological structures and mechanisms; and a blanket, unsupported statement that if suffering exists in the world, the unnamed religion is false.

At am at a loss to see why even a hard core atheist (and I was a hard core atheist for four fifths of my adult life) would find this article persuasive, or even why he would say it was on topic. It seems to be a laundry list of random assertions.

… although they don’t have to discard their religion in order to inform themselves about biology (or even to pass my course), if they insist on retaining and respecting both, they will have to undertake some challenging mental gymnastic routines.

Another non-sequitur. If the Mr. Barash had given an argument showing that reconciling evolution with theodicy was a complicated matter, involving mental gymnastics, then this conclusion would follow. But, reading this article, we have nowhere addressed the core issue, which is to show where Darwin’s theory and the unnamed religion contradict each other; and nowhere is it shown that attempts to resolve that contradiction rests on distinctions or convolutions of argument so complex that they are challenging.

And while I respect their beliefs…

There is no reply I can make to this insolent lie that does not involve swear words, so I will let it pass without further comment.

No, wait, I can say something. In the sentence immediately prior to this one, Mr. Barash just said that both evolution and religion cannot be respected, which means, logically (since he himself clearly respects biology) that he does not respect religion.

…the entire point of The Talk is to make clear that, at least for this biologist, it is no longer acceptable for science to be the one doing those routines, as Professor Gould and noma have insisted we do.

Please note how insolent and blatant this confession is.

Mr. Barash does not say in this sentence that it is his considered opinion that Darwinism and the unnamed religion are incompatible. He does not say that science has proven them incompatible. He says that as least for him, it is no longer acceptable, that is, socially polite, for science to undergo the ungainly mental gymnastics needed to stick to science and not intrude into theology.

Look closely. Mr. Barash is not talking about science or philosophy, not talking about what is true or false, logical or logical. He is talking about what is ‘acceptable’.

But since when does science promote acceptable beliefs and deter unacceptable beliefs, rather than promoting true beliefs about science, and leaving matters outside of where the scientific methods can reach to their own devices?

Despite these three evolutionary strikes, God hasn’t necessarily struck out.

Eh… what? Mr. Barash has not won three arguments, or even given three arguments. First, he has said nothing about the omnipotence of God; and second, he has only offered an unsupported assertion about theodicy, which has nothing to do with the origin of species one way or the other, or any science, modern or not. Job was asking about the justice of God back in the Bronze Age. The third strike, about the distinction between men and beasts has nothing to do with the unnamed religion one way or the other, since Darwinism says only that Men are descended from Apes, which seems, if anything, to be a nobler origin than saying Man is made of dust and shall return to dust.

Mr Barash is suffering from the extraordinary delusion that he make a logical argument, or any sort of argument at all.

At the end of the movie version of “Inherit the Wind,” based on the famous Scopes “monkey trial” over a Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution, Spencer Tracy’s character, fashioned after the defense attorney Clarence Darrow, stands in the empty courtroom, picks up a Bible in one hand and Darwin’s “Origin of Species” in the other, gives a knowing smile and claps them together before putting both under his arm. Would that it were so simple.

Ending with another sneer. Now the compatibilists like myself and Mr Gould are simple. And yet not two paragraphs above, he and I are involved in reasoning so convoluted and non-simple that Mr Barash calls it mental gymnastic.

You can tell a man is intellectually dishonest when he reaches for any stick to beat a dog. Mr. Barash calls his rivals simple when it serves his turn to sneer at his rivals for being simplistic, and calls them gymnasts when it serves his turn to sneer at his rivals for being overly complicated and unsimplistic. That he makes basic errors in logic seems not to deter him.

And why is he talking about the character of the men who argue the opposite side at all? The whole column is nothing but an exercise in ad hominem.

I had ready to hand all my arguments from the scripture and magisterium showing how Christian teaching was not incompatible with Darwinian biology properly understood, and my copy of ORIGIN OF SPECIES to show what a proper understanding of Darwin actually entails: but I need give neither set of arguments here because I have not been called upon to do so. Mr Barash did not even make any reference to the teachings of the unnamed religion, much less quote chapter and verse from the Book of Genesis. He does not even quote from the Book of Job to give even the flimsiest ghost of an argument to support that his so-called interpretation of Job is correct. So, I pack away my arguments unsaid, since the big guns are not needed on this small target; only birdshot.  

Now, tally up your final score. How many times did Mr. Barash refer to any specific finding, experiment, observation or fact about biology? Did he mention the sexual reproduction strategies of the sea turtle or the timber wolf? Did he mention the hunting methods of the lioness, or the architectural cunning of the bee? Did he mention any facts at all, even one?

Did he say anything, anything at all, even by way of reference, which shows he actually teaches biology, or knows anything about it? No? Then if you find his conclusion persuasive, and it is not based on any fact or reference to biology, then the statement that Darwin and the unnamed religion are incompatible is not a conclusion of biology.

Did Mr Barash say anything, anything at all, even by way of reference, which shows he is familiar with the basic questions and answers of theology? Again, if you answer in the negative then the question is not based on any conclusion or deduction from theology, then the statement that Darwin and the unnamed religion are incompatible is not a conclusion of theology.

So what is it? It is a conclusion of groupthink: it is a profession using his prestige and power over children to warn them that theism is not politically correct, coupled with a rather unconvincing hypocrisy telling them they can be Christians and still get good grades in his class.

The Talk is a warning shot over the bow of Christian students unwise or unlucky enough to take a class from this creature. I am mildly astonished he flies his colors so boldly, since Leftists are a cowardly and superstitious lot, but it is a sign of the continued degeneration of our schools, once institutions of higher learning, now indoctrination centers: schools are nothing but seminaries for the cult of political correctness.


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Othering the Cis Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:58:42 +0000 CPE Gabler asks:

Aren’t those vile depths generally reached from a starting point of wanting to be more loving than God, and to be compassionate to the outcasts and disenfranchised? I believe you’ve said similar things in the past.

Yes, it is in the name of compassion that ideas like the ones debated below are promoted. Here, two connoisseurs of ‘Hentai’ (which is Japanese cartoons that range from Cheesecake to Porn to Freakyporn only the Japanese are sick enough to like) are discussing whether it is licit for a pornography artist to be uncomfortable drawing toon pics of a homosexual couples unnatural acts in action.

I am not making this up. This is not a parody.

“Ahhh, see, I just disagree. I feel that it’s okay to not be comfortable drawing a sex scene with two people of the same sex even if you are comfortable doing it straight.

It isn’t a social injustice like homophobia actually is, you can still support a person’s life style and sex life, even if you don’t want to see them having sex.”

As a queer person I have to say that if you have an issue drawing non straight couples doing something you have no issue seeing straight people do, that’s not really ‘supporting’ or accepting us.

You may not be actively negative about or towards non straight people, but treating our sex as different to straight sex is very othering.

I don’t want to make this a dispute, and I know a lot of people have a similar opinion of “I don’t mind gay people I just don’t want to see it”.

But I hope hearing why this is hurtful for us might persuade you to reconsider why it makes you uncomfortable.

It hurts to hear “what you do in bed makes me uncomfortable but it wouldn’t if it was straight people”. There should be no difference between seeing a man and woman, or two men, or two women.

This discussion also seems to be gearing around cis people. But there’s also the fact that gay/lesbian sex could in fact involve a penis and a vagina since trans people exist. In light of that perhaps ask yourself; what does make you uncomfortable about it, is it really the genitals involved?

Really it is a prejudice and you might not have bad intentions but it is harmful in its own way. If you accidentally hit someone on the arm, you might not have intended to hurt them, you probably like the person, but their arm still hurts. I have to deal with these negative little comments and opinions every day, in the media, from people at work, so it does add up, it does effect us.

Got that? A pornographer not as willing to draw nor stare at an image of cartoon copulation is ‘othering’ the freaks from the freakshow if he is not just as eager to draw and stare at cartoon sodomy.

All that was required was to define normalcy as uncompassionate, and to pretend all opposition to sin and evil and madness and perversion springs from uncompassion. Simple. It worked for homosexuals, and now it is working for so called transsexuals, who are men who have their dicks cut off and false boobs sewn to their chest, and given hormones, and who dress as girls and pretend to be girls. Those are the people compassion says should be allowed into the public bathroom next to your little girl.

And next will be polygamists, incest, necrophiliacs, whatever.

Then cannibals. We will be told how wrong and evil and BIGOTED it is to impose our dietary preferences on people who cannot help their taste in hamburger meat.

The people driving this bus are heterosexuals, usually people married with kids. They don’t give a rat’s ass about whether perversion is made legal or not. It is not personal.

They just want the rules broken and abolished, first of chastity, then of honesty, then of honor, then of language itself, so that no one and nothing can condemn them for their sins. Their method of seeking sinlessness is to abolish the law that condemns them, and suspend the use of the wisdom and judgment which holds virtue to be better than vice.

It is what that have instead of a sacrament of confession. Instead of going into a private booth to admit their sins and be forgiven, they go into the public square and accuse you and me and everyone in the world, hoping that all their accusers shall one day fall silent. Being free of conscience they imagine to be the same as being free of sin.

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Beyond Binary Sanity — and a call to arms by Hoyt Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:54:15 +0000 Back when I was a Libertarian, we would ask each other when it was time to stop talking and to shoot the bastards.

Myself, I would like to have conservatives ask each other when it was time to stop apologizing to the Left, being nice to the Left, petting the Left, and bending over and clutching our ankles to allow the Left once again to kick us in the butt, or, given their sexual proclivities, perform an unnatural act which they regard as equal to marriage.

Here is yet one more example the Left buggering civil society:

This is not a parody.

A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered [sic] expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender [sic] inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered [sic] expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.

The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls,” and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.”

“Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered [sic] space?’” the document says.

The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender [sic] sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”

Other items on the list include asking all students about their preferred pronouns and decorating the classroom with “all genders [sic] welcome” door hangers.

If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders [sic] exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither.”

Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender [sic] in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.

“Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender [sic] in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender [sic] .”

The teachers were also given a handout created by the Center for Gender Sanity, which explains to them that “Gender [sic] identity . . . can’t be observed or measured, only reported by the individual,” and an infographic called “The Genderbred Person,” which was produced by

Despite controversy, Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel has declared that he is “happy” and “pleased” with the training documents.

“We don’t get involved with politics,” he told KLIN Radio’s Drive Time Lincoln radio show.

These people are mentally ill.

This mental illness is why some turd-scented Morlock on called for an end to binary gender [sic] in SFF, and why Larry Correia was subjected to the Two Minute Hate.

Mr Correia pointed out that people who buy stories about libertarian gunnuts shooting monsters want a monster story, not a finger-wagging lecture on the alleged moral superiority of unnatural sexual acts.

The Morlock, like the Puritans before him, wanted an end to all entertainment that did not serve the zealous moralizing of the fanatics. Like the Puritans, for the Morlocks, there is nothing beyond the orbit of the theocratic leaders, nothing aside from the ideal, everything for the ideal.

The difference is that the Puritan moral code was actually moral, if excessive. They were trying to be holier than God, and to be meek, chaste, modest and humble. These modern Puritans express the same degree of zeal and mouth-foaming fervor by trying to kill more children than Moloch, screw more catamites than Asmodius, gnaw out their own guts with more envy than Leviathan, flatter themselves with more vainglory than Lucifer, and in general by trying to be more unholy than the wretched devils swarming in the smoldering sewers of Hell.

And now they have declared war on ‘he’ and ‘she’.

These people are mentally ill.

Yes, it is a voluntary mental illness, a group of sane people merely pretending to be mentally ill in order to adhere to the worldview of Cloudcuckooland, and when addressed on topic unrelated to whatever the fashionable faux-outrage of the day  might be, seem as normal and sane as a human being. But when some social cue is given, like werewolves under the full moon, they suddenly transform, reason and decency fly away, and they transform themselves, willingly and eagerly, into frothing lunatics.

The mental illness is a lust to control the minds and souls of others. There are certain thoughts they do not want you to THINK, such as, for example, that boys are boys and girls are girls. That A is A. That sodomy is not marriage and marriage is not sodomy.

Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel needs to be fired. Today. He needs to be placed under psychiatric observation, and put in a padded cell so that he will not hurt himself.

And he needs to be held up to public mockery and ridicule so vicious and so sustained that the craven wormlike organisms known as Leftists will see and fear to do as he has done.

There is no way to reason with someone who regards logic as evil. Someone who cannot distinguish between the sexes, and who regards distinguishing between the sexes as evil, must be shamed into silence, or clubbed into silence. He needs to be shamed, fired, ostracized.

Unfortunately, all the normal social mechanisms of opinion-making, the ones who control who is shamed and who is not, are under control of the Left. This leaves only violence as an option, and that avenue is closed to those who revere and respect civilization.

Hence, even if it takes generations, we must rebuild the social mechanisms. We must make the machinery of society, social norms, the signals ordinary people use to sense the will and direction of the consensus, and return them to honest use, so that the red lights no longer mean go and the green lights no longer mean stop. We need to get the social cues to stop lying.

The social cue assigned to bigotry and hatred, as when a man blames the Jews for the failure of Germany to win World War One, or for American immigration policy, is here being assigned to calling boys “boys” and girls “girls.” It is a false cue. It is a lie.

On the same day this story came out, I read this, an important call to arms from Sarah Hoyt.

They need to be exposed for what they are, because, as everywhere where the left gets power, they’re a weird, misshapen assemblage of overreaching bureaucrats, twisted control freaks and lamentable human beings.

Illegal mistreatment of their political “enemies” and hatred of western civilization is what they DO. And the bizarre politeness of those who disagree with them is what allows them to do it.

People criticize Mitt Romney for saying that Obama was a good man. How could he have said otherwise. If he’d called the man the rabid crapweasel he is, half the right or more would have risen to dissociate themselves from him, because they’ve been trained to think it’s somehow not fair or impolite to expose the left.

This is not belief. This is social conditioning, through all the years when it was accepted the “smart” and “nice” were on the left.

Even I was shocked reading a biography of Carter – did you know he tried to sell us to the Russians in return for help with his second election? – because I too had been sold on the idea he was only ineffective because he was so nice.

They’re not your friends. They’re not nice. They’re no idealistic. No idealistic left survived the combined blows of Stalinism and the fall of the USSR. There’s only, now, cynical left pretending to be idealistic to hide their grossly swollen appetite for power.

They’ve lost even their power of self deception.

All they have now is the naked will to power and you – you who dare stand in their way.

This is not a gentlemanly fight. You are NOT to use the Marquess of Queensbury rules. The other guy is holding a broken bottle.

No one is asking you to make yourself into a mirror image of the crapweasels.

But you should not be ashamed to expose them, make them uncomfortable, scream at them or point their vapid intellectual contradictions and contortions. Breitbart wasn’t afraid, and look at the difference he made.

Stop trying to be nice. They aren’t.

Expose, mock and shame.

Being nice is a poor substitute for being good. And you’re called upon to be good. If you’re merely nice, evil wins.

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So, You Want to be Superversive? Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:42:42 +0000 Are you sick of literature, especially what is fed to children in schools, that serves no purpose other than to subvert the current social order, rot civilization, introduce despair, and cast the phosgene gas of ironic detachment over all normal and healthy human emotion? Care to join the movement that stands for the opposite of all these things?

The beautiful and talented Mrs. Wright has the second of several planned posts on the topic of what to do to join the movement, and lend your strength to the cause?

So, you want to be Superversive? Eager to join the new movement but not sure how to tell if you have? This post will, God willing, help sort out a bit of the confusion.

So, without further ado: The Benchmarks of the Superversive:

First and foremost, a Superversive story has to have good storytelling.

By which I do not mean that it has to be well-written. Obviously, it would be great if every story was well-written. It is impossible, however, to define a genre or literary movement as “well-written”, as that would instantly remove the possibility of a beginner striving to join.

What I mean by good storytelling is that the story follows the principles of a good story. That, by the end, the good prosper, the bad stumble, that there is action, motion to the plot, and a reasonable about of sense to the overall structure.

Second, the characters must be heroic.

By this, I do not mean that they cannot have weaknesses. Technically, a character without weaknesses could not be heroic, because nothing would require effort upon his part.

Nor do I mean that a character must avoid despair. A hero is not defined by his inability to wander into the Valley of Despair, but by what he does when he finds himself knee deep in its quagmire. Does he throw in the towel and moan about the unfairness of life? Or does he pull his feet out of the mud with both hands and soldier onward?

Nor do I mean that every character has to be heroic, obviously some might not be. But in general, there should be characters with a heroic, positive attitude toward life.

However, many, many stories have good storytelling and heroic characters. Most decent fantasies are like that.

Are all decent fantasies Superversive?


Because one element of Superversive literature is still missing.


Third, Superversive literature must have an element of wonder

But not ordinary wonder. (Take a moment to parse that out. Go ahead. I’ll still be here. )

Specifically, the kind of wonder that comes from suddenly realizing that there is something greater than yourself in the universe, that the world is a grander place than you had previously envisioned. The kind of wonder that comes from a sudden hint of a Higher Power, a more solid truth.

There might be another word for that kind of wonder: awe.

Read the whole thing:

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