Arimathea
Page views: 379266
Total entries: 1445
Total comments: 542

Acknowledgments

Fonts

Philosophy
All wisdom begins in wonder, and this delight kindles a desire for truth that leads us on a quest for the really real -- the source of being itself. Hence, the philosophical impulse, albeit often manifested in atheistic and irreverent stumblings in the dark of human ignorance, begins and ultimately ends in theology -- communicating and communing with our origin and goal. We men are rational animals who seek to know. We are agents of truth who want correct answers to questions that we must ask. From the noblest objects of contemplation to the seemingly insignificant everyday trivialities of life, we attempt to unravel perplexing knots. Limited, blind, and distracted, we nevertheless struggle for wisdom. This is our lot, and it is also our glory.
Wednesday, February 23, A.D. 2011
Why You’re Not Married

Right before Valentine’s Day, television writer Tracy McMillan posted an article on The Huffington Post titled, “Why You’re Not Married.” For a piece published at Arianna’s site, and written by a woman, it is remarkably honest and thoughtful. Note that McMillan is chiefly writing to “successful,” “educated” women in their twenties and thirties who live in affluent or gentrifying neighborhoods in large coastal cities. You know—S.W.P.L. gals whose idea of attaining transcendent wisdom is watching Eat Pray Love while eating organic yogurt from Whole Foods, enhanced with fair trade dried fruit and indigenous nuts from some Indian co-op making dólares down in Central America. (Such females indulge themselves on natural this and organic that to counteract the horrifically unnatural things that they do to and with their bodies, from pumping themselves so full of chemicals for so long that they destroy their reproductive health to murdering their unborn children.) Anyway, McMillan’s advice is straight tough love, without the cherry and cream. Among her reasons for why such women remain single, despite wanting marriage on some level, are:

1. You’re a bitch: such women are angry, and men dislike female anger.

2. You’re shallow: such women seek less important traits in men and ignore character.

3. You’re a slut: the rich, good looking, charismatic guy might sleep with such women, but he definitely won’t marry them.

4. You’re a liar: such women deceive themselves and the men they date.

5. You’re selfish: perhaps the defining characteristic of our age. McMillan’s point is worth quoting:

If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy—or at least a guy with a really, really good job—would solve all your problems.

Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say—if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

I do not think that counseling women to get knocked up in order to make them better people is good marriage finding advice; it is not fair to the child, and it is quite bad for society. However, her point about selfishness stands.

6. You’re not good enough: such women do not see themselves as being worthy of good companionship. This may be McMillan’s nod to Lifetime sisterly affirmation, but there is probably something to it with self destructive women.

McMillan’s closing point is also worth repeating here:

Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something—it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession—a free-agent penis—and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway—because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self—you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love.

Such advice is rare these days in secular America. What do mothers teach their daughters now? Do they teach them at all?

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, February 23, Anno Domini 2011
AnthropologyCommentsPermalink
Thursday, February 10, A.D. 2011
Birthright Citizenship

I learnt yesterday that some House Republicans have proposed the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140) that would restrict automatic birthright citizenship to children with at least one parent who is:

(1) a citizen or national of the United States;
(2) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States whose residence is in the United States;
(3) an alien performing active service in the armed forces (as defined in section 101 of title 10, United States Code).

The act would not affect the citizenship status of anyone born before the act became law.

I doubt that the act has any chance of being passed, but it is a start, and I am glad that such a proposal has entered public discussion. Open Congress informs us that the following organizations oppose the bill:

American Civil Liberties Union
Arab American Institute
Asian American Justice Center
America’s Voice
American Immigration Lawyers Association

No surprises there. Well, given my quixotic nature, I decided to ask my three members of Congress to support the bill and similar proposals, including my Democratic U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown. Given Brown’s supposed commitment to blue collar workers, you would think that he would approve such measures. For mass immigration has hurt lower class laborers the most as their wages have stagnated with the influx of cheap competition and as their communities have been transformed into foreign barrios. Here is the letter that I sent:

I recently read that there are legislative efforts underway to restrict birthright citizenship to the children of citizens and legal residents. I think that this is a great idea; it is foolish to create incentives for “delivery tourism” or for illegal aliens to “anchor” themselves by having children in the USA. I think that a child should have to have at least one parent who is a citizen in order to gain automatic citizenship, though the inclusion of children of legal residents is a sensible extension of citizenship, as well, provided that the legal residents intend to become citizens eventually and that they raise their children as Americans rather than citizens of a foreign nation.

For too long, our country’s leadership has been irresponsible in managing immigration, and I fear that Balkanization and the resulting loss of national unity spell grave troubles for us. I think of Solzhenitsyn’s famous Harvard address when he asked what held contemporary American society together. I fear that, for many people, it is only the search for material comfort and the riches that we are blessed to enjoy. However, we cannot count on prosperity forever. If another Great Depression or worse happened, it would be much better for the country to have a united citizenry rather than a collection of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural factions that will tear us apart. Patriots talk about American exceptionalism, but we are not exempt from the laws of human nature.

Therefore, we need to stop mass immigration, whether legal or illegal, and insist on assimilation, or we’ll end up as Yugoslavia. Such a result would be a betrayal of our founding, of our principles, and of our people; a world without the U.S.A. would be a much worse place. So, please support efforts to solidify national unity and to make American citizenship meaningful again rather than simply a slight documentation concern. Please fight against the government’s reckless attempt to elect a new people.

If Americans resisted efforts to render the United States of America an abstract “propositional nation” rather than a real country with real, concrete people, this calculated destruction of our culture and marginalization of our people would stop. Complacency facilitates our demographic and cultural suicide. It does not have to be this way, and I hope that more and more people will awake from their slumber and remind the elected officials that the American people are not abstractions but particular human beings with interests and concerns, chief among which are survival and the continued existence of our way of life.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, February 10, Anno Domini 2011
PoliticsCommentsPermalink
Thursday, February 3, A.D. 2011
Facts Are Sexist

This past Sunday, Steve Sailer posted a funny commentary on a New York Times article lamenting the dearth of women among Wikipedia’s volunteer contributors: “Guys create Wikipedia for free: that’s a problem.”

From the NYT:

“Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List”

In 10 short years, Wikipedia has accomplished some remarkable goals. More than 3.5 million articles in English? Done. More than 250 languages? Sure.

But another number has proved to be an intractable obstacle for the online encyclopedia: surveys suggest that less than 15 percent of its hundreds of thousands of contributors are women.

I would imagine that if less than 15% of the contributors are women, then much less than 15% of the work is done by women.

Considering that almost nobody gets paid for Wikipedia, the most obvious thing that can be said about its existence from a gender point of view is that the human race owes a debt of gratitude to the male sex.

About a year ago, the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs Wikipedia, collaborated on a study of Wikipedia’s contributor base and discovered that it was barely 13 percent women; ...

Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women. ...

Is a category with five Mexican feminist writers impressive, or embarrassing when compared with the 45 articles on characters in “The Simpsons”?

I note that the Mexican Simpson’s character Bumblebee Man only gets a subarticle on Wikipedia, and I’m much more interested in Bumblebee Man than in Mexican feminist writers, so, guys, get back to work!

The notion that a collaborative, written project open to all is so skewed to men may be surprising.

Unless you stop and think about it.

After all, there is no male-dominated executive team favoring men over women, as there can be in the corporate world; Wikipedia is not a software project, but more a writing experiment — an “exquisite corpse,” or game where each player adds to a larger work.

But because of its early contributors Wikipedia shares many characteristics with the hard-driving hacker crowd, says Joseph Reagle, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. This includes an ideology that resists any efforts to impose rules or even goals like diversity, as well as a culture that may discourage women.

“It is ironic,” he said, “because I like these things — freedom, openness, egalitarian ideas — but I think to some extent they are compounding and hiding problems you might find in the real world.”

Adopting openness means being “open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,” he said, “so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.”

To the extent that not having more articles about Mexican feminist writers is a problem, it’s a problem caused not by evil misogynists, but by women (in particular, by Mexican women), who are less likely than men (especially non-Mexican men) to see the point (assuming there is one) in working for free to expand access to information for people they don’t know. But blaming any problem, even one as exiguous as women not contributing much unpaid labor to Wikipedia, on women is a no-no, so the fault must lie with “misogynists.”

Next—New York Times writer complains about the lack of men waiting for tickets to The View.

Reread the reporter’s words and Reagle’s analysis. They betray the totalitarian clownishness completely divorced from nature that pervades these postmodern morons. Leftists of all stripes are despicable, but I find this species of womynism so utterly ridiculous and beneath contempt, my soul cannot even find a fixed negative emotional response.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, February 3, Anno Domini 2011
PoliticsCommentsPermalink
Wednesday, February 2, A.D. 2011
Egyptian Woes

The world watches in fear and in hope as the mob rages in Egypt. American commentary has been rather optimistic, reflecting the democratic ideological assumptions of our land. Some journalists have even called the recent protests the Arab Tiananmen Square. That readily we confuse Arab Kotebists for Chinese anti-Communists should make us wary of our political senstivity and judgment.

Being no democrat myself and noting the likelihood of what “freedom” would mean for Egyptians, I think that a regime change would be quite ugly. Secular Arab nationalism has been problematic for the West, but at least it held Communism and jihadism at bay. For the most part, Copts in Egypt and Christian minorities in Syria and in Ba’athist Iraq have enjoyed far more freedom and security than their coreligionists elsewhere in the Dar al-Islam. Arab dictatorships were never truly friends of Western nations, but they have been allies of common interest in various conflicts. After imperial European rule, secular Arab nationalist regimes might be the best that we can get in the Mohammedan Middle East. If Egypt’s regime topples, its replacement will be worse.

Of course, the instability in Egypt harbors grave consequences for Israel. Barry Rubin notes the stakes in the Jerusalem Post: “Egypt crisis worst disaster since Iran’s revolution”. One would think that concern for Israel would be paramount for its American allies. After all, such allies are constantly attacked by their political enemies for being Jews only concerned about Jews or “ZOGs”—agents of a “Zionist Occupied Government.” You know—those dastardly neocons who get us into wars only to advance Israeli interests. Well, things are not so harmonious in the house that Irving built, as Jeffrey Goldberg notes in The Atlantic: “The Neocons Split with Israel over Egypt.” Goldberg observes that the neocons’ obsession with spreading freedom and democracy in the Middle East has overriden their interest in Israel’s safety.

My main source in this crisis has been Lawrence Auster. For it is a perfect cocktail of his intellectual interests in that it concerns political stability, Israel, neoconservatives, the Mohammedan menace, and the contemporary West’s endemic inability to consider facts rather than its ideological commitments. For the last point, Auster commends Caroline Glick’s article on Real Clear Politics, “Clueless in Washington,” wherein Glick argues that the neoconservatives from the American Right and the anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist anti-Westerners from the American Left have both come to political agreement on the Egyptian crisis due to their own ideological blinders. The neoconservatives are championing democracy with the naive expectation that the fall of Mubarak’s authoritarian regime will result in a liberal, commercial republic that respects human rights. After all, all men hunger for freedom, right? The anti-colonialists always side with whatever movement seems farther removed from the West’s influence, even though such movements often result in misery and oppression for the Third World objects of Leftist compassion. Glick notes that both camps are driving our foreign policy while they handle the Egyptian crisis without regard to the facts, not to mention our national interests.

From View from the Right, see Auster’s posts “The ruinous alliance of neocons and leftists on the Egypt crisis,” “Is it true that the freedom-mad neocons have suddenly turned toward rationality?,” and “The Neocons Strike Back ... at Israel.” As a counterexample to Glick’s and Auster’s alliance of villains that are cheerleading catastrophe, leftist Richard Cohen in the Washington Post writes some sensible words, acknowledging his conflicted liberal soul: “A democratic Egypt or a state of hate?”

Majority rule is a worthwhile idea. But so, too, are respect for minorities, freedom of religion, the equality of women and adherence to treaties, such as the one with Israel, the only democracy in the region. It’s possible that the contemporary Islamists of Egypt think differently about these matters than did Qutb. If that’s the case, then there is no cause for concern. But Hamas in the Gaza Strip, although recently moderating its message, suggests otherwise. So does Iran.

Those Americans and others who cheer the mobs in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, who clamor for more robust anti-Mubarak statements from the Obama administration, would be wise to let Washington proceed slowly. Hosni Mubarak is history. He has stayed too long, been too recalcitrant - and, for good reason, let his fear of the future ossify the present. Egypt and the entire Middle East are on the verge of convulsing. America needs to be on the right side of human rights. But it also needs to be on the right side of history. This time, the two may not be the same.

It always fascinates me when Leftists demonstrate an ability to think clearly. I suppose that extreme circumstances, where the issue of survival surfaces and where there is no more room to dally with the decadent, luxurious vices that Leftists in wealthy, Western nations tolerate or support, even the eyes of fools must focus. Historian Benny Morris is a good example of how reality, hard and unrelenting, is the ultimate teacher for the most recalcitrant learners.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, February 2, Anno Domini 2011
PoliticsCommentsPermalink
Tuesday, February 1, A.D. 2011
Unisex Prisons

Both Lawrence Auster of View from the Right and Laura Wood of The Thinking Housewife have commented on the recent murder of a female prison guard in Monroe, Washington. Jayme Biendl worked alone and unarmed in the chapel of a men’s prison, though she repeatedly complained to her supervisors and to her union regarding her safety. Last Saturday, a convicted serial rapist, Byron Scherf, strangled Biendl to death in the chapel. According to the Seattle Times, fifty-two year old Scherf has been in and out of prison several times since he was a teenager for multiple rapes and assaults, including having poured gasoline on and set fire to one of his victims. It is utterly unjust that Scherf remains alive. Washington should have executed him decades ago or, at the very least, consigned him to solitary confinement in a dungeon wherein he could ruin no more lives but his miserable own. How irresponsible and reckless was it for the Washington penal system to trust this beast to roam the prison with isolated and unarmed guards, especially women! Auster frequently talks about suicidal liberalism; it is verily a recipe for mayhem and slaughter.

According to the Seattle Times, prison superintendent “Frakes said female officers began working all posts inside prisons about 30 years ago and began to be seen as ‘equal to and just as valuable’ as male officers.” As the prison authorities state, it is possible for prisoners to attack male guards, too. As such, one wonders why violent criminals are allowed such freedom. Yet, probabilities change accordingly; it is quite mad for there to be female prison guards in male prisons, just as it is insane to have male prison guards in female prisons. Many male prisoners, as in this case, have a history of violence against women. Such men are dangerous to anyone, but they have a particular taste for hurting the fairer sex. Moreover, women are generally much physically weaker when it comes to combat situations. For both reasons, women should not work in male prisons. Furthermore, certain positions wherein people may exercise power and domination over others tend to attract the wrong kind of workers. Childcare, nursing homes, and prisons must deal with this ugly reality. Both men and women with grievances against the opposite sex all too frequently use their positions in prisons to humiliate and to abuse the typically defenseless prisoners. Thus, prisons are fertile ground in which abuse may grow abundantly, but there are policies that can help minimize such disorder. For the well being of both guards and prisoners, prisons should be single sex.

Sometimes, one hears supposedly “conservative” commentators balk at instances of prisoner abuse. They think that the savages deserve what they get. I am sympathetic to their hunger for justice, but let us remember that penal sentences involve incarceration, not torture or abuse. If a convict is sentenced to time in a penitentiary, he should lose his freedom. I think that he should also have to perform hard labor to pay for his “room and board.” However, the state should not oversee a system wherein its wards—in this case, prisoners—suffer assault and sexual abuse, as regularly happens now. Obviously, single sex prisons would not resolve all of these issues, especially given the frequency of sodomy in prison, but it is a first step. For there is no end to civil lawsuits and criminal proceedings due to having prison guards of the opposite sex. It is unfair both to prison workers and to inmates to exacerbate an already unstable and dangerous situation by having mixed sex prison environments.

Of course, in our liberal age wherein the state can only acknowledge sexual and ethnic realities when it wishes to harm men, whites, and occasionally certain kinds of Asians, prudent discrimination is unthinkable. Female prison guards are only “equal to and just as valuable” male prison guards when we pretend that men and women are, indeed, equal, which means the same. Apologists for egalitarian language like their nonsensical qualifications, but men and women are not the same—biologically or culturally. As much as I am opposed to the Mohammedans and to their conquest of the modern West, this, at least, they understand correctly. I find it bizarre that American opponents of the Dar al-Islam criticize Western governments for caving to Mohammedan demands for single sex classrooms, swim times, prisons, and medical attention, when the sharia way is, in those instances, quite sensible. It is we who hold and implement preposterous ideas. Biendl’s death is only one of their many, many disastrous consequences.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, February 1, Anno Domini 2011
AnthropologyPoliticsCommentsPermalink
Realm Categories
Realm's Recent Entries
Archives