Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Isn’t there a mens rea element to arson?

July 15th, 2014 by Vader

Woman goes all out to kill spider.

I’m guessing the prosecution is not counting on a mostly-women jury.

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July 15th, 2014 12:41:26

Hookers for Jesus.

July 15th, 2014 by Bookslinger

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July 15th, 2014 12:04:03

Portents: August 1914

July 15th, 2014 by Vader

One afternoon a crowd in the Bois de Boulogne gawked at an eagle wheeling high in the sky, and debated its significance. Was this a bronze symbol of Napoleon, or the family bird of the Hohenzollerns? Instead of either it proved to be a vulture, escaped from a zoo.

–Max Hastings
Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War

Good historians know they are creating literature, not publishing scientific papers. The best historians do this with a sense of irony and mordant wit that must not be mistaken for comedy or satire.

 

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July 15th, 2014 08:49:36

Not just the British

July 15th, 2014 by Vader

You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.

–Humbert Wolfe

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July 15th, 2014 08:44:04

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous”

July 14th, 2014 by Race Bannon

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July 14th, 2014 09:57:34

“… a fool, faking papers for a bunch of incompetents, and rewarded for it by idiots.”

July 14th, 2014 by Vader

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July 14th, 2014 09:11:22

End Vote Inflation

July 14th, 2014 by Man SL

I feel like being radical today. I feel like surgically removing your franchise. Don’t worry, I’ll use anesthetic, and you weren’t needing it anyway. Universal suffrage is the appendix of the body politic. (more…)

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July 14th, 2014 04:07:22

Sex Selection, Infanticide, Abortion, and Possibly Genetic Engineering

July 12th, 2014 by G.

Individual artificial selection acts as mass natural selection.

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July 12th, 2014 05:37:08

I Saw the Valar, Seated on the Right Hand of Eru

July 11th, 2014 by G.

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July 11th, 2014 09:00:46

The Golden Calf looks Curiously like a Mirror

July 10th, 2014 by Zen

Religion tends to reemerge in the unlikeliest places. Today, at least in America, the newest and brashest religions hover—rather obsessively, in fact—around various permutations of personal “identity.” For many, whether they realize it or not, “identity” is the new God. Tim Keller, the well-known author and pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, puts it this way: “Our need for worth is so powerful that whatever we base our identity and value on we essentially ‘deify.’ We will look to it with all the passion and intensity of worship and devotion, even if we think of ourselves as highly irreligious.”

Thus writes Heather Wilhelm

The only fault I would find with it, is that she is too narrow, in not including the SSM cult as well, as well as the rest of the LGBTQQIP2SAA group. Perhaps it should be called Sexual Orientation Identity Boosterism. Still, so excellent an article I don’t like to fault.

In other news, the unelected bureaucrat branch of government in Colorado is not waiting for something so mundane as law to grant Same Sex Marriage Licenses.

And if your identity includes Euthanasia, you are entitled to that too. No… there is no slippery slope that would involve a sizeable percentage (say 12%) of the death in the country being euthanasia. That would simply be too macabre and ridiculous.

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July 10th, 2014 19:57:56

All Unhappy Civilizations are Alike

July 10th, 2014 by Man SL

Here’s an interesting metahistorical proposition:

Arnold Toynbee, whose magisterial writings on history have been a recurring source of inspiration for this blog, has pointed out an intriguing difference between the way civilizations rise and the way they fall. On the way up, he noted, each civilization tends to diverge not merely from its neighbors but from all other civilizations throughout history. Its political and religious institutions, its arts and architecture, and all the other details of its daily life take on distinctive forms, so that as it nears maturity, even the briefest glance at one of its creations is often enough to identify its source.

Once the peak is past and the long road down begins, though, that pattern of divergence shifts into reverse, slowly at first, and then with increasing speed. A curious sort of homogenization takes place: distinctive features are lost, and common patterns emerge in their place. That doesn’t happen all at once, and different cultural forms lose their distinctive outlines at different rates, but the further down the trajectory of decline and fall a civilization proceeds, the more it resembles every other civilization in decline. By the time that trajectory bottoms out, the resemblance is all but total; compare one postcollapse society to another—the societies of post-Roman Europe, let’s say, with those of post-Mycenean Greece—and it can be hard to believe that dark age societies so similar could have emerged out of the wreckage of civilizations so different.

From here. If that’s true, its an interesting and productive contribution to metahistorical thought. Productive, because trying to understand *why* opens up new avenues of thought. The argument is analagous to entropy, of course. Ice sculptures can be infinite in their variety, but melted puddles are all alike. That analogy doesn’t substitute for an explanation, though.

If we are headed to a decline and collapse over the next little while, in the next few hundred years or so (I’m not wise enough to know), I sometimes suspect that the one intellectual contribution of the late stage of our civilization that will survive into the succeeding civilizations is a better understanding of historical processes. Starting with Spengler and Toynbee and now with Turchin and even the Fourth Turnings folks and the renewed interest in Ibn Khaldun, there are pieces that are starting to come together.

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July 10th, 2014 10:01:30

Political Correctness Affects Scientific Progress

July 09th, 2014 by Zen

The US is falling behind in certain research areas, because they are politically unpopular.

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July 09th, 2014 17:13:40

Wars and Rumors of Wars

July 09th, 2014 by Zen

The verse that comes to mind is

Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land.  D&C 38:29 (28-30)

This article compares and contrasts the world of today, with pre-WWI, complete with declining empires (US), raising powers (China, Far East), and powderkegs (Middle East).

War is coming. Right now, we are divided more strongly, and on more topics than ever before. We shall shatter in a millions tiny shards. There will be war, because there is no peace in the hearts of men. And if there is no peace inside, it is inevitable that peace outside of it will last long.

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July 09th, 2014 17:11:48

Statesmen, not Policies

July 09th, 2014 by Man SL

This is one of the most intelligent analyses of politics I’ve read in a while. Excerpt:

So the question isn’t (or at least isn’t exclusively), “How do we produce more effective policies?” It’s, “How do we produce men of judgment who will be wise stewards of those policies?” It’s, “How do we produce good statesmen?” The first question is the central preoccupation of the centrally managed state that we live under. The second two are versions of quandaries about the future of the polis that stretch all the way back to ancient Greece, all but forgotten

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July 09th, 2014 15:33:45

Fate

July 09th, 2014 by G.

All men work to become stereotypes of themselves.

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July 09th, 2014 12:36:27