Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Misunderstanding Lord Acton

January 26th, 2015 by Vader

There’s power in numbers and power corrupts. We tend to forget that when Lord Acton coined the phrase “power corrupts,” he was not referring to the corruption of the powerful, he was talking about the corruption of people — specifically historians — who write about the powerful. Just look at how many people make allowances for the Kennedys they’d never make for their neighbors or employees. By any objective standard of morality, JFK and Teddy were scummy dudes. But countless liberal writers give them pass because . . . Camelot! Or something.

–Jonah Goldberg


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January 26th, 2015 12:20:43


January 26th, 2015 by Vader

Real communities involve extended networks of trust and goodwill. Fake communities have regulations, fees, subsidies, and checklists.

– Jonah Goldberg

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January 26th, 2015 12:10:29

Contextual Idiocy

January 23rd, 2015 by Vader

The IQ of public officials of all persuasions always rises when they speak in private.

— Richard A. Epstein, The Classical Liberal Constitution


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January 23rd, 2015 11:02:07

Three-Word Theodicy

January 19th, 2015 by G.

(Meaningful) Choice + Love = Suffering

(The words in parentheses don’t count)

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January 19th, 2015 08:06:22

Real Leadership

January 05th, 2015 by G.

From Bruce Charlton

Real leadership is difficult, because what needs to be done is often obvious; and the reason that has not been done is because of the obstacles which stand in the path

The obstacles are usually just as obvious.  Result: decadence, as defined by Barzun.

Bad leadership sometimes arises when someone sees what needs to happen clearly but doesn’t see the equally obvious obstacles very well.



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January 05th, 2015 09:35:40

Joy is not a State of Mind

January 04th, 2015 by G.

From Bruce Charlton:

By contrast, as a Christian my understand of peak experiences, and my interpretation of peak experiences as a glimpse of reality – locates them not in dreams, delusions, fictions, imaginations or the products of human creativity but in Heaven.

The feeling I get on a frosty morning becomes a glimpse of objective external reality, existing independent of myself and my mind or brain, and the reason I am made so happy about it is that this glimpse is a promise!

For a Christian, the yearning (the Sehnsucht) is like the child’s yearning for Christmas – that is a yearning for something that really will happen; but it really will happen in a fully satisfying and permanent way. The only question being: whether I personally want to join this happening?

Christmas will happen, and it will be everything I hope for; the question is whether I want to ‘join-in’ and celebrate it?

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January 04th, 2015 14:06:53

Good Quote About People

January 01st, 2015 by Man SL

There is a strong inverse correlation between empathy and self awareness.

-thus the Internet



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January 01st, 2015 21:18:36

What are Chains?

December 27th, 2014 by G.

I dreamed I was on a empty plain sculpting a statue of Liberation–a muscled figure in marble breaking its chains.

A man with a flowing white beard suddenly spoke up behind me.

“Don’t break all chains,” he said.  “Every chain that binds you to a thing binds it to you.  Some chains are guy wires.”

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December 27th, 2014 10:03:18

“Sympathy with the devil”

December 16th, 2014 by Vader

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December 16th, 2014 12:23:07

Spiritual Blessings of the Temple

December 12th, 2014 by G.

There was a remarkable passage in one of the talks from Women’s Conference:

Some years ago our family encountered a major challenge. I went to the temple and there prayed earnestly for help. I was given a moment of truth. I received a clear impression of my weaknesses, and I was shocked. In that spiritually instructive moment, I saw a prideful woman doing things her own way, not necessarily the Lord’s way, and privately taking credit for any so-called accomplishment. I knew I was looking at myself. I cried out in my heart to Heavenly Father and said, “I don’t want to be that woman, but how do I change?”

Through the pure spirit of revelation in the temple, I was taught of my utter need for a Redeemer. I turned immediately to the Savior Jesus Christ in my thoughts and felt my anguish melt away and a great hope spring up in my heart

-Sister Neill Marriott (worth watching on video. In text you’ll miss the full charm of her Texan).

The pain that comes from being judged by God is better than the pleasure of high self-esteem, and much more fruitful. As the Sith Lord said, “Life in the absence of an Examiner is meaningless.”

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December 12th, 2014 07:45:35

Who’s Your Ingroup, Anyway?

December 09th, 2014 by MC

Meg Stout gives a plausible explanation of when dissent warrants expulsion from the Church, and when it doesn’t. It’s true that the women’s organization “Give Us The Priesthood Or We’re Telling The NY Times” (that was the name, right?) was “tone-deaf when it comes to Mormon culture but in tune with world media.” They certainly seemed to come from a much more alien value system than some of the subtler snakes in the grass, who dress and talk like Mormons, so much that they seem almost like the real thing. But I think it’s even simpler than even that. (more…)

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December 09th, 2014 01:34:08

The Two Great Commandments and the Father of Souls

December 02nd, 2014 by G.

Bruce Charlton had a very interesting insight into the Mormon belief that God the Father literally begot our spirits in some way:

It is by being children of God that we enter relationship with Him (and Mother in Heaven) – this makes us siblings in a divine family; then by being born to a human father and mother we are related in overlapping human families (which are intended to persist eternally). I think this corresponds to the two great commandments – …thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

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December 02nd, 2014 11:30:34

At breakfast this morning

November 13th, 2014 by Vader

His Majesty dropped a totally random aphorism into the middle of the conversation.


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November 13th, 2014 23:51:36

Grinding Down Ideas: Juxtapositions VII

October 31st, 2014 by G.

If Lucifer could, he’d pull all down to his depth. Since he can’t, that old serpent settles for mortal man reverting to the mean. The devil is the father of mean, and the political critter is always mean when he reverts to it. He bites, and leaves marks.

Most human ideas lie at this mean. They are touched by Absolute Truth but laced with the perishing corruption of relative victory. An idea can exalt, but also debase.

-thus Lynn C. Rees, by way of T. Greer.


the Procrustean Bed of conventional wisdom

-thus John Michael Greer


The strawman wins in the end.

-from Every Man is a Strawman



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October 31st, 2014 10:31:29

Every Man is a Strawman

October 28th, 2014 by G.

Straw  menThe Bonald has a choice little esssay on intrinsic failure modes.  Here is what he says about Christianity.

How about a Christian neighbor?  Better stay on your toes.  She might hear one too many times about tax collectors and prostitutes getting into heaven before priests, and it may trigger Moral Inversion Syndrome, and she’ll go around haranguing her fellow Christians about the many moral lessons they can learn from prostitutes.  This sort of thing is not the proper interpretation, but I’m afraid all Christians are prone to it.  We know that we’re all sinners, so we tend to imagine that spectacular sinners have some deeper spiritual awareness, or at least they’re not “hypocrites” like respectable Christians.

You’ll notice that the Bonald’s intrinsic religious failure modes look very much like a dumb critic’s strawman of the religion’s belief.  That is because the strawman  version of a belief is usually entropic.  A critic isn’t going to take the time and effort to put energy into making a belief he hates more nuanced and ordered.  Entropy is universal, so believers are prone to it to.  Intrinsic religious failure modes are when believers strawman themselves. (more…)

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October 28th, 2014 15:23:49