More fun with intersectionality.

Mariam Al-Sohel

The Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2019: A homophobic Kuwaiti academic claimed on Scope TV in March that she invented a cure for homosexuality based on Islamic medicine. “I discovered therapeutic suppositories that curb the sexual urges of boys of the third gender as well as the fourth gender, which is butch lesbians. They have excessive sexual urges,” said the anti-gay and anti-lesbian researcher Dr. Mariam Al-Sohel. The Scope TV station, based in Kuwait City, broadcast in the interview that the cure is based on “prophetic medicine.” Al-Sohel claimed, “This is science, and there is nothing to be ashamed of,” and “the sexual urge develops when a person is sexually attacked, and afterward it persists because there is an anal worm that feeds on semen.” Al-Sohel said her inventions of suppositories “cures those urges by exterminating the worm that feeds on the semen.” She added, “Bitter foods increase masculinity” and “the ingredients [for the cure] are the same (for both sexes) but I made them into different colors.

Folks, I didn’t make this up! The Jerusalem Post must be Israel’s version of WaPo, since they have bought into that much maligned—by yours truly—and idiotic shut-you-up-ism homophobia! It’s a good thing she made the suppositories in different colors, but she didn’t say which colors; hopefully not black and white. Though I just thought of an interesting experiment: Get 100 homosexuals and 100 “butch lesbians” (her term) in a big lab, with a huge pile of both black and white suppositories. Then tell them the suppositories will increase sexual desire, and that both colors are equally potent. Then after all the participants have selected their color, count the ones of each color left over. I predict that way more black ones will be left, once again proving the pernicious influence of white supremacists.

It was inevitable that some tentacles of that hydra called intersectionality (by it’s own proponents; to the rest of us, it’s BS) would get tangled up with each other, and this one was the most predictable. For too long, LGBTQ-ists and Islamists either observed a ceasefire or ignored the obvious conflict potential of their respective intersectional tentacles, in favor of bashing the “white supremacist” shibboleth which terrorizes everyone in the world. But no longer, as the J.P. article continues:

The German Green Party politician and LGBT expert (taking division of labor principle wayyy too far) Volker Beck told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday: “The cure for homosexuality is popular among religious fundamentalists. It is quackery and charlatanry. Such therapies and their apologists must be warned. Whether it is Al-Sohel’s suppositories or from Catholic doctors in Germany, it is hocus pocus that reveals much about the mental state of these people.” LGBT and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Post: “This takes gay ‘conversion therapy’ and quack medicine to new heights of absurdity. Anal worms that feed on sperm and make men gay? Foods that make them masculine and straight? This is the most bizarre homophobic nonsense that I have heard in ages. On a sinister level, it is another outrageous Islamic-inspired attempt to eradicate same-sex desires. This academic is mirroring failed Nazi attempts to cure homosexuality.”

Ah finally, the potential conflict is actualized. His use of “another” indicates perhaps a simmering resentment against Islam. Aren’t they bedfellows? Oops, perhaps I shouldn’t have used that word in this context. What I mean, in a more boring manner of speaking, is that homos and Islamos are the only intersectionality groups appending the suffix phobia to those who disagree with their militancy. So far, there has been minimal outcry against Islamists in the major LGBTQ media mouthpieces, but that may now change. Mutual hatred of white western heteros makes for a feeble truce. Look what happened between the true lesbians (I didn’t say or mean butch) and the transgenders. The very existence of homosexuals and lesbians completely undermines the principles of transsexualism, and we’re seeing the conflict. Can a Twitter war between islamists and LGBTQ-ists be far behind?

It’s also important to bear in mind that Mrs. Al-Sohel is Kuwaiti. The JPost story concludes with “In 2017, Kuwait’s National Cinema Company banned a gay scene from the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.” Homosexual scene in a Disney movie for kids? If Kuwait wasn’t so damn hot, I might move there.

Am I racist?

Reading DougWils.com today, a post entitled The Leftward Drift of the Gospel Coalition, I came upon his following statement: “So if a racist is anybody who is winning an argument with a leftist, I have sometimes been racist. But if we divide racial sins into two biblical categories, I have hated that kind of sin for as long as I can remember. Those two categories would be racial animosity and racial vainglory. The Bible flatly condemns both of those ugly sisters. But the Bible does not condemn answering the left according to its folly. So both of those sins are wicked, and one of the central reasons Christ came was to overcome ethnic hostility as well as to cast down every form of ethnic vainglory.” Notice the words leftist and left used in the political sense occurs three times in my selected passage. I am a definition hawk! Before debating any topic, I insist we define our terms, and set ground rules for what constitutes an acceptable definition. My ground rules for definitions: 1. Must be precise, in language that creates a shared visual representation; 2. Must be mutually agreed upon by the debaters; 3. Must be accurate, either verifiable or based on the preponderance of evidence.

Mr. Wilson then provides an acceptable definition of left wing and right wing. Though I much prefer the definition offered by comedian Pat Paulsen in his satirical presidential campaigns–“I’m middle of the bird, because if a bird leans too heavily on either wing, it flies in circles“–it doesn’t meet my ground rules. Pastor Wilson’s point is worth bold print.

“Our common metaphor of “right wing” and “left wing” comes from the seating arrangements in the French legislative assembly after their revolution. The fire-eaters sat on the left side while the more moderate revolutionaries sat on the right—but they were all revolutionaries. This set-up continues down to the present day. We have left-wingers who want to nationalize health care, for example, which means they want socialized medicine. We have secular right-wingers who oppose that proposal, but have no problem with the government running the schools—socialized education. They oppose the government mangling our bodies, but are supportive when the government mangles our minds. These conservatives are simply moderate revolutionaries—advocates of increasing statist control, provided everything stays in slow motion.”

I thoroughly and wholeheartedly agree with that preceding paragraph. Now you may ask, “what does all the foregoing have to do with being racist?” Let’s first list the most popular shibboleths shut-your-mouth-isms of today: racist, white supremacist, white nationalist, sexist. If I were to read nothing but left wing propaganda reporting, from CNN, MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NY Times, CNN and their ilk, the bulk of their charges against non-leftists would be the first three shut-your-mouth-isms, which I define as charges designed to marginalize your opinion so that you 🤐. As Pastor Wilson said, “a racist is anybody who is winning an argument with a leftist.” That’s why it’s important to define leftist before tackling racist.

Now, some specifics. Last week I saw a black Audi TT with a bumper sticker that said, “black cars matter.” I laughed, and I even took a picture. Am I racist? Every morning I read Charles Spurgeon daily meditations. I have a choice between a black background with white letters, or white background with black letters. I always prefer the former. Am I racist for choosing white letters or, by choosing the black background am I denying my inherent racism, thus proving I am racist? A good friend of mine is a sports fan, like me, and we both tend towards being analytical about it–we look for patterns. He is older than me, and we both have three children. We have trained our children to be able to analyze patterns, and for the most part our children are not fooled by superficial appearances. But one of my friends sons still gets fooled by what racism is. His dad noted that in football, speed positions–wide receivers, running backs, cornerbacks and safeties–are dominated by black players, by more than 95%. Can this be meaningless, or irrelevant, or coincidental? No, it is statistically significant. But if he mentions that observation, his son says “dad, that’s racist!” How so?

By using the cartoon of Angelfood McSpade am I racist? The character was featured regularly during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s output of the rogue cartoonist R. Crumb, famous for “head comics”, a genre which appealed to hippies, heads (dopers) and radicals–all of whom were deemed “counterculture”, until they grew up and became the culture. Was that audience racist? They were in the forefront of protesting racism, but say that today, and the comeback will be something like “that proves they felt guilty about their racism.” Angelfood McSpade is one of Crumb’s most notorious targets for accusations of sexism and racism. Crumb has responded that he did not invent racist caricatures like Angelfood, but that they used to be part of the American culture in which he was raised. He saw the character as a criticism of the racist stereotype itself and assumed that the young liberalhippie/intellectual audience who read his work were not racists and would understand his intentions for the character. Today his explanation would be shouted down and he would be tweet-lynched. Here is his brief epitaph from the Internet Chronicle:

“FRANCE–September 5, 2014. Fans mourn the death of Robert Crumb, also known as R Crumb, who died suddenly Thursday from a rare exploded prostate. Crumb was known for his cartoon characters Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and the album artwork on Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills. Crumb ignited the Underground Comix movement in Haight-Asbury in the 60’s and was the subject of the documentary film Crumb. His iconic acid-inspired work has been entombed on the walls of museums everywhere and regularly fetches millions in major auctions. Crumb’s vast fortune was disbursed to several charities, including the West Africa Ebola Foundation and The Women’s Liberation Front. He was a lifetime fan of women with large legs, and his Devil Woman character inspired Queen’s hit single Fat Bottomed Girl.”

When I read this, it struck me as something he would write to self satirize. Lambiek.net, an online encyclopedia of comic books, says he is still alive and still producing comics, in France. Readers of my era will probably find this fascinating. The rest of you can go tweet or something. My point is that the cartoonist was not satirizing black women, he was satirizing people who stereotyped black women! He satirized everyone, especially his own fans and the hippie/drug culture. Back then, the freewheeling 60’s, you could satirize and not fear for your life. No longer, because the charge of racism is wayyy to useful to the leftists in control of the media and college campuses, as an effective means of shutting down disagreement! So call me a racist if you want. If I try to defend myself against RACIAL HOSTILITY or RACIAL VAINGLORY (“white supremacy ” for you ignoramuses), that will be evidence for you that I am racist. Fortunately, I don’t care about that kind of opinion.

The “idealistic” Miss Priggy.

Miss Priggy

This piece is too precious and politically incorrect to sully by my taking anything out of context. I will make an exception for this sentence: Youth, contrary to the common misconception, is not a time of idealism, at least in the Western world, but of the utmost and uncompromising egotism. This egotism has two poles, so to speak, like magnetic north and magnetic south: libertinism and priggery. They are both self-indulgent, but in slightly different ways, the libertines and the prigs. Neither pole is very attractive, but perhaps priggery (to which I regret to say that I was inclined when young, and still have to control a natural tendency to censoriousness) is the worse. Rather Falstaff than Malvolio.

To read the rest, go here. https://www.takimag.com/article/youth-is-wasted-on-the-idealists/ It’s worth it.

My Game of Thrones category awards.

I resisted watching Game of Thrones for years. Finally, after 7 seasons came and went, I gave in. But since I am not a binge watcher…. Okay, I did make one exception, Homeland. As I was about to say, I limited myself to no more than 3 episodes a night. At first I felt just a small fascination, though somewhat put off by the oftentimes gratuitous (denotes something that does not contribute to my enjoyment or appreciation) sex and nudity. I wondered, “what is the big deal here, why are so many people talking about it? It was even mentioned in movies that seemed to be promoting it.” But at some point, I was hooked. Seriously, what more horrifying way for life to end, and what more heroic way to die, than war between the living and the dead?

Themes of redemption of the hopeless, unrepentant evil, sacrificial honor, fidelity to duty in the face of bowel-watering fear, legions of zombies owing their animation to the lord of death, ridiculously realistic battles, an elaborate world created….I would take less sex and nudity, but the drama, and especially the characters, are transcendent. I started writing about some characters that were most memorable to me, but realized there are so many, that I will list them as if I am writing about an awards show.

Prize category Personal Redemption. Candidates: Theon Greyjoy, Jaime Lannister, Sansa Stark. Winner: For the longest time, I thought both Sansa and Theon were faking their sniveling, simpering alter egos, because I believed the real person inside was courageous. Jaime’s transformation was less dramatic, but I’m glad he’s still alive. The reason I am giving this prize to Theon Greyjoy is that going from Reek to a better Theon, was a bigger transition than Sansa the doormat to Sansa the leader.

Prize category Unrepentant evil. Candidates: Sersei Lannister, Ramsey Bolton, Joffrey Baratheon. Definitely hard to refine this list to three. Winner: Well, Sersei still lives as of season 8, episode 3, and blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor alone produced a bigger body count than Ramsey and Joffrey combined, so Sersei Lannister must take the prize. If I may make a bold prediction, Sersei will die by having something she did to others turned on her. If that were a category, Ramsey would certainly win.

Prize category Commitment to honor and truth. Candidates: Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Brienne of Tarth. Winners: all of them. The category itself is a winner.

Prize category Dreaming big. Candidates: Daeneryes Targaryen, Arya Stark, Petyr Baelish. Winner: Arya, good try, but no one dreams big like Daeneryes Targaryen.

Prize category Undying loyalty. Candidates: Jorah Mormont, Sandor “the hound” Clegane, “the mountain” Clegane. Winner: despite placing two candidates from their family, the Cleganes were loyal to evil, nor does their sacrifice come close to the winner, Jorah Mormont.

Prize category Big courage, small stature. Candidates: Tyrion Lannister, Lyonna Mormont, Rickon Stark. Winner: Lyonna Mormont! Who would not be proud of such a daughter?

Prize category Destroy your family. Candidates: Walder Frey, Craster, Ellaria Sand. Winner: Walder Frey. Arya didn’t win Dream Big, but if there were a category for big revenge, she would be a shoo-in! Go Arya! By the way, your humble blogger knew that Arya was impersonating Walder as soon as I saw his whole family convened.

Prize category Taunting penalty. Candidates: Oberyn Martell, the Waif, the Night King. Winner: This one was hard. Oberyn’s penalty was certainly dramatic, but the NK‘s penalty fell on a dragon and 100,000 zombies, as well as him, and saved the world. Obviously, Night King.

Prize category Most effective fighting force. Candidates: the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the Second Sons. Winner: Whew, I wouldn’t want to get into a scrap with any of them, but the Dothraki have to be the winners because they were leading the way in battle against the army of the dead, who didn’t make the list, because all they had was numbers, resurrection of those killed added to their army, mindless ferocity, lack of fear or exhaustion, and an immortal zombie animator to lead them…That’s a lot, isn’t it? Okay, I left them out because they are all ugly, as are their horses!

Prize category Worst priest/religion/god. Candidates: Jaqen H’gar serving the many faced god, High sparrow serving the faith of the seven, Melisandre serving the lord of light. Winner: This is a real booby prize, who wants to be the worst priest(ess) serving the worst god? Based on body count outside the religion and gruesome practices (stealing faces–do they really peel off), Jaqen H’gar wins. Based on body count done to the religion, the High Sparrow would win due to Sersei blowing everyone up.

 

Blessed is? More often, not.

Elijah vs. 450 prophets of Baal

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” – Jeremiah 17:7-10

Yes, the heart, our hearts, are deceitful above all things. As proof of this, the following passage shows the people of ancient Israel fully committed to worshipping an idol named Baal, and within minutes abandoning Baal and falling on their faces to declare, “the Lord, He is God.” And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” – 1 Kings 18:21-25. The Lord was about to “test the mind” and “give to everyone according to their ways.”

And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention. – 1 Kings 18:26-29. Good to see that Elijah had a sense of humor.

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. – 1 Kings 18:36-40. Pretty dramatic demonstration. It was easy to miss the significance of a sentence in this next passage.

And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:42-45. After years of drought–literally NO RAIN AT ALL–because of Baal worship, Elijah prayed to God for rain, BUT IT TOOK 7 TIMES FOR A TINY HAND-SIZED CLOUD TO APPEAR! How often do we quit believing God just before prayer is answered?

Blessed is? If you want NOT to be blessed, quit too soon, or set up idols in your heart. “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods.” Jeremiah 16:20 . Charles Spurgeon comments: One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly.  Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favorite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when he sees us doting upon them above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones. It is truly said that “they are no gods,” for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake the living God and turn unto idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!

Walls si, bridges no.

siege of Constantinople

Sir Isaac Newton seems to be credited, based on all the different images I found when looking for an image for this post, with the pithy admonition, “build bridges not walls.” I searched the term walls and bridges and most of the memes quoted Newton. Since Newton was a very smart scientist, but certainly not a historian, I presume he was talking about interpersonal relationships. However, his saying became “received wisdom” by all manner of politicians and celebrities, neither of which are historians either.

A real historian, David Frye, wrote an eye-opening history of 4,000 years of barrier-building, from the Fertile Crescent to the Malibu Colony, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick. He writes, “Good fences make good neighbors” experienced early retirement. In its place came the untested phrase, “Build bridges, not walls.” If nothing else, the new slogan seemed designed to give military historians fits. Throughout history, bridge building had been recognized as an act of aggression. Since at least the time of Xerxes bridging the Hellespont, Caesar the Rhine, or Trajan the Danube, bridge building had preceded invasions….“

The review of the book that introduced it to me said, “In Walls, bridges are emblems of aggression. For instance, during the siege of Constantinople in 1453: The city’s seaside defenders watched with horror as Turkish sailors lashed together their boats to form a pontoon bridge spanning the Golden Horn. For the defenders of Constantinople, as for countless people before them, there was nothing more comforting than a wall, or more terrifying than a bridge.”

“One famous people that chose to live without walls were the Spartans, who felt that physical security made men decadent. ’They opted for a forced, artificial barbarism over high culture.’ Frye repeatedly observes that a lack of walls means a lack of diversity within society. In Sparta, as in most barbarian tribes beyond the walls, virtually each male citizen must have no profession other than war. In contrast, the Athenians built long walls to protect their access to their port, behind which their men diverged into a dazzling variety of jobs, such as philosopher, playwright, sculptor, architect, and historian. As Frye repeatedly documents, walls mean economic diversity and cultural progress. In contrast, a lack of secure borders means merely the war of all against all.

“When Frye’s attention turns to the New World, he finds the same patterns. In the wall-building civilizations of the Mayans and Incas: specialization and advance. Among the unwalled Indian braves of North America: warlike homogeneity. They were as different from one another as the ancient German was from the Gaul, Hun, Mongol, or Turk—which is to say, they were hardly different at all. They were all warriors, just like their unwalled counterparts in Eurasia, and utterly unlike the wall builders of South and Central America.”

I chose the Siege of Constantinople for my post, for a number of reasons: The conquest of Constantinople dealt a massive blow to the defense of mainland Europe, as the Muslim Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear. It was also a watershed moment in military history. Since ancient times, cities had used ramparts and city walls to protect themselves from invaders, and Constantinople’s substantial fortifications had been a model followed by cities throughout the Mediterranean region and Europe. The Ottomans ultimately prevailed due to the use of gunpowder (which powered formidable cannons). The fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Roman Empire, because by that time the Byzantine empire WAS all that was left of the Roman Empire. Up until the fall of that city, walls worked. Once cannons and explosives showed the vulnerability of walls, war became much bloodier and more mobile.

This is hardly an argument against walls and fences as lines of territory demarcation, as borders. There’s something emotionally basic about the security of boundaries. If you were to build a playground bordered by busy streets, and the playground had no fence, the kids would use much less of that territory than if it was fenced all around. The kids would play right up to the fence, secure in knowing the border. Without a border, the kids would be unsure of how far to go. If you were shopping for a home, and found two that were almost identical in the same neighborhood, but one had fenced yards back and front, and the other had no fence at all, which one would give you a more secure feeling?

Is a wall the best way to create border security? Not necessarily, but it belongs in the discussion. Let’s not mindlessly parrot but bridges not walls. History shows the former, not the latter, were the constructions of the aggressors.