Thursday, March 31, 2016

Restroom Follies




Bisexual aliens, bestiality gourmands, man-boy lovers, woman-girl lovers, voluntary amputees, and eunuchs welcome.

The traditional source of the law of non-contradiction is Aristotle's Metaphysics where he gives three different versions.

1.       ontological: "It is impossible that the same thing belong and not belong to the same thing at the same time and in the same respect." (1005b19-20)
2.       psychological: "No one can believe that the same thing can (at the same time) be and not be." (1005b23-24)
3.       logical: "The most certain of all basic principles is that contradictory propositions are not true simultaneously." (1011b13-14)

In short, A is A; A cannot be A and non-A (or B) at one and the same time.

Aristotle did not deal in traditions. Traditions are not a fundamental basis for establishing facts, politics, art, or even gender. Traditions are “time-honored” actions or beliefs, which may or may not be worthy of observation. But they are not philosophy.

In today’s culture, a culture that has more or less repudiated Aristotle in its government, in its culture, and even in “gender identification,” it is possible for transgenders, gays, and other identity-deficient individuals to believe that they can be one gender and not what they don’t want to be. This phenomenon is possible only in a culture of philosophical disintegration.

This writer was banned and all records of his past columns “archived” out of public sight on http://capitalismmagazine.com/ over an article he wrote and posted in June of 2015, “The Prancing Unicorn of Bruce Jenner.”   The article criticized Bruce Jenner, who decided he was Caitlyn Jenner, a woman. He claims he is no longer a man. But when he undergoes the emasculating surgery that will enable him (and all his fans) to pretend he is a woman, in fact, he will still be a man, but now a eunuch. Neither the blog host nor many of the site’s readers, cared for that logic. As a consequence, I no longer post columns on the site, and no longer read it.

Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. Ayn Rand, the novelist/philosopher wrote succinctly and eloquently on the subject:

All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object; he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood consists of cells, that the cells consist of molecules, that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: What is it? His means to establish the truth of his answers is logic, and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists.

Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.

There are many people in the population now who believe they are contradictions, and prefer to be contradictions. It’s how they feel. They feel they are one gender but not the one defined by their physiology, because of their feelings. Feelings, or emotions, emotions they have not bothered to examine in any meaningful depth, to them are indisputable tools of cognition. Reality can be whatever they wish it to be. “Gender orientation” is based strictly on feelings, feelings based on what can only be mental disorders or some severe forms of neurosis that remain unexamined, uncorrected, and unchallenged by conventional psychoanalytic wisdom.
Of our American style Stalinism.


The chief subject here is not the political mare’s nest that governs local, state, and federal laws governing discrimination, freedom of assembly or association, and freedom of speech. These laws are themselves a consequence of statist premises. It is all part of the same, inexorable process of disintegration. North Carolina’s House Bill II, otherwise known as the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” has certainly touched off a reaction among those who favor discrimination in favor of the walking vehicles of feelings, of the abridging of freedom of speech, of forcing one’s association, under penalty of law, with people one would not otherwise choose to associate with, and constraints on speech because the speech – or idea – may “offend” another or hurt his feelings.

So, I’m not going to try to sort through whether or not the state had a right to override local ordinances or whether or not local governments had a right to pass ordinances governing who shall enter public facilities or restrooms. The Charlotte Observer on March 26th, in its article, “Understanding HB2: North Carolina’s newest law Solidifies state’s role in defining discrimination,” neatly synopsized the bill and its implications.

In a one-day specially convened session Wednesday, North Carolina’s legislature passed a sweeping law that reverses a Charlotte ordinance that had extended some rights to people who are gay or transgender.

The law passed by the General Assembly and signed that same night by Gov. Pat McCrory goes further than a narrow elimination of Charlotte’s ordinance, which had generated the most controversy by a change that protected transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity. The new law also nullified local ordinances around the state that would have expanded protections for the LGBT community.

Moreover….

North Carolina’s new law sets a statewide definition of classes of people who are protected against discrimination: race, religion, color, national origin, age, handicap or biological sex as designated on a person’s birth certificate. Sexual orientation – people who are gay – was never explicitly protected under state law and is not now, despite recent court decisions that legalized same-sex marriage.

Transgender people who have not taken surgical and legal steps to change the gender noted on their birth certificates have no legal right under state law to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify. Cities and counties no longer can establish a different standard. Critics of the Charlotte ordinance cite privacy concerns and say it was “social engineering” to allow people born as biological males to enter women’s restrooms.

HB2 does not affect existing local or state law governing the “protected” status of the LGBT tribe; it simply says local ordinances can't amend or expand the privileged status of the LGBT tribe.

Out, a gay magazine, claimed in its March 29th article, “New York, Seattle, San Fran Ban Travel to North Carolina Over Anti-LGBT Law,” that the North Carolina law blatantly discriminates against gays:

Pro-LGBT corporations and government officials have turned their focus toward North Carolina and its' HB2 after Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal announced Monday that he would officially veto the state's impending anti-LGBT legislation. 

North Carolina's legislation would allow discrimination against LGBT individuals and ban trans individuals from using the bathroom associated with their gender identity. Google, Facebook, the NBA and the NCAA have all spoken out against the law that was created in response to the passing of a non-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte, N.C.

However, speaking of “equality,” that’s for the LGBT tribe, not for heterosexuals.


“It is my hope for our nation that we do not allow issues of discrimination to divide us. Our union is only made stronger when all Americans are treated equitably."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have joined forces in their North Carolina boycott. In an official statement, the Governor banned nonessential travel to North Carolina.

"From Stonewall to marriage equality, our state has been a beacon of hope and equality for the LGBT community, and we will not stand idly by as misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past. As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state."

These bans join a similar one invoked by San Francisco's Mayor Edwin Lee on March 25:

"I believe strongly that we should be adding more protections to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States, not taking them away."

The key fallacy employed throughout the whole controversy, which, given the that LGBT “community” can turn ugly and rancorous, is the notion of “gender identity” vs. “gender at birth,” or the biological fact of a person’s existence. The New York Times was quick to side with all the groups, businesses, and organizations that have not given an iota of thought to the contradiction, if, indeed, they are even aware of.

So, if one were driving a convertible car, one could wish and fancy that one were driving a Tootsie Roll. Why not? Reality is malleable. One’s consciousness creates and defines reality. Didn’t philosophers from Descartes and  Immanuel Kant forward say this was true?
The Times, in its March 24th story, “North Carolina Gay Bias Law Draws a Sharp Backlash,” reported the lemming-like rush to condemn the state legislature and the legislation.

A day after Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a sweeping law eliminating anti-discrimination protections for all lesbians, gays and bisexuals and barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender they were born with, the battle lines were clear in a bitterly divided state.

On social media and in public rallies, civil rights groups, businesses and politicians expressed dismay at the law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by the governor within just 12 hours during a hasty special session on Wednesday.

American Airlines, which employs 14,000 people in the state and has its second largest hub in Charlotte, along with other companies with operations in the state, including Apple, Dow Chemical, PayPal, Red Hat and Biogen, all issued statements critical of the new law.

The object of the boycott is not so much to protest the North Carolina law, as to punish anyone who does not conform to the “settled science.”  It has been established that one can change one’s gender at will, and demand that others recognize one’s homosexuality, lesbianism, and transgender status as “normal” and uncontroversial. Heterosexuality itself is being automatically labeled as a form of  “bigotry,” just as whites are being labeled bigoted against blacks by the fact of their “whiteness.”

Truth Revolt carried this story on March 30th about the latest episode of the American version of a Stalinist purge: “Conservative Prof Must Confess 'Guilt' for His Political Views or Be Fired.” The subheading read: “Deems his views 'reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you [must] express deep regret for the harm' they've caused.”

Because one of its professors defended a student's view of traditional marriage against a leftist philosophy instructor deeming it homophobic, Marquette University has threatened the conservative professor's job unless he confesses "guilt" for being "reckless" and causing "harm" to the offended instructor.

This incident dates back to November of 2014, when Professor John McAdams wrote a blog post chiding instructor Cheryl Abbate for trying to silence one of her students by telling him "some opinions are not appropriate." The exchange was secretly recorded by the student and McAdams was able to hear what was said and included those quotes in his blog.

In her "Theory of Ethics" class, Abbate was going through a list of political issues for discussion and when she came to "gay rights," she brazenly stated, "Everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it." The conservative student took issue with this and confronted her about it after class, telling her he disagrees with many of the tactics of the gay lobby, especially when it comes to pushing same-sex marriage and gay adoption. 


The politically correct speech enforcer, according to the article, has left Marquette for another teaching – or brainwashing – position, but Marquette is now punishing Professor McAdams.

But now Marquette, listed as a Catholic university, is bringing charges against McAdams for his blog post and a so-called diverse faculty committee has recommended his suspension without pay through the fall of 2016 first, and then his position terminated if he doesn't confess "deep regret" for damages to Ms. Abbate.

Hitler would have been proud, too, of our political correctness enforcers.
The next step would be a show trial in the “tradition” of a Soviet prelude to execution. Already “global warmists” are calling for the execution of climate change “deniers.” The fact is that the “deniers” have never denied that climate never changes. They have demonstrated that climate changes all the time, and has changed over four or so billion years, even when the human race did not exist.

The piling on of North Carolina over HB2 by every anti-logic, anti-reason individual and group now in existence is symptomatic of a vitriolic hatred of anyone who does not conform to the collectivist, totalitarian notion of reality. It is not the first time this has shown its ugly face, and it will not be the last.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Walking Jihadist Postscript

What follows are expanded notes from Negan and the Walking Jihadists, plus further observations by me and by an anonymous correspondent who has also watched the series.


I noted in Negan and the Walking Jihadists:

…In literature, while there is a limited amount of malevolence one can accept in fiction, it is not, or should not be, a permanent, unlimited feature; a continual presence of evil or of a malevolent character or theme can dull one’s brain and make one indifferent or hostile to any and all values.  In a story, evil or malevolence must be defeated at some point and rendered impotent. If it is not foiled and made powerless, but instead becomes a continuous presence and a driving theme in a story, then there is no point in contemplating the story any further.

This is basically the state of literature and art today. There is little respite from the malaise. One finds relief where one can.  Where can one turn in a dying culture in which the grotesque, such as The Walking Dead, is the norm?  Where does one turn when even the mitigating attributes of the grotesque, such as the heroism of some of the players, are going to be diminished if not outright extinguished? For that is what is going to happen in The Walking Dead, and when it does, my TV screen will go blank.

In today’s culture, the moral – that is, the rationally moral – is regarded as the impractical, as the unjust, as wrong. It is regarded as an affront to hold another person to a moral standard and to call for justice, either for his good actions or his evil actions.

The almost drooling anticipation in many of the series’ fans of the debut of Negan in the finale of Season Six of The Walking Dead, which I have been watching as a dramatization of emergency ethics in an apocalyptic world, is not flattering to those fans. I sense that the writers and directors of The Walking Dead are going to at least partially pander to fans’ appetites for brutality and gore and a kind of nihlistic fireworks. Which means that I would stop watching the series.

Many strong characters emerged over the six seasons, chief among them, at least from my moral and esthetic tastes, Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride) and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus).
Carol’s character blossomed from a self-effacing housewife with a brute of a husband (who dies early on) into an efficacious dreadnaught of a zombie fighter and a moralist who finds values to fight for outside of her formerly shrunken realm of domestic chores. Daryl’s character evolved from an ambiguous, brash, loud-mouthed, back-country redneck to a man of quiet, understated moral certitude and honesty.

But they may be sacrificed to the irrational demands of the series’ fans.

A bellwether indication of the direction the series is taking now is in the character of Morgan Jones, played by British actor and playwright, Lennie James, who in a very long, special episode is depicted as being converted to some pacifist philosophy of life – actually a martial art – Aikido, by a recluse. It is called “The Art of Peace,” one of whose tenets are that “All life is precious.”  Morgan is taught that bringing justice to a criminal does not give one “peace.” A criminal who has slaughtered countless people is somehow redeemable. He can be allowed to go on living, even though his victims are dead.

Morgan encounters the Wolves, looters and killers. He easily defeats them – but does not kill them – and leaves them unconscious in an abandoned car, safe and sound. He encounters them again in a later episode, and again lets them go, who go on to kill again. Because “all life is precious,” and the killers can “change.” They can become “good” people and blameless with no blood on their hands.

One of the things that shocked me in the Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi, was the denouement, in which Darth Vader,  a.k.a.  Anikin Skywalker, the incarnation of evil, was elevated to the pantheon of Jedi sainthood because he saved his son, Luke, from the evil emperor. Here was a character who had blown up planets and killed millions of people in his career before he died, yet he was forgiven.  At the end of the episode, “Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the redeemed Anakin [are] watching over them.”

Carol Peletier apparently has been influenced by the pacifist philosophy of Morgan Jones. In the last two episodes of the series she begins to express doubts about killing men who are killing or are capable of killing her friends. From out of nowhere, she produces Catholic worry-beads or a rosary, even while her hands are secured together with duct tape. (It isn’t clear if she found the rosaries on the floor of where she was being held hostage, or if they had been on her possession all the long.)

Melissa McBride as Carol, and Norman Reedus as Daryl
Abruptly feeling remorse, without any warning to viewers and in contradiction to the series story line, Carol writes a note to one of the characters that she is leaving the safe zone of Alexandria. It is addressed to everyone living in the zone:

“I wish it didn’t have to end, not this way. It was never my intention to hurt you, but this is how it has to be. We have so much here—people, food, medicine, walls – everything we need to live. But what we have, other people want, too. And that will never change. If we survive this threat [from the Negan gang] it’s not over and another one will take its place, to take what we have. I love you all here. I do. And I’d have to kill for you. And I can't. I won't. Rick sent me away and I wasn’t ever going to come back (from an earlier “safe zone”], but everything happened and I wound up staying. But I can't anymore. I can't love anyone because I can't kill for anyone. So I’m going as I always should have. Don’t come after me, please.”

The note is basically a capitulation to the irrational. After all her fearless fights, she has had enough of fighting, even though she knows that for as long as irrational killers are out there, there will always be a conflict with the irrational. To fight for her values is no longer possible for her. But, to refuse to fight for her values, is, in effect, to surrender those values to the irrational. Carol has written what amounts to be a suicide note.

My anonymous “pen pal” wrote me, and left on a fan blog site, Verge, this comment:

It’s a miserable thing to watch a favorite character being destroyed by his or her creators. I’ve seen that more than I care to and it appears that may be what is happening to the great Carol Peletier. To watch a timid, abused woman grow into an implacable protector of the good and then be brought down by guilt-inducing religious mysticism is inexcusable. Shame on the TWD writers if that is what they are doing.

I replied:

Having just watched "Twice as Far," and Carol's goodbye note to Tobin and everyone else, if the scripters kill her off, I'm done with TWD. If they somehow compromise or kill of Daryl, I'm double done with TWD. Carol's "leaving" the story because she can't kill people who are trying to kill her or the people she values, is a dead end, as far as I'm concerned. To hell with the rosary, and the implied pacifism of Carol. Bad turn in the series. We want heroes, not characters who are angst-ridden about defending their values.

My correspondent noted further, about the Season Six finale:

How they deal with the pure evil of Negan is going to be a turning point. I think we can wave Glenn goodbye because his character arc has pretty much hit cruise control and Maggie is taking over as the family badass. That's going to be tough to watch, and if it's going to be as dark as everyone's saying there has to be a lot more of the same. Confronting that level of evil requires defining values precisely and making an absolute commitment to defend them. If they waffle on that out of fear of "becoming like Negan", then I'm through with them as well.

Melissa McBride, who plays Carol, got a preview of Season Six’s finale and said that she felt she had fallen into a “black hole.”

I left this comment to my correspondent and on Verge:

I have a bad feeling that Carol's "getting religion" is going to be the death of her. I have no idea why the scripters decided to wussify her. She and Daryl are the only two characters I have any empathy for. In reality and in fiction, you can't defend the ones you love by refusing to kill those who intend on killing them. It's like the Belgians' "arrangement" with Islamic jihadists, who promised not to kill anyone. You don't declare a detente with killers.

You don't say, "All life is precious" when the killers don't value life, not even their own lives. You’re the one with the values to defend, you’re the one who wants to live. In war, you extinguish the killers when they show their faces, before they extinguish you. You extinguish them before they take more lives you may not even know. I do not look forward to the debut of Negan. It appears he's a thorough-going nihilist and evil to the core. When he shows up, I'm quits with TWD. It seems that the scripters are pandering to viewers who want Negan. I'm not one of them. TWD was a great dramatization of how men can conduct themselves as emergency ethics. I don't need Negan. We have the kill-happy Islamists in the real world. Why would I want it in fiction, unless it was defeated forthwith?

My correspondent wrote:

… I can't come up with anything additional. Checked some fan sites -- one in German, big help that was -- and everything seems to be speculation over who gets the Lucille treatment [Negan has named his barbed wire baseball bat, “Lucille”] from Negan. There is a constant thread of what a "great" character Negan is because he's totally evil but so "complex… I'm not interested in "complicated" people who steal, kill, rape, and beat innocent people to death to instill fear. I'm interested in "complicated" people who beat hell out of the bad guys, though I'll take uncomplicated ones in a pinch. There is speculation that Daryl will be the one to get Lucille'd, but unless Reedus has come up with some reason to leave the show, I doubt it. Daryl's character arc isn't anywhere near finished. Neither is Carol's, but it would indeed be "heartbreaking" if she were the one….

Carol’s note is not an expression of cowardice. Rather, it is an expression of hopelessness. The tireless fighter for values has grown tired, exhausted, discouraged. Perhaps she is even traumatized. Trauma is a state of paralysis. Her solution is to stop having values worth defending. It is a sentence of death.

Evil never seems to stop attacking. So, let it come.

But evil is not a metaphysical necessity in one’s life. This is a lesson she has never learned from any of the other characters, not in the whole series. None of the “good” characters has learned it. The scriptwriters have “martyred” Carol’s character in a grotesque TV series in a surrender to their own nihilism.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Negan and The Walking Jihadists

Who or what is “Negan”?

Negan is a vile, evil character who will debut in April at the end of Season Six of The Walking Dead. Negan is a brutal tyrant who lords over an enclave of plague survivors and likes to smash victims’ heads with a baseball bat sheathed in barbed wire. He has a policy of extortion that requires other, productive enclaves to give him half of what they have in exchange for his not raiding, raping, enslaving, and killing their inhabitants and trashing their communities.

As one of their spokesmen said to others in an earlier teaser scene: “Everything you own now belongs to Negan.” His group or gang is called The Saviors. Negan’s crew are dedicated nihilists.

The comic book Negan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan
Negan could be taken as a metaphor for the Obama administration, or for Islamic jihadists. Both entities are looters, plunderers, and destroyers.

Advisory: I am not a “zombie” fan or aficionado by any means. Out of desperation to watch anything of interest on Netflix, I tried the first episodes of The Walking Dead and found them intriguing in the personal conflicts and character growth of many of the characters. Nor am I enamored of the original and ongoing graphic comics rendition of the series, written by Robert Kirkman. The artwork in the comics is crude and without any redeeming value whatsoever, and the storyline in the dialogue is banal, naturalistic, if not repellant. Fortunately, the AMC TV series does not follow the graphic comics’ storyline.

The similarities between Negan and his Savior underlings and Islam and Muslims are striking to those observant enough to see the parallels and not afraid to point them out. The Islamic Negan has been raiding, killing, and trashing Western societies for decades. Note the latest raid in Brussels. Often these Negan jihadists and invaders are invited into these societies for a variety of political and economic reasons.  Daniel Greenfield as Sultan Knish wrote, and warned, in 2010, in his column, “Immigration Jihad,” and the incremental and inevitable Islamization of Austria:

Where once upon a time Islamic armies had to lay siege, plant gunpowder charges and finally breach the walls in massive costly charges-- today they can simply hop a plane. And so what started out as a few newspaper vendors, factory workers and janitors, morphed into a full blown cultural invasion complete with a network of Islamic schools where students are taught that Islam is incompatible with democracy, that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and where 8.5 percent of the teachers surveyed said that it is understandable when violence is used to spread Islam. The pattern however is not limited to Vienna, it exists worldwide…..

But like any takeover in which the enemy is allowed inside the gates, it could not happen without the active collaboration of those on the inside. And they have their various motivations. Left of center politicians and parties often expect that Muslim immigrants will serve as a reliable voting base for them, and they are correct about that—in the short term. Meanwhile more middle of the road pols see rising population figures as a regional net benefit and a shot at elevating their own political importance, without examining the consequences down the road. Companies are always on the lookout for cheap labor, and particularly in countries and areas with a low birth rate, there are always some dirty jobs that need doing. The jobs that Americans, Austrians, Frenchmen, Israelis and Norwegians don't want to do. But those same jobs are also part of the critical infrastructure of a local economy. And by capturing them, they capture the base processes by which the system exists.

The production values of the TV series, however, are first-rate and profit from a first-class cast, half of whose principal actors, one learns to one’s astonishment, are British. Most of the characters are supposed to hail from twangy Georgia. But, not a vowel of tea-and-crumpets escapes their dialogue.

However, in literature, while there is a limited amount of malevolence one can accept in fiction, it is not, or should not be, an unlimited feature; a continual presence of evil or of a malevolent character or theme can dull one’s brain and make one hostile to any and all values.  In a story, evil or malevolence must be defeated at some point and rendered impotent. If it is not foiled and made powerless, but instead becomes a continuous presence and theme in a story, then there is no point in contemplating the story any further.

This is basically the state of literature and art today. There is little respite from the malaise. One finds relief where one can.

That is what is going to happen in The Walking Dead, and when it does, off will go my screen.

The almost drooling anticipation in many of the series’ fans of the debut of Negan in the finale of Season Six of The Walking Dead, which I have been watching as a dramatization of emergency ethics in an apocalyptic world, is not flattering to those fans. I sense that the writers and directors of The Walking Dead are going to at least partially pander to fans’ appetites for brutality and gore. Which would mean that I stop watching the series. 

Many strong characters emerged over the six seasons, chief among them, at least from my moral and esthetic tastes, Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride) and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). 

Carol’s character blossomed from a self-effacing housewife with a brute of a husband (who dies early on) into an efficacious dreadnaught of a zombie fighter who finds values to fight for outside of her formerly shrunken realm of domestic chores.
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead's most heroic characters.

The character of Daryl evolved from an ambiguous, loud-mouthed, back-country redneck to one of moral certitude and honesty.

A bellwether indication of the direction the series is taking now is in the character of Morgan Jones, played by British actor and playwright, Lennie James, who in a very long episode is depicted as being converted to some pacifist philosophy of life – actually a martial art – Aikido, by a recluse. It is called “The Art of Peace,” in which “All life is precious.”  

Morgan encounters the Wolves, looters and killers. He easily defeats them – but does not kill them – and leaves them unconscious in an abandoned car, safe and sound. He encounters them again in a later episode, and again lets them go, who go on to kill again. Because “all life is precious,” and the killers can “change.”

What is the difference between the Negans of fiction and the Negans of the real world? The fiction will not kill you. The real ones can and will. As happened in Paris and Brussels and New York City and dozens of other places over decades. There are dozens of Koranic verses for violence that the fictional Negans could just as well adopt, such as:

An Islamic Negan: Kill them, slay them, take what is theirs.

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving,

Angela Merkel, the French, the Swedes, the Danes, and other European countries welcomed the hordes of barbarians into their countries because they believed that “all life is precious.” Substitute Allah for “Negan” and you get the horrifying idea that Muslims do not regard all life as precious, especially not the lives of infidels. If Allah can will it, so can Negan. These are the Negan Jihadists.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Radical by Nature

At the outset, I will admit that this review of Thomas McCaffrey’s seminal book on the history of and devastation wrought by environmentalism from its earliest days to the present, Radical by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity, cannot begin to do it justice. As I underscored the importance of Lisa McGirr’s groundbreaking book, The War on Alcohol, about how Prohibition fostered the growth of the pervasive, all-encompassing State, I can only point with some humility to the heavy lifters of these two books and to the stellar and indefatigable efforts of their authors to bring their works to fruition and to the public eye.

Radical by Nature could easily be retitled, The War on Man. McCaffrey begins his history and exposé of the whole environmentalist movement, from olden times and brings it up to the present. With meticulous detail, a compelling narrative, and abundant documentation, he paints the anti-man, anti-civilization trends and motives behind the environmentalist movement in all its variegated forms.

From the Publisher, Stairway Press: 

Environmentalism is a good idea that gets carried to a bad extreme on occasion by a few radicals. This is the standard critique of environmentalism—and it is false.

It echoes my own position on “radical Islam” (a fatal redundancy, to be sure). The press release goes on to say that environmentalism:

…is not a benign set of ideas promulgated by well-meaning idealists whose efforts are occasionally hijacked by extremists. It is a radical ideology that is moving inexorably toward its logical, entirely predictable conclusion.

McCaffrey writes on his Amazon page, and this cannot be overemphasized. We are not dealing with Girl Scouts or mentally “challenged” do-gooders:

Environmentalism is not about reducing pollution to manageable levels, as most Americans believe. It is about eradicating it completely, even if it means eradicating industrialism in the bargain, a process that is already well under way. It is not about conserving marginal amounts of energy by devising more efficient light bulbs and car engines. It is about eliminating our use of fossil fuels and replacing them with far smaller quantities of energy from wind and solar, even though this will cripple our economy. It is not about preserving a few tracts of scenic landscape here and there, as in our national parks and wildernesses. It is about channeling all new development into already existing urban centers and then preserving the vast majority of our land in its natural state. Expect the familiar call for mass transit to be accompanied one day soon by calls for mass housing. (See my article, “Global Urban Renewal”.)

Environmentalism does not aspire to make a few adjustments to a capitalist industrial system grounded in the rights of individuals. It aspires to abolish that system entirely and to replace it with one based on government command and control. We tried individual freedom, say the environmentalists, and it brought us to the brink of environmental destruction. Now freedom is a luxury we can no longer afford.

Environmentalism will vastly diminish our comfort, health, wealth, safety, and security from foreign enemies, and it will ultimately deliver us to tyranny….

That “predictable conclusion,” in short, is nothing less than the obliteration of individual rights and of private property, and the institutional regimen of enforced impoverishment of Americans and of people around the globe – in the name of climate “stability,” in the name of the new god, “Mother Earth.”

McCaffrey begins at the logical place to discuss environmentalism vs. natural rights, to establish his premises on which to later argue against environmentalism and for individual and property rights – with the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) and with the Founders. He devotes the very first chapter of Radical to the ideational innovations of John Locke.

Locke’s Second Treatise (1690) changed the course of political philosophy. The idea of natural rights was new in the history of mankind.

Locke started from the idea of a “state of nature.” If there were no government, if men lived in a state of nature relative to each other, there would still be right and wrong, things men ought and ought not to do. Locke referred to these moral principles collectively as the “law of nature.” The means that men have to discover this natural law is their faculty of reason. Locke said that the law of nature is reason. Or, as Jerome Huyler has suggested, the fundamental moral tenet implicit in Locke’s conception of natural law is “follow reason.” (p. 11)

Locke wrote:

And Reason, which is that Law [of nature], teaches all Mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions. (pp. 11-12)

In a subsequent chapter, McCaffrey discusses the debt of political philosophy John Adams and Thomas Jefferson owed Locke. Adams wrote:

Adams was clear that liberty and property are inseparable. He wrote: 

Res Populi, and the original meaning of the word republic … had more relation to property than liberty. It signified a government, in which the property of the public, or people, and every one of them, was secured and protected by law. This idea, indeed, implies liberty; because property cannot be secure unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use, or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for the purpose. It implies, moreover, that the property and liberty of all men, not merely of a majority, should be safe; for the people, or public, comprehends more than a majority, it comprehends all and every individual. (p. 35)

McCaffrey writes of Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence:

Liberty, in turn, is inseparable from property; Adams was as aware of this as John Locke had been. The American Founders’ commitment to individual liberty is nowhere more clearly expressed than in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


It would be difficult to compose a more concise and eloquent summary of Locke’s political philosophy than this. All the more curious, then, is Jefferson’s substitution of “pursuit of Happiness” for “property” in the familiar trio of rights. (pp. 35-36)

McCaffrey devotes several pages to Jefferson’s curious but anomalous substitution of “the pursuit of happiness” for “property.” This is no light-weight discussion of important principles and historical precedents. The author maintains this level of intellectual acuity throughout the work. (Parenthetically, and historically, it may have been John Adams or Benjamin Franklin who made the substitution as they emended Jefferson’s document, with Jefferson’s agreement. The Princeton discussion here about the Declaration’s rough draft is one of several such studies.)

Jumping far ahead to McCaffrey’s discussion of the assault on reason and reality by the Pragmatists and the Progressive, he writes:

In its early years, Progressivism drew heavily upon the philosophical movement called Pragmatism. Three Americans composed the core of the Pragmatic movement in philosophy, Charles S. Peirce (1839–1914), William James (1842-1910), and John Dewey (1859-1952). Among the services these men provided to progressivism was a redefinition of what constitutes truth. (p. 112)

And what did the Pragmatists seek to achieve? McCaffrey writes:

To men who could write “We hold these Truths to be self-evident,” the meaning of the word “truth” is clear; a statement is true if it corresponds with the facts of reality. This is the correspondence theory of truth, and it goes back to Aristotle. “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false; to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true.” This definition of truth is based on the assumptions that something exists, that man can know this something, and that truth is a correspondence between what a man knows and what this something in fact is. (pp. 112-113)

The Pragmatists, however, would disagree with a simple statement that “it is raining”:

“It is raining” would not mean that actual drops of water are actually falling from an actual sky. For the pragmatist, the “meaning” of a proposition is not some objective fact of reality but, rather, the subjective experiences that men come to associate with that proposition. (p. 113)

McCaffrey continues about the Pragmatist’s treatment of rain:

For the pragmatist, this means that if I were to go outside, I would see drops of water falling from the sky, feel drops of water hitting my skin, hear drops of water hitting the ground, taste water on my tongue, and undergo myriad other experiences that I would come to associate with the statement, “It is raining.” The sum total of these experiences would be the meaning of “It is raining” for the pragmatist. “It is raining” would not mean that actual drops of water are actually falling from an actual sky. For the pragmatist, the “meaning” of a proposition is not some objective fact of reality but, rather, the subjective experiences that men come to associate with that proposition. (pp. 113-114)

In another vein, a Pragmatist would itemize all his experiences about a duck and conclude he observed a duck: “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”  His abductive reasoning, likely adjudicated by the “probability theory,” however, would be invalid if even one of those observations or experiences was absent. In reality, the duck would actually exist, even without the Pragmatist’s observations. To a Pragmatist, if his “experiences” are in the least skewed, he might conclude he was seeing an elephant, and he would need to start all over again to reach a “probable” truth.
Depending on his "experiences," a Pragmatist may conclude this is an elephant.

McCaffrey hits another stride by tracing of the evolution of the late 19th and early 20th century conservation movements to environmentalism. He discusses the intellectual underpinnings of conservation and the resulting fascination with “natural nature,”

Progressivism aimed to expand the power of government in the United States. In the later decades of the nineteenth century there appeared a number of individuals and groups who prefigured Progressivism in this respect, who aimed specifically to extend the power of government to manage the nation’s forests, waterways, wildlife, and even its scenic beauty. Around the turn of the century, these resource protection groups would coalesce into a larger movement that comprehended all their respective goals under the heading of “conservation.” And, because all of these groups aimed, to one extent or another, to expand government power, they were easily absorbed into the larger Progressive movement….(p. 202; Italics mine.)

The chief proponents of conservation were George Perkins Marsh, George Bird Grinnell, John Wesley Powell, and Gifford Pinchot. Each of these men, in private and in a government capacity, advocated the expansion of federal lands and the adoption of conservation policies. McCaffrey writes:

When Progressivism arrived on the scene, about 1890 or so on the local level, and Progressives began to hammer away at the constitutional protection of property rights, their efforts helped to clear the way for just the sort of government intervention on behalf of resource protection that the various resource guardians had been promoting for years. Although many of the resource-protection efforts predated the advent of Progressivism, after 1890 many of the more prominent advocates of conservation were themselves Progressives. It was no coincidence that the most prominent conservationist of them all, Theodore Roosevelt, ended his political career as an arch-Progressive. By the end of Roosevelt’s second term, conservation would come to be identified as an integral part of the broader Progressive movement. (pp. 240-241)

The principal aim of the early conservationists was to remove Federal forests from any kind of development or exploitation by private interests. It was, frankly, to remove these lands from economic realities and to bar any private individual interests from interfering with the designs of “nature’s” appointive and self-appointive guardians.

By the time Roosevelt left office in 1909, there would be 149 forest reserves covering 193,000,000 acres. By then, the federal government would no longer be just a temporary owner whose primary purpose was to transfer federal lands to private citizens; it would be a permanent owner and manager of a vast forest empire, and Pinchot would be instrumental in effecting the transformation. Pinchot once said that government needed to be run more like a business. This would have made little sense to the men of 1789 with their idea of limited government, but for a government determined to manage a nation’s natural resources, it did made a certain sense, and in his management of the National Forests Pinchot showed how to do it. (pp. 245-246)

McCaffrey writes:

With Theodore Roosevelt’s leaving office in 1908, centrally organized conservation began to wane, although the idea of conservation, and a great many of the government initiatives and private organizations would prove lasting. The conservation movement continued to influence events right up until the 1950s and 60s, when it would be subsumed by a new movement called environmentalism. (p. 249)


Part III of Radical is devoted almost entirely to the growth and establishment of environmentalism as an official government policy. McCaffrey delves in detail into the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Wars on Energy and the Auto, the various Wars on virtually every product of an industrial civilization (e.g., nuclear energy, oil, shale production), all of which, to oblige our “guardians” of the environment, must come under stringent control, regulation, or even appropriation – i.e., seizure – by the government, not so much anymore, for the “public good,” but for the environment qua environment, shorn of any human interest or value. Any one of the subjects discussed by the author would deserve a book-length treatment.



The Environmentalists’ imaginary capitalist nightmare and bogeyman; a city of darkened skies and perpetual rain. A still from Blade Runner (1982). But, this is exactly the kind of world the Progressives, Environmentalists,
and other GlobalistPlanners wish to force men into:  a society in which men are pressed together in undifferentiated masses with no privacy, no freedom, and no prospect of escape from the city or from each other.


Personally, the most salutary demonstration of the “environmental” mind set for me was news of the fate of the Galileo spacecraft that was launched in 1989 and was deliberately obliterated in September 2003.

I remember emailing NASA, when it was decided to destroy the Galileo orbiter, which had been circling Jupiter between 1995 and 2003, by sending it to be vaporized in Jupiter’s atmosphere. I asked why the spacecraft could not just be left to orbit the planet indefinitely, as a token of man’s achievement, as evidence its existence. I could not believe the explanations I had read in the newspapers.

Someone at NASA replied to my query, writing that Galileo, which had run out of maneuvering fuel, might crash into Io or another Jovian moon, and contaminate it with terrestrial microbes. This was after being in space for fourteen years and continuously subjected to life-killing cosmic rays and radiation from Jupiter. The explanation defied reason. Yes, the NASA respondent replied to me with some indignation: Galileo might despoil the pristine lifelessness of Io or another moon with man-made microbes!

And that was a bad thing, remote as the likelihood of contamination was on any of the moons? Microbe-carrying meteors, comets, and asteroids, regularly crash into all the solar bodies, including Earth, our own moon, Mars, Titan and other bodies. That is somehow permissible. But risk a man-made object ruin one of those bodies?

Out of the question! Man may not leave his mark anywhere. He must be erased out of existence, as though he had never been there.

On Earth, as well as on the toxic, sulfur-coated moon Io or on the frozen, cosmic ray bathed plains of Ganymede.

Radical by Nature is a veritable treasure trove of information on the deleterious consequences of man-hating environmentalism. When people celebrate “Earth Day,” it is not man’s place on Earth that they are marking. The “extremists” among them are hoping for man’s extinction.

For your own edification, to bolster your own certitude that you are right in the knowledge that environmentalists are as mortal your enemies as are Islamic jihadists, I urge readers to read Thomas McCaffrey’s indictment of environmentalists and environmentalism.

Radical by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity, by Thomas J. McCaffrey.  Las Vegas, NV: Stairway Press, 2016. 580 pp.