Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NOT WORTHY OF OUR TIME.

Looking in on Rod Dreher just to see if he's still awful. Here's one about (groan) evolution where he says fancy-pants liberals
who love to put the Darwin fish on their cars and rail against fundagelicals who want to teach Creationism in public schools should be honest with themselves and admit that they don’t really want to teach Science and nothing but either.
Because if they were being honest, they'd accept his idea of science, which is that black people are inferior. He demonstrates this via a Steve Sailer link that pulls the cheap parlor trick of never mentioning American blacks (except indirectly, e.g. "Darwin wouldn't be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music") while maintaining Darwin proves races are unequal; for the missing pieces, you just have to look at the rest of Sailer's career. Plus there's the old nudge-wink from Dreher:
One of the things that keeps drawing me to Steve Sailer’s writing is that his beliefs on human biodiversity sometimes lead him to point out inconvenient truths about ideologies informing our common life.
[pushes in nose, pushes out lower lip]
I don’t read him often enough to say for sure...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Anyway, Dreher says it's cool, libs, we all ignore reality sometimes:
Unless you believe that plans for building atomic bombs and how to poison a city’s water supply with ricin should be distributed freely on the Internet, then you too believe in the concept of forbidden knowledge.
This is comparable to Jonah Goldberg's schtick of saying you liberals are in favor of censorship just like me because no one wants spread beaver on children's TV. The thing is, while you might entertain these logic games from someone who offers them in good faith, Goldberg and his crew have over the years so convincingly proven themselves first-class enemies of human liberty that there's no need to say anything back except, "Sure, make it Adventure Time for real, what the hell I don't have kids." It's even worse with Dreher, who ably represents centuries of theocratic suppression; the idea that inquisitors like him now stand outside our discourse, hiding pots of flaming pitch behind their backs, and say may I point out your hypocrisy is just too rich to bear.

Fuck 'em. Call me a liberal fascist, but I say Torquemada doesn't deserve a second chance.

252 comments:

  1. He demonstrates this via a Steve Sailer link that pulls the cheap parlor trick of never mentioning American blacks while maintaining Darwin proves races are unequal


    Of course, the evolution by means of natural selection strictly means that those organisms with the most descendants are the ones which succeed. Evolution works on populations, not individuals.

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  2. JennOfArk1:57 PM

    What exactly am I supposed to admit? That I want the Flying Spaghetti Monster taught in science class? What, precisely, am I supposed to "admit" I want taught in addition to science? I'm sure Rod doesn't know either.

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  3. This is comparable to Jonah Goldberg's schtick of saying you liberals are in favor of censorship just like me because no one wants spread beaver on children's TV.


    I want spread beaver on children's TV- maybe that would reduce the number of clueless prudes who think that the vulva is something to fear or revile.

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  4. Dear Children's Television Network,


    I never thought that this would happen to me...

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  5. satch2:34 PM

    And by Dreher's logic since a violin has four strings and a shamisen only has three, clearly Itzhak Perlman is far superior to Hiromitsu Agatsuma.

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  6. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps2:34 PM

    I think Dreher's been hanging out with Taki Theodoracopulos a little too long. This is almost indistinguishable from a Derbyshire article.

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  7. coozledad2:37 PM

    Baka Pygmy vocal music antedates European polyphony by tens of thousands of years; at least at the Scarlatti levels they're performing, without sheet music or even rudimentary voice training.

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  8. mrstilton2:37 PM

    I'm afraid you've yet to master wingnut logic. Once you do, you'll see that Darwin's "theory" of evolution is completely wrong AND proves that blah people are inferior.

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  9. Jay B.2:39 PM

    For conservatives these days it seems like the greatest injustice in the world is their inability to just call a spade a spade without getting so hassled for it.

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  10. BadExampleMan2:42 PM

    The infamous split beaver poster from National Lampoon.

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  11. coozledad2:49 PM

    Dreher is one stupid, underperforming bitch:

    http://classes.biology.ucsd.edu/bisp194-1.FA09/Blanchard_2001.pdf

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  12. Gromet2:51 PM

    Oh no, I read the Dreher and it's even worse than Roy makes it sound! Yes, his central point seems to be that pro-science people are liberal and therefore hypocrites, because IF science were to prove "cognitive differences" exist between races, liberals would never back legislation that puts the lesser people in their place. BUT setting that aside, it actually gets even dumber...

    He basically writes, "I admit Science makes more sense than Creationism -- but history proves people can't be trusted with science, because science gave us Auschwitz, so... yes, let's teach Science instead of Creationism, because that's the only choice that makes sense, but ALSO let's not make fun of Creationists, even though they are mired in ignorance, because that would be as easy as invading Grenada and therefore wrong." I'm not even kidding. Look:

    We must not, however, be subject to the illusion that the culture war
    over evolution is a matter of the forces of Enlightenment fighting the
    forces of Darkness And Ignorance. It’s like this: I believe democracy is
    a better form of government than dictatorship, but I don’t believe the
    narrative that should the United States attack another country, it is
    doing so for the sake of democracy. That may be part of it, but it’s far too easy to accept that narrative to justify our own hegemony over the weak...


    How do these people even tie their shoes?

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  13. Gromet2:52 PM

    The Scarlatti Levels -- one of the major Ludlums, I think?

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  14. Mark_B4Zeds2:52 PM

    Does he not know that 'The Bell Curve' has been thoroughly discredited by now?

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  15. Helmut Monotreme2:55 PM

    And Ravi Shankar is equal to like a dozen of both?

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  16. BigHank532:56 PM

    Does he pass the paper bag test?

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  17. coozledad2:57 PM

    Or an entrance exam for some Etonian club.

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  18. Helmut Monotreme2:57 PM

    On what fucking planet are "the theory of evolution" and "the knowledge of how to poison a water supply with ricin" equivalently harmful pieces of information?

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  19. Halloween_Jack2:58 PM

    Among that set, The Bell Curve cannot possibly be refuted, because it tells them exactly what they want to hear.

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  20. smut clyde3:30 PM

    "the knowledge of how to poison a water supply with ricin"


    1. Extract ricin from spread beavers castor beans.
    2. Place in water supply.


    It does not speak well of Dreher's education or intelligence if he regards this as an arcane secret known only to the initiated.

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  21. Emily683:38 PM

    Pete Seeger played the 5-string banjo and the 12-string guitar (but not at the same time). So I guess he was even better than Perlman or Hiromitsu.

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  22. smut clyde3:53 PM

    "The Biblical Adventures of the Little Man in the Boat".

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  23. Helmut Monotreme3:53 PM

    That bit of rhetorical handwaving is too big of a leap. When Dreary Rod writes:

    " Given the history of the 20th century, I flat-out don’t trust our species to handle the knowledge of human biodiversity without turning it into an ideology of dehumanization, racism, and at worst, genocide. Put another way, I am hostile to this kind of thing not because I believe it’s probably false, but because I believe a lot of it is probably true — and we have shown that we, by our natures, can’t handle this kind of truth. We will use it to construct ideologies that justify inhumanity with the authority of Science."

    That's a 100 pound catfish of whopper of a lie concealed in a goldfish bowl of a sentence. No, science didn't give us genocide. Religion and racism and fascism hand in hand in hand gave us the concentration camps. The systematic extermination of a persecuted religious and ethnic minority doesn't have one shred of science behind it. A nearly two thousand year old grudge carried forward and burnished by nearly two thousand years of inquisitors and witch finders and finally gestapos, each persecuting Jews (and heretics, and pagans, and atheists, and everyone else that didn't follow the church in lock step) gave them plenty of precedent. Anti antisemitism has been a reality of life in Europe since Jews were being killed for poisoning wells during the black death. Google the term 'blood libel' and tell me that came from science. Read Martin Luther's best seller 'On the Jews and their Lies' and point to the science contained therein. Yes, calculating machines from IBM helped the 3rd Reich implement their murderous plan. Blaming science for that makes as much sense as blaming Gutenberg for the fact some publisher is dumb enough to pay good money to Rod Dreher for the kind of hateful racist uninformed bilge you can get for free in any sports bar in the world when the home team is losing.

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  24. You have no idea how badly this cartoon is needed in certain, as it were, southern states. That is, speaking both metaphorically and literally.

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  25. smut clyde4:13 PM

    Well Dreher is not going to admit that "Religion dunnit", is he?

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  26. Spaghetti Lee4:14 PM

    (except indirectly, e.g. "Darwin wouldn't be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music")


    This is 'indirectly?' Do I even want to know what 'directly' would be?

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  27. Holy Ke-rist, And when square jawed captain of industry dumps wife and kids for trophy wife/bimbo and wife number one needs to get out and earn her living I'm sure she will be pleased as punch to share the grandkids with the parents of the asshole who dumped them. What dedicated reader of Ann Landers, as I am, doesn't know, also, that the grandchildren of your daughter are much more likely to be available to you than the grandchildren produced by your son? What's that biblical piece of wisdom? A son's a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter the rest of her life? This plan of banking on the love of your daughter in law for you can never go wrong.


    Also, can I say that my husband's two crazy sisters fit the bill of being unmarried and quite feminine. Guess who is wholly not reliable as grandparent caretakers? Guess who doesn't have the money or time to take up the "spinster" cause and act as unpaid nurse to granny and grandpa?

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  28. And if he had stood on their shoulders the combined musical giantism would have been an easy 12 feet.

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  29. XeckyGilchrist4:17 PM

    Do I even want to know what 'directly' would be?


    If you ever find you do, you need go no further than #tcot

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  30. Oh, I guess I'll have to be the first to explain the expression "Kiss up/kick down?" It may not be your idea of fun, but its all Dreher has inthat shitty town of his.

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  31. Righteous, Monotreme.

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  32. Gromet4:21 PM

    A thousand times yes. Dreher seems to think that because the Holocaust was efficient, Newton was as much to blame as Hitler.

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  33. Its a bit like Catholic arguments for the rhythm method--if its wrong to try to prevent conception isn't it always wrong, whether you use an inept, crazy method or a sensible mechanical one? The intention is the same. So the desire to "have more grandchildren" and the attempt to control fertility to do so--is that meritorious when Duck Dynasty and Mitt Romney do it because: religion while not meritorious when ilsa the she wolf of dachau does it because: eugenics?

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  34. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume4:30 PM

    Psst, don't anybody tell him that Europeans might have been black-skinned as recently as 11,000 years ago, and everyone on Earth might have been a negro until roughly the same time.

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  35. Helmut Monotreme4:32 PM

    I can quit any time I want. Rod is gift that keeps on giving:
    "My point is simply that all of us believe that some facts are too dangerous to be known; they are like the Ring Of Power, in that the temptation to abuse them is too great for our natures to bear.

    Admittedly, this puts me in a tight spot. Am I saying that we should ignore reality? I suppose I am."

    Christianity has a long history of learned men forbidding to the masses the level of education required to make informed choices. From the Latin Mass, opposition to vernacular translations of the bible, the suppression of Galileo's heliocentric model of the solar system, to their modern opposition to sex ed, their sole measure for any bit of information is that information that contradicts religious authority is evil and must be suppressed.

    This particular gem of Rod's could is an example of projection that could put the bat signal across the moon:
    "Liberal or conservative, the minute Science contradicts something we hold sacred, we turn away from Science."
    When the rest of us get new information that challenges our fundamental assumptions, we change our assumptions, we don't double down on the error, and reject objective reality in favor of a familiar and comforting lie.

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  36. What really bugs me most about all this is that the value assigned to human beings by Christianity, certainly, is supposed to go completely against mere materialism or mentalism and certainly is supposed to exist regardless of the use value or wealth of the person. Jesus (Mary and Joseph) as well as Peter and Paul and every other one of them largely emphasized that the kingdom of god was not reserved to men, high status men, wealthy men, at all but that slaves, free, men, women, all ensouled beings of whatever color etc..etc...etc... could belong in the kingdom of god. Not only does salvation not rely on having a big brain or being smart it doesn't get determined by your sex or your bankbalance.


    So even if "science" could prove that certain types of people--aristocrats, say, tended to make more money, or have whiter skin, or have any favored trait like a square jaw what the fuck business is it of Dreher's? Surely all of that is entirely besides the point for a religious man. A religious man simply has to keep making the same argument: all are equal in the sight of god. So what is Dreher's point, why does he keep nattering on about how darwin wouldn't have liked rap? Wouldn't Jesus have liked rap? Isn't that more to the point? And Jesus might have liked it because of its internal tone structure and not just because it produces a lot of money for its writers and performers. Who knows?

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  37. We cross posted,I think I was trying to say the same thing downthread but you said it better.


    The Dalai Lama, btw, famously has said that where science contradicts received Buddhist theories about things those theories need to give way to science. Why? I don't remember that part of the quote but I imagine him sighing, throwing up his hands (because the Dalai Lama is also an incarnate Jewish comic from the catskills) and saying "Because science dummy."

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  38. Wow, Wogs really do start at Calais.

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  39. smut clyde4:36 PM

    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    So no surprise that Dreher is opposed to it.

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  40. These have to count at least as highly as phrenology? And they do, oscar, they do.

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  41. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:48 PM

    It's the usual blather where transitory commercial success (being an executive in somebody else's corporation) is confused with evolutionary success.


    "There's a hundred thousand of us high-test types who have an average worth of 25mill and there's 3 billion of you slack-jawed workers who can't pay off your credit card? THAT MEANS WE WIN BY DARWIN RULES!!"


    Which goes to show that an ability to succeed in Finance is independent of one's ability to do maths.

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  42. smut clyde4:50 PM

    Genisraelia Italy!
    -- I would support that team in the European Cup.

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  43. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:51 PM

    I think somebody in Vatican City heard "black people got rhythm" and got to thinking.

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  44. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:53 PM

    All men should have penises at least 25 cm in length plus the ability to bench press a small car from puberty.

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  45. KatWillow4:56 PM

    How does he know what traits parents will select for? Some parents will want intelligent kids, other will want some sort of special talent, music, art, etc.

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  46. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:58 PM

    Well to be fair, there were racist, fascist scientists who were willing to use the mantle of academic authority to claim Science was involved (not least because it gave them a free run at a lot of suddenly vacant professorships), but that's quite different from actually using scientific method.

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  47. KatWillow4:58 PM

    That's been the anti-woman argument for thousands of years. Women are weak -so they must wear cumbersome clothing, heels, corsets etc. Women are stupid -so they must be denied education. Women are emotional -so them must not be allowed to run a business or government. and so on.

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  48. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:59 PM

    When you have high-efficiency in a morally-bankrupt enterprise, I always suspect management consultants.

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  49. BigHank534:59 PM

    If Rod had been raised by a roll of chain-link fencing with a rubber nipple sticking out of it, that would clear things up.

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  50. Mark_B4Zeds5:00 PM

    No, he can't argue his way out of one.


    Oh, you mean a different paper bag test.

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  51. KatWillow5:00 PM

    I believe to the Catholic church abstinence is the only acceptable birth control. Especially if it doesn't work!

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  52. smut clyde5:01 PM

    I am a bad person and once used this as a slide in a conference presentation:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P-37jXqbebo/TiodOW8fSqI/AAAAAAAACSg/8240s-c2vBE/s1600/harlow.PNG

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  53. KatWillow5:02 PM

    They win as long as the environment supports their particular adaptation. If the environment changes, or is changed by teh People, they're jumping out of windows.

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  54. satch5:04 PM

    You wanna discourage the yoots from ever having sex? This might just do it.

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  55. Helmut Monotreme5:05 PM

    My experience with management consultants was that the only thing at which they are efficient, and the only efficiency they consistently create and improve is the extraction of consulting fees from their customers.

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  56. BigHank535:06 PM

    Be very, very glad the one Tsarnaev brother was a mechanical engineering student and not an organic chemistry student. Nerve gas isn't all that tricky, unless you have to manufacture all your precursors. Then it's just time consuming.

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  57. KatWillow5:10 PM

    science gave us Auschwitz...


    WHAT? Insane HATE gave us Aushwitz.

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  58. Its pretty obvious that Dreher himself would find an intelligent, questioning, kid to be a pretty dangerous thing. Its like the beginning of Idiocracy. If you lay out the reproductive fitness of human beings we obviously select, as a species, for early, stupid, quick, furtive matings and accidental pregnancies. Smart, upper class, people limit their fertility and always always, have otherwise you get "from rags to rags in three generations." Also: people don't select qualities they want in their offspring--they select qualities they want in their fuckbuddies and sometimes get stuck with the offspring thereof. Plus, also, of course, lots of people don't get any choice in their sex partners and if anything the entire history of slavery should prove that those with the most control over sexual and reproductive choice have always chosen to reproduce with people they didn't consider spouses--and to produce large numbers of offspring that they didn't consider "grandchildren."

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  59. The Scarlatti Levels? Sounds epicene.

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  60. BigHank535:11 PM

    It's astonishing what can be turned into a blunt instrument when you find a target you just know needs a little head trauma.

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  61. satch5:11 PM

    Featuring Clutch Cargo...

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  62. Suddenly vacant professorships? Hm...hm...but of course many of these professorships had been withheld from Jews, specifically, on the basis of their religious/ethnic identity long before any kind of scientific or genetic explanation was offered. Ditto for Prots and Catholics in the UK.

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  63. smut clyde5:14 PM

    Imma guessing that this excerpt is Dreher's vision of what would happen if the knowledge and technology for controlling our children's genes were freely available, i.e. it is meant as an straw-man example of "Knowledge Liberals would Suppress".
    It does not make a great deal of sense in this context, but it's even less coherent in any other interpretation.

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  64. satch5:14 PM

    Not to mention Cro Magnons (us) interbreeding with Neanderthals...

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  65. brandonrg5:16 PM

    He's linking to Steve Sailer so I'm going to say no.

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  66. Smut Clyde checking the mirror5:16 PM

    Yes, that explains a lot.

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  67. There aren't enough upvotes and downvotes for that pun in the Universe--maybe not even in two universes.

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  68. coozledad5:16 PM

    That's an origin story worthy of Tom Waits.

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  69. Isn't this "it would be irresponsible not to let Steven Sailor Speculate?"

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  70. brandonrg5:17 PM

    Dreher thinks evolutionary theory means biological determinism for all humans, apparently.


    At least the comments there seem to be doing a decent job of pointing out how horrible Rod's argument is and how big of a POS racist Sailer is.

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  71. smut clyde5:17 PM

    And Cecil the Sea Serpent.

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  72. Now stop this right now, you two.

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  73. brandonrg5:29 PM

    Yep, at least the first two pages I'd say a majority reject Sailer's bullshit outright and pointed out that Dreher didn't really seem to "get" evolution.

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  74. coozledad5:37 PM

    Sister, help me trim ...naaah.

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  75. glennisw5:37 PM

    That's quite a fallacy he's got going there, that parents will "select traits." By "selection" of course, it means killing or gelding the ones that turn out not to be the way you want them - that's kinda how it's done with tomatoes, puppies, and calves.
    How do you know that your boy-child has a square jaw-line before puberty sets in? Do you wait till he's 14 to "select" him?
    Does he think there's a menu to order from, or maybe genes are labeled "square jaw"?

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  76. smut clyde5:42 PM

    the knowledge of human biodiversity

    Since DrDick is not a regular visitor here, I'll point out on his behalf the three main things we know about "human biodiversity":
    1. There is fuck-all of it compared to other species. We are as inbred as lab rats.

    2. Most of it is within Africa.

    3. The genetic differences between those groupings we label "races" are far smaller than the genetic variation *within* any of those groups.

    For Dreher to worry about "our 'species... turning [that] into an ideology of dehumanization, racism, and at worst, genocide", he had to have started with the ideology himself.

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  77. Jon Hendry5:42 PM

    Measuring penises in metric is the road to Communism.

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  78. Now look what you've done!

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  79. Halloween_Jack5:45 PM

    I should mention that the quote is from Sailer, originally, although Dreher approves of it.

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  80. glennisw5:45 PM

    Also: people don't select qualities they want in their offspring--they select qualities they want in their fuckbuddies and sometimes get stuck with the offspring thereof.
    Yep, and if you're looking for a square jaw and your partner turns out to have had cosmetic surgery to build one, it's gonna be quite a surprise.

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  81. smut clyde5:46 PM

    Ah, in length. I was worried for a moment that you meant circumference.

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  82. Jon Hendry5:47 PM

    Never mind the same race invented ragtime.


    Seiler probably thinks "The Entertainer" is decadent jungle music for thugs to listen to during their drive-bys.

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  83. Gabriel Ratchet5:51 PM

    Disbelieving in evolution because it supposedly led to the Holocaust is like disbelieving in gravity because a working knowledge of Newtonian physics was necessary to fire V2s at London.

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  84. If you're even moderately rich you can buy your kid a frickin' square jaw if his genes don't cooperate.

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  85. brandonrg5:55 PM

    And blues and jazz and rock n' roll

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  86. coozledad5:55 PM

    Or that Stravinsky and Debussy were blown away by the music out of New Orleans.

    There are few things on this earth so sublime as this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnPnTPhQFvk

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  87. brandonrg5:55 PM

    I reject atomic physics because I oppose nuclear weapons.

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  88. Isn't this like the design flaws of the Edsel?

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  89. smut clyde5:59 PM

    Ultimately Dreher is arguing for ignorance. I have no idea why... perhaps in his childhood he was frightened by a fact. Anyway, since he is arguing that "Ignorance is Knowledge" and wants scientists to stop finding out scary new stuff, then tendentious, bad-faith bullsh1t is really all he has.

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  90. Not to mention that the reason Knowledge has been controlled by those at the top is not because it is dangerous to humanity, but because it can be dangerous to their seat at the top.

    This transparent bullshit has only worked for millennia because Authoritarianism is a two-sided coin--for every Authority there are thousands of Followers who crave being "taken care of."

    Those of us on the outside are bumfuzzled as to why this is so, but there it is.

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  91. Gabriel Ratchet6:39 PM

    Would he be surprised to learn what race invented NASCAR?

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  92. Ellis_Weiner6:41 PM

    I tried--"to an extent," as Bertie Wooster might say--but I can't read this shit. The gravitational pull of Dreher's religious faith causes him to distort every idea that comes within his event horizon. But even after three paragraphs I noted two typical tropes:

    1. He's quick to despair (or to feign despair) over "our natures," as though, much as he "agrees with" Science, he wants to encase it in the lead cladding of religion because "our natures" will inevitably lead "us" to mis-use it and become genocidists. This idiocy is well refuted by earlier comments.

    2. He: "Whenever a partisan says, 'We should trust science' as a guide to how politicians should vote, I want to say: 'Oh? Should we have trusted
    science 100 years ago, when the scientific consensus favored eugenics?'"


    And I want to say, "Oh? Can you provide a single example of anyone on the left saying such a thing?"


    I have never read or heard a single "partisan" ever invoke "science" in that way. This whiny, adolescent hyperbole is the corollary of their inability to understand art. They think art is no different from propaganda, and they--or at least Dreher--thinks that those who don't share his faith "must therefore" equate science with a religion.


    Like I say all the time (but nobody listens), even their smart ones are stupid.

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  93. coozledad6:46 PM

    Ah. A Priebus.

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  94. whetstone6:51 PM

    It's inevitable that someone of Rod Dreher's self-regard would think that the end result of evolution is basically the inside of Rod Dreher's brain.

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  95. Ellis_Weiner7:00 PM

    I think it's Mrs.Tilton, too, because the avatar looks mainly (but not entirely) like a woman.

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  96. smut clyde7:01 PM

    Prepubescent and senescent cars:

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-F40uxp_GkZQ/UYj44OozSwI/AAAAAAAAMWI/iVL0Q3lAh0s/s1600/cars.PNG

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  97. philadelphialawyer7:02 PM

    I agree he is arguing for ignorance, and fears scary stuff. Not sure about that ignorance is knowledge stuff.
    But, in any event, ignorance and privacy are not the same thing. Fine if he wants to argue for ignorance. But don't pretend like I'm aboard too merely because I want my privacy respected. Again, the one, ignorance, relates to what human beings in general know about things of general interest and use, and can be trusted to know, and so forth, the other, privacy, is about my control over who knows things that are of no interest (other than possibly prurient) or use to anyone. I want my privacy respected, but that hardly means I buy into the concept of "forbidden knowledge." Like the OP says, this is all about some fake accusation that "Liberals do it too---ooo."

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  98. Ellis_Weiner7:03 PM

    Plus, we *already* know how to poison a cup of chamomile tea with ricin. So the cat's half out of the bag as it is.

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  99. XeckyGilchrist7:06 PM

    That's pretty much all of evo-psych in a nutshell, isn't it?

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  100. Ellis_Weiner7:09 PM

    I can't stand rap or hip-hop, but I don't brag about it. It makes me wonder if I'd have been one of the bourgeois nitwits who condemned Impressionism, Cubism, non-representational art, The Rite of Spring, jazz, rock 'n' roll...you get the pattern. I think I may say without fear of contradiction that Brother Rod would indeed have been first in line to deplore each and every one of those forms, and to tell us why, for our own good.

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  101. Ellis_Weiner7:10 PM

    Well, to listen to during their horse-drawn clip-clop-bys.

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  102. JennOfArk7:10 PM

    Wha.....


    .....never mind, it's smut's amazing power to ferret out the most bizarre, yet on-point, response to blog comment arcana.

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  103. XeckyGilchrist7:13 PM

    Sadly, that's pretty much what was said about Joplin's music in the old days, as I'm sure you know. (I love his claim in his "School of Ragtime" pamphlet [1908] that "to shy bricks at 'hateful ragtime' no longer passes for musical culture.")

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  104. Ellis_Weiner7:13 PM

    Trust Brother Dreher to confuse the issue between "forbidden knowledge" and "dangerous knowledge." But that's the authoritarian in him, innit?

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  105. smut clyde7:13 PM

    Google says "Yes". In fact it is a recurring theme for Sailer.
    I will not pretend to ventriloquise Darwin's reactions to the news that listening to rap music is a white kid thing. Sailer may or may not regard them as race traitors.

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  106. AGoodQuestion7:13 PM

    The innate racial inferiority of "those people" is Dreher's idea of good science? Dare I hope that Stephen Jay Gould rises from the grave to eat his brains.

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  107. Ellis_Weiner7:22 PM

    But he does it more in sadness than in anger. And then he offers them--in spite of their lowly status, because that's just the kind of guy he is--salvation and eternal life through you-know-Who.

    Thus the self-congratulatory nature of the crusading person of faith. Rod agrees to accept the diminution of his self in the presence of the Authority, but makes up for it by affecting to be the Authority toward those he deems, by definition, lesser. Come for the awe of the numinous, but stay for the cheap thrill of condescension.

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  108. AGoodQuestion7:25 PM

    If he embraces two opposite justifications, it's because he's not settled on which one will better speak to the rubes. Of course like him, a lot of them aren't very picky.

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  109. JennOfArk7:29 PM

    Now I know the theme of my Monster Porn series!


    Volume 1: Ravished by the Neanderthal

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  110. JennOfArk7:31 PM

    Jesus would have been into rap for the big booties shaking in the videos.

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  111. smut clyde7:33 PM

    The Cro-Magnon carried a Crowbar.

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  112. JennOfArk7:39 PM

    Dalai Lama humor:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltzDHTbaI8s

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  113. coozledad7:45 PM

    This is straight out of the book of Matthew, and is not safe for work:

    The son of man has come eating and drinking. And er... licking?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J0utfYWJvg

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  114. smut clyde7:59 PM

    http://www.buybeaverbutter.com/beaver%20butter%20jar.jpg

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  115. ohsopolite7:59 PM

    Torquemada was insufficiently conservative.

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  116. BigHank538:01 PM

    He's not stupid. He's just a theocratic tool, and theocracy is probably the most brittle kind of government there is. Humor, satire, and even asking the simplest of questions can fracture its foundations. Every Dreher essay contains the sit-down-and-shut-up theme. Art is propaganda. So is science, and politics too: everything is just a tool to be used to capture another soul for Jesus. Rod is terrified that he's going to be held responsible for people who don't convert and go to hell, so fuck the truth and honesty and science and reality itself. You'd better believe or else...

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  117. Smarter than Your Average Bear8:04 PM

    The moment a con starts talking about race they've exposed themselves as a racist - biologically there is no such thing as race - which makes sense when you consider that we all descended from an extremely small population of hominids that escaped from Africa many hundreds of thousands of years ago, and have been interbreeding ever since (including with several sub species of Hominids - the Desinovians and Neaderthals)- http://wupa.wustl.edu/record_archive/1998/10-15-98/articles/races.html is just one example

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  118. El Manquécito8:05 PM

    I thought I remembered mrs. tilton from some previous comment snake pit but now y'all have me wondering. Mr Stilton sounds like a character in an Anthony Powell novel.

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  119. Adolf Kittenler8:12 PM

    Well, they also invented jazz and rock and roll, too, so I'm not sure what kind of music Sailer would have us listen too. I'd say country, but even that was tolerable until God, guns, and guts took it over 20 years ago.

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  120. Tehanu8:28 PM

    Mmmmm.... Stilton. /Homer Simpson moan

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  121. Bethany Spencer8:31 PM

    Nice science ya got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

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  122. Tehanu8:33 PM

    Yeah, save the pity for their defenseless kids.

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  123. coozledad8:34 PM

    The pithecanthropus alalus in Miss Jones.

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  124. coozledad8:41 PM

    "I can't believe it's my hand!"

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  125. tigrismus8:49 PM

    Homo Erectus

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  126. j_bird8:49 PM

    I'm rooting for "a linear combination of both" or "either, depending on which direction the light is coming from."

    ReplyDelete
  127. mrstilton8:55 PM

    The name I have always used in the "blog-o-sphere", for reasons now as irrelevant as they always were obscure, is Mrs Tilton.

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  128. tigrismus8:57 PM

    the temptation to abuse them is too great for our natures to bear.

    Unlike religious power.

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  129. mrstilton9:00 PM

    You are correct as to the name, Ellis. But as for the Avatar? Pádraig J. O'Leprosy, Esq. is not a woman, and would not wish to be perceived as one, except maybe sometimes.

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  130. tigrismus9:01 PM

    Insane hate fed for hundreds and hundreds of years by a certain pervasive institution that claimed absolute power because GOD. Darn science.

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  131. coozledad9:05 PM

    Or Powys:


    Mr. Stilton found his cold plump fingers clutched by two hot feverish little hands. He turned his dark eyes towards her, without moving his head. It was exactly as if the eyes of an Aztec idol had followed the gestures of a worshipper.


    "All right child", He said. "I can feel my curds going green."

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  132. bourbaki9:14 PM

    Recently my wingnut uncle became obsessed with the idea that he has Neanderthal DNA (and considered this a Good Thing). Apparently there are companies that "test" for this. Based on the man I know him to be, I'm assuming this has something to do with the lack of said proto-humans in sub-Saharan Africa.



    Anyone with a keener sense of the wingnut mind have any inside knowledge on where this is coming from? I'm a firm believer in family bliss and so usually stop paying attention whenever he opens his mouth about anything not related to art (of which he is quite knowledgeable).

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  133. redoubtagain9:16 PM

    science gave us Auschwitz

    That's as may be, but it took religious-based hate to fill it.

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  134. Magatha9:17 PM

    Some parents actually wanted Potemkin children (Hi mom! Hi dad!) but darn, it's hard to get 'em back in the warehouse once they've seen the road.

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  135. redoubtagain9:23 PM

    (Not this one; two left feet and all thumbs. I'd be the first purged.)

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  136. Where in the wide world of sports is that from?

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  137. Magatha9:24 PM

    Concert organist E. Power Biggs (1906-1977) played an instrument which can have as many as 20,000 pipes. I'm pretty sure his parents selected him specifically for his vocation and named him accordingly. This might be central to my point, if I had one.

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  138. TGuerrant9:28 PM

    And if planting all those damn beans and plucking them out of their spiny shells is too boring, go to a gun show, buy some assault weapons and massacre a theater or school or two because you don't need no damn sekrit knowledge to defend the 2nd Amendment to the max.

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  139. Thats what I thought, MrsT, but all of a sudden while looking at your avatar today it was like looking at an anagram and suddenly seeing the letters in a new order. Or maybe I'm just going senile.

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  140. Not that I agree with it, but the Church's logic is that having "marital relations" but preventing pregnancy is wrong because it separates the conjugal and procreative aspects of sex or somesuch. The rhythm method, updated as NFP, is allowed (though technically discouraged) because it's only a sin to have sex without procreating, not to refrain from sex.

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  141. TGuerrant9:29 PM

    The thing about Eve is that she invented adulthood - knowledge, responsibility, independence. Every baby Adam since has damned her for ending perpetual childhood.

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  142. redoubtagain9:31 PM

    I mean, that's a lot of words to say, "I'm going to arrange my children's marriages to WASPs and not mud people".

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  143. Oh absolutely, I've read quite a bit of discussion about this. Catholic reasoning on this is elaborate. I'd kind of argue that its not even a "sin to have sex without procreating"--its a sin to have sex while mechanically blocking reproduction but its not a sin to have sex which is timed to not result in a pregnancy because that is "reamining open" to the possibility that god makes you have the baby. Its the "remaining open" to it that seems impoprtant.

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  144. Plus it takes forever for the paint to dry.

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  145. Jaime Oria9:40 PM

    "Gattaca! Gattaca!! Gattaca!!!"

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  146. "I admit that cash works better than wishing for things, as a medium of exchange, but cash can be very dangerous--people can actually buy things with it, and that can lead to trouble. I prefer to close my eyes and just hope."


    Isn't that, basically, what he's arguing? That he prefers a bad explanation over a good one because there could be some potential dangerous aspects to knowing something true but (he thinks) no obvious dangers from pursuing something patently false? He'd rather achieve nothing than potentially achieve something dangerous/new/different?

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  147. TGuerrant9:53 PM

    Suddenly I want to learn to bake.

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  148. TGuerrant9:55 PM

    This is like Cousteau without the bubbles.

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  149. TGuerrant9:59 PM

    No whey.

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  150. tigrismus10:12 PM

    "Darwin wouldn't be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music"

    Maybe it sounded better in the original German?

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  151. drkrick10:29 PM

    I regret I have only one upvote to give to that comment.

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  152. Neanderthals turned out to be an evolutionary dead end because of their inability to:
    1. slam dunk
    2. break eleven seconds in the hundred yard dash
    3. sing, dance, and understand syncopation


    I hope your uncle considers that a fair trade off.

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  153. FDRliberal11:20 PM

    Sailer would have us listen too. I'd say country, but even that was tolerable until God, guns, and guts took it over 30 years ago.
    What an immense drop going from Hank Williams Sr to Hank Williams Jr.

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  154. DocAmazing12:09 AM

    Back in high school, in the pre-internet days, I was able to entertain myself with explosives made from ingredients found in well-stocked food supply and hardware stores, using information obtained at the public library. Rod apparently opposes literacy and capitalism.

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  155. DocAmazing12:14 AM

    Those belt buckles didn't say "Darwin Mit Uns".

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  156. PersonaAuGratin12:39 AM

    Huh.
    I’ll be Götterdämmerunged….

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  157. Part of the problem with Christianity's conception of all people being equal in value is that it judges all people as guilty thanks to original sin and thus in need of redemption, which admittedly is offered to anyone. But the emphasis on judgment in the afterlife suggests that saving souls for the next life is more important than improving material circumstances or seeking fairness and justice in this life. Equality in the afterlife means we don't need to be concerned about inequality in the present. Remember, the poor will always be with us. Ham's descendants will forever be cursed with servility, however much the gates of heaven may be open for them eventually. Temporal authorities are granted their power by God and are owed our respect and allegiance, all that. Rap is a distraction from holiness and probably has its roots in some pagan ceremony anyways.

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  158. Why? He just doesn't know any better.

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  159. mrstilton3:11 AM

    No, the "gay cavemen porn" genre is the next shelf over.

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  160. mrstilton3:36 AM

    Now I do not have the mathematical chops to do the work here, but given your nym, perhaps you can help.


    There is an apparent paradox to pedigrees in that, on first impression, you need more and more ancestors the farther back you go. That is, each clutch of siblings needs 2 parents, 4 grandparents, ... and n great^ngrandparents, where n is the number of generations from the siblings back to the original human ancestor. So at that point each clutch has (I think) n(n+2)/2 ancestors, and you'd need to multiply that by the total number of clutches, so you end up with eleventy scrumptillion original ancestors instead of the two that the bible assures us we all share.


    But it's only an apparent paradox, and the bible is in fact correct (for sufficiently large values of "Adam" and "Eve"), because the pedigrees collapse as we travel back in time, family lines converge, and, in short, we are all Appalachians. My understanding is that, after some point in the high middle ages, every single European alive back then who has any living descendants is an ancestor of every European alive today, barring recent immigrants from faraway places. (So if some Almanach de Gotha type tells you that he is descended from Charlemagne, and assuming he is correct, embrace him as your cousin.) Travel farther back in time, and the circle of contemporary common descendants widens, until we arrive at Y-Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve and the circle captures all of mankind today.


    All this has been a longwinded way, but one I think necessary to lay down the necessary background, to arrive at the question: if your uncle is correct in thinking he is of partial Neanderthal descent, than are not you also, and I, and (at least to a first approximation) every human alive today Neanderthals?

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  161. smut clyde4:17 AM

    OMFSM someone else on the Intertuba reads Powys.

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  162. smut clyde4:22 AM

    Shaw & Pittinger, 1979.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/528953

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  163. mrstilton4:35 AM

    Ah wait, I think I see the problem here. It is almost certainly true genealogically, but need not be true genetically.

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  164. Pope Zebbidie XIII4:41 AM

    I was worried about that interpretation when I wrote that sentence - wisely it turned out.

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  165. El Manquécito6:56 AM

    Not exactly 'reads' more like read. Once was plenty. Powell I reread though. Nicely done coozledad.

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  166. Country music is very much a mongrel. Remember, the banjo is derived from African instruments and was invented by Caribbean slaves. I have a friend who's big into the musicology of Old Time, and practically every tune in the canon has African influences somewhere in its history. At let's not even get into Western Swing...

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  167. Oh damn. Missed it.

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  168. Nevertheless pedigree collapse is one of my favorite expressions. It makes me think of the spanish royal family and exhausted pekinises.

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  169. coozledad8:33 AM

    I don't seem to "get" much of anything until it's percolated in pop culture for a few decades. I didn't start to get Elvis Costello until Armed Forces, and I didn't get NWA until I heard Outkast.


    I'm a follower. A late adopter... (sobs).

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  170. coozledad8:42 AM

    I just copied out a graph from A Glastonbury Romance and added the cheese part at the end.


    Sort of a Goldbergian cutup.


    I have to read Powys the way someone might read Finnegans Wake and maintain some mental balance. Not much more than a couple of pages at a go.

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  171. coozledad8:58 AM

    My spit test says I'm 2% Neanderthal and around 80% Anglo-Irish. I believe the rest of it is the unaccountable result of prodigious infucking among the ambulatory slime molds of Union County, NC, home of Jesse Helms. He's a relative by marriage, technically, but I know our respective families must have swapped copious amounts of fluids for at least a century or so. It was warm and the Helms' pretty much slid their dicks in everything.

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  172. Helmut Monotreme9:22 AM

    In the late eighties and early '90s kids making pipe bombs and setting them off late at night at the gravel pit was still considered a dumbass redneck stunt rather than evidence of incipient terrorism.

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  173. tigrismus9:48 AM

    DEAR GOD have you no mercy?

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  174. tigrismus9:53 AM

    Love the pity laugh!

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  175. Just to confirm: it's not possible to simultaneously upvote and downvote a comment using the same account.

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  176. the spanish royal family and exhausted pekinises.


    IYKWIMAITYD.

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  177. j_bird10:38 AM

    So it's all about the mandatory risk? Remind me not to let God anywhere near any friends with gambling addictions. He'd enable them like whoa.

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  178. In my gloomier moments--- say, after my father has vigorously cut my mother off for trying to mention Harry Potter to my five-year-old, or when Rod Dreher expresses opinions widely held in these United States by highly politically-motivated people--- I try to cheer myself up by thinking of Ken MacLeod's description of a Balkanized US from the viewpoint of an Eastern US resident: (Paraphrasing) "They got most of the oil, but they won't be finding much more of it using Flood geology." For some reason, it's not helping.

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  179. El Manquécito10:42 AM

    TTDOSOTL.

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  180. Ellis_Weiner10:53 AM

    There there. At least you'll never suffer the torment of having "discovered" an artist from the start, only to then get all pissy and resentful when the rest of the world catches up and takes possession. With me, it was Chicago Transit Authority and Talking Heads. I'm still nursing a grudge.

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  181. Ellis_Weiner11:08 AM

    I don't even want to know what this is. Do I? Or do I...?

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  182. News Nag11:34 AM

    Auschwitz was built by hate as well as filled by hate.

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  183. Helmut Monotreme12:48 PM

    Theocracy is a step down from 'strange women lying in ponds distributing swords' as a system of government. At the very least in that case the putative ruler has a very tangible and functional sword to enforce the violence inherent in the system.

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  184. Gromet1:32 PM

    Yeah. He straight-up argues that ignorance is morally superior because, historically, it leads to fewer social problems.

    I don't think he tested the evidence and I don't think his results can be duplicated.

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  185. bekabot1:51 PM

    "Call me a liberal fascist, but I say Torquemada doesn't deserve a second chance."

    I think he deserves a second chance. In fact I think he deserves an eternity of second chances: he deserves an eternity of second chances at trying to navigate the same dungeons into which he was willing to pitch other people. But it's been my experience that most of the folks who aren't wired up to believe in God or Eternity are more forgiving that I am, for which I thank heaven.

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  186. bekabot1:57 PM

    In other words: "Righties like me will get what we want, which would be a terrible thing. Don't you liberals have enough of a sense of social responsibility to try and prevent it? You have an obligation to stop us no matter what the cost may be. The ball's in your court, guys, the ball's in your court."


    At this point I'm with the blogmaster — let's just open up 24/7 KINK TV. I'll get a kick out of it and those who won't don't have to watch. Take up some charge of your own frakkin' selves, for cripes' sake.

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  187. It occurs to me that underneath everything is still another level of confusion--he's arguing that "Science" put the Jews into Auschwitz and that was wrong--because---why again? The Jews really weren't subhuman by Science's standards? Or the Science was bad? Would it be ok if the Science were "good?"

    Because the Jews and the Sciencers (todays anyway) are all in agreement that even if the Science were right it was wrong to do the Auschwitz. And, famously, they also killed off the old, the mentally defective, and the Poles under various rubrics along with the Yids and the Gypsies.

    So what is his point, really, about how cold hard science would inevitably show us that there was, in fact, a master race and there are, in fact, subhuman rap-races out there? That this time, for sure, Science will get it right? Or, once again, Science will be perverted? Because he sure sounds like he is hankering for A) Science to determine who the winners and losers are politically and B) for Science to exterminate the brutes.

    He seems sublimely unconcious of the arguments he is implicitly making-and that Sailor et al are explicitly making--which is that any way you slice it God wants white people to dominate over and possibly exterminate non white people, QED. Neither Science nor Religion seems to offer much hope that selfishness and racism and sheer murderous self righteousness will be overcome with anything.

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  188. I want to add that having grown up with Science, big S and big Ass-stounding Science, I want to rebuke something else that Dreher implicitly believes. Real scientists are no better or worse than other kinds of people except in one important regard. Ideally they prize truth--hard truth, long sought truth, novel truth above everything else. Because its the only way to get things done. "Thou shalt not falsify thy data" is a pretty important moral stance, actually--at least as important as half the ten fucking commandments. "Thou shalt consider the implications and consequences of thine acts in the testtube for the world outside the testube"--that's another one. "Thou shalt not kill they lab mates"--there's another one. I'd put those commandments and that basic world view up against Rod's confused Christianism any day of the week.

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  189. J Neo Marvin2:17 PM

    Thus, boys will become more masculine and girls more feminine. This will probably reduce the number of homosexuals.

    Dude has obviously never been to the Castro.

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  190. smut clyde2:17 PM

    "Thou shalt not kill thy lab mates"
    I didn't see that in the rules.

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  191. tigrismus2:18 PM

    Scarlatti levels are how they make staff paper so uniform.

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  192. Halloween_Jack2:24 PM

    IKR? Hey, Sailer and Dreher, there's this group called the Village People you should check out sometime in the next few decades.

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  193. Its in the fine print.

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  194. smut clyde2:49 PM

    a father who knows for sure that God wants this or that, and being ready to persecute on that basis, only to change his mind time and time again and come up with a whole new religion and reason to persecute

    The classic Dreher columns are those in which he berates other people for their Cafetaria Catholicism, i.e. for ignoring vile or absurd doctrines while still claiming to belong to the church. Picking and choosing: bad. Apparently you are supposed to prostrate your conscience in front of the rule-book and accept the traditions part-and-parcel until the church itself catches up with reality and renounces geocentric cosmology or accepts evolution or whatever. It is just arrogance to think yourself better than the professional theologians, like... I don't know... hanging on to US citizenship and yet trying to change some US laws.


    The non-arrogant way to follow your conscience -- i.e. the one he takes -- is to decide which doctrines you want imposed on you, and convert to a sequence of religions in search of one which elevates your prejudices into Commands from God. But this is not picking and choosing.

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  195. smut clyde3:06 PM

    Sprechstimme, it's just jungle noises, amirite?

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  196. J Neo Marvin3:24 PM

    He blew the joke. It's supposed to be a hot dog stand.

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  197. J Neo Marvin3:26 PM

    To illustrate (end of second verse):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrDisi2CYWA

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  198. J Neo Marvin3:38 PM

    And Hank Williams Sr. was taught guitar by a black man. And Jimmie Rodgers was basically a white blues singer. Country is about as "purebred Aryan" as anything else in American culture, that is, not at all.

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