Monday, 3/10/14

    1. Conservative Rubes
    2. Human CAFOs
    3. Left hand, meet right hand
    4. Social science proves nothing?


Fascination with politics pushed into the forefront of the conservative movement individuals of limited philosophical and historical discernment. More and more they came under the influence of the zeitgeist and manipulative donors, which has contributed to sometimes ludicrous terminological confusion. Today “conservative” often means leftist, as in wanting to reshape the world in the image of a single ahistorical model (“democracy”). Many so-called conservatives are better described as Jacobins. Most neoconservatives are ideologically intense universalistic liberals. Needless to say, what Americans call liberalism has long been difficult to tell apart from European social democracy.

To recover, American conservatism would have to reorder its priorities and most especially put politics in its place. America’s crisis is at bottom moral-spiritual and cultural …

The problem, simply put, was lack of sophistication—an inability to understand what most deeply shapes the outlook and conduct of human beings. Persons move according to their innermost beliefs, hopes, and fears. These are affected much less by politicians than by philosophers, novelists, religious visionaries, moviemakers, playwrights, composers, painters, and the like, though truly great works of this kind reach most minds and imaginations only in diminished, popular form.

Yet the conservative movement did not direct its main efforts toward a revitalization of the mind, imagination, and moral-spiritual life. There it relied on shortcuts. In the area of ethics, for example, it assumed that churches would handle the job. But the churches, too, had been deeply influenced by the general moral, intellectual, and aesthetic trends of society. The god worshiped by many was a figment of a polluted, sentimental imagination.

(Claes G. Ryn via Rod Dreher) Blogging has been a little light because so many of the bloggers I read, who often have interesting things to say about things other than politics, have been making an obligatory pilgrimage to CPAC. What they have to say about that is mostly uninteresting – even the part where Ben Carson, implausible rising star and draft candidate, comes quite unhinged.


It appears that the antibiotics we’ve been feeding animals for 60 years may be responsible for the obesity epidemic in ways other than just making meat fattier and cheaper.

That might explain why a vegan diet is, at least presently, so dramatically effective in weight loss, and would caution carnivores to seek out naturally-raised meat (which will mean both antibiotic-free and grass-fed, because you can’t have an efficient grain-feeding operation without animals drugged up and in close proximity).

I’m not there yet on the vegan thing, and unless “the little light goes on” in my wife’s brain or I start doing all the family cooking, I’m not likely to get there. Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 seems more realistic.


Dare I suggest that the New York Times editorial page has a multiple-personality disorder? Sunday’s edition had, in featured position, Can We Learn About Privacy from Porn Stars? by Stoya, who makes money by doing the most private things in front of cameras but aspires to keep her real name unknown, I guess. Elsewhere Nicholas Kristof, foe of human trafficking (especially women and girls, who are the ones mostly or exclusively trafficked) was writing about domestic violence.

Am I the only one who intuits a connection between trafficking and porn? Is the New York Times still thinking that the working stiff who brings home the bacon to his high school sweetheart and shines his kids’ shoes Saturday night in preparation for Church Sunday is the patriarchalist enemy while Hugh Hefner is the friend of women because he funds Planned Parenthood?

I’ve run out of rhetorical questions for the moment.


Naturally, if you live in a society that values the heterosexual nuclear family as the ideal, children raised within this structure will be ideally situated for participation in that structure, and social science will “prove” that this is the best environment for raising children, just as, had it existed in the thirteenth century, social science would have “proved” that the best way to raise a child was to send him to a monastery at 7 or 8-years-old.

(Aaron Taylor at Ethika Politika, explaining why, once “heteronormativity” is rejected as patriarchal or some such, social science proofs don’t prove much.)

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.