To be happy, get a dog

There really isn’t any question. Dogs make life better:

In 2018, the General Social Survey for the first time included a battery of questions on pet ownership. The findings not only quantified the nation’s pet population – nearly 6 in 10 households have at least one -they made it possible to see how pet ownership overlaps with all sorts of factors of interest to social scientists.

Like happiness.

For starters, there is little difference between pet owners and non-owners when it comes to happiness, the survey shows. The two groups are statistically indistinguishable on the likelihood of identifying as “very happy” (a little over 30 percent) or “not too happy” (in the mid-teens).

But when you break the data down by pet type – cats, dogs or both – a stunning divide emerges: Dog owners are about twice as likely as cat owners to say they’re very happy, with people owning both falling somewhere in between.

We have four in the house now, although one is a friend’s dog who is staying here while she’s travelling. It can get a little chaotic at times, especially when the someone comes to the door, but if there is one thing you can do to instantly improve your quality of life, getting a dog is it.

On a dog-related note, it was amusing last night. My friend’s Ridgeback suddenly started crying and whining for what he thought was no reason while we were talking on the phone. It turned out that his wife had managed to lock herself outside without her keys, and the dog realized she was out there and something was wrong before she could even manage to dig her phone out of her purse and call my friend.

Two arguments for free speech

A few notes concerning the recent pair of Darkstreams on free speech:

A man can never be hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. The working of his mind is limited only by the bounds of his experience and the power of his imagination. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value. It is unsatisfactory and even painful to the thinker himself, if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbours. Moreover it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man’s thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some have preferred, like Socrates, some would prefer to-day, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech.

– JB Bury, A History of the Freedom of Thought

In the case of Bury, his core argument in defense of freedom of speech is constructed as follows:

  1. Man’s thoughts are free because they cannot be known or hindered by other parties.
  2. Man cannot refrain from speaking his thoughts.
  3. Therefore, freedom of speech is an intrinsic right of Man.

I trust the two major flaws in this syllogism are obvious to the reader. First, if Man’s thoughts are free because they cannot be known or hindered, then Man’s speech cannot be for that same reason. Second, we have evidence every single day that Man is capable of concealing his thoughts, or at the very least, not converting them to speech. The conclusion simply does not follow logically from the premises.

The ineptitude of the Erasmusian case for the freedom of speech is even worse. His 1516 The Education of a Christian Prince is often cited by free speech advocates because it contains the phrase, “In a free state, tongues too should be free.”

But what did Erasmus actually write?

Even the emperor Hadrian, a pagan and not to be classed among the good princes, would never listen to a charge of lese-majeste; and not even that cruel monster Nero gave much heed to secret accusation on that charge. There was another one who paid no attention at all to charges of this sort and said, “In a free country, tongues likewise should be free.” Therefore, there are no crimes which a good prince will pardon more readily or more gladly than those which affect him alone.
– Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince

Now the punchline. Erasmus not defending free speech, he is encouraging the prince, like King Lune of Archenland, to be the most magnanimous man in the kingdom. And the phrase in question is not his own, as he is quoting “another one”. Who is this “another one” of whom Erasmus writes?

Why, it is none other than the Emperor Tiberius, as quoted by Suetonius, the Roman Emperor infamous for the Senatorial purges and treason trials conducted in his name by his chosen right-hand man, Sejanus. A less-convincing historical champion of free speech would be difficult to conjure!

Freedom of speech is manifestly not a right, and the observably inept attempts of its advocates to establish it as one should be more than sufficient to convince every rational observer of the inherently nonsensical nature of the claim.

A legend has left us

I used to wear Karl Lagerfeld’s signature cologne back in the day and it is still one of my favorites. The late fashion legend was also ruthlessly hysterical. Some of his classic quotes:

  • Kate Middleton has a nice silhouette and she is the right girl for that boy. I like that kind of woman, I like romantic beauties. On the other hand, her sister struggles. I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.
  • I hate ugly people. They are very depressing.
  • Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.
  • We cannot talk about suffering. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta.
  • I have a sort of Alzheimer’s for my own work, which I think is a very good thing. Today too many people remember what they did — just forget it all and start again.
  • I am very much down to earth. Just not this earth.
  • Women can be short, but for men it is impossible. It is something that they will not forgive in life… they are mean and they want to kill you.
Owen Benjamin would approve.

Evil hates good

The failures hate the successful. And the gammas always, always, always hate the alphas.

If you ever wonder why I am so “harsh” and “judgmental”, why I don’t hesitate to eject people from this blog, and why I am very fast to reject potential fans and followers, watch this video. Owen is a genuinely sweet man. He’s a fundamentally good person. He is a bright light who instinctively stands up for what he believes to be true. And that is why he trusts people, why he gets bitten by the broken people he tries to help, and why it genuinely hurts him when people return evil for good.

I am not as good, or as innocent, or as merciful, as Owen. To the contrary, I will literally hunt a cripple down in his grandmother’s home and have the police drag him down to the police station, then expose his activities to his entire real-life social circle. And that’s when I’m playing nice.

So, I’m not disturbed or unsettled by evil. Its existence neither surprises nor demoralizes me. To the contrary, I am galvanized by the opportunity to exert myself against it from time to time. God gives us all different gifts, and one of mine happens to be the love of the fray and the joy of seizing up the enemy and searching for a way to defeat him.

Never forget that God hates the wicked and he loves his warriors. God punished David and refused to let him build the temple, but He never rejected him. Jesus rebuked Peter, but he also called him his rock.

Send Owen a note to encourage him, whether you believe Man walked on the Moon or not. And be of good cheer. This is the season when we celebrate the beginning of the victory, after all. Deus vult.

12 REAL Rules for Life

From Appendix C of Jordanetics.

All is vanity. What is it that we must bestow our care and diligence upon? Even upon this only: that our minds and wills be just; that our actions be charitable; that our speech be never deceitful, and that our understanding be not subject to error; that our inclination be always set to embrace whatsoever shall happen unto us.
—Marcus Aurelius

 After a modicum of reflection, these are my suggestions drawn from 50 years of various successes and failures.

  1. Embrace the iron. Lifting weights will not only help you stand up straight, it will make you stronger, healthier, and more confident. The iron teaches the weak to be strong and it teaches the strong to be humble.
  2. Take the wheel. You are the ultimate architect of your own decisions and actions. Even if you were dealt a bad card by life, even if your genetics are inferior, your upbringing was terrible, and your instincts are suboptimal, you are the only one who can improve yourself. You are driving and only you can determine the destination.
  3. Be the friend that you want to have. Smiles are contagious. Loyalty inspires loyalty. Stand by those who stand by you. Give every friend who fails you a second chance. Only abandon those who have repeatedly proven they cannot be trusted and do not wish you well.
  4. Envision perfection and pursue excellence. You will never achieve perfection. But if you envision it and you strive for it, you may well achieve success, and perhaps even excellence.
  5. Put a ring on it. Marriage is the manifestation of love. Children are the manifestation of hope. Raising a family to serve as the foundation of future generations is how Man rebels against an uncaring universe, a fallen world, and the spirits of despair and destruction. Yes, there are real risks, especially in the current social and legal environment. But they are well worth taking nevertheless.
  6. Set your face against evil. You will encounter evil within and evil without on a daily basis. Stand against all of it, without fear, without hesitation, and without remorse. And when you fail, when you give into temptation, when you are defeated, regroup, repent, and rise again.
  7. Do what is right. Learn to listen to the still, small voice of conscience. Do what you know to be right, not what you can rationalize, justify, or excuse. If you have to talk yourself into something, then you probably already know in your heart of hearts that you are doing the wrong thing.
  8. Tell the truth in kindness. It is too hard and too exhausting to spend all your mental energies trying to keep track of an ever-growing multitude of exaggerations, false narratives, self-serving spins, and outright lies. Just tell the truth, as you best understand it, without taking pride in it or using it to hurt others.
  9. Learn the easy way. You will always encounter those who are stronger, smarter, and more successful than you are. Rather than envying them or attempting to tear them down to make yourself feel better, do your best to learn from them and apply those lessons to your own life. It is considerably easier and more efficient to learn from the mistakes of others than it is to make all of those same mistakes yourself.
  10. Believe the mirror. The most reliably self-destructive mistake you can make is to lie to yourself about who, what, and where you are, because doing so precludes any real self-improvement. Be ruthless with your self-assessments, without wallowing in self-pity or despair.
  11. Get back on the horse. Perseverance is one of the most important skills a man can develop. There is absolutely no substitute for the confidence and the courage that comes from the certain knowledge that you will get up again after an opponent, or life, knocks you down.
  12. Find a best friend. Dogs teach us many things, perhaps the most important of which is what unconditional love is. No matter how rich and successful a man may be, there is no life that the addition of a dog would not considerably improve. And yes, all dogs go to Heaven, obviously, because Heaven would not be paradise without them.

The truth is spreading

And it’s not going to help Jordan Peterson’s career survive. An article in Demokracija openly calls him a false prophet.

First problem with Peterson that woke me out of my trance and forced me to reevaluate what this professor of psychology is even talking about, was his stance on the usage of personal pronouns. If in the past, he claimed that the problem were the many pronouns people were making up, he now claimed he doesn’t have any problem with the individuals and their pronouns, only with the law which would compel him to use them. That was the same Peterson who not long ago insisted he was ready to go to prison because of his refusal to use preferred personal pronouns.

Every video of his I saw, every tweet I read, every lecture I listened to only confirmed what I already knew at this point. Still, I kept convincing myself that it cannot be so. After all, the progressive left hates him, after all, Peterson says in his 12 Rules for Life to stand up straight, after all, Peterson advocated for the truth.

It turned out all of that was just a big lie. To stop fooling myself, two other events were needed. The first was a debate Peterson had with the youngest of the so-called four horsemen of atheism, philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris. The problems started right at the beginning of the debate when they couldn’t settle on the definition of truth. Harris claimed there is objective truth while Peterson tried by all means to defend the claim which was one of the craziest things I have ever heard. He claimed that truth is, according to evolution, something which helps the individual survive. When you think of it, Peterson’s definition allows that even a lie is truth as long as it helps you in pursuit of your own interests. How do you believe someone who claims that truth can be anything?

Meanwhile, the Lobster Cultists are desperately trying to prevent people from reading Jordanetics.

James E Moore, December 3 2018
Vox Day about as accurate as Vox News
For all the hoopla he claims his book is of little substance.

Folke Hermansen, December 3, 2018
Badly written and intellectually dishonest
As someone who has a genuine understanding of Peterson’s work, this book is filled with misrepresentations and false conclusions.

I guess it just depends upon what you mean by “genuine”, “misrepresentations”, and “false”. But it can hardly surprise anyone who has actually read Jordanetics that Jordan Peterson fans would lie about the book. After all, they are following the example of a man who habitually speaks with a forked tongue.

When you read this, keep in mind that this article in the American Thinker is actually supposed to be a defense of Jordan Peterson against Jordanetics:

The whole point of the revolution begun by Kant is that we can’t know “objective truth.”

For Kant everything we know comes through our senses and then gets processed by our brains and gussied up into a theory of the world. Thus, we cannot know things-in-themselves, prior to our sense impressions.

But the loss of “objective truth” is not the end of everything, it is just the beginning.

For one thing, it allows Carl Jung to experience the history of religion as the history of mankind trying to make sense of the world — the meaning of life, the universe, and everything — given the state of human knowledge about life, the universe, and everything at the time.

In his book Jordan Peterson tries to make sense of the world with everything from Biblical exegesis to Nietzschean aphorisms and Jungian analysis, with Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn thrown in for good measure. And, of course, his Biblical analysis compares God the Father and Christ the Son with Osiris and Horus, the Egyptian father-son duo. He would, because he’s a Jungian, and Jungians believe that you can bring together the religious beliefs of all ages to discover the truth.

And the only thing you need to know about Kant is that he was wrong, completely and utterly wrong. His entire life’s work was an unnecessary attempt to square a philosophical circle. The objective truth exists regardless of our ability to correctly perceive it at any given point in time. And the Jungians are not merely wrong, they are mad. That’s not you make sense of the world. That’s not how you make sense of anything. And more importantly, that’s not how you “discover the truth,” that’s how you end up molesting children, drinking blood, and chanting nonsense in fake languages in order to magickally exert your will upon the world.

I wonder how many Jordan Peterson fans understand that in following the 12-Rule Path they are quite literally rejecting the core philosophical basis for the science they think they love?

How can anyone who is sane possibly defend a man who “advocates for the truth” when, by his own account and according to his defenders, he does not believe in the existence of “the objective truth”?

Three more rules for life

From Appendix C of the newly released paperback edition of Jordanetics. The first five rules were previously posted here.

6. Set your face against evil. You will encounter evil within and evil without on a daily basis. Stand against all of it, without fear, without hesitation, and without remorse. And when you fail, when you give into temptation, when you are defeated, regroup, repent, and rise again.

7. Do what is right. Learn to listen to the still, small voice of conscience. Do what you know to be right, not what you can rationalize, justify, or excuse. If you have to talk yourself into something, then you probably already know in your heart of hearts that you are doing the wrong thing.

8. Tell the truth in kindness. It is too hard and too exhausting to spend all your mental energies trying to keep track of an ever-growing multitude of exaggerations, false narratives, self-serving spins, and outright lies. Just tell the truth, as you best understand it, without taking pride in it or using it to hurt others.

Appendix C is now also included in the Kindle edition.

UPDATE: I also did an early Darkstream announcing the publication of Jordanetics in paperback. The man is already running scared; he’s STILL trying to explain away his Kavanaugh tweet.

Shut up and do it already

The God-Emperor is blustering again. I don’t think he grasps that people have figured out that he much prefers talk to action:

President Trump threatened to permanently close the U.S. border with Mexico on Monday, saying he’ll take the drastic action if members of a swelling migrant caravan are not deported back to their Central American homelands.

U.S. Border Patrol fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets at a group of migrants on Sunday, including families with young children, as hundreds tried to storm the border.

San Diego Sector Border Control chief patrol agent Rodney Scott said Monday morning on CNN that when the migrants approached border fences, they ‘immediately started throwing rocks and debris at our agents, taunting our agents.’

‘And once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing – you know we had two or three agents at a time facing hundreds of people at a time – they deployed tear gas to protect themselves and protect the border.’

Carla Provost, the chief of U.S. Border Patrol, told the Fox news Channel that ‘our agents were being assaulted. A large group approached the area and they were throwing rocks and bottles at my men and women, putting them in harm’s way as well as other members of the caravan.’

Napoleon understood that if you act decisively in the early stages of a conflict, you encourage others who witness the example being made to take your subsequent threats very, very seriously. Trump has the concept entirely backwards. He threatens, then threatens again, then threatens some more, but ultimately fails to act. He even backs down, at times.

That’s why his bluffs are increasingly being called by his enemies, foreign and domestic, and will soon be completely ignored if he doesn’t take action very soon pour encourager les autres.

Duly noted

I listened to the whole debate Ethan clearly and deliberately said he did not like voxday, that he viewed voxday as anti-comicsgate.

I didn’t listen to the 2VS-Deathray debate; it would be hard to imagine anything that would be of less interest to me given that I have little-to-no respect for either participant or the moderator. But assuming the tweet is accurate, this sort of statement is precisely why I labeled him 2VS. Had Ethan simply made that dislike clear from the start, instead of talking to me about working together and so forth, I would have cheerfully ignored him in exactly the same way I have ignored every other illustrator or colorist who makes a habit of spouting off on the Internet. Remember, by his own admission, Ethan was always the one watching me and Arkhaven, not the other way around. He’s not a genuine leader, he’s the sort of dishonest political animal who watches where the crowd is going, then jumps in front of it and declares himself to be leading the parade.

As the people at DC discovered, as a number of people in the comics industry have discovered, Ethan Van Sciver is shamelessly two-faced and self-interested. His fans in the ComicsGate movement will eventually discover this too, much to their future chagrin. Now, even many of my critics, even many of my self-professed enemies will concede that I do not lie in public. What is 2VS’s reputation for honesty and personal integrity? And what do you really think are the chances that, on this one occasion, I chose to sacrifice my reputation for ruthless honesty… and for what did I sacrifice it?

But here is the more important question: what is ComicsGate, that I should be against it?

Quotes to live by

The Maximally Pathetic Schema: Xs who labor to convince Ys that “I’m not one of those despicable Zs!,” when in fact it is obvious to the meanest intelligence that the Ys see no difference between Xs and Zs, don’t care anyway, and would love to throw both Xs and Zs into a gulag.
– Adrian Vermeule

The winning side is Chaos and Unreason—mythologically, the monsters—but the gods, who are defeated, think that defeat no refutation.
– J.R.R. Tolkien