Good luck, KG

I’m not sorry to see KG leave the Wolves, not because he isn’t a great player that I very much like, but because I would like to see him get the chance to play for a championship. KG will not ever be considered one of the all-time greats, he was never going to be considered a killer in the clutch like Jordan, but he never stopped playing hard even when the team around him was markedly inferior.

Some of the media doesn’t seem to understand that Minnesota fans like KG so much that they don’t resent his leaving at all. It would be nice if Kevin McHale hadn’t been a complete disaster as a general manager and put a competitive team on the floor, but it didn’t work out that way. It won’t be hard at all to cheer him on as a Celtic.

How very odd

It’s an interesting thing to learn third-hand that you are now officially a child of divorce. I do hope I’ll hold up under this devastating emotional blow. I’m at a very impressionable age, you know.

Derbyshire fumbles the math

How very ironic, that John Derbyshire, the author of the mathematical treatise Unknown Quantity should screw up a basic mathematical equation:

However, the main premise here—that you should support the candidate you most agree with, regardless of your estimate of his chances of victory, and that to do otherwise is contemptible trimming—is surely wrong.

If candidate A has positions I agree with 97 percent, but, in my cool estimation of the U.S. electorate & current political environment, only a 0.1 percent chance of winning; while candidate B has positions I agree with 67 percent, but a 40 percent chance of winning; should I support A or B?

Seems to me I could honorably, with a clear conscience, take either choice.

First, if Derb’s going to bring the math into it, then he obviously should support B, who has a 26.8 favorability product versus the .097 product for A. Of course, this means that he would have to support Hillary Clinton if he has more than a 29.9 percent affinity for her given her 90 percent chance of winning.

Really, most Three Monkey Republican voters should vote for Hillary, given the logic they cite in providing excuses for why they can’t support Ron Paul. If your primary concern is to vote for a winner, she’s your girl.

Anyhow, Ron Paul has a better chance of beating Hillary than a Republican who shares two-thirds of her positions and is indistinguishable from her on the major issues of this campaign.

Look at the whole record, Fred

I’m a big fan of Fred Reed, but he’s wildly off on this one:

The history of Christianity has been one of murder, torture, and Stalinism, of witless intolerance of things not intolerable and an utter refusal to mind its own business. Look at the record. Look at almost any part of the record. The question is how to choose.

During the witch hunts of 1450-1700, god knows how many tens of thousands of women were tortured savagely and then burned alive, for the sin of having a wart. This demonstration of God’s love and Christian charity was perpetrated not just by Christians, but by the church.

Fred obviously didn’t actually look at the record. Witch burnings almost never involved the church. As with the Inquisition, scholars will no doubt reduce the number of witches burned by several orders of magnitude once they stop relying on the fiction of the following era and dig into the local documentation. As for Stalinism, that was the end result of a revolution primarily made up of secular Jews, as a perusal of the Bolshevik roster will confirm.

Then there was the Inquisition, run by that infamous Jew Thomasberger Torquemadastein. (For recent graduates of American universities, there wasn’t really a Jew by that name.) For centuries countless people screamed for days as their shoulders were torn from their sockets, before they were burned alive, in Jesus’ name, amen. This too was a church operation, supported by such as their Most Christian Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella.

Countless? It’s really not that hard to count to 5,000, which is the high end of the well-documented estimates for the 345 years of the Spanish Inquisition. Fred would do better to complain about the evil lethality of backyard swimming pools and children’s bicycles. Furthermore, torture never lasted for days, one session that could not shed blood, cause death or inflict injury was permitted. Fred is more than fifty years behind the secular historical consensus here.

I’m making a list of thousands of Christians tortured to death by Jews. Wait. I’m thinking….

Again, Fred might want to have a closer look at Soviet history and the birth names of individuals such as Leon Trotsky. And given how Grigori Naumovich Voitinsky is listed in the Russian Jewish Encyclopedia, the comparison might be even less favorable to Jews than one would think, as Voitinsky founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1920.

Much of this churchly barbarism has had Jews as its target. Christians were always trying either to kill Jews or to convert them.

Actually, far more often, they were kicking them out of their kingdoms. And despite this incessant evil treatment, Jews were always quick to return, so either they were significantly less intelligent than science indicates them to be, or their treatment wasn’t so awful for the most part.

Blaming hatred on jealousy is a shallow and thoughtless argument. When people are uniformly hated by everyone, there is usually a good reason for it. Being a Christian, I believe that anti-semitism is at root a spiritual issue, the desire of the prince of this world to destroy God’s chosen people. And being a habitual observer, I note that a small minority which has historically made a habit of attempting to obtain governing influence over much larger majorities is not one which is ever likely to be well-regarded.

If one considers the growing number of Jews in the House and US Senate combined with the increasing number of immigrants from countries with no historical love for them, one will discern that the patterns of history suggest the United States may be heading for some anti-semitic ugliness a few decades hence.

What’s so bad about cruelty?

The desire of women to control the men in their lives never ceases to amaze:

A new phenomenon in New Zealand is taking the idea of you are what you eat to the extreme. Vegansexuals are people who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of dead animals.

The co-director of the New Zealand Centre for Human and Animal Studies at Canterbury University, Annie Potts, said she coined the term after doing research on the lives of “cruelty-free consumers”….

Many female respondents described being attracted to people who ate meat, but said they did not want to have sex with meat-eaters because their bodies were made up of animal carcasses.

Do women really have so few self-confidence problems that they want to set up a situation where they’re bound to find themselves getting dumped for a hamburger? Considering that their great-grandmothers believed that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, this strategy seems likely to guarantee women a lot of lonely evenings home with the carrots.

On the other hand, it would certainly be useful to know ahead of time which women are ultra-controlling lunatics and therefore not candidates for a long-term relationship. This just makes it easy for the cruelty-free-free. Eat salad for a few weeks, bang her until you’re bored, then take her to dinner at a top-flight steakhouse and break up with her over a nice filet mignon.

Her: “You’re ordering meat? You know how I feel about that!

Him: “I certainly do, so you should be able to infer that your services are no longer required. Would you like those Brussels sprouts to go?”

You’ll probably want to bring something to read after she storms out in martyred fury.

I can’t help but note that the picture in the linked article is a timely one which appears to support the recent news that homo sapiens did, in fact, interbreed with Neanderthals.

R.I.P. Bill Walsh

Hall-of-Fame head coach Bill Walsh has died at age 75 of leukemia.

I hated the 49ers. I hated their stupid dink-and-dunk offense, I hated their Bay Area fans who LOVED the 49ers but didn’t actually know anything about football and I really hated the way they kept knocking good Vikings teams out of the playoffs.

But somehow, I couldn’t ever quite bring myself to dislike their coach, Bill Walsh. Excellence demands respect, and the man was arguably one of the five greatest football geniuses in the history of the sport. Not so much because of his famous, misnamed offense, but because of his ability to spot talent that would fit within his system and make superlative use of it. When you draft Ronnie Lott and #8, Jerry Rice at #17, Joe Montana in the third round and Charles Haley in the fourth, you’re not just lucky, you’re good.

NFL is 3D chess with human bodies and Bill Walsh was one of the grandmasters.

Idiot atheists

This is the dumbest of all atheist arguments. Naturally, it’s one of Sam Harris’s favorites. From Scott Adams’s blog:

EVERYONE is an atheist. Christians are atheists with respect to Thor, Zeus, and so forth. Hindus believe in lots of gods, but not Yahweh. Pagans have their own gods that do not include all of the rest.

“When you understand why you reject all those other gods, you will see why I reject yours”.

No, moron, Christians are ABSOLUTELY NOT atheists with respect to Thor, Zeus and so forth. Christians believe that those beings existed in the past and that they exist today, but they believe that they are false gods, demons who have convinced humans to worship them.

Does Sam Harris really refuse to worship the Christian God because he believes it is a spirit of evil? Or is he simply a complete moron who doesn’t know the most basic tenets of the religious faith he has written an entire book criticizing?

It never ceases to amaze me how many atheists claim that they are incredibly well educated with regards to the Bible, then demonstrate that they don’t even know enough to make the distinction between BELIEF and WORSHIP. Satan and the fallen angels all BELIEVE in God; they know perfectly well that He exists. They are clearly terrified of His intervention, which is why their encounters with Jesus can usually be described as “panic-stricken”, which tends to make one think that Satan didn’t exactly tell all of his formerly angelic followers the whole truth.

As I’ve written before, Christians are not, strictly speaking, monotheists. The verse about the “assembly of the gods” should have been the first clue for those self-styled Bible experts unable to add 2 and 2 and come up with 4.

What passes for a response

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but even though I have more readers than ever, I get almost no critical email anymore and the blogs that used to savage me with all the bestial fury of toothless lambs no longer bother to take exception to anything I write. I don’t know if this is because they don’t enjoy the return fire or if they’ve simply given it up as a hopeless cause, either way, I haven’t received a single critical email today.

But HoneyHouston did contribute this gem on Digg:

It is quite obvious that Vox Day is a young little twit who’s still wet behind the ears. I actually saw red and heard fingernails on a chalkboard when I read his so called “article”. He apparently was hatched instead of born. Having raised 3 sons who were by no means perfect, I have never seen such disrespect of women in his “article”. Maybe he’s jealous…maybe he’s something else. I don’t know and I could give a you know what less. He totally insulted me and Hillary. In my opinion, she is the best and only opportunity for us to even begin to get this country back on track. The old saying is that the woman is always the power behind the throne which is a concept that dear, young, inexperienced Vox does not understand. Let Hillary drive any day…at least she’ll get us to where we need to be and will even ask directions along the way as opposed to any man I have ever known.

I’m just disappointed that she didn’t almost faint or want to vomit, but I’ll settle for actually seeing red. And I’m pleased to know that a woman whose perceptions can be physically altered by reading ideas she doesn’t like is considered worthy of a voice in government. I’m also curious to know why having a mother should be considered a reason to support women’s suffrage; presumably the millions of men and women who opposed it for decades were also born of woman.

She’ll get us where we need to be… that’s precisely my point. Of course, HoneyHouston doesn’t realize that where we need to be is a national nadir that will cause all of the sane men and women to realize that fictional equality is no basis for a functional system of government. Hillary has no intention of putting this country back on track, she intends to drive it further and faster down the track that it is already on.

And I am calmly expecting her to put some serious dents in the car, probably sometime in her second term. But it won’t be a terminal crash, we’ll probably need three or more significant disasters before the real fireworks begin.

The joys of immigration

David Frum considers a bleak future for the GOP:

Maybe you’ve heard about the recent polls showing a huge Democratic advantage among young voters. The latest, conducted by Stanley Greenberg for the Democracy Project, shows (among other dismal tidings) a 19-point party identification lead for Democrats among voters younger than 30.

Read the report in full, however, and you come across an interesting nugget on page 6: White young people continue to favor Republicans by a thin but real margin of 2 points. The Democrats owe their advantage among youth to a huge lead among young African-Americans (78 points) – and a very large lead (43 points) among Hispanics.

In the past, Republicans could win elections despite their unpopularity among ethnic minorities. But with the huge surge of immigration since 1980 – and especially since 2000 – the voting map of the United States has been redrawn in ways inherently deeply unfavorable to the GOP. If Republicans face an inhospitable future after 2008, we will hear much of the dreadful legacy of George W. Bush on social issues, the war, the environment, etc. But Greenberg’s own work makes clear that these issues matter relatively little.

Welcome to Third World America! I realize that all of the parochial Americans who have never actually travelled outside of the United States and are brainwashed by 16 or more years of Celebrating Diversity and the wonders of multiculturalism genuinely believe that there’s no reason to be appalled by the racial and cultural developments of the last forty years.

And when those innocents finally begin to discover that barbarians tend to behave like barbarians no matter where they are, I will be the one laughing at you.

Ending immigration now is the only chance that conservatives have left to preserve any remnant of historical America. Too bad the Republicans are working so hard to preserve the very thing that will destroy them for good.

Mailvox: sheer heresy

JB manages to simultaneously flatter and outrage me:

I’ve just finished The Dark is Rising and congratulations, your Herne is far superior to its carnival float. DiR was enjoyable but too quickly the Dark became more howling plot device than credible threat to the narrative’s linear macguffin quest. And plot holes – how ’bout a “Beware red-haired riders” for the omniscient-at-convenience 11 year old, or a shotgun for the Walker? If I was the ancient, malevolently intelligent Dark, I would not put all nine of the winter candles needed to complete the sign of fire to work freezing a single houseful of my enemies. The simplistic occultism reminded me of that dreadful Masonic opera where the couple passes through elemental peril at the end to become virtuous wizard royalty, Die Zauberflöte. On and on, point being, is this really required reading?

Marcus Aurelius has lost quite a bit of steam, though bits can be gleaned. Wodehouse is excellent.

Your books never suck as badly as RA Salvatore’s, who stops being good after the single-titled Drizzt trilogy, something like Sojourn, Exile, and Skewer. His dumbass Dactyl Demon is less threatening than DiR’s nonlethal (we follow rules!) Dark tornado.

The difference between you and him is that you have saved the best wine for last, indicating steady improvement. I was disappointed after backtracking from the final book in your fantasy trilogy to find things becoming simpler and less inspiring. If I endure inane female dialog, I expect more tits than the alluded wet t-shirt in Excalibur’s puddle.

Loved the Jonathan stuff, except ending too abrupt. More of that. Ending not abrupt enough in Moonraker-whatever. Maybe you could rewrite it so the Moonies blow the food launchers and the South American prick poignantly throttled while the masses starve.

The Ghengis wizard story stands out for its tremendous sense of place, politics, lack of plot holes, presence of gory violence, and realistically restrained magic. Plus hot, clueless hand me down concubines….

Ah yes, the med school student vs. demons kicked ass. Demons gotta have plenty of capacity for damage so you can enjoy their suffering. That’s one problem with your trilogy, deaths for nasties are too clean. Give us some slapping meat and rended torsos, not sterile flame bursts. The savagery of mushroom throne torture was much appreciated, lending unsqueamish gravity lacking in DiR.

If I may point out a few errors, the Jonathan stuff does not end abruptly because it does not have an ending, it’s merely the first four chapters of the first novel in a trilogy entitled The Chronicles of King David. I was briefly represented by the top CBA literary agency, which couldn’t manage to find me the sort of book deal that I’ve found myself on ten occasions now, needless to say, we’ve gone our separate ways. But there is a very famous political figure who loved the CoKD sample and emailed me to that effect last year.

As for The Dark is Rising, I will hear no talk of plot holes or linear macguffins, they are great CHILDREN’S literature and my affection for the books remains undiminished by such unseemly mutterings. While I can abide with complete equanimity any amount of criticism of my own scribblings, I will brook none of Susan Cooper’s masterpiece.

I have read Salvatore’s dark elf trilogy; it was a favorite of Big Chilly’s back in the day, but I remain unimpressed. He’s not even the best AD&D-related writer, I much prefer the Dragonlance Chronicles.

It is interesting to consider which writers get better as time goes on and which tend to decline. I don’t think even my worst enemy would deny that my fiction has gotten better – although they might point out there was nowhere to go but up – but Rowlings, Hamilton, Salvatore, King, Clancy and many other writers are all putting out books that are distinctly worse than the books that first made them successful.

I sometimes wonder if writers should not attempt to develop, since it seems much of this bad writing is caused by the desire to add depth. I had to put down a book by Simon Green the other day because the protagonist couldn’t blow his nose without reflecting upon the significance of his action and remembering a time when blowing his nose had cost an innocent young girl her life and how that thoughtless act had haunted him ever since.

In fact, as far as the SF/F genre goes, I would argue that we need less character development, more plot, more cool ideas and better action. Most genre writers, being irreligious, aren’t capable of much competent character development because they have no understanding of the thought processes or motivations of 90 percent of the human population, but they could write perfectly entertaining stories if they didn’t get bogged down in something that is completely over their head.