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Bionic Mosquito

Bionic Mosquito

Why bionic mosquito? Some talking head on CNBC, when referring to Ron Paul, called him a “mosquito.” My reaction – if he is a “mosquito”, he is a pretty powerful one. Hence the name…. If there is one day a resurgence of freedom and liberty in the West, history will record that Ron Paul was the one individual most responsible for sparking the movement.

Articles by Bionic Mosquito

Freedom and Aquinas

9 days ago

Peter Kreeft: The Meaning of Freedom in Aquinas; August 2019 (video)
This will be a bit disjointed; just trying to capture thoughts that resonated with me.  Some of my thoughts are mixed in here.  I suggest if something doesn’t sound quite right, it is likely my thought and not Kreeft’s.
Paraphrasing / summarizing Aquinas: The reason a thing is good is not simply because God wills it; rather, God wills it because it is good.  In other words, the will of God is an absolute, and the intrinsic reasonability of the good is also an absolute.
An excellent argument for free will, from Aquinas (but also what C.S. Lewis uses in Mere Christianity): If there is no such thing as free will, then all moral language – all praising, blaming,

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His Childlike Faith in Politics

15 days ago

Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics.
Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton (ebook)
Chesterton was told, by those older and wiser, that as he matured, he would lose his ideals and focus on the practical.  It turns out exactly the opposite occurred.  It is not his ideals that have been lost, but his faith in those who pretend to speak for those ideals:
As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.
He was raised a liberal, and has always believed in democracy – meaning “a self-governing humanity.”  This is based on two

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A Couple of Items

17 days ago

One of the criticisms of the medieval period and the role of the Church is this relationship of science and religion – the Church supposedly placing a higher priority on voodoo than on actual scientific inquiry, blocking discoveries that threatened the established religious dogma, etc.
The most famous example, false as it is, is that of Copernicus and Galileo.  This episode is mocked by the moderns, just as other examples – regardless of the facts or lack thereof – are mocked.
“How could such people believe such things?”
“Look at the Church standing in the way of science!”
“Whenever science and religion butt heads, science is always proven right.”
I wonder what people will say in a hundred years or more from now of our

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Philosophers and Ploughmen

September 30, 2020

Philosophers and Ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the Heart
–          Closer to the Heart, Rush
When I see something from Ira Katz posted at Lew Rockwell’s site, I will almost always read it first.  Recently, he asked the question, “What is to be done?”  He asked it regarding the issues of our time, quoting Jonathan Pageau who describes these times as the end of our civilization.  Readers here do not require a further explanation of Pageau’s sentiment.  Katz offers:
But to understand the problems does not necessarily give us the direction for action.
In an earlier post, Katz referenced work being done by Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist from Evergreen University fame and who has further

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The Miracle of Ancient Ways

September 21, 2020

I know it’s most unusual
To come before you so
But I’ve found an ancient miracle
I thought that you should know
–          Rush, 2112
There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books.
–          On Reading Old Books, by C.S. Lewis (Chapter 7 from this collection)
Lewis, although he is a writer, would suggest reading the old if one must choose between old and new.  A new book I still on trial, as Lewis puts it, not yet judged by time.  The older books have been picked through – yes with errors, but not so dangerous as the errors in the new; regarding the new:
Where they are true they will give us

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What a Joke

September 18, 2020

Regarding the events surrounding the corona, John Mauldin writes:
I truly believe that something affecting all of us so deeply should be kept in the scientific realm to the extent possible, not the political.
Let’s see how well he performs.  He begins by noting he only wants to look forward, and not backward:
It is relatively easy to look back and see what happened, but I am more interested in future responses.
Of course, he would want to do this, given that he pounded the table for the most purposely and voluntarily destructive policies – both economic and health – perhaps in human history (absent war, of course).  Some examples of his handiwork back in March:
Without radical action (some of which is already happening, some

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Religion and Liberty

September 17, 2020

Religion and liberty—few issues are more controversial among current-day libertarians.
–          Jörg Guido Hülsmann, from the Preface to The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton by Ralph Raico.
Guido Hülsmann is one of the truly shining lights when it comes to Austrian economics, libertarian political philosophy, and the understanding of the intersection of culture and liberty.  I have also come to believe that there is not a single subject known to man on which he is unable to provide informed thought.  Maybe Major League Baseball, but other than that….
In this Preface, Hülsmann offers four possibilities when it comes to this intersection: first, that religion and liberty are

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Sports and the Election

September 14, 2020

Interesting results from a recent Gallup poll, tracking Americans’ views of various business and industry sectors.  Gallup measured the views on twenty-five sectors, asking if the views were very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or very negative.
Of the twenty-five sectors, first a look at those whose net rating (net positive minus net negative) was the lowest:

The federal government is at the bottom.  I would like to be happy about this, but we don’t know if it is because people feel it is doing too much or not enough.  In any case, Pharmaceutical and sports aren’t much above it, with most of the remaining cellar-dwellers in industries that work to shove garbage down our throats.
Focusing in on sports,

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What of Rights?

September 11, 2020

When Rights Go Wrong, Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P. (audio)
Regarding the seeming failure of liberalism, Fr. Legge begins with a reference to Patrick Deneen’s book, Why Liberalism Failed: a major cause is the Enlightenment’s focus on autonomy and the rights of the individual.  “Is the Enlightenment idea of liberty the core theoretical problem for liberalism today?”
Regular readers here have walked with me while I have developed my views.  Fundamentally, an underlying cultural foundation (and, in my opinion, a specific cultural foundation) is necessary in order for liberty as promised in the Enlightenment to hold.  Yet the Enlightenment, while offering that promise of liberty, at the same time offered that the cultural foundation was

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Malcolm X Was Right

September 9, 2020

The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems.
–          Malcolm X
I grew up in a city that would be considered a large bedroom community of a much larger city.  My hometown had a mixed population – mixed in total, but not so much by neighborhood; mixed, meaning, basically black and white.  During my school years, our public school district began the program of forced integration via bussing, and I was sent

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The Church and Violence

August 31, 2020

Knights and Chivalry, a video by Ryan Reeves
Given the warring nature of society during the early Middle Ages, especially in the regions of today’s France, and the not uncommon attacks against non-warring peasants, the Church stepped in to address this via a series of actions and decrees.
The first tactic was to scold the knights.  This evolved eventually into a meaningful and formal attempt, captured under the banner of the Peace and Truce of God.  it was not an avenue to bless fighting; it was designed as a means to curtail the fighting that was in any case occurring.
The Peace of God
The Peace of God or Pax Dei was a proclamation issued by local clergy that granted immunity from violence to noncombatants who could not defend

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What Is Going on?

August 24, 2020

A conversation started by RMB, regarding what might happen if Trump is re-elected:
The 2 plausible choices for the Right [are] 1) secession of blue and red states from one another, leading to a peace but disunion or 2) Trump or some other leader of the Right goes dictator and snuffs out the Left’s rebellion with no mercy. A Pinochet type of character.
To which I suggested that Angelo Codevilla offered the possibility of option 2) even before Trump won the election in 2016.  Citing from Codevilla:
We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did

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History Often Rhymes, Sometimes Repeats

August 20, 2020

The Nika riots, Nika revolt or Nika sedition took place against Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople over the course of a week in 532 CE. They were the most violent riots in the city’s history, with nearly half of Constantinople being burned or destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed.
I came across the story of these riots while watching a series of lectures by Ryan Reeves on Early and Medieval Church History.  The mirror to our time is uncanny.
First, the repeating part: the Roman and Byzantine Empires had associations based on suburbs or subdivisions of the community, each supporting its own sports teams – particularly chariot racing.  In Constantinople there were four major factions, each team known by their

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Making Dogma

August 12, 2020

The vice of the modern notion of mental progress is that it is always something concerned with the breaking of bonds, the effacing of boundaries, the casting away of dogmas. But if there be such a thing as mental growth, it must mean the growth into more and more definite convictions, into more and more dogmas.
Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
Many animals make tools.  Man is something more; man makes dogmas.  Man piles conclusion on conclusion, developing a philosophy, a religion.  By doing so, he becomes more human and less like a tool-making animal.
Therefore, if man is to be considered as advancing, “it must be mental advance in the construction of a definite philosophy of life.”  And he must consider this philosophy

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Has the Lockdown Dictatorship Only Started?

August 1, 2020

Clay Travis has written a piece: 66% of Twitter Voters Believe Sports Media Is Rooting Against Sports Returning.  Sports media is rooting against the return of sports for the same reason that news media is rooting against the return of life:
…. if you asked the average member of the sports media to make this choice: sports return, but Donald Trump is reelected or no sports return, but Donald Trump is defeated, I think most sports media would choose to cancel sports if it meant canceling Trump.
Sports media – like the broader media – is left- biased.  So, this is not surprising.
Sports offers a diversion; right now, a diversion is not desired.  The reason why is tied to the election and tied to the riots – which are also tied to the election.  I commented on this

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The Provincial vs. the Cosmopolitan

July 31, 2020

The family may fairly be considered, one would think, an ultimate human institution.

Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
Not only, as some would say, because it is “peaceful, pleasant, and at one,” but because it is often quite the opposite.  Unlike with our friends and acquaintances, with family we don’t get to choose.  We think of the cosmopolitan, travelling to four corners of the world, choosing what he does, who he sees, with whom he spends time, how he spends time.  The provincial has much of this chosen for him:

The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we can

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The Old ‘New Atheists’

July 28, 2020

Of the New Paganism (or neo-Paganism) …there is no necessity to take any very grave account, except as a thing which left behind it incomparable exercises in the English language.
Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
Chesterton wrote these words more than 100 years ago.  They are equally applicable to those known as new atheists today.  We no longer have to take them into account either.  The thing that is replacing Christianity is not a void – as the new atheists dream – but a new religion, one that includes original sin but without the possibility of forgiveness.
The term “pagan” is continually used in fiction and light literature as meaning a man without any religion, whereas a pagan was generally a man with about half a

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A Little Plain Thinking

July 22, 2020

…a little plain thinking would teach them how harsh and fanciful are the mass of their own ethics…

Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
Harsh and fanciful.  A nice description of the “ethics” we are having shoved down our throats.  Nothing of love, nothing of understanding the human condition, nothing or man’s right – true rights of life and property.

…how very civilized and very complicated must be the brain of the Tolstoyan who really believes it to be evil to love one’s country and wicked to strike a blow.

To love one’s country.  An interesting phrase.  To understand the phrase, one must understand what is meant by “love” and what is meant by “country.”
Love.  Love is doing; it is action.  Also, we all know 1

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Abusing Tradition

July 15, 2020

Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
In this post, I will pick up some thoughts from a couple of different chapters of Chesterton’s book.
Good and Evil

The difficulty does not arise so much from the mere fact that good and evil are mingled in roughly equal proportions; it arises chiefly from the fact that men always differ about what parts are good and what evil.

It is impossible to reach agreement on what is good and what is evil without some commonly understood and accepted standard, or without some target at which to aim.  This seems so obvious to state, yet it is the fundamental principle that society has ignored.  One cannot say “job well done” without a standard by which “well done” can be measured.  Chesterton made

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Reflections

July 13, 2020

A few items rattling their way through my brain.  Time to get rid of these.
History
We have seen statues come down, statues not only of slaveholders (which would require the removal of most statues around the world of anyone born before around 1830 and a few born since), but statues of those who worked to free slaves and those who were slaves.  The point isn’t slavery; the point is history.
As many have noted, and I have recently written about, a nation without a story is not a nation.  This is the endgame of removing all statues – more accurately, removing the symbols that reflect the history of the nation.  Who does this benefit?  If we can judge by the people who are tearing down the statues, it doesn’t benefit what might be

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Lost Story, Lost Society

July 7, 2020

When our weary world was young
The struggle of the ancients first began
The gods of Love and Reason
Sought alone to rule the fate of Man
–          Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres, Rush
The West, having divorced love (Christianity) from reason (science) in the Enlightenment, has lost both.  Looking around us today, we see few examples of either – least of all from many Christian leaders and churches.
And so, those of us who are paying attention are waking up to the fact that the more we focus exclusively on our minds, the less we think about our hearts.
–          Why Fairy Tales Might Be Better than a Vaccine, by Nicholas Kotar
An excellent discussion took place between Jonathan Pageau and Nicholas Kotar, prompted by this

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The Establishment of an Absolute Tyranny

July 4, 2020

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
–          Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
The country is in the grips of many insanities, visibly playing out on the streets.  Usurpations inconceivable even four months ago, let alone in 1776, are accepted as liberty.  Most churches acquiesced as quickly as any.
Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States.  On Sunday, most churches will continue down the ever-accelerating path of celebrating the destruction of that independence.  Independence Day is just one more excuse

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rEVOLution

July 3, 2020

Regarding the tumultuous 2020, there are some who are able to acknowledge the deeper roots of discontent in society – the underlying causes of division, angst, and anger.  This is not to discount the purposefully created agitation – certainly driven by the press and the many political agendas for which the press plays merely a public relations role.
But this manipulation by the press and its political clients can only work if there is a lever in society waiting to be pulled.  It only works because the cracks exist.  Society cannot be fragmented unless there are defects to exploit.
What are some of these roots of discontent?  It all certainly starts with central banking, and this exploded nationally in 2008.  What the people saw,

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The Ideal of Humility

July 2, 2020

The whole secret of the practical success of Christendom lies in the Christian humility, however imperfectly fulfilled.

Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
In this chapter, Chesterton is examining H.G. Wells and his book, A Modern Utopia.
When one rids himself of the idea of merit – merit in the Christian sense – one frees himself for all possibilities: “…the soul is suddenly released for incredible voyages,” as Chesterton puts it. This humility – taking ourselves lightly, while seeing the possibility of unmerited triumphs – is taken by many as something sinister:

Humility is so practical a virtue that men think it must be a vice. Humility is so successful that it is mistaken for pride.

Humility is lost on the modern man

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What of Natural Rights?

June 25, 2020

I have written extensively on the necessity of natural law as the foundation for a society grounded in liberty.  What of natural rights?  How are the two related?
Murray Rothbard addresses this question in chapter four of his book, The Ethics of Liberty, pointing to John Locke:

From the Lockean emphasis on the individual as the unit of action, as the entity who thinks, feels, chooses, and acts, stemmed his conception of natural law in politics as establishing the natural rights of each individual.

It is in a grounding of natural rights that the American experiment began, and it is the examination of natural rights that is the purpose of the remainder of Rothbard’s book:

It is this tradition of natural-rights libertarianism

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The Evil of Militarism

June 24, 2020

The evil of militarism is that it shows most men to be tame and timid and excessively peaceable.

Heretics, Gilbert K. Chesterton (eBook)
I think we see this at the sporting events and parades, when the crowd roars its approval for the military fly-by, the color guard, the hero who just returned from combat.  The crowd roars because they are happy that they didn’t have to go.  “Let’s you and him have a fight.”
The professional soldier grows evermore courageous as the crowd grows timid – well, evermore courageous in the eyes of the crowd.  Maybe it is better said that as the crowd grows more timid, the professional soldier appears to be more courageous – it is all relative, not absolute.

This the Pretorian guard became more and

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Advice on Entering Adult Life

June 23, 2020

May I read you a few lines from Tolstoi’s War and Peace?
The moment he noticed Boris he stopped listening to the general who trotted imploringly after him and begged to be heard, while Prince Andrey turned to Boris with a cheerful smile and a nod of the head.

The Inner Ring: The Memorial Oration at King’s College, the University of London, 1944, by C.S. Lewis (Chapter 5 from this collection)
This is one of the more valuable works from Lewis.  It is advice, given to the graduating students of the College.  Lewis understands that what is expected of a “middle-aged moralist” at such times is advice “against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.”  Lewis is going to stick to the World in this one – speaking on the Devil has got him I

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Church and State in Romans 13

June 18, 2020

Regular readers here will know the commenter RMB.  He has recently written an extensive post examining the church-state relationship – whose dysfunctionality has recently been brought to the surface by the recent corona: The Church And State in Romans 13.  I will touch on a few aspects of his post, but encourage those interested to read through it in its entirety as it is well documented and well thought-out.  Just to set things up properly:
[Romans 13] is commonly used as a throw away statement to say that churches must obey whatever the government says in light of the pandemic. …But is that God’s will?
RMB begins by examining the original meaning of the terms used in this well-known passage, concluding:
So “governing

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Our Decadent Society

June 17, 2020

All that is meant by Decadence is “falling off.”  It implies in those who live in such a time no loss of energy or talent or moral sense.  On the contrary, it is a very active time, full of deep concerns, but peculiarly restless, for it sees no clear line of advance.  The loss it faces is that of Possibility.
–          Jacques Barzun

Ross Douthat’s Decadent Society, a discussion with Peter Robinson.  This discussion is around Douthat’s recent book, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success.
I will only spend a moment on how I understand the thrust of Douthat’s view.  Ever since the moon landing, it has been all downhill.  No direction, no real advancement.  Yes, an uptick during the Reagan years in

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Examining Critical Theory Put Into Practice

June 16, 2020

The Theory

Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture to reveal and challenge power structures. …In sociology and political philosophy, the term Critical Theory describes the Western Marxist philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which was developed in Germany in the 1930s.

Commonly referred to as Cultural Marxists (but only by “conspiracy theorists), although I find Antonio Gramsci to be the more appropriate communist thinker behind these ideas.
To explain, from Gary North:

Gramsci argued, and the Frankfurt School followed his lead, that the way for Marxists to transform the West was through cultural revolution: the idea of cultural relativism. The argument was correct, but the argument was

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