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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

A Run on Revolvers

2 days ago

You think this is about the run on firearms and ammunition.  Nope.
From ZeroHedge: “Revolver Run”: Banks Suffer Record $200BN In Outflows As Frenzied Companies Draw Down Revolvers:
…as of last Friday, corporate borrowers worldwide, including Boeing, Hilton, Wynn, Kraft Heinz and literally thousands more, had drawn about $60 billion from revolving credit facilities this week in a frantic dash for cash as liquidity tightens.
For those unfamiliar with this term, think of a revolver like an open line of credit with a ceiling.  A company will have some permanent forms of financing in place (equity, long term debt, bond debt); it will also have a revolver from which it can draw (typically) temporary needs, for example, seasonal or

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The Dissolution of the West

4 days ago

This is another book about the dissolution of the West.

Ideas Have Consequences, by Richard Weaver
I was told of this book by a good friend.  Well, not exactly.  Obviously, I knew of the book, but had previously never looked into it.  This friend had just read it and was blown away.  He knows how much I have written on this “dissolution of the West” idea, yet still suggested that I would find it worthwhile.  As I greatly value his perspective, I decided to read the book.
I will follow my usual pattern of writing more than one post as I go along.  I am not sure that this will result in the best treatment for the book, but this method has become so ingrained that I don’t know if another approach even remains open to me.
It is in

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The Foundations for Liberty

5 days ago

The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich A. Rommen

The realistic theory of knowledge is the basis both of the unity of knowledge and of the internal coherence and organic structure of the sciences.
Metaphysics is the logical foundation of all science.

Science – whether as the term is narrowly understood today as those disciplines that can be objectively tested, proven, falsified, or as the term has been broadly understood in the past to include what we today call sociology, philosophy, theology and the like – cannot be internally contradictory.  Truth of the world around us – both material and being – must come together into a consistent whole.  It is metaphysics that stands as the

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Who Will Count the Cost?

8 days ago

If the dream is wonThough everything is lostWe will pay the priceBut we will not count the cost
–          Bravado, Rush
This will be long.  Read through to the end, or at least be sure to read the end.  It will make you sad.
John Mauldin has written two pieces on the coronavirus in the last few days – including a mid-week letter, the first I ever remember receiving from him in more years than I can remember; let’s call these his dream regarding a national response.
Coronavirus Is Not an Emergency. It’s a War.  March 19, 2020

Without radical action (some of which is already happening, some places, but not enough), this pandemic could cost many lives and potentially launch an economic depression. I am not exaggerating when I say

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Shelter in Place

11 days ago

I offer this video from Jonathan Pageau on the symbolism of epidemics.  It is 30 minutes, and well worth your time.  He makes several wonderful points and observations of the insanity of what is going on today, all interpreted through his Christian (Orthodox) symbolic lens – yet perfectly accessible and meaningful to even the die-hard atheist.
Second, this editorial (h/t LRC) summarizing the views of a Stanford professor on the matter, with a link to the professor’s original editorial.  This professor is no flake:
John P.A. Ioannidis is professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University and co-director of Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center.

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Is-Ought and Hume’s Guillotine

12 days ago

David Hume writes:

In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary way of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is, however, of the last consequence.
Hume calls for caution against such inferences in the absence of any explanation of how the ought-statements follow from the is-statements. …This complete severing of “is” from “ought” has been given the graphic

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Financial Distancing

13 days ago

What if you knew that markets were going to burst, an inevitable outcome of the funny money and credit created, especially since 2008–09 but also before then?  What if this bursting was going to create a calamity both on Wall Street and Main Street?  What if you knew martial law was in the cards due to this economic distress, but didn’t want to declare martial law?
What if you knew that the debt load was much too high, and one way to drastically shrink that debt load was to push hundreds – even thousands – of companies into financial distress and bankruptcy?  What if by doing this, you would push many banks into distress?  What if, by doing this, you opened up the door to allow you to borrow even more, given everyone’s flight to

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Truth and Love

20 days ago

Inspired by a true story….
I Corinthians 13: 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
12(b) Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Sola Scriptura: Interpretationes Infinitum
We certainly must acknowledge the truth that ever since sola Scriptura, Christian understanding has gone forth in a thousand directions, every one of which can point to countless verses to make their point.  The point isn’t the Scripture, it is the interpretation.  Using sola Scriptura, there are those who can remove the divine from Jesus.  They

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Libertarian Movement?

21 days ago

From Eric Striker:
“Socialist” left academics at the Jacobin and their libertarian right equivalents at the Cato Institute have the exact same views and rationalizations on questions of sexuality, family values, religion, immigration, drugs, globalism, crime and race.
This has been the point of the posts that I have written on the topic of libertarians and culture.  These are the social views crammed down the throats of most people and would never pass muster for the majority.
Their consensus is highly unpopular even across racial lines in America and would never survive democratic scrutiny, but ordinary people are not allowed to participate in academia, non-profit foundations or media.
The working class has been abandoned by the

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Insights of a Gifted Mind

25 days ago

Hans Hoppe gave an in-depth interview to Jeff Deist at the Mises Institute.  The entire interview is worth a read, as it covers a wide variety of topics – from Hoppe’s personal history to some of his most controversial writing.  In this post I will cover some of the topics that are – and have been – of interest to me in my writing.
Suffice it to say, I truly admire the work that Hoppe has done.  This began well before I started this blog, but only grew when I was challenged to challenge Hoppe in the same way that I challenged left-libertarians.  I can truly say that taking up this challenge has offered to me one of the handful of meaningful paths that have brought me to my current thought.
With that, let’s begin.  Hoppe begins

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Wine Fraud

February 22, 2020

Wine fraud relates to the commercial aspects of wine. The most prevalent type of fraud is one where wines are adulterated, usually with the addition of cheaper products (e.g. juices) and sometimes with harmful chemicals and sweeteners (compensating for colour or flavour).
Counterfeiting and the relabeling of inferior and cheaper wines to more expensive brands is another common type of wine fraud.

The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich A. Rommen
To understand the meaning of the title and introductory paragraph, see here.
Thomas Hobbes

The entire theory of Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) amounts at bottom to a denial of the natural law.

Rommen describes him as a “gloomy fellow traveler of

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New Wine, Old Wineskins

February 21, 2020

The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich A. Rommen
Rommen next looks at the Natural Law in the Age of Individualism and Reason.  When I came to this chapter, I thought “What is this guy talking about?  The Age of Reason killed the Natural Law.”  Well, it is a very worthwhile chapter.
Rommen identifies Samuel von Pufendorf, building on Hugo Grotius, as the beginning of the “so-called age of natural law”:

The net result of the age was a disastrous setback, from the opening of the nineteenth century, for the natural-law idea among the modern philosophers and practitioners of law who were unacquainted with the older Christian tradition.

I have written of Grotius before, comparing his ideas

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The Scholastics

February 17, 2020

The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich A. Rommen
Rommen’s book is divided in two sections.  The first covers the history of the idea of natural law, the second covers its philosophy and content.  Here we will continue with the history, looking at natural law during the time of the scholastics.

The Fathers of the early Church made use of the Stoic natural law, finding in its principles “seeds of the word”…

From the earliest, Christians would argue that natural law was inscribed in the hearts of men.  The Apostle Paul would write as much in Romans; St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) would argue that Christians would use not only Scripture, but reason in their arguments – and reason dictates

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The Natural Law

February 14, 2020

From his Gifford Lectures two years ago, N. T. Wright offered:

To be an image-bearer is more than just behavior; otherwise we put the knowledge of good and evil before the knowledge of God.

The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich A. Rommen
Why begin a post on Rommen’s book with a quote from N. T. Wright?  Forgive the length of the following, from the Translator’s Preface (Thomas R. Hanley) to Rommen’s book:

An extensive treatment of moral problems from the standpoint of the natural law or rational ethics often leaves the impression that ethics, as a branch of philosophy, is quite sufficient to lead a man to perfection and happiness, individual and social.  From such a viewpoint the

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A Frustrating Book

January 24, 2020

Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism, and the Future of the West, R. R. Reno
If I could apply only one word to my feelings while reading this book, it would be “frustrating.”  Reno does a reasonably good job of describing the current situation in the West – the dissolving society, the loss of meaning, the ever-increasing extremisms that come with the ever-increasing fragmentation and individualism found in society.
Reno does a less than adequate job of pointing to the causes, looking at the root during a time when the West was already lost, and known to be lost by many thinkers many years before.  He does an even worse job of parsing out the benefits of voluntary and free actions when compared to the purposeful,

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Who Can Complain?

January 18, 2020

In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise….

Such is the Amazon blurb on Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.  You think I would disagree; let’s see.
Who can complain about a longer and healthier life, safety and peace, more food and shelter than almost any of your contemporaries and certainly more than those who came before you?

Photo source
 Yes, who can complain?  Peace and material comfort beyond compare.  Better health care too.
Of course, one must subtract the violence inflicted on you by your keeper, and life couldn’t be better.  Unless, of course, you are after meaning in life.  And liberty.
Is this lion happy?  Enjoying a meaningful life?
John Vervaeke made an

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Lew Rockwell’s New Book

January 16, 2020

One wise Randian once implored me to closely examine the word “environment.”  What does it refer to, he asked? …What it really means, he said, is: “anything but man.”  He was right.  A perfect environment would be a world without people.

When it comes to the modern left, one can consider virtually all of their views on all issues to mean “anything but man.”  Certainly “man” as a human being, as created, as a being with a purpose.
Against the Left: A Rothbardian Libertarianism, Lew Rockwell
Rockwell points out that the Randians are the only ones who continue to hold to what was the Christian position on the environment until only a few short decades ago:  man occupies the highest spot on the totem pole of being.  He cites St.

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Shoring up a Dissolving Society

January 15, 2020

Reno – editor of the important Catholic magazine, First Things – is surely right that our crisis is not how to forestall the return of fascism but how to shore up our dissolving society.

Graham McAleer has written a review of R.R Reno’s new book, Return of the Strong Gods.  I will offer some thoughts based on this review; at some point I may get my hands on a copy of the book.
First, from the Amazon book review:

After the staggering slaughter of back-to-back world wars, the West embraced the ideal of the “open society.” The promise: By liberating ourselves from the old attachments to nation, clan, and religion that had fueled centuries of violence, we could build a prosperous world without borders, freed from dogmas and

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Tradition, Egalitarianism, and Immigration

January 3, 2020

Against the Left: A Rothbardian Libertarianism, Lew Rockwell
Rockwell offers six chapters, expanding on the damage to liberty being done by the left.  He opens with The Assault on the Family; by “family, the assault is on the traditional family – “the hallmark of civilization.”

In order to maintain a free society, it is essential that the traditional family, i.e. the union of one man and one woman in marriage, in most cases to raise a family, be preserved.

Consider how that one sentence runs completely contrary not only to the objectives of the left, but also places a dent in the application of the thinnest of thin libertarianism – where “liberty” is defined as “anything peaceful.”  Anything peaceful is libertarianism for

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Liberty’s Obstacle

December 26, 2019

The greatest obstacle to the spread of the philosophy of freedom described in Against the State is the ideology of the left.  The left wants to destroy the traditional institutions of civil society, especially the family.  It wants to wipe out all differences between people and make us “equal” slaves of the all-powerful state.
This is the opening quote in Lew Rockwell’s book, Against the Left: A Rothbardian Libertarianism.  In just short of 150 pages, Rockwell delivers a thorough critique of the damage done by the left to the cause of liberty due to the left’s purposeful destruction of intermediating institutions that provided space for liberty to flourish.
Rockwell covers the assault on the family, immigration, and

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The Failure

December 23, 2019

Rolling Stone published a piece entitled “False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump,” by Alex Morris.  It examines the hypocrisy of the Christian right in supporting Donald Trump.  No need to offer detail as to why this is so; the focus is on Trump’s immoralities in his personal life and his actions such as separating families at the borders, etc. (which demonstrates the hypocrisy of those with Trump Derangement Syndrome, as such actions were done by those who preceded Trump).
Today, 82 percent of white evangelicals would cast their ballots for Trump. Two-thirds believe that he has not damaged the decency of the presidency, 55 percent agree with Sarah Huckabee Sanders that “God wanted him to be president,” and 99

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The Rational Left

December 20, 2019

I recently offered a very short post, encouraging readers to watch Jonathan Pageau’s treatment of a speech given by Apple CEO Tim Cook to the ADL: The Apple CEO, 666, and The Garden of Eden.  I did not add any comments in my post, strongly preferring that Pageau’s work would be best served by standing on its own.
I still believe this to be the case, but I will now expand on why I found such value and meaning in Pageau’s work.  Unfortunately, to do this I must say something about his video – which comments were most meaningful to me (almost all of them).  After this, I will offer my thoughts on how I see Cook’s speech and Pageau’s treatment of it fitting in to the larger ongoing discussion.  If you don’t want a review of Pageau’s

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The Mark of the Beast

December 16, 2019

Normally when I find a video or essay worth commenting on, I comment on it.  I won’t do that this time.  Jonathan Pageau has delivered the most insightful and succinct 22 minutes I have seen in a long time.  He is analyzing the speech given by Tim Cook of Apple at the ADL in December 2018.  If you are what used to pass for human, you will gag uncontrollably.
C.S. Lewis noted that we have already lived through the Abolition of Man.  After man’s conquest of nature, all that was left was for some men to conquest other men – with none of them being recognizable as human beings thereafter:

They are not men at all.  Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void.  Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men.  They are

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Missing the Big Picture

December 14, 2019

The spiritual revolution of the Axial Age had occurred against a backcloth of turmoil, migration and conquest. …Karl Jaspers suggested, “The Axial Age can be called an interregnum between two ages of great empire, a pause for liberty, a deep breath bringing the most lucid consciousness.”

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, by Karen Armstrong
Armstrong closes her book with a look at the way forward – actually beginning with the close of the Axial Age around the second century BC until today.  She captures what she views as our problems and identifies common characteristics from the Axial period that could be applicable today.  I will focus on her discussion of the Jewish and Christian

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Early Christian Philosophy

December 11, 2019

About 1000 years before Aquinas, Christians had an encounter with Aristotle.  It is an interesting bit of history.
The Christians as the Romans Saw Them, Robert L. Wilken
Galen was a second century writer, studied in philosophy and medicine.  He was a native of Pergamum, located in western Asia Minor near the Aegean Sea.  Pergamum had a library second only to that in Alexandria; it was a wealthy city.
Galen would arrive in Rome at the time when the Christian community was still not very large, yet it was one of the more significant Christian communities of the time.  Several of the most prominent Christian intellectuals and apologists were in Rome, including Justin Martyr.  Galen would write what became twenty-two volumes; while

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The Early Years

December 6, 2019

The Christians as the Romans Saw Them, Robert L. Wilken

How did Christianity appear to the men and women of the Roman Empire?  How did it look to the outsider before it became the established religion of western Europe and Byzantium?

These are the questions Wilken intends to answer in this book.  We know the story up until we find John on the island of Patmos, primarily through the book of Acts and through Paul’s letters.  We know the story of Constantine and his adoption of the faith – giving Christianity political authority for the first time.
But what of the story in-between?  How was this sect seen by those in power: a military threat, a political threat, a source for revolution…or no threat at all?  Wilken will answer the

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Other Paths

November 12, 2019

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, by Karen Armstrong
A look at the traditions emerging in India and China and considering these against the traditions of the Greeks and the Hebrews that ultimately developed into Natural Law.  My purpose is not to demonstrate the superiority of any one vs. the other; more so, to consider these as foundations for a culture conducive to liberty as we have come to understand this concept in the West.
There is value in this, I believe, on many levels: is liberty – as westerners consider the term – universal?  Is it possible to build liberty – as westerners understand the term – on other cultural foundations?  These are worth considering, if for no other reason than

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We Fly Too High

November 6, 2019

Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. Icarus’ father warns him first of complacency and then of hubris, asking that he fly neither too low nor too high, so the sea’s dampness would not clog his wings nor the sun’s heat melt them. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted, he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned, sparking the idiom “don’t fly too close to the sun”.

I received an email…not recently.  This one is from Scott Thomason, from March 2017.  I have kept it in my inbox all of this time; it was too important to archive and forget, yet I wasn’t sure what,

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The Alliance

October 30, 2019

…an unholy alliance between a bunch of atheists and evangelical Christians was born.

A conference was recently held at the Gladstone Library: Speaking Truth to Social Justice.  The conference brought together the atheists behind the so-called Hoax papers (Helen Pluckrose, Peter Boghossian, and James A. Lindsay) alongside Michael O’Fallon, the evangelical Christian founder and editor-in-chief of Sovereign Nations.

At stake, it seemed, was the complete takedown of liberalism and, with it, Western civilization.

The issue is the post-modernist tidal-wave aimed at taking down the grand narratives that have guided Western discourse and replacing these with social justice based on weaponized identity.
The hoax papers were bogus –

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Christian Love

October 26, 2019

René Girard begins Part 5 of his CBC interviews with a comment straight out of Jordan Peterson when the latter confronts Sam Harris and other celebrity atheists:

We think we live in a secular society, but this is imaginary.  There is no society without religion, because without religion society cannot exist.  What we live in today is a form of Christianity that we do not recognize.

The celebrity atheists and others who are trying to build a religion that is not a religion are all trying to recreate that which came from Christianity: The Golden Rule (which other traditions also recognize) and that all men are made in the image of God (which other traditions do not recognize).  They want these foundations, without the One who

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