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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

Who Can Complain?

6 days ago

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

8 days ago

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

9 days ago

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

21 days ago

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

29 days ago

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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Seeing Through the Bible

October 24, 2019

This post will tread closer to topics that I would rather not debate at this site, yet I feel as if it is important for me to write it out – it helps me to think it out.  So…I ask for some leeway and will also offer some leeway in the comments.  Just remain polite and respectful of others.
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It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles.  If you see through everything, then everything is transparent.  But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world.  To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.
–          C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

A conversation between Sarah and Paul VanderKlay, at about the 38-minute mark:

Sarah: Do you think the Bible can be an idol itself?
Paul: Oh,

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The Sign of the Cross

October 22, 2019

Continuing with Part 4 of René Girard’s CBC interviews from 2011, Girard connects the scapegoating mechanism to the story of Jesus:

When everyone believes the lie that the scapegoat is guilty, the violence of the group is transferred outside and the group can continue in peace.  The Bible undoes these illusions: the whole surrogate-victim mechanism is from Satan.  Jesus dies like any guilty hero, but the Cross does not ratify His guilt; it proclaims His innocence.

Of course, not everyone saw Jesus as innocent at the time.  Some saw Him as guilty.  But for scapegoating to work in preserving the peace, all must see the scapegoat as guilty.

Scapegoating preserves the peace as long as the scapegoaters believe the scapegoat to be

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Peak Wokeness

October 17, 2019

This is really a gift that just keeps on giving….
As a reminder, Daryl Morey – general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets – tweeted a few days ago: “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”
All hell broke loose: the NBA makes a lot of money in China, NBA teams were playing in China, the Chinese government cancelled various promotional events and tore down banners.  It may be the most expensive tweet in history.
Then we had the most outspoken woke leaders of the NBA either silent or wishy-washy: Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, and the many over-sized personalities to be found amongst the ranks of the players.  None of them ever shy to criticize something of America or Trump – but never the important stuff like war, empire, or all

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Atheists Use Christianity

October 14, 2019

Just some notes from a video by Paul VanderKlay (PVK): Mind, Matter, Math and Secularism as Amnesiac Christianity.  He analyzes a video of a discussion between William Lane Craig and Roger Penrose.  Penrose is the agnostic, with a view that mathematics can explain everything and is the basis of everything; Craig offers an interesting – and a bit frustrating for Penrose – counter.  The video closes with some worthwhile snippets from Rene Girard.
Penrose describes three realms: the physical; the mental; and the abstract – being the mathematical.  From these, there are three mysteries: all physics is explained by math; how can consciousness come when these physical circumstances arise; how do we use our conscious experience to

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It’s Always Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt

October 11, 2019

Then it’s just hilarious.
–          Bill Hicks
Daryl Morey sent, then deleted what is likely the most expensive tweet in history:
Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong
Why so expensive?  Morey is general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  The NBA is big business in China.  Several NBA stars make big money in China.  Several NBA teams are currently in China playing exhibition games.
Suffice it to say, the government of China is not happy.  Sponsorships are being pulled, events are being cancelled, billboards are being taken down.  This could cost the league billions…unless the NBA bows low to the wishes of the communist government.
The poor NBA.  They have gone further than any other pro sports league in the US in allowing

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The Goal Is Liberty

October 8, 2019

All of my work has revolved around the central question of human liberty.
–          Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

In recent years I have come to find that purifying libertarian theory and finding liberty are two different – and, in some important ways, contradictory – objectives.  Libertarian theory is not sufficient for liberty.  There are those who offer some version of “well, if everyone just followed the non-aggression principle, you would have liberty.”  It is a statement that ignores all reality of human nature.
Further, it is nothing more than a simplistic truism: a community that lives by the non-aggression principle lives in liberty.  It is libertarianism for children.  It offers nothing about how to achieve

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Today’s Christianity

October 5, 2019

Recently, N. T. Wright visited Samford University.  One of the recorded events was a conversation with Wright – a Q&A with questions from student and faculty from the university.  I offer some thoughts on the first part of the conversation, as this part reflects the failures of the Christian church in playing a proper role in holding government and society accountable regarding war and violence.
This session was held on September 11.  I mention the date, because the first question reflects this anniversary:

How should Christians approach the societal evil and suffering that seems to plague our world at a systemic level?

Wright’s answer, summarized:

One of the things I reflected on in the two or three years subsequent to the

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The Awakening

October 1, 2019

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, by Karen Armstrong
NB: to properly understand this book and the time, I will be walking on some difficult terrain, especially when it comes to the Israelites and aspects of the Jewish tradition beyond that which pointed to Jesus.  I am not trying to understand or develop theology when I note the history: there is much of Old Testament Jewish history prior to the times of the prophets that is greatly similar to all Middle Eastern cultures of the time: wars, territories conquering and conquered, massacres, slavery, dislocation, etc., etc., etc.
Why do I point this out?  The Old Testament, absent that which points to Jesus, can be a history about any of the tribes

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Reason vs. Faith

September 27, 2019

Or philosophy vs. theology.
“Philosophy and Martyrdom Tertullian and Justin Martyr,” by Jean-Luc Marion (video).  I was offered this video via email.  In it, Marion presents the case that the distinction of reason vs. faith or philosophy vs. theology is an improper distinction.  The earliest Christian apologists argued philosophically, just as their non-Christian counterparts did.

This distinction is very much questionable.  Until the twelfth century, no Christian thinker has ever called what he is doing “theology.”

The word theology began to be imposed only the time of Abelard and Aquinas.  Why?  The word “philosophy” had begun to be used to distinguish from what we now call theology.  This can be tied to the rediscovery of

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The Loss of Meaning…

September 23, 2019

…and its relationship to the loss of liberty.
An interesting conversation between Paul VanderKlay and Christopher Mastropietro.  I have referred to VanderKlay often enough; Mastropietro was a student of John Vervaeke and currently co-authors and otherwise collaborates with Vervaeke on various projects.
Two comments by Mastropietro worth touching on:

Concerns that are political concerns are always downstream from religious concerns.

For any political theory, political action, political policy, or political framework to make any sense these must follow from concerns that flow from a religious fountain.  Politics separate from religion – or the so-called separation of church and state – inherently must build a new religion from

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The Spirituality of the Ancient Aryans

September 18, 2019

John1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions, by Karen Armstrong

The first people to attempt an Axial Age spirituality were pastoralists living on the steppes of southern Russia, who called themselves the Aryans.

Armstrong states that “Aryan” was not a racial term, but as “assertion of pride,” something like “noble” or “honorable.”  They shared a common culture; they spoke a language that would be the basis for several Asiatic and

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Asking the Right Questions

September 13, 2019

Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions.
–          Aristotle, Metaphysics
Miracles, C. S. Lewis

What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience.  It is therefore useless to appeal to experience before we have settled, as well as we can, the philosophical question.

I am not quite sure what I am going to do with this book, at least within the context of the general direction this blog has taken.  On the surface, writing one way or another about miracles seems outside the scope of this blog, even as widely as I have exercised this scope.
Yet, I am finding something in this book on the idea of naturalism and supernaturalism (as Lewis puts it), and Lewis offers food

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Protesting the Abolition of Man

September 4, 2019

Earlier this year, Dennis Danielson gave the 22nd annual Weston Lecture at Augustine College in Ottawa, entitled Against the Ongoing Abolition of Man (video here).

Dennis Danielson is an intellectual historian who has written about literature, religion, and the history of science. He studied English Literature at Oxford and Stanford before teaching at the University of Ottawa and at UBC from 1986 to 2017.

His most recent book is entitled The Tao of Right and Wrong, of course invoking C.S. Lewis’ use of the Tao in the Abolition of Man.  This book is a rejection of moral nihilism, and a recognition of the life-affirming moral realism founded in the Tao.
I will offer some thoughts on the lecture; as is always the case with videos,

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The He-Man

September 2, 2019

Michael Anton has written a piece for the Claremont Review of Books on what apparently is the latest representation of the alt-right: Are the Kids Al(t)right?  It is a review of a book that he had previously never heard of (and the same goes for me): Bronze Age Mindset (BAM) by a person calling himself “Bronze Age Pervert” (BAP).
He was given the book by Curtis Yarvin, who brought the book to Anton who was hosting a small dinner at his home.  Anton does not mention in the piece that Yarvin is better known as Mencius Moldbug.  Probably everyone knows that except for me – I had to look him up.

Self-published in June 2018, BAM quickly cracked the top 150 on Amazon—not, mind you, in some category within Amazon but on the site as a

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‘Diversity Is Our Strength’

August 29, 2019

Meze or mezze is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in parts of the Middle East, the Balkans, Greece, and North Africa.

Call it the realm of the former Ottoman Empire.  I have been chewing on a few topics for several days.  Each of these could, perhaps, be turned into a complete meal but I am not in a position to devote the proper attention to each.  So, for now, I will just serve each as a small dish.  It is also equally likely, as is usually the case, that the mezze platter will be sufficient for the entire meal.
Diversity is Our Strength
If there is an overriding theme to the societal disaster that defines the current times, it is this slogan.  More specifically, it is the context in which this slogan is

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