Double-Closeted And Doubled Down?

Study: Same-sex abuse rate high

Chicago Tribune, Sunday, September 21, 2014 article by Ted Gregory

From the page seven article:

“Same-sex couples may experience more domestic violence than opposite-sex couples, a Northwestern Medicine review of research suggests.

Richard Carroll, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Feinberg Ph.D. student Colleen Stiles-Shields made their conclusion after reviewing a handful of studies, including the 2011 National Violence Against Women Survey of about 16,000 people.

That survey found domestic violence rates among same-sex couples upward of twice as high as those of opposite-sex couples, Carroll said Thursday….as least as high and in many cases higher than for opposite-sex couples, …

“Their explanation for the higher rates, Carroll said, is that same sex couples “are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority.”

That added stress also leads to lower rates of reporting domestic violence among same-sex couples, Carroll said.”(emphasis mine)

Note: I am unable to link to the Tribune article since I am not a member of the Chicago Tribune online circulation. I do have the newsprint in front of me. The article in its original form can be found at Northwestern University website:

Domestic Violence Likely More Frequent for Same-Sex Couples

Extra stress in same-sex couples may raise risk of domestic abuse

September 18, 2014

“Evidence suggests that the minority stress model may explain these high prevalence rates,” said senior author Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Domestic violence is exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority. This leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.” (emphasis mine)(reluctance =Double Closeted in their thinking)

The review was published Sept. 4 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. The first author is Colleen Stiles-Shields, a student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Feinberg.

Domestic violence — sometimes called intimate partner violence — is physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current or former intimate partners. Research concerning the issue began in the 1970s in response to the women’s movement, but traditionally studies focused on women abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.

“There has been a lot of research on domestic violence but it hasn’t looked as carefully at the subgroup of same-sex couples,” Carroll said. “Another obstacle is getting the appropriate samples because of the stigma that has been attached to sexual orientation. In the past, individuals were reluctant to talk about it.”

Of the research that has examined same-sex domestic violence, most has concentrated on lesbians rather than gay men and bisexuals.”

 

Minority stress model?!? Wow! And this from a psychiatrist, from a ‘professional?!’

NFL. No doubt you have witnessed the recent uproar over the Ray Rice video. Domestic abuse, caught on tape, is front and center. Should Ray Rice be given the option of choosing the NFL “stress model” as his psychological reasoning for acting violently towards his mate?

Remember the Penn State child-sex abuse scandal and Jerry Sandusky? Should the pressures of creating football success, football success which must translate into school donations coupled with a historical background of abuse be placed under a similar but somewhat different model: the unctuous demand for success dollars that creates stress and leads to abuse under situations conducive to abuse? With Sandusky there was more to the story than just the stress surrounding his job performance but I would certainly figure that being his team’s defensive coordinator was a stressor. Does the football “stress model” also apply to him?

Domestic abuse in any form is a deplorable act, needing immediate attention. And, there is no doubt that NFL players placing themselves under a contract and the spotlights, have put themselves under tremendous pressure to perform. Should a player’s stress factor be used to explain violent behavior and for some, excuse the behavior as understandable?

Of course the “minority stress model” extends well beyond same sex-sex couples. It would also apply to the minority groups of polygamists, pedophiles and sexual predators the likes of John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.  Every minority would fall under the umbrella diagnosis regardless of the violence inflicted on their victims.  One has to wonder when the “minority stress model” diagnosis will be used in court as a defense.

Minority stress model?!?

Now to my point: Is a “stress model” where the domestic abuse discussion should end? Are there not moral implications which are at work here? And, do people put themselves in positions and remain in positions where stress is a given? Are people culpable for their actions?

Regarding the above research by Carroll and the PhD student, where is the diagnostic factor that each person, regardless of stress, is responsible for their own actions, whether in a heterosexual marriage or in a same-sex marriage?

Certainly Carroll and Stiles-Shields, psychological diagnosticians, do not make a moral assessment as to why same-sex couples would encounter “Minority-stress.” Instead, they basically enable same-sex couples via a politically correct way to accept themselves-a “Get Out of Shame Free” card, if you will: “You are a sexual minority and therefore you encounter more stress than couples in heterosexual marriages would. You are victims of your status, nothing more. It is the world’s responsibility to make life better for you, a same-sex couple. “You are not ultimately responsible for your violent reactions under stress. You are only reacting out of minority stress.”

Is the opposite scenario true? Would there be less stress on same-sex couples if only the rest of the world accepted their “minority” behavior? And, what makes them a minority? It is their sexual and emotional codependency on a person of the same sex.

Isn’t it the implication of Carroll and Stiles-Shields that there would there be less stress and domestic violence in same-sex marriages if everyone around them jumped up and down and said “Yes, gay is good for everyone? ”Carroll specifically used the words “Minority stress model”- a politically correct way of sifting victims out of thin air.

Becoming a victim is now vogue, a cause célèbre. Victimization will almost ensure that people will take notice of and senimentalize your ‘dilemma’, thereby feeding any narcissitic tendencies.

Yet, what is written onto everyone’s heart is truth, not unjust and obtuse psychological mumbo-jumbo.

From an absolute moral perspective a Christian knows that a person’s ‘heart’, his or her psyche, is not a tabula rasa but rather a tablet inscribed with a moral knowledge-a BIOS operating system embedded by God.

“For the anger of God is unveiled from heaven against all the ungodliness and injustice performed by people who use injustice to suppress the truth. What can be known about God, you see, is plain to them, since God has made it plain to them. There are, of course, things about God which you can’t see: namely his eternal power and deity. But, ever since the world was created, they have been known and seen in the things that he has made. As a result, they have no excuse: they knew God, but didn’t honor him as God or thank him. Instead, they learned to think in useless ways, and their unwise hearts grew dark. They declared themselves to be wise, but in fact they became foolish. They swapped the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of the image of mortal humans-and birds, animals and reptiles.

So God gave them up to uncleanness in the desires of their hearts, with the result that they dishonored their bodies among themselves. They swapped God’s truth for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.

So God gave them up to shameful desire. Even women, you see, swapped natural sexual practice for unnatural; and the men, too, abandoned natural sexual relations with women, and were inflamed with their lust for one another. Men performed shameless acts with men, and received in themselves the appropriate repayment for their mistaken ways.

Moreover, just as they did not see fit to hold on to knowledge of God, God gave them up to an unfit mind, so that they would behave inappropriately. They were filled with all kinds of injustice, wickedness, greed, and evil; they were full of envy, murder, enmity, deceit, and cunning. They became gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, self-important, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, unwise, unfaithful in marriage, unfeeling, uncaring. They know that God has rightly decreed that people who do things like that deserve death. But not only do they do them; they gave their approval to people who practice them. (emphasis mine)

The Apostle Paul’s words in his letter to the Roman church is a true psychological diagnosis of the human psyche. With God there is no politically correct word spinning or blame shifting, no pandering of victimization. Each of us is responsible for our own actions whether we are in a majority, minority or in a minority within a minority. God doesn’t offer secular humanism. He offers a safe harbor and redemption.

The good news is that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” so that mankind could courageously confront and acknowledge each our own sinfulness, repent and find our God-renewed right minds.

Paul’s letter to the Roman church goes on to tell you the good news worked out in our lives. I suggest that you buy a copy of New Testament scholar N.T. Wright’s translation of the New Testament: “The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation” Read about the good news and the healing process for yourself. It works when applied!

One final observation: the “Minority stress model” sounds analogous to the global warming models, models that are designed to be overly sensitive to CO2 in order to make certain political and economic justifications… and to make everyone a victim.

Fairness is God’s Prerogative and Man’s Tug of War

I do not have to tell you that life isn’t fair… but I will say it anyway: “Life isn’t fair!”

“It’s not fair!”

In one way or another each of hear this plaint on a daily basis: “Why did they get the promotion?” “Why did they raise the price?” Why was my son taken from me? ”Why, after all I have done for her, is my daughter rebelling?” “Why can’t I find suitable work?” “Why now?” “Why him?” “Why me?”

The fairness ‘question’ typically begins with “Why” and often ends with “This sucks!”

The Scriptures talk a lot about fairness. In fact, fairness is front and center in many accounts, both in the Old and the New Testament. The book of Leviticus delineates what God considers to be appropriate boundaries for his priests and for the common Israelite. These instructions included just and fair weights for measuring grain and for all commercial activity. Boundaries and fairness, man’s negotiating with another man, are bound together within the scrolls of all Scripture. What is also revealed in Scripture is God’s ‘fairness’-better defined as God’s sovereignty, his prerogatives, his grace.

Consider the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job. Humans will ask “Did Job get a fair shake from God?” At the end of the narrative you may think Job did. A seven-fold return on Job’s weaker-by-the-moment faithfulness investment yielded Job great benefits-a new family and many material gains. More importantly, though, Job received an understanding of the Almighty via great depths of sorrow from the many losses he incurred beforehand. Job’s bowl of humanity had been scooped out by great sorrow only to be refilled with God’s greater joy. Maybe fairness needs God’s wristwatch and his 20/20 perfect vision to be understood.

Job’s wife wanted Job to “curse God and die” because (implying)…“You know, God-isn’t fair. Job abstained and basically said to her, “Get behind me Satan.”

Now, let’s consider the account of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Joseph, the 11th of Jacob’s 12 sons and Rachel’s firstborn, received a beautiful garment from his father-a token of a father’s love, of multi-colored grace. Perhaps the gift was a thanksgiving offering given towards the Abrahamic covenant’s fulfillment-our sacrificial Lamb of God yet to be conceived.

Though the older brothers all anticipated some fraction of a vast inheritance once their father Jacob passed they became envious of Joseph and the immediate: “Why did Joseph, that little punk, get that gift from dad? “I never got anything like that from dad. Everyday we take care of father’s land and flocks (one day theirs) and Joseph is lying about at home or sitting on dad’s knee. “We have to eat sheep jerky and stale bread. Joseph gets fresh bread, kabobs and dates…yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

Let’s go another layer deeper into the envy of Joseph.

Jacob had every right to give Joseph whatever he so desired. Pop psychology will tell you that a father should be across the board fair with his kids. This is where we now talk about fairness and boundaries. Fairness is to be equal in its application of justice.  Boundaries are to be agreed upon by all parties involved.

A father should set even-handed rules for his kids-Leviticus fashion. Each of the kids should know the father’s rules.  The punishment for rule infractions should be known-the boundaries set. Kids need to bump up against a strong barrier. This is fairness and good psychology.

Beyond the fair ground ‘rules’ a father can do whatever he wants to love his children. Again, popular psychology gets paid to listen to people chirping during a fifty minute session about unfair parents.

A father can give his child whatever his heart desires. It’s his prerogative. And, Joseph’s brothers should have rejoiced for their brother.  Instead, they let envy take its course.

Envy is bound by “It’s not fair!”, and then some. Love is not bound by fairness, except in God given universality-“God So Loved the World…”

Fast forward: today’s liturgical reading from Matthew 20:1-16

“So you see,” Jesus continued, “the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed with the workers to give them a dinar a day, and sent them off to his vineyard.

He went out again in the middle of the morning, and saw some others standing in the marketplace with nothing to do.

“You too can go to the vineyard, “ he said, “ and I’ll give what’s right. So off they went.

He went out again about midday, and in the middle of the afternoon, and did the same. Then, with only an hour of the day left, he went out and found people standing there.

“Why are you standing here all day with nothing to do? He asked them.

“Because no one has hired us, they replied.

“Well”, he said, “you too can go into the vineyard.”

When evening came, the vineyard-owner said to his servant, “Call the workers and give them their pay. Start with last, and go on to the first.”

“So the ones who had worked for one hour came, and each of them received a dinar. When the first ones came, they thought they would get something more; but they, too, each received a dinar.

“When they had been given it, they grumbled against the land owner. “This lot who came in last, “ they said, “have only worked for one hour-and they’ve been put on a level with us! And we did all the hard work, all day, and in the heat as well!”

“My friend,” he said to one of them, I’m not doing you wrong. You agreed with me on one dinar, didn’t you? Take it! It’s yours! And be on your way. I want to give this fellow who came at the end the same as you. Or, are you suggesting that I’m not allowed to do what I like with my own money? Or are you giving me the evil eye because I’m good?”

“So those at the back will be front, and the front ones at the back.”

Jesus has given us his father’s perspective about what is fair, the parable not unlike Joseph’s gift or God’s eternal covenants with Abraham and David-with you and me. Fairness in this life requires God’s eternal perspective. Right now we see through dark glass.

If everything in life is to be fair from man’s temporal perspective ala equal outcomes and social justice’s “egalitarianism” (a fancy sounding word for Communism), then how do you know when you are loved?. And, the gift of grace, will you know it when it comes knocking at your front door or when it prepares a lavish feast just for you (see the movie Babette’s Feast)?

What about the pull and tug of romance? Equal outcomes like vampires suck the life blood out romance. Everyone should get a ‘fair’ chance at ‘life’. Right?  Romance is far and away more about the struggle of life itself than about the dynamics between a man and a woman. You get that.

Fair enough. Let this sink in. Take the dinar for a half-hour of listening and we’ll talk later

“I Should Have Anticipated the Optics” and Other Progressive Aphorisms

“…civilization as we know it would be in jeopardy if the Republican Party recaptures control of the US Senate later this year,” a recent quote of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Here, once again, Nancy Pelosi is seeking to manage our common resource of liberty by terrorizing the populace with her Malthusian alarmist version of the tragedy of the commons.

Now compare Pelosi’s statement with Frederic Bastiat’s words below. Bastiat, a French classical liberal theorist and political economist, “asserted that the sole purpose of government is to protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property, and why it is dangerous and morally wrong for government to interfere with an individual’s other personal matters.” Source: Wikipedia.

“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.”

Frederic Bastiat 

Let’s talk about that plunder.

In a previous post I quoted an old preacher who said “That if it is new it is not true. If it is true it is not new.” So, for our purposes today we must take a trip in the Wayback Machine and go back twenty years when you will hear Walter E. William s say “The growth of the leviathan state is undermining our moral priorities.” (emphasis mine)

Here is economist Walter E. Williams, back in 1994 (!!), talking about America’s moral decline, the government being used to steal from one another, the making of America into a nation of thieves, socialized medicine, criminalizing just about everything we do, taxation, lumping the trivial in with the barbaric and doing battle with the Hun-big government.

 

 

Next, Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, in a highly entertaining 1993 speech given at a CATO Institute dinner, claims, as Walter Williams infers, that Bill Clinton, that “agent of change” is actually a Bush-o-nomics successor writ large.

 Friedman goes on to say that current economic policy is “Starving the market that has been working and feeding the (gov’t.) market that has been failing.” And, sadly, that we as a nation are now more wealthy but less free, less secure.

He reminds us that Ronald Reagan sought low taxes, less regulations, a restraint on government spending and a stable monetary policy. Aphorisms begin here.

 

 

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies.”

Frederic Bastiat

 

 

“When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

Frederic Bastiat

 

Anticipate the optics when you vote this fall and later in 2016. And, more importantly, look behind the Kabuki theater curtain of political optics at the moral character of those who are supposedly representing us. At the very least, look at the character of those who will read a bill before signing it.

 Remember, too, as you go to vote, that if you are one of the mega-millions in the lottery of unemployed or underemployed “that you don’t have to be job-locked.” - Nancy Pelosi, Progressive aphorist, reminding us that we each of us can feed off the government because Obamacare is our salvation:

“If you like your healthcare you can keep your healthcare. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” Aphorist-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama

Another Progressive aphorism: “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt. More bullish nonsense catapulted into Aphorism Infamy.

We had better fear Big Brother because he is more Cain than Abel.

Less Than One Degree of Separation

  “I have been probing the arguments for global warming for well over a decade. In collaboration with a lot of excellent coauthors I have consistently found that when the layers get peeled back, what lies at the core is either flawed, misleading or simply non-existent.” Ross McKitrick, Financial Post

 What is posited as mankind’s greatest threat beside the obvious ~ Rosie O’Donnell returning to the View? “Climate Change!”

 “Climate Change!” is the Politically Correct non-Jeopardizing answer that will win you kudos, peer adulation and apparently enough money to buy a government-subsidized cable TV channel and then sell it to the Qatar owned pan-Arab Al Jazeera TV news network. The cross Current of “Climate Change” blows an ill wind.

 Now, we’ve both heard Barack Obama and John Kerry speak this most specious of claims again and again. The redundant talking point is meant to produce a Stockholm Syndrome like reaction from Obama’s political captives ~ the environmentalists and Millennials; basically, those who believe with all of their campfire roasted marshmallow hearts in a primordial earth filled with Kumbayah spirits.

 To indicate the thrall of such supplicants I will give you one recent personal example.

 About two weeks ago I was riding the Chicago Metra train to my downtown workplace. After a stop near the city several passengers boarded from an ‘uppity’ neighborhood near Chicago. Before we reach that stop I put my away my book, knowing that I will be standing in the train vestibule discussing whatever topic is broached among the three or four of us heading to Chicago.

 One day, right the out of the beautiful climate change blue, a forty-ish Oak Park man says that there are ad companies who will not do ad work for any company that is a “climate change” denier. He proudly let me know that he was all was for this sanctioning of companies based on “climate change” theory. I rolled my eyes but held my tongue.

 What I wanted to say: “Climate change has become a religion of radical Jihadist proportions ~ “submit to our belief system or die, you infidel.”

 The “settled science” of “climate change” is not even a joke. It is a bad joke and mere conjecture at best, if not an outright lie. It has quickly become the radicalized religion of the “goddess Gaia.”

 David Mamet said it much better in his book “The Secret Knowledge: On Dismantling of American Culture “(2011):

 Observe that to propitiate an unknowable power, the Left, ignorant or dismissive of any society or history but its own, insists upon the primacy of Trees and Soil, Oceans and Animals ~ theirs is a return to the worship of the Savage.  To see that this nature worship is not quite the good simple-heartedness they believe it is, but rather a religion, observe its imperviousness to information:  polar bears are not, in fact, decreasing but increasing in population; the earth is not, in fact, warming.

Here is a video of Dr. Ross McKitrick at Friends of Science speech (Canada) presenting graphs, charts, and an empirical approach to the IPCC report ‘bout climate.

 Of note: (19:40) “Challenge in the world of Climate Modeling”: “If things continue as they have been…something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models…” and, moments later, “climate models are too sensitive to CO2.”(20:39)

 Here is Ross McKitrick’s website. His background and several of his speeches are presented: Ross R. McKitrick

 If you were not able to sit through the video because you fear data or anything that would disrupt your belief in “climate change” then I offer one of his speeches in PDF form so that you can print it out and read it before the world ends from “climate change” overkill: “The Intrinsic Value of Nature And The Proper Stewardship of the Climate” (Shhh. Secret. The PDF explains the volcano video.)

 The speech begins with a quote from a World Wildlife Fund report headline: “Only global poverty can save the planet.” Malthus, mother Gaia is calling.

 McKitrick goes on to talk about the value of nature, the nature of value and the three zeitgeists of nature namely the “material,”” primal” and “functional”- theories of and approaches to nature. The speech is very accessible to anyone who wants to understand the thinking behind the hot-button issue of “climate change.” So, if you read nothing else, please read the speech.

 On the train to work I am reading N.T. Wright’s The Case for the Psalms. In the book’s “Afterword – My Life with the Psalms” N.T. reflects on his space, time and matter intersections with the Psalms. His words from one such intersection:

 “There was the time when I had been with people urging that we should regard the earth itself as “divine” – as the “goddess Gaia.” I felt oppressed, as though a thick and choking cloud were over my head, until the next day. The first psalm in church was 97” “YHWH is king! Let the earth rejoice.” I felt the cloud disappear as through a sudden fresh breeze: the earth is not divine, but it is the glorious creation of the true God and celebrates his kingdom arriving “on earth as in heaven.”

 ~~~~~

added 9-15-2014;

Gordon Fulks: Climate Orthodoxy Perpetuates a Hoax

Must see:  Nuclear Options:  Confessions of Greenpeace Dropout, Climate Apocalyptic-ism &The Wannabe Oppressed and this relevant self-preservation video, applicable to “climate change” theory ‘dangers:’

If Its True Its Not New OR Don’t Stick Your Head in the Oven

Following on the heels of my previous post “The Vision of the Anointed is Our Nightmare; Ivy league Progressives and Their Creeping Racism” I offer the following video discussion. And, once again real adults are involved. No trigger warnings or pacifiers issued here.

 The discussion led by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute centers on the current state of liberal arts education. Joseph Epstein and Andrew Ferguson both share from their extensive experience. The participant’s credentials, included in the video, won’t be repeated here.

 “We may fairly ask, could any field other than liberal arts yield as broad and as significant an introduction to life’s comparisons and choices; could any other provide a more vital classroom experience for the development of men who are free not primarily because of birth, but because they have learned to use their birthright to chose a way of life? Quoting from Dartmouth College President John Sloan Dickey’s Convocation Address,1954, as recorded in the Dartmouth Review, March 13, 2013, page 11

Considering my birthright to be that of an autodidact liberal arts student, I look at the world from both ends of a telescope. And, though my pay-the-bills ‘FT’ job is in the field of engineering I seek out all manner of wonderful going beyond the rote of everyday life. From my posts you’ll see that this includes and is not limited to quantum physics, genetics, theistic “old earth” evolution, philosophy, psychotherapy, Christianity, music, art, poetry and both non-fiction and fiction literature including Shakespeare. I say this not out of braggadocio but to let you know that I was taught early on to seek wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding. I have an insatiable appetite to learn.  I need clarion answers and I also need a universe full of space, time and matter to ponder.

An old preacher once told me, “If it’s new it’s not true.  If it’s true it’s not new.”  This adage applies especially to a liberal arts education wherein one can unearth ancient wisdom, dust off traditional values and compare them to today’s instantly gratifying, mostly politicized and ‘Democratic-ized” popular icons of ‘knowledge” (e.g., global warming is a man-made crisis, crime originates from poverty and poor government institutions, etc.). This adage aptly applies to the physical sciences as well since what is being discovered has been around since the beginning of time

 Knowledge-wise I cut my teeth, so to speak, sans ‘higher education’ when I began questioning common knowledge, spitting out popular ‘wisdom’ and seeking to rid myself of the scourge of acid-like sentimentality that eats away at the protective enamel of wisdom. The dentist told me to floss every day. And, Socrates told me that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” They share the same Hippocratic Office, I think.

 Some of my liberal arts ‘findings’ are presented in my posts. I write the posts to remind myself of what I have read, to reinforce the content in my mind and to learn to parse, focusing only on what is true, good and worthy. And, then, there is also this reason… 

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
– William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

 Some thoughts on the most important aspect of a liberal arts education-gaining wisdom:

Hopefully by now you have noticed that science’s data collection and life’s growing empiricism do not counterbalance the super-sized questions of life weighing you down. Please don’t “scien-tize” your life as Joseph Epstein coined in the video or meta-data yourself into boredom. Wise-up your life.

 And, even though the wisest, most circumspect and ‘experienced’ man in history, King Solomon, writes his direst thoughts in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, telling us that life is …

 

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.

Everything is meaningless!”

 

…we are reminded that Solomon asked God for the gift of wisdom yet Solomon did not use all of the wisdom given to him. That led him to…

 

The Conclusion of the Matter

 

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.  The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

 

The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

 

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

 

There is just too much of life to be taken in to ever be bored with life or to find time to despair. No head in the oven for me.

~~~

Allan Bloom, American philosopher, classicist, and academician, in his 1987 book “The Closing of the American Mind How Higher Education Has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students” writes about how liberal arts education became impoverished and the consequential effects.

 Here is a previous post with quotes from Allan Bloom: Fear and Loathing In America

The Vision of the Anointed is Our Nightmare; Ivy League Progressives and Creeping Racism

Ferguson, Missouri; Michael Brown; the race industry’s huckster’s ‘Reverends’ Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; “No Justice, No Peace”.

 Should we listen to and embrace the inflammatory NeveReverending racial rhetoric that bellows out from under a sheep skin, rhetoric that leads to societal schism? OR, should we listen to and follow the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s niece Dr. Alveda King as she says: “Know peace and you’ll know justice”? You tell me.

 And, should Obama be just as arrogant as President Lyndon Johnson?

 Since the earliest days of my youth I have been seeking wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding. This pervasive endeavor was birthed in me as my mother read from the book of Proverbs at the dinner table each night after dinner.

 Please, please, please sit down with your coffee and listen to the wisdom, clarity and common sense that Thomas Sowell brings to the issues of race, affirmative action, minimum wage, the negative effects of today’s intellectualism, multiculteralism, social justice, environmentalism, political correctness, diversity and a host of other hot-button cultural and economic topics. You will be doing yourself a favor – wisdom is like that. 

 

Wisdom’s, Rebuke (Proverbs Chapter One)

 

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud
she raises her voice in the public square;
on top of the wall she cries out,
at the city gate she makes her speech:

 

“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
will make known to you my teachings.
But since you refuse to listen when I call
and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand,
since you disregard all my advice
and do not accept my rebuke,
I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

 

“Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Slippery Slopes Always Hit Home: Suicide

 Robin Williams, Born: July 21, 1951, Died: August 11, 2014. R.I.P.

From the May 2014 edition of The New Criterion by Emily Esfahani Smith “The Catastrophe of Suicide: How suicide hurts us all.”

“Over the past few months, there have been several heartbreaking reminders of the rise of suicide across this nation, a topic I wrote about in my first “Manners & morals” column in October (“Life on the island”). The most high profile of these suicides was L’Wren Scott’s. The forty-nine-year-old fashion designer was found dead in her New York City apartment, reportedly bought for her by then-boyfriend Mick Jagger.

A week later, the New York City schools chancellor, Carmen Farina, convened a private meeting of principals to discuss the suicide epidemic among the city’s students. Thanks to the New York Post, which broke the story, we now know that suicides are on the rise among the city’s youth: two years ago, nine students committed suicide; last year, fourteen did; and already, four months into 2014, twelve have committed suicide in New York.

In March, volunteers gathered in Washington to plant 1,892 American flags on the National Mall commemorating each veteran who had committed suicide since the beginning of 2014. Do the math: that’s twenty-two veteran suicides a day. Another tragic figure: Since 2001, the year marking the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more active-duty soldiers have killed themselves than have died in combat.

The rise in suicide has been accompanied by a loss of the moral questions that once surrounded it. G. K. Chesterton was one of our last full-throated critics of suicide. His insistence that suicide is immoral sounds strange to our individualistic ears: “Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin,” Chesterton wrote: “It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.” Chesterton goes on to say that the act of suicide is selfish: “A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything.” It would be difficult to imagine anyone writing such a polemic today. We do not consider suicide the moral catastrophe that people like Chesterton once thought it was.

Rather, our contemporary culture treats suicide as a medical problem—a “public health concern,” as Joshua Rottman, a psychological researcher, recently told The Atlantic. Rather, our contemporary culture treats suicide as a medical problem—a “public health concern,” as Joshua Rottman, a psychological researcher, recently told The Atlantic. According to his new research, religious and non-religious people have a moral bias against suicide, and the bias stems from “disgust reactions” they have when confronted with stories of suicide. Committing suicide, people think, taints the soul. To Rottman, this is a problem. These reactions are irrational and, therefore, harmful: “The million-dollar question,” Rottman says, is “how to de-stigmatize suicide as impure.” He went on to say, “That’s not to say that we should start thinking that suicide is perfectly OK, but I don’t think we should treat it as taboo (and therefore avoid bringing it up in polite conversation). Instead, we should engage with it as a public health concern and find ways to effectively increase prevention.” But Rottman is wrong to demoralize the notion of suicide. If we are serious about helping people overcome the dark nights of their souls, we must insist with Chesterton that suicide is a moral, not just a clinical, problem.

An important new book does just that. Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It by the poet and philosopher Jennifer Michael Hecht challenges our culture’s acceptance of suicides and reinvigorates the moral arguments against it….

 

…Hecht reminds us that throughout history—in the West at least—there have always been strong social sanctions and philosophical arguments against suicide

… Christian beliefs about suicide were articulated most clearly by St. Thomas Aquinas, who thought, as Hecht writes, that “Suicide is cruel to the community, it is cruel to oneself, and God has ordained against it.” Those who violated the moral law, by taking their own lives, faced a grisly posthumous fate. Their bodies would be tortured, dragged through the streets, their estates seized by the church, their families left impoverished.

This view began to evolve during the Enlightenment. The secular philosophers of that age, like David Hume and Baron d’Holbach, did everything they could to argue Christianity into philosophical irrelevance. One of the casualties in the war against religion was the moral sanction against suicide, which Hume associated, as Hecht points out, with “modern European superstition.” It was a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. To Hume and d’Holbach, suicide was a permissible way to escape suffering, and their justification was often chillingly inhumane. D’Holbach asks, “Besides, what assistance or what advantage can society promise to itself from a miserable wretch reduced to despair, from a misanthrope overwhelmed with grief, from a wretch tormented with remorse, who has no longer any motive to render himself useful to others, who has abandoned himself, and who finds no more interest in preserving his life?”

The pro-suicide view, which is “now a defining stance of secular culture, is a mistake and needs rethinking,” writes Hecht.

(all emphasis- bold typeface- mine)

I agree with Esfahani Smith, Hecht and Chesterton.

I suggest reading the article in its entirety.

Moral relativism, or The Enlightenment on drugs and as ‘artistically’ depicted by a Jackson Pollack drip painting and as discussed in my previous posts, makes for a very muddy, slippery slope, especially if one wants to justify anything…anything. And so does sentimentality.

Sentimentality & romanticism, sans truth and factual history, are characteristics that could describe progressive suicide in its utopian quest.

I would also say that today’s Progressives, trying to appear as pure scientific rationalists, whether in the fields of social science, economics, climate ‘science’, law, etc. with buckets of drip painting data to support their “settled science” theorems are mainly romantics and sentimentalists in disguise.

Are romanticism and rationalism compatible?

And what is good Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”  Here Robert Pirsig, writing a bio, seeks to reconcile romanticism and rationalism in his quest for “quality.” His opening quote invokes a dialogue written by Plato. The dialog is between Socrates and Phaedrus. The book: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.” 

Pirsig, by the end of his book, comes to appreciate both the serial Romantics and the serial Rationalists of life. Pirsig saw a need for both romanticism and for rationalism. Francis Schaeffer, the founder of L’Abri in Switzerland called these two approaches to life the “upper” and “lower story.”   Read more about that here: How Shall I Then Live?

Flood Plain Insurance: as Jesus illustrated in a parable: Build your house’s foundation on a rock and not on sand so that when the storms come (and they will) you and household will not be washed away (KV paraphrase).

Some related quotes:

“To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” The Shadow of an Agony by Oswald Chambers

 

“We are to regard existence as a raid or great adventure; it is to be judged, therefore, not by what calamities it encounters, but by what flag it follows and what high town it assaults. The most dangerous thing in the world is to be alive; one is always in danger of one’s life. But anyone who shrinks from that is a traitor to the great scheme and experiment of being.” G.K. Chesterton

 

As I noted in The Road Less Traveled, it is often the most spiritually healthy and advanced among us who are called on to suffer in ways more agonizing than anything experienced by the more ordinary.  Great leaders, when wise and well, are likely to endure degrees of anguish unknown to the common man. Conversely, it is the unwillingness to suffer emotional pain that usually lies at the root of emotional illness.  Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent and self satisfied.  The denial of suffering is, in fact, a better definition of illness than its acceptance. M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie:  The Hope for Healing Human Evil

 

 Finally, age-wise I am within a year of Robin William’s when he chose to kill himself. I know that life is hard. I have lost a child in a car accident, I have been through divorce, I have lost jobs due to lack of work… I have experienced loss and tragedy enough for several people.

 Sometimes, despair, the Grim Reaper in sheepish voice, knocks at the door of my heart asking to come in. I tell him, “I am not buying it. Tomorrow is another day.”

 It is no cliché to say “Tomorrow is another day.” We need space and time and matter in order for us to stand apart from the overwhelming flood of issues, to climb to higher ground. From there we must be able to view the issues clearly. This viewing cannot be done from inside our grief. And, once viewed aright, we must deal – not run away from – with each and every hurt that takes our breath away, wanting us to drown in our sorrows.

 If you have read the Psalms you will notice that the Psalmists use space, time and matter (Read “The Case For the Psalms” by N.T. Wright) to speak out their frustrations, their hurts, their pain, their loss and also their unabashed hopes for the future, a future hope placed in trust with Someone much greater than any of their problems.

 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken.… Psalm 34: 18-20

 I remember many years ago hearing for the first time “He’s Been Faithful” at Chicago’s Moody Church. Pastor Jim Cymbal, Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Senior Pastor, and his wife Carol spoke about heart-breaking troubles involving their child. Jim spoke and Carol led the Brooklyn Tabernacle’s choir. Damaris Carbaugh was the soloist.

 This song has become my all time favorite. This song says it all for me.

 He’s Been Faithful Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Looking Evil in the Eye: Pretense

In my series of posts regarding aspects of evil found in our culture, I want to add this post due to its relevance to our current cultural and political makeup. I’m using the word “makeup “on purpose. Beyond it denoting a milieu or environment the word also connotes the topic of this post ~ pretense.

In his book People of the Lie:  The Hope for Healing Human Evil, Dr. M. Scott Peck writes in the chapter titled “The Encounter with Evil in Everyday Life” that

 “The issue of naming (evil) is a theme of this work. It has already been touched on in diverse instances: science has failed to name evil as a subject for scrutiny; the name evil does not appear in the psychiatric lexicon; we have been reluctant to label specific individuals with the name evil; in their presence, therefore, we may experience a nameless dread or revulsion; yet the naming of evil is not without danger.

To name something correctly gives us a certain amount of power over it. Through its name we identify it.  We are powerless over a disease until we can accurately name it…The treatment begins with its diagnosis.  But is evil an illness? Many would not consider it so.  There are a number of reasons why one might be reluctant to classify evil as a disease.  Some are emotional. For instance, we are accustomed to feel pity and sympathy for those who are ill, but the emotions that evil invoke in us are anger and disgust, if not actual hate…

Beyond our emotional reactions, there are three rational reasons that make us hesitate to regard evil as an illness…I shall nonetheless take the position that evil should indeed be regarded as a mental illness.”

Dr. Peck goes on to discuss the three reasons. I will use summary quotes.

 “The first holds that people should not be considered ill unless they are suffering pain or disability – that there is no such thing as an illness without suffering….it is characteristic of the evil that, in their narcissism, they believe that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are psychologically perfect human specimens…For we realize that their inability to define themselves as ill in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is actually part of the illness itself…The use of the concept of emotional suffering to define disease is also faulty in several other respects. As I noted in The Road Less Traveled, it is often the most spiritually healthy and advanced among us who are called on to suffer in ways more agonizing than anything experienced by the more ordinary.  Great leaders, when wise and well, are likely to endure degrees of anguish unknown to the common man. Conversely, it is the unwillingness to suffer emotional pain that usually lies at the root of emotional illness.  Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent and self satisfied.  The denial of suffering is, in fact, a better definition of illness than its acceptance.

The evil deny the suffering of their guilt – the painful awareness of their sin, inadequacy and imperfection – by casting their pain onto others through projection and scapegoating.  They themselves may not suffer, but those around them do.  They cause suffering.  The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society.”…

 Finally, who is to say what the evil suffer? It is consistently true that the evil do not appear to suffer deeply.  Because they cannot admit to weakness or imperfection in themselves, they must appear this way.  They must appear to themselves to be continually on top of things, continually in command.  Their narcissism demands it…

Think of the psychic energy required for the continued maintenance of the pretense so characteristic of the evil!…”

“I said that there are two other reasons one might hesitate to label evil as an illness…One is the notion that someone who is ill must be a victim….One way or another, to some extent, all these people (the evil) and a host of others victimize themselves. Their motives, failures and choices are deeply and intimately involved in the creation of their injuries and diseases….

The final argument against labeling evil an illness is the belief that evil is a seemingly untreatable condition…It is the central proposition of this book that evil can and should be subjected to scientific scrutiny…It would, I believe, be quite appropriate to classify evil people as constituting a specific variant of the narcissistic personality disorder.”

Dr. Peck goes on to describe this variant of personality disorder:

“In addition to the abrogation of responsibility that characterizes all personality disorders, this one would specifically be distinguished by:

(a)    consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle.

(b)    excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.

(c)    Pronounced concern with a public injury and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of life-style but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives.

(d)   Intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophrenic-like disturbance of thinking at time of stress.

But there is another vital reason to correctly name evil:  the healing of its victims.”

(all emphasis -bold type- mine) 

*****************

 Over the course of some sixty years I have encountered some distinctly evil people.  The common characteristic of their personality is the veneer of pretense with which they surround their lives.  Perhaps, instead of the word “veneer” the word “mirror” would better convey the 360 degree reflection of themselves they so desire.

In their mind’s eye they see themselves in a grandiose role, a self-assessed worthy role (remember Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?). To support their ‘self-thesis’ the pretentious will seek out others who will regard them in the same way ~ a Super Pac to fund a super ego (the three witches met Macbeth; his ego chose to ‘believe’ their words). Pretentious people will demand to be seen in their ‘light’ only. You become to them only a speck in their shadow.

Those, of course, who can rightly see what every one else can see will disagree. And, if they make any statement contrary to the ‘fairy tale’ narrative imposed they will be called deniers and ignorant or worse. 

Today our nation has a President who fits all of the above characteristics of pretense. God help us.

Jesus said, “If the light in you is darkness how great is that darkness.”

Jesus’ perfect love can cast out fear…and evil.

~~~~~

I liken the characteristic of pretense to the walls of Jericho:   The huge stone walls of Jericho looked invincible. Yet, after seven days of marching around the façade with God’s presence (the Ark) in the lead and with ram’s horns blowing on the seventh day, the walls fell down; the city of Jericho became indefensible. My how the mighty façades have fallen over the years.

Hearts of Darkness

At night, when all the world’s asleep,
the questions run so deep
for such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please
tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.

 

The Logical Song by Supertramp

 

 the evil one at computer

This post hopes to give insight into another malignant outgrowth of evil ~ a sub-culture collective of hive minded individuals wreaking havoc today, even now as you read your computer screen.

 The collective connects daily, almost constantly. When doing so each member hides behind a pseudonym ‘mask.’ And, from their text exchanges it appears that the collective meets to recharge each their own narcissistic-self-image and sense of power. Beyond this the colony gathers in groupthink to plot attacks on unsuspecting victims and for the “lulz.”

 VPNs or Virtual Private Networks hide an IP address. The VPN provides a false internet identity and a remote physical location. This ‘obscuring’ allows “tunneling” to another computer secretly. VPNs are used by “black hat” hackers and “white hat” hackers (good guys who root out the “black hat” hackers). Businesses will also use VPNs for employees to use their work computers at home.

It is within the ‘protection’ of purposely opaque cyber secrecy that each member of the collective learns from each other as to how to deceive, how to DDoS (.a Distributed Denial of Service website attack), how to “social engineer” their way into people’s privacy and other online vigilantism.

 The members will go on to use their ‘hands-on’ knowledge to infiltrate private property and to disperse it under a pretense of a self-satisfactory justice. Reputations of their victims are destroyed (called “life ruins”) along the way.

 This collective doesn’t gather in a material space. Instead each cyber participant from their usually darkened domicile meets in the backwaters of chat rooms, bulletin boards and cyber channels, otherwise known as the noosphere. The collective can be called several names, depending on who is writing about the group: “hacktivists”, the “Antisec movement”, “AnonOps”, “LulzSec”, “Anonymous”.

 The background for this post comes primarily from a recently published book. I have quoted extensive passages so as to provide a third party description of this malignancy.

 We Are Anonymous: Inside the World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency authored by Parmy Olson, a Forbes magazine writer, reveals the dark side of the cyber world of pranksters, identity thieves and the mostly 15-30 year-old guys who do nothing but spend their days and nights in front of an computer screen causing others harm. They will act individually or as a quickly assembled hive of hacktivists.

 One individual prankster named in the book is a guy named William.

 As related, William would hack into a person’s Facebook account after ‘socially manipulating’ his victim to handover passwords. He would then go on to embarrass, terrorize and deface his victim with the information found on the victim’s social media site. And, if William didn’t find enough of what he needed to terrorize his victim he would then “social engineer” (manipulate them using lies and flattery) the person and use their personal info found on the Facebook page. William spoke to Parmy about the process:

From page 377:

William: “We split up boyfriends and girlfriends and appalled many people’s mothers,“ (my note: After having gained his victim’s confidence William would extort pornographic photos from his victim. He would then show them to the victim’s parents) William remembered. “That’s one of the bits I enjoy more. Sending a picture of someone’s c__k to their mum. The idea of it happening to me is so unimaginably embarrassing it makes me laugh.”

Parmy talking about William, pages 377, 378: What he loved doing even more, from the time he’d begun pedo-baiting, at fifteen, was getting another man online highly aroused and then suddenly dousing the moment with the threat of exposure to family and friends or police… Hacking into people’s Facebook accounts wasn’t exactly life-altering, but he got a buzz from knowing that at least for a moment, his victims felt the lives crumbling around them.

William: “…That’s all I want from 4chan. I want something that’s going to leave me not depressed and give me something to focus on. And it’s fun to make someone feel that awful from a distance. I could never do that face to face.”

 William spent the next few nights keeping hold of Selena’s credential’s, meeting his new Facebook group of /b/ pranksters, and terrorizing people on Serena’s social network, including posting comments on the photos of her female friends and calling them fat…

 This was how William liked to cause a stir. Not by entertaining an audience of thousands on Twitter, like Topiary did, but by embarrassing others to entertain himself. Still, there were things that William and Topiary had in common, not least that both had found Anonymous through 4chan. (my note: Topiary is the online name for Jake Davis).

~~~~

 One day William and Jake meet for lunch. Parmy records their conversation.  Jake is wearing an ankle bracelet. He had been arrested and brought to London for his hacking crimes. He is out on bail.

 The telling conversation of the two previously Anonymous hackers now meeting face to face began slowly, but eventually “the two started talking about Anonymous and how it had changed them.”

~~~

From the book (page 381):

“It’s made me a more extreme version of myself,” William said. “I used to sleep badly. Now I sleep terribly. I used to be sarcastic; now I can be an a__hole.” He didn’t just “like “tormenting people; he loved it. He didn’t just “like” porn; he looked at it every day. “None of this bothers me, he added. “I don’t care about anything.” William had said in the past that he had no moral code; everything was case by case, his decisions based on gut reaction. Earnest Hemingway had said it best: “What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

 Jake was nodding. “I have to agree with all of that, “he said. It desensitized me.”Acting out with crowds of people on the Internet had created a detachment from reality and a sense of obliviousness to certain consequences. Anonymous did bad things, but its members were not bad people, per se.” (emphasis mine)

~~~

 Parmy records the conversation of the two amoral hacktivists, from pages 381, 382:

There was a common misconception about the lack of morals on /b/ and in Anonymous. “It doesn’t mean you do bad things,” said William. “It just means there’s no rules. We don’t revert to being bastards at every opportunity.”

“It’s also nice to just be nice,” Jake added.

Many of the /b/’s most hard core users, like William, didn’t care about jobs, family, or life’s typical milestone events. Both Jake and William relished the idea of living a life that had no impact on real people.”…

“To have as little impact on anywhere as possible is a really appealing thought, which is like never being born, “said Jake. No legitimate home, no name on a piece of government paper, no fingerprints. To be nameless, with no identity, not bogged down by any system but to “lightly live everywhere” was something they both craved in life.”

Did that craving come from what they’d experienced with Anonymous: vandalizing things often with little consequence?”…

(page 384) Did either of them ever feel like he had been manipulated by Anonymous?

“Not at all,” said William.

 Jake looked down for a moment, then answered. “Not manipulated, but influenced, he said. “When you’re in a mob mentality with lots of others. You have a ‘mob extreme’ version of yourself too, this one, unified mind-set where you don’t care that anything exists and you want to wreck something.” William was nodding now.”

 “I’ve said no but the mob things rings true, “he said. The issue of mental health meant a lot to him personally, but sometimes he’d see a thread on /b/ where the original poster has said, “I’m really depressed and want to kill myself.” If the thread’s participants leaned toward telling him to commit suicide, William would join in, posting a picture of a can of cyanide and reminding the OP to do it properly. “Which is something I don’t even believe. I don’t want people to die, but”~ he shrugged ~ “it’s something to write and something to do.” (Emphasis mine)

 Of course, both William and Jake had done their fair share of (social) manipulating too….”

~~~

 Talking about the younger “goombie” users and newfags on 4chan, William goes on to tell Jake his thoughts (page 384):

 “They want to think the world is against them so there’s something to justify their angst,” he said That’s why it was almost easy to get people to join the revolution I Anonymous. “you can just make stuff up [about government or corporate corruption] and they buy it.” To write a rousing post on /b/, for instance, you just needed to write in a way that appeal to the Anon crowd, using linguistic devices like alliteration, repetition, sound bytes, and dramatic words like injustice, oppression, and downtrodden to describe corporations and governments, and justice, freedom and uprising when referring to Anonymous.”… (emphasis mine)

~~~

From page 385:  …Jake was nodding again. If you knew how to communicate with the Anons, sometimes you could direct them. “It’s just so easy, “he said.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I purposefully quoted whole passages so that you could get insight into the depths of the nihilism, decadence, despair and boredom of this horrific self-destructive-neighbor-destructive behavior. You should read the book to get the full effect. The book has a useful Glossary of terms coined by the collective.

 For me the book was a difficult read because I know how good and wholesome life can be outside of yourself, outside of groupthink.

 This type of collective evil has gripped so many young lives. And, suicide is one of the Evil One’s ‘escapes.’ from the dreariness of life in the dark. 

If your son (let’s talk specifics) spends all his time in his room with the curtains shut, door locked and his computer on then it is time for an intervention. Moral relativism from the “noosphere” is what is feeding his soul. The Evil One or one of his emissaries is close at hand, looking over his shoulder, suggesting things that are inordinate, evil.

 Regarding “social justice” as just cause to take the law into your own hands…

 Anthony Daniels an English writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist once said:  “Moral relativism can easily be a trick of an egotistical mind to silence the voice of conscience.”

 ~~~~~~ 

The Age of Enlightenment pushed reason onto the scene. But reason and its subset, – controlled data from human sensory experience – without revelation – an outside source of Enlightenment with its subset of moral absolutes – turns life in on itself where it finds the deep dark well of nihilism. When that occurs one finds that there is no rational meaning to life beyond one’s fleeting existential thoughts and feelings or the “lulz,” we give it. And, in a way, “lulz” is a variant of Münchausen syndrome: Anons develop grandiose facetious exploits for the sake of a vast amounts of immediate attention satisfaction, an emo-sensory spike.

 “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

The Gospel according to John: 8:12

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Note: I did not write about the Anons use of DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service~basically, slamming a website with spam so that it cannot be accessed) and LOIC (low orbit ion cannon~basically, another DDOS ‘weapon’). These exploits, corporate and government hacking and their destruction of public safety and personal privacy are not something I would ever promote. These and other nefarious cyber attacks are documented in Parmy’s enlightening book.

 As mentioned in the book, this collective of people did these things mostly for the Lulz for ‘kicks’. Here’s Parmy’s definition: “An alteration of LOL (laugh out loud), this term is thought to have first appeared on an Internet Relay Chat network in 2003 in reaction to something funny. It now refers to the enjoyment felt after pursuing a prank or online disruption that leads to someone else’s embarrassment.”

 I hope to keep you informed and updated about hacking activity, ‘safe’ computing.  Keep checking this post for updates as I become aware of them.

8/6/2014:  Russian hackers: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/technology/russian-gang-said-to-amass-more-than-a-billion-stolen-internet-credentials.html?_r=1

8/9/2014:  I’ll offer.  You read and decide.  I have used TrendMicro’s web security free scanning download – this scan has be used by many>> Cryptolocker GOZeuS

 8/9/2014: Danger, Will Robinson and the rest of you earthlings!! Be vary, vary wary of anyone who comments on your Facebook page and/or blog and is flattering. They may appear as someone you know. If so, verify the comment in a separate email to the  person that you do know. (Blame me if the person gets upset.)  Danger, too, when someone comments on things that do no relate at all to what is on your Facebook page or to what’s on your blog. These ‘guys’ want to connect with you in order to download malware “bots” onto your computer and worse….Hit “DELETE” immediately!!!

8/9/2014: I recently received an email from ~ Subject: “Attorney “so & so” has a legal matter to discuss with you. Respond Immediately or the judge may issue a default judgment in our favor.” Don’t buy it!! A real attorney will send you a certified letter notifying you of any legal matter concerning you. Do not open the email!!!  Hit “DELETE” immediately!!!

8/11/2014 : Social Networking Safely Awareness Newsletter:

Deliver Us From Evil

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden - by Gustave DoreIn previous posts I alerted my readers to the nefarious aspects and fallout from those who embrace evil:

From reading each of these posts you will have noticed that the Evil One will use small amounts of good mixed with a large doses of evil to accomplish his purposes. His ultimate purpose is to steal you away from the “enemy” ~ the one true God.

 This enticement to do evil is sardonically portrayed in a portion of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. Here Screwtape lectures Wormwood (Screwtape’s disciple of evil) on how to be a competent tempter:

 “[The enemy] has filled His world full of pleasures . . . Everything has to be twisted before it is any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side. (Not that that excuses you…)” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

The previous posts (listed below) are interspersed with quotes from C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters:  Screwtape book

 

 

A Brave New World or Evil Will Make One Lose Their Head

 In this post we learn of evil’s “fundamentally transforming” power. Wicked counsel using the contrivances of moral relativism, pride and grandiosity feeds the darkened imaginations of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. A short review of Shakespeare’s tragedy reveals that breathing the “Fog and filthy air” is toxic.”

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Worker Bees, Outcome Based Education and Our Little Ones

Here, evil is disguised as a consensus building which “fundamentally transforms” our children via the public school system. We read that consensus building can be used to synthesize good with evil.

“By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient’s reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result? Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it “real life” and don’t let him ask what he means by “real.” “―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Label Me “In Christ”

  The use of labels and political correctness become roadblocks to any conversation that would reveal truth or opinions that would differ from the demanded conformity. The Progressive Left’s political intolerance is shown for what it is: “Free speech for me, but not for thee.”

“Whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out…” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“All is summed up in the prayer which a young female human is said to have uttered recently: “O God, make me a normal twentieth-century girl!” Thanks to our labors, this will mean increasingly: “Make me a minx, a moron, and a parasite.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

 A White Privilege Conference is held annually in Madison Wisconsin. The conference of hive minded collectivists tell the lie of being born on the wrong ‘side’ of the melanin tracks. We learn of how evil is used to re-label, redefine, classify and ‘inform’ public school teaching.

 “Suspicion often creates what it suspects.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “The claim to equality, outside of the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “Doubly Dead and Uprooted”

 In this post Jude (and I) write about false teachers, teachers that synthesize good with evil to create a cheap grace. This cheap ‘grace’ is embraced by many churches, churches which acquiesce to the pressure of the LGBT ‘community for the sake of vacuous “diversity”.

 “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”  ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.”―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Tear Down That Anthropocentricity

 We learn about evil in its many socio-political forms: humanism, Marxism, collectivism, Progressivism and murderous tyranny ~ each one centered around man’s material needs.

 “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “[M]an has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false,” but as “academic” or “practical,” “outworn” or “contemporary,” “conventional” or “ruthless.” Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “Schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or Communism, fix men’s affections on the future ─ on the very core of temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past, and love to the present; fear, avarice, and ambition look ahead.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “Pilate was merciful till it became risky.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 “Whenever all men are…hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Fear and Loathing in America

 Allan Bloom, relates, “We have come back to the point where we began, where values take the place of good and evil.”

 “If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy’s hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behaviour, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor. This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Exclusion & Embrace in the Garden of Good & Evil

“To triumph fully, evil needs two victories, not one. The first victory happens when an evil deed is perpetrated; the second victory, when evil is returned. After the first victory, evil would die if the second victory did not infuse it with new life.”

  • Miroslav Volf
    The End of Memory, Remembering Rightly In A Violent World

“We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 Check Your Motives At The Door

 In this post are quotes from M. Scott Peck, Psychiatrist & author. He defines evil and antilove.

 “All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. This is elementary―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

Then, evil as religiously practiced by Islam’s Jihadists, by Hamas and under the demented Sharia Law is discussed in

 Truth Be Told – Chloé Simone Valdary

…or as revealed by this tweet reply:

 “…a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.” ―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

Lord, deliver us from evil.

 

Be encouraged; from the Gospel according to Luke 10: 17-20, the report of the seventy disciples sent out by Jesus:

 

“The seventy came back exhilarated.

“Master,” they said, “even the demons obey us in your name!”

“I saw the satan fall like lightening from heaven,” he replied. “Look: I’ve given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and every power of the enemy. Nothing will ever be able to harm you. But-don’t celebrate having spirits under your authority. Celebrate this, that your names are written in heaven.”

 

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

―C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

My next post will uncover more evil, as practiced by Anonymous.

the evil one at computer

 

 

 

 

 

***

Picture attributions:

Above Illustration: The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden – by Gustave Dore

Wormwood picture: The Screwtape Letters Cover: Read by John Cleese

 Satan at the computer:  http://screwtapefiles.blogspot.com/2011/02/detail-is-in-devil.html

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