Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Presentism and homosexuality

It is widely assumed by the bien-pensants that homosexuality is innate and unchangeable.

This is obviously untrue, as even the most cursory acquaintance with history, anthropology, and current practice would reveal.

For it has long been the case that, in any environment from which females are excluded, males will indulge in sex acts with each other – aboard ships, in prisons, at boys’ boarding schools. The vast majority of these men revert to heterosexuality behavior as soon as the opportunity presents itself. This leads, naturally, to much unfalsifiable hair-splitting about the difference between ‘behavior’ and ‘orientation’. Historically, of course, humans have been far, far more concerned with outward behavior than inward tendencies. In fact, all of Western jurisprudence is based upon the former.

The recent phenomenon of ‘repressed memory’ – now well-established as a destructive lie – should make one leery of any pronunciamenti regarding anything interior. If a woman can be convinced that her father raped her, how can we be sure that a man can’t be convinced that he’s homosexual? Especially if he’s in a subculture (ballet, theater, San Francisco) that enthusiastically endorses it.

And then there’s the example of ancient Greece, which institutionalized ‘man-boy love’ among the upper class. So – either all members of the Greek elite just happened to be homosexuals (or pedophiles) or their sexual behavior was determined not by their innate orientations, but by the external society.

Even John Boswell hints at this in his ridiculous (American Book Award–winning) tome Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, in which he makes the ‘argument’ that, because there is no single word in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew that unambiguously and solely means ‘homosexual’ or ‘homosexuality’, neither could have been condemned by Scripture. (Note that this concept, like relativity, did not exist anywhere in human thought before modern times. One could just as well argue that, because there is no ancient word meaning ‘brainwash’, Scripture could not possibly condemn the practice.) Boswell then explains the Pauline passage (Rom 1:26) referring to women who act ‘against nature’ as condemning not homosexuality per se, but those who are, by nature, homosexuals yet indulge in heterosexual practices, and vice versa.

Of course, that thought could not have been formed by Paul – or, indeed, by anyone else who lived before the modern era. One simply cannot apply our current understanding of sexuality and our current sexual practices to people who lived centuries or millennia ago. (And they would certainly resent any such imposition, were they to know of it.)

We are about to destroy all that has been true about the most fundamental familial relationships for thousands of years and replace it, root and branch.

It is odd, to say the least, that those who support such an effort are, with microscopically few exceptions, the same ones who reject genetically modified foods as unnatural and ‘not proven safe’. No one has made the least effort to prove that this wholesale change being imposed upon human nature is safe in any sense.

But the precautionary principle never has appealed to the engineers of human souls.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Jersey’s Hindu Problem

Whaddaya mean, you haven’t heard of New Jersey’s Hindu problem? Don’t you keep up with the news?

OK, well, actually – there is no Hindu problem. Not in New Jersey, and not too terribly much anywhere else, though Tamils and Pakistanis may have different opinions.

I’m drawn to this topic by Reihan Salam’s recent post, The Browning of America, at, where he describes being among a group of mostly brown bus riders in L.A.

Well, Reihan would also not feel out of place on the Northeast Corridor line between Trenton and New York. Sure, we have lots of white traders and hedge-fund types – but, at a guess, 10–40% of the riders between Hamilton and Metropark are from the Asian subcontinent.

It would seem, based on my coworkers and friends and other random observations, that most of Central Jersey’s subcontinental immigrants are Hindu, with small admixtures of Christians, Muslims, and irreligious (but that last category is not exclusive).

Yet we never hear about our Hindu problem. Children whose parents speak with funny accents at home still perform quite well in our English-mostly (some Spanish) school system.

And Hinduism is quite radically different from Christianity; in fact, compared to Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are practically identical. Yet there are no difficulties based on religious differences with our Hindu immigrants.

So far as I know, no one – not even Pat Buchanan or Lew Rockwell – has raised the alarm against the Hindu menace.

Perhaps there's something here worth exploring … what could be the difference be between Hispanic and Muslim immigrants on the one hand and Hindu immigrants on the other?

Analogizing Madison

I’m afraid that even those commentators who discuss the basic problem with public-sector unions are not explaining the problem clearly enough. Analogies, ideally homely analogies, are always the way to go.

Let’s say I’m not a very good employee, but that I want a 3% raise anyway. My company offers 6% raises to outstanding employees. So, I tell my manager that if he goes to bat for me to management and gets me a 6% raise, I’ll give him half my raise every payday.

Clearly, this is fraud against my employer and both my manager and I could end up in jail.

But – this is precisely the way public-service unions work. The ‘I’ of the story above represents the unions; the manager, the state legislatures; and the company, the taxpayers. And the 3% kickback of the story is the campaign contributions the unions make to pliant legislators.

Not being a lawyer, I would argue that all contracts between states and public-service unions should be invalidated because of their basically fraudulent nature – but I note that no one else is going that far. Yet.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A government of laws, not of (school) administrators

In Hammonton, NJ, a few miles south of the Contrapunctal manse, a young fellow was brought up on charges for bringing a weapon to his local establishment of education. As always, MSNBC is on top of gun crime.

The usual folks are outraged by the idea that a seven-year-old child can be arrested for possession of a toy; and there is, indeed, much to lampoon here.

But isn’t this what John Adams had in mind when he advocated “a government of laws not of men”? If the law prohibits toy guns at schools and mandates criminal charges – well, then, that’s what should happen. (We’re assuming that there’s a law at issue and not merely a rule or regulation.)

Now, whether or not the law makes any sense is an entirely separate question. It is possible that there’s a good chance that this particular law would be judged to be less than optimal by the vast majority of Americans. Most of us, when faced with the threat of a pipsqueak armed with a ping-pong-ball shooter, would simply explain to him that he can only play with that toy in certain places and not, for instance, in a classroom.

However, what if a high-school senior brings a more-or-less realistic toy gun to school? This one, say. (OK, it’s not that realistic -- but close enough, I think, especially given the amount of experience the products of our colleges of education are likely to have with firearms.) Is there any question that his only motive (assuming that he’s of normal intelligence and not a “mainstreamed” child) would be to upset and disrupt the school?

So it’s possible that the law/regulation/rule/whatever was written with a real problem in mind. But it’s still stupid.

The offense has nothing to do with the gun, but rather with the effect. No one would object to punishing children who intentionally disrupt their schools – but the offense is the disruption, not the mechanism thereof. There is no need to outlaw toy guns, noisemakers, bullhorns, fire extinguishers, liquid nitrogen, and every other substance or object that could conceivably be used to cause trouble.

Did you notice the weasel word I just snuck in? Who is to judge whether an action is “intentional” or not? Since our public-school administrators are selected such that their chief attributes are subnormal intelligence, limited knowledge, and lack of imagination (yes, I’m serious: have you ever spoken to one? or read the statements of “Dr.” Dan Blachford in the MSNBC article?), granting them any discretion at all is bound to lead to serious problems.

Our problem is not with this particular case, galling as it is, but with the culture of public education in the United States. And that’s a completely different post….