Sunday, October 31, 2021

Stefan Zweig (or, The View from Here)

Dear M,

There is only one God, and He's designed the universe so that every false idol will eventually be smashed.  

Friday, October 29, 2021

The end of science

Dear M,

Rebecca West writes, in The New Meaning of Treason, that a lot of our scientists during World War 2 were communists.  There are several reasons this is important, but the first is that they immediately leaked our research on atomic bombs to Stalin.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Black Rednecks and White Liberals: Some Thoughts

Dear T,

In Thomas Sowell's never-discussed but ought-to-be-read book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, he notes that redneck culture, so far from being an American thing, is actually north English.  Even the name.  He says that hundreds of years ago, transportation was so bad and commerce so underdeveloped that many people across the Isles were almost totally isolated: they spoke English but couldn't understand each other, and cultures developed so differently that they ended up many times being incompatible.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Why I love Indians

Dear T,

Let me be clear here: when I say Indians I mean from India.  Of the so-called "Native Americans" I know little, except what I read in the papers -- which is to say, an assortment of liberal puff pieces which backfire and make Natives look criminal, corny, petty, and stupid.  I've known two or three "Natives" pretty well, one of whom was an angel and the other two drunks and liberals and scoundrels, but I refuse to make these several a model for the whole.  Their whole gamut of tribes, races, religions, and tongues is a mystery to me, and likely to remain so -- Black Elk Speaks is one of the only books I've ever read on them, and the "correct" opinion about them, that they're environmentalist sages and peaceniks, is absolutely unbelievable to me in every way.  I'm keeping a blank slate for them to be written on by them -- not what they say about themselves or what the media says about them, but what they make themselves appear to me.  Hopefully better than what I hear from the Alaskans.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Why Marxists are phonies and failures: chapter one of Capitalist Realism

Dear M,

Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism was a joy to listen to and it cost me $5.  The reason I bring up the $5 is because Mark Fisher charged me this even though he hates capitalism.  Or his left-wing publisher charged me this.  Or maybe they both agreed to charge me this.  Either way, I got the book and they got my money.  

Thursday, October 7, 2021

How to abort yourself

Dear H,

A while back I knew a man who prayed to God for children.  So far as I'm aware not even to get children, but to make a new man of himself.  His theory was that the more children he had the more he'd develop his character, and in the act of procreation he was creating a new version of himself -- more patient, and kind, and giving, and in general more Christian.  The fruit of the body would yield the Fruit of the Spirit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

On going to college

Dear H,

The way to spot a man of genuine intelligence isn't to look at his brains, but to look at his stomach.  I don't care if you have a degree.  What do you feed on?  Can you stop reading?  Can you stop talking about and chewing on tough ideas?  Does new information scare you, or do you take it as a challenge?  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Sex at Dawn: a counterpoint

Dear T,

I read Christopher Ryan's Sex at Dawn because I'm a horndog, and like all horndogs I need an excuse.  His short and brutal work, an evolutionary survey of human sexuality, a work which Mr. Ryan says provides no solutions and levels us with the apes, is great at describing the problem of sex; and if it doesn't provide any solid guidance, at least it helps you to not feel like a freak. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Two weeks (a short history of your smug *sshole neighbor)

Afternoon there, neighbor!  
There's a new disease in town and I wanted you to know about it.  
It gives the chills and sweats and headaches 
and fevers and diarrhea and a cough and it can kill you.
Not a cold or a flu, but a new thing.  
It can kill most of us it turns out.  
Very dangerous.  

We're going to have to lock you down, in fact.
For your well-being.  
Two weeks is all we ask to flatten this curve.
What's a curve?  Funny you ask.  
It's when too many people get put into the hospital.  
We just want to slow the numbers.  
Whittle them down a bit.  
Lock you out of work and church and play for two weeks.  
Totally worth it, we promise.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

On humility

Dear H,

Remember that essay I wrote about the four virtues? From the sound of it, you might be led to believe I'm an impressive person.  The secret to my success is I know that I'm not.  I get better every day at mastering the Big Four, of course, but what I'm best at is the unmentioned virtue that doesn't win you any statues, and that virtue is humility.  I should have gotten a trophy for it by now, but people think this defeats the purpose.  Allow me to tell you why they're wrong.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On getting women

Dear M-,

A whole bunch of things pop into your head when you're about to save a woman's life.  If you can't see her, but you can hear her screaming, you wonder (as a man) if she's beautiful.  This one is automatic and irresistible, as the picture we have of woman "in general" is always sexual in nature, and we're always sizing up women against it*.  Second, you wonder if you'll get a great story out of it, and the other women will think of you as a hero, and a protector.  Third, the fear kicks in and you wonder if you should go at all -- and if you decide to not go, whether you can live with the fact that you let a woman get killed, or raped.  You have a picture of her in your head, but what about what she's up against?  Is there one man or more?  Is he just a man or a monster?  Are you even good at fighting?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Where's Mohammed when you need him?

Dear M,

I love this country for many reasons, but at some point you have to admit that we're the most disgusting people of all time.  Nowhere in the world, at any point in history, has anybody not only tolerated, not only promoted, but actually defended whatever's ugliest, most backward, and perverted.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Thank God for Columbus

Dear T,

At the time Columbus discovered the New World, the great difference between the main Mexica god and the European God was that the European God would kill you for not being good, and the Mexica god would kill you for not being bad.  

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The day we were both born

Dear H,

On the day you were born I was born too, in a sense.  It was my first day being a father.  Before that I had seen people parent, both well and badly, but I had never done it myself.  It was like the first day I trained you to ride your bike or had you trace your first letter.  We pretend that parents are experienced and children have to be taught; but the truth is that every step we take in parenting for a long time -- from the first diaper to the first "conversation" -- is our first.  And most of the time nobody is around to help us do it.  And even if they were, I doubt we would listen.  In many ways I'm just as much a child as you are.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021


Dear H,

The common complaint of great pastors here is that Christianity has become too Americanized, and perhaps it has.  But wasn't "original" Christianity too Romanized, too Hellenized -- in the complaints of Paul, too Judaized?  The seed of Christ needed some soil to sprout in, and all soil means a compromise.  The germ will never be what it wants to be entirely.  It has to grow into what the soil permits it to, or doesn't permit, as Christ said Himself in the parable of the sower.  As Moses said when delivering The Law, I would have given you better laws, but you would never have put up with them*.  When pushing His ideas, even God knows His limits.  

Monday, December 21, 2020

Idaho's patriots beat the machine

Dear H,

When my son and I stepped out of the car it was about 26 degrees, with just enough wind to make it feel like 15.  There was a drone overhead -- not sure whether "ours" or the cops' -- and a family of three who had just stepped out of their car in front of us.  One chubby middle-aged woman complained about her parking choice: an "undercover" cop was sitting next to her, and I used quotation marks here because he was an officer in full uniform sitting in a civilian's car.  I told her there was one next to my car, too.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Man up or shut up

Dear M,

One thing I hate is a grown man complaining about "anxiety."  I'm well aware it's a condition.  It's what we know as the human condition.  I'm also aware that, being a problem of the imagination, some people have worse anxiety than others, like some people can plan skyscrapers and others can't imagine doing a good job at MacDonalds.  I know life can go sideways at any moment, and that people might not like you, or that you can catch a disease, or look like a fool, or lose lots of money, or a lover, or a job, or the country can go to hell, or hell might be real, or somebody might make an all-black-cast reboot of The Golden Girls.  I know that life will go sideways at some point, and that not having it go sideways is temporary, and mostly a matter of luck -- i.e., beyond your control*.  Our hopes are the source of our fears.  The news is overwhelmingly bad.  Car crashes, the main way we get almost anywhere, are the main cause of death and probably mangling.  God isn't answering your prayers.  Oh well.  You're not special.  It's you and everybody else.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Why "liberal" means "left-winger"

Dear T,

Two of my heroes are Mises and Ayn Rand, but for several reasons I could never consider myself a full-blown libertarian.  First off is the fact that you can and should legislate morality, and in fact every libertarian without exception does.  All government is an extension of moral ideas.  He won't prosecute you for stealing a wife, but he'll put you in jail for stealing a loaf; and beyond this he'll do the same thing for murder, and fraud, and kidnapping, and assault -- all of them moral issues, and 100% featured in the book of Deuteronomy.   

Friday, November 20, 2020

Thank your hysterical neighbor

Dear M,

Idaho has moved back into "Stage 2" of a coronavirus lockdown.  Modified, they say.  It could be worse.  Other states have mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, holidays are canceled, limitations on informal gatherings, church bans, gym bans, bar bans, closures of all kinds of small businesses -- the population divided into "essential" and "nonessential" workers.  Large corporations and pot dispensaries and liquor stores, the big spreaders of diseases both temporal and spiritual, are left open.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Exodus (or: Giuliani vs The Machine)

Dear H,

Rudy Giuliani says that Dominion, the software company that ran the elections in our swing states, is actually a front company for Smartmatic.  The reason this is important is because Smartmatic is a company based in Venezuela; and beyond this, a company known globally for throwing elections.  The Washington Post and other outlets are calling him a liar.  But the outlets also called Joe Biden the President, despite the fact that massive lawsuits, in Pennsylvania and Michigan, over unconstitutional measures and voter fraud, could easily throw the election for Donald.  They know it and won't say it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Random thoughts on being good

Dear H,

David Hume once wrote that in order for something to be really felt on a moral level, it had to have three aspects.  The first is that it had to be beautiful.  This aspect has entirely to do with our instincts.  A God-thing you're born with.  As in, you see a beautiful action and you like it and that seals it, like watching a curvy woman walk, or smelling an apple pie.  Thus you see a man push a stroller out of a car's way, at great personal danger, and you just like him for it.  

Life advice from the left-wing

Open up your border
And get rid of the police
And get morbidly obese.
Disarm yourself and
Make sure all the felons can vote.

Friday, October 2, 2020

The reactionary Hispanic

 Dear T-,

I was raised to think of myself as Hispanic, but in retrospect, I was trained to worship like a white man.  My mother was from Honduras but she might as well have come from Mayberry.  Back "home," our family history had been difficult.  Lots of great people but even more hard times.  People had been beaten up, tortured, gunned down, and kidnapped.  One of my relatives had been shot in the streets.  Another had been forcefully conscripted into the Honduran army.  At the time fighting the guerillas was desperate, and the government was stealing random teens right off the streets, like kidnappers.  He made it out, but lots of people didn't.   To go to the theater or the billiard hall was to risk your whole life, and parents in the know advised their kids to stay away from them.  

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Our problem with the presidency

Dear M,

Paul Johnson says, in his biography of Washington, that in 1789, the only monarch with powers as wide as the President's was the czar.  All the other ones were hemmed in by regulations.  Johnson doesn't go too far into detail about it; but why take his word when we can see it right in front of us?  In the last eight years we found the President can put grown men into little girls' locker rooms; that he can pay enemy states hundreds of billions in ransom cash; that he can flood our states with millions of Africans and Middle-Easterners; that he can make or unmake the border at whim; that he can grant citizenship to illegal aliens; that he can pardon scores of drug dealers; that he can veto almost every bill; that he can station troops in any town; that he can put off the payment of payroll taxes; that he can effectively bribe the unemployed with hundreds of dollars a week; that he can bomb people in countries we're not at war with; that he can spy on the next presidential candidate and walk away scot-free; and that, according to Democrats, he can lock the country down and not allow anyone "inessential" to run a business.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

To save America, defund the schools

Dear H,

I've just been informed by a friend that school's closed this year, but you can send your kid to daycare -- in the closed school.  For money.

There are online classes, of course; but why?  They're terrible for children; and we know, now, that the disease itself isn't the issue.  Matt Walsh reports that kids are three times more likely to die of the flu than COVID-19.  So we know schools aren't being closed for their safety.  We heard that childcare costs hundreds a month, per kid, which we know parents can't pay, since many of them are too poor.  We heard that teachers are essential, and then were told, by the teachers, that they're inessential.  LA County told us they'd take the children back -- if we could stop all "police brutality," and adopt universal healthcare, and mail-in voting.  I would personally rather not send them.    

Friday, July 17, 2020

In these troubled times

Dear H,

I don't think we're built for the news.  At least not the way it's run nowadays.  Just think that, maybe not even six-hundred years ago, we'd hear only snippets of the world.  Not a constant barrage of injustices and outrages every second of the day, but hearsay, only here and there.  The weight of the world was for rich men and kings -- heavy is the head that wears the crown.  Today we have the weight of the crown but not the substance.  We have the knowledge and lack the wisdom, the will, the ability to do things.  When men knew all they wore crowns made of gold.  The Age of Information?  From this view, more like a crown made of thorns.      

We were engineered by God for ignorance.  There is too much to know and too much to fit together and too much to emotionally process.  So we brought ourselves out of the grime and found out that "omniscience" was a bitch*.  We ate the fruit of knowledge and were surprised God evicted us from the Garden of Eden.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

For the love of God, stand up for yourselves!

Dear readers,

How do you feel in the third week of black lives mattering?  That is, now that your white friends and fellow churchgoers, parents and coworkers, siblings and grandparents, lovers and spouses, your friendly neighborhood policemen, your founding fathers and saints, your ancestors and your children have all been mercilessly kicked, slandered, threatened, in many cases surrounded and violently beaten -- now that the police who protect you in major cities have been defunded; now that your businesses have been looted; now that Merriam-Webster says it's impossible to be racist to white people; now that you've been called names, made fun of all over Facebook and Twitter, told you're a problem because of your skin color; that you don't deserve what you have; that you're a robber and an oppressor; that you have it easier than millionaire celebrities like Don Lemon and Lebron James; that the future doesn't belong to you; that no matter how many black squares you posted and how much sympathy you showed and how much you marched, you are still never enough -- how do you feel?  Do you feel like you're on top of the system?  Do you feel like Black Lives Matter is about all races living with equal dignity and freedom?  Do you feel like these leftists can ever love or respect you -- really?  Do you think that at some point you'll ever be clean in their sight?  Not guilty -- for the sins of others?  That you and your children won't be sacrificed at the first chance?  That every step they tread on your rights, your dignity, your very body, isn't a prelude to another? 

Monday, June 8, 2020

What do they really want?

Dear H,

Imani Bashir, writing for the New York Times, says that Living abroad is my way of prolonging my black son's life.   It's actually the title of the article.  She says she's been living abroad for years now, in places like Cairo and Poland and Malaysia and Wuhan (yes, that Wuhan), and that the bills are piling up and they're eating at her soul.  Still she won't move back to America.  She sees her son's face in every black person the police kill*.  She's stuck in Florida for the moment, and waiting for the borders to ease up so she can go anywhere else.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Apologies to President Obama

Dear H,

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, but we on the Republican side have yet to develop an immunity to Obama.  Nothing the man said, in office, would please us.  And how could it?  We could sniff his hijinks out for miles.  He was throwing us under the bus on the first day.  Going on apology tours and bowing to enemies.  Talking about how he was going to personally roll back the oceans, about Americans clinging to our guns and our religion, about how the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.  He said Obamacare would be debated publicly and then rammed it through behind closed doors. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Portrait of a people-pleaser

Dear H-,

I believe in nothing less than in "self-esteem."  Everything I am, I am through others.  So I think I'm a good lover.  But what do the ladies say?  So I think I'm a good builder.  Do people like living in my houses?  I live not as myself but as myself in a series of relations.  When I come in contact with others I become a new organism -- not me, but me plus; a new hybrid.  We mix and mesh and out of this new recipe comes a new flavor.  We judge these relationships as an art critic judges a painting.  The more tasteful the gist of it, the more frequent the tastefulness, the higher my rating is.  I see others not as objects to be gotten over, but almost as expressions of myself -- each and every one of them draws parts of me out into the open.  They make my definition possible.  The object becomes me as I interact with the object.  I like or dislike others as others make me like myself.  If they draw nothing good out of me, I want nothing to do with them.    

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Great Shame

Dear M,

When I was a small boy I was told about a coming judgment.  Mom said that God was the judge, but what stuck with me more forcefully was the idea of how He would do it.  There would be a great TV in the sky with all our deeds on view -- all of them, large and small -- and everyone would see what kind of life we lived.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Can a leftist write great history?

Dear Hannah,

Richard White says he wrote The Republic for Which it Stands for the money, and because he said it he deserves our praise.  He could have written anything else in the preface and saved face*; anything like he did it for minorities (which is likely), or for his children (which is unlikely), or for the plain fact that what he wrote about was interesting.  For his own sake he could have even just kept his mouth shut and avoided a preface.  But Richard White didn't; and what we got is a history book, concerning Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, that not only fails to appear politically impartial, but which in its partiality is also extremely interesting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Notes on the pandemic

Dear H,

At some point last week, in the middle of this pandemic, I realized the inevitable.  The chance that my personal favorite barber would remain open into the foreseeable future was nil.  This led me into one of two options.  I could resolve to just get on with life, and when worst came to worst, to shave my head.  But the angel with golden flowing locks on my shoulder said hell no.  He kicked into high gear and gave a suggestion.  "Why not call her up and work out a deal?"  So I did.  She was in the barbershop but not working, according to the receptionist, so I asked if I could speak to her.  When she answered, I got to the point.  "Look, Kim, I'm a vain man.  I can shave my hair any time and do fine, but why should I when I've got you?  So just in case the shop closes down, how about I get your number and we arrange something ourselves?"

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Black Elk Speaks: a review

Dear M,

Black Elk Speaks is supposed to be a spiritual classic for American Indians.  Not just for his tribe, but for all of them.  It's so far advanced in this direction that now, almost a hundred years after its first publication, it's beginning to get its own schools of theology, and a horde of uninspiring idiots argue about its more obscure passages.  But this is how it goes.  Inspiration leads to confusion leads to policy.  The Spirit gives life, and the letter kills it. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Black Republicans

Dear H,

In America, a black intellectual only joins the human race by joining the right wing*.  I had almost said when he votes Republican.  Nearly all the other black "thinkers," their writers and other disseminators of ideas, excluding maybe Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama, are too caught up in the black question to join the rest of us.  Thus the majority of their works, if not all of them, are focused on black people and the police, or black people in history, or black people in business, or black people in politics.  There's no Thomas Sowell, who's known primarily for his works on economics, or Voddie Baucham, known primarily for his lectures on Jesus and Homeschooling, or Ben Carson, known primarily for his work on brain surgery.  Instead we get a slew of one-trick-ponies and racial narcissists, the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brittney Cooper, Shaun King, Al Sharpton, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Eric Dyson.  The only way a black man gets ahead in the Democratic Party is by cutting himself off from the rest of humanity; by whittling himself down to something so small, so specific, so niche, that it can only appeal to black men such as himself, or to white people looking to glorify themselves for loving black people.  A huge market, really, but the biggest one only to spiritual and intellectual midgets.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Some Athenian euphemisms

Dear T--

My position on r------d people* is exactly the same position on everyone else: the good ones I keep, and the worst ones I hate.  I've had more than one r------d enemy, in fact, and some of them are so brutal, so treacherous, and so incapable that I find no use for them; and I think the best use for them is the exercise we'd get running them out of town.  There are autistic people I've enjoyed, day after day, and been happy to see, and others who threatened my friends.  Some of them are sweet and others are rapists.  Some of them are silly and other ones are spoil-sports.  But J, some say, they can't help it!  Can the rest of us?  Are we really so different from them?  Are any of these categories I mentioned things we don't experience ourselves?  So what if we can think things through -- many of us still make bad decisions, rotten statements, and horrible messes, especially when acting in groups**.  We give the handicapped a pass because most of us could do better.  But I doubt in many cases we could.  A personality is something set in stone.  A sourpuss, a loser, a cheater and an idiot will be what he'll be, and many times was born that way.  God has given us our trajectory -- in most cases, our job is to act it out, not to change it***.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A commie worth reading

Dear H,

I have great respect for Peter Kropotkin, not so much for what he preached as for when he preached it.  He was born an aristocrat in 1842 but ended up an activist by 1872.  He went from a gilded cradle to a filthy prison.  His landmark treatise on anarcho-communism, The Conquest of Bread, is well-written and innovative.  It's worth a read, but not before you've read Rand or Mises or Bastiat or Hayek.  It would have made a commie of me, but it's too late -- I've seen how the trial runs went, and I prefer to not die in a gulag. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Midsommar: an analysis

Dear T,

Before getting along with this essay I want to give my recommendation.  If you're a devout Christian, or a grandma, or a respectable person in general you need to see the Horatio Hornblower series.  It's full of great morals, top-notch acting, lovable characters, and lessons about life.  For the rest of you, the Christians-in-name-only, the teenagers with no direction, the jaded hipsters, the people who saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show without wincing, and other people who don't like their souls spotless, I recommend Midsommar*.  The rest of you can stay away, and if you dare to disregard my warning, you deserve what you get.  This thing is filthy and disturbing, and if you watch it you can lay the blame anywhere other than my feet.  Blame Satan.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

So you want to be a manly man?

Dear M,

Smiling on the front lines
I don't consider watching sports a necessary prerequisite to manhood. Depending on the sport, playing them is more like it. I consider knowing sports stats and knowing Pokemon stats to be exactly the same man-stat.  So for those of you who keep calling my Man Card into question every time not watching football comes up, here are a list of things I think make a man really manly, and sometimes even godly.  I fit a good chunk of these, but I want to fit them all.