The ramblings, rants, and observations of an Orthodox Reactionary. Feel free to look around!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

C.S. Lewis on the similarities of Science and Magic

He means, of course, magic in the occultic sense, not magic in the good, "Narnian" sense.

"There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the wisdom of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious—such as digging up and mutilating the dead.

If we compare the chief trumpeter of the new era (Bacon) with Marlowe's Faustus, the similarity is striking. You will read in some critics that Faustus has a thirst for knowledge. In reality, he hardly mentions it. It is not truth he wants from the devils, but gold and guns and girls. `All things that move between the quiet poles shall be at his command' and `a sound magician is a mighty god'. In the same spirit Bacon condemns those who value knowledge as an end in itself: this, for him, is to use as a mistress for pleasure what ought to be a spouse for fruit. The true object is to extend Man's power to the performance of all things possible. He rejects magic because it does not work; but his goal is that of the magician. In Paracelsus the characters of magician and scientist are combined. No doubt those who really founded modern science were usually those whose love of truth exceeded their love of power; in every mixed movement the efficacy comes from the good elements not from the bad. But the presence of the bad elements is not irrelevant to the direction the efficacy takes. It might be going too far to say that the modern scientific movement was tainted from its birth: but I think it would be true to say that it, was born in an unhealthy neighbourhood and at an inauspicious hour. Its triumphs may have-been too rapid and purchased at too high a price: reconsideration, and something like repentance, may be required." -- C.S. Lewis, "The Abolition of Man"

His book "The Abolition of Man" can be found here.

Something to reflect on this Saturday Morning...

“It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings..." -- From the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Friday, February 25, 2011

I... I have no words. Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. NOT WORK SAFE, OR CHILD SAFE, OR WEAK STOMACH SAFE!

Lord have mercy.


"Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does." --Tertullian, "De Anima", 27

Monday, February 21, 2011

Frederic Bastiat

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

"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."

From his timeless 1850 classic, "The Law".

Legitimate Government

First, John C. Calhoun on the line between representative government and tyranny.

"Stripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or a consolidated government; a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting ultimately on the solid basis of the sovereignty of the States or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, and violence, and force must finally prevail. Let it never be forgotten that, where the majority rules without restriction, the minority is the subject; and that, if we should absurdly attribute to the former the exclusive right of construing the Constitution, there would be, in fact, between the sovereign and subject, under such a government, no Constitution, or, at least, nothing deserving the name, or serving the legitimate object of so sacred an instrument." - John C. Calhoun

And the John Locke, explaining how to deal with a tyrannical state.

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience."
- John Locke

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Christian faces death in Afghanistan

Said Musa is a 45 year old Christian man in Afghanistan who faces death for believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. He wrote a letter to Barack Obama, asking for help. There is no one who is willing to be his lawyer in court.

Lord, strengthen, keep, and comfort your servant. Grant him relief, and deliver him from his captors. Amen.

"The man who follows Christ in solitary mourning is greater than he who praises Christ amid the congregation of men." --St. Isaac of Syria

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Atlas Shrugged trailer!

Looks good.

Switzerland, F**k Yeah!

Switzerland Rejects Tighter Gun Controls from the BBC

Despite months of biased anti-gun newspaper articles and "research" from "non-profit organizations", the Swiss people declared they will stand for their RKBA. Wonderful. Anyone notice how the Francophone cantons are the ones that voted heavily for stricter victim disarmament measures?

Disappointing, that so many Swiss can buy into the "less guns= less crime" swill.

Man goes on Stabbing Spree in NYC

Suspect in NYC stabbing spree goes to court

NEW YORK – A man accused of going on a bloody 28-hour rampage through New York City was expected to appear in court Sunday, a day after he was tackled on a subway train by police.

Maksim Gelman, 23, was to be arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court in the deaths of four people, including his stepfather, a female acquaintance and her mother, and a complete stranger he ran over with a car, prosecutors said.

A massive manhunt ended Saturday morning after he randomly stabbed a passenger on a train as it passed beneath Times Square. It's not clear if he has an attorney, and it was possible the court hearing could be moved back to Monday.

The violent spree started just after 5 a.m. Friday, when police say Gelman snapped during an argument over the use of his mother's Lexus sedan. His stepfather, Aleksandr Kuznetsov, intervened and was stabbed to death at their apartment in Brooklyn. Police found the 54-year-old's body in his home. His mother was uninjured.

Later that morning, Gelman turned up at the home of a 20-year-old acquaintance, Yelena Bulchenko, and stabbed to death her mother, 56-year-old Anna Bulchenko. When Yelena arrived home at about 4 p.m., she found her mother dead in a pool of blood and called 911. But Gelman was waiting for her there, chased her outside and stabbed her 11 times, authorities said.

He sped away in his mom's car to another part of Brooklyn, where he rear-ended a Pontiac, then stabbed the driver when he confronted Gelman about the crash, police said. The driver was slashed three times in the chest but survived and was stable at an area hospital.

Gelman left the man bleeding on the street and drove off in his Pontiac, but smacked into 62-year-old pedestrian Stephen Tanenbaum, who died from his injuries. He abandoned the car later, engine running, in a private driveway, not far from a freight railroad where he was once caught spray-painting graffiti, said police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Police hunted him, but the fugitive disappeared until just before 1 a.m. Saturday, when police say he confronted and stabbed a livery cab driver in Brooklyn, north of where the other incidents occurred. Shortly afterward, he approached a couple in a Nissan, stabbing the man multiple times in the hand before hijacking the car, police said. Both men survived.

Just after 8 a.m. Saturday, passengers on a southbound No. 1 train in upper Manhattan noticed that a man on the train matched photos of Gelman they had seen in newspapers.

One passenger on the train got off at West 96th Street, approached officers on the platform and told them that a man fitting Gelman's description knocked a newspaper out of her hand, saying, "Do you believe what they're writing about me?" according to police

Gelman jumped off the train at the West 34th Street station, crossed the tracks and hopped on a northbound No. 3 train, where he sliced a passenger, the commissioner said.

Officers were in the driver's compartment of the train looking for him on the tracks, when Gelman made his way up to the driver's door and pounded on it, "claiming that he was the police," Kelly said.

One of the officers threw open the door and wrestled Gelman to the ground, knocking the knife from his hand, Kelly said.

The Ukraine-born Gelman and his mother became naturalized U.S. citizens about five years ago, Kelly said. He lived with his family in a predominantly Eastern European section of Brooklyn. Gelman was known to be a troublemaker and has a criminal history, but the arrests were mostly non-violent, for criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief or graffiti, though some of his arrest records were sealed.

Gelman made some incoherent statements to police after his arrest, including "she had to die," but it's not clear to whom he was referring, Kelly said.

Mayor Bloomberg really has no choice at this point but to ban/regulate cars and knives. Or he could, you know, come to the realization that objects don't cause/control behavior. But methinks that might be asking far too much.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"The Orthodox Way" Chapter Three: God as Creator

Been reading this book by Bishop Kallistos Ware. I really recommend you pick it up. Doing one chapter a week; reporting on cool things that stand out.

“If nothing compelled God to create, then why did he do so? Insofar as such a question admits of an answer, our reply must be: God’s motive in creation is his love. Rather than say that he created the universe out of nothing, we should say that he created it out of his own self, which is love. We should think, not of God the Manufacturer or of God the Craftsman, but of God the Lover[….] To love means to share, as the doctrine of the Trinity has so clearly shown us: God is not just one but one-in-three, because he is a communion of persons who share love with one another. The circle of divine love, however, has not remained closed. […] By voluntary choice God created the world in love, so that there might be besides himself other beings to participate in the life and love that are his.” –on creatio ex nihilo


“God alone has the cause and source of his being in himself; all created things have their cause and source, not in themselves, but in him. God alone is self-sourced; all created things are God-sourced, God-rooted, finding their origin and fulfillment in him. God alone is noun; all created things are adjectives.”


“In saying that God is Creator of the world, we do not mean merely that he set things in motion by an initial act ‘at the beginning’, after which they go on functioning by themselves. God is not just a cosmic clockmaker, who winds up the machinery and then leaves it to keep ticking on its own. On the contrary, creation is continual. If we are to be accurate when speaking of creation, we should not use the past tense but the continuous present. We should say, not ‘God made the world, and me in it,’ but ‘God is making the world, and me in it, here and now, at this moment and always.’ Creation is not an event in the past, but a relationship in the present. If God did not continue to exert his creative will at every moment, the universe would immediately lapse into non-being; nothing could exist for a single second if God did not will it to be. As Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow puts it, ‘All creatures are balanced upon the creative word of God, as if upon a bridge of diamond; above them is the abyss of divine infinitude, below them that of their own nothingness.’” – on Deism


“Human beings are not counters that can be exchanged for one another, or replaceable parts of a machine. Each, being free, is unrepeatable: and each, being unrepeatable, is infinitely precious. Human persons are not to be measured quantitatively: we have no right to assume that one particular person is of more value than any other particular person, or that ten persons must necessarily be of more value than one. Such calculations are an offense to authentic personhood. Each is irreplaceable, and therefore each must be treated as an end in his or her self, and never as a means to some further end. Each is to be regarded not as object but as subject.” – on human dignity

I really, really recommend this book.

Stan Lee, You Have Now Redeemed Yourself in my Eyes

From the DVD commentary of the first Iron Man:

“It was the height of the Cold War. The readers – the young readers – if there was one thing they hated it was war, it was the military, or, as Eisenhower called it, the military-industrial complex. So I got a hero who represented that to the hundredth degree. He was a weapons manufacturer. He was providing weapons for the army. He was rich. He was an industrialist. But he was good-looking guy and he was courageous… I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like – that none of our readers would like – and shove him down their throats and make them like him"

The only thing that would be more awesome is if Tony Stark read "Atlas Shrugged". Dude's practically a Randian hero (rich, good-looking, hated for it), except he doesn't have the misathropic views of Ayn Rand when it comes to charity and-- well, other human beings.

Problem, hippies?

Dostoyevsky on Atheism and Loving Humilty

The first quote is from Pious Fabrications:

"That science which has become a great power in the last century, has analyzed everything divine handed down to us in the holy books. After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred. But they have only analyzed the parts and overlooked the whole, and indeed their blindness is marvelous. Yet the whole still stands steadfast before their eyes, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Has it not lasted nineteen centuries? Is it not still living, a moving power in the individual soul and in the masses of people? It is still strong and living even in the souls of atheists, who have destroyed everything! For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it still follow the Christian ideal. And neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old. When it has been attempted, the result has been only grotesque."
--Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, p. 171

And this second Dostoyevsky quote is from "The Orthodox Way" by Bishop Kallistos Ware:

"At some thoughts a man stands perplexed, above all at the sight of human sin, and he wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide: 'I will combat it by humble love'. If you resolve on that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it." --Father Zosima, "The Brothers Karamazov"

It's sitting on my shelf. I really ought to pick it up and read it sometime.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Anti-lifers in a froth over modified and permanent Hyde Amendment

Washington Post: Legislative proposal puts abortion rights supporters on alert

"The bill, called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, would make permanent several provisions that have been law for years but require annual renewal by Congress. It is a top priority of Republican leaders who took control of the House after the November elections.

The most well-known provision that would become permanent under the bill is the Hyde Amendment, which prevents some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions. For years, it has allowed exemptions in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the woman is threatened.

Under the proposed language, however, rape becomes "forcible rape." Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats."

And of course this has anti-life types foaming at the mouth. Why, I wonder? No doubt they'll give very impassioned speeches which include the words "women's rights" and "freedom to choose" and other phrases carefully chosen in order to obscure the fact that said "choice" includes the forced death of another human being. But what it all comes down to is taxpayer funding of abortion. That's it. The Republicans (and one Democrat) aren't outlawing abortion; they're pushing it one step closer to going off of "welfare".

Seriously. If you look at the law this is the abortion folks blowing this shit out of proportion. Right now every US taxpayer pays for a doctor to shove a vacuum into a woman's uterus and rip apart a developing human being and suck it up.

Government should not be paying for any of this. If there's a market for it Planned Parenthood should be able to make ends meet. But the truth is they can't. The truth is Planned Parenthood needs to live off the US taxpayer (the REAL parasite in the abortion debate) because their little social eugenics experiment couldn't survive without mountains of federal cash.

"We're too big to fail!" they cry. Well fuck you. I didn't buy it when Goldman Sachs and GM said it. I sure as hell don't buy it when the little Mengeles of PP say it.

I'll go ahead and say this bill doesn't go far enough. All fed funding for abortion should cease.