When the Roman Empire splintered and shattered, the modern West was born. This was a point on which another student of Byzantine history and I agreed. Where did the West originate? The Greek agorae? The Roman legions? Or the Christian monasteries?
It’s a bit of a trick question, because all contributed to the formation of our civilization. Yet the monasteries were the last critical component. It was the Church, for better or worse, that nourished the West after Rome was gone. Even in Byzantium, where the Roman state continued in some form, the Church was increasingly the light that held eastern Christians together as Islam slowly consumed its share of the Roman world. Observe the Divine Liturgy sometime and tell me that, even today, the Orthodox Christians do not mourn the loss of the old Byzantine world.
Speak to college students today, and many will tell you that the “Dark Ages” were a time of burning scientists at the stake, inquisitors conducting witch hunts, and, of course, the Crusades. Islam was the great, prosperous bastion of learning while Europe slumbered in ignorance. That such twisted history is taught in public schools and universities is beyond travesty, it’s profoundly anti-civilizational.
As the West loses touch with its faith, it loses an essential component of its collective soul, so to speak.
I’m no exception. I’m an example of this. My historical studies kept leading me to God. Events in my life, people I met and interacted with. They always led to God and to the Church. I don’t think this was an accident.
The same student of Byzantine history who asked which of the three contributed most to the West had another observation: there is a crisis of meaning in the West that people try to medicate away. Maybe we could just call it Nihilism, but it’s a little more than that, I think. From my DJ booth, I’ve seen a lot of drugs, sex, and hedonistic behavior. On occasion I have asked some folks why they do what they do. In aggregate, the reasons boil down to a sort of cosmic boredom: if there’s no meaning in anything, why not drink, get stoned into high orbit, and dive into an orgy party? There’s a certain logic to it.
Let’s not kid ourselves. People have been getting drunk, stoned, and being sexually depraved throughout human history. This, by itself, is not new. The Bible itself speaks of such times. Notice, however, the common theme in such examples: there is no faith in God. Instead, the faith is replaced with an inferior thing. A golden calf, mass sexual depravity, etc… These idols stand in for God, but very poorly. There’s a link here. I can speak to it personally.
Humans are wired to desire a higher purpose and meaning to their lives. Maybe it’s just instinct, just genetics making us seek out something that doesn’t exist because, somehow, this is advantageous from an evolutionary perspective. Maybe God-seekers are more likely to, in the grand scheme of things, survive and pass on their genes. From the amount of fucking the golden calf worshipers do, though, I doubt this. At best, you are looking at an r/K selection bias.
Or maybe this is all real. Maybe God does exist. And when you attempt to replace the divine with some human creation, it leads to a soul-sucking barrenness, something that you have to medicate away with drugs, booze, and hedonism. And you keep throwing things into that great hole in your life, and nothing ever fills it. Nothing makes the emptiness go away but God.
In either case, as God fades from the West, the cultural malaise spreads. I’m about as certain as I can be that there is a link. I can’t prove it to you in concrete terms. I’m the kind of man who speculates on things and looks for connections. I am a poor purveyor of proofs. But look around you and see if you spot the same sickness. Maybe you’ll agree with me.
Faith in God kept us going long enough to get back on our feet from a civilizational perspective. Far from being the cartoon witch-burning villains, the monasteries of the middle ages were preservers of what came before. Much of what remains of the ancient world is because of their efforts. Maybe the answer to the soul sickness we see today is the same as it was when the Roman edifice came toppling down: God. That choice cannot be worse than a golden calf or a crack pipe.
I’ve made my choice, and I’ve chosen God. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb often says, I have skin in the game now. I have chosen to enter the Catholic Church.
I think she’s not even thinking about it. I’ll make a bet on what she is aiming for – she wants to be the next Oprah, only bigger. Only, I don’t see her working as hard as the Queen of the Talk Shows did. Maybe a few specials a year, but not daily, or even weekly appearances.
The Left is deliberately using such terminology to obscure the truth. They shout out about anti-Muslim “hate” – even though a significant percentage of those “abuses” are, in fact, hoaxes, designed to twist public opinion in their favor. Are SOME true? The odds say that ALL the reports could not be false, but – MOST of those that get investigated have zero evidence that an actual crime – as opposed to a pathetic attempt to gain headlines – had occurred. Many of those that are exposed have the supposed victim being the perp.
Immigrants with the following statuses qualify to use the Marketplace:
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR/Green Card holder)
Paroled into the U.S. I have NO idea what this is.
Conditional Entrant Granted before 1980
Battered Spouse, Child and Parent – can’t get health care? Claim you husband hits you.
Victim of Trafficking and his/her Spouse, Child, Sibling or Parent
Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT)
Individual with Non-immigrant Status, includes worker visas (such as H1, H-2A, H-2B), student visas, U-visa, T-visa, and other visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Deferred Action Status (Exception: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is not an eligible immigration status for applying for health insurance)
Lawful Temporary Resident
Administrative order staying removal issued by the Department of Homeland Security
Member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe or American Indian Born in Canada – so, why can’t they use the WONDERFUL Single-Payer system of Canada?
Resident of American Samoa
Applicants for any of these statuses qualify to use the Marketplace:
Temporary Protected Status with Employment Authorization
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status – sounds like many of the latest invaders would qualify
Victim of Trafficking Visa
Adjustment to LPR Status
Asylum (see note below)
Withholding of Deportation, or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT) (see note below)
Applicants for asylum are eligible for Marketplace coverage only if they’ve been granted employment authorization or are under the age of 14 and have had an application pending for at least 180 days.
People with the following statuses and who have employment authorization qualify for the Marketplace:
Order of Supervision
Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
Applicant for Legalization under Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
Legalization under the LIFE Act
Did you see that part about DACA recipients NOT being eligible for Obamacare?
Well, that’s technically correct. What that page DOESN’T tell you is that some of the states allow DACA recipients to get Medicaid – which is a program funded by the Federal Government to assist states in paying for poor citizens.
Other access to care available to undocumented immigrants and to DACA grantees include limited emergency services paid for by Medicaid, including labor and delivery for childbirth. Safety net programs that are available to all regardless of immigration status include immunizations, treatment at Community Health Centers and other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Migrant Health Centers, financial assistance or charity care at hospitals, insurance at full cost offered outside the Marketplaces, and employer-sponsored health insurance, if offered. Over 50 percent of DACA grantees became employed at a job that provided health insurance or other benefits; despite DACA termination, their health insurance should remain in effect as long as the employment lasts, after which they can continue insurance through COBRA. Finally, a number of local jurisdictions provide health services for their residents regardless of immigration status, including some places where many DACA grantees live, e.g.: Los Angeles County, CA; Cook County, IL (includes Chicago); New York City, NY; and Washington, DC.
So, the next time you are self-righteously informed that DACA “kids” are ineligible or ACA (Obamacare), you’ll know the FACTS – that, thanks to OTHER programs, this is more of a pebble in the road. Of course, the Left will worm around the system to find some way to qualify their precious Undocumented Voters for the full scope of freebies that the taxpayers will be forced to provide.
Long ago, I spent a year and change working retail. The economy was in a downturn at the time, and I took whatever work I could score. It’s not something I’ve thought about often, except that the other day it popped into my head how similar the “customer is always right” philosophy is to a feature of Leftist politics.
You see, Leftists see racism/sexism/bigotry/whatever in everything, even where it does not exist, even in cases like Jussie Smollett where it is blatantly made up out of whole cloth. There is a functional similarity to angry retail customers.
Consider the following example: I worked in the shoe area of a department store. The store had a policy where shoes would not be accepted for return if they were clearly worn, unless the shoes were defective in some manner (which was handled via a different procedure than regular returns). The sign stating this policy was clearly posted on the register, and workers were instructed to remind the customer of this policy upon sale.
It happened often enough that someone would try to return shoes that were clearly worn (they’d have dirt on the soles, or stains, etc…), and demand a refund. Some would still be dripping mud, when the customer made the absurd claim that they hadn’t been worn. Invariably, they would get angry upon being denied the return. Such customers would claim that I wasn’t doing my job, or I was a bad person (and please, could they complain about me to a manager), or offer increasingly improbable stories – and variations of the same story – explaining how the signs of wear weren’t really evidence of the shoe being worn.
Some would threaten to have me fired, others would yell at the assistant manager, and then the store manager, and insinuate claims of discrimination (oh, you won’t take the shoes back because I’m black, is that it?). This isn’t unique to the shoe department at an old department store, though. Anyone who has worked retail will have long lists of situations like these.
Another example was when the store management tried to push store credit card applications. Cashiers were required to ask the customer if they wished to save 10% on their purchase by opening a credit card with the store. Now, this was one area where I disagreed with store policy. I hated trying to push credit, and some customers would get hostile if either denied the credit account (and thus the promised 10% discount), or when I asked for their Social Security number. I fully understand that. I wouldn’t want to give out my social to some random person at a department store either. BUT this was how it worked. I had no choice in the matter. I had to ask, or I would lose my job.
Angry customers would then say that they wanted to get me fired, especially if the system sent back a denial.
The latter example is similar to how many Leftists claim that a system of oppression is in place that discriminates against X people, and that if you’re white and you aren’t actively trying to dismantle this system, you’re a bad person. Well, even if it exists, what do you want me to do about it? Am I supposed to, as in the credit example, lose my job because you’re pissed about something someone else did? I have no control here.
In the nasty return example, I was often unsure if the customer really believed their bullshit stories – that they had convinced themselves they hadn’t actually worn the shoes, or believed their child when he swore he never wore them – or if they were actively trying to screw the store over for free shoes. It is often that way with angry Leftists. Do they really believe a white guy wearing dreadlocks is racial discrimination? Or are they just exceptionally gullible? Did they convince themselves of this belief?
The saying “the customer is always right” is a load of crap. Leftist claims of oppression are likewise. Look, we all see the dirt on the soles here. We see the Jussies of the world oppressing themselves. We see the people irrationally freaking out over some white girl wearing a kimono to an art exhibit. None of this is real. It’s all either an act, or some kind of very special stupidity.
The only question is, are the Leftists just weapons-grade morons, or are they actively trying to screw us? At some point, it no longer matters. No, you moron, if you went trudging through the mud in your shoes, you can’t just bring them back. How did you ever think this was going to work?
The tactics are the same. They’ll call your manager and complain about you and try to get you fired for having the wrong opinions. Leftists have this vindictive mentality that mirrors those of spurned, angry customers. Oh, you didn’t risk your livelihood to please their whims? You bigot, you! They’ll scream and yell at you, and make a nuisance of themselves in public. They’ll rant and rave about getting you fired. They will gleefully see you ruined over something you didn’t do, and don’t have any control over in the first place. Even if you submit to them, they’ll still hate you and see you as the enemy. It’s very bizarre seeing entitled people whining about your entitlement.
And then you get incidents like the GameStop transgender, where we have a literal merger of an Angry Customer and the Entitled Leftist into some kind of Uber-Asshole, created in a laboratory and assembled from the parts of lesser assholes:
The Gamestop employee no doubt had a difficult decision to make when addressing this person: is he really a would-be she, or a he merely dressing slightly feminine? Who the Hell knows anymore? But woe be to the cashier who guesses wrong.
This, of course, becomes moral ammunition in whatever transaction is going on here. “Give me my fucking money back.” Is the he-she genuinely angry because of a pronoun, or is this all some kind of scam to get some kind of treatment?
Or, worse, did he-she get up on the wrong side of the bed and just want to get somebody fired from his job?
Angry customers are fascinating in how fast they go from not even noticing you exist – you’re just a wage-earner, after all, and entirely beneath notice – to having a personal desire to ruin your life over the most trivial of things, most often things you don’t even have control over. I can’t go back in time and change the policy of early America on slavery in the South. What the Hell does that have to do with me, personally? And what do you want me to do now? Do you want me to quit my job and give it to a “person of color?” Do you want my house, my car, my money? What?
It’s like when you say to an angry customer that you’re sorry, and while you didn’t come up with the policy, you work here and have to abide by it. The angry customer might say ‘well if you don’t like the policy, why do you work here?’ Because I need to eat, jackass.
There is this bizarre notion that corporations and employees must have some kind of singular political belief – a Leftist one, naturally. Companies owned by admitted Rightists have to deal with this bullshit all the time. Chick-fil-a had those protests some time back because one of the owners wasn’t a big fan of gay marriage. So what? For one, what does that have to do with serving chicken? And secondly, there was no evidence the owner’s personal beliefs had anything to do with store policies. Chick-fil-a did not ask if you were gay during a job interview.
But, it’s the end of the world if a Rightist might actually own a business. Worse, I suppose, would be to be a Rightist employee. If you make the wrong joke at the wrong time, in the wrong social media space, you could have an angry mob calling your employer and getting you fired for a bad tweet.
The hostility is so much like the angry customer it’s hard to not see the connection. Except to say in this case, companies are firing people upon the demand of people are are not even customers. What is this, the theoretically possible future customer is always right?
When the economy picked back up again, I was glad to get out of that retail job. I do have a level of sympathy for people who deal with that attitude on a daily basis. But with the expansion of Leftist politics into every aspect of life, including your personal life, your job, and your business, pretty soon everybody will be dealing with something like the angry customer, screaming at you and blaming you for things that are objectively not your doing.
Soon, everybody will learn what working retail is like. And I tell you, it will suck.
As with the bumper sticker “Don’t criticise farmers with your mouth full,” we might say “Don’t criticise Christianity with your rights on.” In Western Civilisation, women have rights. We have some individual protection from despots. We can choose where we live, what we shall work at, how we shall spend our money. That we even have prosperity is tied in. Whether one credits technology more or institutions more, both grew up in the West.
Many today focus on the wrongs committed by the colonizers, although much of those wrongs were in response to acts committed by the colonized – and equally atrocious, by modern-day standards.
Too many people focus on the past as a way of holding onto a grudge:
So many kids think of themselves as descended from former royalty. And, SOME of them might have been.
But, like all people over the Earth, MOST of them were slaves, serfs, peasants. That’s not a bad thing – those people who are ruled, rather than rulers, still have value, and not only in God’s eyes. They possess the human dignity and potential of every person on the planet.
To be royal is not to be Better than the rest of us – you only have to look at the British Royal Family to see that. They are not more intelligent, morally upright, possessed of common sense, or other estimable characteristics.
It says that they have Royal Privilege – that, due to an accident of birth, they are uniquely granted rights and power over the rest of their subjects.
Is that what those Black people claiming royal heritage are suggesting?
America has had experience with kingly rule. We didn’t like it. We’re unlikely to want to grant one group of people license to rule over the rest of us.
The part of that poem that explains Today’s Woman (not that dissimilar from Yesterday’s Woman):
She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.
Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish
I leave out that non-PC part that follows.
Look at the behavior of Woke Women, who will actively work to DESTROY their opponents – there is NO mercy. Don’t apologize or beg (as VoxDay would say in his insightful SJWs Always Lie).
If you are not prepared to fight to the death, walk away.
Trump is, despite his tendency to seemingly spontaneously shoot his mouth off, a guy who feels his way through processes. His moves are designed to make the OTHER guy reveal his strategy, and to reveal his hand (forgive me, my dad was a serious poker player – I work from that context).
I believe Trump senses if he pushes too hard, too fast, he’ll lose the guys that are on the fence (on the Supreme Court). I think that it will take some time to solidify the relationships/alliances, and without that, some decisions may go the wrong way.
That could be fatal to legal reform. A bad decision often has to outlive the people who wrote it – look at how Roe v. Wade has hung on. Better to move more slowly, than to spur a decision that will reverberate over the decades.
UPDATE: A commenter, Fifty Cal, had linked to this editorial from VDare, re: the role of Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security), in acting contrary to Trump’s plans for dealing with illegal aliens. VDare is a controversial site, so – feel free to check it out, but Caveat Emptor.