Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Morning Again II

I usually awake between 4:30 and 5:00 am. The first thing I do in the morning is to sit on my heels with my palms cupped in my lap, close my eyes. The first thing I notice is my body, it's aches and complaints. Soon enough I let go of my body and focus on my breathing, not controlling it but just paying attention to the breath as it flows. Soon I let go of that as well and turn my attention to my thoughts. And as with my breath, I try not to control my thoughts or follow a thought, rather I let them pass like clouds overhead. If my meditations have been successful, I end up nowhere doing nothing, and it is in this place that I find the space to think.

Physicist now confidently tell us that the universe is 13.75 billion years old. I haven’t done the math myself but I’m impressed that they finally have it nailed down. I used to tell my students the universe was between 12 and 14 billion years old. And with equal confidence they now say that 25% of the universe if dark matter and a whopping 71% is dark energy. No wonder the dark side is so powerful! That leaves a scant 4% of the universe visible to us even with our most sensitive instruments, yet somehow this dark stuff has a profound impact on the shape and destiny of the universe. The more we uncover the mysteries of the universe, the more mysterious it all seems. Modern physics, we now understand is about only the 4% of the universe we can see. We still don't understand dark matter and energy.

And then I wonder where do I begin and where do I end? What actually separates “me” from everything else? With the help of some hallucinogens, the answer is nothing. I’m no longer sure who I am or where I am, where I begin and where I end. Fortunately, my body always reminds me, for the longer I sit in suspended animation, the more I ache.

Some time back Richard Lynn, a great admirer of Raymond B. Cattell, who serves on the board of the Pioneer Fund, sent me xeroxed reprint of a short review of his new book, The Chosen People. On the xerox, he scribbled his personal note and his private email. So, I ordered the book and sent him an email from my personal email to his personal email. I thanked him for bringing my attention to his book and apologized for taking so long to respond. And since my personal email is binyaminbenhaim, i.e. Binyamin ben Haim, my Hebrew name, I quipped to him, “now you know my secret name.” He just wrote back confused asking if I had changed my name, wondering if I had left Ferris and asking, “where are you?” The very question I had been contemplating. I was surprised he hadn’t understood me, thinking that after writing a book about the Jews, he might have learned something about Jewish culture.

 In his review of Cattell’s 1972 book, Beyondism: Religion from Science, Lynn wrote:

 If the evolutionary process is to bring its benefits, it has to be allowed to operate effectively. This means that incompetent societies have to be allowed to go to the wall. This is something we in advanced societies do not at present face up to and the reason for this, according to Cattell, is that we have become too soft-hearted. For instance, the foreign aid which we give to the under-developed world is a mistake, akin to keeping going incompetent species like the dinosaurs which are not fit for the competitive struggle for existence. What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the populations of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of "phasing out" of such peoples. If the world is to evolve more better humans, then obviously someone has to make way for them otherwise we shall all be overcrowded. After all, ninety-eight per cent of the of the species known to zoologists are extinct. Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent. To think otherwise is mere sentimentality.

 It occurs to me that we all have a tin ear for something. I can’t make sense out sports that involve varied size balls passing some boundary or another. And just as I have a tin ear for some things, it is very common to find among scientists a tin ear for religion. In his delightful new book, A Universe from Nothing: Why is there something rather than noting." Lawrence Kraus, a particle physicist turned cosmologist, synthesizes the new view of the universe that has emerged over the past decade of exploration and analyses. His conclusion is that God had nothing to do with creating the universe. It's similar to reading a modern work of linguistic analysis explaining the origins of language which concludes that the Tower of Babel had nothing to do with linguistic diversity.

He is like an Idiot Savant. He thinks religion is the belief that the universe if 5,000 years old. He obviously has never heard of Robert Alter or Giorgio Agamben and has no idea what is going on across campus, where scholars are probing sacred texts and finding all sorts of revealing information, not about God, but about ourselves. And this led me to the thought that Europeans were incapable of understanding the Native American peoples because their civilization and cultures were constructed on different premises. When Abraham desired to bury Sarah, he went to Hittites and negotiated with Ephron for the purchase of land. He and Ephron settled on a price, Abraham paid in silver and acquired title to the land. We have no idea when or where or when this notion that land is a commodity that can be bought and sold originated, but it’s presence in Genesis makes it clear that it was understood by both Hebrews and Hittites and was probably and widespread conviction.

The Torah opens famously with, “In the beginning God created...” and in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Torah written by rabbis in Alexandria in the third century BCE, that opening sentence is translated, “En arche” The word arche, beginning, is also the Greek word for command - for the Greeks and the ancient Israelites, the beginning commands. Thus our modern field of archeology - digging for beginnings to understand our origins. Giorgio Agamben speculates that a society based on this notion that our beginnings command, control, direct us, is the reason history and archeology are so important to us.

A civilization that was not based on this conjunction between beginning and commanding, would be less concerned with history and origins.

In the beginning of Native American culture, there was no such conjunction. Native Americans had a different original idea. They believed the earth was their sacred mother and they belonged to the land, the land did not belong to them. As one of the standard American history texts (Nash) points out, this led to a society with far less stratification than European society where a small number of individuals “owned” large tracts of land and the common peasants owned nothing. So, in Europe you have abject poverty alongside immense wealth. You also had the fundamental notion of capitalism, that everything is a commodity and that the earth and all its fruit belong to man to exploit. The societies that developed out of these Western notions created social orders, laws, literature and philosophy aimed at upholding and increasing that disparity. In the world of the Native American, however, the earth was not a commodity, she was our sacred mother who nurtured us and commanded us to be generous as she was generous to us. The Europeans typically thought the Indians without religion, culture or science. When Lewis Cass, Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of War wrote to justify the brutality of Indian removal, he said in our defense that we were spreading “religion, science, freedom and industry.” By religion, he meant Christianity, by freedom he meant our political system of democracy, from which Indians were excluded, and by industry he meant our exploitation and commodification of the land.

The Europeans could no more understand how Indians thought than they could understand how bears think. Wittgenstein explained this in his Cambridge lecture - to image a language is to imagine what their world is like and Europeans could not imagine what the world was like for Native peoples.

They completely missed the extraordinary fact that Indian societies had no prisons, judges and police.

The Europeans were sure that their religion and culture was superior. In a generic sense most of us understand that we are superior and they are inferior. If you have any doubts watch the Youtube videos of Walmart shoppers. I am teaching a small seminar on the history of racism and everyone agreed that, take away race or gender, human beings can be divided between superior and inferior. So, I explained to them that according to the Talmud and deeply embedded in the Jewish soul is the idea that humans are images of God, each one completely unique. Jerry Hirsch, a man of science with a very tin ear for religion summed up this Talmudic view by calculating the odds that any two human beings would be genetically identical at some astronomical number greater than the estimated number stars in the universe. He concluded that each one of us is completely unique. Our genetic code is one of a kind and it will never be repeated.

The Talmud puts it this way, every human being, no matter how stupid and ugly, in a word, inferior, is an image of God, completely unique and of infinite value. Two times infinity is only infinity. An infinity of Einstein is no more valuable than an infinity of a crack addict. In the realm of the sacred they are equal, but for those who have no sense of the sacred, there is usually only the commodity. And if you look at people as commodities, there are really valuable people and people who are of little or no value.  And that was the calculation Cattell made. He concluded that the majority of the human population was pretty much worthless and some means had to be found to make way in the future for superior people. Thus, he coined the term, “genthanasia” to characterize programs that would assist “moribund” societies in preventing the incompetent from being born.

Chris Hedges, author of such books as Empire of Illusion and War is a Force that Gives us Meaning has just published, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. Hedges writes: “We stand on the verge of one of the bleakest periods in human history, when the bright lights of civilization blink out and we will descend for decades centuries into barbarity. Revolt is all we have. It is our only hope.... We don’t have a lot of time left.” My view is that our time ran out long ago, long before we were even aware that it was running out. Still, I agree that revolt is all we have. We need to rise up against capitalism and by extension the whole idea that the earth is ours and we are in charge. Agamben points out that for the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek grammarians, one cannot command oneself. The commander and the commanded must be separate. Democracy is a sham, it is an oxymoron. We do not command ourselves. As John Jay, our first Supreme Court Chief Justice and friend of Alexander Hamilton, said: "Those who own the country, should rule it." And that is the way it has always been. Those who own the country, rule it. I would prefer the Iroquois matriarchy in which the nation is ruled by old women.

We have been warned lest we turn our hearts aside and worship other gods that the heavens will close and the rains will cease and the earth will no longer produce sustenance and we shall surely perish off the face of the good earth that God has so graciously given us.

Our death was decreed before our birth. It is inevitable, but surely there is time to repent, if not collectively, at least individually. We need to be as passionately committed as the suicide bombers, people willing to self-destruct in order to stop the machine that has turned our sacred mother into a commodity. Of course, not by blowing themselves up and killing innocent people. We can’t change our destiny, but we can, at least, descend into the next century of mass species extinction with dignity, defending the sacred nature of human dignity.

It is time for me to put on my tefillin not because God actually exists and rescued my ancestors from the land of Egypt, but because it was commanded in the beginning. Who commanded I cannot say. That it was commanded I can say with utter confidence. The parchment with the command is sealed in the box I wrap around my arm and place upon my head. And while the text is hidden from my view, still, I have no choice but to obey.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Genesis, Part I

Shabbos Bereishis, The Sabbath of Genesis, when we begin reading the scroll again from Genesis, the creation. We begin anew.

Law emerges from religion and magic, not science. Science deals with questions that can be either true or false. The earth is the center of the universe and man is the culmination of creation is either true or false. But showing that the earth moves around the sun and is a speck of dust at the outer edge of an insignificant galaxy among 400 billion galaxies is also either true or false. One thing only we know with perfect clarity, everything we ever thought we knew has been proven false. That is how we got here. Scientific knowledge is always tentative.

But there are other areas of knowledge which are neither true or false. They just are. That I cannot buy alcohol on Sunday, here in Big Rapids, is a fact. The law forbids it. It just is. We can change the law but the new law is no more accurate a description of reality than the old one was. The law is based on a commandment thought to come from God. The command exists whether it is obeyed or not. The drill sergeant commands because he was commanded to command by the General, who in turn is only following the commands of the decider who in turn is only following the commands of God, or at least that is what he says. Everyone is serving a higher authority.

Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian Greek emperor who was the villain of the Hanukah story, - his name meant Antiochus, the Visible manifestation of God. The Jews called him Antiochus Epimanes – Antiochus, the madman. He could force men to obey his commands, but he could not force them to believe he had the right to command. He wasn’t God. He was a jerk. Thus we learn that all authority to command, rests on the willingness to submit.

Every civilization has its own commands which define behavior and manifest in law and social custom. When the Pilgrims and Wampanoag’s celebrated the first Thanksgiving, the first time these Englishmen and women celebrated the ancient Corn ceremony, the Harvest Thanksgiving that had been celebrated by the Wampanoag and all the tribes about since the beginning of time – when the Indians arrived for the party, and Massasoit brought deer and all sorts of other food as gifts for the party which last all week, the young Indian girls came provocatively without covering their beautiful young breasts. We devoured them with our eyes allowing Satan to enter our garden. And we won and they lost and that is why you can’t go around in the summer, the way the boys all do, with your little titties proudly displayed for the lecherous old men to drool over. If you’re interested, by the way, I would be willing to sponsor Prop 1 for next election to change our law and have it based on Indian magic. The first thing we need to do is disenfranchise all men. Let’s run the Republic on the Iroquois model and let the Elder women rule. It can’t be worse, believe me.

If we understand that law rests on magic and we don’t believe in magic, then we recognize no law. We may obey, but only out of fear. I obey our of a desire to surrender to the commands of God but only the commands of my God and my God commands us to smoke and drink on Sunday.

And thou shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart. Beware lest you serve other Gods who tell you not to smoke, for then you shall surely die.

Once the Ugarites accepted the Gods of Persia they perished and became Persians. What kept Israel alive was the stubborn devotion to the God of their ancestors. And here I am still obedient. Faith is the willingness to obey. Blessed is the servant who obeys out of love.

Genesis, Part II

Genesis, Part I is on my Facebook page.

I'm proud of my son, TJ. When he started chewing tobacco, I had my doubts, but he won me over on that score. I come from a world where it is much better to smoke Camels and stink up the whole room. Children, it is definitely better to chew than smoke, but I'm still advocating smoking. What really matters is that we not stop consuming tobacco just because it is unhealthy. What is life for? You decide and chew or smoke whatever you desire. That is called freedom. The land of the free is occupied by criminals. They are the only ones who are free of the constraints of the law.

In the beginning... in Greek is En arche, from which we derive, archeology, the search for beginnings. And this week we begin reading Genesis again. I return to it year after year and it never disappoints. With regard to J, P, and E, Robert Alter comments, "One need not claim that Genesis is a unitary artwork, like say, a novel by Henry James, in order to grant it integrity as a book. ... It is quite apparent that a composite artistry, of literary composition through a collage of textual materials, was generally to be assumed to be normal procedure in ancient Israelite culture."

Genesis is about the history of Israels relationship with God, but it also explains the origins of the universe and life, the becoming human and the origins of language. As many of you, no doubt know, the theory that modern languages developed after God destroyed the tower of Babel has been refuted by modern linguists. Still, I like the Tower of Babel theory.

And here is Robert Alter's brilliant new translation of the most famous first sentence in all of literature:

When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said, "Let there be light."

Thank God for the brilliant young particle physicist turned cosmologist, Lawrence Kraus for his new little book, A Universe from Nothing: Why is there something rather than noting." Kraus explains how the universe really came into being and God had nothing to do with it. Just as the explanation of the origin of language is wrong, the explanation of the origin of the universe if wrong as well. It turns out the universe if 13.72 billion years old. And that is how we know there is no God, because there is no more room for God in explaining anything. We have it all explained now and the Biblical explanation - that God created the universe is clearly wrong.

It's a wonderful little book explaining where cosmology is just now but he feels compelled to take on the ancillary task of arguing that there is no more room for God because he just explained almost everything without needing God. As if God exists to explain anything. He is like an Idiot Savant. - Part I... will follow.

Friday, October 12, 2012

This was posted on the VDARE website.

Phil Rushton’s Credo And The New Dark Age

By Spencer Davenport on October 9, 2012 at 12:13am

Four days after Professor J. Philippe Rushton’s death on October 2, Salon regurgitated uncritically the $PLC’s postmortem smear (Leading race ‘scientist’ dies in Canada, by Don Terry, originally posted on the Southern Poverty Law Center website October 5.). This quoted Ferris State University professor and Marxist ideologue Barry Mehler [Email him]: “He’s the end of an era of academic racists of his style and notoriety”.

The $PLC’s recycled smear was the usual abuse: “Rushton’s infamous theory about race and intelligence,” “prominent elder [of] academic racism,” Rushton’s “monstrous” ideas, “Rushton’s ‘highly suspect’ research,” “author of a handful of academic tomes,” “Rushton was pushing old-fashioned racism,” and (best of all!) Rushton “often published on racist websites, including the anti-immigrant hate site”. [ note: link proudly added].

The $PLC’s Terry concluded his tirade of hate with a swipe at Rushton’s ratings based on student comments posted at He noted that, although a few students posted favorable ratings, a “majority of the reviewers rated him ‘poor quality’”.

But the comments quoted (here and here) reflected ideological disagreement rather than poor instruction. And, typically, the $PLC failed to disclose Barry Mehler’s own mediocre ratings also posted at

“This guy is so incredibly hard to follow, it’s ridiculous…. He made us buy two books, one of which we NEVER used and the other which was more of a novel spreading propaganda about how America is an evil empire”; “I dropped this class after the first day! He did not say a word about History and rambled on about how our country was thriving when everyone smoked Camel cigarettes”; “horribly boring”; “Dr. Mehler is one of the worst teachers I’ve ever had! He re-wrote the text book online so everything is his opinion, and if you don’t agree you fail”.

ok, can I have a word, here. I'm sorry you NEVER used your books. It's a real shame and a waste of money to buy books and never use them. I apologize. I also have never claimed to be a great teacher. I know I am incredibly hard to follow and I know it is rediculous. Some people like it that way. But the bottom line is this. Rushton scored 2.6 and I scored 3.0. Ok, I win and I'm alive and he is dead. Of course, give me another three years and my score will probably be 2.6 as well. But our scores are a matter of record and I win. Those facts cannot be changed no matter how much you despise me.

And I want to thank you for reminding me that I am a Marxist ideologue. I had forgotten. Speaking of which, I should clear the air at this point. Phil had a very small penis. All his life he wished for a great big one like those black boys have. As a man of science he knew he could never make his penis bigger, but he consoled himself with the knowledge his head was bigger than those black boys who were getting all the girls. Me, I was always proud of the fact that my penis is bigger than my brain. People with bigger genitalia have more fun than people with tiny little genitalia. I feel sorry for the Asians who have such small genitalia. For me, the mark of a really superior human being is someone with really great genitalia.

And that is where this whole line of reasoning brings me. It was nonesense then and it is nonesense now. But, hey, it's a job. I get paid to teach children nonesense.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

J. Philippe Rushton died last Tuesday and I have set up a memorial page for him on the Institutes website. It includes a new Youtube of Rushton and I debating on the Phil Donahue Show in 1990. Check it all out at

Spawn of Satan

This week, I have been called a weasel and a hack. If you’re interested just google, mehler weasel, the reference to the Posse Comitatus page will come right up. They got the material from Jared Taylor, who was kind enough to reference me in his remarks on the death of Phil Rushton October second. Phil died of Addison's disease which meant nothing to me until I looked it up. It is a horrible way to die and my understanding is that he suffered for two years before his death. I wouldn’t wish that on Phil or anyone else. I said Kaddish for Phil last Saturday. No one at shool asked me why I was saying Kadish, they all must have assumed I had a Yarhzeit. Let me make this clear. I liked Phil. I especially liked him over coffee or in the limo on the way to the airport... times when we could just chat. There is more to every human being that evil and good and there is evil and good in every human being. Except, of course the Jews:

John 8:42 - Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceed forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

Personal note: None of our great spiritual leaders spoke in this fashion. Humility was above all other traits a sign of saintliness. What can one possibly think when confronted by those who believe their rabbi is God and God is speaking directly to them through him? Psychotic, comes to mind. And now the psychotic continues in the name of Jesus:

“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. “ “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 8:45 But because I tell the truth you do not believe Me. 8:48 - Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Did we not say rightly that You are Samaritan and have a demon? 8:51 “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.” 8:52 - Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon!”

And this is why you don’t want to hire Jews to teach American History. For God’s sake, they are of their father Satan and the truth is not in them. They will poison our children and teach them to see the world with Satan’s eyes. He will call his show, Sympathy for the Devil and in his classes Satan will reign supreme. Perversity will be lauded. He will teach the children to drink and smoke and kill people.*

* One of my students remembers in his weekly journal that I told them to drink all day, carry at least two lethal weapons and kill someone. These kids have great imaginations. It helps to make up for the lack of total recall. One student said the tried the alcohol portion of the challenge but only made it to 5pm and he was emphatic in saying that he would not recommend anyone take this challenge. I commended him for making it to five pm and told him to keep up the good work. Oh, yeh, I also said, I’m challenging you to think, not drink.