Thursday, October 29, 2020

Why I Support Trump

 I've seen a number of back and forths lately (again, as in 2016) as to why Christians ought to stand the election out, or even vote for Biden. If you are interested in deep discussion (as I often am), I'd encourage you to read: 

Both articles are good, Piper defends being lukewarm, something I see as eternally perilous. Siimple minds like mine need it simpler: 

  1. As Christians, we are called to decrease while Christ increases. We are "in the world but not of the world". We are free to vote for imperfect candidates, fight in wars, serve in corrupt government, and much else. We are both "saints and sinners". Matt 5:13 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Be shrewd. 

  2. Political candidates are always imperfect. Trump's policies are more Christian supporting - Pro-Life, Pro-Family, not persecuting Christian values ( two genders, marriage being man and woman, etc) . We also can't just be "ambivalent" -- Rev 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Choose life boldly.

  3. We can't just "stand this one out: -- Matt 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." We have to SHINE like Matt 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." We can't hide in our basements. Be salty and shine! 
Much of what I see posted by "Never Trumpers", some claiming to be Christians, is blatant Virtue Signaling. As Christians, we claim no virtue, we confess we are filthy sinners. Virtue Signaling is pride, and typically it us coupled with proud judgement of Trump and Christians that support him. We can and should prayerfully "discern". Judgment is the Lords.  

If your fervent prayer for the best vote leads you to Biden, so be it, judgement is not mine. Peace be with you.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Why Left Wingers Unfriend Trump Supporters

Link To NR 

I think the answer is shorter, but a good read, read it. #5 is especially true:

  1. Leftism is their religion, and it is a harsh one. Secular Humanism / leftism is the official religion of the US Government, Universities, etc ... It is the equivalent of pre-reformation Catholicism in Europe. Heretics are at least banished, if not burned at the stake. "Justice is ours" declareth the woke!"
  2. Without "Love They Neighbor" and "Do unto others" being ingrained in your DNA, human nature is that hate is a virtue. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8251071-modern-fascism

Always sad when I can't find a good review so I can be really lazy -- if you follow the link back to Goodreads, there may be some there now.

National Socialism (Naziism) gave Fascism bad name, as the intellectual elite certainly didn't want to besmirch "socialism" because they wanted LOTS more of it. It turns out that what they actually wanted was and is Fascism, but post Hitler, the marketing was a bit off. A good common man shorthand description of Fascism being "Crony Capitalism" the currently operant but disguised ideology of Western civilization. Big (and ever bigger and more intrusive) Deep State Bureaucratic governments, in league with ever more powerful and government cozy business like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba (Chinese Amazon, but bigger) ... and the list could go on. Fascism? We're there! 

This cabal of power is heavily controlled by the Davos Elite -- guys like Bezos, Gates, Buffett, etc, who collectively own the media (this post has been "fact checked" and may contain information not directly beneficial to Democrats and the Davos Elite, but I repeat myself). Such messages are almost enough to allow sentient people to realize we are not in "Kansas" or America anymore -- however if you do become enlightened, you may get "cancelled". 

A nice short definition of Fascism from the book: 

Fascism is a worldview. The elements of this worldview derive from romanticism, Darwinism, and existentialism. They are part of the mainstream of Western thought. As such, they were basic assumptions of the intellectual elite of the 1930s. They remain so today.

 So what are these Fascists working to accomplish? 

This new worldview defined itself against the existing spiritual framework—that of the Jews and their Bible. In rejecting not only the Bible but objective meaning, transcendent morality, and the authority of language itself, the fascists arrayed themselves against the Word.

So why do these Fascists hate Jews and Christians so much? 

According to fascist theorists, the Jewish influence—that is, the idea of a transcendent religion and a transcendent moral law—was responsible for the ills of Western culture. The target of the fascists was not only the Jews but the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The book gives a lot more worthy and convincing detail, however the simple truth is that Western civilization is well down the path to being Fascist already, with a lot of pressure to rapidly move deeper into centralized, bureaucratic, godless, religion suppressing, anti family culture. Readers of this blog being well aware of this for a long time. Sadly, very few in the modern world have any clue since education is mostly Fascist indoctrination, and understanding of history / reality is punished. (it isn't "woke", so it has to be "cancelled") 

I could quote forever, however I'll leave it at this: 

A set of ideas is emerging from today’s academic world that is startlingly reminiscent of what the fascist theorists were saying in the 1930s: individual identity is a myth, insofar as identity is really determined by culture and ethnicity; laws and social conventions are only masks for power; human-centered values are part of a corrupt Western civilization; the transcendent meaning of reason, objectivity, and language is an illusion.

 

The Riddle of Joy

 https://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Joy-G-K-Chesterton-Lewis/dp/0802836658

Probably of most interest as an anchor for finding a bit about excellent works by both Chesterton and Lewis, however useful in itself. 

My favorite find from the book ... something I think I've heard before, but did not adequately  understand: 

In Augustine's sermon "On The Pure Love of God", he says:

"Imagine God appeared to you and said he would make a deal with you. That he would give you everything you wished, everything your heart desired except one thing. You could have anything you imagine,  nothing would be impossible for you, nothing would be sinful or forbidden But you shall never see my face." Why Augustine askes, did a terrible chill creep over your heart, unless there is a love for God, a desire for God? In fact, if you wouldn't accept that deal, you really do love God above all things. You just gave up the whole world ... and more, for God." 

A bit later: "Once again, love has instructed understanding. The fear of the Lord has been the beginning of wisdom". 

To begin to understand the importance of the "Face of God", reading the "Face of God" by Scruton would be time well spent. Scruton covers the "subject / object" issue very well. Why is the experience of the face of another human so special? Through that "little i", our soul detects a glimpse of the ultimate "I AM". 

Modern man's desire to "be God", through science, through technology, through "progress" to some ill-defined utopia (more likely to be Hell if he arrives) ... ANYTHING BUT GOD! Because in his heart he knows he loves God and his very nature desperately wants to year "well done, my good and faithful servant". However, like a 2 year old, he wants to "DO IT MYSELF"! 

Even though his endless searching is increasingly obviously only getting him depression, addiction, suicide, broken families, hatred, tribalism, etc ... and at his life's end, the terrible separation from the only source of life and joy. 

A worthy book, but I would recommend reading especially Lewis first, and also some key Chesterton. I'm fairly well versed on Lewis, this book convinced me I'm woefully ignorant on Chesterton, 

The Russia Hoax Books

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/10/the-plot-against-the-president-my-rejected-amazon-review.php

This post contains links to a couple of books on the Russia Hoax. There is no question the Russia Hoax makes Watergate look like a grade school prank. The Democratic Party and the Media colluded to try to prevent Trump being elected, and then continued their collusion to attempt to overturn his election, and THEN, most amazing of all, THEY GOT CAUCHT and because of ??? changing the subject? continued media DNC collusion? the American people being so disinterested????? 

It's like the magician making the rabbit disappear, only for many (a majority?) of Americans, the two years of hoax never happened. They not only don't admit a trick was pulled on them, they don't admit they were present for the show! 

Sadly, as we have now all too requently seen, Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc are also part of the magic show. "We have decided to not allow any more posts exposing the Russia Hoax! 

This is a documentary based on one of the best books written about the Russia hoax. It does a good job telling the story and giving it dramatic shape. It may be the closest we come to the administration of justice in the biggest scandal in American political history by far. Unlike just about everything that comes out of Hollywood, including documentaries, the story it tells is true.

When I sought to post my review, it was rejected with the following notice: “We apologize but Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account.” I have written Amazon to ask why.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Purpose and Desire

 https://evo2.org/purpose-desire-review/

I started this journey back in this blog post

Much as in Quantum Mechanics giving the Newtonian view of the universe a lot of shivers, so mapping the genome and proteins folding are causing significant changes in the Darwin model. This from David Gelernter, one of the demigods of computer science in "Giving Up Darwin":

Mutations are the exception. In any case, there have evidently been, in the whole history of life, around 1040 bacteria—yielding around 1040 mutations under Axe’s assumptions. That is a very large number of chances at any game. But given that the odds each time are 1 to 1077 against, it is not large enough. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses.

Steven Jay Gould, once one of the preeminent Darwinists was brave enough to look at the developing science of genetics and indicate major change was needed. 

His [Gould's] challenge reflects a lively turbulence in the field, and more turbulence is sure to come over the next few years as discoveries from molecular biology flood into evolutionary theory. Gould himself is molding the pieces of the debate into a unified, hierarchical view of evolution that he believes will give scientists a framework for talking about the interplay of great events at the levels of species, populations, individuals and genes.

Isaac Newton created a model of a clockwork universe. In those days there was no reason to look for "why" -- God did it, and his reasons are beyond our comprehension. Biologists envied Physics with it's "perfectly" predictive equations, and no need for the "why" of intention. Darwin was no atheist -- his model was a "how" model like Newton's. "Why" was a question above his pay grade.

Einstein introduced some strange "details" to the Newtonian model that Heisenberg, Bohr, Feynman and others expanded on. Physics, at least at the very small, "rolled the dice" -- it wasn't a "clock", at least not all the way down.

What Gould, Turner, Meyer and others have discovered is that in biology, there strongly seems to be "teleology" (intention / design) all the way down to homeostasis (maintaining a certain temperature, salinity, level of potassium, etc). But WHY? Perhaps we really are "special".  The biologists covetousness of physics was really a very grave sin.

Much like the US debt, the definition of "lots" for time and odds has gone up dramatically. In the 1980's Sagan's "billions and billions" seemed like "a lot", now in the age of "trillions and trillions" and even MUCH larger numbers like "10 to the 80th" atoms in the universe, and "10 to the 500th" against us even being here, some wisps of humility have started to creep (slowly) into the "science".  Real science was NEVER about "why" it was always about WHAT down to the gnats eyelash. 

"Why did the chicken cross the road"?  "Because his brain told his leg muscles to move in a pattern adaptively chosen for crossing the road".  Or maybe he "wanted to"? A little "Voyage Home" may be instructive. 



There is a tendency for many of us with technical / scientific leanings to be somewhat "emotion blind". Lots of exceptions -- Gelernter and Turner for example, but there is a definite bias for in science / tech for determinism, materialism, atheism -- for many in these fields, "something more" is very uncomfortable. It may not even be possible to develop "knowledge" (like an algorithm / equation) for it. Wisdom? That really doesn't compute! The sad truth is that science is proudly psychopathic
 
On page 291 we see;  "the voice that beckons Richard Dawkins to fulfillment is his own - it is not nature's. The edifice of of modern Darwinism, as magnificent an edifice as the most beautiful cathedral, an edifice as painstakingly built by generations devoted and skilled artisans, is hollow at its core. It is an echo chamber." 

A bit later ... "the science of life has become disenchanted with itself". Which brings to mind a quite lengthy, but important book on that topic. "The Secular Age", the age we inhabit. Sometimes called the "Age of Anxiety", since anxiety, meaninglessness, suicide, and other pathologies are at record levels. Ancient world was "enchanted" with God, spirits, ghosts, telos. witches, demons, magic, etc" ... our world is "disenchanted" with numbers, formulas, statistics, random chance, and meaninglessness. 

So Darwinian materialism has turned out to not be "adaptive" for human thriving as time has moved on.  If you are convinced that you CAN'T believe in intentionality, why not? If you assume you are a random accident, why can't a random accident have a random thought and courage to look at intentionality? 

Page 253; "Homeostasis demands certain things however -- among them some form of cognition and intentionality. This leads to the very strange thought that the origin of life is tantamount to the origin of cognition and intentionality. Even stranger cognition and intentionality have to have preceded the origin of cellular life."

Note, this in no way requires the Hebrew/Christian God, it just indicates that there is SOME intelligence required. It could be space aliens, other dimensional creatures, demons, furies -- any number of things that modern man finds more acceptable than God.  For the creation of Western civilization, it is very clear that the Hebrew/Christian worldview was far more adaptive than other models. It worked to vastly improve the material quality of life, however life became so materially comfortable, the civilization lost God and meaning. 

As for me, Christ is my hope!




Peace Deals And Media

 http://www.moosetracksblog.com/2016/09/boistan-insulting-tribute.html

Hey, Trump has negotiated a peace deal in the Mideast! Who knew? The link at the top points to an old blog entry about the Obama "deal" with Iran, which the press fawned over. It was indeed a "deal" ..; for Iran ... who can forget pallets of cash! 

I'm so old I remember the REALLY heavy duty breathless joy in the media over the Jimmuh Carter "Camp David Accords" which was much noise signifying nothing. Carter's "Desert Classic" ... 8 soldiers killed, bunch of expensive equipment abandoned/destroyed, "nothing" accomplished except for a devastating loss of respect for US. "Priceless" for the hate the US crowd at home and abroad. 

The media did actually "report it" to maintain the fiction that they are not TOTALY biased! 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Understanding Supply Chains - Potato Edition

 https://www.facebook.com/businessinsider/videos/213688953086634/

It's just a worthy video to help understand why it is very costly to do things like lockdowns. How costly? We have very little idea -- almost certainly "Trillions", and LOTS of lives through delayed treatments suicide, depression leading to death, addiction, etc

It is also VERY hard to determine cause of death in many cases. According to CDC, in the deaths they have attributed to Covid, in only 6% of the cases, was Covid the only factor. So the "real number is somewhere between 12Kish+  and 200K+. Thus, "reasonable people" are likely to have wide disagreement on the risk. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Live Not By Lies

 https://denvercatholic.org/it-cant-happen-here-a-review-of-live-not-by-lies/

A book that is sadly very necessary for our time, especially for Christians. We are being coddled into a soft totalitarianism where compliance is seen as a virtue to be signalled, and the "memory hole" is openly exposed. 

As events would have it, we don’t need an American Caesar or the theatrics of a Rubicon crossing. Our political institutions and public consciousness can be, and are being, transformed from the inside out, without any melodrama. The result, says Dreher, will be a comfortable servitude, a “soft totalitarianism,” run by a technocratic, progressive elite, and supported by Big Data and a compliant capitalism. Everyday life will be far closer to the sunny brain-scrub of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than the shabbiness and goon-squad brutality of Orwell’s Airstrip One.

When  you worship only comfort, distraction, avoiding suffering, and getting more "clicks" on social media, "truth" is extremely fungible. 

The chapters in Part One on “Progressivism as Religion” and “Capitalism, Woke and Watchful,” are especially strong. Anyone imagining big business as instinctively conservative need only remember the speed with which corporations jumped on the same-sex marriage and “gay rights” bandwagon. The lavish business support showered on the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement is also revealing, since — beneath its calls for racial justice — the BLM agenda is toxic to what most Americans believe. The lesson here is simple: Absent a grounding in broadly biblical principles, corporations follow profits, wherever they lead. In Part Two, the chapters on cultural memory, families as resistance cells, and “the gift of suffering,” make for essential reading.

The book makes a good case that "soft totalitarianism" is more dangerous than the Gestapo/KGB versions because it is harder to spot -- and in the everything digital world, much easier to enforce! 

Today’s totalitarianism demands allegiance to a set of progressive beliefs, many of which are incompatible with logic—and certainly with Christianity. Compliance is forced less by the state than by elites who form public opinion, and by private corporations that, thanks to technology, control our lives far more than we would like to admit.

Putting on a mask to walk into a restaurant, then taking it off as you sit down shows that "common sense" is dead. Decrying any maskless gatherings of "normal people" (and even making them illegal, and then celebrating maskless riots and massive funerals for George Floyd and John Lewis makes it plain that POWER is what "makes sense" today -- and the "common sense" population needs to get their minds right! 




The Memory Hole, Orwell

 https://gfile.thedispatch.com/p/circling-the-memory-hole

Jonah has largely let his hatred of Trump corrupt his reason, but apparently there is still a spark of sentience his hatred corrupted mind. How he has fallen from when he once allegedly wrote the extremely cogent "Liberal Fascism"!  The darkness of hatred is indeed powerful.

A ray of hope beckons in this column. Apparently the erasing of history has awakened a weak ember of his once reasonable rather than hate filled thought! 

Yesterday morning, Amy Coney Barrett used the term in its colloquial sense. She said she had “never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.” As Noah Rothman ably lays out, this set off alarms among the cadres of progressive activists and thought police, seeking to paint it as a “dog whistle.” A writer at Slate insisted this cannot be “dismissed as a poor choice of words.” Barrett had let the mask slip, showing her desire to “condemn gay Americans to second-class citizenship once again.” This, despite the fact that the plain meaning of her statement was a full-throated rejection of said desire.

The calumny of being able to label things "Racist Dog Whistles" is a great example of current left wing power - it's a "dog whistle" if the left says it is! 

So, the left now displays it's power in real time! If history needs to be rewritten, they can get it done in the nearly "present" -- in the age of total digital, "reality" might be on a "2 min delay" to make certain nobody sees "the man behind the curtain"! 




By the end of the day, Webster’s online dictionary modified its definition of “sexual preference” to tell people it was suddenly offensive. Senators who would not have blinked at the term when they read it in the morning paper were, by the end of the day, deeply troubled by Barrett’s bigoted use of a term she employed to renounce precisely the bigotry they claimed was in her heart.

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Tangled Web We Weave (inside the system that shapes the internet)

 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/06/books/review/the-tangled-web-we-weave-james-ball.html

Not a bad book, but I suspect mired in "fighting the last war". I would highly recommend "After Google" as a better alternative read that is more pointed toward tomorrow than the past and one view of today. 

My biggest takeaways from the book came from pages 148 and 149. The "Five Eyes" (USA,UK,Canada,Australia and New Zealand) that share the vast intelligence taken off the internet.

The UK came up with the program to take all the digital data off the light pipes. "Tempora". The US program, "Prism" got all the data from Apple, Google and FB, but Tempora got it ALL! 

Ball tells us that the totality of the data is "only kept for three days", and they metadata (who sent, where to, IP @s and "similar data" is "only kept for up to a month"! If you believe that, I'm sure you believe that the FBI did not run an op called Crossfire Hurricane to spy on Trump before and after the 2016 election! 

The bottom line here is that if you make a non "Davos elite, Democrat, Deep State" (but I repeat myself) post or even "like" somewhere, you may well have everything that you have done by cell or internet since 2003 or so sitting on a Five Eyes server somewhere. 

Winston Churchill would be happy to hear that "the English Speaking Peoples" are banded together, however I think he would be appalled by the loss of privacy.

Ball has been shocked to find that the internet generation doesn't care about the loss of privacy. They have been indoctrinated to have full faith in the Deep State and tech elite. They have Twitter, FB,YouTube, free porn -- what kind of an ingrate thinks they ought to have privacy as well? That is so old school! If they could take some ADHD drugs and at least skim "The Stakes", they might at least experience a mild shiver -- but then there are drugs for that as well, so why experience the pain of learning when pleasure is what you worship?

American Philosophy, A Love Story

                                                                                                                       https://www.npr.org/2016/10/11/497085674/a-neglected-library-leads-to-love-in-american-philosophy

It is indeed a "love story", and not only a metaphorical one -- which will likely make it much more accessible to some readers. It is also the true story of a philosopher falling into "book heaven" in the White Mountains in the form of the abandoned library of William Ernest Hocking. Having gotten engaged on a rock in a mountain stream in the White Mountains, there was a an emotional connection for me. 

While I am an inveterate page tabber, there were only two in this book -- it turned out to be more recreational than serious. 

My summary of the philosophy of James is that -- "We the Pragmatists believe it is no longer possible to accept the transcendent after Darwin, but find the fact of a meaningless life based on the random effects of materials sloshing around completely undirected to be existentially so depressing as to to make suicide the only viable option. However, that prospect doesn't seen so grand either, so we have decided to muddle on -- perhaps beauty, perhaps love, perhaps mere stiff upper lip determination will suffice for us to carry on to the inevitable annihilation of death. We live in the hope that something will turn up!" 

Kaag seems to have gone somewhat on the path of Charles Sanders Peirce, likely with "love" being the breakthrough vs a "religious experience". 

p154, 

"and he (Pierce) never tells us what happened in his religious experience at St Thomas's or exactly what his communion with the Absolute was like. All he tells us is that he was radically, irreversibly changed: "I have never been a mystic before, but now I am". 

On and around page 226, "it wasn't some deus ex machina that would save me from my situation". 

"deus ex machina", "God from the machine" a term typically associated with film or writing, where "all of a sudden", something completely unexpected shows up and saves the day.

Shortly after he quotes Plato "Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophical thought has done it's best, the wonder remains".  

A less brilliant thinker than your typical philosopher might just substitute God for "wonder", and say something like "The fear [knowledge, respect. ...] of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10)

A more current thinker might say that after Heisenberg, CRISPR, and other genetic and physics discoveries, Darwin is dead, so we are back to God and "wonder". 

Naturally, modern man is REALLY driven to reject the God hypothesis, no longer because he not only "has no need for it" (Laplace), he can't possibly allow it, because it would force him to reconsider his worship of self and pleasure, and THAT is something he simply can't countenance! 

The book is an entertaining read, and Kaag has an easy style. Hey, "William James" and "Pragmatism" sound more impressive than "a shallow cotton candy romance novel", so many moderns will love it. It also makes adultery into a courageous, morally imperative life growth event -- so there is that! 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Sick Souls, Healthy Minds (How William James Can Save Your Life)

 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/books/review/sick-souls-healthy-minds-william-james-john-kaag.html

The NYT review is adequate. What strikes me about this book and the other Kaag book I've read recently is the great length that thinkers at the end of the 19th century were going to in order to try their best to survive in a world where they firmly believed that intellectuals were required to believe there was no God -- or eternity. As the title indicates, they were still somewhat desperately clinging to the idea of a "soul". 

Perhaps the reason James remains beloved by so many readers more than a century after his death is that his pragmatism often shaded into self-help. He believed in the power of positive thinking, in bucking up; he counseled action, and not just philosophizing, in the face of uncertainty; he may have even, from time to time, turned his frown upside down. But he expressed all of his (and our) struggles and their potential solutions in the smartest possible ways, and never pretended that a revised mood was a settled state of affairs. He knew that living is a continual process, and that perhaps the best we can hope for is just enough therapy to make it to the next crisis.

Abandon God, and with him the foundation of anything beyond the dogma of "change", and the "best" to be hoped for is "just enough therapy to make it to the next crisis".  Somehow, daily devotions and weekly/regular Holy Communion sound rather appealing in contrast. 

The undercurrent of my life up to retirement was "getting through it in anticipation of ...". You know -- "when I graduate from college", "when I get a good job", "when I get married" ... etc, etc. Never considering that realizing that I was living in The Kingdom of God NOW! I was already "there", having died to this world in Baptism, and now haltingly taking infant steps into my eternity with Christ. 

So I'm certain this book will not eternally "save your life", and may even proffer false palliative comfort preventing you from allowing Christ to TRULY save you in this life and the next. However, it is a nice short somewhat fluffy intro to Pragmatism. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Biden Bars, 25th Amendment

 https://babylonbee.com/news/teachers-unions-promise-school-will-resume-as-soon-as-they-are-done-campaigning-for-biden/?utm_content=bufferc48cf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&fbclid=IwAR0EeCSOKO8CGTNhV7tEO9WsAxeRRbA9mHEYz_Ski0zZJVVYYz0XT37osUw



Why the red bars? Anybody with a moment of graphic design knows that bright red bars are going to draw the most attention. 

Some of my thoughts: 

  • They wanted to use the hammer and sickle in red, but thought that might be too obvious. 
  • They are making it clear that "Red America" will be put behind bars when they win. (where else would you put deplorables? 
  • It makes it clear that this is really the "Bid Harris" election ... Joe isn't a factor. 

While I'm speculating ... 



I do like the yellow ... "or such other body of congress may by law provide". So all you really need to remove the president is a majority in the house! Cool! Welcome to the banana republic of N America. 

So what do I think? 

It's a goal line taunt.

They know the election is totally rigged in their favor and they want to show us that they can do whatever they want, so we need to get on bended knee now before we get the lash.  My hope is that Biden wins with 200 million votes compared to Trump's 65 million, and at least a few people find it strange that out of 230 million eligible voters, 265 million voted. I'm not sure of that though ... note that 244 US counties have more registered  voters than live adults, and nobody seems to care about that. 



Oh, the link at the top is just entertainment for this likely waning time when we can laugh. It is harder to laugh in the Gulag. 



VDH, The Rotting Scraps Of Civilization

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/10/the-fragments-of-a-civilization/?fbclid=IwAR2JpRg2UB7aRMJeNktS0TZqohEAAMZc1y7UNrrgeZJ3DWUKvvDiY-X36Do


The linked leads off with a recounting of what has now become brutally obvious ...

Translate all that, and the evidence grows that Hillary Clinton, in felonious fashion, paid for the Steele dossier to subvert an election and, after the election, to destroy a presidential transition and indeed a presidency itself — government efforts that historians one day will assess as the most intense effort on record to destroy a U.S. president.

As most of what VDH writes, the linked deserves at least a scan. It concludes thusly ...  

So we are in revolutionary times, even as we snooze about a recent systematic effort, hidden with great effort by our own government, to destroy a prior presidential campaign and transition, and now a presidency.

We are asked to vote for a candidate who will not reveal his position on any major issue of our age, because he feels to do so would enlighten the undeserving electorate and thereby cost him the election. So we continue to sleepwalk toward a revolution whose architects warped our institutions in 2016–2020, and they now plan to alter many of them beyond recognition in 2021.

Translated, that means that they don’t regret what they did in 2016–2019, only that they belatedly got caught for a brief time.

And so by changing the rules after 2020, they are vowing never ever to get caught again.

Democrats Fought Poverty and Poverty Won

https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/poverty-won/

Life is a struggle. Certainly it is reasonable to attempt to minimize pain, the problem is that it is hard to know when the cost of denying the inevitable reality of struggle and pain exceeds the benefits, and often even makes the situation far worse.

Amity Shlaes "The Great Society" covers this well.

The linked article covers much of Shlaes ground in a shorter format. 

The growing black middle class shared that optimistic self-help view. The 900,000 monthly buyers of Ebony magazine, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 1965, agreed with publisher John Johnson, a proudly self-made millionaire, that what defined success was raising a family, sending kids to college, and “earning an MBA or making an outstanding professional contribution.” In other words, it’s not just a matter of having Dad married to Mom but of having families capable of transmitting the virtues that enable success. That cultural reality—the shared beliefs, values, and obligations that make a family—is something social scientists, with their measures and statistics, seem unable to see.

Imagine that! A black entrepreneur millionaire and his near a million largely black readers promoting "family values"! Crazy talk. Easy to see why Democrats had to nip that in the bud!  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Trump Fought The Swamp ...

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/10/the-fundamentals-vs-the-polls.php 

I believe the fix is in. One of my sorta hopes is that Biden wins the popular vote 150 million to 60 million in a field of 120 million eligible voters (the Democrats have never been math wizzes). I'm thinking that in a country where 200 million have died of Covid, that may be suspicious to a few people, but these days, probably not that many. 


The purpose of this post is just this observation from the link. 


In the end, if President Trump loses the current election, the lesson will be that one man can’t successfully take on the entire establishment. Trump fought the press, the schools, the dominant tech companies, the Chinese and Russians and those who are in their pockets, the anti-Israel lobby, the no-borders interests, the entertainment industry, the public sector unions, the greedy “green” interests, the useless career politicians like Joe Biden. The American people benefited, but it may prove to have been too much. The president’s epitaph might be: Trump fought the Swamp, and the Swamp won.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Hooker

 https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/richard-hooker-a-forgotten-father-of-national-conservatism/

Joseph Hooker is one of  -- if not THE foundational thinkers of Western conservatism. His short life, spanning the late 1500s was just post Luther, and in the midst of the foment of the Reformation and the seminal arguments on the relationship of church and state.

Hooker wrote in the 1590s, that high tide of Elizabethan intellectual and literary culture, which defined the shape of our language and culture right down to the present. While Hooker was in London drafting his Laws, Shakespeare was on the opposite bank of the Thames writing The Taming of the Shrew (which has some interesting thematic parallels with the Laws, actually),and Spenser had just returned to Ireland after coming to London to publish and promote his Faerie Queene. Francis Bacon was a leading advisor at court, just beginning his literary career. Like these other men, the scale of Hooker’s achievement looms up out of the relative mediocrity of his predecessors with a suddenness that can baffle the historian. Stanley Archer observes, “It is no more possible to account for Hooker’s achievement than for those of Shakespeare and Milton, Spenser and Bacon.”
He is particularly applicable to our time as we as Christians need to articulate "a vision of continuity amidst change" ...


To defend “the present state and legal establishment of the Church of England,” Hooker had to articulate a vision of continuity amidst change, a vision of national particularism amidst universal norms, that remains profoundly instructive and strikingly relevant today. Although Hooker’s own writings have all but “passed away as in a dream,” they offer us a basis for a profound and compelling national conservatism for our own day.
The article well states the essence of "conservatism", or what I believe to be the essence of rational thought -- walking the narrow and winding road between the netlist and the skeptic. 

He thus offers us the outlines of a conservative epistemology: that we must be modest in our judgments, and especially our prognostications about the future; that we must credit the wisdom of others as well as ourselves; that we must be relentlessly empirical, devoted students of human nature and observers of the world, ready to revise our judgments and plans when necessary. Yet for all this, conservatism refuses a flat empiricism or hollow relativism, convinced that beneath our half-baked plans lies a providential hand and that above our time-worn institutions stand transcendent realities; these provide us with purpose while warning us not to trust too much in our own purposes. Conservatism thus refuses both the certitude of the fanatic and the nihilism of the skeptic.



Monday, October 5, 2020

The Managerial Revolution, Burnham

 I'm on a bit of a Burnham tear, primarily because I believe that even though most of his specific predictions have proven wrong ( Germany defeating the USSR and winning WWII, later, the triumph of "efficient" USSR Socialism being inevitable), he correctly points out the big picture -- the rise of bureaucratic power linked with increasingly massive and powerful corporations. 

To a major extent, the world is now run by "managers" both in the government and in corporations -- to a large extent we in the "Proletariat" largely work for Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc, although the vast majority have no idea this is so. We are increasingly Orwellian "Proles", believing "Newspeak" in the form of "Fake News", and living in fear that we will say something not allowed by the elite, and be "Canceled". 

My full set of notes and comments are here

The managers will exercise their control over the instruments of production and gain preference in the distribution of the products, not directly, through property rights vested in them as individuals, but indirectly, through their control of the state which in turn will own and control the instruments of production. The state—that is, the institutions which comprise the state—will, if we wish to put it that way, be the “property” of the managers. And that will be quite enough to place them in the position of ruling class.

While Burnham somewhat understands the impact of money, he seems to have significantly missed the requirement for a incentive (profit, wealth) and reality based feedback (profit/loss) in the system. The demise of the USSR and China's creation of a crony capitalist (Fascist) economy, as well as the US and Western Europe ending up with a softer version of the same, seems to have at least for the present vindicated Capitalism as the equivalent of fossil fuel for the creation of wealth. 

We have seen that its structure is based upon the state ownership and control of the major instruments of production, with the state in turn controlled by, and acting in the primary interests of, the managers. This in turn means the disappearance of capitalist private property rights vested in individuals.

Well, no ... what Burnham thought inevitable. wasn't.  

The book is well worth reading for those of us that are cultural, historical nerds. Metaphysical truth is often at least hinted at in human error!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

I Am Not A Pacifist

 https://www.dailywire.com/news/why-you-should-buy-a-gun-according-to-c-s-lewis

No Christian should consider it his duty to roll over and die. “Love” is not another word for “nicety” or “passivity.” It is as fiercely aggressive as it is aggressively selfless — and sometimes, it means taking up arms.

As I observe the territory that used to be the Democratic Republic of America (amazingly, once known as the "united" states!) drift farther and farther into godless tyranny, likely rupture, and possible war, my personal inclination is to sit in "Red America" and watch it burn. I'd rather see a divorce between the states than a war. 

The phrase that keeps nagging in my brain is "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing".  A quote I choose to attribute to Burke, but one that many have claimed. I don't claim to be a "good man" -- as Christ said, in Mark 18, "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone." Naturally since he is God, there is some mystery there -- he is also fully man, so we will just leave it there for today. 

In this age of relativism however, "good men" is a lost concept, and "evil" is at best relative if recognized as existing at all, with the possible exception of "Whiteness".  

On top of this sad reality, the general very short attention spans of our population, and the total vacuity of our "elites", is the fact that Social Media is a shallow fetid pond that requires a shower after just dipping a toe in, let alone attempting to seed it with "pearls" -- I expect nobody to agree with my assessment of "pearls". Each of us now has the dubious "right" to consider our own views to be metaphysically "true".  

The topic of this post is my concern that too many Christians today believe that they are required to be pacifists. CS Lewis disagrees, as I believe does Christ. As he said in Luke 22 -- He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one".

Trump is the only evidence that "the Deplorables" are not going to just roll over and die quietly. One notices a distinct lack of violence as Christians gather (50K + in this case). My current studies are largely on the time before, during, and after the Civil War. Can a return to America happen without massive violence?  I'd argue that the America that resulted after the Civil War is a different country relative to foundational belief, it was really only "united" in territory. America was founded to be a collection of states where power was primarily with the people, then the community, then the states, and only then the Federal Government. The Civil War essentially reversed that order and it has been getting more explicit ever since. I'm not arguing the correctness of the Civil War. Certainly racially based chattel slavery was wrong, but there is a lot to argue on the METHOD of attempting to remove it, and the costs.  The discussion bears a lot of similarity to the use of the atom bomb. 

An excellent exploration of that topic is covered in "The Stakes" -- oh that millions of people could read that as a current version of "The Federalist Papers". Color me highly doubtful. While our founders deeply understood the stakes of their revolution (once "ours"), I'm certain that a culture that is unsure of how many genders there are is incapable of counting costs (or correct change for that matter). 

Lewis made this argument most forcefully in 1940, in front of a society of pacifists in a speech called “Why I Am Not a Pacifist.” He pointed out that pure nonviolence, if carried to its logical conclusion by all men of fighting age, would leave the pacifist nations defenseless and the world at the mercy of totalitarians and Nazis.

This post so far hasn't explicitly addressed the issue of defending your own body. The  commandments (in Hebrew) explicitly say thou shalt not MURDER as opposed to the common english false translation as "thou shalt not kill", causing much confusion. The real meaning in Hebrew  is clear -- thou shalt treat the issue of translation with fear and trembling! 

Historically, much of our Christian law is based on Natural Law ... in which self defence is clearly allowed. To some extent, Christ calls us to "rise above" nature, although clearly realizing that to be human is to be physically part of nature and it's laws. Yes, we have the  Holy Spirit, and we also know that we fail to follow his leadings on a regular basis. 

I think this article does a good job of covering the issue, I see the closing paragraph as a good summary. 

We recognize that this is a sensitive issue of conscience for many, and that grace and love must characterize this conversation. We also are convinced that any such self-defense must be considered as a last resort and in response to a reasonable threat. The same principle of valuing the image of God in others that drives us to protect the weak among us also compels us to a careful and measured response.

The bottom line is that when the issue comes to the fore, nobody really knows how they will react, just like a trained soldier doesn't actually know if he will kill until he does. Being armed (having a gun) is one level of decision, having a baseball bat, or being trained in self defence would be another. Depending  on your physical  characteristics,  when in extremis, your body may decide, and the result may surprise you.

We may get to the point where everyone claiming to be a Christian may have to display a cross on their home. As we saw in Germany, it may well be likely that as a first step to disarming the nation, the "authorities" will go house to house collecting weapons. Once they have them from the Christian minority (getting smaller and smaller),  it will be easier to take the rest. The knowledge that the population is heavily armed is itself a deterrent to tyranny. Even if you ARE a pacifist, having a few guns, even if they are in their original boxes with no ammo in the home, is a way to "vote for peace". 

My conclusion  is that if someone comes to my home with apparent violent intent, "official" or otherwise, it is my duty to forward  them to the eternal judge. I will also face that judge, and under Grace, even if I made the wrong choice, it will be covered by the sacrifice of Christ. Other Christians will face that same judge. If  not defending your neighbor was the wrong choice, Grace will be sufficient for that as well. 

My advice is to get a few weapons (shotgun, Armalite Rifle (NOT "assault"... that is propaganda), and a pistol that you can handle. Take a gun safety course, and learn how to use them. You may find that putting holes in paper or clay pigeons is actually quite fun. It is called "shooting, not killing  ... same for hunting/killing and fishing/catching. 


Amusing Ourselves To Death

 Postman covers a key problem of our current society right up front in the first paragraph:

"Today, we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot-high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death."

The following rather long quote gives a good summary of our specific danger -- a bias that we don't even have a clue to our peril:

"I met McLuhan thirty years ago when I was a graduate student and he an unknown English professor. I believed then, as I believe now, that he spoke in the tradition of Orwell and Huxley—that is, as a prophesier, and I have remained steadfast to his teaching that the clearest way to see through a culture is to attend to its tools for conversation. I might add that my interest in this point of view was first stirred by a prophet far more formidable than McLuhan, more ancient than Plato. 
In studying the Bible as a young man, I found intimations of the idea that forms of media favor particular kinds of content and therefore are capable of taking command of a culture. I refer specifically to the Decalogue, the Second Commandment of which prohibits the Israelites from making concrete images of anything. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water beneath the earth.” I wondered then, as so many others have, as to why the God of these people would have included instructions on how they were to symbolize, or not symbolize, their experience. It is a strange injunction to include as part of an ethical system unless its author assumed a connection between forms of human communication and the quality of a culture. 
We may hazard a guess that a people who are being asked to embrace an abstract, universal deity would be rendered unfit to do so by the habit of drawing pictures or making statues or depicting their ideas in any concrete, iconographic forms. The God of the Jews was to exist in the Word and through the Word, an unprecedented conception requiring the highest order of abstract thinking. Iconography thus became blasphemy so that a new kind of God could enter a culture."

In this day of Twitter, Facebook, 24x7 "news", etc, we are no longer on the "verge" -- the culture that Postman feared losing is long gone.

To wit, this quote:

"Because the television commercial is the single most voluminous form of public communication in our society, it was inevitable that Americans would accommodate themselves to the philosophy of television commercials. By “accommodate,” I mean that we accept them as a normal and plausible form of discourse. By “philosophy,” I mean that the television commercial has embedded in it certain assumptions about the nature of communication that run counter to those of other media, especially the printed word. 
For one thing, the commercial insists on an unprecedented brevity of expression. One may even say, instancy. A sixty-second commercial is prolix; thirty seconds is longer than most; fifteen to twenty seconds is about average. This is a brash and startling structure for communication since, as I remarked earlier, the commercial always addresses itself to the psychological needs of the viewer. Thus it is not merely therapy. It is instant therapy. Indeed, it puts forward a psychological theory of unique axioms: The commercial asks us to believe that all problems are solvable, that they are solvable fast, and that they are solvable fast through the interventions of technology, techniques and chemistry."
Would our current model for brevity be a Tweet? 

Again, our technologies have instilled a bias that any problem is quickly, easily, painlessly, and without detrimental side effects "solvable" -- which is a lie, as our alarming suicide, depression, addiction, loneliness and general "brokenness" makes clear.

Our desire however is for more of the same quick, easy, obvious, etc "solutions" -- 100% guaranteed in the real world vs the media / entertainment world, to deepen our tragedy.

"The Shallows" by Nick Carr has more current information on this topic.