Nov 5, 2008
Just a Few Thoughts the Morning After
To the Left - you of the unconstrained vision - This is your shot at utopia. You have it all - the federal government, the media, the education establishment and the judicial system. No excuses now. We'll all be watching to see if you really can do it better than your comrades in Europe, Canada and elsewhere.
To the Obama administration - Not all criticism is racism. Live with it.
God bless America.
Oct 27, 2008
Dear Friend and Barak Obama Supporter,
Here we find common ground. Like Colin Powell and you, I too believe Obama is a transformational figure. I fear how he would change America though, given his dark vision of the "fundamental flaw" in our constitution regarding our government's missing authority to redistribute the wealth. This essay at American Thinker details his alliance with leftist ideology:
Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama's life comprise a who's who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.I believe you have the best of intentions in your desire to emulate the socialist countries of western Europe, your highest goal being equality. However, I hope we can agree, factually, that “equality” is not the value that brought America to this pinnacle of prosperity and freedom. As a conservative, I wish to “conserve” what America has achieved and I believe you and Obama wish to “progress” beyond it. Is that fair enough? One might say, you want to dance with a new guy at the prom and I want to dance with the guy who 'brung' me.
This is why charges of “anti-Americanism” and “un-American” are brought by conservatives. I don't believe you are unpatriotic and I challenge you to quote one mainstream Republican politician who has leveled that charge. We believe you love America in the abstract – what it could be. We also believe your vision for what it could be is a Marxist utopia. This is why pictures of Bill Ayers standing on the American flag and stating he and the Weathermen only regret they “didn't do enough” in the way of bombing American institutions don't strike you as anti-American. Bill Ayers just wants a better America – right? You have seen these pictures and read or heard these words, haven't you? Or are they only available on alternative “right-wing” media?
The inscription is from Leviticus (25:10):
You will answer we don't love liberty enough to protect a woman's “right to choose”. Again, I find common ground with Obama, who said in his eloquent professorial manner at the Saddleback Forum that abortion is a moral issue. “Gee, thanks for enlightening us, Senator." Yes – and moral values are codified in our laws. You support a man who, when in doubt (after all, it is “above his pay grade” to say when human rights accrue to a fetus), prefers to place absolutely no limits on the practice of abortion, including denying legal protections to a viable fetus who happens to survive an abortion attempt. Did you know that – or, again, is this information only made available to those who seek out conservative opinion? Don't try to weasel this one with Obama campaign talking points. I have too much information at my disposal about his actual record.
You, on the other hand, would happily sacrifice everyday liberties for what you believe would be a more virtuous society. Given the chance, you will outlaw trans fats (NYC), high fructose corn syrup and compel all farmers to grow organic. No smoking – ever, unless you meet the state's standards for medical marijuana use. I suppose you will make another exception for Presidente Obama's cigarette smoking. We'll all be living under the sterile blue light and happy little hum of energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs and the state will monitor and remotely control our thermostat settings (tried in California). The feds decided long ago how much water should be allowed to flush through our toilets – the unintended consequence being multiple flushings required to eliminate our elimination.
These losses of liberty are nuisances compared to what the Democrats have promised will be at the top of their agenda next session. In true fascist fashion, they will silence the opposition by re-instituting the Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine”. Um – freedom of speech an American value, anyone? And second, they will eliminate the secret ballot in unionization voting via the deceptively named “Employee Free Choice Act”. Even George McGovern opposes this. But, I understand – the goal of equality is so preeminent, so absolutely fabulous – any means of achieving it is worth it. Up is down. Right is left. Black is white. The Christians with whom you live and work are bigoted, intolerant, hateful warmongers and Barak Obama is a healer and is wise beyond his years. George Bush is the “worst president ever” despite seven years of unexpected national security and an amazing post-9-11 economic recovery and the Democrats have supremacy on the economic issues despite instituting government sponsored entities (GSEs) run by Democrats and their political allies into the ground and opposing any regulation that might impinge on their ability to feel good about loaning money to people who can't pay it back.
You see only fundamentalist Christians and anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as threats to civilization. We see Christian values as the foundation on which this great nation was built. And we believe America is the greatest national force for good the world has ever known. We actually believe this is indisputable. We see AGW as another manufactured crisis used by your side to justify state control of the commanding heights of the economy on the road to your Marxist utopia. Often when you or your candidate describe America, we simply don't recognize the place. Not that we think it is perfect – we just see it as a whole lot better than you do. This is also why we don't have an urgent need for radical “change”.
However, we also have two threats to civilization we fear. We see Islamic fascism as this century's biggest threat to western civilization together with, frankly, your suicidal tendencies. You and Senator Obama believe, through the force of his personality (another interesting correlation with previous fascist regimes), we can reason with our enemies. Really – to understand the nightmare we conservatives are envisioning, you should read Lee Harris' “Suicide of Reason”. Professor Harris is a man of the left – a gay man with a long-term partner – and a member of the intellectual elite. He so clearly identifies what we see – that Western civilization has fostered the “rational actor” - us soft, pampered, affluent people acting in our “enlightened self-interest”. You on the left expect everyone to behave rationally, while we conservatives and the Islamists themselves recognize that they are “tribal” actors living by the rules of the jungle, the first of which is – there are no rules. While you're fighting for the “right” of gays to marry and scrupulously monitoring your carbon footprint – we see our common enemy advancing on us with his scimitar poised to lop off our heads. And that is what is making us crazy! It is one thing for you to be suicidal – it is another for you to take us down with you!
We acknowledge the good that has been done by various movements originating on the left. The civil rights movement really has succeeded at eliminating institutional racism in America. There are still racists to be sure, but racism has become socially unacceptable - unless you're Jeremiah Wright. When I was a kid, I played in creeks with orange foam floating over the ripples and the Cuyahoga River really did burn – more than once. The environmental movement succeeded admirably in cleaning up the air and water. I also happen to believe prosperity is a huge factor as people of affluence don't like to live in effluence. But if you want to see polluted environs, check out those workers' paradises! Even the socialists in France and Britain do not enjoy the air and water quality we have here (you don't want to know what they drop on the train tracks in France!). Feminism made it possible for me to pursue an engineering degree in a class that was half women twenty-five years after my sister was denied entry to a dermatology specialty after completing medical school as one of very few women allowed in the program.
But, what we recognize, which you seem to overlook, is how these movements have radicalized. Feminism is all about the right to abort your offspring. Did you know between a third and a half of black babies suffer this fate in our country? Talk about racial genocide! Civil rights now take the form of reparations and grievance studies, which Obama promotes as one of his education policies. We Ohioans have family stories that include great grandfathers and great uncles marching off with Sherman's army to fight and die for black Americans' freedom. If we pay reparations, do we then get to start classes in grievance? I admit, I am deeply aggrieved by affluent black Americans about to become president and first lady being ungrateful for the blood spilled on behalf of them and their ancestors. Is there anything as unattractive as ingratitude for the ultimate sacrifice? Environmentalism is now used as a tool to punish “evil” capitalist corporations that have made American prosperity possible. If you manage to kill Walmart, it is the poor you claim to champion who will suffer. Environmentalists have already killed millions in Africa with their anti-DDT absolutism. All hail the pristine environment in which mosquitoes and eagles thrive and humans die!
I also want to mention the other radical movement - secularism. America has developed as the most highly advanced country with a secular government and religious society. You seem to fear the rise of a Christian theocracy despite having lived in a Christian culture your entire American life and having succeeded in influencing both Christianity and the culture more than the other way around. With the breakdown of authority in the 60s and the rise of the therapeutic culture, churches have responded by eliminating God as judge and have made Him everyone's best friend. And really, you can't open the paper or turn on the TV and believe the religious right has influenced the culture much, can you? Yet, you seem to chafe under the religious influences in our society. George Bush believing he will be held to account is no comfort to you. But, Barak Obama's professions of faith cultivated for twenty years in a radical racist church don't disturb you. Could it be you doubt his sincerity?
We do believe a non-denominational prayer in schools, like the ones said back when we were united by common values, really never hurt anyone. “God bless our parents, our teachers, our school and our country” just doesn't seem all that threatening when you consider the other cultural influences our kids are experiencing. You seem to think MTV good, prayer in school bad. We also believe you promote anti-Biblical values. Your tax policy of taking from the worker to give to the non-worker promotes sloth, ingratitude and covetousness. As the economist Arthur Laffer said, “don't be surprised if you end up with a lot more people not working”. In Jewish law, even the person living on charity is supposed to tithe 10%. Do you believe there is any wisdom in that? We get really fried when you want to confiscate our hard won earnings to support everyone's sexual sin. Sure, in a free society, you have every right to get knocked-up. We just don't want to have to pay for your birth control to prevent it, your Viagra to help it along or your abortion when you “succeed”. In a flier I received from NARAL in support of Obama, they call these “reproductive rights”. Oy vey, the emanations and penumbra!
As David Horowitz says, you are so “intoxicated with your virtue”, you can't or won't admit the harm your utopianism has done in the world. Do you really believe the rise in government dependence has made people happier or better citizens? And yet you promote more. Do you really believe America is a “mean” and ungenerous place? Why does the world look to us then when people suffer tsunamis and earthquakes and yes – even cruel dictatorships like Sadam Hussein's? And how will the Europeans and the UN who are so desirous of an Obama win respond to these crisis when President Obama weakens our military and chokes our economic engine with confiscatory taxes? Have you ever heard about “the tragedy of the commons”? Unfortunately, it was an argument made for population control, which may end up being the only success the left ever fully achieves. But it very clearly illustrates why socialism leads to rationing. Once the Democrats achieve their dream of socialized medicine in America, where are the Canadians going to go for timely and high quality health care? Their system works great until you get sick, but somehow America's liberals will just do a better job of it I guess.
Low-tech lynching of uppity conservative
Christian, Sarah Palin, in California
Your side sees Sarah Palin as an object of scorn and derision at best and an immoral unenlightened Bambi-killing, book-banning, Bible-thumping troglodyte married to an incestuous, testosterone-poisoned hillbilly at worst. We see her as one of us – an exceptionally decent, hard-working, righteous-living self-made one of us. Yet – we are the ones accused of hate-mongering. As my sister says... interesting times. Indeed, Big Brother.
possible to change. For now though, we both believe we have Truth on our side. So it is. Now that I've had my say, at least we have some clarity and we can both be authentic in our relationship.
I'm obviously not praying for an Obama win. However, I am praying that, if he wins, it is by a convincing margin. God forbid it would be a few thousand votes here and there. If that happens, I will suspect the election was decided by the drunks and drug addicts taken off the city streets of my home state by ACORN to register and vote on the same day (Democrats only, thank you) , or the Howard Stern show interviewees who support Obama because he is pro-life and selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. I might become bitter. I pray, “Please Lord, don't let it be a Mickey Mouse margin.”
Oct 14, 2008
Believers in the Bubble
There is an astonishing capacity among humans, perhaps especially among pampered affluent Westerners, to believe in infinitely expanding boundaries of just about everything good. In contemporary language – the bubble. This is true despite all the bubble remains littering our recent economic past... the dot-com bubble, the real-estate bubble, the credit bubble.
I believe we're about to see our civilization's bubble go the way of the others. Oh – maybe not in the next four years of the Obama administration. Maybe it will take another hundred years. Let us pray. But, fully half of the country either doesn't know how exceptional and fragile this nation is, or believes that it will continue forever no matter how it is “changed”.
My evidence for this is to look at Western Civilization in decline in Europe. The Europeans are committing demographic suicide and importing Muslims to "do the work Europeans won't do". The modern enlightened ward of the state in Europe can not be bothered to reproduce. He believes the only moral code that matters is the one within his enlightened brain, so even if he did reproduce, he wouldn't succeed much at transmitting his values to his progeny as they would probably believe the same about themselves.
Now, what do the enlightened Obama voters envision for America? Why, to be more like Western Europe of course! The success of their Marxist revolution (and this will be undeniable in an Obama/Reid/Pelosi era) will "change" America into a more secular, socialist, effeminate, welfare state resembling - France, Britain, Spain? It doesn't matter - it won't be America as we have known it.
I live in a city with several military institutions. I see real men - American men - in uniform on the streets every day. They exude masculinity - a certain muscular confidence and aggression that is both a little scary and mostly comforting in the thought of their role as protectors. In the ideal world of the left, these men will be unnecessary, will be neutered and enveloped in the loving arms of the state.
I will miss them. The world will miss us as we were before the promised "change".
Oct 8, 2008
Six Step Survival Strategy
Big Media (HT: American Thinker) has finally done it. It has been close the last two presidential elections, but Big Media, George Soros, MoveOn and Hollywood have finally pulled it off. They've obscured the facts about their cipher candidate and foisted the weak choice on Republicans. Yeah – I still think Giuliani would beat Obama like a drum. But Big Media cleverly applied the divide and conquer strategy to Rudy and our friends in the evangelical movement fell for it. I'll write about what I think the psychological factors are behind this later, but for now, brace yourselves – we're about to get CHANGE... Good. And. Hard.
Here's my plan for surviving the next two years. Yes, I mean two years until Congress changes hands again. I'm very optimistic about this. If I'm wrong, I'll deal with that two years from now.
1. Pray every day giving thanks for your friends and family and the natural beauty around us (my condolences to those living in the big cities). Gratitude makes you a happier person and therefore more people will want to be with you, making you happier still. In engineering this is called a positive feedback loop, but in this case its a good thing (not so much in engineering).
2. Don't allow despair to even get a foot in the door. Bill Buckley once said, speaking on the death of his wife, that despair is a mortal sin. I agree – it is soul killing and diminishes your ability to be grateful (see my first point).
3. Keep up your friendships with Obama voters. These people tend to be charming, intelligent and fun. And if you don't occasionally expose them to conservative thought, who will? Set ground rules though. Stick to one topic at a time. No name calling. Derision and scorn are not arguments for your side. One of Dennis Prager's many mottoes is “I prefer clarity to agreement”. I think that is a great attitude to take into a debate - “let's discover where we disagree”.
4. Don't expect to change your friends' minds. Disappointment is sure to follow. Be satisfied with clarity.5. Don't let derangement set in, as we've seen happen to so many of our liberal friends. If you start sounding like Naomi Wolfe (George Bush is halfway through the 10 steps to a fascist dictatorship!) or that guy on the corner wearing the sandwich board that says “THE END IS NEAR”, people will believe you're nuts. Even if you might be right, credibility may be the only thing you can really maintain in this world, and you can't keep it by predicting the future. Neither Naomi Wolfe nor you know. Although, I admit I believe Wolfe is especially clueless.
6. Give credit where it is due. Bill Clinton has spoken honestly about the Fannie/Freddie mess being the responsibility of Democrats in Congress resisting regulation. Give him credit. George McGovern is making TV ads for the Employee Freedom Action Committee to fight Democratic legislation that would eliminate the secret ballot in unionization voting. CNN did an honest piece on Obama's alliance with Ayers (don't ever call it an association again. See Thomas Sowell). Camille Paglia, a reliable truth teller (although surprisingly blinkered in what she wants to do with it), says some astonishing things in defense of Sarah Palin and attacking liberals and feminism. These instances of responsible behavior on the part of liberals need to be acknowledged and encouraged. And frankly, I find it comforting that even some Democrats seem to be having an “uh-oh” feeling. Giving credit will also increase your credibility.
Someone once said “hope is gratitude for the future”. If we can live by that, we'll all be better for it.
Brain Candidates Versus Mind Candidates
I assert that some candidates appeal more to the brain and some more to the mind. I also believe liberals are generally “brain-voters” and conservatives are generally “mind-voters”. The brain is the more primitive part of cognition associated with feelings. For example, “I like the cookie” - Hammy the squirrel from Over the Hedge. The mind is higher order thinking that generally resists the brain. For example, “I would like that cookie, but I see it has a little mold on it, which might cause me to become sick and if I consume it, it will contribute empty calories to my daily intake causing me to gain unwanted weight”.
Brain voter: "But, I like the Cookie"
Mind voter: "I see the appeal of the Cookie, but I'm going with the old beat-up guy because he's better for me and my country. I'm choosing Castor oil over the Cookie."
Now, some candidates have cross-over appeal and they generally win elections by landslides. You can have your Castor oil and your cookie too!
For some brain voters, clearly voting with their brains is an evolutionary(?) step up.
Sep 30, 2008
Losing the Culture War
a) Is it an artsy class picture of hip high schoolers?
b) Is it an anti-smoking pitch?
c) How about the latest “boy” band?
Aw – you noticed the speakers in the background and the guy on the right holding drumsticks. But you're still wrong!
This is a “back to savings” (you know – like, back to school, Dude) advertisement for young men's clothing from a respectable department store. Does clothing still make the man? If so, what are these supposed high schoolers made of with their long tresses, facial hair and tattoos? I don't even want to think about the unseen piercings (made you think about it, didn't I?).
I'll be called a throw-back – a primitive – for this kind of critique, but here goes. Did you know there's a biblical prohibition of tattoos? Someone with more time or more biblically versed than I can provide the chapter and verse. You'll ask, “What is the significance to today's life? That is so before last millennium!”
Here it is. Most Americans – even Americans of faith – have no idea where they come from. What makes an American an American or a Christian a Christian or a Jew a Jew? Greater minds than mine (Natan Sharansky, Victor Davis Hanson, Dennis Prager, et al) have noticed there's a war on identity going on, but I'll add my voice to the chorus.
The biblical prohibition against tattoos was, like Judaism in general and Christianity by extension, a reaction to the decadent cultures Jews rejected for ethical monotheism. Judeo/Christian values reject the death culture of ancient Egypt, the sexual deviance, in the form of pederasty and homosexuality, among ancient Arab and Greek cultures, and yes – even the tattooing of the ancients. But, you wouldn't know it even at my Catholic parish where recently the mother and godmother of a baby being baptized sported tattoos between their shoulder blades. I suppose I should be grateful the young couple was having their baby baptized into the faith. And yet...
How can a culture be sustained when the values that got us here are no longer recognized by most people – even the people that claim some allegiance to the institutions that represent those values? How can a Catholic profess to be a Catholic and vote for Obama, who not only defends infanticide in the form of partial birth abortion, but argued against legislation that would protect infants who miraculously survive an abortion from death by neglect. The fight for human dignity is fundamental to being Catholic (recommended viewing: Archbishop Chaput on Uncommon Knowledge). And yet, Catholics are voting for Obama – I know this is happening because it is happening in my own family.
How can a Jew claim to be a Jew and vote for Obama or any liberal when those liberals cancel Sarah Palin's appearance at a protest rally against Ahmadinejad because they are more opposed to Palin than they are the genocidal impulses of Iran's leader?
And finally, will America still be America when President Obama turns us in the direction of secular humanist socialist Europe? He will grow the dependent class. He will stop projecting American power in a misguided attempt to have America loved by the rest of the world. He will promote irresponsibility in the name of compassion as with this subprime mortgage mess. And this grand experiment in liberty will die a redistributive death because of liberal “intoxication with their virtue” (David Horowitz). Expect greater human suffering and death to follow America's demise, but to the true believing liberal, it will be worth it because at least there will be fewer of us human pollutants producing CO2.
Here are Natan Sharansky's words in his interview with Dennis Prager:
“Identity and freedom are not enemies. To the contrary, they must be allies. That if you don't have strong identity, you will not be able/capable to defend your freedom. Identity without freedom becomes totalitarian/fundamentalist. But, freedom without identity is decadent, is weak, is meaningless and that's why I'm against that great dream of John Lennon: imagine the world without religions, without nations; the world where there is nothing to die for. If there is nothing to die for, you will not be able to defend your freedom.”
Sep 4, 2008
Mark Twain for McCain/Palin
How do I know? Believe it or not, I read it in Time magazine while at the dentist. Here's a quote from the article:
In the 1880s the british poet and culture critic Matthew Arnold paid two visits to the U.S. to observe the native customs. Eventually he set down his impressions in a book, Civilization in the United States. On the whole, he didn't think there was much. For one thing, he was troubled by the way Americans appeared to lack any capacity for reverence toward superior men. "If there be a discipline in which the Americans are wanting," he pronounced, "it is the discipline of awe and respect."
Arnold was directing this criticism at America's love of funny men, particularly Twain, who he said was "so attractive to the Philistine." Twain had a classic response: "A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty." Time says this was Twain's way of saying "Go stuff your awe." And that is exactly what Sarah Palin said to the elitist American Left last night. Ronald Reagan isn't the only one smiling.
Jul 24, 2008
A Couple of Laughs
I just had to share a couple items that made me laugh.
Did you hear the one from the Enquirer about John Edwards meeting with his mistress and love child at a hotel? OK - I don't get my news from and I'm not a fan of the tabloids, but the piece linked on Drudge about catching Edwards "in the act" was pretty convincing. Sounds like there were lots of witnesses and he didn't handle it well. Well Slate published a piece asking why the story wasn't getting MSM press attention, especially compared to the Larry Craig bathroom shenanigans, and here is the conclusion of the author:
Or are they observing a double standard that says homo-hypocrisy is indefensible but that hetero-hypocrisy deserves an automatic bye?
When I read the words "double standard" in the subtitle of the Slate piece, I thought, wow, Slate is really coming around if they can be honest about this. Boy was I wrong! No, the difference in coverage of Edwards and Craig isn't that one is a Republican and the other a Democrat former presidential candidate who also happens to be on Obamessiah's short list for VP. NO! It's homophobia in the press! Riiiiight.
And this other is a real beauty from NPR (thanks to American Digest). NPR is profiling an extended family in Ohio that is out of work and lacking transportation to help them get work. Apparently without any sense of irony, the NPR piece falls under the title "Feeling the Economic Pinch; Struggling in Ohio as the Economy Tightens". That isn't the only pinching and tightening these poor folks are feeling! As Vanderleun says, "obviously this works better as radio".
Seriously though, this is an iconic image for what government dependency in America looks like. These people didn't start eating starchy diets when the price of gas and food went up.