Over at VFR another good discussion on Darwinianism has ensued. These discussions are generally very interesting and informative, not to mention enjoyable to read. However, it never seems to fail that those who argue from a Darwinian perspective, and even those who argue from an "Intelligent Design" perspective, eventually speak of "Creationists" as irrational deniers of empirical scientific fact, not necessarily in those exact terms. I don't think this kind of rhetoric is useful in such a discussion unless it can be shown that in fact belief in creationism is indeed irrational.
Here's my question: As I understand it, God's nature (granting at very least that God may exist) is such that he can do anything which is possible to do, whereas he cannot do anything which is demonstrably impossible to do. Therefore, if it is possible that the creation event occured in six literal days, and science has not demonstrated the impossibility of such a miraculous event, then what is irrational about believing the biblical account of creation in Genesis taken literally? I'm not saying that it's necessarily probable that God created the physical universe in six literal 24 hr. days, I'm simply saying that if there's any evidence out there which demonstrates the impossibility of this, I know nothing of it. Which doesn't prove anything either, except perhaps that I'm ignorant of existing scientific evidence which proves the impossibility of six day creationism.
I'm very interested in any evidence you have to offer.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Over at VFR another good discussion on Darwinianism has ensued. These discussions are generally very interesting and informative, not to mention enjoyable to read. However, it never seems to fail that those who argue from a Darwinian perspective, and even those who argue from an "Intelligent Design" perspective, eventually speak of "Creationists" as irrational deniers of empirical scientific fact, not necessarily in those exact terms. I don't think this kind of rhetoric is useful in such a discussion unless it can be shown that in fact belief in creationism is indeed irrational.
Friday, December 28, 2007
A new VFR article, Ron Paul's Blindness, is to be added to this page. Specifically, it will be added under the heading "Non-Islam theories of Islamic Extremism." The background for this addition is summed up in my only comment to the article where I state the following in response to something LA wrote early on in the discussion:
"Paul is an ideologue. His ideology is libertarianism. Libertarians see the state as the source of all evil, in the same way that Communists see private property as the source of all evil, and Nazis see the Jews as the source of all evil. Everywhere a libertarian looks, he finds confirmation of his ideology."
Good point. I'm reminded of your "Non-Islam theories of Islamic Extremism," where you speak of the Western-centric conceptual box Westerners keep putting Islam into in order to make it more familiar and assimilable and its problems more solvable. Paul's own non-Islam theory of Islamic extremism states that American big government is the source of Islamic extremism.
As with the other articles under this heading, this one also requires a bracketed explanation since the title of the article is not instructive in this regard. I've asked Mr. Auster to provide this for us and he has done so. And my first thought being to share it with you here, I've decided now to withhold it from you until I have a chance later this evening to post the article on the page. I'll add an update to the entry when this is done.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We didn't get any good pictures of Miss Becca's performances at the recent meet in Fayetteville due to a camera (or user--which would be my wife) malfunction. But we have some good pics of Becca practicing her various routines, of which this is one.
Daddy's little girl; ol' cucumber head, as in "cool as a cucumber." ;-)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Miss Becca's placements in the various events are as follows:
Floor Exercise: 1st place
Bars: 1st place
Beam: 1st place
Vault: 4th place
All Around: 1st place
Congratulations Miss Becca! Well done.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And why they're dropping him now
Social conservatives got behind Rudy initially because they were mislead into believing he was a good moral person. They're dropping him now because they're learning that he's not.
In other words social conservatives have consistently judged Rudy according to their number one standard--moral character--throughout this whole campaign. Many of them got it wrong at first, which is understandable. But that doesn't negate the fact that moral character has always been priority number one with social conservatives. You economic conservatives let this be a good lesson learned.
First of all, it ain't just his Mormonism that concerns me, though that is part and parcel of my cautious approach to the man. M. Mason continues to articulate a position very close to my own over at VFR. The main difference between us being that Mr. Mason has already written Romney off; I haven't.
In an email to Auster, I replied to Mr. Mason's latest thus:
Mr. Mason writes:
"Unless the ideological dynamics of the race shifts in a significant way, I'll most likely have to settle for a write-in vote next November for Tancredo."
While I'm not absolutely convinced of Romney's unqualified status as yet, increasingly I find myself contemplating this exact situation for me (and my wife ;-)) next November. Mr. Mason and I are very close in our assessments of Mitt Romney. However, to my mind Romney's governorship of the state of Massachusetts comes mighty close to a disqualifier in and of itself.
LA replies to me:
Tell us what about his governship disqualifies him in your view.
First, let me clarify something. I didn't say that his governorship or any of the particularities of it "disqualifies" him from being president. To be honest I've not investigated the matter in its particulars yet. What I said was that his governorship of the state of Massachusetts, in and of itself, comes mighty close to a disqualifier in my view. The explanation is this: I view the state of Massachusetts as the epitome of modern American liberalism and how it corrupts people. Any electorate that effectively appoints a Ted Kennedy or a John Kerry et al, to a life tenure in the U.S. Senate, is an utterly liberal and corrupt electorate; totally self-absorbed. The same electorate appointed Mitt Romney as its governor. Since I'm one of these people who firmly believes that our leaders more or less reflect ourselves, this fact about Romney--his governorship of the state of Massachusetts--has me deeply concerned.
Now, I'm not saying that all people from Massachusetts are corrupt leftists, just most of 'em. As I recall (someone from Massachusetts correct me) Kennedy enjoys about a 70% approval among the voting citizens of his state. In my state someone as obviously and thoroughly corrupt as Ted Kennedy would most likely be in jail right now. He most certainly would not be serving as our representative in the United States Senate, nor Kerry.
If you think my cautious approach to Romney on that basis is unfair or irrational or whatever, I have one thing to say to you: whoopti-do.
Update: Mr. Auster says that my argument amounts to pure prejudice. Okay, so I'm prejudiced toward the political judgment of the people of Massachusetts. I'm prejudiced toward them in the same way that I'm prejudiced toward the people of the State of Arkansas; the same electorate that gave us Bill Clinton and Mike "open borders for Christ" Huckabee. Call me crazy (or prejudiced or whatever) but I think this is relevant; that I must consider these facts until I learn more about Governor Romney.
Over at Wise Man's Heart, Hermes has a good post up concerning a Philadelphia business owner's request that his customers place their orders in English, since this is America, an English speaking nation. Apparently the liberal do-gooders in Philly think this is just going too far.
Hermes quotes from the AP story:
In February, the commission found probable cause against Geno's Steaks for discrimination, alleging that the policy at the shop discourages customers of certain backgrounds from eating there.
So discrimination, to liberal do-gooder northeasterners, is defined, in part, as discouraging customers of certain backgrounds from patronizing their business, and this, the city of Philadelphia has determined, shall not be tolerated. If you're a business owner in Philadelphia you will serve anyone and everyone that enters your establishment irregardless of what language they speak. Nay! Not only will you serve them, you will do all in your power to encourage them to continue speaking their native tongue in America, and to accomodate them. You will not even so much as request that your customers order in English. Thus sayeth the almighty city of Philadelphia. Liberals really like to push it!
I've said before that I generally do not favor migration from one section of this country to another, i.e., from your section to mine. And this is a prime example why. As has been said countless times here and elsewhere, liberals create for themselves a world that, by degrees, becomes increasingly oppressive and intolerable to themselves. Depending on the individual and his tolerance threshhold (the level of liberalism he can personally withstand), when that threshhold is finally reached, then he wants to flee the world he helped to create and set up shop elsewhere. The problem with this is that he generally carries a lot of liberal baggage along with him, he, being himself a liberal, not realizing that he and his baggage contributed in no small way to the degradation of his native state to the point of intolerability to himself. All he can see is that his native state just finally went too far for his liking; that he could no longer abide the world he'd helped to create. Otherwise, he's in an absolute state of denial as to his contribution to that degradation. Generally this is all he can see; this is all he wants to see. I know, I've discussed it with a bunch of migrants to my state. Well, I don't let 'em get away with that anymore.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I took a stroll through the local Wal-mart this evening and didn't see or run into a single Mexican immigrant.
My counter (in the left sidebar) is at 43 days, 22 hours (give or take) at the time of this writing, and still, not a peep from the, ahem, federal authority. Hmmm.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Our friends at CitizenLink would like to know what you know about Roe.
Devon Williams writes:
At what stage of pregnancy can a woman have an abortion under Roe v. Wade? Does Roe allow late-term abortions? What percentage of abortions are performed because of rape or incest?
Jan. 22 marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton — the two U.S. Supreme Court rulings that legalized abortion. But how much do Americans really know about the landmark rulings that have been responsible for the deaths of more than 45 million preborn babies?
There is a link provided in the CitizenLink article where you may test your knowledge of Roe.
A lot of good discussion has taken place at VFR over the Romney faith speech so I thought a roundup of all the recent VFR entries containing these discussions should be put together, which I've done below.
The discussion began with VFR reader RWM's negative reaction to Romney's speech. Mr. Auster then gave his assessment of the Romney speech after he saw the speech. Here LA responds to criticisms of Romney which are too Mormon-centric. And here LA names the winner of the most tortured argument of the week award. The discussion really takes off here where Steven Warshawsky articulates a position on Mormonism very close to my own. And here VFR reader, M. Mason, lays down Mormonism's unorthodox cultic and downright weird theological underpinnings which Mitt Romney embraces. Here the discussion culminates (for the time being) in two separate criteria, Richard W.'s and M. Mason's, for determining what is a cult and what is not a full blown cult, and the implications of both views.
There you have the roundup of the current (main) VFR entries on Romney's faith speech. In the culminating entry, The reasonableness of Romney opponents, M. Mason continues to articulate a perspective very close to my own.
Mr. Mason writes:
My concern isn't so much that Romney as President will personally act to advance Mormonism per se. It is rather that, as Mr. Morris states, electing a Mormon as President of the United States will immediately and effectively begin to normalize other strange religions like this in the national political arena as well (which up to this point still remain confined mostly to the margins). I'm also thinking about something else, too. A while back I referred to the issue of President Bush's aberrant Methodist theology/worldview and the devastating political consequences of those beliefs. This did not become obvious to many until those beliefs of his played out once he arrived on the world stage. Bush at least initially appeared to us as a man who was well within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, and yet his fatal errors were just another variety of brain-dead liberalism compared to the implications of Romney's fantastic theology. Admittedly, one cannot know for certain how or even to what extent this could become a terrible problem in the future should he occupy the Oval Office. But ask yourself this: do you actually want to turn over the Presidency to a man who sincerely and firmly believes in Mormonism with every fiber of his being and thus beliefs that he's a potential deity-in-training? God help us. Frankly, I don't even want to think about the possible consequences of a Mormon President's bizarre religious beliefs on U.S domestic and foreign policy. (emphasis mine)
On Mr. Mason's point about legitimizing abberant religious doctrines which have more or less heretofore been confined to the far corners, I would say first that this is indeed one of my concerns with electing a Mormon President. With every election of every Mormon to high political office, we continue to normalize and legitimize Mormonism as a faith consistent with American religious and political orthodoxy. I would also add that I think it reasonable to assume that it is precisely because Americans have historically relegated Mormonism to its place among the strange religious cults that Mormonism has adjusted itself to be more (or to appear more) American-like in its religious and political manifestations. As with liberalism, once you legitimize and normalize it, I predict that Mormons will become more emboldened by their newfound legitimacy among American religious and political philosophies of God, Man, and government, and will begin to assert themeselves accordingly.
As with Mason's assessment of President Bush and his religiosity, I concur as well. All the more reason for me to be very cautious about the way I approach the candidate Romney, his faith and the faith of his fathers. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on ME.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Some leftist by the name of Dave Johnson, who is uniquely capable of discerning the forest for all the trees, by the way, ran across one of VA's recent posts which so disturbed him that he had to write about it at his blog ... uh, Seeing the Forest.
Apparently, according to Mr. Johnson, liberal Seer extraordinaire, anyone who writes negative reviews of the recent Hispandering of Republican Presidential candidates is a "KKK-style racist," and a hater t'boot. Oh, and they're also Republican without question, for as Mr. Johnson concludes in his deeply moving well thought out stylishly written self-evident this-is-a-load-off-my-mind rejection of VA's post, "This is what the Republican Party has become." Wow! That's deep. Don't believe me? Here's the full text of Johnson's tripe:
I came across this hate-piece yesterday, and it is still bothering me, so I am bringing it up here. It's a right-wing anti-immigrant piece, going after the Republican candidates who participated in the Spanish-language debate. It becomes clear early on that it is direct hatred toward Hispanics in general - but then starts going after all non-whites, complaining about "politically correct" pandering to get votes from people who are not "us.".
This stuff is just pure KKK-style racial hatred. This is what the Republican Party has become.
Well I sure hope Mr. Johnson is feeling better now that he let out all that pent up anxiety he developed over the 24 hours he was forced to contemplate the implications of VA's hate-piece. That is all-important after all. And shame be on VA's head for saying things that she knows are going to assault the sensibilities of leftists. Doesn't VA realize that leftists are particularly sensitive people whom we must protect from their own tendencies to self-destructiveness -- self-destructive debasing ideologies appeal to self-destructive debased individuals. Doesn't she know that they're teetering perpetually on the edge and that it's our job, therefore, to avoid, at all costs, offending their sensibilities to the point that they might take that fatal final step?
Thanks be to God that Mr. Johnson has himself a blog. For in the absence of such an outlet, having been forced to read VA's deeply troubling hate-piece, I fear our friend, Mr. Johnson, most assuredly would not be with us any longer.
No wonder liberals favor gun control laws. They're afraid of what they might do to themselves if they're allowed to own one.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Many years ago I read a book about the Mormon faith, the title of which I cannot recall at this very moment. Nor can I recall the name of the author. I have long since forgotten much of what I read back then, but thanks to VFR reader, M. Mason, some of what I read in the book way back when is now coming back to me.
Much more recently (two or three years ago at most) I read a book, Christianity in Crisis, by Mr. Hank Hannegraaff, aka, The Bible Answer Man. On reading Mr. Mason's brief accounting of the Mormon faith, Hank's book was brought to mind.
In the opening section of the book, Turning the Truth into Mythology, Mr. Hannegraaff writes:
ONCE UPON A TIME, long long ago, on a faraway planet, there lived a good God. This God was very much like you and me--a Being who stands about 6'2" to 6'3", weighs a couple of hundred pounds, and has a handspan of about 9 inches.
God's wisdom and power were so great that he could visualize beautiful images and then turn the images into reality by utilizing a special power called the force of faith.
One day this God had a cosmic brainstorm. He decided to use the force of His faith to create something superb and special. He decided to bring a whole new world into existence. This was not going to be just any old world; it was going to be the most fantastic world imaginable. In fact, this world would become so wonderful that it would feature an exact duplicate of the Mother Planet where God lived.
Yet there was much more to come, for after five days of vivid visualizations, God's mind moved into yet another dimension. On day six, in His mind's eye, God saw the crowning jewel of his creation. As the details coalesced in His mind, God suddenly found himself focused on an exact duplicate of Himself.
I'll add more to this later, but you're catching the drift I'm sure. I should note that Mr. Hannegraaff is not describing in this fairy tale rendition what Mormons believe. No; he's describing what leaders and teachers within mainstream Christianity in America believe and teach to their congregations.
Well, there you have it--the skin of the truth stuffed with a monstrous lie! What you have just read is a composite of the writings and ramblings of some of the most powerful teachers operating within the Christian church today--people who have systematically turned God's truth into mythology.
What you will discover as you read on is so horrifying that your natural inclination may be disbelief or even denial. But I assure you that what I am communicating is not based on hype or sensationalism. Rather, it is painstakingly accurate and thoroughly documented.
In a comment to a thread at VA's, Chasing the elusive 'Hispanic vote', commenter Matt declares that we need a constitutional amendment establishing English as the official language of the United States.
I can understand why some would think such an amendment a good idea, and I'm not arguing against having an English language amendment attached to the U.S. Constitution, at least not in the abstract. But Matt does not stop there.
We seriously need, for starters (since none of these candidates are serious about deporting the illegals), a Consitutional ammendment that says English is the official language of the United States (not a law, since it could be easily repealed). We further need to make it clear in said ammendment that state's laws regarding langauge are null and void (since some people have forgotten state law is trumped by federal law). (emphasis mine)
Matt's concluding sentence reads fine (it's a debatable point which I disagree with, but it reads ok) until we get to his gawd-awful parenthetical reasoning behind his assertion. We need to make it abundantly clear, in proposing and ratifying the English language amendment, says Matt, that any and all State language laws are declared null and void. Why? Because some people have forgotten that state law is trumped by federal law. You're gettin' this, right? If there's a federal law in force, state law dealing with the same issue is automatically trumped by the federal statute, which some people have forgotten, therefore we need to make this fundamental constitutional principle crystal clear to all. And the only way to make it crystal clear is to state it explicitly in the language of the amendment, leaving absolutely no discretion to the states on the issue. Presumably Matt would only have us stating this with regard to this particular amendment until we got to the next amendment Matt thinks necessary to be added to the constitution, then, here again, we'd have to make it explicit (since some have forgotten this) that federal law trumps state law. I think I may have a better alternative; a perpetual reminder to the American People (particularly the forgetful among us) that power and authority emanate from the federal head:
Perhaps the thing to do is to write an amendment up that deals specifically with the issue of federal law trumping state law, since, once again, some people seem to have forgotten this fundamental principle of American Constitutional government? The underlying issue, or, the root cause of the problem, according to Matt, is that some people (presumably a majority of Americans) have forgotten this constitutional principle that federal law trumps state law, correct? If that's the case, I might ask Matt, then why go through the motions of applying a bandaid to the wound. It's not going to heal. It's just going to fester and get worse. The better approach, then, would be to cut out the cancer at its roots, would it not? If so, I submit to Matt that the way to handle this unacceptable forgetfulness Americans display concerning the all-powerful federal government is to state explicitly in the federal constitution that federal law trumps state law unless and until the federal authority, by its good graces, decides that the states are trustworthy enough to make their own laws concerning language or whatever. And of course the fed would have to take into consideration whether or not the states and the people were mindful enough of the absolute authority in all matters, local or otherwise, of the almighty federal government before allowing us to create any laws for ourselves, necessary as they may be. Hence the need for a perpetual reminder, which by all rights should head the Constitution. In other words strike out the old tattered obsolete preamble and insert the new.
In truth I see no problem with this. The ninth and tenth amendments, the principle of federalism and of constitutional government have already effectively been overthrown anyhow, why not make it official?
Monday, December 10, 2007
I mentioned in the prior post the excellent VFR entry, The Transparent Intellectual Fraud that is Darwinism. By the way, I don't think I could have titled the entry any better myself. The title certainly represents my view, simplistic as it may be, of Darwinian Evolutionary religiosity. Also, note that the better VFR posts and discussions, I have no involvement in. Ever noticed that? I wonder why that is? ;-)
Nonetheless, let me tease you with an excerpt from this outstanding VFR post:
"Pick up almost any Darwinian writing and you will see the same thing over and over. Nicholas Wade in his very worthwhile book Before the Dawn engages in this trope constantly (and, I believe, in complete unconsciousness that he is doing so), using language that attributes intelligence and purpose to the process of biological evolution which according to Darwinism is devoid of intelligence and purpose.
Why do Darwinists keep indulging in this gross contradiction? Because, as human beings, they not only cannot live in a world without meaning and purpose, they cannot even articulate a world without meaning and purpose, they cannot make such a world intelligible to themselves. So they keep appealing to teleology, even in the act of promoting a theory that radically denies all teleology. They are intellectual parasites who would strip all meaning from the universe, while continuing to preserve for themselves the comforts and pleasures of meaning.
The game is up. Henceforth we shall tell the Darwinists that they have no right to eat their meaning and have it. What can they say in reply? That a process utterly lacking in purpose has produced beings, such as themselves, who require a belief in purpose? Their position is as absurd as that of the postmodernists, who declare that there is no such thing as truth in the sense of words that correspond with reality, even as they expect us to agree with their theories! But how can we agree with any theory, if there can be no true correspondence between words and reality?
No matter how the Darwinists, liberals, and postmodernists twist it, they have no right to indulge in such nonsense. We must require of them that they be intellectually consistent and accept the nihilistic void produced by their own belief systems. Then we will see how long those belief systems last."
Allow me to say that I think it quite literally impossible for a meaningful purposeful human being, including Darwinists, to explain the existence of the rational meaningful purposeful universe in non-meaningful non-purposeful terms. It's kinda like trying to escape the use of logic in a rational universe. It can't be done without using it, so finely woven into the fabric of the rational universe is logic. And of course, when one engages in using logic to deny logic, then the argument is self-contradictory and self-defeating. So too might it be said, I think, that so finely woven into the meaningful purposeful universe is meaning and purpose that it's simply impossible to explain its existence in terms consistent with Darwinian meaningless purposelessness.
Just a quick note to inform you of a few items added at Webster's the last few days.
First, I've added a few articles to Webster's Recommended Blog Posts, to include Mike's AFB interview with Dr. Kevin Gutzman, Herme's latest at Wise Man's Heart -- Another reason women should not be in the military, The People United over at VA's, and Why I support Fred Thompson from the Maritime Sentry. Be sure to check those out.
Also, I've added yet another article to Select VFR Articles in the left sidebar, The transparent intellectual fraud that is Darwinism. Another great article (and discussion) that we've all come to expect over at VFR.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Over at VFR Steven Warshawsky articulates almost my precise reaction to Romney's much anticipated faith speech upon reading it. I won't post the entirety of Mr. Warshawsky's thoughts here, but I will tease you with an excerpt:
Mr. Warshawsky writes:
But Romney's liberal multiculturalism went much farther than simply trumpeting the nation's religious diversity. In his speech, Romney took the next step and proclaimed the essential oneness of all religions. Thus, according to Romney, Americans of all denominations, regardless of theological differences, share "a common creed of moral convictions." Romney even claimed that these disparate religious traditions inspire him on a personal level. As Romney wrote, in what for me was the most ridiculous passage in the speech (emphasis mine; me too btw):
"I believe that every faith I have encountered draws its adherents closer to God. And in every faith I have come to know, there are features I wish were in my own: I love the profound ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the approachability of God in the prayers of the Evangelicals, the tenderness of spirit among Pentecostals, the confident independence of the Lutherans, the ancient traditions of the Jews, unchanged through the ages [apparently Romney hasn't attended any services in Reform synagogues!], and the commitment to frequent prayer of the Muslims."
Only a few years ago, conservatives were ridiculing Al Gore for his use of the term "faith tradition." How is what Romney said in his speech any different? This passage, in my opinion, was disingenuous to its core--and reveals that Romney was much more concerned about pandering for votes than offering a serious public statement about religion in America.
Do read the entirety of Mr. Warshawsky's argument. It is very well thought out and reasonably articulated. It probably goes without saying, even on reading no more than the passage I've excerpted here, but it is much better done than anything I've put together as yet. And there's a lot more to it.
Over at VA's a discussion on the ethics of using lethal force to protect property got underway yesterday. It's a pretty good discussion which I recommend as long as you can tolerate the holier-than-thou, I know all the undisclosed facts of the case, judge jury and executioner attitude displayed by one of the commenters.
The post itself is really not about the ethics of what Mr. Horn did, as VA points out. But that's the direction the discussion went, as is the case many times. I still think the discussion is a good one in which some good points are made on both sides of the argument.
Would I use lethal force to protect my property if I thought it necessary under a given scenario? Let's put it this way, I wouldn't recommend coming on my property with the intent to steal my property and letting me catch you in the act. I most certainly would confront you, weapon in hand. And if I determine that you're threatening the lives of my family or myself (the defender of my family), then you're liable to wake up dead. At the very minimum you're going to wake up in the hospital with severe injuries sustained. That I can assure you, and with supreme confidence. Does that make me a bad person? According to some, I think it does.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
See my comments to Auter's entry, Rudy ducks questions on Judi's car use, or, my preferred title: "America's Mayoral Mistress gets taxpayer funded limousine rides" with the subtitle: "Even Mayors of big cities have private lives ... which they conduct on and in and with public property."
Can there be any question about Rudy's exemplary qualifications to serve in the White House?
Over at VFR Auster declares Lee Harris the winner of The Most Tortured Argument of the Week Award for his non-persuasive argument in favor of the view that Romney's speech missed the mark.
I agree that Mr. Harris should be the hands-down winner of this prestigious award given that part of his case involves his declaring that he "doesn't have a problem with Satan worshippers in America, he just isn't inclined to vote for one." What!?
I can say that I don't have a problem with the followers of modern Mormonism in this country (and I enjoy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's patriotic music very much!), I'm just not inclined to vote for one, and this would be consistent with my view and I think a reasonable position to take. On the other hand, I can't say that I don't have a problem with Satan worshippers. And I damn sure can't say that I'm merely disinclined to vote for one. I can say that I would never vote for a known Satan worshipper irregardless of his superior qualifications otherwise. I can say that I have a serious problem with Satan worshippers in this country without reservation.
So, what's with the goofy analogy offered by Mr. Harris here? He's disinclined to vote for a Satan worshipper in the same way that I'm disinclined to vote for a Mormon? How am I supposed to identify with a nonsensical statement like that which in no way is representative of my view towards Mormons?
I'm not inclined to vote for a Mormon as I've already said, but that doesn't mean I'd never vote for one as with Satan worshippers ... or Muslims.
Under the original entry, Is there a difference between watching and reading?, VA posts the following comments:
Gentlemen - I've been at a loss as to why so many conservatives have been writing glowing praise for Romney's speech when they didn't express such admiration previously.
However I read the speech rather than watching it, so maybe Romney's charm eluded me. When I have watched him during the debates, however, he strikes me as artificial.
It is probably true that Americans at least in our day are more concerned with a candidate's image and less with substance and character. If leaders had been judged by those standards back in the days of the Founding Fathers, I suspect Jefferson would have been found wanting, since he was said to be a weak public speaker and extremely retiring.
Too much emphasis is placed on glibness, surface charm, and good looks.
If Romney was likening the intolerance shown by Christians to the early Mormons to the persecution of Puritans and other dissenters in England, it's not a very good analogy. The early followers of Joseph Smith were not always peaceable and their beliefs were a clear deviation from Christianity, which our forefathers were not able to accept as merely another Christian sect.
VA and I are very much in agreement regarding Romney. She notes that Romney strikes her as being artificial when she watches him speak. I too have always been impressed by Romney's "artificiality." Perhaps it's just a quirk that both VA and I possess which has us seeing his "sincerity" as being artificial and manufactured, but I think I can safely speak in VA's behalf, since she and I share the same impression of him, when I say that this impression we get of Romney is nonetheless real to us. So in essence Romney's sincerity comes across as insincerity to me, and I imagine to VA as well.
Regarding my own impression of the man, and only my impression of the man, I will say as well that beyond seeming insincere, Romney also gives off an holier-than-thou aura. I've noticed this about him on several occasions including the clips I saw of his speech the other day. In other words, I doubt that Romney's charm eludes VA anymore than it eludes me. I would say to the contrary that his charm is not very appealing to people like myself and VA, while apparently it is to others.
There's an old adage Dad taught me way back that goes something like this: "you can't fool a fooler." I suppose it could be said as well that "you can't charm a charmer." ;)
To attempt an answer as to VA's query concerning why conservatives heap praise on the man when they never had before, I would venture a guess that there are a couple of dynamics at work here. First, I think Romney is seen by conservatives as the closest thing to a truly conservative viable and electable candidate that the GOP (the party that conservatives, including myself, still identify most with) has to offer. His shortcomings, then, are sort of swept under the rug for the higher goal of defeating the dhimmicrat demagogue nominee, whomever that turns out to be -- Hillary. Second, I think Romney was relatively unknown to conservatives (and liberals) until fairly recently. Now that his name and his political affiliations are becoming household words, it stands to reason that he'd catch the eye of many conservatives and right leaners where he'd eluded them before. I don't really have a good explanation for why a paleo like Buchanan, or a traditionalist like Auster, or evangelical leaders like Dr. Dobson write glowing reviews of the man and his speech, except to say that I think in every case these individuals are applying rule number one above. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. I'm simply calling it as I happen to see it. In the end, when it's all said and done, I may reluctantly climb on the Romney bandwagon as well. But seeing as how it is a rather high step for me at this very moment, I may require a little help getting onboard.
Finally I agree with VA as well that Romney makes an inappropriate comparison between the persecution suffered by Pilgrim and Puritan dissenters in England, and the "persecution" suffered by the early Mormons at the hands of orthodox American Christians. I wrote that it chaps my hide that Romney made such a comparison, marking both groups as committing essentially the same sin of intolerance precisely because the comparison has no historical basis in fact. He's just saying things that he knows appeals to modern conservatives because they're generally not that knowledgable about the two historical events, nor are they very knowledgable about their own faith and its essential aspects, nor are they that "conservative" in truth. As has been said before, we can argue over the non-essentials, but the essentials must remain intact. If it's considered as persecution to deny a group of so-called "Christians" the right to have numerous wives and concubines, then count me firmly among the persecutors. If that's not incompatible with historic Americanism and a biblical-Christian worldview, I don't know what is. I'm no expert on Mormonism, but I do realize that to be a true and consistent Mormon, much like Islam, one must accept that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God. This is simply not possible with orthodox Christians, and I personally make no apology for it. And seeing as how our forbears were much more biblically and historically astute and orthodox than we are, it makes no sense to me to compare them to the persecutors doing the dirty work of the church of England two centuries before Joseph Smith ever came along.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Much has been written about Romney's faith speech across the blogosphere. Dr. Dobson of CitizenLink commends Romney for speaking so highly of the role of religion in our society. I hear that Pat Buchanan has some kind things to say about the speech as well, though I've not read Buchanan's take as yet.
I don't have time to go into all the details of where Romney and I part ways on religion in America, but I will excerpt one passage from his speech here:
Americans were unable to accommodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths. In this, they were very much like those of the European nations they had left.
Now, that just really chaps my hide! If he hadn't already lost me with his admiration for Islam, this statement would have sealed the deal with me. I imagine that Romney thinks the same thing (it seems to be the implication here) about people like me who are "unable to accomodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths," namely Muslims.
As I wrote to Auster, it's one thing to say you admire Muslims' commitment to frequent prayer. It's something altogether different to preface it with the statement Romney chose. If you don't know how he prefaced the above statement, then go read the transcript of his speech.
Which brings me to the point of the post:
Are we sometimes enamored by a candidate's presence, his personality, his ability to communicate effectively, his clean appearance and so forth, to the point that we're not hearing the implications of his words? I didn't have a chance to watch Romney's speech except for short clips after I'd read the speech and had found it wanting in several respects. But I thought it was an interesting question--seeing vs. reading--and I'd be interested in your take.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
If you have a problem with it, give me your mailing address and I'll send you a dime which you can put a quarter with and call someone who cares.
VA has a good post up this morning where she cites an article written by one Mr. Max Boot, senior hombre' at the Council on Foreign Invasion, and a contributing idiot to, well, here's Maxy-baby's credentials, for what they're worth:
Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor to Opinion and the author of "War Made New: Weapons, Warriors, and the Making of the Modern World.
Whoa! I'm awed ... by Max's utter lack of any credentials which qualify him to speak to the topic of immigration from other than an unAmerican perspective. That's right, I said it, Max's tone is unAmerican, which is to say not-American. So Max is unAmerican and an idiot t'boot, which his article makes perfectly clear. A resident citizen idiot armed with a vote and a pen and an axe to grind against the xenophiles and islamophobes, and etc. Seems like we have a lot of those running around this country these days. I wonder how they got here?
Go read VA's post where she deals with the likes of Maxy-baby pretty effectively. The only thing she leaves out is saying explicitly that Max and his ilk are unAmerican, which is why I said it here. We can be nice and call him a neocon, or a right-liberal, or whatever (how about neo-American?), but the bottom line is that Max advocates the destruction of America via mass immigration and amnesty for illegals with no baggage check, political or otherwise. And that, my friends, is by definition "unAmerican." Look it up.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Posted beneath an article urging "people of conscience" to attend the Washington D.C. premiere of the documentary "USA vs. Al-Arian," is CAIR's stated mission:
CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 33 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. (emphasis mine)
Ok, without getting into what all these terms (justice, civil liberties, build coalitions, mutual understanding) mean to a Muslim, let's just break down CAIR's mission to its essentials. CAIR's mission above all is to enhance understanding of Islam, meaning promote the incompatible religion of Islam as compatible with the West and America, which means CAIR must engage in and carry on a perpetual campaign of deception about Islam and its prophet until such time as Islam gains sufficient strength in America to dhimmify America. Additionally CAIR's mission involves "empowering American Muslims." Ask yourself this question: Why would CAIR's mission involve empowering American Muslims? Take your time.
Webster's urges people of conscience to learn more about the incompatibility of Islam with Western and American culture and values so that we will be collectively equipped to deal appropriately with the proposition of an "empowered Islam" in America decisively in the near future. Our very survival is at stake here. And Islam cannot empower itself in America. The success of CAIR's mission all depends on Americans.
… we've got to stop this racial profiling that's going on in the United States of America.
And we've got to change the entire atmosphere. Here's what I'll do as president: I will close Guantanamo, which I think is a national embarrassment.
We will have no more secret prisons, no more rendition, no more -- and I use this word intentional -- no more illegal spying on the American people by the president of the United States of America.
And then, finally, finally, it is so heartbreaking that we have a debate in America about what kind of torture is permissible. I have an answer to that: No torture is permissible in the United States of
America. And those are all things that I would do as president.
I like Edwards's answer to the torture question, though I don't think Rehab mentioned torture, Edwards just took it on himself to address it, it being so heartbreaking and whatnot that we even talk about torture in this country.
If I were on Edwards's Presidential Campaign team I would recommend that he denounce the use of torture in stronger terms. For instance I would advise that he say something to the effect of "under no circumstances whatsoever is torture ever permissible in the United States! If life or death information cannot be extracted from a militant Islamist short of the use of means, the mere thought of which makes feminine America cringe, then I choose death and destruction to America, and I call on all Americans to choose death and destruction to America ... for the children; it's all about the children!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Over at VA's Vince P. argues that the problem in America is not that we have too many immigrants, but that we don't project Americanism as the "primary" identity.
Below is my response to Vince's assertions posted over at VA's blog:
Vince P. wrote:
So what has led to conditions in America today? Is it because there's too many immigrants?
I don't think so.
It's because we as a nation we have decided that there is no reason to identify with being an American. Our schools are pumping out peopel who think America is the cause of the worls problems..
When the primary identity is no longer attractive, then by neccessity people have to fall back to another identity and that would be their ethnic or "old country" identity.
My reply to Vince:
"Vince, you're arguing for restrictions on immigration whether you realize it or not. Which is to say that you're arguing that we have too many immigrants in this country while denying that we have too many immigrants in this country. That's illogical.
If immigrants retain their cultural and ethnic identity to the extent that it is the "fallback" identity, and America's educational institutions fail to transmit to American youth the superiority of American culture and values and so on, as they're doing now, then the logical answer to this dilemma, as per your prescription, is to halt all immigration to this country so that the fallback identity does not become more proportionally unAmerican while we try to sort this deal out; if the fallback identity is not American identity under our current conditions, then these immigrants are by definition incompatible with America. All they can do or accomplish is to further the agenda of the left unless and until historic Americanism becomes the primary identity being projected and taught. This, Vince, would require the expulsion of huge numbers of first and second generation immigrants to this country."
I could say a whole lot more on this. But the main point is this, you can try to separate the numbers of immigrants in this country from the degradation of historic Americanism as we witness it now, but it is all a vain exercise. We've had liberal multicultist do-gooders in this country all along, even from its inception, and they've always worked to wriggle their way into government and to push their points. As Noah Webster noted way back when, "one of their main articles is to attach foreigners to their principles upon their landing here." Why would their modus operandi be then and now to attach foreigners, as opposed to natives, to their liberal principles? Is it not because foreigners (immigrants) are more disposed to be accepting of these ideas than natives are? Of course this is the case. We would do well to heed the advice and the reticence of founding fathers such as Webster who also said:
I consider it a matter of infinite consequence, the cautious admission of foreigners to the rights of citizenship. ... Many of them come here with violent prejudices against arbitrary government, and they make no great distinction between arbitrary government and a government founded on free elections.
Why is this, does Vince P. suppose? Why is it that foreigners--immigrants from Webster's day; immigrants who were mainly European and therefore much more likely to be assimilable than today's immigrants to this country--would so readily and willingly attach themselves to liberal ideas upon landing here? Why is it that in Webster's time, when Americanism and American superiority was being taught to our youth as the "primary" identity, Webster still observed this trend of unAmerican ideas and identity taking precedence over the then existing "primary" identity, which he also observed would spell doom for our Constitution if ever it became commonplace in America?
Hopefully we can discuss it later. Gotta go.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Over at the AFB Mike discusses the importance of virtue in a free society. Mike and I have discussed this topic many times privately. And of course he knows that I agree with the contents of his post. Mike concludes the entry with these thoughts:
Virtue is indeed indispensable for healthy families and a free Republic. But don't count on your children hearing that from anybody other than you, their parent (or Aunt, Uncle, or other relative). It's incumbent upon us to ensure that our children have a moral, as well as an intellectual foundation before they go out into the world. I would submit that a child with no moral foundation is at a greater risk than a child who cannot read, yet you'll never see a "program" designed to correct the former deficiency. (emphasis mine)
Indeed. Reading is important, but religion is indispensable, as Noah Webster said:
EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Mike has an interesting post up concerning the latest GOP debate over at the AFB. Like Mike I didn't catch the debate. Unlike Mike I have yet to read the transcript.
I will say this re Romney "On abortion I was wrong": That's about the best answer I personally could ever wish to hear. I think it was unnecessary and uncalled for, and a little bit insulting to be honest, to scold everyone for seeking a candidate who never made a mistake, but whatever.
Is it ok to seek someone who's made fewer mistakes by comparison, or, someone whose mistakes are or have been less damaging to conservatism? That is, the only political force standing in the way of the totally unacceptable and intolerable absolute dominance of the destructive ideology of liberalism.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I appreciate the contribution of Thomas Jefferson to the founding of this country probably as much as anyone does. But there's one point of disagreement between he and I that I just can't get over.
In his autobiography, Mr. Jefferson discusses the Virginia bill on Religious freedom which he authored, and particularly what the Virginia legislators at the time had intended in passing the bill in its final form.
The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority,...
in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination. (italics added)
Really? The rejection of this singular proposition by a great majority -- inserting the name Jesus Christ in the midst of Jefferson's phrase -- is proof that the Virginia assembly meant to comprehend every religion under the sun, even those religions which are strikingly incompatible with a Western worldview, within the mantle of its protection?
One would think that if Jefferson's assertion is correct, there would be a large body of compelling evidence to support and fortify his claim to which he would point us, but he makes no reference to any such evidence. Why? Also, what plan and what author and what religion is Jefferson referring to when he says "a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion?" The only thing that's clear to me in this phrase is the term "our" meaning "their" meaning the Virginia assembly that passed the bill as the voice of the freemen of that State. He is referring to some specific plan of some specific author of some specific religion, is he not? That's the impression I get.
Contact Scotland Yard for more information.
I was out and about earlier making some rounds I've neglected the last few days, and lookie here what I found!
Rick, you've done it again, sir. I have but one thing to say: What, he's not too straight too? Where's the outrage?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Allow me to direct your attentions to Vanishing American where VA deals with the question of whether the Pilgrim Thanksgiving, which we always allude to as the first Thanksgiving, was in actuality the first Thanksgiving.
I've added a comment to her post. But I'd like to deal with the subject more fully later on. And by the way, I watched a documentary on the History Channel last Thanksgiving concerning the origins of Thanksgiving beginning with the Pilgrims. This documentary, to my great surprise, was historically very accurate as much was taken from Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation. If this airs again this year (and I imagine that it will though I've not checked it out yet), I highly recommend that you watch it. I think the series is about three hours long if memory serves. But it is well worth your time to watch it, preferably with your children if you have them. That is, if you can endure the modern Indian perspective (which is interspersed throughout).
Happy Thanksgiving to all. rest of post here
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This used to be one of the main themes that I constantly hit on. Well, not in those exact terms. Let me explain:
The idea was, or so I thought, that the result of Darwin, once accepted as pretty much uncontested scientific fact which only needed reconciliation with some kind of a higher power which we'd identify as "God," that this Darwin god, being so much different than the biblical-Christian God would corrupt our conceptions of the almighty being to such an extent that we'd begin entertaining ideas of God, foreign ideas of God, that are simply incompatible with Western ideas of God man and government. It is, you see, our conceptions of the deity which form our conceptions of ourselves and the societal construct best suited to govern us.
And this is where I think (and have thought for a long time) Darwinianism is largely responsible for our finding ourselves in such a corrupted spiritual state collectively that we now accept, with little or no reservation, that Allah and the God of the Bible are essentially the same being; the same God. And if they are the same god, according to our Darwin based conceptions of the supreme eternal being, then why shouldn't we allow Muslims to come into our country and enjoy, automatically upon entry here, equal protections under our first amendment? Muslims are just like us, right? They believe in and worship essentially the same god that we do, right?
So Western liberalism prepared the way for Darwinism. Darwinism, in turn, prepared the way for the reception of an arbitrary chaotic unknowable self-contradicting he-can-do-anything-including-the-impossible deity we must all embrace and worship with our brethren from every corner of the earth. Sounds a whole lot like Allah to me. Is it any wonder we warmly welcome Muslims into the West preparing the way for our own dhimmitude, which, Darwinian evolutionism and sexual selection might just as well define as "freedom."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This has been a really interesting discussion that I hope we can pick up on at a later date. Our own Call Me Mom has some interesting thoughts that she's given me permission to post here at Webster's. I'll be posting them later in a separate entry. But to wet your appetite, she doesn't believe a woman's right to vote should be rescinded. And unlike Mary Jackson, she actually puts serious consideration to the question. Which, in and of itself, is a much stronger argument in favor of woman's suffrage, in my opinion, than I've seen coming from the likes of Mary Jackson. Good for her!
Heck, maybe my right to vote would be rescinded under Auster's proposal. Who knows.
More to come later.
Don't miss Mike's interview with Dr. Kevin Gutzman, author of the book Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, posted over at the AFB.
Here's a snippit:
MT: The contributors and readers of this blog are firm believers in the principles of balanced government. What are your thoughts on the prospects of balanced government as a political movement?
KG: By “balanced government,” I presume that you have in mind a situation in which each branch of the federal government is in the proper relationship to the others? I agree with the great Virginia senator and political theorist John Taylor of Caroline, who said that far more important than checks and balances — some form of separation of powers — within the federal government was the principle of division of powers — the assignment of responsibility in only a few areas to the center, with most reserved to the states — between the states and the federal government. Alas, this most significant of American governmental principles is now largely abandoned. However, one can hope for its resuscitation, and the first step toward that goal is to educate Americans at large about their real constitutional heritage. (emphasis added)
Respectfully to Dr. Gutzman, his presumption is a bit of a simplification as to what we mean by the term Balanced Government. I'll have to come back to this later when I have more time.
Dr. Gutzman also says that he thinks Constitutional amendments are an underutilized tool for the correction of defects in our governing systems earlier in the interview. I'm in complete agreement with this assessment. We've been so conditioned to believe, or so it seems, that the amendment process is a dangerous innovation on our liberties and the form of government structured to preserve and protect them, that out of fear that all will be lost, many times and most times, and at critical times when the process is most necessary, we flat refuse to use it.
I would also remind folks, once again, that Article V provides for two methods of amendment, the second of which, as both Mike and I (and others) have pointed out elsewhere, is, particularly in the situation we find ourselves now, the preferable one.
Thanks to Mike for taking the time to do the interview and sharing it with us. And thanks to Dr. Gutzman as well. Y'all go get his book.
Monday, November 19, 2007
(Did I add enough exclamation points?)
Vanishing American has now weighed into the discussion on limiting the franchise with another thought provoking insightful entry at her blog.
So often we hear, when someone proposes to reverse a liberal policy which has been enacted, that 'we can't turn the clock back.' Usually this line is delivered with a tone of triumph, as if it settled the discussion once and for all. We can't turn the clock back? Really?
Can't we? Or do we mean to say that we dare not, because it might elicit tantrums from certain quarters, or a flurry of name-calling and foot-stamping?
That's a good question. And I think that's exactly what is meant by "we can't turn the clock back," or, its cousin, "how far do you propose to turn the clock back?" When people say things like this it's usually attended by a lot of high-browed holier than thou attitude which they use to shield themselves from having to come up with a good and reasonable argument to defend their view. I'd like to ask, what usefulness is this sort of thing to conservatism in general, and, why can't we all just be adults and have an adult conversation on the matter without all this do-gooder foot stamping at the mere mention that we ought to consider placing tighter restrictions on the elective franchise?
If it turns out that some of Auster's proposals are without merit, then so be it. But saying that we can't turn the clock back is not a very compelling argument. As I said to Mr. Auster, people like Mary Jackson and their positions would probably be better served if they'd just plead the fifth rather than attacking the proposals of conservatives with no substantive arguments in favor of their positions. According to Mary, the right of women to vote is such a self-evident truth that it requires no reasonable defense. Very good, Miss Jackson. What other self-evident truths have you independently discovered which conservatives need to be aware of? Wait! Don't tell me. "We can't turn the clock back" is one of 'em, right?
Attention Mr. Auster: You should consider a rewrite of your recent rewrite of the Declaration of Independence. Obviously there are a few self-evident truths newly discovered by Mary Jackson that you neglected to put in there. Fershame!
Also, how dare you post something so obviously offensive, alienating, and antagonizing as your limiting the franchise piece (see Ed L.'s comments). You definately know how to cull 'em.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Here's an important discussion you need to make a contribution to. And VFR, I think, is the place to do it. Though you may feel free to add a comment here if you like.
Here are my initial thoughts:
If you subscribe to the principles of the 26th Amendment, U.S. Constitution, and you think it is a legitimate alteration to the original document, AND, you fancy yourself a "conservative," then I would respectfully suggest that you need to re-examine your conservatism.
If you're a libertarian, I get it, everything's arbitrary, blah blah blah.
(Update: See also Michael K.'s response to Auster and Laura W.'s reply to Michael K. She makes a better argument than I did in refutation of Michael K.'s assertions, my rebuttal being that Michael's argument sounded a lot like the liberal way of governing -- by the exception, not the rule. I.e., if any exception to the rule can be identified (and exceptions can always be found), then the only way to account for it is to formulate laws and policies based on the exception to the rule.)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Whenever anyone brings up the topic of the fourteenth amendment, my ears, eyes, and my whole being perks up, as some of you may have already noticed.
Well, my fellow AFBer, Mike Tams has put up an interesting post concerning the fourteenth amendment over at the AFB which I've added a comment to. I'll say nothing else at this point except, y'all go check it out.
(Update: The link I provided earlier to this VFR article was wrong. This is now corrected. Additionally, LA replies to my comments offering us a neocon re-write of the principles of the DoI which I've added to the end of this entry.)
A great discussion has ensued over at VFR on Jefferson's expression in the DoI, "All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... that to secure these rights governments are intstituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," and the way this has been understood historically by Americans.
I've often noted that the Declaration states plainly that "We (heavy on the We!) hold these truths to be self-evident." In other words, We does not mean everyone. Not everyone holds these truths to be self-evident, nor do they form governments for the protection of their unalienable rights around these concepts. In fact, in many cultures these are completely alien concepts. And that's just the way it is, not the way we might want it to be. Again, I stress the WE here. And who do you suppose Jefferson is referring to when he states it this way?
But Auster certainly nails down this American's understanding of these concepts when he states the following:
These ideas have never been understood by Americans to mean that all human beings desire political liberty. In fact, it's always been understood by Americans that lots of peoples and cultures do not desire liberty but prefer despotism. Which means that they have the right to liberty in the abstract, but they don't desire to possess it or they don't desire it sufficiently to do the work that is needed to secure it, i.e., to institute consensual government. Yes, when Americans saw people aspiring to liberty, they sympathized with them and wished them well, and sometimes actively helped them...
I don't know whether Auster's assertion about this being a new phenomenon dating back only to 2002 is correct, but I can tell you this, I was having to contend against these perversions of these concepts in various forums on the internet at about that time. And that's about as far back as I can recall that these assertions were being made. At least that I took any notice of.
LA adds in his reply to my comments:
The Bush-bots could almost re-write the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self evident: that all women and men are bound together by certain common desires, that among these are the desire for freedom, the desire to see one's children grow to adulthood, and the desire not to hear a knock on the door in the middle of the night. That in order to satisfy these desires, all people require and are deserving of democracy, to be delivered to them by the United States of America."
This is precipitated by these statements from Condoleeza Rice. Says she:
Today we hear these same doubts about the possibility of freedom in the Middle East. President Bush rejects this view--I reject this view--and so should you. There are no cultures or peoples on this earth who do not deserve the freedoms we take for granted. To think otherwise is a condescension unworthy of an educated mind.
I don't know about you, but that really gets under my skin. There are no cultures or peoples on this earth who do not deserve the freedoms we take for granted? Upon what basis does she found this idea, one might ask. Upon the basis that Condoleeza Rice believes it and therefore it is? I've said it before over at VFR, but it bears repeating, people like this seem to have the attitude that they can actually speak something which does not exist into existence. I for one put a lot more stock in the words of someone like Daniel Webster who said that God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. If God is a just God, he cannot set people free who do not desire to be free any more than he can grant them entry into heaven when they have no desire to be in heaven.
I would say that Miss Rice is guilty of that which she charges others with. Namely "condescension unworthy an educated mind." It's just that she's condescending toward people like those of us who understand the reality of the situation -- that not everyone desires to be free, and certainly that not everyone deserves to be free. And I would kindly ask Miss Rice to refrain from using the expression "the freedoms we take for granted" as a universally applicable expression applying to all Americans. She may take her freedoms for granted (which might explain why she thinks all cultures and all peoples desire and deserve the same freedoms), but that doesn't mean every American takes them for granted.
But I imagine she received applause and ovations on these statements from her impressionable audience. Such is the nature of liberalism. It discolors everything it touches. And by the way, I ain't real sure that we ourselves desire or deserve freedom, even the relative freedoms we enjoy now. If this is the commonly held view which Miss Rice has stated here, and there's no recovery in sight for it, then I would advise everyone that you might as well cheerfully strap your chains upon yourselves. At least your children and grandchildren, if this view is widespread, will have no problems adjusting to their slavish condition.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here's a sample of the entertainment provided us at halftime this past Saturday at Owen Field, courtesy of the Pride of Oklahoma. (wait for the members to lay down their instruments.)
Something I neglected to add earlier is that an announcement was made at Saturday's game that the Sooner Band will be marching in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York this year. My impression was that they'll be performing their rendition of Thriller at this event.
In my blog post from yesterday, William J. Federer On Islam, I mentioned that in a future entry I'd be dealing more specifically with the assertion that Governor Henry's council on ethnic relations is wrongly named. Also, I asked a rhetorical question in this vein once before in another blog post on the same topic.
In the blog post from yesterday, I mentioned that one of our State Representatives (who shall remain unnamed for the time being) was one of two guests on Dick Bott's radio show. I'll explain that the representative in question has a website which I failed to write down while listening to the radio program. My intent was to search his name and find the website that way. When this yielded nothing, I sent an email to the individual requesting the url to his site. He graciously replied to me in relatively short order, honoring my request to provide me with the url. However, I can't get it to work for me, and I'm not sure why.
Whenever I get a working url for this site, I'll make it available to you. My understanding is that it answers the question as to why Governor Henry's council is inappropriately named, and what this State Congressman, as well as others, has said about it, among other things.
VA has a nice post up today concerning Veteran's Day and why some folks are virulently against our heaping adoration on our military veterans. Being a veteran myself, and coming from a long line of patriotic veterans, I'm naturally biased in favor of honoring our military veterans, particularly those who've served in foreign theatres. That said, I didn't find it necessary to mention Veteran's Day here at Webster's for a couple of reasons which I'll keep to myself for the time being.
However, in the comments to VA's post, someone calling himself Mark offers a defense of his unfavorable position on our honoring military veterans with a day set aside to that purpose.
So, were the founding fathers against standing armies or not? Why? I'll give you one reason. Because saying something bad about serving in the military has become the equivalent of Holocaust denial. It's part of our national religion, and it disgusts me beyond belief because it sends people off to die for the wrong reason.
Okay, so I'm led to believe that in the first sentence Mark is asking a specific question which he intends to answer for us know nothing, blind followers of the blind. Then he answers his own question, which he himself framed for our edification, presumably, with some tripe about saying something bad about military service being the equivalent of holocaust denial. Then he goes off on a tirade about how much this disgusts him, beyond belief even (nice reinforcement there), since it sends people off to die for all the wrong reasons.
Is it fair for me to say that I think Mark is just a little scatter-brained, at least in this instance; that his passion in this case has impeded his ability to think and speak clearly on this particular topic? Or am I just way out of line here?
Also, note Mark's wretched performance equating the dangers inherent in the honorable profession of cab driving with those inherent to military service in his preface to his scatter-brained comments. Military service is honorable, according to Mark, in the same way that being a cabbie is honorable. I wonder what the opinion of most cab drivers who also happen to be former military service members (that is, people who've experienced the dangers of both professions) would be on Mark's point here?
So, Mark, were the founders against standing armies or not? And why? Call me crazy, but your answer to the question seems to me to be, ummm ... less than adequate? And that's being generous.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I just watched a Fox News story on this topic, where, again, it was stated that Oklahoma's H.B. 1804 is considered the "toughest immigration legislation in the country."
In the story, one Mexican illegal (with a profound Mexican accent) attendee of a pro-immigrant demonstration against the measure interviewed at the Oklahoma Capitol stated the following:
This law targets the most vulnerable people in this state; the hardest working people in the State of Oklahoma. (emphasis mine)
My friends, if this does not incense you, or at very least concern you that illegal Mexican immigrants not only believe this -- that they are harder working people than you are, and that laws such as H.B. 1804 meant to protect you, your children, your jobs and governmental institutions, and etc.; your very lives, liberties, and properties, put Mexican illegals in a greater state of vulnerability than their presence among you and its incident drain on all of the above puts you in -- but also state it freely to the national news media, I have to wonder about your sanity. And that includes you "religious leaders" across the state who are currently acting in defiance of this law.
As Rep. Randy Terrill stated in this story, the defiance of these religious organizations could very well threaten their tax exempt status. I would go further and say that the law makes no provision for religious exemption, or, "conscientious objection," and that therefore, in addition to threatening their tax exempt status, their own choice of actions has put their very liberty in jeopardy.
But I guess these so-called "religious leaders" count themselves more moral and more deserving, as do their illegal Mexican friends, than 70% of the legal citizens and residents of the State of Oklahoma. I have one word of advice for these people, don't push it!
Not all the billboards going up in the Tulsa area on the heels of H.B. 1804's taking effect in this State are pro-illegal immigrant heart wrenching shameless liberal child exploiting advertisements, as you can clearly see.
In addition to the phone number clearly visible in this image of the billboard, this group also has a website (less visible) that I've linked here for your convenience. And be sure to check out this related story linked up at the site.
While on our way to Norman yesterday afternoon to watch the Sooners take on the Bears from Baylor (poor defensive performance from the Sooners, by the way), we happened across a Bott radio interview of Mr. Federer, who was one of two guests on Dick Bott's show. The other guest was one of Oklahoma's State Representatives who was part of the "infamous" contingent which recently refused a copy of the Quran from Governor Henry's improperly named "Ethnic American Advisory Council." More on that last point in an upcoming blog post.
I was unaware of Federer's book on Islam until it was brought up in the interview. But one thing is sure, Federer has committed to memory many passages (Suras) from the Quran which make the religion of Mohammed irreconcilable with the religion of Christ.
To this point I've been unable to find a transcript of the interview with Federer and the Oklahoma House member, but I'll keep searching. Of the two guests, Federer was by far the more articulate and knowledgable on the issue of Islam. This is not to say that the Oklahoma House member was inarticulate or unknowledgable on the subject, but by comparison, to borrow from J.Q. Adams, one was as the sun, the other a farthing candle. To give you a better mental picture of my assessment of the two guests, it would be like comparing me (my knowledge on Islam and my ability to articulate it) to Lawrence Auster or Robert Spencer. That should suffice.
The representative's principled efforts are appreciated nonetheless.
Friday, November 9, 2007
That is what this blog is all about when you boil it all down. Everything I post on, whether it be the dangers we face from Islam and its incompatibility with the West, or mass immigration into the United States from third-worlders, or the irrationality of liberalism and its dominating and destructive effects on our nation; even the anecdotes I share from time to time, or whatever, the most traditional and conservative and, yes, American thing I can think of is this concept of Balanced Constitutional Government.
Without the restoration of balance to our governmental systems, it is all a lost cause. Why? Because (1) restoration of principled conservatism cannot be effected without it, and (2) even if it could, it could not be long sustained outside of Balanced Constitutional Government.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
We've got a long day ahead of us so there won't be any additional posts put up today. However, for anyone who hasn't been following the discussion on Moderate Muslims Found, you might want to check it out.
MAS, in a (hopefully departing) comment to the thread has answered Anonymous with this tripe:
I have absolutely no problem with TM being a bigot as long as his bigotry does not manifest itself in actions.
Now, I would simply ask you, which one of us is the more likely to manifest his views in actions, as MAS puts it, a "bigot" like myself, or a "non-bigot" like MAS? The one who's exercised self-restraint, or the one who hasn't? I suggest to you that if MAS (in a message forum where ample opportunity is given to either post a comment or to not post a comment; to think about what he's written before posting -- that's all up to the individual doing the commenting) is incapable of exercising self-restraint in an online forum such as this, particularly when the non-exercise of such restraint can do nothing but harm his position and indict his character, that such a non-self-governing individual is the more likely candidate for the exercise of violent extremism.
The simple fact of the matter is this, when posting a comment to a thread online, it is you and only you who is responsible for the content of the message, irregardless of how much you think your opponent is provoking you. It takes very little self-restraint to avoid posting a comment containing foul language. And that's the bottom line here. It gives us an insight into the low character of someone like MAS. Indeed, MAS has not even as much as offered an apology for what he said. He just continues to be belligerent and condescending and insulting, which is yet another indication of his low character.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
There seems to be some confusion in Oklahoma about who landlords in the State may and may not rent their properties to. Now, besides the fact that it is and always has been unethical to knowingly provide shelter for illegal immigrants, the illegality of it is now reinforced in the State of Oklahoma. I suggest Oklahoma landlords read the following provision in the law:
B. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL for any person to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection any alien in any place within the State of Oklahoma, including any building or means of transportation, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the alien has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law. (emphasis mine)
D. Any person violating the provisions of subsections A or B of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
You've heard the phrase "let your conscience be your guide," right? And if that is not enough, then let the law be your guide. And if that is still insufficient to correctly inform you, then let the penalty for knowingly violating the provisions of the law be your guide. So, you see, we have provided a backup for the backup for the backup. If your conscience misinforms you (or you're in the habit of simply ignoring your conscience as many are), you may turn to the law. If the law coupled with your conscience still misinforms you (or you're in the habit of ignoring both), then you may consider the penalties for violating the law. This should be enough, and ignorance is no excuse.
Undoubtedly it will be argued against my interpretation of this provision in the law that the phrase "shelter from detection" absolves landlords who have no intentions of sheltering illegals for the purpose of aiding them in avoiding detection. But I'm telling you that this is an excuse and only an excuse. Rare is going to be the occurance indeed that a landlord does not either know, or strongly suspect that he is renting his property to (or sheltering) an illegal alien. And so long as that alien is holed up in that house, apartment, whatever, he is avoiding detection, most probably with the knowledge of his landlord, who is at least tacitly involved in sheltering him from detection.
Additionally, it just makes good business sense to avoid, under the new law, renting to illegal aliens. Since they are, by way of other provisions in the law, no longer eligible for public assistance and State welfare programs, and since, by way of additional provisions in the law, businesses are now prohibited from hiring illegals, how are they going to pay their rent?
Here's a story courtesy of The News on 6, Tulsa, Hispanics Fear Persecution By Law Enforcement. From the story we're told of several dilemmas Hispanics are facing in Oklahoma now that H.B 1804 has taken effect:
Dilemma no. 1:
"Many Hispanics across Oklahoma are living in fear."
Webster's answer to the dilemma: Leave.
Dilemma no. 2, according to Rev. Miguel Rivera (this is the individual, as you'll recall, who threatened that he and his organization were going to "make an example out of Oklahoma."):
"We cannot trust the Tulsa Police Department or the sheriff department."
Answer to the dilemma: Leave.
Dilemma no. 3, according to Hispanic Tulsa law enforcement officer, Jesse Guardiola:
"He says a rush of unreported crimes could be extremely harmful to the Hispanic community."
Answer to dilemma:
Honor the law by convincing Hispanic illegals that they must LEAVE. This will also greatly reduce crime within the Hispanic (and the less important, or, unimportant non-Hispanic native) community, I guarantee.
Dilemma no. 4, as created by the Tulsa County Sherriff's Office in misleading Hispanic illegals:
"The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says the only Hispanic people who need to worry about being deported are the ones who are here illegally and are caught committing a crime."
Answer to dilemma:
Change the language of your policy (at least the way you explain it), it is misleading, and therefore unfair to Hispanics by giving them a false sense of security. Being here illegally IS a crime. So, if they're here illegally and you know this, you've already "caught them committing a crime." And if this policy, or this explanation of this policy, causes fear in the Hispanic community, the answer is to LEAVE.
The full story is entered below.
Many Hispanics across Oklahoma are living in fear. They say they fear persecution at the hands of local law enforcement. News On 6 Anchor Jennifer Loren reports some Hispanic members of the Tulsa Police Department are trying to address those fears.
Tulsa Police officer Jesse Guardiola recruits and trains police force hopefuls. He's also a link to the Hispanic community.
"They ask, whether in English or Spanish, 'What's the police department's stance on it?’” said Jesse Guardiola.
He says the Tulsa Police Department has been put in the middle of the immigration issue, especially since certain Hispanic leaders have publicly stated police can't be trusted.
“You have a problem at your home, you have a robbery, you have a crime against you, call the FBI. We cannot trust the Tulsa Police Department or the sheriff department,” said Rev. Miguel Rivera.
Tulsa Police officer Jesse Guardiola says that's not right. Speaking for the Tulsa Police Department, he encourages Hispanics, legal or not, to continue reporting crimes.
He says a rush of unreported crimes could be extremely harmful to the Hispanic community.
"You become more of a target when the criminal element realize that you're not doing anything about it. And again, once they realize that I can hide amongst you or target you, well then you're an easy target,” said Tulsa Police officer Jesse Guardiola.
The bottom line, he says, is that Tulsa police are here to serve and protect, no matter who you are or where you're from.
"We want to stand on that line and help those that can't help themselves," said Tulsa Police officer Jesse Guardiola.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says the only Hispanic people who need to worry about being deported are the ones who are here illegally and are caught committing a crime.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
We're sorry, sweetie, but your mommy is a criminal if she's here illegally. You see, sweetie, a criminal is someone who knowingly and persistently violates the law of the land. A violent criminal can be, like your mommy, a criminal and a hard working person as well. A non-violent criminal such as a thief can be, like your mommy, a criminal and a hard working person at the same time. We have a lot of people in this country who are gainfully employed AND commit crimes, violent and non-violent. The best we could do for your mommy and your daddy was to give them fair warning that they are here illegally (as if they didn't already know this), and that this constitutes criminality on their parts. If they've not already left this state in the interim between the passage of this law and the day that it went into effect, sweetie, then they've done you a very big disservice. And the people who've used your picture in this way have done you a huge disservice too. We're sorry for that. But your mommy and daddy have to leave this state now. If they wish to come back they'll have to do so through legal channels this time.
So you see, sweetie, criminality is determined by the law. A person like your mommy, when there is an established law in force, has to make the conscious decision whether to abide by the the established law, or to violate it. When someone consciously chooses to violate the law, as your mommy has done, then they must be punished or the law becomes ineffective and useless, lawlessness and anarchy would ensue, and you would be in more danger than you think you're in now.
We're sorry, sweetie, that the all-encompassing ideology of liberalism let your mommy and daddy in this state and this nation to begin with. We're now working to correct that so that sweet little girls like you no longer have to suffer for the miscalculations of your parents, and through no fault of ours. Many of us have sweet little girls just like you, but we refuse to exploit them to our ends.