Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Outside the Box: Reviving A Lost Autumnal Ritual

Lost Ritual: Burning autumn leaves.

Reason: Leftist enviro policies, usually at city council level, but also brought by EPA air quality boards.

Difficulty in fighting: these policies have been either bought into or not fought by a whole lot of overregulated common folks.

Avenue of attack: Exploiting gaping Leftist inconsistencies.

So, the following are ingredients for burning autumn leaves under conditions I imagine are fully authorized by no less an authority than the United States Supreme Court.

  1. Fallen leaves
  2. Chicken wire
  3. Several cans of quick drying spray paint: 6 white, 3 red, and 2 navy blue.
  4. Matches.

Build a rectangular cage, roughly 69"x39" and 6" deep, with 69"x39" hinged lid, all made of chicken wire.

With the cage laying flat, lid at top end and open, fill cage with leaves. Close and secure lid.

Now spray paint the 69"x39" top layer of leaves white. Let dry.

Next, with your red paint, spray on top of the white, a 69 inch long, 3" wide band along one edge of your cage

Then spray another matching band along the opposite edge of your cage.

Next spray five more 3" bands on top of the white layer, roughly equally spaced at 3" increments between the first two 3" wide bands of red. Let dry.

Now, with your blue paint, spray a blue rectangle roughly 32"x21" at the lower right of your cage, fully covering 32 inches of seven of the red and white stripes. Let dry.

For your final painting job you will need your white paint again. If at this point it is not absolutely obvious what you must do next, just forget about the whole thing.

But if you have caught on what few procedures need next to be followed, then get ready to enjoy a long lost American tradition and its lovely aroma.

For you patriots out there, did you know that the proper disposal of a worn American flag is to burn it? And it just so happens that fallen autumn leaves are long past their prime.

Be careful. Nobody but someone above the age of 21 should consider doing this, and they best be prepared to explain and fight for their rights. With all that understood, carry on at your own risk. With or without a patriotic conscience, this just seems to be a loophole that the Left and the autocrats would have difficulty filling after all their efforts at making flag burning a legal right.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Help Me Defeat Leftist Social Engineers

People generally do not like being manipulated. I believe that the more people understand how they and their neighbors are manipulated the better are the chances that the majority can mount a defense against the divisive, dissembling demagogues.

A long time ago I explained the mechanics of how social engineering works to various technical engineers I work with. Each and every one understood. More recently I wrote an entry for my Glossary in an attempt to make more concrete what I mean by social engineering. Fundamentally it can be expressed by the formula D = LR, where D is dissatisfaction, L is liberty of action, and R is resistance to the action. (For unknown reasons, the "D=LR" is the only thing missing at the link. It once was there; I can't explain why it's missing. Especially since the missing equation makes the link  almost useless without this explanation here or elsewhere.)

Social Engineering is used by those in a position to implement their plans or schemes, or defeat the plans of schemes of someone else, but who are afraid of the consequences should they try and fail. The selling of a political idea more than anything involves overcoming resistance to that idea. Pushing too hard or too fast will anger or scare the general public. When that happens, a large enough bloc of the public is more apt to revolt. Thus most politicians and their backers will only feel comfortable in forcing their plans upon the public when the resistance to the plans are suitably fractured so as not to infuriate too large a bloc.

Hold on. I fear I'm getting too deep too fast once again. Look, if you can find the patience, please try reading social engineering and come back.

What I haven't gotten done in all these years is the simplifying of the concept so that more people can understand. I'd like to break the analogy down into small soundbites that may capture the imagination of more people. At least enough people so that the discussion that might emerge would help the larger body of people be able to foil the most rotten plans and schemes proposed by our ever more arrogant (thinking they can't be stopped by puny, unorganized and ignorant rabble) power-seeking class.

Help me make myself more clear.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Made My Day!

I received a telephone call out of the blue today from a young professional of my acquaintance.

"I thought I should let you know that my wife and I had a daughter about a month ago. I don't know if you recall our conversation, but it was your comments about the influence of death cults that encouraged us to try even harder. Thank you."
I had only just returned from an enjoyable visit to France, and I might never have received his message had he called two days earlier. It's not the kind of thing I'd have left on a voice mail. The trip was nice, but this was wonderful.

I'm in such a good mood, I'll share two photos from my trip.

A double sized bronze sculpture of Charlemagne on war horse with two warrior attendants guards the entrance to Notre Dame de Paris. I noticed that he was glaring at the Préfet de Police across the street. I think Og the Neanderpundit would fit in here.

And here is the rear of Notre Dame that isn't often publicized.



If you'd like a high resolution copy of either photo, let me know.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Subtlety and Threat

Time and again I see where Wretchard and I are looking at the same larger panoramic. He does a marvelous job of piecing together the fabric -- the pixels if you will -- of that larger picture. In that sense, I am merely a customer of his.

But beyond that, he and I appear to be equally alarmed (though I could be wrong) by the same developments. The big difference in our responses, however, is that he somehow manages to write of what he sees with subtlety, and I don't think I've ever been accused of that.

Last night I responded to Wretchard's clever and typically subtle White Lies and Promises (which begins: "Who said the Minority Report was science fiction?") with a wry comment that didn't quite convey all of my thoughts (and was grammatically faulty to boot). I will try to fix that error here.

When what appears to be a trap is being built around one, one may feel at leisure to remark at the contraption with subtlety and seeming disinterest. Any threat it might impose may seem too far off.

The danger of course is that at some point one's subtlety may have become a comfortable old habit. For once the walls of that trap you so calmly watched being built have closed in, do you really hope others will say that you must have felt your bones were crunched oh so subtly?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Progressive Rant

I started to write a screed in July in response to a Belmont Club post, Definitions, entitled Those Hellbent On Leading Us Into A New Dark Ages. But I cooled off after I answered a misunderstanding posted by BC commenter 3Case.

In June I wrote "Progressives" Are Demonstrably Dangerous to Human Life, but I still wasn't satisfied. This was to be followed by a part II that had been provoked by Mark Alger here. Instead, it languished incomplete for a couple months. I was feeling downright low about how hard a nut this was going to be to crack.

Many years ago I wrote this of Progressives. My wry humor sprung from the fact that it didn't take long for the Progressive reform movement that grew out of the late 19th Century American Populist movement to degrade into a comfy home for deceptive power seekers who succeeded in breeching our government's constitutional limits incrementally for "only the best of reasons."

In early August, Our Curmudgeon, in the pursuit of another topic, wrote of the treachery of "Progressives" as I've always wished him to do, but it still was not enough. For, on that same day, I had heard parts of a speech by Hilliary Clinton that got me started on another screed that I never finished: The "Progressive" Hatred for People.

And now this last week, Mark Alger needled me with the thought that we who are representative of true progress ought steal the progressive label from the phonies.

ARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH! 8/17/07

Continued on 9/05/07

The people who have been granted (by the PC crowd) the leave to wear the label Progressive are anything but. In addition to having long ago become the home for those whose lust for power may well set a new standard for perversion, they are well on their way to making a pejorative of the word progress just as they have made an unbearable burden for anyone who is truly liberal. Those who would wish we will not progress could not be happier.

More and more I run across both writers on the Internet and casual conversants who see that "Progressive" must be put in scorn quotes whenever we refer to those who claim that label.

This is unacceptable. This is Orwellian Newspeak being thrust upon us because we people who must speak with each other in order to counter this road to serfdom and a new dark age do not control the mainstream news media's effluent. We so badly need a new and widely influential means of communicating our viewpoint so that we can counter the anti-language corps. Where is our John Galt who can pirate, even for a little while, all media outlets away from those who relentlessly destroy our language?

A few days ago I had to contend with the confusion over what is a "Progressive" at The Belmont Club. After my initial comment to Wretchard, I had a short interchange with two of his active readers, Charles and LarryD, over the words Postmodern and Progressive. I think I stumbled on the best way verbally to deal with our tormentors: call them Postmodern Progressives.

In the end I think we were all dancing around the same idea at core. Today's Progressives are not advancers of civilization even if there were once some who could rightly claim to have been. Just as "Liberals" view as progressive the liberal growth of government -- and thereby the growth of restrictions on the liberty of individuals (anti-liberalism) -- so too when something will lead to mankind's diminishment, that is what "Progressives" view as progress (anti-progress).

I think we all understand that "Progressives" are NOT. But what are we who really love to see progress going to do about it?

I am convinced that most "Progressives" fall under the category of the misled. The most troublesome of them are the true-believers who allow themselves to become useful idiots. But the task that we who are optimists must find is how to unmask the mostly quiescent troublemakers who lend their support to the useful idiots, thereby accomplishing what they themselves could never achieve: mankind's self-destruction.

I know from what I've read throughout the web on the Right that most Right thinkers see that the label of Progressive has been stolen every bit as much as classical liberals have had Liberal stolen from them.

We must fight to take back the label Progressive so that those that follow us will be able to progress. So that those that follow do not find themselves under a yoke that so many Americans have fought to keep from being institutionalized on these shores. This is a patriotic battle. This is a battle that the bulk of humanity will always have with the effete elite. Understanding it does not require rocket science. It does not require knowing what Postmodernism is, only that it is something that wants you to return to times of enslavement over men's minds. It wishes for nothing less than a new Dark Age.

My friend Og often suggests that at some point the need to argue must end; that it is time for the cricket bats. He may be close to right.

On Balance, Jay Leno Owes Us One

I have to admit I've had trepidations about Fred Thompson announcing on Jay Leno tonight.

The primary reason is that last actor to do so was Arnold Schwarzenkaiser, the radically green, anti-conservative governor of California.

Since most conservatives know how to pray, I think this might be a good time to pray that it is the progressive statists who will be sold out this time.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

She Thinks Her Shit Doesn't Stink

I grew up where the vernacular expression for someone who believes themselves more important than anyone else was "He thinks his shit doesn't stink." It was invariably heard about a man whose attitude fit the expression.

I don't know if there were women then who rated such an observation, but given experience which shows that human foibles cross the sex line, I suspect there must have been a few. Only the niceties of the times prevented most men from using it to describe her haughtiness. "Niceties." Right. Reality was that any man who dared use such language risked running up against other men who'd ride to the damsel's rescue whether or not she deserved such gallantry. And the woman who used it on another woman or man would have caused a scene since women were believed to be above such gutter-level language no matter how accurate. Afterall, such a line appears only to be a derogatory statement of opinion about someone else's attitude. And are you not warned against judging others lest ye too be judged?

Well, to cap it all, the intent of my raising this issue is that civilized behavior often prevents noting that civilization's shit doesn't stink. Somehow we just don't bury what we know to be our toxic waste-products as more primitive cultures have done without giving their crap a second thought. No. We pick it up and carry it around and force our subsequent generations to learn to live with it and even venerate it.

Let's be clear so that our elected officials cannot hide their behavior no matter what banner they serve under. In our time, Leftism is not only practiced by the official Left, but also by members of our Right in high office.

Among the worst shit that Leftism still refuses to admit stinks is Marxism and its fundamental determination to secure "social justice." In their relentless grasping for power, today's "progressives" will harass anything and everything that is or may be successful in its insane attempt to secure Nirvana for everyone equally. But what they ultimately achieve is an awful outcome for everyone as they stifle the creativity (the least negative of its known behaviors I can think of) that is buried within the few who would be our culture's future champions.

The legacy of Marxism is a trail of human tragedy unmatched in the annals of history. Yet our Leftists still think that shit doesn't stink.

And we now have a major candidate for one party who has always been focused on aims that are clearly seen to be Marxist. And that's even before we bother to note her unmistakable bearing which provoked this commentary.

Well, now that the period of nicety is over, let me be the first to put this in print: Hillary thinks her shit doesn't stink. Do you really want that for President?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Some Problems On Our Right

I have since as far back as I can remember been associated with the Right by those who know me. That was primarily because of my archly conservative nature compared within my family and circle of friends. Still, because of familial influences, I considered myself a liberal politically up to 1972. I knew of one vocal conservative in high school, and that was from a distance. My exposure to Right thinking was pretty much limited to warnings from my Dad about using my common sense. What more need be said for the well-rounded (not!) early 60s secondary education on Long Island?

It was in my freshman year at Michigan when the first Teach-Ins were staged that my conservative nature began to kick back in to affect my political viewpoint. But even after witnessing those early Viet Nam war protesters and how quickly they turned viciously anti-liberal on anyone who dared question them earnestly, I was slow to associate their behavior with what liberal politics was becoming.

That was mostly because I was somewhat oblivious to the blow-hards. The presence of the Right on any campus stage was almost non-existent except for the engineering students in general who would turn up for student votes in large numbers and set-back the hopes of the radicals, who were mostly from the school of Literature, Science and the Arts. That is when they weren't "professional students" like Tom Haydn (Did he ever earn a degree?) and others in his chapter of SDS. The campus Leftists would mostly rejoin after every student defeat of whatever anti-war, anti-American resolution they tried to foist with the threat ( I can still hear her raspy whine today) "oh, we will educate you." (It is now too apparently clear what it was they were planning to take over -- everything linked to education. Too bad I was unaware back then of C.S.Lewis' lecture Men Without Chests.)

I started to write simply what is to immediately follow, and decided to fill in the above background first. Go figure how my own mind works. It surprises me constantly. I guess this is the price I ask of my readers if I'm going to write more material.

Some problems I identify on the Right.
  • Too calm for our own good. Almost always arguing with a calm facade when it takes thoughts like that expressed by Michael Savage (but too polite or fearful to admit it) to drive many people to act against even the worst affronts by the Left. The Right needs less "country-club rules of behavior" Republicans and more street fighters to be installed in GOP leadership if the GOP is to mean anything. God grant us far less Bushes and at least one more Reagan.
  • The Right's kowtowing to the mythical political center voter. Provide leadership and the Right will shift the center to the right rather than letting radical Leftists dictate the march. The Political Center is hardly middle politically since even yesterday. It is left of last week, and widely left of last year. The term Progressive was used for self-description by left-leaning Republicans even before the Dems abandoned their Liberal label (because by their owning it they had made it a dirty word) to try and gain some ground under Progressive (before they brought a pejorative sense to that word too). The Right needs to strip much if not all of the authority it has allowed its Progressives because they keep forcing the party to move Left and thus allowing the middle to shift left. WTF are you saying Pascal? I am saying that our society is being dragged left because the Dems and the GOP Progressives are constantly placating the Left fringe. And then they have the balls to call progressive their stupid responses to anecdotal hardships both real and staged, and their cowardly giving into interest group tantrums and threats of even wilder antisocial behavior. Or is it really stupid and cowardly? I think that perception most heavily depends on which side of the tax bill and liberty infringements you are sitting on. It is hardly news that both government lovers and corporate financiers gain when the central government grows. But the depth of the corruption brings on more corruption because govt's vast inefficiencies guarantee that the bulk of the largess and power will go to the providers of whatever service yesterday's radicals had been given the microphone to ask for. The perpetual charade of responding to radical demands is insane only to the taxpayers, not to the taxers. We are funding our own long term destruction for the short term feather-bedding of those whom we allow to run our institutions.
  • Who today on the Right, in a notable leadership position, is arguing consistently at all the last highlighted segment of my last point? It is maybe the biggest problem of the Right that I do not know of a single one.


Regarding that last point. C'mon you allegedly brilliant writers on the Right out there: show me how wrong I am.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

What Makes This Video Extraordinary?

I was directed to this video posted at Observanda by 2164th who was quite astounded and pleased. He was hardly alone.

An Englishman explains Islam:




However, aside from the danger that has been directed at people such as this brave man by Jihadis, there is also the intolerance of those in positions of authority and censorship watchdogs of political correctness.

Here's my observation:

The problems posed to us by militant Islamists I don't think are really in contention.

I think the real problem was only obliquely touched by the man in this video:
"we live in a liberal democracy and therefore have certain double-standards to maintain... which seeks to portray legitimate comment as some kind of hate crime."
How far would any of this nonsense have gotten if it weren't for these fifth columnists, whose hamstringing of frank assessment of the threats and those who are most threatening, aids and abets the enemies of the West? The Left and other Statists would have us "submit" one way or the other.

This video is only extraordinary because our "leaders" kowtow to everyone with a "chip on their shoulder the size of a mosque," and to hell with the rest of us. If our leaders spoke like leaders, this man wouldn't feel the need to show them how.

The video that needs publishing is one that would drive the PC crowd from office.

Wouldn't you pay to see that one?

I would.

 

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dilemmas Facing Advanced Civilization -Pt2

Part one of this series can be found at Open List: Dilemmas of Advanced Civilization

  1. Wanton wastefulness solely to temporarily slake the appetite of a bored audience for exciting entertainment.
  2. A sense of defeat -- "oh, what's the use?" -- that may sideline a cultural defender. This effect may be temporary but can be permanent.
  3. Exhaustion of the virtuous. An otherwise strong defender recognizes a clear adversary; adversary's offense could be anything from an incremental point of contention all the way to a significant assault on an essential institution, but defender still retreats from even a verbal battle for reasons unstated; letting important opportunities slide becomes easier with each passing incident.
For an "entertaining" example of wanton wastefulness, click on this episode of Top Gear. Top Gear is the BBC's most watched program (at over 50% share). BBC programing is paid for with the BBC tax on all UK TV sets. Watch for the intermittent expression on the face of the host (one of the three) affectionately known as the Hamster.

Perhaps I'm overly optimistic, but I think his mugging could indicate that while shame may not be thoroughly dead in the UK, its agonizing death throes are beyond the denial stage.

For an example of ailment number 2, I offer my own intermittent posting of entries here.

For an example of ailment number 3, I offer this episode from Eternity Road.

**UPDATE Aug 7**
Coincidentally, Dennis Prager wrote this for Townhall.com today: Excitement Deprives Children of Happiness, that explores the circumstances that lead to consequences such as ailment number 1. He admits it is not just children, but the adults they grow up to be.

Litmus Test

Does your favorite champion unflinchingly defend innocent human life?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fear and Hatred for Real Leaders

Pursuing themes I raised earlier this month, (causes of civilizational decline, and more specifically, who and what blocks reforms) I spoke with Og the Neanderpundit about how much we providers and guardians of real progress need a true leader. Og, widely known for his love of the simpler life (not to be confused with Luddites), hates red tape more than the average guy, and complicated arguments even more so.

I spoke with Og on this because he is excellent at cutting to the essentials of an issue. For instance, he reduces John Galt's 57 page speech down to the summary: "Liberalism is stupid." When I want to make important points concisely, I find my thoughts condense easier while speaking with him.

Yesterday Og rendered one part of our discussion down to the "simple" question: Why can’t we find a hero? His illumination of the situation facing potential leaders culminates with the rhetorical question: "Sure, why isn’t there a HUGE line of people anxious to serve?" Please read it all and then come back.

The most virulent attacks on emerging heroes will reach you through from our Establishment's media, more widely known as Mainstream media (MSM).

Well, who pays the salaries of MSM? It's customers do. One is forced to the conclusion that a majority of MSM's customers are either comfortable with or favoring such attacks.

Well, who are MSM's customers? No, it is not readers and viewers. Reading and viewing fees provide a small part of all MSM costs, including its salaries and profits. It is advertising that provides the vast bulk of MSM's revenues.

Readers and viewers are merely MSM's audience. And we know from polls that the majority of MSM's audience is beyond tired and is now outright annoyed with most of the inane reporting, reporting spin, and commentary emanating from MSM.

MSM's customers -- the people who pay for the programming and editorial decisions with their advertising fees -- are the heads of our institutions. The bigger the corporation or public servant's office or public or private institution, the more money they will pay to MSM to get out their messages. And the more they spend, the more MSM is inclined to be influenced by its customer.

This situation is in place all before we even consider the political inclinations of the people employed at MSM, which tends to be collectivist in one way or another. And if you think that even the largest corporations do not favor collectivism, you are not paying attention.

The point I am aiming towards is how much those steeped in management perspective - its power and perquisites -- have every reason to be fearful, loathsome and outright hostile to leaders whose actions and abilities sway public opinion simply through the strength of their persona or depth of character. They fear loss of what they now have, and they will play with your fears of losing whatever goods you now have should you dare vote to endanger them.

Leaders of that sort might upset their applecart. They want a handle on every potential leader so much that it has become -- at least in their narrow minds -- a need. They need to be able to bring every leader to heel -- or else -- when the need arises. They are paying big fees to MSM to do so. They will try with every trick at their disposal.

Dear reader, I am hoping you have learned to greet every new revelation about some rising leader with quite a bit of skepticism. At some point in the future, maybe the near future, you will be asked to make a decisions favoring leaders who have compromising situations hounding them. Among them will be real leaders.

Know this to be a fact. Those currently in positions of greatest consequence and power will fear the most heroic. MSM's customers will wish them to be feared and detested by the majority of us for all the wrong reasons. MSM will find some and any cause to rain upon your heroes' heads; all kinds of visually compelling nastiness. MSM is well on its way to owning and controlling YouTube. There are countless reasons to believe how every other delivery system on the web could come under moneyed control too in one way or another.

It's going to be up to you more than ever to improve your analytical capabilities and communication skills in order to keep the web the potent new forum it is quickly becoming. Forces bigger than us are working against your interests -- against what's good for you in the long haul -- simply to protect their short-term goals and to lengthen their retention of power.

The most powerful in our world -- a kind of new aristocracy we have little control over -- wants to control every potential real leader. They feel they have paid for that right. They will control the leader or they'll aim to destroy him.

There is a risk to us all from every popular new leader. Hopefully the checks and balances will still work in that regard. The best leader will do more than merely give lip service to it. So that is one important test we can make. But there is a bigger risk.

If will don't permit them to grow, if we aren't aware enough or courageous enough to back those we like (for the most part) in the role of reforming new leader, we will lose in the long run. The reforms most needed involve ending the growth of government and large institutions. As things stand, those who think they know better have gotten to where they think they can overwhelm opposition to their fondest wish: to control every aspect of our lives. To defeat it will require a leader much like Ronald Reagan in his appeal, but for whom the well-established entrenched are willing and are planning to destroy. The entrenched mentality that is managing 21st Century America is in position and ready to convince you and your fellow citizens to fear and hate the next real leader.

Be prepared.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Watermelons

I just had a conversation with a friend who is a considerably more avid reader than I.

Politically speaking, he seemed only now to have learned what is meant by "watermelon."

I was quite surprised. Once again, I suspect MSM at core of this.

Since Establishment media suppresses the use of the apt metaphorical phrase "watermelon" in any of its reporting, it may very well be more obscure a term than it deserves to be.

Green on the outside, red on the inside, "watermelon" has been around from even before the fall of the Soviet Union heralded "the end of Communism as a force on the world stage." For those of us who've been fighting the Left for so many years, when we were confronted by the actions and programs of extreme environmentalism, the "Greens," we were not surprised when how "coincidentally" the greenies wound up with the same goals as Marxism: collective control of human activity ostensibly for the betterment of the common good. For yours truly, demonstrating the threat revealed by the vast death toll under Marxist regimes and the hatred for human life displayed by extreme environmentalists has long been my mission.

When the tiger who killed you before changes his stripes, you can be pretty sure he still aims to kill you.

Yes, the old Leftist's metamorphosis was clever enough; but their cover is quickly revealed by the metaphor "watermelon."

I'm adding a poll to my site asking simply: "Politically speaking, do you know what a watermelon is, yes or no?"

The poll software doesn't allow comments directly. However, as always, you may add your comments to this thread.

It also seems that Blogger doesn't provide a hyperlink address to so that anyone could send traffic to it directly.

Kindly consider adding the question to your own site and tie it to http://pascalfervor.blogspot.com/
with a note that states the poll is at the top of the left side bar.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Those Who Are Beyond Embarrassment

With Roasted Chickens Roosting, Wretchard calls our attention to the continuing self-serving trail of destructiveness that Ward Churchill wallows in. Be careful not to misread the last word in that title as roasting. For it is one thing for us to see dead people who don't know they're dead, and entirely another to continue to let their specter ruin us.

For you see, this is one heluva "cooked goose." A dead chicken come home not just to roost but to tear up the place as poltergeists are said to do to the domains from which they were unwillingly snatched.

Not satisfied with contributing to the intellectual bankruptcy of an academy, Churchill and his fellow travelers will now attempt to fiscally bankrupt it too.

I somehow doubt it will come to that though. Nihilists, having long been nurtured and protected by the Ivory Towers, are expert at avoiding annihilating their own home.

One more thing. Churchill is not at all embarrassed by his misconduct. He derives comfort from the evidence that CU let him slide until his outspokenness brought their hiring malfeasances to the attention of the outside world.

I have often said that the one thing the deepest cynics cannot abide is the possibility that someone somewhere is not corrupted. The corrupt are necessary for cynicism's existence, and so the corrupt are welcomed. But the very idea that innocence could exist becomes terrifying, because the existence of a single innocent becomes a devout cynic's self-condemnation to hell.

God, if there were only some way to sentence Churchill and ilk to life in perpetual embarrassment, it would provide a veritable stake through the heart of such destructiveness.

Oh dear fellow Americans: is it not time to bring back public stocks precisely to weal some small measure of appropriate punishment to such desperately needy reprobates?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Our Reform Dilemma

This Democratic Congress is the realization of the threat by the RINOs (combined with one other thing): "you better vote for the GOP run by us or we are going to give you them! Har, har, har!"

You know what that one other thing is? The majority of conservatives are not ready to put in the time to seize control of the GOP from those who accept -- however reluctantly -- the status quo.

And I'm as guilty as the rest of you. I am wishing for a leader so I can stop feeling guilty for not trying hard enough. (In Los Angeles, I've tried and failed: a story for another time). I can't say I haven't the faintest idea how to be a leader myself. However, in politics, I only know what has happened to so many who've expended their own efforts only to be attacked or whittled down by the system.

One thing is clear. Those currently in power do not trust anyone who does not seem to have well-known failings. They want a handle already in place so they don't need to invent one.

Before the next leader appears on the scene, remember how much managers hate leaders until they need one.


(This commentary was inspired while I was commenting on Elasticity of Mind's posted graph showing, among other things, the Dem Congress's approval rating at 14%.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Open List: Dilemmas of Advanced Civilization

Just trying to identify major and minor factors that challenge today's advanced civilization. The developed world's pathologies affect the whole world. Here's a start with no leading item identified.
  • Pessimism.
  • Cynicism.
  • Protection of wealth.
  • Enervation of motivation.
  • Lack of gratitude.
  • Lack of humility.
  • Seeking power for the sake of power, or "King of the Hill."
  • Misanthropic notions.
  • Reemergence of ancient irrationalities.
  • Deliberate monkey-wrenching.
  • Abandoning reasoning, preferring feeling. (Og)
  • Choosing to go along with whatever is made popular. (Og)
  • The notorious get press; the notable don't unless they screw up. (mts)
Help me add to this. Take as negative viewpoint as you wish. It is my position that for every trouble there is also some optimistic view that can be taken.

Update: Please see Dilemmas Facing Advanced Civilization -Pt2 for part 2 in this series

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Secret of Utopias

Practical jokers find delight in the confusion, discomfort, and predicaments they can inflict on their targets.

Misanthropes -- haters of humanity -- are easily enraged when humans find happiness in their "miserable" lives.

Utopia is commonly understood to be a perfect place where nothing bad happens. Those who are selling their vision of the perfect the world are oft described as Utopians.

Question:
What provision do Utopians make for practical jokers and misanthropes?
Answer:
What? Do you really expect them to reveal to you ahead of time that it is they who plan to run things?


Practical jokers are the salesmen, misanthropes run the camps.

Missed the Misanthropes Hiding Behind Malthusianism

Dennis Prager wrote a column today, Why Are Atheist Books Best Sellers?.

Among the reasons he stated, he did not mention the haters of humanity.

The radical environmental movement has provided the misanthropes the perfect place to disguise their hatred. They do it under the cover of the "moral" authority asserted by Neo-Malthusianic movements like that foisted by the Global Warming crisis mongers.

I've made the case for this connection many times. Notably here and here. I've tried to get Mr. Prager to acknowledge the threat before. But for some unfathomable reason he chooses to miss it, not discuss it in depth. He even outright evaded it as can be heard here. Notice in that clip how he shunted all of the death worship onto the shoulders of radical Islam and let the radical Left slip by unscathed.

At the core of the Judeo-Christian branch of theology is the conviction that innocent people (like children in the womb) must not be sacrificed to whatever human fear or true-believer movement demands it.

It should thus come as no surprise that because of this protective covenant with their God that observant Christians and Jews -- and their rights to be safe with their thinking -- are being targeted.

It is not hard to see that we are in the middle stages of gradually having Christianity deemed intolerable by authorities with the mind-altering intolerance that these anti-theists (with whom Mr. Prager slammed all atheists with the title of his column) are advancing. The final stage, for which they are clearly aiming, is the status of the church depicted in the Orwellian dystopia of the novel 1984: for the church to be a vague memory.

Bottom line: It should be no surprise that Malthusian misanthropes and radical environmentalists, including some of the GW true-believers, would be prevalent at the same time as the popularity of these books. Mr. Prager failed to include them.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Essential Tangential Capture


When in conversation -- talking at length invariably touches on many subjects and... -- I frequently catch hold of a phrase of my partner's -- I delight in catching these things because it so frequently leads to discovering new depths. For instance... -- and I either can hardly wait to share my thought, or my mind is racing well past what my partner is saying.

Needless to say, this has been off-putting if not damaging to my development of friends quickly. First impressions are hard to break. And I have to admit that even I find that a fast-talking,
both seemingly distant and yet interruptive conversant is not one of my favorite types with whom to spend much time.

Then add varied degrees of defensiveness or a desire to stop the other in mid-speech when they've misunderstood me, and what started out as a simple conversation, can quickly development into a heated discussion or a consequential dispute.

All this even before anything of substance has been stated.

Such can be the troubles of the owner of a semi-rapid mind like mine.


However, anyone who has dealt with me professionally and wants to gain from the skills pent up in this semi-rapid mind, knows to just let me go and occasionally check that I haven't gone too far afield. I
n my day job I rarely run across a problem that didn't look like another one I've already solved, so this is seldom a problem there.

There my problems can stem from others not knowing what I'm doing. When I move fast it makes some nervous even if it regains time others have lost; though I've never gone wrong [knock wood], I am reluctant to say so lest spoilsport "Murphy" be listening. I can do things that I often can't easily explain to others. Why? See above! The best thing would be for them to go away until I'm done. Sometimes they can't. So it has sometimes come down to this: they either trust me or I tell 'em to find someone else.

Usually they trust me. [knock wood]. But why should they?

Oh, I could write it out all right. But in the heat of the battle, you don't write out your tactics as you're figuring out what the next one must be even as you're deploying the last tactic. You're moving and reacting to rapid changes. And remember, I only have a semi-rapid mind. Hence, you can see why I attribute much of my success to luck.

Heh, heh. Well, if you know the nature of luck, then you know how much my success really isn't all luck.

Anyway, I have just passed along to you what its like to live with my limitations. They can and have made things difficult.

However. It is the very nature of my mind, a type that I share with to some extent with a lot of nerdy engineers, that makes our performance possible. The applying of ingenuity to solve problems quickly, safely, and profitably.

Tangential thought is key to human ingenuity. You run up an alley. Take in the view quickly. Run back to the main path. Run up the next alley. Repeat. Just suppress mentioning it all. Even if you could, hardly anyone will understand. One simply cannot speak as quickly as one can make observations, note the values revealed, and not be distracted from the task at hand. Well, at least not someone with a semi-rapid mind like myself.

And you can see, if this is possibly a wide-spread attribute of engineers, then in this is why many
often seem distant to the rest of the public. Their experience tells them that conversations about their work aren't always productive. The essential product of their tangential minds -- well suited to solving problems on the fly -- is not easily captured in conversation, and even on paper. As to speaking with someone who has no experience at all, well, after a minute or two these are typically looking for an exit, any exit.

And so, here is where I get to one solution that has worked for me and which I heartily recommend to others.

I've rediscovered something that helps fill in for my limitations. The great tool to extended and useful conversation that is made possible by instant messaging -- IMs.


I have much thanks for Og, the Neanderpundit, who sought me out some time in the past years because of my comments and contributions at Eternity Road. And who recently renewed our acquaintance by replacing those brief IMs with now some rather elaborate ones that have helped me make this blog explode.

The gist of the matter as far as I am concerned is demonstrated thus.

When I am writing an entry to an IM, Og is doing whatever.
As he responds, I am writing more to elaborate.

He isn't distracted by my voice or by what I've written and continues to write his response.
I latch onto what he has written, and elaborate on some tangential thing.

He continues to write, or starts to respond to what I've taken off on.
Each time I hit enter, I go back and read what he's written while I was writing.

At no time do I miss what he's written, nor he mine.

When I did this with my Dad some five or six years ago, all those conversations we used have that deteriorated into shouting matches became history. Even in person, our ability to converse in a more gentle manner had been established (although my ability to hold on to a new thought of my own while he was speaking had only gotten a little better) He'd let me cue him while he was speaking and he'd continue and we could come back to my thought, sometimes even successfully. The most important thing of all, is that IMs led to the best moments I had with my Dad in his last days; and intellectually speaking, this was our best days.

So, for me at least, there still is nothing like the IM to let a wandering mind capture those things it generates off of another great mind. So thank you Og for helping me in many ways.

OTOH, for those of you who don't like the product of my output? You can blame Og for enabling me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sharing Fates, Indeed

As I read
"Even within the Muslim community -- especially within the Muslim community -- there is great awareness of how closely the terror attacks are linked to issues within Islam."
at the Belmont Club's Sharing Fates, Wretchard prompted my recall of the following conclusion from observation.

Multiculturalism promotes the destruction of the Social Contract.

The Social Contract is the fundamental promise that legitimizes the governmental system of the United Kingdom, that of its commonwealth legacy nations, and that of the United States.

Briefly stated: "In preserving rights equally among our people, we reserve the right to the use of force." In the United States, the paramount of human rights were written down in the Declaration of Independence: the rights to life and liberty.

In the Muslim communities, out of which the recent terrorist plots emerged, there are surely some members who have the uncommon opinion that the terrorists are bad.

But due to multiculturalism and its promotion, Sharia Law has been allowed to take the place of English common law in Muslim communities. Could there be a more explicit surrender of the UK's promise under its social contract?

Were it still universally adhering to the social contract, Britain would see that its legitimacy, let alone its security, would be on the line here. Were it still defending its authority even in Muslim communities, it would be easier to gain intelligence. Were it still unapologetically offering protection to those who wish to report to the authorities the plans of terrorists they see mounting, the Brits would increase their security.

But under Sharia Law, the informers become criminals as soon as they take a stance with infidels against any other Muslims. The security of England is demoted to the Left's insistence on instituting multicultural acceptance at every level.

Hence, the weak of the Muslim community are put out of reach of the protection of the wider and more powerful UK justice system. And so are any English patriots who happen to be Muslim.

Thus England, in allowing multiculturalism to spread, is systematically delegitimizing itself even before it allows hostile forces to mount within it. In allowing them legally to cut the throats of those England has abandoned to it, the terrorists will find it easier to cut England's throat.

Yes Wretchard, sharing fates, indeed.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Orwellian Crazy Quilt

There was a time when politicians of any party knew they couldn't get away with blatant hypocrisy. They would typically leave the hurling of unsavory charges (of which they themselves may have been guilty) to their friends.

They knew they couldn't get away with such impertinent attacks because the major media wouldn't miss an opportunity to feed the hypocrite to their audiences.

Apparently Hillary Clinton has no fear about spitting into the wind.

For today she came out hammering President Bush for commuting Scooter's incarceration. (courtesy, Savage Nation)

Can you imagine CBS evening news leading with "In a shocker, Hillary Rodham Clinton lambasted the Bush Administration for cronyism in pardoning Scooter Libby." And then listing Bill and Hillary Clinton's vastly unprecedented number of pardons, including Mark Rich and Susan McDougal.

Nuh-uh. MSM wants to chuck the Clinton pardons down the memory hole. They'll probably succeed.

I hope I'm wrong. I surely wish we conservatives get loud again and bring embarrassment to its rightful owners.

The Dems have gotten notoriously shameless. And why not? Our GOP country-clubbers never hand them their head, let alone shame them. What price will the Dems pay if balance is conceded to MSM?

Every issue is tacky to the "leaders" on the Right, nothing is to the whole of the Left. That's some leadership we got!


As incidents like this add up, shamelessness unexposed becomes positively Orwellian. So will we now add this, and the next, and the next, to the crazy quilt of acceptable nonsense that is woven from the litanies of the Left? We will if the BS goes uncorrected by the Leftist dominated media, which more and more includes Fox.

So here is my Orwellian version of the Democrat's latest litany that will go uncorrected everywhere but on the Internet and on most conservative talk shows:

We are at war with pardons.
We have always been at war with pardons.
Strict enforcement is our friend.
Of course, back at the end of the Clinton Administration, this was the Democratic rant:
We are at war with merciless sentencing.
We have always been at war with merciless sentencing.
Pardons are our friend.

Unless you help make a football of Hillary's chutzpah, get used to the pattern.
Your masters declaring what you may remember, and their weavers making you learn to love crazy.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Belmont Club: Here Be Irony?

With his commentary on London's extraordinary surveillance system, Here Be Dragons, Wretchard concludes:
"One of the supreme ironies of recent history is that the policies and attitudes which declared all borders open, passports unnecessary, wars obsolete, all cultures equivalent and 'soft power' the only kind that could be countenanced may have led directly to rise of fearful police states."
Why call it an irony when the police state is the consequence of all that openness?

For that matter, why does the Left side with the 'insurgents,' the Greens insist that fighting GW is more important than fighting terrorism, and our WOT's odd Rules of Engagement is the policy of the man who calls Islam the ROP?

After all, what do Leftists and Statists and Islamists all have in common?
S U B M I S S I O N.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Curious Visitor

I received quite a bit of attention today from a new visitor out of Palm Harbor, Florida.

Over an hour long, and 54 pages views, but not a single comment. Then he went off to Eternity Road for almost 5 hours. He came to me from the Belmont Club. Lord know how much time he spent there. LOL.

Who are you fella? Stop awhile and say hello.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Conservative Voice -- A Great New Beginning

This is a follow on both to the current (final?) defeat of the Senate amnesty bill, and to my earlier post today.

I think the point I am about to make is in the tone of my blog post of yesterday (and noticed by Mark Alger in comments there).

In order to counter the extremely loud voices of our adversaries, you can no longer continue to whisper your displeasure.

You must find your own voice. You must be heard above the incessant din at least once -- then resort to more measured tones. Like a meeting moderator calling a meeting to order, strike your gavel, slam it down if needed.

Hey you. Mr. conservatives. You've been voting Republican for longer than you care to remember. You've been getting less and less for your efforts.

You want a change? Then you will need to change.

If you continue to whisper in country-club voice, you will continue to get country club Republicans at the head of your party. If you want more of your kind, then raise your voice so that the country-clubbers are forced to deal with you.

So blow your loudest whistle, like you're about to miss the most important taxi ride of your life. After you get into your taxi, then you can tone it down.

Take control conservatives.
Today's drubbing of American Leftists and Statists are just the beginning.

Enemy Mud-Flinging So Easily Drowns Out Voice of Allies

One sure way for the enemy to undermine us is for us to listen to their relentless BS.

Like a boxer's constant jabbing, like an artillery's omnipresent barrage, our enemy's day-in and day-out verbal arsenal of outrageous charges, ridicules, calumnies, slanders and the like, can easily wear us down.

Do we understand what is the worst possible result when we listen?

We are more apt to turn a blind ear to those who have our best interests at heart and feel we must hear constructive criticism. After enduring shouts at 120 dB, what's the chance you'll hear complaints delivered at 80 dB? After being called Hitler, how fast will you react to charges that you're going off course?

We are more apt to listen to sycophants and pretenders than those whose loyalty and wisdom we would normally not question.

One who acts in the opposite manner from this tendency is exhibiting one of the finest traits of a good leader. One who understands all this, and reacts soberly and properly when our side most needs his clear-headed decision-making, is the kind of leader I have not seen in a very long time. One who is humble enough to accept criticism. One who recognizes the constructive kind and discards the rest as just so much harmless flack. This is the kind of President who would honor our Constitution rather than see it as nothing more than an old piece of paper.

----------------------
A Case Study

President Bush has had to undergo as much or more of these sort of tactics, staged by the viral Left, than any other President in our history. Certainly the omnipresent 24/7 media and its left wing bias has never been as totally yellow-journalistic as it has been during the current administration.

But W's softness towards his opponents on the Left combined with his harshness towards principled conservatives has been a sorry thing to watch, to say the least.

I have found myself torn between two concerns: worries over his treatment and his health on the one hand, while on the other is my displeasure over his embarking on one liberal policy after another.

Is he responding to the Left because they are so loud and thereby they have drowned out the voices of those who won him his administration?

Or was his drift leftward always his intent all along? A Democrat who ran as a Republican, an earlier version of Bloomberg, but, unlike the NYC mayor, a man with a long GOP pedigree. A man who hears the voices who pillory him more with every move he makes in their favor looks like a man who is crying as he carries his hidden backer's gains all the way to the bank.

This last sense is in the tradition of the all-American populist.

Of course W's form of leftism is more in keeping with a corporate statism. His wish for amnesty would both aid the Democratic Party as well as corporate interests. That alliance is not new. Corporations play both sides of the aisle. Corporations hide behind Leftist's causes to gain them advantages over other corporations and individuals.

Anyway.

Will W finally care more for how the people feel about him at this time rather than his corporate backers and Democrat friends?
Will the seeming defeat of the Senate amnesty bill (this time?) give W one more chance to act like a true leader?

Well, we can hope.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For The Children

Every time I hear some politician try to sell some program "for the children" I am angered.

So how come, you hack, you don't ever speak up against school programs aimed at convincing children not to have children?
Programs on sex aimed at kids at earlier and earlier ages.

Programs that deny kids the period of innocence wherein sex isn't on their mind.

Programs that will get them active early when they are more at risk to sterilize themselves.

Programs aimed at normalizing sexual activities that won't bear children.

Programs aimed at normalizing couplings that won't bear children.

Programs aimed at how to find an abortionist.
You don't ever talk about these programs in the same breath that it is your "green" aim to reduce the population of your society.

You never allow anyone to tell young woman of the years of regret they may have after an abortion.

You claim to not be promoting abortions, like your lies about wishing abortions would be rare.

I aim to make it clear that nobody can deny knowing how you "greens" really hate humanity. I know you for the cowards you are. You dare not argue for your intentions in a free forum. You might get gored.

So the next time one of you rotten bastards, everybody knowing you are sneakily promoting zero children, claims that you're doing something "for the children," KNOW that I am telling a large number of people that "the sooner that liar arrives in hell, it is a certainty more children will live."


Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Dual Nature of Man; Key Biblical Warnings - Part 2

These thoughts are brought to you by an agnostic; a seeker. I am an agnostic who studies scripture in hopes to find what supports belief, not that which undermines it. My understanding increases with discussions I have with others. By sharing my synthesis of all these ideas I hope I am repaying my debt to those who have endeavored to enlighten me.

[Readers note: Part 1 has not yet been published.]



It appears to me that man wants two primary things after basic needs are met.
  1. To enjoy themselves as much as possible.
  2. To think that they matter; that they are important.

In short, man wants both to be carefree and taken seriously.

There certainly appears to be a dilemma in choosing between the two. Is the conflict unresolvable? Those who want it all can be said to be seeking a perfectibility of human desires. Or, quite simply, seeking the perfectibility of mankind.

Are they kidding themselves? More importantly, are they a danger to others for wishing it so?

So. How is this dichotomy revealed in scripture? Is it resolved there?

Let me make something clear. Not all biblical warnings are explicit. While I could be in error to believe that this biblical warning is unstated, I know this warning is implied in many ways.

For example, with "Dust thou art; and to dust thou will return," scripture is clearly warning that we individuals ought very well consider our humble origins before thinking too grandly of ourselves.

We love the earth out of which we were formed. We'd love to be able to shape the earth to deliver to us our fondest delights. As more and more this comes to pass, what do we find happening? Many people look at that success, and consider it to have been inevitable. They see it as a consequence of our mastery.

In a humbler time, a sense of gratitude for success was at least given lip service to Something outside of man. It seems that today, when there is any gratitude for this grand success -- our progress -- there seems no end of men willing to accept the honor. Rather than see it all as having been put there for us, there are those of us who are inclined to think -- and have the rest of us grateful for "the fact" -- that it was all made accessible by them.

Funny that. Also funny is how this attitude feeds those with the affliction I explore in part 1.

Isaac had twin sons, as different as could be. One carried out his obligations, the other pleased his worldly desires.

The pronoun "his" in the last sentence works as a double-entendre, for both Isaac and each son's inclinations. Isaac favored the latter, but grudgingly accepted the former's claims as superior. This last sentence is also a double-entendre. Both the son and each son's mission were for what Isaac had dual feelings.

This almost certainly ties back to the seminal event in Isaac's life: his being offered to God as a burnt offering. Surely Isaac had dual feelings about the covenant with The Creator to which he and his dad, Abraham, had agreed.

I do not think the dichotomy is ever resolved in the old testament. It repeats regularly.
  • Abraham's two sons.
  • Jacob's two wives.
  • Joseph's two sons.
  • Moses and Aaron.
  • Saul and David.
  • Life and Sacrifice.
  • Justice and Charity.
  • Naivety and Innocence.
  • Wise in ones own eyes and wise indeed.
  • Enjoyment and Obligation.

Without a doubt, many take the new testament to be witness to One Who avoided life's finer things.

But was it that He avoided life's finer things, or really that He avoided acquiring those things for what they would tell the world about Him? The enjoyment of the finer things cannot itself be bad for one; but He warns that the wishing for them could be. He said the path to Him is narrow. Be careful in your choices.

So I think the dichotomy continues.

For me perhaps the following is the most revealing evidence as to why I think man is imperfectible. The universe has its physical laws. Everything within it decays. Yet some men want to live forever: certainly when they are untroubled, especially when they are taken seriously. How can man's wants ever be satisfied? In the pursuit of sating the insatiable, those who succeed to sufficient power have never stopped short of consuming other men.

There are on the horizon those who wish to live forever and who demand to be taken seriously.

The more mankind achieves, the greater too many think they have become. And with that thought is accompanied something quite dark: a greater threat to far too many by those who feel obligated to control those lesser than themselves.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

George W Bush Gets One Right

I'm going to get hell for this.

I have been so disappointed with our president, and I've been exceptionally dismissive lately of him (on the verge of outright despising him).

So I felt I had to given him some support where it was due. No halfway measures today. Those innumerable other things of his I dislike will simply wait for another day. Still, please pray that he won't betray me and those like me now that we've chosen to defend him in this: his stand against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research .

This time I think he will stand his ground (although I suspect his stand on amnesty could undermine his stand on this. If it does, I think he will indeed be damned.)

Even as embryonic stem cell research seems less and less useful, this doesn't stop the death cultists in the Left and in establishment media (forgive the redundancy) from acting as if all medical advancement will come to a grinding halt.

I personally think that the death cultists know how ugly they are to most Americans. Partial birth abortion and their despicable stand on it has put quite a distance between them and even partially decent human beings, let alone the vast majority of Americans. So this apparent non-wasteful use of either aborted embryos, or those eggs that may be fertilized in a dish, would make them seem heroic. And Establishment media has done its best to reestablish that illusion.

I have always like Michael J. Fox. And I am sad that he has Parkinson's Disease. I lost my Dad's mother and two of my Mom's brothers to it; and my Dad's sister suffers from it now. But the research will not "provide cures." The best anyone could legitimately say was that it "might provide" cures. (I can hear those few charging me with nitpicking again. Well, you guys can go to hell. Get off my blog.) And the brouhaha is only about fed funding. He's not tried to pass legislation to stop the practice, something quite a few in the country would be happy to see, Christian or not.

President Bush's statement that ending human life in order to preserve human life is unethical was once not a controversial statement. One didn't need to be a believer to accept that. (I'm not and I accept the premise as the civilizing one that was once simply stated as "to seek to err on the side of preserving innocent life.") But that doesn't stop the death cultists and their useful idiots from saying Bush has no right inserting his beliefs into his decisions.

Oh, he should insert their beliefs and then they'd be O.K. with him? Yeah. Right.

Look. Let me summarize. They believe that the embryo is insufficiently human to be protected. Fine. But it's only a belief. They could be wrong.

Unharmed, with normal intercourse leading to pregnancy and then, excepting for miscarriage, when left to grow it is a baby. But saying "it isn't in any way human" greatly relieves guilty consciences. And there are plenty of those not-dead-yet consciences; and the death cultists know it. So many in fact that it is illegal in some places to tell an abortion candidate that they may come to regret their decision to abort.

But facts like that have to be outlawed. Don't you people recognize fascism when it passes laws like that? (See? There's the education issue again. Thanks Bushie for you enlarging the Dept of Ed instead of putting a stake through its heart. Oops. I thought I would not to do that. Oh well. Shoot me.)

So he should insert their belief, that the embryo isn't human, so let's exploit it. And then they'll like Bush? Hardly. Like me they don't like him for other reasons. Our other reasons are different.

Congratulations President Bush. You got one right. Let's hope your trying to ram amnesty down our throats doesn't lose you the veto overriding ability you had before you betrayed our borders. (Oops).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

God Asked Abraham To OFFER Isaac, Nothing More


Since I wrote At the Core of the Judeo-Christian Ethos: What Animates Its Critics 5 August 2006 [update 6 Feb 2012: or, if that link goes bad again, here instead], it became one of my most hit upon pieces. All that interest led me to become even more aware of the many ways Genesis 22 is interpreted. I prove how much of it is blatant misinterpretation.

The Reason For This Essay
Of all the misinterpretations, I think there is one most damaging, most slanderous.

In numerous places I found serious people asserting variations of the opposite of what God intended. I am not going to link to them. They already get too much attention. It should be needless to say that I am strongly at odds with these other people.

It is clear that scripture, in Genesis 22, in all that followed in scripture, and from much that preceded it, that God did not demand Abraham kill Isaac in sacrifice. (Nor was Abraham eager to do so, perhaps the second most damaging misinterpretation.)

Reading What Has Been Written
It clearly says that God asks Abraham to offer Isaac at the place of sacrifice. I am sure there are some who will try to get off the hook by charging me with nitpicking. To them, well, you can go to Hell.

To the rest of you, you should rightly be asking: "So why the offer?"

The Purpose of Life
The purpose of the offering was to demonstrate to the world how the God of Abraham (not Abraham's god), The Creator of the universe, was different from other gods, especially those to whom human sacrifice was practiced. Look.

The Creator made existence itself. He made life and death. He gives life to all and then reclaims all eventually. He does not need puny men to put to death others -- especially innocent human beings -- for Him. (As I wrote in my prior essay, men too easily kill other men for their own "reasons," fears and hatreds.)

For all life, for whatever lifespan one is given, is supposed to be a blessing and to a purpose. And the purpose may stand as a blessing to other men, as a temporal angel, and as a testament to God. (Those who live for any length of time in great pain and disability is another issue entirely. Certainly such a state is nothing to be wished for. I'm willing to explore this at another time. For now my position is that the occasional awful state of existence still does not make all existence any less of an overall blessing. That is, unless one hates existence itself. People who hate in that manner do indeed exist. They may arise from anywhere in the people. Maybe they are another form of birth defect. They make war with God in every generation.)

The Key Point Of The Offering
Abraham and Isaac would go through the formality of making such an offer for a purpose. The formality had to be in the manner familiar to those who so practiced to the other blood demanding gods of the ancient world such as Moloch.

For, in that way, it could then not be said that Abraham was less willing, less god-fearing, than the other practitioners. And it gave the God of Abraham the opportunity to specifically deny such an offer. The formality offered to Him the opportunity to show that the slaying of innocent human life is not required by Him. The God of Abraham offered the world a break from the cruelest traditions in common practice at that time.

Yes, there are other things implied with the offering. And The Covenant followed from it. But what I have just written is what the central reason for the offering appears to me to be.

My understanding is supported thus:
  • It is consistent with the idea of an all powerful Creator.
  • It is consistent with the idea of justice and charity that is the basis of all The Law.
Be it the Christian or Jewish interpretations of the laws, the central theme remains, and that stems from what I think is the correct interpretation of the offering in Genesis 22. The strong have an obligation to protect the weak; to prevent the weak from being forced to sacrifice themselves to cover the failings of the strong. Even to the point of voluntarily sacrificing ones life or possessions in keeping faith with this idea. Many of us would not be alive but for the prior sacrifices of earlier generations. The concepts of duty and obligation to those who sacrificed before us are attendant when one follows this ethos. It actually endows ones life with a greater purpose that is timeless. It is something completely unknowable to the poor resigned cynic. And it is a concept that the "Progressives" have been actively seeking to eradicate. It is a key aim of Critical Theory.

What prompted this essay
As I stated at the top, the hits to my old essay led me to discover many interpretations of Genesis 22. Quite a lot of that was so at odds with the whole context of scripture that to ascribe simple error to all of it stretches credulity to the breaking point. Without doubt some of it is deliberate misinterpretation. Animosity towards religion, and hate for the Judeo-Christian ethic in particular, is probably what drives it. Is it a sign of willing acceptance that so many repeat the wrong interpretations without looking deeper into their accuracy? Well, dear Reader, since you have gotten this far, it looks like you must be a blessed exception. I hope I may have made clearer what the decent explanation to this passage must be. I hope I have made it easier for the faithful to battle their detractors. Please drop me a line if I have.

But more importantly, if you did find that this was helpful, then I pray you help spread this explanation so that it reaches people both who have been misled and those who would otherwise be misled. Silence serves the detractors.

I challenge anyone to demonstrate how this interpretation of Genesis 22 is wrong.

Update on support and indirect challenges:
  • Did Abraham Fail his Final Test?

    10/11/2012: The Rabbi who authored the essay at this link allowed me one comment. He responded to it, but without adding much light. I then further responded to fill in the gaps for what could have been his misunderstanding of sustainability, but he moderated out my follow-up comment. Even worse, 3 months later he allowed an anonymous 3rd party "A Reader" (sounds like a sock-puppet) to side with him against my comment. I posted a rebuttal to that, and the rabbi refused to publish that one too. The details of the follow-ups not published there I will publish in a new post soon. [TBD].
    It appears the rabbi committed or permitted the erasure of the entire commentary history that he previously allowed to appear. Fortunately we have the Wayback Machine's snapshot preservation available.  
  • Objects in the rear view mirror

  • Highway 61

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thoughts Provoked By a Misapplied Word

Today, I had only a little time because I have to leave. While quickly perusing Wretchard's greatly expanded reportage, I was sensitive to what I think was an unintended slander, by our gifted world correspondent/analyst, of modernity.

I read it at The Belmont Club: Airport Security. The following was the comment I left there. I hope my reaction further provokes awareness of, and the threat to, our civilization by the "Progressive" movement known as political Postmodernism.

      Wretchard wrote: This just goes to show how much damage modern political correctness has inflicted on the Geneva Convention. [Emphasis added].

    It is definitely not modern, and this error could be seen as a slander of the modern period. If anything, the Geneva convention helped advance modernity.

    But what we have now is a product of the postmodern. You've used the term before, and it couldn't be more accurately ascribed, both to this situation and to the proponents who've made this tragedy possible.

    Also, instead of modern or postmodern, you could have used the word contemporary, but then that would have been redundant (unless you wanted to imply that PC has evolved, er, devolved, er, progressed - yeah, progressed!).

    I think I experienced what had to be going through your mind and feelings as you composed this line. The error in it reveals both comedy and tragedy, and maybe a desire to avoid editorializing in the direction I went, though I'm pretty sure you didn't intend the comedy.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Who Celebrates You Knowing Nothing?

Tonight, Og and I stumbled upon this little truth.

Og: Art is not the relating of an event. Art is interpreting it.
PF: And a piece of modern art can relate different things to different people, a Rorschach.
Og: Sure. But we're talking politics, and not art.
PF: And that has patterns that most people will recognize. What clearer reason for politicians demanding control of education?

Politician: They who don't know the lessons of history will accept it again. Perfect!

The Danger of Labels

Converging current events prompted me to toy with this idea. But no matter how I start it, it comes back to people feeling uneasy without them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What's This Noise About Global Cooling?

"Science is at war with global warming. Science has always been at war with global warming. Global cooling is our friend." </straight-faced sarcasm>
[supporters whoop and woot in the background]

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

New Media Will Have Supplanted Old Media When?

How will you know when new media has supplanted old media?

When Newspeak becomes Liarspeak. When we will have reclaimed our language so that a label matches the word that is being used for that label.

Currently liberals are not. Progressives are not. Democrats are not. A Constitutionally Limited Republic is not. Gay is not.

Each of these misnomers have become accepted jargon for things they are not mostly because establishment media uses them that way. If you attempt to use liberal in its original sense, you stand a good chance of being misunderstood and then punched in the nose by a real liberal.

It is a fact that these words now carry a meaning that a large number of people think of negatively. The ability to use the word in its original sense is destroyed because your listener, especially a stranger, will most likely think you are using it with its current meaning. In some instances, such as in a joyously carefree experience, the moment is apt to be spoiled when you think of the word that was once widely used to describe the experience: gay.

In fact, when you read the appendix of George Orwell's 1984 you will find that is the whole intention of Newspeak. To make it impossible for human beings to think of anything the state chooses. The language, far from its ages old use of enabling communication between individuals, has moved beyond propaganda to become a tool to enslave mankind. And don't discount that there is an unmistakable bonus it provides its masters. It delivers a burst of fleeting joy to those who exercise power in this manner; employing power because they can. ["Oh c'mon. How does Pascal know this is true?" Ask me.]

Right now "old" media only looks derelict. Kind of like the second Death Star in Star Wars. Still capable of delivering to American Statists a host of once illegal new voters who can't understand English enough to comprehend how sophistic are these bastards.

When writers on the Internet can once again use the word liberal and have it mean "pertaining to the liberty of individuals" rather than "a label under which power seekers can suppress liberty in order to enforce their concept of equality," then old media will have truly become old.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Progressives" Are Demonstrably Dangerous to Human Life

Mark Alger today provoked me to refine my old observation about Progressives.

Seeing as what ilk today has been anointed with the Progressive label by establishment media are the very same ones enamored of Postmodernism, they ought be forced at every opportunity to face and twist in the logical consequences of their blatant contradiction.

Postmodernists clamor for regress; ergo, the new progressive favors repression not liberty.

Therefore, those who claim and those who grant the progressive label to these haters of the human ability to advance and to thrive: both are liars whose primary goal is to mislead their fellow humans to an early death.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Go to Sleep America

At the Reform Club -- irony of ironies -- we have a site co-contributor criticizing those who worry over and dislike the closed door Congressional hearings (assuring that we "know nothing" of its subject) and the product of its effluent that is about to be unleashed.

And if amnesty (hush!) is as openly welcome to Americans as Senator Feinstein asserted in a soundbite released today, then why the closed door hearings? Talk about need for reform Mr Zycher: calling Mde. Feinstein less than truthful and less than courageous is in danger of becoming mandatory understatement.

Here is how I responded to The Rantings of the KnowNothings
Pascal Fervor said...

Recommending that your readers give in to any apparent fait accompli of law breaking seems strikingly out of place at a site dedicated to societal reform.

But what weight does my opinion carry here? I'm just a guest; perhaps less so after today.

I can listen to Establishment media and a handful of "rightwing" talkers (such as the Medwitts) if I wish to hear more efforts to anesthetize any groundswell of public outrage on this subject.

5:45 PM

This was followed by a not atypical middling response by the Reform Club's host, my fellow Angelino:

Tom Van Dyke said...

I'd just like someone to explain why this is better than doing nothing. Me, I'm a big fan of doing nothing.

There are many cracks in society's floor that are best left uncaulked, and absent any real reform, this is one of them.

6:21 PM

Crack Tom? This is a veritable breach.

Maybe this explains why my old teacher and Hudson Institute president, Herb London, has absented himself from the Reform Club for so long. Jolting his students awake -- perhaps the most important lesson he drilled into me -- was that man's primary goal.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Breaking Away to Get Along

More and more I believe you will see breaks with one long established tradition: Going along to get along. The rebellion is growing. You don't feel like joining it now, but I suspect you will feel compelled to join it.

The term take this job and shove it carries a resoundingly pleasing echo. That is because we have all flirted with the thought from time, but circumstances generally don't permit it. And another long and well founded phrase also resides in our thoughts don't burn your bridges.

Go along to get along was always looked at askance in traditional schools of ethics, but nevertheless, that devil was always granted his due. You don't make the rules. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Its just a job.

But there is something radically changed from before. There's both a dread and a gallows-like humor in the air. It's joked about. What with all the news of terrorist attacks. The widespread acceptance of permitting street hooligans to walk around masked. And what's up with the topsy-turvy way the likely suspects are treated? Who elected the ACLU to the be the rules-making committee of the Department of Homeland Security anyway?

We witness the community of likely candidates to the terrorist ranks make gains and inroads into our culture while the rest of us have to suffer under Byzantine rules ostensibly aimed at protecting us from their schemes. It didn't save Byzantium from being conquered by them before, what makes you think it will work this time? Shake your head, I think something is stuck.

And the thing that troubles us the most is the utter ineptness of our current leaders to work well together in the face of the threat. It couldn't be worse were the ineptness deliberate.

The people who you work for and the people who you vote for are not leaders in the traditional sense. Every effort has been made to expunge leaders from your ranks. Managers have been sought. Managers have been put in place so that moneyed interests can tell them how to manage. Manage what? Manage you.

Not so bad in the past, because your managers seemed like leaders. The Peter Principle seemed like a joke. The Dilbert Principle was a joke. It is also a glaring reality. And no matter how else we feel about this joke, the leaders it gave us are deadly serious.

The clowns on the Left, the more they rant and rave, and call George W Bush all sorts of names he does not deserve, serve too well to keep us from criticizing him for the things he needs to be criticized for. After all that abuse he receives, which of us decent folks don't feel the need to defend him from the worst even as we are uncomfortable with his performance?

And what of the few leftish clown of the Right, along with Establishment media, who keep the GOP from functioning as the grassroots would like to see it function? They prevent it from giving us a clear view of real men from which to decide to lead us. Real leaders? The management won't allow it.

And what of the President himself? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that all that we may fear about him is groundless. So then, after he has been hearing loud and ugly voices that charge him with Hitlerian crimes and even worse, how keen can his hearing still be? When a good number of us out here in the hinterland say to him, "Mr. President, you're making big mistakes," what snowball chance in hell do you think he can still hear, let alone take our constructive criticism seriously?

But we have to be frank. We have to take our challenge seriously. So we have to look at the way things are, and surmise a good deal else from how they appear, and we have to stop complaining that things are not how we wish them to be. We have to start taking up the challenge ourselves.

We have to demand a NEW leader. He will understand. I think whoever he is he'll be in agreement with my following observation.

George W. Bush imposes on our fighting men rules of engagement that are right out of the ACLU urban police playbook. This is not healthy for America and its fighting men, these rules that Generally Betrayus. I know it sounds like a joke. But it is no laughing matter. Not if your survival means anything to you.

Yes my friends. The reason for the coming rebellion is a term that our homegrown adversaries use in a universal sense: Sustainability.

You are coming to understand, however reluctantly, that it is your survivability that hangs in the balance. That and that of your posterity and of the gift of Liberty that, from this wonderful country, still shines like a beacon the world over.

Thank you for listening.
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