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.


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.
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