Flying Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One would think that enough has been said about Harvey the Hut, Kevin Spacey, and the general debauchery that is Hollywood and the halls of American power, but I find myself amazed that a couple of issues still remain unsaid, unexplored, and therefore unsettled.

I am, for one, amazed and horrified that we are amazed and horrified. This realization hit me a few evenings ago when we turned on the TV and decided to start watching a series we had recorded, but had never turned on.  It’s a series ironically called Good Behavior. Half way through the first episode we were hit with a sex scene between two total strangers. The main character, a young woman, knew only one thing about her partner – that he had been hired to kill a man’s wife – an interesting resumé bullet point. The sex scene was long and extremely athletic – almost violent. I’ve never thought of myself as a prude, but I had to turn away; I couldn’t watch it all. 

It was then I realized the irony. Most movies these days include a sex scene (and this show we were watching was only a TV series meant to be viewed in one’s living room, presumably while the children slept a few doors away). I wonder if these actors and actresses have to do specific auditions for those parts, and I wonder why we’re all exercised over the sexual demands of movie producers and directors when we, as an audience evidently demand the voyeur’s equivalent on the screen. 

Why are we all feigning surprise that those who produce a product that is only a hair’s breadth (pardon the comparison) from pornography, are busy being pornographic themselves? Why do we expect a producer to treat his leading “ladies” like ladies when these women are willing to let the whole world watch them writhe nakedly about a tangled bed, groaning and grimacing, faking orgasms while inventing new and astounding yoga poses?  

I’m not speaking out in defense of Weinstein or Spacey or any of these sex-obsessed people; what they have been doing is indefensible. Nor am I pointing accusing fingers at the actors and actresses – I’m not implying a direct correlation between the metoo’s and involvement in sexual screen moments. What I am saying is that the American public bears some of this guilt. We are willing to pay money at the theaters to watch such scenes – almost always played out between characters barely known to each other. Have you ever seen a rambunctious, passionate sex scene between married characters? Of course not – evidently the stranger-danger element is a pre-requisite. 

Back in the June 1967 issue of Esquire Magazine Tom Wolfe published an essay entitled Pornoviolence in which he decried the latest trend in the movie/TV business – an almost pornographic need for violent scenes. He was right even though his examples were shows like Gunsmoke (!). Now, we not only have the required expenditure of thousands of rounds of ammunition, we have full-on torture scenes. Back when Wolfe wrote this article, television shows couldn’t/wouldn’t have shown a man and woman in bed together, let alone engaged in anything openly sexual. The fact is that Hollywood has made a fortune feeding the American public in a manner similar to the way Roman Caesars fed their constituencies – with sex and blood.  How is it that we are nonplused by those, who produce such entertainment, choosing to partake themselves? And buried in our national psyche is the notion of the casting couch – it’s never been a secret that many a starlet became a star while in a horizontal position. 

Granted Weinstein is no romantic figure – repulsive even, so I can grasp the revulsion, but note that the complainants got what they were after. 

On the other hand, Kevin Spacey is an attractive man, but gees – 14-year-old boys?!  But then, who was feeding their children into the Hollywood maw? Where were the parents? It’s no wonder that child stars so often have tragic ends if this is what they’re exposed to. And yet we all love movies featuring attractive youth – at what cost to those kids? 

 

Secondly, I’m concerned about overkill. The Metoo campaign is understandable, but it’s blowing the abuse balloon up so tightly that is going to pop and the whole mess will just vanish. 

For one thing, we have defined down sexual harassment to mean any unwanted advances at all.  Now that’s a given when children are involved – any overture is out of line. But between two adults? Come on now. The level of harassment and outrage seems directly proportionate to the unattractiveness of the man making the advances. I get that – even a leering look from the likes of Harvey Weinstein would be offensive – but we women are making a big mistake if we make a mountain of even a giant molehill.  If everyone piles on, the hysteria serves as a smokescreen that obliterates the actual rape incidents and makes any kind of justice impossible.

Basically, women just want to be treated like ladies. Children should be treated like the precious future that they are. But that gets me back to my original point – that if women are willing to act otherwise, and do so for the whole world to watch, we shouldn’t be surprised at the result. If parents are willing to leave their children in the hands of rich, self-indulgent, powerful people, then we shouldn’t be surprised at that result, either. More importantly, we need to check our own appetite for sexual material on the screen.  We need to be less willing to see movies featuring child actors. That’s a tough prescription, but what do we value more – entertainment or decency, respect, and safety for our children? We’ve been enjoying flying over the cuckoo’s nest – we shouldn’t be so horrified to find that it’s being run by crazy, dangerous people. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holes in our Heads

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 2.11.54 PM.png

We’ve all noticed that our leftist fellow-Americans have ceased to make sense. We’ve figured out that they’ve descended into redundant, irrational name-calling because they’ve lost the thread of their argument – if there ever was one. But, lately, due to several articles I’ve run across, I’m beginning to suspect that some actual, physical brain anomalies may be in play here. I’m not being sarcastic.

In a recent study done in Great Britain, using a half million participants, scientists discovered that people who suffer from depression show changes in the white matter of the brain – that part that is key to communication. Since depression has reached epidemic proportions, this seems important. A study done by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance discovered that the hippocampi of the brains of depressive individuals appear to have shrunk. An article in Science Daily reported on a study of casual marijuana users that showed a noticeable difference in the shape, size, and density of the reward centers of the brain – affecting motivation – and of the amygdala – the emotional center of the brain. In fact, a study done at the University of Michigan showed that experience, psychoactive drugs, sex hormones, and dietary factors affected the shape of the brain. Not the mind, the brain.

I could go on and on. Recent technology is allowing us to see the brains of living people, to watch them work, so we can now start to ask some very important questions.  The questions that come to my mind center around the leftist brain. It seems the more obvious it is that collectivist ideas are all vacant and useless – whether we’re watching the Venezuelans forced to eat rabbits, looking at the abject failure of the War on Poverty and its dissolution of the nuclear family, or at the Muslim destruction of European culture – the more adamant and angry socialists become. They seem utterly unable to walk away from demonstrably false concepts. Why is that?

We can show them the climate change data and the numerous times that data has been falsified, and what do we get? A stare as blank as a petit-mal seizure. We can whip out the statistics on the starvation factor in North Korea and the same thing happens – no contact made. I’ve been amazed listening to the protestors in St. Louis. They appear to have no ability to question the presuppositions they had before the trial, nor do they have even a glimmer of the absurdity of their preference for justice-by-mob. Here are streets filled with black people demanding the right to lynch their fellow man, yet I see no flicker of irony on any of the faces. 

The same was true of the protestors in Berkeley. No grasp at all of the silliness of demanding the right to express their ideas by denying another person’s right to express his.  No inkling of the contradictory nature of their stance – i.e. that committing violence is free speech, but that free speech, when it is actually speech, is not. Not free, not allowed, not appreciated. These are supposedly intelligent, expensively educated people. 

How can a normal brain function like that? How did we get to the point where people, instead of arguing logically against policies and positions, prefer to promote the assassination of a sitting president, burn American flags, or think that tearing down statues will somehow fix society? That’s not just a difference of opinion; it’s medical pathology. 

There was a time when most of us saw mental disease as a disability of the mind, the immaterial self, but I’m beginning to believe that it may also be physical. Can one think untruth day after day, year after year and expect it to not affect one’s brain? We recognize that daily indulging in chocolate milkshakes will affect our waistlines; is it so far-fetched then to wonder what a constant intake of anger will do to the cerebral cortex? Will a steady diet of lies eat actual holes in the grey matter? Any attempt I make to converse with leftists always leaves me scratching my head – the wiring just seems to be off. 

Is it wise to assume that we can live in anger and bitterness for months and months and not have it twist our brain’s chemistry?  No affect the delicate cell structures? Can we routinely ingest drugs – prescribed or purchased on a street corner – and expect the synapses to go off when they should? I mean, if I put water in the gas tank will the engine run? 

And if we have actually changed our brains, can we change them back? Is the plasticity of the brain that flexible? 

I think of the stanza from Frost’s The Road Not Taken

“And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day,

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.  “ 

Can we come back? Have we “educated” the last two generations into serious, permanent, mental disabilities? Have people developed eating habits, pharmaceutical practices, thinking propensities that have distorted their brains to point where they really can’t see the logic, can’t process any factual information that doesn’t already fit the rigid shape their brains are locked into? 

I believe it is possible to reshape a crooked brain. I believe that’s what the Bible means when it says that those who believe are “new creatures in Christ.” It takes time for an abused brain to recover, time and a steady, hefty diet of biblical thinking, but I’m living proof it can happen and I’ve seen it happen to many, many others. But, I’ve also seen many who keep on keeping on with those things that are ruining whatever brains they have left. 

You know those scenes in old movies where the heroine has thrown herself into a hysterical hissy-fit and a more level-headed character has to slap her across the face to bring her back to sanity? That’s a good metaphor for America today. Too many American brains have gotten warped, misshapen, and hysterical for the nation to function. I suspect that these Western wildfires, the two hurricanes, and whatever disasters happen next are Providence giving us a collective slap across our arrogant faces in hopes that we’ll snap out of it long enough to start rebuilding whatever remains of our national psyche, of the American soul. There is much work to do, much healing to happen, much prayer needed. God help us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newsflash!

Recent news makes it clear that not all that needs to be said is being said. Most reports, reports rife with sly innuendo, fail to understand or admit what is really happening. I’d like to rectify that ----

Newflash #1: History sucks. It’s merely a record of how screwed up mankind is, was, and, I’m afraid, will be in the foreseeable future. It’s a list of wars and rumors of wars, of pestilence and drought and hunger. In fact, other than the First Advent, the founding of this country may well be the only bright spot in human history. But even the birth of this nation was heavy with death and misery. And yet we need history – how else can we make decisions about the future? 

This recent spate of statue-hatred stems itself from a lack of historical knowledge. It is ignorance promoting more ignorance, and placing further national policy choices in even more jeopardy. Has there ever been a nation that has improved itself by erasing or altering its history? Every country that has gone that route has ended up with a tyrannical government and violence is always a part of the process.  Visit Cuba.

You can understand the disaster of the loss of history simply by imagining what your life would be like if you woke up tomorrow and had no memory – no knowledge of who you had been. There might be the benefit of not remembering your sins and embarrassments – but that would be tempered by the suspicion that they had happened nevertheless, only you don’t know what they were and therefore can’t atone. You wouldn’t know who your friends were, where you came from, or where you belonged. You wouldn’t know what you had believed or why. You would always be only half a person. 

Our history may suck, may be a scary, cringe-worthy litany of things gone wrong and only now-and-then right, but it is our history, our life as a nation, and it cannot be erased without erasing our future as well. The movers and shakers on the left know that. A few years from now we may look just like Venezuela.

Newsflash #2: There is no shortcut to moral rectitude. And to make things worse, there are a million ways to be wrong and only one way to be right. It is never right, for instance, to mindlessly adopt a few slogans, have occasional self-righteous tantrums, and repeat anything, no matter how senseless, that airs on NPR or CNN. I suspect that there must be a list somewhere of mandatory opinions one must espouse in order to remain a person in good standing with the more-progressive-than-thou crowd – perhaps a kit we must buy that contains a few pat phrases, a flag to wave, some posters, and a stick for hitting those with whom we don’t agree. Anyone who’s made the mistake of purchasing such an item, has been robbed. Anyone who got his as a door prize for matriculating at a leftist college, has been doubly robbed. 

Goodness only comes when we care more about individuals and their well being than we do about the faceless “masses” and the “oppressed.”  To be good means to see each person as a masterpiece of God’s making, a person with a unique purpose in God’s plan, a person with worth and special talents and potential, a person in need of freedom to become what he can become. We can’t be good and hate any group or any individual. We can’t hate the rich, or people with white skin, or people who just don’t suit us. We have no moral right to hate people with whom we don’t agree. We can’t hate our way to love. 

It’s a lot harder than marching around with flags and torches, a lot harder than calling people names to show how angry we are, a lot harder than pretending we can change the world. It requires that we change ourselves, from the inside out. In fact, it requires that we let God change us – give up the reins completely. 

Newsflash #3: The mainstream media can splinter opinions into a thousand differing factions, but I know a lot of people and none of them belong to any of these micro-sects. America functions fine with two parties – I learned that the hard way from Ross Perot. When we get more than that, everything falls apart; note how well Europe is doing these days. I’m sure, as are all thinking people, that this fragmentation is part of the leftwing agenda – the divide and conquer approach. If you look closely enough you can see that all these groups -- Antifa, BLM, alt-left, alt-right, white supremacist, white nationalist (there will be 6 more by tomorrow) are all tentacles off the same giant squid. They have one credo – knock people around and make a mess. Distract. Confuse. Accuse. Defuse.

I talked to one person this last week who was sure the BLM were in the right in Charlottesville because they were against the anti-Semitic, torch-bearing radicals. However, to do so ignores the fact that the leftist Antifa/BLM is anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian – so how does that work? How do you hate one group for hating a group that your group also hates? When logical, careful thought is no longer occurring on a regular basis, the society will cease to function. 

Newsflash #4: America is ceasing to function.  Congress is frozen solid. The presidency has taken more incoming fire than any other administration in history. The judiciary hangs on one vote. And the fourth estate has utterly abdicated its responsibilities.  Our education system is churning out dimwits so fast that we can’t keep up with it, and our medical infrstructure has been damaged beyond repair.  

America has survived and thrived long enough to prove that freedom without righteousness doesn’t work, that limited government doesn’t stay limited, and law doesn’t protect. Only God does that.  Israel – ancient Israel – proved over and over again that her Law didn’t make for a perfect nation. It would have, had the Hebrew tribes actually followed it. Like the United States, Israel was now-and-then successful in what she set out to be – during the reigns of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah – but those regimes were short-lived and the rest of the time the Israelites were joining their neighbors in worshipping demonic idols. America was successful until we, too, walked away from God. 

Our forefathers set out to build a righteous nation, but she can only be as good as the righteousness of her citizens and if those citizens think they can fake integrity and moral virtue by being destructive loudmouths then America is over. When asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had given the people, Ben Franklin answered, “A republic – if you can keep it.” It’s becoming more and more evident that we have failed at that, and destroying the history that proves my point will not stop our downfall.

 

 

America's Deadly Sins

         

 

Most Americans are sick of self-righteous, breast-beating leftists moaning about the shame they bear for being American. They claim we have become wealthy “on the backs” of the “oppressed” – as if no American ever worked for anything himself. They whine that America has treated its women badly, its natives even worse, and that the poor are still poor, and the rich, heaven forbid, are still rich. Shame on us. Really? Let’s take score.

 

In our brief history from the early European colonization efforts until now, Western society in North America has only existed a little over 500 years, and as a nation we’ve only been in business for 241 years – about which the average college student knows very little. However, said students seem certain that we do not measure up to some unstated scale they have set for national behavior, and, in spite of their lack of historical expertise, they seem sure that our sins were mostly buried in our deep, dark past. 

 

Slavery, of course, comes to mind. Though the average liberal seems unaware that only 1.4% of Americans ever owned slaves, that only about 250,000 ever arrived in North America. In fact, in 1860 when the slave population was at its highest there were under 4 million slaves – 20,000 of whom were owned by other blacks. None of which mitigates the fact of slavery, but to hear a leftist tell the story you’d think our entire economy was built on the forced labor of a quarter of a million blacks. And the left ignores the fact that 620,000 Union soldiers were either killed, wounded, or imprisoned trying to stop slavery. That number tops the total number of casualties in all our other wars combined. The number is also over twice the number slaves brought here to begin with; one could say reparations have been paid.

 

But even before slavery we were awful. When Columbus and subsequent explorers landed in the New World, they brought with them small pox and other diseases for which the natives had no immunity. That they didn’t do this on purpose seems not to alleviate our white, privileged, European guilt. 

 

Some historical events do sully our history – the Salem Witch Trials, the Trail of Tears, the massacre at Wounded Knee, and the desecration the Great Plains bison herds. There was both carelessness and evil in those events, but most were perpetrated as isolated incidents and none were stated policy of the majority of the people of the United States. 

 

It is true that in our free enterprise economic system some people become very rich and others remain poor. Which, to a conservative, seems better than everyone being poor, but to a leftist it is a situation most dire. That our poor have hot and cold running water, electricity, heat and air conditioning, TVs, phones, cars, and access to food from all over the world doesn’t seem to matter. That we all have an opportunity of climb out of poverty is also of little importance.

 

All of these indictments are: 

1. So far in the past that we can do nothing to change them; 

2. No worse than the general muddle human beings have been making of history since the dawn of time; and 

3. Mostly the result of a cherry-picking, Marxist twisting of history. But what is really disturbing is that the things this country is guilty of right now – things that land squarely in the leftwing lap – are what we should be concerned about. 

 

You see, we are alive now and can do something about our current national sins, but instead, half of this country seems just fine about it all. 

 

It doesn’t bother liberals that cities like Detroit, and Baltimore, and New Orleans – once powerful, prosperous cities – are now, after decades of Democrat rule, fiscal and moral disasters, mere ruins of their former selves. 

 

No one seems particularly worried about what has happened to the black family. Fuss and moan and complain about what happened over 200 years ago, but not a word about today. Over 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock. That’s over two-thirds of black males growing up without fathers, who no longer need to be there for their families because the government has taken over their responsibility for supporting their children. Black youth are gunning each other down in their own neighborhoods because they have never been taught not to. America did this to these people when Johnson’s War on Poverty swooped in to make dependents out of a vital portion of America. Therefore, the inner-city blacks are still slaves but we’ve taken from them the dignity of work. That we should feel guilty about; it happened on our watch.

 

We’ve further trapped the poor in this nation by forcing them into failing schools. It’s hard these days for the average middle-class white kid to get a really good education, but these inner-city kids don’t have a chance, and yet liberals fight tooth and nail to keep at bay efforts to free them with school vouchers and charter schools. Teachers in their unions care more about their jobs than they do about educating children. There’s some remorse to chew on. 

 

We have promoted, both with governmental policy and by cultural rot, a broad-spectrum of sexual immoralities, which have further destroyed the family and the stability and prosperity that strong families bring to a society.

 

During the Obama administration –with his sanction and involvement – we left the Iraqis high and dry for Iran and ISIS to set up shop in. We destroyed civilization in Libya, and aided and abetted Syrian rebels, who turned out to be ISIS. Twenty million people in the Middle East have been displaced and 500,000 Christians, Jews and Yazidis have been brutally murdered. Rape and the taking of sex slaves is endemic, and the world has not seen the current level of brutality in a thousand years. Crucifixion is back, as are beheadings and immolation.  In turn Europe has been inundated with these Middle Eastern refugees and will never again be Europe as we have known it.  All this on our watch. 

 

In the name of Mother Earth, our new goddess, and a demi-god called the snail darter, we have destroyed the economy and the hard work of generations of Americans by cutting off the water supply to family farms. Drive through the dead orchards of the San Joaquin Valley in California and see the devastation. We can be blamed for letting this happen. 

 

But none of those national sins come even close to the lives we’ve taken (using taxpayer money) before they even got started. Most estimates put the number of aborted babies since the Roe v. Wade took effect in 1973 at some 60,000,000 children. Sixty million.  Who would those tiny people have become? What gifts would they have brought with them? What effect has this had on the black community, which has been hit especially hard by the presence of Planned Parenthood in black neighborhoods.  I have been complicit in this, coming late into the realization of the demographic devastation. The hard-hearted selling of baby parts and the cruelty of the methods used makes my stomach turn. We allowed this to happen. 

 

We have driven God out of our schools, allowed drugs to be brought across our borders, and sexualized our children. We have much to atone for and much that can be fixed, that can be stopped. But before we do that we have to stop wallowing in a pit of pointless guilt that can help no one, and get on with undoing the damage we ourselves have done and making things as right as we can for those who have suffered under our stupidity. 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely Nuts

That phrase – absolutely nuts – pops into my head often when I read or hear the opinions of my leftist friends and acquaintances. Then, I think about that word absolutely, and I realize that’s the problem – the left denounces absolutes, but leftist thought is thoroughly sodden with them.

I am conservative and Christian – a real pre-modernist. I believe in absolute truth, in the absolute existence of God, and that the Bible is unquestionably the Word of that God. I believe the basic concept of morality as absolute – the liberal situation ethics is nonsensical and the Ten Commandments are just as relevant now as they were 3500 years ago. I am sure that Christ’s mandate to love each other is an absolute. When Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No man comes to the Father but through me,” He was speaking in absolutes.

The left-wing post-modernists mock all the above. I have my truth; they have theirs. God is whatever a person wants him to be. The Bible is just an old book written by a bunch of ancient, dead men. Morality needs to keep up with the times. Love should be dependent on one’s race and political point of view. Ones’ sex is not tied to biological reality.

But leftists are not nearly as “open minded” as they claim. For all their trumpeting of liberal tolerance, they actually lean heavily on their own version of fundamentals.

They are absolutely dug in on their ideas – even the ones that obviously need softening and mitigating. Let’s look at tolerance. That’s at the top of their must-do list; must be open and accepting of everyone’s post-modern beliefs. Now, tolerance is a noble virtue – to an extent. If my neighbor is an atheist, it is a virtue to be polite to him, to love and care for him, to get to know him. But what if my neighbor is a pedophile? What if he lures young boys to his house and I know what he’s up to? Should my tolerance continue? The left would say yes. Tolerance is an absolute in their world. Should I tolerate Muslim men harassing young women in my community? Plotting to blow up my church? Mutilating their own daughters? Is there no line to be drawn here?

Diversity, another leftist absolute, is the other side of the tolerance coin. Everyone else’s culture is absolutely better than anything American -- even though it’s not. It is true that America is an amazing amalgam of dozens of cultures, partially because of assimilation, and partly because of intermarriage. I am Danish-Czech-Swiss-Dutch-English, etc. I am married to an English Luxembourgian. We have Irish grandchildren. Most of us are mongrels of one kind or another. And we eat Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Mongolian, and Thai food. Our language is a polyglot affair filled with bits and pieces from hundreds of languages. We are richer for it.

But the liberal doesn’t want us to appreciate our multifaceted culture; we are to denigrate it and prefer the cultures of those who come here illegally. We are to spend a large portion of our children’s education teaching them about other cultures and doing so without any censure of the behaviors of those other societies. If the Netsilik Eskimos want to put their elderly out on ice floes to drift off into a cold, lonely death, then that’s okay. If the Maasai want to yank out the canine teeth of their toddlers then we shouldn’t judge. If it’s part of Sharia law that a man can beat his wife, then what’s wrong with that? The left has sacrificed all moral judgment at the feet of the god of diversity.

They see their right to speak their minds as absolute, never mind how incendiary or untrue. They see their right to believe what they want as such an absolute that it extends to an imagined right of protection from any facts or ideas that go against their beliefs. Even the most diehard conservative Constitutionalist knows that all of our rights have limitations. I can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater; I can’t practice a religion that requires human sacrifice; I can’t set up a loaded Gatling gun in my front yard, and I understand that under certain circumstances the government has to be able to tap phones and read emails. The liberal, however, sees his own rights as absolutes and one of those rights is to demand that government cushion his entire earthly existence regardless of how that affects the rights of others.

Now, I admitted that my beliefs are also unqualified, so where do I get off lambasting the leftists? That’s not hard to explain.

Unlike the left, I have no outward quarrel with absolutes. In fact, the things I see as irrefutable and eternal, are, in fact, irrefutable and eternal.
o    God, the Judeo-Christian, triune God, being outside of both time and space, is an absolute.  All we know of science and history underscores that as fact. God is the uncaused, immutable Cause who pre-existed all of both human and angelic existence. The left sees godness as merely a misguided human construct, but the evidence makes that nonsense. Extra-biblical verification shows that man has been aware of the Godhead from the earliest times – ancient Chinese pictographs, universal flood stories in over 250 cultures, etc.
o    Because God is perfect righteousness and perfect justice, His law is perfect and therefore does not need readjusting to 21st century human standards. Good and evil have not changed. Human nature has not changed. History bears witness to this -- Darwinism notwithstanding, mankind is still a mess.
o    We have not outgrown our inherited original sin – the 20th century was the bloodiest in all of human history and the 21st is shaping up to be even worse. The best mankind can do on his own is to fake uprightness (this goes for all of us – Christians included) or to declare that our sins aren’t sins, which changes their status not at all, mitigates their devastating effect on human society not one iota.
o    And lastly, truth is true or it isn’t truth. Now, it’s correct that given a half-dozen witnesses to an event you’ll end up with a half-dozen versions of the same event, but that doesn’t mean that an actual event didn’t take place. In short, I believe in reality. Can we always find the absolute truth, be totally aware of the truth. No, partly because, as Jack Nicholson’s character said in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!”  Reality is often a bitter pill.

Reality demands that we face our own imperfections and also face God’s perfections and our ultimate incompatibility with Him. It requires that we accept the fact that the problem has been solved for us. That’s pretty hard on our over-developed egos, but it is true in the most absolute sense. “No man comes to the Father but by me.” Jesus Christ absolutely allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross in order to build a bridge from us to God Almighty.  There was nothing wishy-washy there.

The left’s failure to understand that avoiding these uncomfortable absolutes divorces us from reality, leaves us trying to stand and move forward with our feet stuck in the quicksand of fuzzy, nonsensical assumptions. It can make us absolutely nuts.

 

 

To Serve my Turn Upon Him

Does anyone else have the strange feeling that we’re caught up in some Shakespearian tragedy, some skullduggery creeping through the entourage of Henry VIII? I sense spies hiding in the curtains and hear whispers behind the potted palms. I’ve always thought of American politics as functioning in a fairly straightforward way, without the baroque, twisted nature of the old European courts. But here we are. Last week, watching Comey testify I kept hearing in my head the words of Iago in the opening act of Othello,

I follow him to serve my turn upon him: /We cannot all be masters, nor all masters /Cannot be truly follow'd.

Iago is the evilest character in all of fictional literature. Throughout the play, he is referred to as “Honest Iago.” He’s really good at being bad. He looked good, competent, confident. Weren’t we told how honest Comey is? What a fine, upstanding person he is? Doesn’t he give that appearance? Tall, handsome, impeccably dressed, buttoning his suit jacket in the appropriate lawyerly manner, looking straight into the eyes of those he lies to. Iago is also fond of breaking the fourth wall – he comes right down to the footlights, looks the audience right in the eye and tells us what he’s going to do to Othello. And there we sit, stuck in our seats, unable to do anything to warn him. I felt like that listening to Comey as he told us that he leaked his memos in order to get a special counsel set up to investigate Trump (This he did right after Trump fired him.), yet no one rushed out and arrested him. No audible gasps, no rolling eyes – nothing. It was like he’d just announced that he’d had lunch.

Last July Jim Comey shocked us all with his weird testimony about Hillary and her errant emails. Yes, she’s guilty. No, we won’t indict her. Huh? The whole nation walked around with wrinkled brows for weeks. What kind of a Janus act was this guy performing? Iago liked to swear, “By Janus!” I heard him again: Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,/ But seeming so, for my peculiar end:..

His “end” is peculiar indeed. Is he motivated by hatred for Trump? Or by fear of Hillary? Or fear of Obama? Obama was still in office during these first two forays. Both of them are dangerous people, so fear of them is not as irrational as hatred of Trump.

Or – more likely yet – is he motivated by his own ambitions, his own greed? That motivates many a villain. Comey once worked at Lockheed Martin where in one year he earned $6 million as vice president and general counsel(It is interesting to note that Lockheed is a major donor to the Clinton Foundation.) His questionable connections to a London bank and to his brother’s real estate dealings also raise character questions. We never do know Iago’s motivations; he tells us, but he keeps changing his mind, and his wife, speaking of his jealousies, says:
They are never jealous for the cause./They are jealous for they are jealous.

It’s hard to tell what Comey is up to; it’s like trying to stay ahead of Thomas Cromwell.  On July 5th he announces his Hillary-guilty-but decision (which was not his to make). On October 28th, he announces he’s reopening the investigation into her emails, then turns around, less than a month later and just 48 hours before the election, and says, basically, “Never mind.”  What maneuver is this? What palace intrigue?

Never mind! On Hillary’s watch, and under her supervision classified information was left to wander the streets alone, at night, in fact, ended up on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, well-known pervert and husband to Hillary’s right-hand woman, Huma Abedin who has well-known close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. And the perfect, “honest” Comey is willing to look the other way. Never mind. Nothing to see here; move right along.

This man was the head of the FBI, but we cannot tell whether he’s at all interested in the well-being of the people of the United States, or just intense about the well-being of James Comey. He certainly was interested in expressing his feelings about things but had no factual, useful information for us. He felt strange; he was very concerned; he was even nauseous on occasion. Do any of us care how he felt? I had always thought of the FBI as a just-the-facts-ma’am kind of organization.

To make matters even more unsettling, now that the Russia conspiracy has fizzled like cotton candy on a hot day, he’s drummed up some real serious reservations about Trump’s General Flynn comment – which only Comey heard and which Comey only brought up after Trump had fired him. Curiouser and curiouser.

And why is Comey’s BFF the special prosecutor trying to prove The Donald obstructed justice? How can you obstruct justice if no crime has been committed? Trump, could, if he needed to, just pardon Flynn, but the General doesn’t seem to have done anything illegal; talking to the Russians was his job. And if Comey thought Trump’s remarks were an order to circumvent prosecuting Flynn, why didn’t Comey do what he thought he was told? But he didn’t do anything until he lost his job.

I am glad to see the President no longer trusts this man. It was good that he waited until Comey was not around to fire him – no chance for this Judas to hide anything. I do wonder what Trump has on him and I do hope it’s good, for Comey appears to be doing the same thing Iago did to Othello –
…practising upon his peace and quiet Even to madness.

Later in the play, Iago, attempting to convince Othello of Desdemona’s infidelity, says,
I speak not yet of proof.  

There wasn’t any because she was innocent. Then later he adds:

And this may help to thicken other proofs/ That do demonstrate thinly.

But there weren’t any other proofs. A point Othello misses. It’s a point the media and those who pay attention to it miss as well. There are no proofs. Of anything. There’s no evidence of any behavior even slightly unethical, let alone illegal. But charge ahead they will.

They do because all they have to accomplish is to kill Trump’s reputation and that’s not hard to do. As Iago points out to Cassio (whose reputation he has just destroyed:
Reputation is an idle and most false imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without deserving…   He (and Comey) should know.

Yet later on in Act IV he tells Othello:
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,/ Is the immediate jewel of their souls: /Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; /'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands: /But he that filches from me my good name/ Robs me of that which not enriches him /And makes me poor indeed.

And knowing that, he went right ahead and did everything to ruin the reputations of Othello’s wife, his best friend, and of Othello himself.

Throughout the play, Iago knows exactly what he’s doing. Throughout the Trump presidency, Comey has known what he was doing, too. I don’t think he’s as smart and sly as Iago, but he’s attempting to ruin the president and he’s using many of Iago’s methods to do so. We should remember as we watch this drama unfold that, though by the end of the play 5 people are dead including Othello and Desdemona, Iago is hauled off to the dungeon to be tortured and executed. Comey will get his – I just pray it’s before he does more damage, not after.

 

 

 

Cliff Hanging and Earthquakes

           This is shocking, and in our post-modern world I shouldn’t admit it, but I like to think.  I know, I know – if I were truly cool and trendy I’d acknowledge, in grand existentialist style, that everything is just matter, therefore nothing matters, so I should just emote away about whatever matter is currently in vogue.  But I can’t.

I am human and I was made in God’s image and God thinks, therefore I think.
Q. Why isn’t thought more popular, then?  (I can hear you thinking.)
A. We’ve been taught to start in the wrong place, so we get lost and give up.
Q. Where is the wrong place?
A.  Read on…..

Picture two cliffs separated by a great chasm.  The cliffs are made of sedimentary rock, layer upon layer, each a slightly different shade.  On one side the stone deposits have built up on bedrock, solid and immovable – absolute truth.  On the opposite bank the levels are less regular and horizontal.  The foundation on which they rest their considerable weight is cracked and volcanic, full of air bubbles, nearly weightless – relative truth.  

If you stand with me on the solid side, you’ll understand what I’m about to say; if not, hang on tight because somewhere deep inside you’re about to feel wobbly.

Let’s look at the bedrock.  It consists of God – the God who existed before He spoke time and space into existence, before Earth, before before.  This is Jehovah – “I am that I am,”  (Exodus 3:14). Where God is there is absolute existence, and therefore absolute truth.

What about the opposing pumice foundation, the one that says nothing is absolutely true?

Well, we all intuitively know that one of the most important rules of logic says that no true statement can be self-refuting.  “I am not me,” makes no sense.  “My Dachshund is not a dog,” fairs no better.  How does “There is no absolute truth” strike you?   Yes, I know, It has an absolutist ring to it, but most of today’s intellectuals will swear by that assertion, even while their base crumbles beneath them.  In this scenario God becomes nothing more than a human construct embedded in the string of time we call history; godness is whatever we want it to be.  We aren’t made in God’s image, but he/she/they in ours.

If, though, we start with the stability of side one, we can figure out that the God of Truth would want us, His creatures, to know truth – and sure enough, there’s the Word of God; we can barely imagine a being so true to Himself that His Word and His existence are one and the same-- “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God,” (John 1:1).  Not only did He reveal Himself in His Word, but also in His creation; what we know that modern science began as a search for more information about God.

The opposite side of the chasm boasts purely human wisdom and post-modern science, which schlepps about in its own quagmire of Darwinian assumptions, assumptions that are being rapidly demolished by real science, which is more interested in truth than in invention.  Follow me – if there is no absolute truth and God is just another fabrication, then science alone can explain our existence – though, if nothing is true, I can’t imagine why we would bother.

Under it all we want to know who we are, why we are, so we keep looking. “What is the nature of Man? “ my favorite teacher always used to ask.  If we take God’s Word as absolute truth, then the “nature of man” is not a rosy picture,  “ All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).  If, on the other side of the chasm, we’re just making things up as we go (which is reasonable if nothing is rock bottom – pardon the pun – true).  It feels just fine to state, with absolute surety, that man is basically good.
Add a little evolutionary twist to that and we learn that man is getting even better, the barbarism of the last century (to say nothing of the current ISIS mess) notwithstanding.

This attitude puts the relativist in a pickle though.  How is he going to explain evil if man is basically good?  The scapegoats (sorry about using a biblical term) obediently line up – society, chemistry, family, corporations, poverty, bullying – and all get the cart before the horse.  How can the crookedness of a building be the reason why the bricks it’s built of are warped? The relativist spends a lot of energy trying to restructure society, the economy, the drug laws, etc. all in an effort to rescue perfect man from his evil oppressors.  Somehow the fact that the oppressors are also people eludes him.

The relativist has another option, though, if the transference thing gets shaky: he can change what “sin” means.  If we’re doomed to do evil, and nothing is carved in stone, then let’s just change the meaning of evil.  Easy.  Pedophilia is really just fine because kids really want it.  I had a class of honors students tell me right after 9/11 that it wasn’t wrong that the high-jackers flew those planes into the Twin Towers.  They were doing what they thought was right.

Evil, on the other cliff, is a very clear and solid idea.  Anything non-God, anti-God is evil – a once-perfect angel, a “well-meaning” politician, a self-centered parent.  God is absolute perfection (and I am not talking about Allah), so anything short of that perfection ….. Yikes. I’m very glad God has a solution for this, because I don’t. “For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

Our national dialogue is getting nastier and nastier because, at the very bottom of the cliffs we stand on, our assumptions are diametrically opposed.  On one side morality is clear, immutable, and imposed by God – on the other it’s improvisational, constantly changing,  and driven by whatever the latest catch phrase is – tolerance, diversity, equality-- the ends always justifying the means.  Nothing is evil, just sick or browbeaten.

The solid cliff recognizes free will and our own responsibility; it acknowledges that only the grace of God can fix anything because we humans are too screwed up.  The relativist side assumes that we are all victims, doomed to be poor, or addicted, or gay, or whatever, and that stopping our pain will involve transferring that pain to someone else.  “Tax the rich” folks shout, believing that impoverishing someone else can enrich them.

We can’t straighten out this tangle of ideologies without acknowledging our basic differences.   Let’s choose our cliffs with our eyes wide open and let’s be ready to defend our positions from our foundations without feeling the need to malign or threaten, bully or demean. It is true, however, that standing on a shaky foundation is enough to make any of us desperate enough to start name-calling. If you can’t logically, factually win an argument then you are doomed to committing that faux pas.

So where do you come from?  On what do you stand?  Which cliff do you claim? And should you be feeling equivocal, there are only two, and the gulf between them is widening. We can all feel the ground shaking.

 

 

 

Didn't See it Coming

In the summer of 1787, our founding fathers sweated out the details of the new Constitution in locked, stifling rooms. They were remarkably prescient considering they were so new to governance, new to the idea of federalism, unused to living in a constitutionally controlled republic. They had to take what they knew of human nature, connect that to their copious knowledge of ancient civilizations, and try to write into this fresh constitution methods of heading off every pit the nation may ever stumble into. They did a great job. Here we are, after 250 years of the most rapid change in human history, and the pattern they designed is still holding – but just barely.

Some things they didn’t foresee. They knew, as a matter of principle and from the prosperity that they had already achieved, that a decentralized economic set up would create affluence, but they couldn’t possibly have imagined the vast and unheard of wealth that resulted, nor could they have anticipated the intricacies of that economy. That a single company could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars (inflated or otherwise) would have seemed unbelievable.

The Industrial Revolution was right around the corner, but not clearly visible. They didn’t yet know the extent of the continent on which they’d set up shop. They didn’t know the plethora of natural resources that were at their fingertips. They couldn’t possibly have pondered jet flight or instant, visual and auditory communication. War, to them, was still muskets and gunpowder.

I don’t think it occurred to them the amount of power that would settle on this new country. They wanted to hold their own on the world stage, but I’ve never read any of their writings that indicated a vision of being THE world power.

Our founders figured correctly that aggregated power was a bad thing so they broke the power up – leaving most of it to the states. They set up a legislature to create law, an executive to carry out the desires of the legislators, and a court to sort out the details. They left the fourth estate, the press, outside of the government per se so that they could ride herd on the whole thing. All that, however, was dependent on the assumption that the American individual would continue to self-govern under the commands of Almighty God.

These were wise men, our forefathers, but they may have over-estimated our ability to continue to fear God once we became rich. The average American, stressed as he may be over paying his bills, enjoys a standard of living far above what most of history’s kings ever managed. It’s not easy to remember God once you’ve gained control over the elements, have more than enough to eat, and don’t have to destroy you body to earn all that. You get to thinking you deserve it. It’s a challenge to remain humble in the midst of wealth. Job did. Abraham did. And many Americans still do, but many have not met that challenge.

As a result, power has leaked out of the containers we thought were secured. It has metastasized and festered, worming its way into our most private decisions and experiences.

Official power in America is well curtailed, but the unofficial power is operating completely outside the checks and balances we have always depended on. The press, no longer hampered by any conscience demanding truth telling, and baptized into the change-the-world cult, appears drunk on the power it has to control the average voter. We can’t vote for the best solutions to problems if we’re being lied to about those problems.

The press and academia have joined forces to erase from the memory of man the original America and replace it with an ungodly, dystopian delusion in which reality plays no role. As our willingness to govern and provide for ourselves wanes, the bureaucratic part of government burgeons. In fact, this gargantuan web of agencies now dwarfs the three Constitutional branches of government, in both numbers and power, and no checks and balances keep it under our control. We are governed now, not by duly passed law, but by silent unrestrained regulations designed to appropriate our money and to steal our freedom.  

This is shored up by special interests all vying for their slice of both the power and the secondary wealth accumulating in Washington. Some of this has developed as a way for business to manipulate crushing bureaucratic power to its advantage; some is the result of greed untrammeled by any vestiges of Godly morality.

We sent Donald Trump to Washington to unravel this grasping tangle, to “drain the swamp,” but that may be like sending St. George in to slay a thousand dragons – dragons we keep feeding, for as long as we demand that the government handle everything for us, the dragons will proliferate.

So, how do we fix this? Have you ever tried to untangle a snarl of yarn or silver chain? You can’t just cut it – you need it all in once piece. Unraveling the jumble takes ultra-patient concentration for with every bit of progress comes another snarl.
Trump fires Comey – now the Dems ramping up their Russian allegations. Comey is countering with allegations of arm-twisting. The press is salivating over the mere thought of impeachment – never mind the fact that no crime has been committed. No one human can fix this. Not even a whole battalion of right-thinking people can do it. It’s going to take divine intervention.

How do we plug into that? WE don’t. It can only be done individually, one person at a time under each person’s free will. It doesn’t require that every one of us sign on, but enough of us must, and no one knows what that number is.

God has a lot invested in this country – which is a subject for another essay, but His reputation is at stake here, so I have no doubt He’d like to straighten us out.

God has always been active in human history, no less so now than ever. We cannot untangle the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into without His active assistance. What can we do to avail ourselves of His grace? Nothing but believe, accept His offer – each of us individually – of a free relationship with Him. The crux of everything in this world is the answer to this one question: What think ye of Christ?

This is what I think of Him:
1.    He is who He said He was – the Son of God – “I and my Father are one.” It is either that or He was a liar or a lunatic.
2.    He allowed Himself (in spite of His being also the 2nd Person of the Godhead) to be beaten, illegally tried, and nailed to a Roman cross so that the justice of God could mete out the punishment all humans deserve. This incredible gift was necessary because all three members of the Trinity are perfect and cannot tolerate imperfection (All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23). In order for God to accept any of us, this price had to be paid and we can’t pay it ourselves any more than we could repay a trillion-dollar debt.
3.    He rose from the dead. Another issue that needs more discussion.
4.    He is accessible through His Word. Internalization of that Word is our main responsibility in this life. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
5.    We affect history through prayer.

We can do no more than this. The golden calves we worship in our souls must be replaced with divine thinking and that thinking will save our nation. Nothing else will. Nothing.

 

 

 

Needing Eden

Needing Eden            

All of us – liberal or conservative, Muslim or Christian, black or white – are homesick. Deep inside all of us lurks a longing for something, someplace so lost in the past that we can no longer name it. I contend that we compose music in minor keys, stage tragedies, and write mournful poetry just to express this. For anyone who stops in the midst of this hectic life to think, to actually feel, knows what I’m talking about – it feels like missing someone terribly, but not remembering who.

We all deal with this lost-ness differently. Some of us drink or do drugs. Some of us hide in frantic sex or work or social involvement. We play endless computer games, read mystery novels, watch hours and hours of bad TV. We grasp for wealth and power. We go shopping, we gamble, we go bungee-jumping and cover the longing with an adrenaline surge. Some us figure it out and grope our way back to God. What we’re missing is Eden and our evening walks with Him.

One of the great sicknesses of our time is our insistence that we can recreate Eden and do it on our own terms. We have assumed that our unhappiness crawled out of a badly designed social structure – one that has allowed some to get ahead while others go without, one that falls short of paradise. Perhaps we misinterpret our longings and think the emptiness can be filled with things – if only we had some of the money the rich have too much of.

This resentment toward the rich is understandable if you go back to, say, medieval times when wealth came when one sucked up to the local royalty enough that he shared with you whatever wealth he’d stolen from someone else. A man who buckled on his armor and rode off to war with his king was banking on the king’s gratitude after the battle. The rich back then didn’t get rich by inventing something useful, manufacturing something everyone wanted, by making life safer, less painful, or more fun for everyone.

I recently watched a documentary on one of the old manor houses in England and I was struck by some statistics. The owner of the manor (bequeathed to him by some king) often entertained a hundred people for dinner. One of the most admired dishes at these dinners was turtle soup. It took one turtle per guest and each turtle cost 20 pounds sterling – the average yearly wage for the servants serving this exorbitant meal. Under those circumstances I can understand the bitterness that could take root in a person’s soul.

I listened to woman – a professor (of Marxism 101, I assume) trying to explain how right and true and good it would be to tax the rich (which did not include her, she assured the host) at 80%. She just assumed that they had no right to that money, no more right than the nobles of the 11th century, and that everyone would live happily ever after if the rich were poorer. If she can’t think any more clearly than that, she doesn’t deserve her professorial position.

But this the 21st century, a thousand years after the turtle soup, and now any person who can muster the determination and the self-discipline to make something of himself, can, theoretically, do so. No one is locked into a feudal system, or a rigid caste arrangement; deep-seated resentment is misplaced and sounds silly, like a 5-year-old complaining that his brother got more ice cream.

But in all fairness to the professor, she was just wanting Eden. She doesn’t understand that, in a sense, it’s gone – the cherubim are stationed at the gate and we can’t get back in. Every human being since Eden has something wrong inside him. We’re all broken, from the get-go; no matter what our physical, mental, or social standing -- we’re broken.

However, God did provide the information we need to produce a society that will provide the best possible organization, considering our fractured condition.  Any society made of human beings is one built with crooked bricks and that takes expert engineering. The bricks can’t do it themselves.

The closest mankind has ever come to building a viable social order is recorded in the Constitution of the United States. That document recognizes the brokenness of man, his tendency to aggregate power, and it took the laws of God – the design of the Chief Engineer – into account. It has worked well – not flawlessly, but well for over 200 years.

But here we are faced with a generation of Americans who are trying to assuage their longing for the Garden by denying that we ever left it, by denying the God that created that Garden, by thinking they can make their own Eden.

And look what it’s taking to do it:
1.    Government so vast, so wealthy, so powerful that we no longer have a clear idea of where the power is even located. Is it in the bureaucracy? The press? The courts? It certainly doesn’t seem to be in the legislature or the presidency anymore.
2.    Schools dedicated to indoctrination instead of education, where speech is tightly controlled, ideas other than the DIY Eden-approved memes are prohibited, and where self-discipline and decency are no longer required.
3.    Taxation that limits all of our activities; taxation that is intended not only to raise revenue, but, more importantly, to control our daily activities; taxation that robs us of our incentive.
4.     Division. The fact is that you can’t organize individuals nearly as easily as you can groups, and if you can pit the groups against each other you can distract them from the truth of their unique individuality. The only group that is not easy to herd is the family and therefore the family also has to be eliminated and to do that sexuality has to be shaken loose from its moorings, allowed and encouraged to run amuck ruining children, killing babies, and, as an added bonus, the destruction of the Christian church. Our previous administration accomplished a great deal in this area. The much-lauded “diversity” is a celebration of just that – the fracturing of a previously stable society.
5.    Heavy doses of guilt, of angst, of hopelessness, because angry, unhappy people are also easy to manipulate. No sense of purpose can be allowed to flourish.
6.    Language manipulation. For one thing, if you change meanings often enough, no one knows what anyone is talking about so political prestidigitation is easier. For another, it’s easier to control people’s thinking if you control their language.

You see, Eden was a place of free will – to eat or not to eat; that was the question – the only question. But man didn’t choose well, so those trying to mickey-mouse a new Eden know not to include free will. In Brave New World Huxley kept his population so giddy with Soma, sex, and entertainment that most didn’t realize that they’d lost that all-important attribute of being human. Orwell’s Big Brother didn’t allow any options, either, and in Shangri-La, Conway could do a lot of choosing, except for one decision – the choice of leaving. The place was perfect, but it was a prison nevertheless.

The world is littered with dead and dying utopian dreams. Man has been trying since Babel to recreate that first perfect garden. Sir Thomas More wrote out his utopian plan in the 15th century. The Pilgrims tried to rewrite society’s rules that first awful winter in Plymouth. Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao, now Maduro and Kim Jong-un all have tried to make perfection out of evil. But it can’t be done. Not on human terms. We have to wait for God to come do it for us – and He will. Until then we will continue needing Eden.

 

 

 

Clearing the Cobwebs

Lately, when I check the news, I feel like I’m fighting my way through a room full of cobwebs like I’m boxing with phantoms; there are no clear, understandable positions on the left. They’re fighting, yes, but in that thrashing, flailing, windmill fashion that infuriated little boys are prone to. Liberals have no rational point to make, but they make it loudly, wearing ridiculous costumes, shouting obscenities and marching, marching, marching.  They even marched for science! Who is against science? Is science something we VOTE for? An activist Muslim woman, who is in favor of Sharia law, organized the women’s march. What?! Are we to assume that the women’s movement is now in favor of female genital mutilation and honor killings?

I’m compelled to attempt to sort this out. I’ll grant that not all Democrats are this nutty, but they all need to face the fact that many of their fellow Dems are operating in such a deep sheep-dip of cognitive dissonance that they are a danger to themselves and to others. It’s not just that the liberals oppose conservatives; they appear oppose themselves.  Perhaps it can help to lay out the contradictions in an orderly fashion.

The Top 10 Liberal Confusions

1.    Feminism can’t decide whether women are superior to men or victims of them. They can’t decide whether they’re proud of the physical capabilities of their bodies or so anxious to deny them that they have to kill their babies. They are vociferously attracted to all the trappings of Sharia in spite of its cruelty to women and young girls. Many can’t even decide if they’re women.
2.    Liberals don’t like law, but love government. (It doesn’t seem to occur to them that government is largely made up of law.) They depend on it for everything from food and shelter to protecting their egos from the onslaughts of reason. Yet, in reality, they want what they want regardless of law. In order to assuage the guilt the government schools have programmed into them, they want to flaunt the immigration laws – never mind the dangers of terrorism and drugs and disease the illegals bring with them. In order to cushion their economic, environmental, and cultural misapprehensions they are willing to close down highways, burn buildings, and silence anyone who disagrees with them. They are more than willing to shut down the Constitution because it limits government, and they are unwilling to obey the laws the Constitution allows.
3.    In fact, the left openly hates the Constitution and seeks to weaken it by making the claim that it’s a “living document,” though they clearly wish it were dead. And then they bristle if you question their patriotism. They seem unaware that what makes America America IS the Constitution; you get rid of that and this country will just be another starving sinkhole. Libs also love to hate on the Bible and Christians, yet they like to misquote scripture to justify whatever socialist nonsense they’re currently pushing, utterly ignorant that the West wouldn’t be the West without either.
4.    They feel so strongly about their spongy ideas that they commit violent acts against people and property to demonstrate the rightness of those ideas (They can’t argue their points rationally), and all while asserting that nothing is absolute and all ideas are relative. AND that violence is always bad-- all the while accusing everyone else of being hateful.  How do you beat the tar out of a total stranger because you think HE’S a hater?
5.    They claim to be anti-fascist, yet support Islamists and defend their asserted right to impose their religion on others and to do so in the most heinous, barbaric ways imaginable.  It’s OK to burn toddlers alive, but Christians are horrible and hateful because we won’t bake cakes. It makes my head spin to try to think like that: violence, hate and cruelty = good; love, morality, and charity = bad.
6.    They see no problem in their contradictory environmental ideas. It’s okay in their world to scar an area with garbage while protesting an oil pipeline. It’s okay in their world to deplete the world’s food supply to use corn in our gasoline. It’s okay to kill birds with solar arrays and wind farms, to deplete world’s lithium supply for car batteries, to jet all over the world to wring their hands about climate change. It somehow makes sense to them to outlaw cow flatulence.
7.    They don’t like white people discriminating against blacks, but see nothing wrong with blacks being anti-white. It’s like third-grade payback.
8.    Diversity is their holy grail, but only within the liberal framework. Tolerance is the liberal virtue of virtues in spite of the fact that such a moral code puts them in the confusing position of having to support the murder of babies, the torture of non-Muslims, and leaders who would starve their own people. And then they get all tangled up in the fact that they can’t/won’t tolerate anyone who points out these inconsistencies.
9.    They want to change the world – take it to a better place, but they know so little about history that they have no idea where it’s already been. It’s really hard to arrive in the right place if you don’t know where you’re starting from. This week New Orleans began taking down its historical markers as if the future will be better if we roll up the past behind us. They claim to want a better world, but turn away from all the methods mankind has been successful with in the past. They embrace the evils they claim to be against: lying, corruption, manipulation, propaganda. They champion coercion, tyranny, and taxation and have no respect for freedom. (See point 2 above.)
10.    They claim to be for the little man, but have nothing but contempt for him unless said little man has succumbed to the lure of drugs, irresponsible sex, and abject dependence on his government. Then he’s cool. Otherwise one has to have a college degree – the more expensive the better, vote Democrat, and sneer at decency. “I am a naaaasty woman!”

The America I love is a place where you call an idiot an idiot; you don’t elect, and re-elect him/her to office. The America that has shown the world what freedom can do, that has saved the world from tyranny, come to everyone’s aid in times of disaster is now becoming the baby-sitter for whiners, and the encourager of a plethora of evils. The more we give credence to this nonsensical “thinking,” the more we are in danger of imploding. I recently ran across a collection of Norman Rockwell paintings – a family gathered at Thanksgiving, a bunch of little basketball players before a game, a profile of church-goers praying. THAT America made sense. This one doesn’t. I have the feeling that we’re being played by a master magician – keeping us all so confused with his right hand that we don’t notice that with his left hand he’s slicing Lady Liberty to pieces.  

 

 

The Point of no Return

The point of no return, the place of no more chances, the door that slams forever shut – these are concepts that make us cover our ears and holler, “La-la-la-la.” The western world in the 21st century works hard to mask final realities. A pregnancy used to be a point of no return, but now a woman can abort (the same word used to end a mission – how odd is that?) the inevitable, even just before birth. A student can fail a test, and then retake it and retake it. Some folks even freeze their dead bodies, counting on science to eventually provide a second chance. No deadline is really a deadline, no expectation must really be met, nothing is really due when it’s due. So very many of us just assume that every can can be kicked down the road to infinity, but those of us who still live in reality know better; sometimes it’s just permanently too late.

I’ve been pondering that quite a bit lately; I keep running into it in my Bible studies. Remember the Pharaoh of the Exodus? For the first five plagues Pharaoh hardens his own heart – digs in his own heels and won’t let the people go. But by the time the sixth plague hits – the plague of boils – it’s too late. At that point, “God hardens Pharaoh’s heart.” He uses up all his chances; God imposes this plague and the following four, “that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.” Each time Pharaoh rejects Moses’ demands, he adds more callous to his soul until, by the plague of boils, he is so encrusted, so inflexible that he can’t make a positive choice. He passed the point of no return; after that, he, and his nation were doomed. Egypt has never really recovered.

Look at western Europe – Sweden, Germany, the UK. Their reproductive rates have dropped so low that immigration must have seemed a good way to deal with that problem. A society can run into a population dead end if, on the average, each person doesn’t reproduce him/herself. When the birth rate falls below 2 children per couple, eventually that society will implode; there will be an inadequate number of young people to do the work. So Europe imports Muslims from the Middle East and now they’ve lost parts of their countries and their culture. Can this be undone? The problem with the point of no return is that those involved never see it coming.  

Now look at 2nd Thessalonians 2: 9,”The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” At some time in the future (quite possibly the near future) people will refuse truth until they can no longer do anything else. As I’ve watched the left stagger about in disbelief over the election of Donald Trump, I can’t help but remember this passage. “Strong delusion” is right. Russia? Really?! But here’s the sobering part: are all these people past that point of no return? Is our western society permanently screwed? Could be.

I look around American society today and I see many dead ends looming. Education, for instance. With John Dewey (at the turn of last century) our school systems began a subtle change from attempting to produce independent, knowledgeable thinkers to generating non-thinking workers. During the late 60’s the pace increased, curricula backed off the classics, and social engineering became a major thrust. God was banished from the classroom, and since He couldn’t be there, we had to find shortcuts, counterfeit ways to teach virtue: tolerance instead of real mercy; acceptance instead of righteousness; self-esteem instead of love and care. We erased purpose, discipline, and need. We’re several generations into this fiasco and even if DeVos manages to clean things up and institute vouchers and charter schools, where will we find well-educated, un-indoctrinated teachers to man those schools? How can we de-program our colleges and our public schools? It may be too late.

Let’s go back to the Bible. Look at what happens in Matthew 12. Over and over in previous chapters, we see Jesus healing the crippled, the blind, the mute, the demon possessed. Yet in the 12th chapter, the Pharisees demand that He give them a sign that He is, in fact, the Christ. So He does another healing, and what do they say? “He does that in the power of Beelzebub.” After that, Jesus teaches only in parables and explains them only to his disciples. He cuts Israel off and later we discover that an irrevocable curse has been placed on Jerusalem; 40 years later the Romans lay siege to the holy city and over a million Jews die, Israel and Judah are no more, are scattered over the earth not to be reconnected with their land for 2,000 years. They each used up all their chances – a point after which they would no longer be able to believe. And of course, once they were dead…..

According to the gospels, on Passover of A.D. 30-something, Roman soldiers nailed an obscure rabbi from Nazareth to a cross propped between two thieves. One thief made the deadline just in time and secured his place in Paradise. The other missed it. Forever. Throughout the entire Bible, there is one theme: God will fix the problem of sin – our job is to believe that, to accept the free gift of salvation. God was able to offer this because His Son was willing to take on the punishment for that sin. Our part is to just receive the gift – before death takes us. If a person misses that deadline, there is no going back. In the most permanent and irrevocable way imaginable, there is no going back. And we never know exactly what that due date is.

 

Chaos and the Everlasting Arms

         Shakespeare’s play Othello showcases the most vile character in all of drama –a man often referred to as “honest Iago.” He is especially horrifying because he is charming, efficient, and intelligent, but mostly because he often breaks the fourth wall, looks the audience right in the eye, and tells us what his next diabolical move will be. We’re in on it whether we want to be or not. He creates chaos just because he can and we are powerless to stop him. Watching the news these days feels much like watching Othello.

We listen to the news (a word of increasingly unclear meaning), most of which deals with riots and robberies, murder and mayhem, barbarism and skullduggery at even the highest levels of government. Change – technological, social, and financial – is happening at lightning speed, but we have to be careful how we talk about it because the word-police are listening, and our most valuable words have been drained of their semantic weight and locked away in a closet. Of what use is hate, or woman, or Nazi?

We’re beginning to realize that our most important institutions – our schools and our churches – are closing minds rather than opening them, that our medical system is itself on life support, that our children have nothing to rely on other than the government that has done this to them, or the drugs being smuggled across our unattended borders. Our culture is disintegrating before our eyes.

China, North Korea, and Russia (Can I talk about that country without risking being wiretapped?) to say nothing of the entire Muslim world are all gearing up for a major fight and we’re not ready. Muslim refugees (another word that’s taken a beating) have successfully invaded much of Europe and half of this country wants them to do the same here. Is it not the epitome of chaos to desire that one’s own country be invaded?

Crime, which used to be fueled by need as much as by greed, has become senseless and random. Logic has taken a back seat to untrammeled emotion. Common sense is dead, but I needn’t say more – we’re all painfully aware of the chasm opening beneath out feet and we feel as powerless to stop it, as we do Iago.

But don’t “all things work together for good?” (Romans 8:28) Yes, they do – “for those who love God.” Isn’t it true that “underneath are the everlasting arms.”?(Deuteronomy 33:27) It is true. God’s order is evident everywhere. It is the backdrop for the chaos. Nothing is happening randomly. Nothing is out of His control. Nothing occurs that He didn’t foreknow. Let’s look at the evidence:

First, we must look to nature. The more we learn about it -- the more we see the order of God, the less random things appear. Back in the 19th-century people like Darwin could get away with ideas based on random mutation in simple cells and dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest, but now we know that the smallest of mechanisms bears the traits of super-engineering, not of haphazard happenstance. The famous flagellum motor of single-celled organisms, the human eye, hummingbird tongues are so intricate that it is more likely that a toddler could dump out the letters of a Scrabble game and spell macroevolution than it is that these amazing mechanisms happened on their own.

Not only is nature too complicated to be a willy-nilly arrangement, but it’s too mathematical for that. Look at Fibonacci sequences, which appear throughout nature, both in 3-dimentional space and in the 4th dimension as well. The Fibonacci sequence 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144….(each succeeding number being the sum of the two previous integers), and the physical pattern that graphing the sequence produces, shows up in everything from the organization of the sections of a pine-cone to the human X chromosome inheritance tree. When graphed, these numbers produce a spiral confined to the ancient concept of the Golden Mean. Nature is not chaotic; it’s perfect proportions prove that. Perhaps the greatest damage Darwin did to thinking was to convince us of the randomness of nature – a lie if there ever was one.

We also need to look at fractals. A fractal is a pattern that self-replicates at an ever-increasing (or decreasing) scale. We see these patterns in the angle at which the veins in a leaf leave the stem, in the way branches head away from the trunk. We see them in snowflakes and crystal formations, in electrical discharges and river patterns. Even the circulatory system, with its network of arteries, veins and capillaries demonstrates fractal organization. Pineapples display fractal repetitions, as do earthquakes, ocean waves and even the rings of Saturn. When we look casually at nature we mistake its profusion and lavishness as arbitrary, as accidental, but none of it is.

Our brains, they say, are pattern-seeking devices, which is interesting because there are so many patterns to find. From the iambic beating of our hearts to the rotations of days and seasons, we are surrounded by pattern. We reproduce it in our language, our art, and our music. We have, since the earliest times recognized the patterns in the stars – note the mention of the constellations in the book of Job, probably written around 4,500 years ago.
It is Job’s God who gave Israel the Law, who organized a camp of 2 million people – the tents in neat rows according to the 12 tribes, 3 on each side of the Tabernacle. It was this God who provided them food and water in the wilderness, this God who stopped the Jordan and brought down the walls of Jericho.

We lose sight of all this in the frantic beat of modern life, but it is still there. The very stars have been making patterns lately – the four blood moons that coincided strangely with Jewish feast days and were punctuated halfway through with a total eclipse. This coming fall – the 23rd of September – we’ll see an amazing pattern when Leo and Virgo and Jupiter and Orion’s belt all arrange themselves just as Revelation 12 says they will. This will happen on the Jewish New Year during the Feast of Trumpets. Things are right on schedule.

Just because women have taken to dressing up as vaginas and milling around in public demanding the right to kill the babies the vagina was designed to bring forth; just because colleges no longer allow ideas; just because feminists seem to prefer Sharia law or because sexual abuse of a child is now being declared normal, we should not conclude that the world has spun off into the unknown.

The same God that parted the Red Sea is still in control. His Word has warned us the time would come when “…men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a]haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 3:2)

If God knew society would devolve so, did He not also provide a solution for such an eventuality? He did. The patterns of His plans are forming out of the miasma. His hand is on history. His will will be done. God also knew what “Iago” (i.e. Satan) would do, and unlike us, He has the power to stop him. Christ will return and the chaos, as loud and horrifying and painful as it is right now, will soon be calmed, there will be peace on Earth, and we will, as we once did in Eden, feel the safety of the arms of God.  

 

 

 

 

The Tens – Writing and Roots


I am a conservative – i.e. a person who wants to conserve those parts of our national past that have proven effective. America found the formula for maximum freedom and therefore for maximum prosperity. We are the only nation to have figured that out, so please, let’s not lose track of such a divine discovery. In spite of Trump’s victory we still have a large chunk of our population that’s ready to give up freedom. This is not surprising since our educational and media institutions have been trying to rid us of our fundamental national identity for over a hundred years.

The nineteenth century ushered in Charles Darwin. The twentieth century embedded his thinking in our schools and churches.  Now, even though his ideas have proven as wobbly as a loose-wheeled cart, twenty-first century Western society perches on his precarious doctrine. Not just science, but society at large, is saturated with the idea that mankind is always getting better, brighter, more tolerant. Nothing in 20th century history bears that out – just the opposite. In fact, the social law of entropy is in full bloom – witness the collapse of much of the Middle East, the failure of our school system, and now the dissolution of the Democrat party. Nevertheless the “progressive” faction soldiers on, convinced that the perfect society is within reach and, more importantly, all that stands between humans and Nirvana is the past. If we can just sever ourselves from the embarrassing evidence of man’s flawed nature, we can move back into Eden. And what keeps that from happening? Writing.

Written documents are the basis for a successful society. Those communities without a written set of rules and ideas have stayed primitive and poverty-stricken. Those nations that have put in writing, or carved in stone, their most basic ideals and ideas have been more free to go about the business of conquering their environments and making both financial and social progress.  The written–ness of documents, like our Constitution and the Bible, help maintain a stability, a continuity that provides a solid platform on which to build innovation and social improvements. If the documents are of questionable value (the Koran, for instance) the society suffers and even if those documents are of the very best and the nation fails to pass on their value and importance, the result will be the same – poverty and violence. Our nation is balanced right now on just such a razor’s edge.

America has based its social interactions and its governance on the two most important documents in human history. We have one historical foot placed square on the Ten Commandments and the other settled solidly on the Bill of Rights. And yet, the last administration did all it could to dislodge this stance. In fact the last century has seen a consistent hammering that has chipped away at these foundations; both government (through education and legislation, through court decisions and administrative dictates) and the 4th estate (through ridicule and neglect) have been whacking away at our foundational writings for decades.

Let’s look first at the importance of the Ten Commandments, which is not just a set religious dictates; it is a common sense guide to the behavior of wise and good people. The first demands that we love God. The second reiterates that by banning the worship of graven images. The third told us to avoid bandying about God’s name – swearing by Him, as if our word was as good as His. These first commandments merely underline that any law without the backing of our Creator will serve no purpose. We have to start there, with the understanding that God IS, and that He is absolutely perfect. Once there, a population, for the most part, polices itself and very little government is necessary. An appreciation of God is the foundation of freedom. A nation of atheists who had never been exposed to the behaviors delineated in the Commandments would cannibalize itself in just a few generations unless a heavy-handed government stepped in to control the population’s every move. Such a government would also operate sans God’s rules, thereby becoming ruthless and cruel, totalitarian and itself lawless.

But, but, but says the atheist, the Muslim, the Buddhist, don’t we have freedom of religion here? Well, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” doesn’t really say that you can believe anything you, or someone else, can conjure up. If you join a cult that practices human sacrifice, you’ll find yourself at odds with the law. If, you decide to become an Islamic jihadi, the DHS will not buy the 1st Amendment argument.

The next commandment tells us to take a day off each week. Man doesn’t appear to have ever done that prior to Moses and the Commandments. This Sabbath arrangement has two obvious purposes: one to set aside time to recognize our Creator, to celebrate all He has done for us, and for our own good, to take some time off, to rest. This is a practice we’d be wise to reinstate; too many of us work all the time and then we wonder why we suffer through divorces, drugged children, and heart disease.  

We are to honor our parents. If we did that, a large part of our school problems would evaporate, crime rates would go way down, and divorce rates may even slow. Parents, of course, need to be honorable, which gets us back to the other Mosaic mandates. A man who loves God and honors his mother is more likely to treat his wife and children wisely and well. Parents who avoid adultery and prevarication are more likely to be respected by their children. It goes round and round, but note, if the majority of Americans adhered to or even attempted to adhere to these commands, how much less government intervention in our lives would be necessary. If most of us walked away from the temptation to covet what others have, socialism would have no devotees.

Look for a moment at the 6th and 8th commandments and then think about cities like Chicago and Detroit. Both sins are making these cities into war zones so violent police can’t get control. Murder has become a way of life in those cities.

Now turn your gaze to the 2nd Amendment. What would happen in those cities if citizens were not hampered in their ability to protect themselves? And, on the other hand, what would fighting that crime look like without the 3rd and 4th Amendments – police ransacking their way through our houses, bedding down there if they felt like it. What would being arrested look like without the 5th, 6th, 7thand 8th amendments? If the police could force you to confess, could hold you in jail indefinitely, could turn your trial over to a judge, whom you’d have to face on your own. What if, once the sham of a trial was over, the judge could sentence you to be drawn and quartered?

Why is it that our government was willing to give its approval to such limited powers? Because those framers of the Constitution knew that their constituencies were people who already governed themselves; they knew that they could govern the society with very light reins.

The balance created by these 20 laws has made America great. Ten laws to govern the people, and 10 to govern the government, and if we have even one more generation that doesn’t have those ideas embedded in their bones, we will not survive.

 

The Tens – Writing and Roots                  

I am a conservative – i.e. a person who wants to conserve those parts of our national past that have proven effective. America found the formula for maximum freedom and therefore for maximum prosperity. We are the only nation to have figured that out, so please, let’s not lose track of such a divine discovery. In spite of Trump’s victory we still have a large chunk of our population that’s ready to give up freedom. This is not surprising since our educational and media institutions have been trying to rid us of our fundamental national identity for over a hundred years.

The nineteenth century ushered in Charles Darwin. The twentieth century embedded his thinking in our schools and churches.  Now, even though his ideas have proven as wobbly as a loose-wheeled cart, twenty-first century Western society perches on his precarious doctrine. Not just science, but society at large, is saturated with the idea that mankind is always getting better, brighter, more tolerant. Nothing in 20th century history bears that out – just the opposite. In fact, the social law of entropy is in full bloom – witness the collapse of much of the Middle East, the failure of our school system, and now the dissolution of the Democrat party. Nevertheless the “progressive” faction soldiers on, convinced that the perfect society is within reach and, more importantly, all that stands between humans and Nirvana is the past. If we can just sever ourselves from the embarrassing evidence of man’s flawed nature, we can move back into Eden. And what keeps that from happening? Writing.

Written documents are the basis for a successful society. Those communities without a written set of rules and ideas have stayed primitive and poverty-stricken. Those nations that have put in writing, or carved in stone, their most basic ideals and ideas have been more free to go about the business of conquering their environments and making both financial and social progress.  The written–ness of documents, like our Constitution and the Bible, help maintain a stability, a continuity that provides a solid platform on which to build innovation and social improvements. If the documents are of questionable value (the Koran, for instance) the society suffers and even if those documents are of the very best and the nation fails to pass on their value and importance, the result will be the same – poverty and violence. Our nation is balanced right now on just such a razor’s edge.

America has based its social interactions and its governance on the two most important documents in human history. We have one historical foot placed square on the Ten Commandments and the other settled solidly on the Bill of Rights. And yet, the last administration did all it could to dislodge this stance. In fact the last century has seen a consistent hammering that has chipped away at these foundations; both government (through education and legislation, through court decisions and administrative dictates) and the 4th estate (through ridicule and neglect) have been whacking away at our foundational writings for decades.

Let’s look first at the importance of the Ten Commandments, which is not just a set religious dictates; it is a common sense guide to the behavior of wise and good people. The first demands that we love God. The second reiterates that by banning the worship of graven images. The third told us to avoid bandying about God’s name – swearing by Him, as if our word was as good as His. These first commandments merely underline that any law without the backing of our Creator will serve no purpose. We have to start there, with the understanding that God IS, and that He is absolutely perfect. Once there, a population, for the most part, polices itself and very little government is necessary. An appreciation of God is the foundation of freedom. A nation of atheists who had never been exposed to the behaviors delineated in the Commandments would cannibalize itself in just a few generations unless a heavy-handed government stepped in to control the population’s every move. Such a government would also operate sans God’s rules, thereby becoming ruthless and cruel, totalitarian and itself lawless.

But, but, but says the atheist, the Muslim, the Buddhist, don’t we have freedom of religion here? Well, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” doesn’t really say that you can believe anything you, or someone else, can conjure up. If you join a cult that practices human sacrifice, you’ll find yourself at odds with the law. If, you decide to become an Islamic jihadi, the DHS will not buy the 1st Amendment argument.

The next commandment tells us to take a day off each week. Man doesn’t appear to have ever done that prior to Moses and the Commandments. This Sabbath arrangement has two obvious purposes: one to set aside time to recognize our Creator, to celebrate all He has done for us, and for our own good, to take some time off, to rest. This is a practice we’d be wise to reinstate; too many of us work all the time and then we wonder why we suffer through divorces, drugged children, and heart disease.  

We are to honor our parents. If we did that, a large part of our school problems would evaporate, crime rates would go way down, and divorce rates may even slow. Parents, of course, need to be honorable, which gets us back to the other Mosaic mandates. A man who loves God and honors his mother is more likely to treat his wife and children wisely and well. Parents who avoid adultery and prevarication are more likely to be respected by their children. It goes round and round, but note, if the majority of Americans adhered to or even attempted to adhere to these commands, how much less government intervention in our lives would be necessary. If most of us walked away from the temptation to covet what others have, socialism would have no devotees.

Look for a moment at the 6th and 8th commandments and then think about cities like Chicago and Detroit. Both sins are making these cities into war zones so violent police can’t get control. Murder has become a way of life in those cities.

Now turn your gaze to the 2nd Amendment. What would happen in those cities if citizens were not hampered in their ability to protect themselves? And, on the other hand, what would fighting that crime look like without the 3rd and 4th Amendments – police ransacking their way through our houses, bedding down there if they felt like it. What would being arrested look like without the 5th, 6th, 7thand 8th amendments? If the police could force you to confess, could hold you in jail indefinitely, could turn your trial over to a judge, whom you’d have to face on your own. What if, once the sham of a trial was over, the judge could sentence you to be drawn and quartered?

Why is it that our government was willing to give its approval to such limited powers? Because those framers of the Constitution knew that their constituencies were people who already governed themselves; they knew that they could govern the society with very light reins.

The balance created by these 20 laws has made America great. Ten laws to govern the people, and 10 to govern the government, and if we have even one more generation that doesn’t have those ideas embedded in their bones, we will not survive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Things Done

 For years Americans have been bemoaning the slow pace at which both the legislative and executive branches of the government “get things done.” Of course, there is the question about whether or not we really want any more laws, but we agree that some actions really must occur: the repeal of Obamacare, the vetting of refugees, the cutting of taxes. We all know that we’re in a national bind on many fronts and that things must change. But how?

Allow me to point out three major concepts that must be in place before any kind of forward movement can happen. These used to be common sense, but good sense of any kind hasn’t been groovy now for several decades. So let’s review:

Any sensible manager, leader, or club president knows that you make policy to cover the general state of things; you don’t make policy for the exceptions. That is, however, what has been the common practice for at least the last 8 years. How many people are truly transgendered and stuck in the awkward position of not knowing which bathroom to use? And yet Obama instated policy that affects the safety and privacy of all Americans to protect the feelings of less than 1% of the population. What percentage of that population is both permanently gay and wanting to marry? Maybe 1%, and yet Christian business owners all over the country have been attacked because their biblical beliefs preclude them from aiding and abetting such a mandate. About 80% of Americans identify as Christian. What percentage of the population is Muslim? And yet Christian students all over the country are being indoctrinated into Islamic practices and beliefs.  What is that?

It is true, everyone knows, that not everyone fits into every scenario. We know some of us are square pegs that are not going to fit into society’s round holes. So do we just flip those folks off and go on about our business? No. We make exceptions for those folks as best we can. The high school where I spent most of my teaching career had a strict no-hats policy, no headgear of any kind. That policy was designed to keep gang signs to a minimum, to keep distractions down, and to teach the age-old etiquette of removing one’s hat as a symbol of respect. But then what did we do when a Sikh boy enrolled? His religion required him to wear his turban. Simple: we made an exception for him. This allowed us to maintain control without stepping on his religious toes.

Making exceptions is tricky because it requires that we actually think through all the ramifications. If a young girl wants to wear a burqa to school, we have another problem – what could she be hiding under that gear? If a young man wants to dress in the girls’ locker room because he claims to think he’s a girl, well, what could go wrong there? Wouldn’t an alternate shower room be better? Mightn’t it be better to see to it this kid gets some psychological help? It is much more efficient to set up systems that generally work well, and then deal individually with the exceptions.

But there’s the rub for the leftist, who doesn’t want to think of people as individuals. To do that would open all their pet theories and projects to the kind of negative scrutiny they deserve. So it’s zero-tolerance policies and 5-year-olds being suspended for the way they chew their Pop-tarts.

Which gets to the next simple rule that a functional organization follows: it recognizes the miracle that is each individual. A truly effective group makes it the highest value to respect the intelligence and good sense of its members. Yes, people all have flaws, but anyone who has lived any time at all (and paid attention) has noticed that making rules rarely improves behavior. (See previous point; the more rules we create, the more exceptions have to be made.) People are smart and inventive and will find ways around stupid rules. Yet, because folks are smart they can generally be counted on to fix things themselves without formalities.

As a high school teacher, I learned quickly that rules and regulations were a waste – I’d just have to spend time enforcing them. I knew my students weren’t just variable units of the exact same being; they were each totally unique and I had to engage each in lessons so interesting that rules were really irrelevant; I owed them that respect.

I am pleased to see President Trump demonstrate that same deference, in his appointments, his demeanor with foreign heads of state, but also in the ways he deals with private individuals providing quietly the help needed.  I think of the man to whom he recently handed a $10,000 check, of the way he stood behind Saeed Abedini during his Iranian imprisonment, of the relationships he has with his children. These things give me hope for a more personal government.

The third characteristic of a society that functions well is rationality. Leaders do not make policy on the basis of emotion, but rather on the basis of fact, of historical and economic patterns, of acceptance of reality. These past 8 years were devoid of this trait. Our news organizations have lost track of it as well.

This is the fault of America writ large; we are so used to emotion-laced entertainment, so drenched in drama – most of us can’t be interested in politics unless it, too, is a tear-drenched soap opera. We watch non-sequitor music videos, play endless, winless video games that feature no clear villain and no clear hero. We don’t study logic or even care to be concerned about reason.

So what happens when we have to make quick, efficient policy? We’re paralyzed by the fear that someone somewhere will have his feelings hurt or his plans inconvenienced. We hear the word “refugee” and we picture a sobbing 3-year-old girl with a dirty face – never mind the fact that the majority of European refugees have been battle-age males.

Facts, because they are often unpleasant or don’t fit our preconceived, comfortable mental images, are offensive. History, because it demonstrates clearly that progressive ideas are utterly insolvent, and because it is filled with facts, must either be rewritten or ignored. No unpleasantness allowed.

This recent kerfuffle about immigrant vetting is a good example of both courageous, logical leadership, and of the insane, over-reactive, emotional reaction of the left. How can reasonable policy be developed by people who, on the one hand hate Donald Trump because 25 years ago he said the p-word, and on the other hand march around the streets wearing vagina costumes and shrieking about blowing up the White House?

I spent 20 years teaching dance – follow me here; I’m not off the trail – and I always emphasized good technique because it prevents injury and allows the body to move more surely and more openly. The same is true for making policy; the right technique must be practiced. That right technique involves aiming that policy for the general mainstream, dealing with people as individuals, and using logic backed by real information. A society led by anything else will quickly slide over the edge of the falls. Then all you have left is emotion.

 

 

 

 

 

Reality Bites


Last Friday the dream came true. For nearly 25 years this country has labored under leadership that discounted the concerns of everyday, ordinary Americans, or, worse yet, tried to “fundamentally change” who we are. Friday Donald Trump let the country know that the ship is turning, which will be painful for some who didn’t know the ship was almost over the precipice.  Judging from the press reactions, and from the appalling demonstrations, we can clearly see where some assumptions will need adjustment. Reality is going to set up shop in Washington and we wait to see how that will go. Let’s look at some of these realities:

Reality #1 – The 4th estate is fragmenting – dispersing to individuals who may not be trained reporters, but who are at least, for the time being, independent of government. I get a chuckle out of those folks who get most of their news from NPR. At a time when the country is divided between pro- and anti-government ideologies a quasi-government organization is not likely to be unbiased.  In fact, the whole myth of unbiased news has been demolished. Now, Trump’s willingness to go over the heads of the mainstream news solidifies their demise. “No need for you, “ he’s saying, “ so shape up and stop lying.” We’ll see if they do.

Reality #2 – Our foreign relations fog is lifting which will expose the 21st century’s holocaust.  We will soon see clearly who is friend and who is enemy. We will see that we HAVE enemies. Obama thought he could bat his eyes at the bad guys and they would purr and rub up against his leg. He thought he could bow to those folks while kicking our friends in the shins and we’d hit some kind of magic equilibrium that would save the whole world. The next 4 years will untangle a lot of that nonsense, but will jerk the dreamers up by the short hairs. The reality is that the world is infested with evil people in powerful positions, and, as has always been the case, we must show more power so that good can prevail. That may get ugly before it gets better.

Reality #3 – Having had a black president for 8 years has availed the black population NOTHING, and has not alleviated one ounce of white guilt. Those stuck in the inner cities are far worse off than they were when Obama took office. The unemployment levels are sky-high, education is worse, and crime makes cities like Chicago and Detroit look like war zones. One can extrapolate from this that having a woman in the Oval Office will not improve the lot of women either. For one thing, American women are blessed. Ashley Judd had to stoop to complaining about the tax on tampons in order to work up enough civic anger to rouse her crowd. What tax on tampons? And that’s something the leader of the free world would concern himself with?

Reality #4 – America has had all it can take of identity politics – if we’re going to survive, we have to be one nation. If we are going to do that, we just can’t think of ourselves as mortally aggrieved members of some special tribe. Most Americans watched women marching around in vagina costumes and booby hats screaming incoherent and obscene slogans and realized that we’ve taken this idea of underdog whining to its illogical conclusion, and boy is it ugly.  Political demonstrations have their place-- if there is a political solution to the problem, but these mobs don’t even have a problem, let alone a reasonable solution. It was an embarrassing weekend for all reasonable people. I don’t see us falling for the poor-me moaning anymore. There is no integrity there -- get a job.

Reality #5 – Business isn’t the bad guy. Trump’s swamp-draining operation, if it can actually be done, will prove that, and we’ll see if that brings any clarity to the leftist mind. His tax-cutting, bring-business-home efforts will also hit the left hard, because it will have an amazing effect on the economy, on personal income, on the national debt. I’m sure of that because it has worked every time it’s been tried. The left has used business as the whipping boy – the bad, evil rich – and has so beleaguered businesses with taxes and regulations that corporations have had to stoop to lobbying and cozying up to government just to survive. Trump will cut manufacturing loose from all that. It will be fun watching the left eat crow, but they’ll choke on it.

Reality #6 – Energy isn’t the bad guy, either. The left is going to be bereft of its goblins. The pipelines will get built. Drilling will get going. The EPA will be muzzled. Cows will go on passing gas. And, amazement of amazements, the earth will not burn up and seas will not drown Manhattan. We all know this. The left will figure it out.

Reality #7 – This is a Christian country. Progressives don’t like that, but this election has proven them wrong. We don’t want Islam invading our neighborhoods and our schools. We don’t want Christian businessmen sued and harassed when they want to live by their religious convictions. We don’t want babies torn from their mothers’ wombs and sold like spare parts. We know the difference between true Christian charity and government theft. We refuse to limit our religious freedom to Sunday mornings. We intend to say, “Merry Christmas!”  Our schools teach our kids – by commission and by omission – that God is not real and then we are horrified when they fill the gap with drugs and sex. We’ve had enough. Done. This, too, will stick in the liberal craw because Christianity also works every time it’s tried.

Reality #8 – the Constitution is still alive and well. The Supreme Court will soon go back to using that document as their guidepost. Congress will regain its rightful place in the order of things. The states will be able to reassert their 10th Amendment sovereignty. And we, the people – the working, productive, decent people – will pay more attention and go back to being citizens of a proud and good nation.

Reality #9 – Patriotism is a good thing. It is a natural thing – and it has nothing to do with Nazi Germany.  The Nazis didn’t put Germany first; they put the Aryan race first and sacrificed the Germans – both Jew and Gentile – to promote it. Trump’s inaugural line, “If you’re a patriot you cannot be prejudiced,” solidifies that. “America First” is just common sense.
Will the left mend its ways?  No. The left is on the wrong side of history and I don’t mean “the losing side.” I mean the evil side. All you have to do is look at the inaugural riots and marches. The level of evil nastiness reached a crescendo that was painful for all decent people to watch. George Soros, the ex-Nazi billionaire who likes to brag about how many nations he’s destroyed, financed those protests. The vagina marches were organized by Sharia-supporters (illogical as that may seem), and Satanists marched proudly with the women demanding free abortions. That’s being on the evil side of things, and as long as God gives us time, evil will be here to fight.

America put on the brakes this election. We stuck our feet clear through the floorboards and screamed, “STOP!”  This will be an adjustment for our communist fellow Americans, but the wall Trump is going to build will not keep them from going to another country where tampons aren’t taxed so onerously and where public fit-throwing can remove a duly elected president.