Tag Archives: politics

Well, Hello!

I apologize for being so inconsistent over the last few weeks — Months? Well, maybe, but it’s been worse the last few weeks.  Ever since June ended. I guess there’s been a lot going on, with fourth of July, and then the cataract surgery and this weekend my son and his wife were here. They stayed with her grandparents, but that sure didn’t short us on seeing them. The weekend was full.

And of course, I’ve been trying to write more. That’s been inconsistent, as well. And, as I alluded to in a previous post, since about the first week in July, the heat has been more debilitating than it’s ever been for me. The other night I did some research on whether just being hot can make you tired. Turns out it can, (even if you’re not an introvert! LOL) especially if you combine the heat with high humidity. We’re there.

Since about the ninth of July, the humidity has gone up and the dew point’s in the 60s.  But we aren’t getting any rain. Areas around us are getting rain, but we’re not. So there’s nothing to reduce the heat. I can hardly do anything without getting suddenly and intensely hot. Maybe it’s a hot flash, which can be triggered by being hot, but whatever it is, even standing over a pile of card making papers in the bedroom (out of the flow of the swamp cooler’s air) sorting through them, I have hardly begun before I am dripping sweat and so hot I feel like I ‘m going to fall over. So off to a “cooler” spot I go — chair in the dining room, couch in the living room, a spot in the office — to sit in the breeze and drink ice water until I cool off.

I suppose I sort of knew this already, but it’s true that being hot can drain you because the body uses up a lot of energy trying to cool itself down. Since its main method is evaporation of sweat on the skin, in humid environments, the sweat, while evaporating immediately re-condenses, adding back the heat that was just used up. Blood vessels dilate, water moving processes increase, and metabolism slows down  to reduce the internal heat (one of the reasons, according to what I read, why you don’t want to eat as much). And if you add in any physical activity, like vacuuming, well then you are jacking up that internal heat with your efforts.

So today I thought, why fight it? I’ll use the time to do some reading, which is what I’ve already been doing, (when not running errands or administering eyedrops — that ended last week, thank goodness) but guiltily, since I thought I should be doing other things.

The reading is another reason for my silence because the very interesting books I’ve devoured prompted so many thoughts I couldn’t seem to order them enough to write them down. And we’ve had to walk Quigley later, so that cuts into time I used to do blogging.

Anyway, I hope to be more consistent here without any major events currently before me. I particularly want to go back to the introvert stuff and also talk about the more recent books , two of which I got from the Library and then decided to buy.

But now, sitting here at my desk, I’m suddenly all sweating and HOT again, so I shall stop this and return to my spot on the couch to read the very long article I just printed off from American Spectator on Rush Limbaugh’s recommendation. It’s  something that elaborates on a subject I’ve blogged about before — the class conflict that exists in our country between the ruling elites and the “rubes” in flyover country. It’s called America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution. It’s a long article and I’ve printed it up to read.

Rush had a lot to say about it today (Monday) so if you’re interested in a summary version, you can find that here. For awhile, anyway.

Sharia or the Constitution?

Under Muslim Sharia law, one cannot proselytize to a Muslim, nor is a Muslim allowed to leave the faith. Recently the Associated Press reported that  4 Christian evangelists were arrested in heavily Arab Dearborn, Michigan, for passing out copies of the Gospel of John (translated into Arabic) at  an entrance/exit to an Arab Cultural festival. (In the video below it appears to be more like a county fair or carnival, a ferris wheel looming in the background). 

The head evangelist George Saieg, only the day before had received a favorable ruling in his behalf, overturning a lower courts findings and allowing him to distribute the books on the festival’s perimeter.

But since the festival typically draws several hundred thousand attendees, police made the arrests to preserve the peace.

I suppose they would get in trouble if they couldn’t keep people from rioting, nevertheless, if people are not able to peacefully distribute Gospel literature (or even Watchtowers, for that matter) in public places for fear of some religious group rioting… that is not good. That means, essentially,  that it’s Sharia law that is in force and not the United States Constitution, which most certainly does allow proselytizing and other freedoms of speech. 

Here’s the video they made of it, just to let other people know what sorts of things are starting to happen right here on American soil (much like the recent  incident with the students who were sent home for wearing American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo because many of the hispanic students at the school were offended and school officials feared a riot might start…) 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smw9QuH1xkA&feature=player_embedded]

Is the U.S. Headed for Tyranny?

Nowhere in the constitution does it say the government may confiscate private property without due process of law. Yet that’s exactly what’s happened with BP.  Our government is supposed to be representative, people in positions of leadership either elected or confirmed/approved by the congress. Right now we have something like 45 “czars,” non elected, appointed but not approved or confirmed persons in positions of authority where they shouldn’t be.  (You know — like in czarist Russia? I don’t see how anyone would think “czar” would be an acceptable term for any position associated with the United States Government, but that’s another matter) And it’s more than just that the constitution has been violated, it’s that the present administration is wreaking perhaps irreparable damage on our country, taking it out of the realm of being a nation governed by law and into that of being governed by a king. Or dictator. Or a tyrant.

 Thomas Sowell is a professor of economics and a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow with The Hoover Institution at Stanford University. I’ve long read Professor Sowell’s column’s and always find them insightful. His  most recent piece appearing in Investor’s Business Daily’s online organ Investors.com is entitled Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny? Clear and to the point, it draws some very interesting parallels between what happened in Germany back in the early part of the twentieth century and what’s happening here, now. It’s not long, but worth the read. Here’s how it starts.

“When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive

Read MORE…”

We Con the World Revisited

Remember the You Tube video I posted last week from the Flotilla Choir singing “We Con The World?” Well, seems it went viral since last Thursday when it was posted. Power Line blog, where I found it, says it’s already had over 3,000,000 views. So naturally, YouTube has pulled it. Apparently YouTube has a history of pulling things positive to Israel. Though Werner-Chapelle who owns the copyright to the hit fund-raising song “We Are the World” the choir used for their parody, and has claimed they’re in violation of copyright, many think this is not really the issue.

As an aside, I’ve always thought that song (ie, the original) was too dumb to listen to. I couldn’t stand the words and always left or turned the channel before I heard much of it. So it wasn’t until I found the Flotilla Choir parody that I actually heard the tune, which has been a true earworm for me… listen to the thing once and I’ve got the tune running through my head for the rest of the day. And maybe the next, too. It doesn’t help that the new lyrics crack me up. Particularly after I went and looked at the original lyrics.

I much prefer “We’re waving our own knives” to “We’re changing our own lives.” What an idiotic concept! But I’ll desist from my commentary on that, since this isn’t about that, but rather people trying to shut down Jewish voices.

Because apparently  under the fair use doctrine US Copyright law does allow use of a tune for the purposes of parody.  And in fact, there are allegedly several other parodies (including one on Barak Obama) using the same tune still up on YouTube. Caroline Glick, who is editor-in-chief of Latma TV and also contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post, discusses it on her blog here.

Today it’s gone to a new host, Daily Motion. So if you want to enjoy it again… click here.

The Torah of Liberalism

The “Torah” of Liberalism. So is titled the final chapter of the book Why are Jews Liberals? by Norman Podhoretz, which I mentioned in my last post.

 Throughout the book, he has laid out a brief history of the Jews in Europe and the US, detailing the terrible treatment they received at the hands of the conservative religious folks of their day, the absurd beliefs of the latter (eg, that Jews kidnapped and killed Christian children because they need their blood to celebrate their Passover; or that the Jews started the plague by poisoning local wells) and the nasty treatment these sorts of beliefs produced, examples of which I gave yesterday.

Then came the Enlightenment in France, when resident intellectuals challenged the religious status quo and began to talk about equality of men, whether they accepted Christian doctrine or did not. As science began to take over as the religion of choice among the intellectuals, the Jews gravitated to them, even though in many ways they required as much of a shift from Jewish beliefs as Christian conversion did. Though many of these atheistic intellectuals (like Voltaire) expressed anti-semitic sentiments from time to time, that was ignored (much as it is today) because of these peoples’ antipathy toward Christianity as well as their promotion of equality.

Thanks to the Enlightenment, the Jews were released from their ghettos and allowed to join society as regular people, though they really didn’t find true freedom and prosperity until they came to the United States where their lot improved fantastically, also as I mentioned yesterday. Podhoretz continues to follow their political journey through the last century, and specifically through the run of presidents since and including FDR, the latter seen as something of a Messiah figure to them.

Throughout this time they consistently allies with the Democrat Party, partly because of how it carried on Enlightenment ideas, partly because it was in opposition to conservative Christianity, which as I said, terrified them, and partly because many of them had emigrated from Eastern Europe as devotees of Marxism (Ironically, Karl Marx was a Jew, but both his parents converted to Lutheranism before he was six). There was also an involvement in labor unions, which Podhoretz traces, so the contributing factors are varied. In any case, they were so committed to the communist/socialist/liberal viewpoint that it was practically impossible to consider any other.  One lifelong Democrat was quoted as saying he was sure his right arm would shrivel up and fall off if he ever dared pull the voting lever for a Republican.

Reagan made some inroads in this area after the disaster of the Carter administration, but the ground was lost by George H.W. Bush whose policies with regard to Israel were very negative… Even though more and incidents of antisemitism were erupting on the left and more and more support for Israel was blooming on the right, the Jews continued to be Liberal… and so we come to the final chapter which was the most surprising of all: “The Torah of Liberalism.”

Having exchanged a belief in the God of their Fathers for the supposedly nonsuperstitious and “scientific” Marxism, they were befuddled when that turned out not to work so well even as capitalism after WWII “began producing wealth on a previously unimaginable scale that surpassed even the rosiest utopian dreams of Marxist theory” (to say nothing of the complete collapse of the Soviet Union). Unable to go back to God, or to keep on with Marxism, they moved through a series of downgrades — first to social democracy, then to American liberalism. According to Podhoretz, “To most American Jews, liberalism is not…merely a necessary component of Jewishness; it is the very essence of being a Jew… a religion in its own right, complete with its own catechism and its own dogmas and, Tertullian-like, obdurately resistant to facts that undermine its claims and promises.”

In other words, in the face of facts to the contrary, some rely upon denial to maintain their belief system. That’s bad enough. Worse are the ones who defend their  position by claiming that their liberal faith is ‘the new Torah’  — “and,” says Podhoretz, “in the most literal sense of pursuing tikkum olam, the ‘repair of the world,’ a concept that (with the scantiest of justifications from the sacred texts) they have singled out as the essence of Judaism.”

Podhoretz then quotes the publisher’s description of a recent collection of Jewish essays entitled Righteous Indignation:

“In this ground breaking volume, leading rabbis, intellectuals, and activists explore the relationship between Judaism and social justice, drawing on ancient and modern sources of wisdom. The contributors argue that American Jewry must… dedicate itself to systemic change in the United States, Israel and throughout the world.”

Specific “justice issues” addressed in the essays include “eradicating war, global warming, health care, gay rights and domestic violence,” and amazingly, in every case the “teachings of Judaism” turn out to be right in line with these issues and the systematic change liberals are devoted to making.

“Repair of the world?”  This was the first I’d ever heard of such a thing. How weird that the Jews would throw off their old beliefs in the God of their fathers and the promises He made to Abraham, Moses, David… about the Millennial reign of their king, who will indeed repair the world… only to try to reproduce it on their own. In fact, in an earlier part of the book he mentions how they saw communism as the means of actually making a world where there is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no male or female, but everyone equal. That is, they see Liberalism as the means of bringing in the Millennium — without having to wait for their King.

And that just blew me away.

Irony of the Veil

I woke up this morning thinking about the message in the song performed by the Flotilla Choir, all the lies flying around about the “peace activists” being peaceful, the Israeli’s being brutal, and so forth. The truth is obvious to anyone who wants to see it, but as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out recently, many, many people — practically the whole world, don’t want to see that. They jump on the bandwagon that “Israel is guilty until Israel is proven guilty” with eagerness and great conviction. Don’t bother us with the facts. We have no need of them.

The irony in it is that this same attitude was practiced by the Pharisees of Jesus’s day with regard to His position as their prophesied Messiah. He did miracles, He taught with authority, using the Scriptures, He argued them into silence because they had no words with which to respond. He fulfilled something like 600 prophesies of the coming Messiah, and yet they, the most knowledgeable of all the Jews when it came to the Scriptures, didn’t see it. Instead of going to those Scriptures and looking at the prophecies and how the elements of His life and person matched up, they preferred to accuse Him, test Him, argue with Him, insult Him, discredit Him, and ultimately kill Him. When He told them the truth, they became enraged. When people said they thought he was the Prophet, they’d fixate on one element — “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (Jn 7:41,42)

How hard could it have been to find out that He had indeed been born in Bethlehem (Micah 5?2), and gone to Egypt and been called out of it (Hos 11:1) and now from Nazareth, a Nazarene (Is 11:1 branch = Naytser) These are the scripture experts, the ones who supposedly had memorized the whole thing down to the least jot and tittle.

But they refused to see. The Word says they had a veil over their eyes — the veil of negative volition. (2 Co 3:14)

And even as they were not interested in facts, only in believing their own lies in those days, so they are now. I recently read a fascinating book called Why Are Jews Liberals? by Norman Podhoretz, who is editor of the conservative political magazine Commentary. In the book, Podhoretz poses the question of why, despite the fact that the Conservatives are now unquestionably the side of the political spectrum that most faithfully and even adamantly supports the Jews and Israel, the Jews themselves remain steadfastly liberal. Refusing to see the Anti-Semitism of the left, they dismiss it with the idea that the liberals don’t mean it, or in the case of antagonism toward the state of Israel (which not all of them support), by agreeing with Israel’s critics.

The very first thing Podhoretz brings out is that the main reason Jews aren’t Conservative is because they are terrified of Christians. Terrified that should they ever come to power that they will forge a new state church that will begin anew all the persecutions the Jews have endured over the last two thousand years and only recently escaped. Even though it was socialist/Nazi Germany and communist Soviet Union though administered the greatest attacks against the Jews in history. And were the most recent to do so.

I’m not saying that Christianity as an institution (as a religion, really — and I don’t believe that true Christianity IS a religion) hasn’t had its dark days with regard to how it’s treated the Jews, but nothing it did was ever so dark as what went down under those two “liberal” or “progressive” regimes in Europe.

The book traces the fascinating if necessarily brief story of the Jew’s history in Western Europe and the US, because that history is definitely part of their reasoning for siding against Christians. But history isn’t all of it. Many of the Liberal Jews have the same unreasoning, illogical, irrational, hard-hearted antagonism toward  Christianity as their Muslim/Arab enemies have toward them.

And I find that ironic.

More on the book tomorrow (If I get back from my mother’s cancer treatments with a reasonable amount of time left in my day… unlike last week)

Flotilla Choir

I know I’ve not been posting much of late… the Las Vegas trip wiped me out. And after that I spent some time resting, being alone, refilling the well. Even started back to work on Sky, and then a bunch of stuff happened this week that I’ll post about later.

For now, I’ve been following the whole “botched raid” of the Israeli Defense Force on the “peace activist” Turkish Love Boat, coming only to break through the Israeli blockade in order to bring potatoes and dollies to the poor suffering Palestinians in Gaza (I saw an Al Jazeera video on that aspect). How the poor souls — nearly all men, that I could see — were so packed into the ship they had to sleep on deck in the open air, and the toilets couldn’t handle them all, and worse -AGH! — the kitchen on the ship was too small to service 600 people and some had to go 48 hours between hot meals. Oh, the suffering.

Anyway, one thing struck me as I watched and read and listened to it all (including video taken by the IDF of the actual operation, which shows clearly who the aggressors were), especially the instant reaction of the whole world in condemning Israel almost before anything went down.  (One piece I read cited David Hazony of Commentary Magazine saying he’d spoken with a senior producer of a major news network in the US who said he’d received “a well-phrased press release from the office of [PA spokesman] Saeb Erekat,” one the producer received at 4:36 a.m Monday. Making it obvious the thing had been prepared beforehand.  And illustrating the truth of the title of the piece, a quote from Churchill that “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on”)  What struck me, though, was how clear it is to anyone who wants to see that Israel has a supernatural enemy.

I mean, what’s the deal about Israel? There are hundreds of millions of Arabs and multiple Arab states vs 7 million Jews and one Jewish state. The Arabs have vast oil resources from which they derive great wealth, whereas the Jews have none. Why, in the eyes of the UN, can Russia and China and North Korea commit all manner of atrocities and provocations and go almost unnoticed whereas Israel can hardly blink correctly?  As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said recently (today? Yesterday?)  “Israel is guilty until proven guilty.” It goes beyond men and nations. It goes to the enemy of God, Satan himself.

But that’s not my subject here. Because tonight Power Line Blog put up a new video produced by the “Flotilla Choir” — a song routine called “We Con the World.” I think it’s hysterical. But I do have something of a frame of reference. They have interspersed actual video from journalists on the ship showing the “peace activists” readying their knives, sticks, pipes and sling shots and from the IDF (the one I mentioned earlier)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOGG_osOoVg&feature=player_embedded]

I’m not sure who the Flotilla Choir is, though I do know that Caroline Glick, cited as the editor,  is the senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post and a senior fellow for Middle East Affairs at the Center for Security Policy… Ah, I just Googled “who is Flotilla Choir” and came up with the answer. It’s an Israeli TV show called Latma TV  “like Saturday Night Live only funnier.” Yeah, I’d agree.

Quote – Losing our Freedom

I’ve had this quote in my file for some time. I’m not sure who said it. Possibly Col Thieme. (If any of my readers recognize this piece and know the person who originated it, please let me know).  Anyway, given the vote by our Congress on Sunday, it seems apropos…

HOW WE ARE LOSING OUR FREEDOM:
MARRIAGE AND THE INSECURE GENERATION

Insecure husbands result in insecure wives.

Insecure parents result in insecure children.

Insecure children produce an insecure generation.

Insecure generations demand security.

In demanding security from government, an insecure generation becomes an entitlement generation.

Entitlements are offered to the insecure generation by insecure politicians.

The vehicle for entitlements become some form of socialism offered by an insecure government divorced from the establishment principle found in the infallible Word of God.

To finance this pseudo security of socialism an insecure government gains power, security and entitlement for itself through confiscation of wealth by unjust taxation, redistribution of wealth in the name of the greater good for the greater number.

In the process, utopian socialism combines with Marxism to establish economic and political doctrine based on false theories of dialectical materialism and promotion of class warfare. The result is big government which provides pseudo security to the insecure through public lies and false promises. Sugar coated with tricky words of demagoguery which results in destruction of human freedom.

Instead of government being the servant of the people, the entitled insecure people become the slave of big government.

And it’s happening right before our eyes.

Climate Change Consensus Continues to Unravel

In the face of the Climategate scandal and recent admissions by the IPCC (the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that the reports it had published urging action to avert climate change were based on flawed data, Republican senator James Inhofe, ranking member of Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee is asking for an investigation. He wants the Obama administration to revisit the supposedly finished debate on anthropogenic climate change with regard to whether there was “research misconduct or criminal actions” carried out by the scientists involved in generating the reports relied upon the IPCC. Today the minority members of the committee have issued a statement of concern that these scientists have “violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, federal laws.”  (emphasis mine) They also want Al Gore called back to Congress to defend his movie and himself in this affair, and for the EPA to reconsider its recent “Endangerment Finding” (which would eventually lead to the agency regulating CO2 emissions) seeing as the finding was based on the particularly flawed fourth report from the IPCC.

Here’s a quote from their statement:

“Since the Climategate files were released, the IPCC has been forced to retract a number of specific conclusions — such as a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — and has been forced to confirm that the report was based in large part on reports from environmental activist groups instead of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Murari Lal, an editor of the IPCC AR4 report, admitted to the London Daily Mail that he had known the 2035 date was false, but was included in the report anyway “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.”

The minority Senators cite four major issues revealed by Climategate:

1.The emails suggest some climate scientists were cooperating to obstruct the release of damaging information and counter-evidence.

2.They suggest scientists were manipulating the data to reach predetermined conclusions.

3.They show some climate scientists colluding to pressure journal editors not to publish work questioning the “consensus.”

4.They show that scientists involved in the report were assuming the role of climate activists attempting to influence public opinion while claiming scientific objectivity.”

Their statement also  includes a number of potential violations including:

1.It suggests scientific misconduct that may violate the Shelby Amendment — requiring open access to the results of government-funded research — and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) policies on scientific misconduct (which were announced December 12, 2000).

2.It notes the potential for violations of the Federal False Statements and False Claims Acts, which may have both civil and criminal penalties.

3.The report also notes the possibility of there having been an obstruction of Congress in congressional proceeds, which may constitute an obstruction of justice.

This report appeared on Pajamas Media and was linked to by the Drudge Report. I wonder if it will show up anywhere else? And will Inhofe’s request have even a ghost of a chance of being honored by the democratic majority? To say nothing of an adminstration that has already openly declared its intent to proceed on actions designed to “save” us from the effects of man-caused climate change whether it exists or not…

Here’s the article: Climategate and the Law

And here’s another story by the same writer, also on Pajamas Media: “Climategate: The World’s Biggest Story, Everywhere but Here.”  This one was particularly interesting in its tracing of the unfolding of the American media’s formulation of the way they would report this story — not as a failure of the scientific process and community, but as a couple of minor flaws — “mistakes were made” — but nothing significant and certainly nothing that affects the already-thoroughly-established credibility of and consensus regarding AGW “science”.

Opinions are not Equal

Saw this today on Rush Limbaugh’s site and thought he expressed it so well, I wanted to share.

I don’t fall in the PC trap that every opinion has validity. It doesn’t. Opinions which are wrong are worthless. And just because you might be wrong with your opinion and you are human and you have feelings and shouldn’t be insulted, if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and I’m not afraid to tell anybody they’re wrong. I’m not afraid to tell myself I’m wrong. It doesn’t happen much, that’s why, but you’re never going to be properly educated unless you eventually tell yourself you’re wrong. “My opinion counts just as much as –” no, it doesn’t if it’s wrong. “Yes, it does Mr. Limbaugh, my opinion is valid. I think I have a brain and my opinion –” If you’re wrong, you’re wrong.                        ~Rush Limbaugh, December 10, 2009

I will add that I believe everyone has the right to hold an opinion, valid or not,and while I don’t think you should be afraid to tell someone they are wrong, I also think that it’s mostly unnecessary — futile, even —  to go around trying to straighten people out.  Freedom guarantees us the right to hold whatever opinions we desire. If our thoughts and opinions are foolish, and we act upon them in foolish ways, we will pay the price. Rush, however, is an entertainer and an educator and the whole point of his show is to express his opinion. If you don’t like it you don’t have to listen. But I did think his point that all opinions are not equal was dead on.