Archive for Religion

The light of day, a time for war, the cognitive game, and growing up girl

A Time for War By David Prentice – “it was started by the hard left, and it’s a war to achieve power for them, for them to change the entire workings of our country.”

“It’s here. Now. Thankfully this is not yet the blood in the streets kind of war, but war it is. It’s a war for the soul of this country, it’s a war that will affect everyone; none will escape having to deal with it directly, or indirectly.

Examples of the current battles in the war:

  • Racialism, black lives matter, NFL kneeling, and the war on being white.
  • The new feminism, and the war on being male.
  • The new feminism, and the war on the unborn.
  • Turning sex into a cesspool. Weinstein, Hollywood, preying on children, rampant unfaithfulness, broken families, transgenderism.
  • Turning race baiting and sex allegation into weapons of mass destruction.
  • Environmental catastrophism.
  • Health care control.
  • Spending our grandchildren’s money.
  • Allowing immigration to strangle what’s left of our institutions.
  • Pretending radical Islam is okay, but Judeo-Christian culture is not.
  • Teaching that socialism is just another form of government and not a failure.
  • Teaching that our country is inherently evil, and must be changed throughout.


the important thing to understand is every one of these major battles is going on simultaneously. Our nation’s military command used to pride itself on being capable of handling two major war fronts. As you can see, we aren’t fighting two fronts at home, it’s dozens and all at the same time. And they’re hot battles, many of them being fought with the other side spending our own money to prop themselves up.

Unfortunately, we on the right haven’t had a good organization to counter the shock and awe tactics of the left. The party that is supposed to lead us doesn’t even know we’re in a war.

The left has taught the next generation white guilt. Alongside Uncle Tom guilt. Both lies. Racialism is mental slavery.

The left has convinced the next generation that socialism is good. That free enterprise is evil. That we are destroying our environment. All destructive lies.

They are lying about their own sexual moral superiority.

each battle is filled with lies from the left. It’s their MO. Tokyo Rose is their model. Hillary is their face.

Before there is bloodshed in the streets, we must beat them at their own game.

The left must be defeated before they can regroup. Bring. It. On.

Playing the Cognitive Game – The Climate Skeptic’s Guide to Cognitive Biases by John Ridgway – “I am getting pretty fed up with psychologists proclaiming the irrationality of climate change scepticism.”

“I hope to demonstrate how easy it is to conjecture upon a group’s psychological state and how easy it is to turn the tables and place the advocates of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) hypothesis under scrutiny. The result may be so much psychological flimflam but I consider it no less worthy than the dubious speculation emanating from the supposed experts and the IPCC.

This is about bias and not about logical fallacies. A bias is often expressed as the use of logical fallacies and might be considered an interpretation of the motivation for the them. As such, the observer needs to be much more aware that a conclusion about a bias is more subjective than one about a fallacy. A fallacy is an observation of behavior that fits a category. A bias needs a case to be made to connect the behavior to a reason for its deviance from reality.

It’s great that Blue Planet II is pushing hard on plastic pollution in the oceans – but please use facts, not conjecture by Malcolm David Hudson – “Must we always talk for victory, and never once for truth, for comfort, and joy – Ralph Waldo Emerson.” This might be a story of another example of how Attenborough lost his creds. It is about propaganda by omission, by the use of partial and selected facts to make an argument. Hudson is hoping a propagandist will change his tune. Good luck with that.

“In the final set piece, narrator David Attenborough’s tone changed – as it does when he has bad news. He showed us grim images of a turtle tangled in plastic debris, a beautiful tropical fish sheltering among our waste, and most heartbreaking of all, a mother pilot whale unable to let go of her long-dead infant as the rest of her family grieved.

In the whole sequence, there was no direct link made between the death of the baby whale and the plastic debris we saw in parallel footage; no evidence that its mother’s milk actually contained contamination from plastics. Nothing.

My inner environmentalist convulsed with frustration at wildlife being killed by unnecessary human waste, but my inner scientist screamed foul at the lack of direct evidence shown on the programme.

Powerful environmental documentaries like Blue planet II can change views on the big environmental issues; just please use truth and scientific evidence.

100 years. 100 million lives. Think twice. By Mark Perry – “the title of a recent op-ed in The Harvard Crimson written by Harvard student Laura M. Nicolae, whose father at age 26 left his parents, friends, and neighbors behind when he escaped the oppressive Romanian Communist regime

Roughly 100 million people died at the hands of the ideology my parents escaped. They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke.

Last month marked 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution, though college culture would give you precisely the opposite impression. Depictions of communism on campus paint the ideology as revolutionary or idealistic, overlooking its authoritarian violence. Instead of deepening our understanding of the world, the college experience teaches us to reduce one of the most destructive ideologies in human history to a one-dimensional, sanitized narrative.

After spending four years on a campus saturated with Marxist memes and jokes about communist revolutions, my classmates will graduate with the impression that communism represents a light-hearted critique of the status quo, rather than an empirically violent philosophy that destroyed millions of lives.

The stories of survivors paint a more vivid picture of communism than the textbooks my classmates have read.

For an example, consider that UNR graduate who has destroyed the NFL by pushing his ignorance.

FCC net-neutrality astroturfing new analysis – and it is bad by Justin – “The FCC comment database has been analysed by someone who knows what they are doing and the comment stuffing is much more extensive than previously thought.” The conclusion is that the humans overwhelmingly supported government I’net control while automated stuffing opposed it. That should raise skepticism. The activists were for government regulation and, as seen in previous cites, quite well populated by the tech community. The implication of the conclusion is that ‘big corporations’ committed conspiracy and fraud. Such a major implication needs better evidence than innuendo. Hence, skepticism is warranted.

Thoughts From The Ammo Line – “Ammo Grrrll draws on painful personal experience to declare NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN…is not just a typing exercise!” Growing up girl presents special hazards.

“On an hourly basis, we learn of another woman making accusations of sexual harassment, assault, even outright rape. Other women claim to be “uncomfortable” or offended by a hand on a shoulder, a pat on the back, any human touch. I come from a warm “touchy” family, so I have tended to believe that a lot of those complaints are overwrought. But then I sat down and thought about my own experiences and got depressed. I wondered if ANY female person escapes unscathed? I am pretty tough, worldly, and unusually impervious to locker room talk, and still it’s not a pretty picture. I warn dear readers that what follows is a downer and I’m sorry. I will be funny again next week. And yet I feel lucky. I have seen only my husband in the shower and we own no indoor potted plants.

Can you good and decent men – whom I count in the vast majority – not somehow police the monsters? Every last lefty Hollywood “man” knew about Harvey. Every. Last. One. The moral cowards, busy Tweeting about the Republican “War on Women” stood by and were complicit for decades. Give me my “redneck” father and his shotgun any day. As Richard Pryor intoned, decrying racism by parodying a Psalm: “How long, O Lord, must this bullshit go on?”

The story she tells describes “how good and decent men” did police abuse of their daughters. The problem is that those men are under assault themselves. Society does not accept shotgun justice in any form anymore. Society is passing laws to protect and promote perverts under ‘equality’ and ‘social justice’ banners. Think about the unisex public bathroom laws controvery for an example.

One also needs to keep in mind that a traditional role of men is (or was) to protect wives and daughters – the virtue of their family. Abuse of boys has run on different standards but that is changing, too, as they are emasculated and equalized as victims. This is about the war Prentice describes above.

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False gods and so-called science

Here are a few more stories for a Monday overload. These look at the ideologies and fantasies behind the behavior.

The Media Doesn’t Want to Talk about the 26th Victim of the Texas Church Massacre By Paula Bolyard – “Media outlets across the country are apparently having difficulty counting. They can’t seem to get the number of victims right in last week’s horrific Texas church massacre.”

While many correctly reported that 26 people were killed during Devin Patrick Kelley’s maniacal rampage, many others went to great pains to avoid reporting that an unborn child died at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday. Or, if they did report the baby’s death, they reported it as a footnote, careful to separate the unborn child from other victims.

Why can’t these media outlets simply say that 26 people — human beings — were killed in the attack? The answer should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to the culture wars for the last 40 years. They can’t say it because they’re so firmly tethered to their lie — that the unborn child in his mother’s womb has no personhood and no rights.

The tragedy in Texas exposes their deception — and their desperation — as more an more Americans understand that abortion is the intentional killing of a human being made in the image of God.

The Wages of Social Justice Is Death By Michael Walsh – “In the aftermath of the Ferguson riots in Missouri and the Freddie Gray fiasco in Baltimore, the decriminalization of crime in the name of “social justice” — long a goal of the cultural-Marxist Left — got fully underway. The result was exactly what anyone not fully invested in Critical Theory would have expected.”

Baltimore, a city whose best years ended more than a century ago, is a prime example of what happens when citizens are categorized by skin color or cultural background, and then have differing standards of behavior applied to them by what should be an impartial justice system. Instead of “social justice,” the outcome is social disruption, mistrust, resentment, lawlessness and, if left unchecked, anarchy and civil war. The Marxists not only know this, they desire it, which is why they press so hard for it.

the “social justice” and “political correctness” mentality gripping so many elected or appointed officials– not to mention the entire American media — prevents them from taking the kind of direct action that’s needed to solve the problem. Until Real Americans cast off the foreign-import dictates of the cultural Marxist Left, cities like Baltimore will continue to suffer. And so will we all.

Trump Shines in Foreign Policy By James Lewis – “The U.S. media just rolled its eyes and yawned, but the Muslim world got the message loud and clear.”

Obama would never even name the enemy, and most importantly, under Obama the United States lost the moral high ground against child-murdering sadists; we started to support Sunni killer cults in Syria.

If ISIS is just a minor nuisance, as Obama tried to tell us, that would make the genocides of history meaningless.

Obama never, ever seemed to get that basic point of morality, nor did Hillary, nor did any other Democrat. Trump and Mattis obviously understand it,

Obama seemed to take the side of the enemy, and Bush just called the whole thing “the War on Terror,” totally ignoring the monstrous doctrine that runs Al Qaida and ISIS and other jihad killer cults. American military who were on the ground in Syria and Afghanistan were tremendously demoralized by U.S. failure to cast this war in the proper moral terms. Mattis in particular emphasizes morality in war, a concept liberals can’t even imagine. You kill people because they are beyond evil. You don’t kill innocents. Somehow the Democrats can’t seem to remember that.

Trump is supposed to be an idiot, but this idiot has been a success in the international hotel business for years, and people like that have to know about currencies and commodities.

The Wap-NYTs have always whipped up fear about strong U.S. presidents, never about foreign throwbacks like Kim III threatening us with nuclear weapons. They don’t care if it’s the Soviet Union, or the Nazis way back then, or Stalin, or the 9/11/01 Wahhabi killers. Our enemies are all victims of U.S. Imperialism, and if they’re mad at us we gotta just take the punishment we deserve.

This is a form of liberal insanity, of course, but the one positive is that the voters understand it all. The Trump voters include tens of millions of Americans who love their country, and wanted Obama and Hillary out of their lives.

The Democrats will lose as long as the current inner cult stays in charge. All we can do is encourage them to get as infantile as possible, and hope they’ll never bring in any adults.

Trump might just achieve that all on his own.

The Dark Side of Science By Robert Arvay – “Science has bestowed enormous benefits on mankind. But it has a dark side as well.”

What is most remarkable about science is not its gadgetry, but rather, what it tells us about ourselves, who we are, what is our purpose and destiny. Do we have inherent value? Or are we just another species of animal?

In other words, there is a powerful philosophy that underpins science. It affects us all.

Science is based on the premise that the universe has rules, unbreakable laws that do not depend on our opinion, but which are revealed to us by observation and reason. As far as we can tell, the universe is orderly; it has structure and hierarchy. Is that all just meaningless coincidence?

Until recent times, nature was correctly seen to be the work of a divine designer whose purpose, plan and meaning are revealed to us in the wonders of Creation.

Science is only as valuable as its foundation. If that foundation is not faith, then science is a house built upon shifting sand, and must collapse. Let’s stop worshipping the false gods of so-called science, before they demand the sacrifice of all that is truly sacred.

Science and God are on the same page and Arvay isn’t. That page is the matter of the ninth commandment (wikipedia). Arvay is not engaging in true witness in his conclusions about what science tells us. There are no “false gods of so-called science” by definition. Science is about true witness to what God lays in front of us whether that be a geological record or the structure of living beings. It is not about “purpose and destiny.”

Many current issues from vaccinations to anthropogenic climate catastrophe to alternative energy have people chasing false gods and trying to use science as their excuse. What they are doing is “so-called science” and not true witness to what science actually is. The problem Arvay highlights is about the nature of humanity that God gave us, not the nature of human inquiry into the Word of God that He placed in front of us and that we often call nature. Much as the commandments God gave Moses are understandable rules, true science accepts the concept that God is not irrational, perverse, or unreasonable as would be the case without rules. Science is about exploring what he gave us to better understand his Word.

Where Arvay should focus is on how he and many others have lost focus on the first of the commandments where they have enshrined a graven image of their favored ideology to place before the “Lord your God.”

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Restoration

Trump dismantles Obama’s ‘imperial’ presidency, rescinds dubious orders By Dave Boyer and that makes some people very, very unhappy.

While other presidents have rescinded policies of their predecessors, the extent of Mr. Trump’s actions is rare, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation Institute for Constitutional Government.

“He is undoing unilateral executives actions of a prior president that went beyond the executive authority of the president,” Mr. von Spakovsky said. “Trump is not being given credit or praise the way he should for what he is accomplishing: restoring the rule of law, bringing the executive branch back within the parameters and limits of the Constitution and restoring to Congress authority that prior presidents have stolen.”

He said Mr. Trump “is reversing the unfortunate trend we have seen, especially during the Obama administration, of the move towards an imperial presidency that disregards the limits on its power.”

Pope Francis, biblically challenged, blames climate change — again By Cheryl K. Chumley

Once again, Pope Francis has pressed forward the mantra that much of the world’s problems — hunger, overrun borders — are due to man’s failures to stop wars and address climate change.

Not so, according to the Bible. But what’s a little Bible-based reading between the pope’s political devices?

It’s pretty much the pope’s thing — to call for global regulatory controls on environmental matters based on his view that climate change causes wars, hunger and so forth.

More government. More government control.

But the Bible paints a different story of the roots of war, one that has more to do with the designs of human hearts than the designs of human-made governments. Now if only the pope would quit straying into politics and meddling into realms he doesn’t belong, and focus more on the Good Book — where, it seems, he has plenty to learn to keep him busy.

Blacks Trashing Trump from the Pulpit By Lloyd Marcus. “his pastor gave him the same blank stare he always receives from fellow blacks when he states commonsense views that are contrary to Democrat lies believed by that most blacks.”

Jerry’s church realizes there is a war on Christianity. Jerry said it is mindboggling that his church has hired attorneys to defend itself from relentless infringements on its religious liberty. And yet, his entire church is loyal Democrat voters, the party leading the charge against Christianity. Jerry said it is as insane as giving your enemy a hammer to hit you in the head and then buying a helmet for protection.

St. Augustine said a minority of truth will prevail as long as it is heard. In other words, God only requires Jerry and me to continue faithfully spreading the truth. While most of our seeds of truth falls on stony hearts and minds, some will land on fertile soil in the minds of a remnant of black youths; take root, grow, and bear good fruit.

The Evangelical Case for Wealth Creation by Mats Tunehag –

The evangelical focus has centered more on the problems associated with wealth and its production than on its positive benefits and possibilities. Statements abound on its godlessness, its idolatry, and its injustice. It is not that Sider or the evangelical community is wrong to highlight these abuses. It is simply that a one-sided emphasis on wealth’s problems rather than its possibilities is out of balance.

Wealth creation is a godly gift and command, and business is a “noble calling,” as Luther and Calvin put it, a “noble vocation,” in the words of Pope Francis. Business and wealth creation can and should be solutions to justice issues such as human trafficking and environmental challenges.

The devaluation of both wealth creation and wealth creators (perceived chiefly as cash cows for the church) is a tragedy. This is not only an abuse of the business callings in the body of Christ but also undermines the very engine necessary to adequately address poverty.

It is a fact that aid—wealth distribution—does not lift people and nations out of poverty. Wealth creation does.

A faulty retelling of ‘The Vietnam War’ – “Richard Nixon kept his promises, Ken Burns did not” By Oliver North

Mr. Nixon’s prosecution of the war in Southeast Asia is poorly told by Ken Burns in his new Public Broadcasting Service documentary “The Vietnam War.” That is but one of many reasons Mr. Burns‘ latest work is such a disappointment and a tragic lost opportunity.

It’s sad, but I’ve come to accept that the real story of the heroic American GIs in Vietnam may never be told. Like too many others, Ken Burns portrays the young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Vietnam War as pot-smoking, drug-addicted, hippie marauders.

Those with whom I served were anything but.

In a technique favored by the “progressive left,” Mr. Burns uses a small cadre of anti-war U.S. and pro-Hanoi Vietnamese “eyewitnesses” to explain the complicated policies of the U.S. government.

Ken Burns failed to keep his promise to tell all sides about the long and difficult war in Vietnam. Mr. Burns, like John Kerry, has committed a grave injustice to those of us who fought there.

The Method to Trump’s ‘Madness’ By Victor Davis Hanson.

Pollsters, pundits, and the media have vastly underestimated how many in America loathe multimillionaire celebrities, pampered athletes, and triangulating politicians—the usual targets of Trump’s invective.

Take a sampling of Trump’s most infamous tweets and adolescent outbursts—attacks on Bob Corker’s height, referencing Rex Tillerson’s IQ, the creepy description of blood oozing from a supposedly irate Megyn Kelly, or deprecating the capture and imprisonment of John McCain—and the common denominator is not just puerility and cruelty, but also retaliation. All had first attacked Trump and sometimes quite viciously.

he knows the politicians, media hacks, and celebrities who attack him are sanctimonious bullies by nature. Their professions traffic in self-righteous invective, with the expectation that they will be never be attacked in kind.

But the public enjoys seeing them taken down a notch. It is inexplicable but also eerie to chart the subsequent downward career trajectories of those who sought to engage Trump in a mud-slinging contest.

Fresh episodic targeting serves two purposes. Trump is a sort of Road Runner: gone to reply to the next provocation by the time his Wile E. Coyote critics can put their hands around his long-gone neck. The pushback against him is usually yesterday’s news drowned out by tomorrow’s new melodrama.

Trump on the parapets not only means that others to the rear are freer to make and administer rules without much presidential oversight, but also that Trump, not themselves, is the controversy. That exemption means that a cabinet official has wide parameters, with less worry that he must fight the media and his political opponents.

Trump in contrast, in gesture, accent, vocabulary, and rashness, sounds like a cigar-chomping blue-collar machinist out of our past who is said to be outrageous in his crudity only because he is condemned by those who are far more outrageous in their mannered sobriety. In some sense, Trump welcomes wounds in order to inflict greater ones on the proverbial establishment.

the Trump presidency is moving at a speed likely unmatched by his predecessors, and he is getting somewhere fast.

Three More Trump/Russia ‘Bombshells’ Turn Out To Be Duds by IBD

For nearly a year now, we’ve seen this same pattern. A headline-grabbing story about Russia “meddling” and Trump “collusion” that ends up fizzling out when the facts come in.

If Russia’s motivation in all of this wasn’t to elect Trump, but to sow discord and hostility within the U.S. — which increasingly looks like the point — then Russia’s leaders succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. And for that, they have the liberal media, not their own efforts, to thank.

very, very upset people tend to no think, or act, very rationally.

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sorely disappointed

Allahpundit: Feinstein to Catholic judicial nominee: I’m concerned that the dogma lives loudly within you – “This makes twice in three months that a prominent Democratic senator has grilled a Republican nominee for being a tad more religious than they’re comfortable with. There’s something in the Constitution about that, if I’m not mistaken.” And then Survey: White Christians now just 43% of U.S. population – “Forty years ago, they were 81 percent. As a share of the population, they’ve been cut almost in half.”

Scott Johnson: Are you now or have you ever been? – “Article VI of the Constitution prohibits a religious test for public office. So what was Senator Dick Durbin doing

Kevin Daley puts Durbin’s question and Feinstein’s comment in the context of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Professor Barrett (and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen) here. Tiffany Bates has more for the Daily Signal here. They are only the most recent evidence of the demeaning treatment to which believing Catholics are subjected by devout Democrats, but the nakedness of the bigotry still shocks.

Victor Davis Hanson: Two Resistances – “The quiet resistance — the one without black masks and clubs — is the more revolutionary force, and it transcends race, class, and gender.”

Democrats and progressives borrowed their brand name from World War II French partisans. In rather psychodramatic fashion, they envisioned their heroic role over the next four years as that of virtual French insurgents — coming down from the Maquis hills, perhaps to waylay Trump’s White House, as if the president were an SS Obergruppenführer und General der Police running occupied Paris. Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone wrote admiringly about the furious Resistance’s pushback against Trump, with extravagant claims that his agenda was already derailed thanks to a zillion grass-roots and modern-day insurgents.

Appropriating the name of heroic World War II fighters to characterize a loosely formed alliance of Trump resisters has since proven a mockery of history — and creepy as well.

In the olden days, demonstrators decked out in black, with masks and clubs, would have been deemed sinister by liberals. Now are they the necessary shock troops whose staged violence brings political dividends? Antifa’s dilemma is that its so-called good people wearing black masks can find almost no bad people in white masks to club, so they smash reporters, the disabled, and onlookers alike for sport — revealing that, at base, they perversely enjoy violence for violence’s sake. As the cowardly Klan taught us in the 1920s and 1960s: Put on a mask with a hundred like others, and even the most craven wimp believes he’s now a psychopathic thug.

Yet in contrast to the media-driven “Resistance,” there is a more authentic ongoing resistance that Trump himself capitalized on, but hardly originated.

Every leftist movement, from Lenin’s to Castro’s, serves first an apparat that finds ways to avoid the real consequences of its own ideological agendas — consequences that fall on the far poorer, less glamorous, and less influential others.

The quiet resistance is far larger than the loud Resistance and far more revolutionary. Its nature is still not fully understood by the elite Left, especially the growing wrath at two-dimensional traditional politics, dreary social-science platitudes, and economic orthodoxy.

Millions of the resistance, as the nation learned in 2016, apparently can express misgivings about Trump while expressing their greater misgivings about the alternatives to him — especially those candidates of both parties whom they have both voted for and against in the past. And they have become sorely disappointed for having done either.

Frustration?

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Class act.

Gateway Pundit: Saturday, President Trump picked up the hat of a Marine that was blown off due to the turbulence from the President’s helicopter.

Andrew Thomas: The left’s war on Christianity and why it hates Trump – “In contemporary America, Democrats have become congruent with the left, and the belief that the government owns us is a pervasive sentiment.”

Why is this? Democrats, as a political party, have literally denounced religion, particularly Christianity. At that same Convention in 2012, the delegates filled the arena with loud booing during the attempt to reinstate the word “God” into the Democratic Party platform.

Persecution of Christians was practically Obama administration policy, including lawsuits of Christians refusing to subordinate their beliefs to government mandates.

Then along came Donald Trump. He does not believe in big government. He dislikes politicians, regulations, and bureaucracy. The people he has hired in his administration have similar beliefs. The Republicans, who hold majorities in both houses of Congress, also believe in smaller government (for the most part).

The American left has shown itself to be dangerously unstable. For them, politics is not a trivial pursuit, it is a deadly serious bloodsport, and they play to win. On the other side, Trump is playing political “rope-a-dope”.

Are human rights endowed by our Creator, or bestowed by government? That is the basic question and conflict in America. In order to resurrect their government god, the Dems must destroy our Creator. But first, they must destroy our President.

Jazz Shaw provides the low-down on another fake meme: World in crisis after Ivanka Trump briefly sits in for POTUS at G-20 – “Did you happen to hear the latest portents of doom and disastrous tidings out of the G-20 summit?”

So this was quite the disaster, eh? Imagine the nerve of the President not only abandoning his important duties, but letting one of his children take his place. It was an insult to the assemblage. Or… perhaps not. Someone at Bloomberg actually took a moment to examine the situation and found that there was nothing to see here and Trump was simply doing what many of the other assembled leaders had done throughout the day.

Oh… and why did President Trump “step away” as the Washington Post describes it? Bathroom break? Just bored with the proceedings and wanted to check on the baseball scores? Nope. Bloomberg had that angle covered as well. “Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, took his seat at a Group of 20 meeting table in Hamburg, sitting in for the president when he stepped away for one-on-one meetings with world leaders.”

That was immediately followed by a Peter Drucker quote in the feed list: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Patterico shows how the ‘other side’ sees it: Stephen Hayes: Trump Caved to Putin – “So yesterday a wily former KGB agent got over two hours to have a crack at a simpleton who knows the nation’s most prized state secrets. What could go wrong?” When you start with the presumption that a person who has built himself to billionaire wealth and won the U.S. Presidency over stiff competition is a “simpleton” you are saying more about yourself that about what you are observing. Try to square what Patterico and others of his ilk are saying they see to Clarice Feldman: Trump Grinds the G20, the Bureaucratic Underground, and CNN into Hamburger – “As Trump worked successfully on trade and defense issues in Europe, his administration was quietly plugging security leaks and maladministration in our own bureaucratic underground.”

David Goldman (Spengler), no stranger to such things, says the Trump address in Warsaw sent a message that was “calculating and subtle” and “those who abhor Trump as an ignoramus should hang their heads in shame

Steven Hayward: Trump: The West’s Suicide Hotline? – “It is a tedious chore to unwrap everything wrong with the left’s reaction to Trump’s speech and the wider issues it raises.”

(Jonah Goldberg does a nice concise job of it in his most recent G-file.) I decided to dust off James Burnham’s classic, Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism, first published in 1964 but recently reissued by the great people at Encounter Books, for a refresher on why the reaction to Trump is nothing new. There are lots of illuminating passages in Burnham (who is enjoying something of a revival recently), but this one (at pp. 178-178 if you want to look it up) fits nicely for the present moment:

John Hinderaker: It’s True: Liberals Hate Western Civilization – “On the Left, however, Trump’s speech has been criticized for its principal virtue, the president’s spirited defense of Western civilization. Here are some of the many such instances.” … “So you can’t celebrate or defend Western civilization without being denounced by liberals as a white nationalist, a fascist, and so on. It is good to know where they stand.”

Victor Joecks Las Vegas Review-Journal: Group twists truth in health care ad targeting Heller – “It’s easy to make heart-wrenching ads when you’re not bound by pesky things like the truth.”

Keep that in mind when you see television commercials shrieking that people will die if Sen. Dean Heller votes for Republicans’ Obamacare replacement. Opposing groups are spending big to deceive Nevadans about the impact of that bill.

Nice to see this! 

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Corruption of the public and whatever happened to the law?

Cheryl K. Chumley: Does America even want freedom anymore?

Everybody cried about the hit to free speech — and rightly so. But the Coulter-Berkeley fiasco, and the ding to free speech, is not the problem, in and of itself. It’s only a symptom of a much larger problem — a symptom of a deeper, darker spirit that’s infected America, spreading far and wide as it seeks to destroy the nation’s greatest asset. The fact that in America, our individual rights come from God, not government.

A moral citizenry would not — could not — riot over rhetoric.

Storm-trooping for free speech — what have we become, America?

But it’s not just speech that’s being stifled around the nation.

The welfare of the collective is replacing the rights of the individual.

It’s not Coulter. It’s not free speech. It’s not even snowflakes and the adults who cater to their whines. It’s the loss of God from governance, opening the door to a lawless society and chaotic structure — that’s what really ails us. And that’s what must be addressed, if we really want to be a nation of free people once again.

For example, see Jazz Shaw on Baltimore warns prosecutors to “think twice” before charging illegal immigrants – “There’s a fairly clear line between “defiant resistance to Trump” and going completely around the bend.”

It’s one thing to refuse to cooperate with ICE in matters of detainers, sharing information and all the rest. It’s an entirely different ball game to decide that you can avoid attracting the attention of federal immigration officers by deciding not to prosecute criminals, no matter how “serious” the crimes may be.

Let’s think about that for a moment. In other words, for some of these comparatively low level crimes, the city wants prosecutors to go after and punish actual citizens of the country who may have run afoul of the law, but those who compound the issue by knowingly being in the country illegally to begin with are given a pass. Are the actual citizens in Baltimore who pay the taxes which fund these officials listening to this?

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this. But if you keep electing these same people who pull these sorts of stunts over and over again I have zero sympathy for you at this point.

Or consider Andrew C. McCarthy’s explanation about Why the Obama Justice Department avoided the grand jury . . . until it had no choice – “On the matter of the 2016 election, why is there an investigation into Russian meddling but no investigation of Justice Department meddling? The latter effort was more extensive. And it sure looks like it would be a lot easier to prove.”

Russia’s apparent preference for one presidential candidate over the other is routinely described as a sinister scheme to “interfere with the election.” Fair enough. But how shall we describe the Department of Justice’s patent preference for one presidential candidate over the other?

Instapundit weighs in on the NYT Stephens brouhaha and reminisces about “the famous moment when the late Julian Simon debated an earlier iteration of hard left religious zealots.”

Simon, the economist who was legendarily skeptical about environmental doom, once posed a question at an environmental forum: “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Almost every hand shot up. He then said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” There was no response, so he asked again, “Is there any evidence I could give you—anything at all—that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Again, no response. Simon concluded, “Well, excuse me. I’m not dressed for church.”

See neo-neocon on AGW: when a scientific theory becomes a religion… – “then those with an opposing view become apostates.”

That’s especially true if the topic is one with very high stakes, such as AGW (anthropogenic global warming). Think about it this way: if a person is—(a) convinced that AGW has been proven beyond any doubt (b) threatens life as we know it all over the globe; and (c) can be halted and/or decreased by measures we understand and can control if only we had the will to implement them—then if follow that anyone who disagrees is a person who is endangering life on earth.

Science, of course, is not a religion, and the history of science is littered with theories that have been considered proven and then are disproven. So scientists must remain skeptical and open to any evidence that would challenge their theories and their findings. That’s difficult enough to do when the topic is an abstract one with few practical applications. But when a topic is highly highly politicized (as with AGW), the difficulty increases exponentially and the public also becomes very much involved.

Which brings us to an article Bret Stephens wrote in his new venue, the NY Times. It was really a rather modest suggestion that people listen to both sides of the issue

Then consider Marc Morano with an Exclusive Video: People’s Climate March hostile to skeptics – Attempts to take down signs, deny access – “The banner, reading “The Science is NOT Settled.” was under constant assault with marchers who refused to allow the message of climate skepticism to be seen.”

James G. Wiles Machiavelli’s Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us – “have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?” The citation is to Machiavelli’s most extended work Discourses on Livy.

Machiavelli offers us ways to think about how to answer these questions. He does it by reviewing Roman history with an eye to contemporary political problems of his own time.

In Chapter 16 of the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli remarks that “a people that is corrupted through and through cannot live in liberty for even a short period…” When a state become free, “all those who fed off” the state become “hostile factions.” However, when the Romans overthrew the Tarquin kings in 510 B.C., they were able to establish and maintain a republic which lasted until the time of Julius Caesar.

This was possible, says Machiavelli, because, while the Tarquin kings were corrupt, the Roman people were not. “Had the Roman populace been corrupted, there would have been no effective way for them to keep their liberty.”

“This means that new laws are not enough, because the institutions that remain unchanged will corrupt them.”

It should not have been surprising, therefore, that the Democrats, the MSM, academia, and many corporate and other leaders united with the leftist street to launch the “resistance.” Or that, so far, not one Democrat in Congress has broken party ranks to support Trumpian reforms. This weekend, they will be touting their success in stalling and, sometimes, defeating specific measures taken by the president.

Then there’s David Henderson on Pope Francis’s Distorted Vision – Ideological fantasy is reaching very high levels of desctruction as the Devil plays his games.

I think the Pope and I are perceiving the world very differently. I don’t mean our values are different, although that’s probably true too. I mean that what we think is factually true is different.

Clarification of perceptions is critical to intellectual integrity.

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Can you examine your ideas?

There’s a lot on the right to free speech this morning with most centered on Berkely or Coulter. John R. Lott Jr. describes a different and more insidious facet from his personal experience in Challenging inaccurate information about guns – “A fair debate on the issue is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate.”

Alcorn: “When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there. But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

I don’t minimize the issue of gun violence. I just disagree about what policies will effectively combat that violence.

But Everytown can afford to make excuses and miss opportunities for debate. After all, they have massive resources and can count on the mainstream media to push their agenda.

Note also the ‘ad hominem’ by Alcorn just like the climate alarmists using ‘denier’ that is proffered with such a heaping dose of hubris. The Democrats are doing something similar in claiming “Resistance” to obtain revenge for how Republicans treated their President. No matter that ‘revenge’ is a destructive motivation. No matter that the basis is questionable. No matter that real issues get shoved aside.

Jennifer Harper provides another example of this perfidy. Confirmed: Democratic Party sending protestors to Trump’s ‘100 Day’ speech in Pennsylvania – “There are two momentous political events to consider this weekend, and they are polar opposites.” These are the Trump rally and the Correspondents Dinner. The Dinner will likely be a gala affair of celebrities and elites. The Trump rally, on the other hand, is a target for the Left to act out in ‘resistance’ and ‘protest.’

Mr. Trump has protesters waiting, however. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has organized “The Rally Against 100 Days of Broken Promises,” which includes Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Michael Blake, multiple state lawmakers and officials, unions and Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “Bring your signs, hats and your slogans,” organizers advise.

Harper also notes that Trump’s loyal voters aren’t buying ‘shameful’ media spin: Report – “Improved economy, decisive leadership called the top Trump assets.” Note how this is in contrast to the Democrat’s claims of “Broken Promises.” Such assertions are why the voters are no buying the shameful deceits.

Sally Persons cites Sessions: Some judges are more interested in advancing an agenda rather than the law – The observation is gaining traction as the examples are getting rather hard to ignore. The question is what to do about the corruption of the justice system.

Matthew Continetti take a look from a different perspective: The Democrats’ First 100 Days – “Disunity, obstruction, incoherence, obsession, obliviousness.

Let’s reverse angle. The president’s first 100 days in office have been analyzed, dissected, evaluated. Not much left to say about them. What about the opposition? What do the Democrats have to show for these first months of the Trump era?

Little.

Chuck Schumer slow-walked Trump’s nominations as best he could. In fact his obstruction was unprecedented.

The prevalent anti-Trump sentiment obscures the party’s institutional degradation.

Democrats feel betrayed. The Electoral College betrayed them by making Trump president. Hillary Clinton betrayed them by running an uninspiring campaign. James Comey betrayed them by reopening the investigation into Clinton’s server 11 days before the election. Facebook betrayed them by circulating fake news. This sense of resentment isn’t so different than the sort Democrats attribute to Trump supporters: irritation at a loss of status, vexation at changed circumstances. The despondence of a liberal is alleviated when he sees throngs of protesters, hears Samantha Bee, scrolls through Louise Mensch’s tweets.

Makes him feel better. But his party is in tatters,

John Sexton cites another tactic that may make for ‘feel good’ but does little to advance anything. Progressives flood hotline for victims of crime by ‘criminal aliens’ with UFO sightings

The Trump administration launched a new initiative Wednesday called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office is intended to provide support for Americans who have been victimized by illegal immigrants. Trump mentioned it during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Progressives offended by the existence of the office noticed that the launch also corresponded with “Alien day,” a day where fans celebrate the Alien film series. So some progressives decided it would be a good idea to flood the hotline that responds to reports of “criminal aliens” with calls about UFOs.

Rabbi Yonason Goldson asks Can we believe in science if we don’t trust scientists? – He highlights the problem the Left has with its protests and riots and mobs and Resistance™ and posturing.

What can we expect next? Doctors for Hospitals? Lawyers for Jurisprudence? Mammals for Oxygen?

To be fair, there is a real issue here. Namely, the exploitation of science for political advantage. In a perfect world, scientific data would be apolitical, serving as a nonpartisan lodestone for guiding public policy. Facts are facts, and the only debate should be about what they mean, not what they are.

But our world is far from perfect, and the problem is not that we don’t have faith in science. It’s that many have found good reason to lose faith in scientists.

The Rabbi makes a good point but rather degrades his argument when he picks up on creation and evolution by creating a straw man and parroting the ignorance and illiteracy of fanatic creationists. It appears that the comments have a better grip on science than the Rabbi does. A rabbi taking on the mantle of scientist and scientists taking on the mantle of priest. Just who can you trust, anyway?

Walter Williams says Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong – “Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.” … “Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.”  

Ace: Leftist Fascism Reaches New Lows in Blatant Thuggery, as “Mainstream” Left Covers Up for Them and Blames the Right – “This is the post I delayed because I didn’t know how to write it. … I won’t write it. I’ll just link the stories.”

I will just repeat my urgent warning and threat: The rules you make for us are the rules you also make for yourselves. If you’re comfortable with that, then I suggest you begin making serious preparations for the hell you are determined to unleash on this once-peaceful country.

It has happened and happened and grown worse every year precisely because the alleged “responsible voices” of the left, who could be expected to chastise their misbehaving correligionists and tell them to stop, have in fact covered up for them every step of the way, thereby tacitly approving of them and encouraging them to go further.

The Tide is Rising and the Left does not seem to be paying attention or have any awareness about the implications of their behavior. Consider John Hinderaker’s post Portland is Stupid, Too – “An activist group called the “Raging Grannies” testifies in harmony before Portland’s City Council.”

Steve writes below that “Portlandia” is the city of the petty, bankrupt, vindictive left. That’s true. It is also stupid. … why worry about losing a few million a year when you are trying to overthrow free enterprise? … So Portland’s City Council wants socialism? It would serve them right if Portland followed in the footsteps of Venezuela.

The Coyote also gets into ‘newspeak’ with How The Left Is Changing the Meaning of Words to Reduce Freedom — The Phrase “Incite Violence” – “A surprising number of folks on the Left of late seem to be advocating for restrictions on free speech.”

This is a horrible newspeak redefinition of a term. It is implying that a speaker is responsible for the violence by those who oppose her. By this definition, the socialists of 1932 Germany were guilty of “inciting violence” whenever Nazi brownshirts tried to brutally shut down socialist meetings and speeches.

I am not sure why the Left is so good at this – perhaps because most of the media is sympathetic to the Left and is willing to let them define the terms of the debate. The Left has successfully performed a similar bit of verbal judo with the claim that Russians “hacked” the last election. By calling leaks of Democratic private correspondence “hacking the election”, they have successfully left the impression among many that the Russians actually manipulated vote totals, something for which there is zero evidence and really no credible story of how it might have been done.

Speech is to convey ideas and examine perceptions and values. That makes it a vital component of intellectual integrity. 

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2/12/2017: Justice and Prayer

It is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. 

Law Professor Glen Reynolds cites a comment on Althouse:

“As seriously botched as this Ninth Circuit opinion is, all sides assume that all 4 Democrat-appointed Justices on the SCOTUS would vote to uphold it if it were appealed to an 8 Justice Court. That perception, more than any disparaging words of Donald Trump, should dishearten any lawyer or judge in the USA.”

Mark Andrew Dwyer: On Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, Wrong Question

The right question that should have been asked was whether Judge Robart had the authority to issue the TRO and whether the said TRO was legally binding to the President. Neither answer is clear nor are they settled by a sound basis or valid legal reasoning (as opposed to, say, legalistic sophistry, court-approved or not).

Josh Blackman: The Failure of the 9th Circuit to Discuss 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) Allowed It To Ignore Justice Jackson’s Youngstown Framework

Once again, Trump has stumbled into an important jurisprudential point. The fact that the President is exercising powers given to him from Congress, augmented by his own inherent authorities, indicates we are in Justice Jackson’s first tier from Youngstown, where judicial scrutiny is at its minimum.

Ed Morrissey: WaPo columnist asks: Should the faithful pray for Trump? – “How are the faithful called to handle prayer life in a time when political leadership who oppose our own preferred agendas?”

King’s argument seems based on the assumption that praying for Trump is an endorsement of whatever Trump does, and whatever he and his advisers do — even if one agrees with King’s (rather uncharitable) judgment of them. However, we know from the Gospels that this is not how Jesus saw prayer at all. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus gave one of the most difficult of all instructions on prayer and love

Clearly, Jesus did not mean for His disciples to love what their enemies did, or pray that their persecutors succeeded in their actions. Loving one’s enemies does not mean endorsing their intentions. Love in this case is caritas, the self-giving love that wills the best for others over our own desires. Jesus called us to love our enemies and persecutors, but not for any evil which they commit. Indeed, praying for them in love is to ask the Lord to save them from their evil, so that they may return to the Lord as well. This part of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to stress that all people are children of God and have the potential for redemption if they choose it. Jesus then exemplified this when he prayed for His tormentors as they crucified Him (Luke 23:34): “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”

This teaching applies even more when we put this in the context of political opposition. We are not enemies but political opponents, a distinction that gets lost in today’s hyperbolic and polarized political environment. We are called to pray for each other as brethren, and especially for our nation’s leaders so that they may find wisdom.

To act in love is also to testify to the truth. Offering prayers on behalf of our leadership does not negate our standing to criticize it and demand accountability for transgressions … Hopefully that criticism stays focused on actions rather than attempts to judge what’s in the hearts of others, and prayer reminds us of the obligation to keep that perspective.

We start with ourselves.

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1/13/2017: Greenwashing, Depths of depravity; Landmines; Bear Feed

Hank Campbell: ‘Local Control’ Is A Beard For Environmentalists Blocking Energy Progress – tactics of the left are getting better understood.

Lobbying for centralized control has clearly worked well for activists yet now those anti-science groups have taken to co-opting the local control concept too, knowing they defuse objection from a giant chunk of the public that believes in a more decentralized approach. Yet its intent is still nefarious, not beneficial, to those local citizens. Instead of wanting real local input, these groups seek to create a bureaucratic “patchwork” of local laws and incite demonstrations that will bog down any company doing business in individual communities because of cost-prohibitive customization.

That poor people invariably suffer the burden of higher costs for such ideology doesn’t factor into their equation.

These critics of energy are not really fans of local control, they are instead the opposite, they believe in absolute central control; the fewer politicians they have to lobby, the better. The last thing they want is the public thinking for themselves. And so local control is just a beard for their real agenda, which is raising money by scaring people – and denying the poor an affordable basic need so that they need to ask big centralized groups for help.

Landmines and Feeding the Russians: they go together. First up is an observation about landmines:

Krauthammer said, “I don’t want to impute a general conspiracy here, but it looks as if the Democrats, on their way out the door, are trying to leave behind as many landmines as they can to at least cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Trump victory. All of a sudden, as we have seen, they’ve gotten interested in Russian cyberwarfare, which the administration appeared to be extremely nonchalant about until they lost the November election. And now we’re going to have new investigations, meaning days and days of headlines about the other thing that Democrats attribute their loss to, meaning Comey’s action with 11 days to go, in which he reopened, as he said, the investigation. Many Democrats think that’s why they lost. Now, that would have faded into history. This is a way to say that it’s not going to, and it will remain there. I’m not sure this is the best way to ensure a good transition, one where you transfer not just the authority of office, but the legitimacy. But that seems to be what the Democrats want to do as they get out of power.”

Then there’s an observation.

During his confirmation hearing, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said he would observe the proper laws forbidding enhanced interrogation of terror suspects and affirmed that he believes Russia is a threat to the United States. He also noted, however, that attempts to undermine President-elect Donald Trump plays right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But, of course, everybody does it – think the other side is delusional, that is. NYT: Allowing Guns for Self-Defense in Unsecured Airport Areas Is ‘Delusional’ – they use a “debunked Harvard researcher David Hemenway” but Fake News™ goes along with manufactured research.

On January 12, nearly one week after a suspect gunned down unarmed, defenseless travelers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the New York Times argues that allowing law-abiding citizens to be armed for self-defense in unsecured areas of airports is “delusional.”

In other words, the contention that concealed carry permit holders would shoot back and stop the attack rather than collapse in fear and cry like children is crazy.

For a contrast to the view of the NYT, consider AWR Hawkins report: Armed Citizen Intervenes, Kills Suspect Beating AZ State Trooper on Roadside – “On January 12, an armed citizen stopped and killed a man who was beating an Arizona State Trooper on the side of I-10.”

Californicated Nevada is chipping in on the police pigs painting brouhaha. Andrew Craft: Dem reps want senator statue removed from Capitol over ‘xenophobia’ claims – This is rather ‘special’ as the statue was a project of Harry Reid. But who cares? That was then but now there’s a war on – for Democrats, at least. What they tear down is of little concern no matter what it is as long as it’s fodder for the current campaign against the evil opposition. Depths of depravity, anyone?

Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen raised their objections in a letter to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. The request amounts to the latest battle over artwork on Capitol grounds, amid an ongoing and separate dispute over a student painting that portrays police officers as pigs.

McCarran served as a Democratic senator from 1933–1954 and was influential in promoting the advancement of aviation. Las Vegas’s international airport is named after him. He also was an ardent anti-communist and sponsored legislation enacting a quota on immigrants and was one of a few Democrats to oppose FDR’s New Deal program.

On the pauper president front is the report Chaffetz calls on ethics head to testify day after chief criticized Trump – ““I want to talk about the whole department,” Chaffetz said in an interview. “Mr. Shaub has taken a very aggressive stance on issues he’s never looked at. He’s raised a bunch of eyebrows.” Republican eyebrows, maybe, but that’s because a supposedly non-partisan bureaucrat is pushing a party line without any rationale or even any inspection of the issues. In this particular case we also have the usual behaviors:  “the congressman said Shaub refused to meet”; the ‘never enough from a Republican; silence on blatant issues of a Democrat; blaming revenge and evil Republicans (“political retaliation”).

Valerie Richardson picks up on what can be expected based on what has been put on the stage so far: Democrats hunker down for ‘permanent opposition’ to Donald Trump presidency – “For those stunned to see Tuesday’s Senate confirmation hearing disrupted by shouts, chants and protesters dressed as Ku Klux Klan members: Get used to it.”

“You’re going to have a permanent opposition, sort of a combination of the news media and the Elizabeth Warren hard left, and they’re going to attack every single day and they’re going to find something to attack all the time,” Mr. Gingrich said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Nobody expects the losing party to celebrate after a presidential race, but political analysts say the postelection frenzy of fundraising, war rooms, protests and social media hysteria represents an alarming departure from the traditional stoic acceptance of years past.

“A democracy only works if the factions, the divisions are done peacefully and resolved peacefully, and compromises are made,” Mr. Horowitz said. “There’s a honeymoon after the election in which the losing party defends the legitimacy of the election result. That’s why we’ve had peace since the Civil War in this country.”

“The longer they go without coming to grips about what has happened over the last eight years with respect to the dissolution of the Democrat Party as a national party,” Mr. McKenna said, “that’s not good for anyone.”

Fixating on Mr. Trump also prevents Democrats from promoting a positive message for voters, especially if he winds up scoring policy victories early on in his administration.

“His job is to produce for the American people,” Mr. Gingrich said, “and frankly, to the degree that the Democrats decay into just being the anti-Trump party, they will keep themselves in the minority a long time.”

On that ‘civil war’ meme, read Thomas Lifson on Why the left hates Trump so intensely.

The intensity of the hatred for a newly elected president faced by Donald Trump is equaled only by the reaction of the Confederacy to the election of Abraham Lincoln. That ended up in civil war, a precedent that one hopes will not be equaled. But there has been a remarkable fury at people who do not shun Trump:

A useful perspective is to regard this as a religious conflict. Cults behave exactly the way the left is behaving when a member leaves the fold.

The real racists are showing that bending over backwards to accommodate them is fruitless. Seth McLaughlin: Congressional Black Caucus prepares for new role as ultimate Capitol Hill outsider – it’s called self segregation by irrational ideology that defies reality. It is condemned in that it is such a homogeneous racial group that 90% vote the same way. Going after Sessions with false allegations and stunning breaches of custom does not help their cause. Neither does insistence on choosing the police as antagonists despite the witness of reality.

Founded in 1971 by 13 members of the House, the caucus now has 49 members, including two in the Senate: Mr. Booker and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California.

The organization is perhaps the most powerful force within House Democrats, with its members holding an outsized share of ranking posts on committees.

That is partly because of seniority. The districts of many black lawmakers are protected under civil rights laws.

It is a protected and coddled minority. Just watch TV advertisements. You’d think more than half the country was a part of this racial group and they were all solid middle class families. That’s propaganda as well as coddling. Or consider this: Lady Liberty Portrayed as Woman of Color for 1st Time on US Currency. ‘Never far enough’ is typical for the Left.

As for the Senate Cabinet Nomination hearings, There is Corey Booker busting Senate custom with inane and racist bias, Kamala Harris working on climate and LGBT issues as priorities for the CIA, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s obsessing about anything HUD could do that might possibly benefit anything tainted by Trump in any way. By comparison with these senators, the nominees are looking like adults in a room full of children.

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Climate Conspiracy: bonkers? or may you’re not paranoid if they are really after you

This is a guest essay by Leo Goldstein at WWUT: The Command & Control Center of Climate Alarmism.

As one environmental activist explained it to me, “climate change isn’t just an issue anymore, it’s the issue, a meta-issue for everything we work on” (Interview, Danish 92 Group, 2009).

Starting in 1989, these organizations came together to form a coalition: the Climate Action Network (CAN). CAN was founded as a vehicle for transnational coordination among sixty-three organizations. … Much of CAN’s efforts promoted the work of the IPCC and helped establish its centrality in the international climate regime. … In fact, CAN consolidated its coalition structure during this period [1990’s] by creating a high-level political group to facilitate policy and strategic coordination among member groups.

Central to CAN’s advocacy has been the idea that member organizations must “speak with one voice” to influence the international negotiations.

… the members are organized in a top-down fashion, like military units, not volunteer organizations.

America is specifically targeted, and the new enemy perceives our Constitutional political system with its “separation of powers and weak political parties” as a weakness to be exploited, apparently repeating mistakes of America’s past enemies.

… explains its ability to forcibly spread a perfectly synchronized message, despite its internal inconsistencies, disagreements with high school science, and frequent flip-flops in response to shifting international alliances and focus group research results.

… The presence of front groups, which often pop up from nowhere and catapult to the focus of media attention, is another telltale sign.

… CAN was founded in 1989, but it took about a decade and a half for climate alarmism to become the main ideological glue for multiple transnational and international groups. Accordingly, the consolidation of power into the hands of a few has been happening gradually.

… Centralized financing of climate alarmism goes hand-in-hand with centralized command & control. Today, most climate alarmism money comes from the public sectors of the US and EU. In the past, the EGA was a large factor. Money from the primary sources is laundered and transferred between climate alarmism units in various ways. The following tables are from an official legal complaint in 5:16-cv-211-C, verified under penalty of perjury.

Interesting that after reading a WW II battle story centered on the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) loop, I see a similar analysis about climate alarmism. Goldsteing offers Observation in response to a propaganda campaign. He is up against ‘the incredible claim needs incredible evidence’ axiom. That particular axiom tends to be used as a weapong by the propagandists and alarmists yet Goldstein appears to be up to the challenge no matter how ridiculous it gets.

This should also be considered in light of the Steyn v Mann free speech court case and how that is being twisted. One of the factors in that case was the email message leak that did show collusion if not outright conspiracy.

The facts about the Emporer’s New Clothes are becoming known. That may produce results.

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The Apollo Astronauts on Christmas

It’s Instapundit as the source is behind a Wall Street Journal obnoxious wall.

It happened on Christmas Eve, 48 years ago. Three men took turns reading from the first 10 verses of the Book of Genesis. They were nearly 250,000 miles away from Bethlehem, but since it was the night before Christmas, and there was no chimney from which to hang their stockings, the three astronauts inside the Apollo 8 capsule orbiting the moon thought it would be appropriate. So as Jim Lovell,Frank Borman and Bill Anders looked at the faraway Earth through the small window of the spacecraft, they read the verses: “In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth.”

Their distant-sounding voices from far beyond our atmosphere were broadcast live to the whole planet that night over radio and television. It was one of those moments that brought the world together, that helped us to see our common humanity as children of God whom he loves equally, and whom he placed on the beautiful planet that he made.

Seven months after this extraordinary event, in July 1969, another NASA spacecraft, Apollo 11, carried two astronauts to the surface of the moon itself. One of them, Commander Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, thought he might do something similar to mark what was certainly an epochal moment in the history of our race.

After the Eagle had landed and he and Neil Armstrong sat in the Lunar Module, Mr. Aldrin said this over the radio:

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, read a Bible verse, and took communion. For reasons he explains in his own account, none of this was made public until Mr. Aldrin wrote about it in Guideposts magazine the following year:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.”

Then Mr. Aldrin read Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.” He explained that he had wanted to read this over the radio back to Earth, but at the last minute NASA asked him not to because the agency was in a legal battle with the outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. As it happened, she was suing over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis on Christmas Eve. And that of course is why so few people have heard of this amazing story.

I sometimes wonder what’s more amazing, this story—or the fact that so few people know about it.

Even back then, the effort was to quash Christians and everything they stand for. This year, there is a bit of pushback. Merry Christmas is back in vogue and those who want to silence such words and what they represent are getting heat. A stolen Nativity scene was replace by people placing empty cribs in its place.  The spirit and message of Christ is still in hearts and minds and expression.

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Understanding idolatry in science

Thomas P. Sheahen picks up on Idolatry in Science. He starts with a previous Pope (the current one is not helpful in these matters).

One of the enduring controversies over the years has been the purported conflict between science and religion. An alternate view is that religion and science are complimentary paths to knowledge, not opponents at all.

Pope John Paul II, circa 1987: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”

there is a remarkably concise definition of idolatry: “confusing your own concept (or model or image) with the actual reality.”

Whether in Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism or any other religion, that’s a pretty clear warning not to think that your own understanding of God is fully accurate.

The factor that saved physics is the predominance of observational data over theory. Richard Feynman’s famous quote is taught to every grad student: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

Sheahen gets stuck on “A large majority are convinced that this model represents nature perfectly” when talking about scientists and accepted theories. He brings in physicists on classical mechanics and biologists as evolution as his foil. In doing this, he weakens his argument. He would do better to after the quacks who don’t understand quantum mechanics and the creationists who don’t understand evolution. Both of these theories do adhere to “actual reality” within a scope that a proper scientist understands and the engineer or technician that creates innovations based on these theories accommodates. 

The key here is idolatry and climate alarmism is one effort to rationalize an idol with a science brand. It is too bad that the author weakens his argument by trying to impugn actual science with religious dissonance. John Paul II describes how science and religion can hold each other to account and that is a fundamental reason why Western Cultures were able to build on both. The message goes both ways: if you disdain science because of religion or disdain religion because of science, you also disdain the accountability needed for human intellectual growth.

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A Cal Thomas sermon prompted by Michelle Obama

It was the wife of the President that stimulated thought. Call Thomas says Michelle Obama did not learn hope and humility as first lady — “Michelle Obama shows her time as first lady has taught her neither.” In the process he cites a Wisconsin Senator and Saint Paul.

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming once said, “Those who travel the high road of humility will not be troubled by heavy traffic.”

That descriptive and funny line came to mind after I heard what first lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey last week in a TV interview. Because of Donald Trump’s election, she told the former talk show host, “We are feeling what not having hope feels like.”

She couldn’t prove that by the polls.

Michelle Obama’s hubris that only her husband could provide hope, despite the unpopularity of his policies (his personal popularity remains high), may be why St. Paul cautioned: “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought.” (Romans 12:3). Pride is the first sin, which leads to all others.

Anyone who puts faith in a politician to make his or her life better is worshipping a false god. Politicians can make your life worse by overtaxing your income, overregulating your business and conducting foreign policy in ways that put America’s security at risk, but the qualities that improve any life — a good education, strong work ethic, self-control, taking personal responsibility for one’s actions, obeying the law, developing good character — these are virtues over which government has little influence.

A friend of mine once observed that humility is so light a grace that once you think you have attained it, you’ve lost it. Humility is the polar opposite of what Michelle Obama displayed to Oprah and what the president has mirrored during his eight years in office. Throughout his presidency, you might have thought the pronoun “I” was his first initial for all the times he referred to himself.

Where is your faith? Really? Christmas gets a lot of attention for the greedy crass commercialism which is on blatant display but there is another side of that which doesn’t fit the meme of the Christmas bashers. Most of that awful capitalism and mercantileism is about a third party whether by obligation or by passion. What one sees, the buying and selling or the giving is an expression of where one lives. Are you into a belief in government or do you focus on those “virtues over which government has little influence?” What gives you the most significant positive vibes: giving or getting?

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attack and provoke

“When liberals say the only reason conservative Christians oppose gay marriage is prejudice, they have to overlook facts like, oh, that a very senior Justice Department lawyer concedes in Supreme Court oral argument that their churches, schools, and charities may be severely penalized for following their religious beliefs. It’s not paranoia when people really are out to get you.”

Rod Dreher describes How The Left Overreached In Court (ht InstaPundit). He cites “Sean Trende, on what the left has done over the last four years to attack and provoke religious conservatives.”

Trende wrote a book and his topic appears to be particularly apt in a contrast between Obama and Trump

The major theme of my book is that all party coalitions fall apart because, well, governing is hard and it inevitably forces parties to choose among members of their coalition. More importantly – and this is where I think realignment theory isn’t just wrong but also counterproductive – parties see their wins as a sign that they’ve finally “won” at politics. But this hubristic take is always wrong, and usually destructive.

The overreach that he describes as coming from this hubris and “I won” may be correlation and not causation. Much of the assault on Christians may be related but inherent rather than stimulated. It may be that it is made less inhibited by a political winning that gives it credence and support. The recent episodes of the bullied standing up to such assaults may be to similar awareness that a new winner is going to stand behind them, too.

Then there is who won and why. Obama made it very clear that his win was ideological and his purpose was to push an agenda with the full support and collusion of his political party. Trump presented a different flavor. He enlisted the Republicans to his cause as a part of gathering together a coallition of support. His goal wasn’t to create a new way of governance and life but rather to undo the new way that the Left had imposed in such things as Obamacare and other socialist left leaning governance and top down control over basic life activities. 

“Attack and provoke” is a tactic but perhaps not an intentional one. The thesis of Dreher is that it has run amok and Trende indicates that this may have been due to a lack of restraint in tempering the ‘enthusiasm’ for the ideological goals. When pushing for what Christian’s consider immoral behavior, the sky is the limit. There is always more you can do and this means there is no lid for the left. In reducing that behavior, though, there is a floor. That is why the Obama goals foster going too far and the Trump goals have natural limits. There is no limit on what you can do to “attack and provoke” but there is a point where people cannot be left any more alone. The question then becomes one of choosing when the leaving alone becomes a community concern such as with crime and dereliction.

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psychology of belief

The context is a Canadian Journal and LGBT activism and the topic is free speech. ‘We’re teaching university students lies’ – An interview with Dr Jordan Peterson by Jason Tucker and Jason VandenBeukel on December 1, 2016. There are many ideas and they are rather scattered as in the nature of a conversation. Another celebrity case concerning free speech in Canada is that of Mark Stein’s. While the U.S. is in the bullying stage on this, Canada appears to be one step further along. Dr. Peterson is on the receiving end, too, and here is a sampler of some of his thoughts.

My primary interest has always been the psychology of belief. … I was particularly interested in what led people to commit atrocities in service of their belief.

what I was learning in economics and political science was just not correct. There was too much emphasis placed on the idea that economic interests were the prime motivators for human beings, and that was not obvious to me at all. I was spending a lot of time thinking about the Cold War, and the Cold War was not primarily an economic issue.

One of Jung’s propositions was that whatever a person values most highly is their god. If people think they are atheistic, it means is they are unconscious of their gods.

I’ve learned that you cannot remember what you don’t understand. People don’t understand the Holocaust, and they don’t understand what happened in Russia.

Part of the reason I got embroiled in this [gender identity] controversy was because of what I know about how things went wrong in the Soviet Union. Many of the doctrines that underlie the legislation that I’ve been objecting to share structural similarities with the Marxist ideas that drove Soviet Communism.

The thing is if you replace compassion with resentment, then you understand the authoritarian left. They don’t have compassion, there is no compassion there. There’s no compassion at all. There is resentment, fundamentally.

If you stop talking to people, you either submit to them, or you go to war with them. Those are your options and those aren’t good options. It’s better to have a talk. If you put restrictions on speech, then you can’t actually talk about the difficult things that need to be talked about. I have about 20,000 hours of clinical practice and all I do for 20 hours a week is talk to people about difficult things – the worst things that are going on in their lives. These are hard conversations all the time. The conversations that are the most curative are simultaneously the ones that are most difficult and most dangerous.

There’s also this idea that you shouldn’t say things that hurt people’s feelings – that’s the philosophy of the compassionate left. It’s so childish it’s beyond comprehension. What did Nietzsche say: ‘you can judge a man’s spirit by the amount of truth he can tolerate.’

Now groups that were discriminated against. What are you going to do about it? The only societies that are not slave societies are western enlightenment democracies. That’s it. Compared to utopia, it sucks. But compared to everywhere else – people don’t emigrate to the Middle East to live there, and there’s good reason for that.

He can see what is in front of him. Much of what passes for academic pursuit now sounds like Radio Moscow back in the 70’s. That prompted his interest in what it is that drives humans to such a committed investment in false and destructive paradigms. As this sampler indicates, he is synthesizing many observations and ideas of others. There is a lot of truth to be contemplated.

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The world is upside down.

Tammy Bruce: The liberal romance with Fidel Castro — “The left shows sympathy for brutal Cuban dictator and a would-be mass murderer at Ohio State.”

Who knew that Mr. Trump would say the things that the pope should have said? Finally, someone is speaking the truth, providing proof to the decent people of the world that, no, they’re not going insane because they think terrorists and tyrants deserve to be dead and relegated to the dustbin of history.

But sympathy for the devil is nothing new for the left, as liberal theory itself is rooted in the notion that humanity is bad and must be controlled. This lauding of evildoers while simultaneously demanding “safe spaces” from any perceived offense of insult highlights the psychopathology driving today’s liberal agenda.

If anyone is still wondering why the world is rejecting liberals and the left worldwide, your answer can be found in praise for a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro and sympathy for a man who plots mass murder on a campus.

Interesting that the Castro death and the Trump victory and the Left’s tantrums (like the pipeline riots) are all in front of the news right now. It’s like a psych lab – but the psychiatrists happen to be subjects rather than observers. As Bruce points out, it is Trump who condemns the tyrant, not the Pope. The world is upside down.

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Urban Apologetics

Ernest Cleo Grant II describes The Challenge of Defending the Faith in the Inner City — “Traditional apologetics has struggled to address the theological issues of my urban community.” He recites a ‘discussion’ from an evangelical effort to the ‘Heroin Highway’ near his church.

What I needed—likely along with many other inner-city pastors—was a course on urban apologetics. That is, a branch of apologetics that addresses matters of faith within the larger context of race, inequality, economics, justice, and religious pluralism. Many urban cults thrive because they provide a sense of communal identity by addressing the pressing issues of the urban dweller.

today’s apologetics has done a weak job in addressing the theological issues within the under-resourced inner city. The discipline rarely anticipates that the crisis of faith of a poor person may look entirely different than that of a wealthy one and that the heresies one may be enticed by may have little in common.

Should Christian academic institutions begin creating resources to address the inner city church, they would likely discover that their work would benefit the entire church. Many of the these heresies exist due to the maltreatment of people of color by their countrymen, white Christians. Consequently, white Christian communities seeking to defend their faith in the inner cities would do well to confront their past actions and beliefs.

In 2016, the answer to this question will not exist in a textbook or within the confines of the classroom. Will support be defined as additional essays and books? Probably, but it will also look like reading about the complicated history of American Christianity, advocating for justice for urban communities—even when if it comes at one’s personal cost—and learning alongside inner city evangelists. Maybe that interaction starts on Heroin Highway with an Italian ice.

He cites the stimulus as a resident accosting him with his hubris. Grant misses this need described in Matthew 7:3 about the mote and beam and also the caution about false witness. Is it really true that those infested by drugs and prostitution are suffering “maltreatment of people of color by their countrymen?” Is the inner city really “under-resourced” in terms of social investment?

There is a conflation of problem and solution here. This isn’t a matter of understanding the context and social environment in order to teach but rather of confronting a Sodom and Gomorrah situation. The salvation of Christ starts with acceptance as a sinner. It does not start with the presumption as a victim of some devil.

The urban evangelist is confronted by sin. It is the sin that results in broken families and in broken communities. The solution is in the members of that community accepting Christ by first accepting their own culpability for their state. From there, they can build families, communities, and a God fearing populace that uses faith as the basis for health and welfare rather than dependency on government.

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The nature of knowledge, the temptations of the devil.

Sarah Hoyt says the first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything. She refers to David French on how Our Post-Christian Culture Often Replaces Faith with Nonsense.

use extreme caution when applying even the most popular psychological concepts to your personal life, to the corporate world, and to public policy. Even the most confidently stated assumptions can be wrong.

So why tie this phenomenon back to faith? Why bring Christianity into the equation? It’s simple. For generations Americans have been taught by word and deed that there is a better way, that the lessons of the Judeo-Christian tradition should be discarded as so much oppressive hocus-pocus. Ancient moral teachings aren’t just false, they’re destructive. With my own eyes I’ve seen Christians — even pastors — refuse to make cultural and moral arguments based on scripture alone. Unless science is also on their side, they’ll keep quiet. Science, after all, is the universal language. Faith is divisive. In reality, “science” is often leading us astray — and for reasons that the biblically literate can easily predict. It turns out that human beings are self-interested, that we’re drawn to quick fixes and splashy results. It turns out that we’re mistake-prone and often make entirely arbitrary judgments. And it turns out that we really, really like to see results that confirm our own righteousness and virtue. In other words, scientists don’t offer an escape from the fallen world; they’re part of the fallen world.

A stimulus for this thinking is recent discoveries that ‘ego depletion’ experiments were not reliable and that led to realizing that many studies in psychology and sociology were also rather difficult to support with consistent experimental results. That realization has put these fields in question that ties into the suspicion and dissonance that results from investigations that disrupt fantasies. There is no discrimination between ‘soft’ results as often is the case in psychology and sociology and ‘hard’ results as is often the case in engineering and physics. This pressure is particularly evident and important in medicine where the ‘hard’ evidence encounters the softer stuff and that leaves room for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) that has no founding in reality but consumes attention and effort and funds to the detriment of healing. 

In religious terms, this is the commandment about false witness. In science, this witness is the truth of God as witnessed by observation and measurement. Critical to this witness is accepting the frailties of humans and that means understanding the limits of observation and measurement. That is why classes in science dwell on accuracy and precision in measurement and why the tools used for aggregate measures (e.g. statistics) emphasize error probabilities and why matters of bias and procedure are important. A proper scientist is one who pays attention to the temptations of false witness and is aware that Truth is only partially visible. That awareness guides the skepticism of a religious scientist.

There are many examples of people who succumb to the temptation of the devil. The creationism ‘debate’ is one example where God’s word laid down in the world around us is contested with an interpretation of human words. The anthropogenic climate alarmism is another topic where underlying fears, political power, and income streams undermine integrity. Even Heisenberg’s observations about quantum mechanics gets twisted in extrapolations to Newtonian scale mechanics. “The first effect of not believing in God, is to believe in anything” is on display. Will we learn?

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Are people parasites on the planet?

Chet Richards lays it out: Why Environmentalism Became Both a Religion and a Con Game. What has happened to us? When? How? Chet provides clues for insight and inspection.

John Muir was a Conservationist, not an Environmentalist. He saw the wilderness as a “primary source for understanding God: The Book of Nature.” Muir did not worship Nature, as modern environmentalists do. Muir worshiped God, the Judeo-Christian God. So, here is the difference: Conservation derives from the Hebrew Bible. Mankind is to be Stewards of the Land. We are charged to husband God’s creation.

Environmentalists, for the most part, believe that the Earth’s biosphere is God. And, that human beings are destructive parasites, eating away at the life of their deity. In effect, most environmentalists are atheists searching for something larger than themselves to worship.

This notion that people are parasites really got started in the 1960’s.

The high priests: Rachel Carson, Paul Ehrlich, James Lovelock.

This eminent scientist was scathing in his comments — particularly about the sheer ignorance of the movement’s devoted followers. … The true believers still believe without understanding. Environmentalism is a religion after all.

Long established religions have traditionally provided a framework for ordering one’s life and for reducing this natural sense of insecurity. As we have discovered, there is something about the post World War Two world that has, at least in the West, broken these traditional religious frameworks. Something happened during the war to cause people to no longer trust religious authority.

A skilled confidence man knows that the best way to hook a victim is through the victim’s vanity. The environmental movement is a con. Its leadership preys on the ignorance, insecurity, and hubris of its followers.

But there is always another con, and each new con means further loss of freedom. For half a century the environmental movement has been the primary tool of those leaders who wish to suppress individual freedom and individual initiative. The erosion has been slow, but it has been steady.

True care for the environment, true care for nature, is a rich man’s game. Only the prosperous have the resources to protect the natural world. Only those living in comfort believe that it matters.

Poor people care little for Nature. Poor people struggle just to live. They don’t have time for environmental diversions. The environmentalist con takes away freedom and replaces it with diminished prosperity. Carried far enough, political environmentalism ultimately will drive people into impoverished serfdom and, with the greatest irony of all, it will wreck the environment.

Post WW II, the sixties when the baby boom that was an immediate aftermath of the war gained majority, that is when the tide turned. Carson’s notable works from the fifties culminated with Silent Spring, out in 1962. That made 1962 a marker for the turning point where conservationists spawned environmentalists, where religion and belief turned from God to Gaia, and the idea of humans as parasites on the planet became mainstream. 

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Morally straight

Robert Knight says Goodbye, political correctness — “There is scouting life beyond the Boy Scouts of America.” The BSA has been a target for the modern left with pressure to include, support, condone, and even honor those who engage in what traditionally has not been considered moral behavior.

Trail Life, for which Mrs. Garibay was an adviser, took off rapidly. In the first year or two, half of the troops comprised former Scout troops sponsored by churches or home schoolers that broke away after the Scouts chose political correctness over being “morally straight.”

I asked Mr. Hancock what really sets Trail Life apart from other youth organizations, and he said, “We were forged in the fires of the cultural struggle, and we will not bend or bow.”

He noted that his son, who earned his Eagle badge just before the Scouts caved, had not renewed his membership. In response to a BSA letter asking why, he sent a three-word reply: “You weren’t brave.”

There is opposition to the destruction of social mores. It will need bravery. And courage, And fortitude. What they are up against is not going down gently.

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