Monday, July 21, 2014

Odds and ends 7/21/2014

“Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next.” –Rev. William Ralph Inge

More doing, less legislating, Mike Flynn says:

The real problem at the border is not that we don’t have the correct process in place, but that Obama and his Democrat allies will ignore any process or legal framework at the first point of convenience.

Rule of lawyers vs. rule of law. Those running the system prefer it to be broken so they can operate outside of it.

At the American Spectator, David Catron reports on new exemptions from Obamacare handed down by the arbitrary executive:

Obamacare’s supporters have long insisted that it is the “law of the land,” implicitly suggesting that it is immutable and permanent. Evidently, it hasn’t occurred to these people to mention that to their dear leader. His Majesty, Barack I, obviously thinks of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a collection of royal decrees, any one of which may be altered at his pleasure. Thus, in a proclamation issued last week through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, His Highness declared that all U.S. territories are now exempt from most of PPACA’s morass of rules and regulations.

Republicans had their chance to do something meaningful and defund Obamacare last year. They would rather launch a feeble lawsuit that will take years to move through the courts.

The Washington Times reports:

Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University, will say President Obama is trampling the founders’ vision for the country in his push to circumvent Congress, and he will demand Republicans and Democrats alike forget their party labels to unify against this White House’s power grab.

“What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country,” Mr. Turley said in a prepared testimony, saying it began with previous presidents but under Mr. Obama has “reached a constitutional tipping point that threatens a fundamental change in how our country is governed.”

The scorching testimony to the House Committee on Rules kicks off what’s expected to be a several-week push by Republicans that will end in the House approving a lawsuit against Mr. Obama, challenging his unilateral decision to ignore or waive parts of his own signature health care law.

To the Republican leadership, the lawsuit’s object is the appearance of fighting the president, not actually fighting the president.

Jen Kuznicki recalls reading a book about a Polish boy’s experience in the Soviet gulag, and produces this insight:

He saw that the Nazis’ ideology rested mainly on how pure your breeding was, and who your ancestors were, to determine if you were safe from their clutches or targeted for destruction. The Soviets, he called them the communists, were different from the Nazis because it was what they believed was inside your head, your thoughts, that determined whether you were sent to the gulag or not. Of course, in the end, just the fact that you were Polish or Slavic was enough for both regimes to want you gone.

At Stubborn Things, Trevor Thomas analyzes the current madness through the lens of paganism.

For millennia human beings have sought to shed the tenets of our Creator and go our own way. This is especially true when it comes to our sexuality. Much of the history of ancient Israel, as described by the Old Testament, included the struggle of the Jewish people with idolatry, false gods, and sexual immorality. Chief among these false gods which often drew Israel away from the God of Abraham was Baal.

Baal was the proper name for the most significant god in the Canaanite pantheon. When the judges ruled Israel, there were altars to Baal in Palestine. During the notorious reign of Ahab and Jezebel the worship of Baal was prolific. In spite of the warnings from the prophets (including the dramatic demonstration on Mt. Carmel by Elijah), the struggle between Baalism and the worship of God continued for centuries.

The worship of Baal included offering of incense and sacrifice—including human sacrifice. However, Baal worship was chiefly marked by fertility rites. It was believed that Baal made the land, animals, and humans fertile. In other words, Baal was seen as the god of “sacred sexuality.” To encourage the god to carry out these functions, worshippers would perform lewd sexual acts. Baal temples were filled with male and female prostitutes for such purposes.

The female consort to Baal was Ashtoreth. This goddess was also associated with sexuality and fertility. The worship of Ashtoreth also included obscene sex acts. Israel forsook the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and served “Baal and the Ashtoreths.” (Judges 2:11-23).

A third rival to the one true God was Molech (or Molek), the god of the Ammonites. The worship of Molech included the fire sacrifice of infant children. Ashtoreth is also seen as the female consort to Molech. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover describes the relationship between the “virgin-whore who copulates and conceives, but does not give birth (Ashtoreth) [and] the god to whom the unwanted offspring of these practices were sacrificed (Molech).”

With the rise of abortion (in lieu of sacrificing unwanted children at the altar of a heathen god, we do it in the hygienic atmosphere of a clinic), adultery, divorce, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution (especially the child sex trade), and so on, modern American culture makes the misled ancient Israelites look rather righteous. The same philosophy that led Israel astray is well at work in the U.S.: paganism.

Occultist, bisexual, and habitual drug user Aleister Crowley described the creed of paganism well: “Do What Thou Wilt.” As Satinover notes, whether expressed openly or tacitly working behind the scenes (with many individuals completely unaware of the philosophy to which they’ve surrendered), pagan principles are quickly coming to dominate our public morality, and “Do What Thou Wilt” is a guiding philosophy for one of the major U.S. political parties.

Social liberals inhabit the upper echelons of both parties, but I digress. The people don’t know what they worship, so they putter along on instinct, like I did for years, even after I had intellectually accepted the existence of God.

At First Things, Mark Movsesian samples George Washington’s farewell address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Liberal democracy and tolerance is over. George Will writes:

Time was, [William] Voegeli writes, a tolerant society was one with “a mutual nonaggression pact”: If your beliefs and practices offend but do not otherwise affect me, I will not interfere with them if you will reciprocate regarding my beliefs and practices. Now, however, tolerance supposedly requires compulsory acknowledgment that certain people’s beliefs and practices deserve, Voegeli says, “to be honored, respected, affirmed, and validated” lest they suffer irreparable injury to their sense of worth. And it requires compelling conformity for the good of the compelled.

When two Oregon bakers chose, for religious reasons, not to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, an Oregon government official explained why tolerance meant coercing the bakers: “The goal is to rehabilitate.” Tolerance required declaring the bakers’ beliefs and practices intolerable. We are going to discover whether a society can be congenial while its government is being coercive regarding wedding cakes and teams’ names.

The mountain of evidence is incontrovertible. It’s beyond the pale to contend the two halves of America ought to continue to share the land with each other and be miserable.

Bill Whittle explains how we lost the “peace” in Iraq. Remember the Iraqi peace was doomed when we retreated. The effective parts of General Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy were paying off the political opposition and projecting enough force to intimidate troublemakers into quietude.

Let’s return to the myth that abortions are only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services. Betsy Childs writes at First Things:

What is puzzling is why clinics run by Planned Parenthood are closing. According to the organization, just 3 percent of its services are abortion related. That’s equivalent to the percentage of McDonald’s sales made up by salads. If the Alabama legislature regulated salads out of existence (stranger things have happened), I would wager that all of the McDonald’s franchises in the state would remain open.

The closing of clinics across the South shows that Planned Parenthood’s intentionally ambiguous 3 percent statistic does not refer to the percentage of revenue earned from abortion procedures (Kevin DeYoung has suggested some plausible hypotheses for what the number might actually mean). Contrary to Planned Parenthood’s PR, it exists for and is sustained by the taking of lives in the womb.

Gregory Pine strikes at the heart of the matter, false equality:

Those who argue for a right to universal contraceptive coverage found their claims on the natural right of equality. But equality, when divested of the legitimate recognition of difference, becomes a frenzied pursuit of leveling in every aspect of material human existence.

Gracy Olmstead channels Robert Nisbet:

Nisbet predicted that, in a society without strong private associations, the State would take their place—assuming the role of the church, the schoolroom, and the family, asserting a “primacy of claim” upon our children. “It is hard to overlook the fact,” he wrote, “that the State and politics have become suffused by qualities formerly inherent only in the family or the church.” In this world, the term “nanny state” takes on a very literal meaning.

Brave New World was right.

When watching this, remind yourself that thought criminals like Cliven Bundy are the real threat to America.

Excellent perspective on illegal immigration and charity from John C. Wright:

We Christians are supposed to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That means we help the poor until it hurts, but it does not meant that we set ourselves up to be chumps for con men. If you don’t know whether the bum on the street corner panhandling is going to spend your money on drink, don’t give him money. Call him by name, walk with him across the street, and buy him a meal at a burger joint. It takes more time and effort and more love, but that is how you act charitably without being a chump.

I never knew what shorting stocks meant until I read this:

He sold it short last week around $6 – which means selling stock you don’t own with a plan to buy it cheaper soon, pocketing the difference.

Now you know.

Pious cartoonists martyr their comic character to the gods of homosexuality and gun control. CBS reports:

Freckle-faced Archie will meet his demise when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Senator Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Archie’s death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the “Life with Archie” series.

...Echoing the prejudice the future president showed by boxing rural Pennsylvanians into cultural tropes, like “they cling to guns or religion.”

Truths from Charles Hugh Smith:

Printing money out of thin air does not increase wealth, it only increases claims on existing wealth.
We all know the system is broken and the proposed policy tweaks aren’t fixing anything, but human nature being what it is, we hope our place at the feeding trough will somehow survive unscathed as the financially unsustainable house of cards collapses around us.

At the Blaze, Billy Hollowell examines ersatz Marxism:

Foreign policy expert Joshua Muravchik believes that American liberals — once among the strongest supporters of Israel — began opposing the Jewish state when they started viewing modern political struggles as being rooted in battles between racial and ethnic groups.

Muravchik, a fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, told the Christian Post that this worldview now dominates liberals’ ideology, replacing the class-based and poverty focus that was once predominantly seen as the culprit.

“Leftists/liberals/progressives believe that the great moral drama of our era is ‘the rest against the West’ or the ‘people of color’ against the ‘white man,’” he told the Post. “This has replaced poor-against-rich or worker-against-capitalist as the core idea of progressive thought.”

Andy Nowicki talks ethnic pride, and lack thereof, at Alternative Right:

One’s loyalty to kin should end when it causes one to violate clear moral strictures, but up to that point, ethnic pride is actually a sign of moral health.

Ethnomasochism, on the other hand, is plainly unnatural, and an indication of moral impairment, since it takes positive pleasure in its infidelity. The ethnomasochist doesn’t just reluctantly and with great trepidation turn on his nation as a last possible alternative, to stop a moral atrocity from taking place (after the manner of heroes like Sophie Scholl and Alexander Solzhenitsyn); instead, he takes positive delight in turning against his people, and even looks for the pettiest of excuses to do so.

I wrote last year at Red Pill Report about Baby Boomers’ legal push to force doctors to go against the Hippocratic oath and kill them. It is little surprise Boomers bite the bullet at a higher rate than any other generation:

More than today’s teenagers, more than the elderly, a struggling slice of the 76 million Americans born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s is showing a willingness to kill themselves. Some experts say that generation has always been more prone than others to self-destruction.

In living as well as dying.

Peggy Joseph, whom I referenced in this post 2 years ago, has come down to earth about her expectations of government:

“He had a very big voice, just like the Wizard of Oz,” Joseph said, comparing Obama to the famous phony wizard. “The wizard was this little teeny-teeny tiny man, and I think it’s the same thing with Obama, the man behind the curtain,” Ms. Joseph said in a reflective, disappointing tone.

Ms. Joseph looks back at the time of her 2008 interview, saying, “I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. That’s how I feel.”

“What I learned is never trust the Wizard,” Joseph now says. “It’s within ourselves to have the determination, the courage, and the brains, to bring us to our destiny.”

Is there a better metaphor to describe savior government?

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