Sunday, August 31, 2014

Odds and ends 8/31/2014

ESPN gets blowback from reporting on Michael Sam’s shower schedule. I’m going to defend the Worldwide Leader In Sports™ on this one. What did everyone think the gushing interviews and exposés were about? Sam made his sexual attraction to men public. The moment was hailed as another barrier being broken down to soothe liberal guilt for being relatively heterosexual and prudish. Naturally the people want to know how the obvious dilemma of walking around naked with people you are sexually attracted to will resolve itself. The coverage is fair because Sam invited it.


Matt Walsh runs through the homofascists:

No business in the world operates on a principle that, if one customer is accommodated, all customers must be accommodated no matter what. Let me ask you: if you invite 100 people into your home for a party, does that mean you lose the right to refuse entry to the 101st person? Do you lose the legal ability to decide who enters, and for how long, and for what purpose? If you throw a party on Tuesday does that mean that you are now legally obligated to throw a party every other day, whenever I show up and demand one? If you decide to throw a toga party can I arrive and insist that we change it to a cowboys and Indians theme? If you are having a Tupperware party can I knock on your door and complain that my freedoms are under attack because I have no interest in Tupperware?

But that’s different, you say, because you are not a business. Sure, and this is what sane people used to call a “distinction without a difference.” If I live in a place and also sometimes use it to engage in commerce and enter into contracts, why, exactly, should that mean that I lose my God given, constitutional, rights and authorities over my own property?

And why, and how, do you have a right to enter my property and participate in activities on my property, just because I allowed a small selection of other human beings to do the same? How could these lesbians have a right to a wedding ceremony at that particular farm in Albany?

Here’s a better way to put it: if I open a lemonade stand, at what point in the process does the rest of society suddenly develop a right to the lemonade I’m producing? Did they have a right to the lemonade before I even made it? Was I destined in the stars to make lemonade in order to distribute it to my neighbors who, unbeknownst to me, have been entitled to my lemonade long before I ever conceived of selling it? If everyone has a right to my lemonade — meaning that I can’t refuse lemonade to anyone — does that mean that even the price I attach to it is also, in some respects, an infringement on your rights? After all, the price is a barrier to entry. So is the rather specific and finite location of my operation. If I have one lemonade stand am I now obligated to have a dozen lemonade stands, and does the lemonade have to be free? Can I shut down my lemonade stand? If you all have a right to it, wouldn’t I be infringing on that right when I close up shop for the evening? If I never opened this lemonade stand, you would probably go about your day without the lemonade, or else you’d procure your lemonade through some other means. Why can’t you do that even with my lemonade stand open, should I decide to decline to enter into a cash-for-lemonade contract with you?

...

Our understanding of “rights” has devolved into madness over time. We used to believe that you had a right to that which is fundamental to your human nature and that which is required to retain your human dignity. Therefore, you had a right to express your ideas, to practice your faith, to defend yourself and your home, to sovereignty over your home and your family, to freedom from government persecution, to justice, to a fair hearing in court, to the presumption of innocence, to self-determination, to due process, to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, to the pursuit of fulfillment and prosperity. These were our human rights. They were never perfectly realized in this country.

Now we have written over these deep and profound laws, and replaced them with a haphazard, contradictory, juvenile, idiotic, unfair, unjust, inconsistent assemblage of entitlements and privileges, all of which require the government to stomp on our actual rights for the sake of providing some entitlement to some member of some politically protected class.

Regress is what progressives do best.


Steven Goddard keeps at it.


The master John C. Wright:

Freud revised the view of man as being a helpless puppet of his hidden and irrational impulses rather than a being created with the divine faculty of reason; Marx revised the view of man as being a helpless puppet of historical economic forces rather than being the steward of the earth given by heaven into Man’s dominion; and nearly everyone misinterpreted Einstein to mean that if measurements of time and space were relative, moral truth was relative; and everyone misinterpreted Darwin to be saying the same thing Hegel said in an earlier generation, that all truths change and evolve with time, and that reason is therefore a product only of its time, and no truths are eternal. When men speak of a war between Faith and Science they can do so only by labeling these various irrational paradoxes to be “science” and by label the clear and rational thing discussed by Aquinas and Aristotle to be “faith.”

And:

Capitalism rewards and encourages greed and materialism, and a countless hoard of advertising agents calculate how to make men stupider and greedier to buy products we do not necessarily want or need. So, yes, indeed, the WORSHIP of Capitalism, Ayn Rand’s religion, is definitely, utterly and absolutely antithetical to Catholicism, or any sane religion.

And:

Anyone who assumes God making Himself even more obvious would increase the number of souls saved and brought to love quite simply underestimates the greatness and glory of man, including how much we are like angels. We are also like fallen angels, and we cannot be brought God against our will. He has made us too much like Him, and so, like Him, we cannot be forced, not intimidated, not impressed.

And:

Leftism is defined as a rebellion against reality and reason on the grounds that reality is unfair. Feminism is rebellion against sexual reality and reason.

Man is not perfectible outside God. As Proverbs 21:30 says: “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.”


A trifecta of validation:

  1. I watched Invictus with my girlfriend. A conversation between Nelson Mandela and his top adviser reminded me of how. Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, insisted the newly integrated South African Sports Committee were wrong to disband the Sprinkboks, and it was his job as their leader to show them they were wrong. It was one of my favorite scenes in an overall pleasant, low-key movie directed by the master, Clint Eastwood, one of the most thoughtful filmmakers alive today.

  2. Rod Dreher observes:
    The thought that electing the right Republican president is going to make a bit of difference in the moral state of the nation is by now almost touching in its utter naivete. Let me be clear: it’s not that Evangelicals are wrong to say the nation’s moral fabric is declining; from a socially and religiously conservative point of view, of course it is. Their error is in thinking that politics can have much of an effect on the core problem.
  3. A team is only as good as its leader.

So, the things that I want to do
I find myself not doing
But the things that I don’t want to do
I fall into

Those are some winning lyrics from Theocracy’s “Laying the Demon to Rest.” I didn’t realize until recently these lines paraphrase Romans 7:15-19:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

More on Romans here.


Some Scandinavian power metal for your listening pleasure:


It’s an executive orders trifecta!

  1. I said the two qualifications for a progressive are liberalism and post-democracy. Rebecca Leber at The New Republic qualifies:
    The New York Times reports today that President Barack Obama is pursuing an international climate agreement ahead of next year's United Nations climate-change summit in Paris. Why pursue an accord, rather than a treaty? Because the latter would require Obama to get two-thirds approval in the Senate, and that's never going to happen.
  2. The president will also bypass democracy to grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. Amnesty slut Rep. Luis Gutierrez is “looking forward to [the] challenge.” Breitbart reports:
    “The structures were not in place to help those people,” he continued. “So I’ve been going around meeting with major news organizations, newspaper editorial boards, columnists and others here in Chicago for the last three weeks telling them we have get prepared as a city. And prepare a model for the nation because when 5 million people are allowed the opportunity to come out from under the shadows and into the light of day and get legalized, it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of capacity of our community but I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”
  3. Finally, rank and file transphilia! The Washington Examiner reports:

    Having already lifted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays in the military, the Pentagon “likely will” allow transgendered Americans to serve openly in the military where 15,500 now secretly serve, according to a new report issued by top former generals.

    Three of the top brass, endorsing the deployment of transgendered troops, also said their effort has the support of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Obama.

    In a statement accompanying the 29-page report issued Tuesday, they said, “Our conclusion is that allowing transgender personnel to serve openly is administratively feasible and will not be burdensome or complicated. Three months have passed since Defense Secretary Hagel announced a willingness to review the military's ban on transgender service, an effort the White House indicated it supports.”

    ...

    The report said allowing transgenders to serve “reflects the core military values and principles that all military personnel should serve with honor and integrity, which means that they should not have to lie about who they are.”

    Can who they are be objectively determined to verify that claim? Who knows anymore!


Howie Carr assesses Bay State Democrats’ election strategy:

The Democrats are very open about their strategy. They’re not just looking for women, they prefer unmarried women. You see, if you have a husband, you are very likely concerned about things like jobs. Employment is not exactly a pressing concern to the EBT classes these candidates are aiming for.

Exactly.

It’s a microcosm of the Democrats’ national strategy. “Moderates” like Romney get on their knees for independents, and they lose single women by nearly a 2-1 margin. In a land of delayed marriage and non-marriage, that’s a big problem.


Being black means having dark skin. It’s just melanin. I’m willing to allow that might be naïve, even idealist. The reality is black identity is more about thug life than skin pigment.

Taleeb Starkes agrees, and he wishes it was different:

There’s no diversity in the black community. It’s pretty much it’s just in our DNA to be one way, and if you’re not that way, you’re not (quote, unquote) “black.” And I would start there, because a lot of these kids are so urbanized, if you bring anything new or different outside of sports, hip hop, those two things mainly, you may be frowned upon, and that’s what I would change. What I’d like to do is get the kids out, let them see other things. Outside of the city. Again, they’re so urbanized, it’s foreign.

Attorney General Eric Holder flew to Ferguson, Missouri, and said he was there as a “black man.” What a petty, divisive man, truly the worst of America.

Geurge Neumayr is fed up with him:

Holder can so easily “stand” with the protesters in Ferguson because he shares their capacity for hasty racial accusations. Seeing events through the prism of race is more emotionally satisfying to him than carefully sifting through the evidence. That quality doesn’t lend itself to leadership but lying.

As the New York Times recently learned, after daring to write that Michael Brown was “no angel,” honesty is simply not allowed in the discussion. The paper has been roundly criticized, including by its public editor who called the brief moment of honesty “regrettable.” Liberals in recent days have been policing the discussion of Michael Brown, insisting that his possible crimes (such as grabbing a police officer’s gun) be called “mistakes” and his stealing “shoplifting.”

Were Holder willing to show the brave honesty a “nation of cowards” needs, he would resist this culture of propaganda, not reinforce it. He would tell racial agitators what they don’t want to hear: that the crime rate in Ferguson is due not to “disparate treatment” but to a culture of crime — a problem that false accusations and politically correct excuse-making will deepen not solve.

R. R. Reno waxes on Ferguson here, here, and here. Read them in order.


Tish Harrison Warren dishes on Vanderbilt’s ridiculous student group non-discrimination policy (hat tip Dreher):

If groups are committed to maintaining a particular theological voice, I do not understand how they can sign the non-discrimination pledge. They are, in fact, signing a pledge promising that they won’t require particular beliefs of their students in leadership. We were encouraged by many people just to sign whatever pledge we needed to and go on doing what we’d always done to select leaders–Vanderbilt doesn’t really have a way to oversee that closely. But those of us who lost our registration status felt that signing something pledging to not have doctrinal standards for student leaders — when we actually do — would be a poor model of discipleship for our students and dishonest.

Some groups don’t think the policy will pose a problem (or don’t have any formal creedal requirements) because they elect their leaders sheerly by democratic process so they feel like it is unlikely that a non-Christian would be elected anyway. But, as I have argued many, many times during this year, we aren’t so much worried about a coup where non-Christians take over the group and vote themselves into office (although that’s possible with this policy) as much as theological drift. The reason we have doctrinal boundaries in place is that we don’t want — over the course of 10 or 15 years — to slowly lose our theological particularity, which is more likely if majoritarianism alone rules the day. The analogy I use is that a creed is like a tuning fork, without it we won’t likely go out of tune immediately but give us a couple years and our theological tone will drift.

The second issue with this all-democracy/no creeds approach is that the majority of times that we face doctrinal issues with our leadership team is not unbelievers wanting to be voted into office but leadership team students having a mid-year crisis and converting or radically changing their religious beliefs. Often, with the zeal of a new convert to atheism or what have you, students want to stay in their leadership position and change the theological identity of the group. In short, we need a mechanism to ask leaders to step down if their beliefs and practices radically change. This policy made that impossible. We asked Vanderbilt’s provost directly what we should do if this were to happen (a Bible study leader decided that the resurrection is a metaphor or that Jesus was just a good, spiritual guide among many), and he suggested we disband the whole group. That’s obviously an unworkable solution. And this kind of scenario happens all the time for campus groups. All the time. Keep in mind that, for the most part, these are college students we’re talking about. They are exploring their identities and beliefs, which can change quickly. We want them to be able to do that but we also have to have a way to maintain theological stability over time as a community.


Reality competes with the narrative at the Fiscal Times. First, the narrative:

Nearly five years after the recovery began, Americans in alarming numbers believe the Great Recession permanently damaged the economy and that many aspects of the lifestyle they once enjoyed – a good job, income security and more – may never again be theirs.

Even more troubling, most Americans don’t believe the economy has actually improved – or will improve – despite nearly half a decade of job growth and declining unemployment rates since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Now the reality:

Growth “has been insufficient to produce enough full-time jobs for everyone who wants one,” the study notes. As of last month, nearly 9.7 million work­ers were unemployed, and many jobs that vanished during the recession paid good wages, while most growth during the recovery has been in low-wage jobs.

“Wages have increased modestly for many, but have not increased suf­ficiently to keep up with inflation,” the report stated. “Labor force participation rates are at the lowest levels in three decades. Long-term unemployment rates remain at unprecedented high levels, above pre-recession levels in over 40 states.”

Who are you going to believe? The spinners in the media or your lying eyes?

Related: “Recovery narrative.”


Is Warren Buffet the biggest hypocrite in the world?


Like Miss Utah 2013, Sofia Vergara is a winner. Feminists hate winners.

Mollie Hemingway contrasts Beyonce and Vergara. It’s not even close. Compare Jarett Wieselman’s horror at Vergara’s Emmys pedestal gag with his glee at Beyonce’s Miley Cyrus-like performance at the VMAs the preceding night:

Last night, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed said:

Aaaannnnd what do you think he said the previous night?

That’s right. When there was nothing but headless bodies featuring butts-butts-butts and a spread-eagle Beyoncé singing a song some have criticized for its lyrics joking about Ike Turner’s domestic violence, Jarrett Wieselman of BuzzFeed could not deal with the perfection. But when a fully clothed Vergara did a little comedy bit about her rockin’ bod, sound the alarm, we got a problem.

The VMAs are more juvenile—that is, more carnal and more subversive—than the Emmys. Other than that, they are the same.


Read this cool essay about Julius Caesar’s failed invasion of Britain in 54 BC in British Heritage.


Moving from one state to another is more daunting if the states are not as uniform as they are now. Increased mobility of people among the states is one rationalization for a government more national—as opposed to federal—in character. Not that I’m in favor it.

Re: liberal migration to red states, Vox is pessimistic about democracy’s longevity:

Free association, also known to its critics as segregation, is an absolute must for any democratic society that wishes to retain its character. In an age of mobility, any system that functions will be rapidly swamped by the invading denizens of those systems that don’t work.

It should never be forgotten that most of the 18th century political principles were developed prior to the age of mass global transportation. It should not be a surprise that not all of them are capable of surviving it.

Really, I’m flattered that everyone loves Texas, but can’t Californians love Texas from California?


Rep. Paul Ryan talks House of Cards (hat tip USA Today:

“I watched the first couple of episodes until he cheated on his wife with that reporter,” Ryan said in the Parade interview posted online Friday. “It turned my stomach so much that I just couldn’t watch it anymore. His behavior was so reprehensible, and it hit too close to home because he was a House member, that it just bothered me too much. And what I thought is, it makes us all look like we’re like that.”

A reason I stopped watching How I Met Your Mother is the tempting false reality the show portrayed of the single life I was living. I finally decided its entertainment value did not overcome the stumbling block it put between me my Creator. I had a similar reaction to a movie called God Bless America, which took me to such a dark, cynical place that I turned it off after 15 minutes.

I mention these experiences because my gut tells me Ryan realized he was allowing himself to indulge his fantasies in the character of Frank Underwood, so he pulled the plug.

1 comment:

  1. Here is a bit of a different take on the movie Invictus by a White South African Christian Minister

    http://www.frontline.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1308:invictus-idolatry&catid=18:movie-reviews-cat&Itemid=199

    ReplyDelete