Sunday, December 7, 2014

Odds and ends 12/7/2014

Can you spot the heresy? This person was “technically” baptized, but he objectively misunderstands the scriptures.

So he pulls up his chair next to mine and goes through the list, and as I give my answers, he basically gives a biblical justification as to whether he thinks my answer was right or wrong. I would consider myself a Christian, technically, but I think that every soul will go to heaven, so I don’t know where I stand in with the Bible (and quite frankly don’t care, but I’m open minded).

He gets to the question that asks, if you were to get into a car accident and Jesus were standing in front of you, and said to tell him why you think you should go to heaven, what would you say? And I said, I would say because I’m a good person who loves people and are respectful and courteous towards them, and give them mercy (again, it’s my belief that every single soul will go to “heaven” eventually, and I was giving my positive qualities, which I believe everybody has). So then he goes on this thing about how salvation is a gift and is not earned, and draws a diagram about the three kinds of death and shows me which death I’m still experiencing, and that there are two kinds of water “professors” of Christianity drink—one with arsenic and one without.

He goes on to tell me that in his opinion I clearly have drunk out of the water with arsenic, because I have not read the Bible verse tat says salvation is a gift and not earned by “works.”

The writer presents his resumé to justify himself at the pearly gates. That’s Pharisaism, not the way of Jesus, the way of forgiveness.

A transgender milks its school district for $75,000.

Nicole Maines won her lawsuit against the Orono school district in January before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled that the school district violated the Maine Human Rights Act. It was the first time a state high court in the U.S. concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

Bathroom choice is a “human right.” That’s a federal court ruling. Who in their right mind wants to weigh down their political destiny to such nonsense?

Here are some more highlights on the comical will to gender:

A liberal activist greedy for victimhood cred lies about his Facebook account being hacked and misleads federal investigators, and his sordid movement emerges unscathed. The College Fix reports:

Campus leaders, even while acknowledging the hoax and the federal resources expended to investigate a fake threat, couldn’t bring themselves to call for any punishments against the students who cried wolf.

Instead, they endorsed the political agenda behind the hoax.

The university, which said Nov. 20 that the “hateful and anonymous Facebook posts” were part of a “larger pattern,” issued a weak retraction four days later.

“Based on our ongoing investigation we now are confident that the Facebook posting was not created by a hacker,” Karen Coleman, vice president for campus life and student services, told the community Nov. 24.

“That conclusion does not erase the seriousness of this episode, the harm it has caused to individuals and our broader community, or the consequences for those responsible,” Coleman said. “Whatever its purpose, the language used in this incident does not constitute discourse and will not be tolerated.”

Coleman said the school would host “special sessions” for students, faculty and staff who wanted to talk about the incidents and “get support.”

This is a classic Alinskyite tactic: stage a confrontation to polarize the public and gin up enthusiasm against the enemy. To continue to go along immolating itself, the University of Chicago is ignorant or already corrupted beyond repair.

I want to say radical egalitarians have no shame, but that would be inaccurate. They do feel shame when their fealty to their idol is lacking (e.g., Tobias Buckell).

In this war for the soul of America, whoever shows mercy first loses.

After President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address, George Will criticized:

The emblematic sentence from the speech was this: “We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” The president lives in a parallel universe where a dollar spent on A can also be spent on B. There’s no scarcity, no choices involved. And for all the solicitude he expresses about the rising and coming generations, we’re not investing in them. We’re borrowing from them, because conveniently they’re not here and can’t object.

A penny spent is a penny earned, according to liberal orthodoxy.

Mitt Romney, mulling an incomprehensible third run at the White House, gets no credit for his liberalism because he resides in a conservative party. Kathleen Dolan and Jennifer Lawless wrote at CNN 2 years ago:

Romney said he “recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible.” His example of flexibility, however, was allowing his chief of staff to “get home at 5” to make dinner for her family and be with her children. He stopped short of saying it directly, but Romney appears to hold a common belief that women can best be integrated into the workforce if they are still able to fulfill their duties as wives and mothers.

Or, in his experience, that’s the kind of flexibility you have to offer as a manager to retain women employees. The message from Dolan and Lawless is don’t let real-world experience tread on the doctrines of of sexual sameness.

If you’re not going to get credit for being a liberal Republican, then, tactically, why nominate a liberal Republican?

Blah, blah, blah, she said:

Today, we need a national commission on justice. One that is more than a fact-finding commission. One whose purpose is reconciliation. This one should be modeled after South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Bishop Desmond Tutu.

There was an emphasis in that commission on reconciliation. There was a marked effort to forgive. Tutu wrote, “When I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side ... a better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred.

“Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator. You can move on.”

Bishop Tutu added a “but.”

“But the process of forgiveness also requires acknowledgment on the part of the perpetrator that they have committed an offense.”

The grand jury system, not just in Ferguson, but nationwide, needs a hard look. Millions feel that officers who are trigger-happy are handed a license to shoot—based not on facts, but on stereotypes the officers carry.

Michael Brown was high. He robbed a corner store. He lunged for a cop’s gun. He charged the cop like a linebacker. Save your grief for actual injustice.

Perception is not reality. Considering the disproportionate rate at which blacks commit crimes, I’m actually surprised there isn’t more parity in police killings by race.

At the American Conservative, Daniel L. Davis rebukes David Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy, the mythology around which his popularity is dubiously based. Excerpt:

In a study published earlier this year by the National Defense University, authors Sterling Jensen and former Iraqi general Najim al-Jabouri wrote this of the Americans’ effectiveness in Anbar province cities: “[t]he surge did not have a role in the Anbar Awakening. Surge troops that came to Anbar in 2007 were not seen as useful… In fact, U.S. troops in general were not seen as useful even before the surge…”

But the authors’ possibly most pointed finding was that the causal factor behind the eventual drop in violence had little to do with either the increase in U.S. troops or the new strategy: “If not for al-Qaeda’s murder and intimidation campaign on Sunnis, and its tactic of creating a sectarian war, the Anbar Awakening—a fundamental factor in the success of the 2007 surge—most probably would not have occurred, and it would have been difficult for the United States in 2006 to convince Sunnis to partner with them in a fight against al Qaeda...”

The Sunni-initiated Anbar Awakening, followed by the Petraeus-led “Sons of Iraq” program, resulted in a dramatic drop in violence. The breathing space purchased with considerable American blood was intended to facilitate the development of Iraqi democracy. Kelley Vlahos, contributing editor for The American Conservative, recently wrote, “in hindsight, the only meaningful space created was for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki” to use America to rid him of political enemies, not the least of which were many Iraqi Sunni leaders and groups.

Maliki’s oppressive rule, which alienated much of the Sunni population in the Western part of the country, was a key factor in the rise of ISIS; his penchant to dismiss Sunni officers and pack the senior ranks of the Iraqi Security Force (ISF) with inexperienced political patrons played a major role in the disintegration of the ISF when the Islamic State began its offensive.

I served in Iraq as a military trainer in 2009, and have twice deployed to Afghanistan (2005, 2010-11). Between my 2009 Iraq deployment and the last Afghanistan deployment—at the height of that surge—I traveled over 14,000 miles throughout both countries, going on mounted and dismounted patrols, with U.S., allied, Iraqi, and Afghan troops, and led a team to train an Iraqi border battalion. I can conclusively state that outside the wire, the counterinsurgency theories were an unqualified failure at the strategic level. The populations were never protected in either country. The insurgent forces were never fully defeated in either country—and are stronger now than they have been at any time since 9/11. The Afghan and Iraqi governments remain the third and seventh most corrupt governments in the world, and do not have the support of their people. The armed forces for both countries, despite the decade-long effort and tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. spent training them, are virtually incapable of conducting even basic security.

It is incomprehensible that with such an extensive, publicly available record of failure—which cost the United States $2 trillion in direct outlays, 6,842 U.S. troops killed and 52,281 wounded in action—that the designers of this failed concept are given any credibility. The conclusive evidence of the failure is on graphic display right now, in both countries: after six full years and tens of billions spent, the U.S.-trained Iraqi army melted away before a few thousand irregular fighters; after the U.S. pulled out of Helmand province in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Forces were incapable of preventing an immediate return of the Taliban.

Something secular aculturists need to understand:

“Religion is seldom a strictly spiritual matter; rather, it involves moral prescriptions as to how to act in everyday secular affairs. Although religious people may reasonably be expected to act with a degree of civility in the public domain, showing respect for others and their differing views, it is not reasonable or practical to expect them to act in the public realm without reference to their deeply held, religiously based moral convictions. So, even if privatization has proven valuable as a way of encouraging social harmony up to a point, it is a principle that cannot address the question of equity in the public sphere in dealing with inevitable differences based on religious conviction.” –George Marsden

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