The Closed Liberal Mind

Liberal atheist Camille Paglia has some interesting things to say:

…I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny. Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death. The great tragic texts, including the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, no longer have the central status they once had in education, because we have steadily moved away from the heritage of western civilization.

The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives…

Ah, but they don’t demand an understanding of Muslim beliefs. Liberals aren’t asking us to look at the theological basis of Islam. They don’t want us to get an in-depth view of Islamic civilization. They don’t want to discuss the morals and manners of Islam. Islam, to liberals, is just yet another handy club with which to beat the Judeo-Christian West. Muslims have been assigned victim status and thus provide a prop in the liberal morality play. Who Muslims are, what they believe and what the various types of Muslims may want are irrelevant – indeed, it would be dangerous to know, because knowing might wreck the assigned victim status and thus wreck a perfectly good prop. Kudos to Paglia for understanding that her fellow liberals are sitting in the dark condemning the light – but she still fails to fully understand how obscuritanist the left really is. C.S. Lewis, who started out as an atheist, once stated that an atheist cannot be too careful in what he reads – if he’s not careful, he’ll eventually run across something which questions the premise of atheism, and then he’s cooked.

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Getting Back to the Open Thread

I was working on a good, fantastic, fabulous open thread for Monday Morning – but as I’m on vacation, that didn’t work out…so, here it is, later in the day, and I have some more things I’ve been thinking about.

…The duelists had from their own point of view escaped or conquered the chief powers of the modern world. They had satisfied the magistrate, they had tied the tradesman neck and heels, and they had left the police behind. As far as their own feelings went they had melted into a monstrous sea; they were but the fare and driver of one of the million hansoms that fill London streets. But they had forgotten something; they had forgotten journalism. They had forgotten that there exists in the modern world, perhaps for the first time in history, a class of people whose interest is not that things should happen well or happen badly, should happen successfully or happen unsuccessfully, should happen to the advantage of this party or the advantage of that part, but whose interest simply is that things should happen.

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority… G. K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, Chapter IV.

Trigger Warning: the book was written more than 100 years ago and uses words and phrases which Precious Snowflakes Who Got Awards for Participation may find offensive. But, it is a good read for everyone else. And it pretty much in those two paragraphs demonstrates why paying attention to what the MSM wants you to see is not really wise.

The Chinese stock market crashed 8.5%! That is amazing for one trading day. It would be as if the U.S. stock market shed around 1,500 points in a day. I guess that even with injections of more funny money and the prospect of getting arrested if you sell hasn’t convinced China’s stock market to start going up.

Should Jonathan Pollard be released? Pollard has been in jail for decades. The article notes that Donald Rumsfeld doesn’t want him released – and a lot of people are on Rumsfeld’s side on this. To me, mercy triumphs over justice. Maybe it is time for Pollard to be released? Pollard becomes eligible for parole in November.

The Senate GOP leadership is, well, rather foolish. We know that they are in bed with big corporations and we know that they are largely Establishment drones who just want to go along to get alone (and, of course, so is the Senate Democrat leadership) – so, we know that they want to reauthorize that bit of corporate welfare known as the Export-Import Bank and they want their pork-laden highway bill. We in the base dig all that – and there’s no chance we’d ever actually like the GOP passing such things. But if they were to de-fund Planned Parenthood and take a big swipe at Obama’s Iran deal, we’d better deal with Ex-Im and the Iran deal actually happening. But, nothing doing – the GOP leadership by legislative hard-ball blocked conservative efforts to do both things…and then rammed through re-authorization of Ex-Im on the highway bill. Turns out, though, that the House GOP leadership (which is much more threatened by that tiresome, will-of-the-people thing), isn’t going to play along. Hey, Mitch – here’s a bit of advice: you have to play ball for things to get done. Just throw us a conservative bone once in a while…geesh!

Assad is hunkering down in his section of Syria and essentially writing off the parts controlled by the rebels. The reason for this? Fundamentally, because Syria isn’t a nation. Iraq isn’t a nation, either. Joe Biden caught a lot of flack when he suggested a post-war partition of Iraq, but it was about the only sensible thing he’s ever said. Syria and Iraq were drawn willy-nilly by Anglo-French imperialists in the post-WWI settlement. They are collections of different peoples with, often, very different ideas of what constitutes the good life. They were only held together – and held down – by imperial and dictatorial powers. Partition may be the only viable solution.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) is locked in a battle with the State’s government unions – who, of course, control the State Democrat party. This is a re-do of the battle in Wisconsin, but Rauner lacks a legislative majority as Walker had. The fundamental situation is the same – a bankrupt State government faces out of control spending forced through by government unions and their willing minions in elective office. It is either reform, or collapse – but the unions don’t care and insist the only way to go is more taxes and more spending. But Rauner isn’t backing down – and I’m certain that the Democrats/Unions will pull out all the stops. They have to. It was bad enough they were crushed in Wisconsin where the whole government was in Republican hands – but if they get crushed in Illinois where the Democrats control the Legislature, then it is game over for the government unions, and thus the whole idea of Big Government at the State level. Keep and eye on this one – and if Rauner pulls it off, pencil him in for 2024 (if the GOP wins next year) or 2020 (if it loses).

Another Monday Comes

We just can’t avoid them, now can we?

Seems that whole economy things still isn’t working out as well as promised.

ObamaCare – the disaster that keeps on disasting:

State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment…

…”The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents,” said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state’s sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government. (emphasis added)

Insufficient numbers of uninsured residents? But, wait – weren’t we told of tens of millions of uninsured who were all going to die horrible, painful deaths unless we passed ObamaCare? Could it be that – and I’m just spit balling here – they exaggerated the numbers of uninsured in order to create a crisis which they would not let go to waste?

Democrats Memory Hole Jefferson and Jackson

It started as a bit of a Twitter joke in the wake of the Charleston shooting – if Democrats wanted to get rid of the (Democrat) Confederate battle flag, then they’d better stop having their Jefferson-Jackson dinners because Jefferson and Jackson both owned slaves. Well, nothing is too silly for our Democrats:

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson are history in Connecticut.

Under pressure from the NAACP, the state Democratic Party will scrub the names of the two presidents from its annual fundraising dinner because of their ties to slavery.

Party leaders voted unanimously Wednesday night in Hartford to rename the Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner in the aftermath of last month’s fatal shooting of nine worshipers at the historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

There is some discussion out there in the left about how to re-name the event, one suggestion being the FDR-JFK dinner.

Our Democrats in 2015 cannot even pretend to honor the United States of America. It is just impossible – there are too many people in America’s past who don’t live up to whatever is the latest notion of the Progressives. The complexities of human life just don’t matter – unless you are a true-blue Progressive on board with 100% of whatever the latest Progressive Twitter hashtag is about, you are out. And if you were born 200 years before Twitter, that is just too darned bad. Trust me on this, flaws will be found in FDR and JFK – heck, the mere fact that they were white males will eventually doom them in the Progressive pantheon. Just wait for an official demand from some Progressive group to have our capital re-named because Washington also owned slaves…and calling it the District of Columbia will also have to go.

The key for us is to just highlight this sort of nonsense. Point it out. Let the LIV know.

Out and About on a Wednesday

Attorney General Lynch says she will look into those videos of Planned Parenthood looking for “less crunchy” ways of carrying out an abortion. The question remains whether she’ll be looking for criminal activity on the part of Planned Parenthood, or will be out to get the makers of the videos.

Governor Brown (D-Peoples Democratic Republic of California), says global warming threatens human extinction. As soon as he calls for a ban on limos, private jets and beach houses larger than 1,000 square feet, I’ll take him seriously.

Our new Partners for Peace in Tehran say they will buy whatever arms they want.

If you ever thought there was a bottom to the well of Progressive silliness, you were wrong.

Perry rips into Trump. He has to. First off, as a matter of principal: Trump is simply not the man who will win the White House for the Republican party. Secondly, as a matter of electoral politics – he’s an also-ran so far in the GOP sweepstakes and he has to gain some traction. Attacking Walker or Cruz will work against him (their supporters might be angered), attacking Bush and Christy is boring – we already know he’s not on board with them. Attack Trump and you get noticed.

Hillary Clinton is polling just terrible in the swing States. Before you get too excited, I understand the polling sample over-states Republican numbers – but, still, with 99.99% name recognition Hillary is down 9 points against Walker, who probably doesn’t have 50% name recognition in, for instance, Colorado. She’s a giant on weak legs.

I really don’t know what to say about the Bland case – woman gets stopped for failure to signal (with, I guess, also doing a rolling stop at a stop sign) and it escalates into her being arrested and then dying in prison – officially by suicide but the full investigation isn’t close to done. The only bit of wisdom I can impart is to wait until the investigation is complete before rendering anything like a judgement on it.

In the Fundamental Transformation department – newly sworn citizens don’t have to swear to bear arms in defense of the United States. It makes sense – after all, some of the people becoming citizens might not want to defend the United States; why inconvenience them with something as trivial as being loyal to the nation they voluntarily immigrated to?

List of the 20 cities Americans are fleeing from in droves. Oddly enough, a lot of them appear to be governed by Democrats. Shouldn’t people be moving into Democrat governed areas? I mean, they really care about the little guy and have the best solutions for all of us, right?

And, Now, Back to the Fun…

Yesterday was an experiment and it will become permanent. I spent a day away from the Internet. No Facebook, no Twitter, no reading the news. It was wonderful. I’m thinking that I’ll give up the internet for Lent. Really, boys and girls, if you don’t do it, already, then make it part of your life: unplug from time to time. The ‘net has become like the TV in 1984.

Anyways…

John Kerry says that Iran isn’t allowed to use the bucket of money we’re giving them for terrorist operations. I’m sure you’ll all sleep soundly tonight.

Trump really messed up on his comments about McCain. I’ve got lots of problems with McCain. I hope he draws a TEA Party challenger. I think he’s often a bit of a jerk in the demeaning way he deals with GOP base. But, no matter how you slice it, McCain is a war hero. The recent poll showing Trump leading the primary field nationwide had a little tid-bit in it for the detail-minded: the day after Trump’s insulting comment broke, his support dropped like a rock. He won’t win a single primary and he’ll never be President.

Monk Rock? Well, we Catholics are rather dangerous, transgressive outsiders these days…

Saudi’s threaten military action against Iran. So, Obama has fundamentally transformed us – it is not backwards, corrupt monarchies taking a stand for decency in the world instead of the United States.

The Democrat party has decided that writing off the elderly vote is best – Obama Administration proposes to deny self-defense rights to people on Social Security if third party’s handle their bills.

Walker up by 9 in Iowa. Walker wins Iowa, NH and SC, he’s the GOP nominee.

Out and About on a Friday – and Saturday and Sunday…

You know, just to keep things going.

Ok, so criminal justice reform is getting more front-burner. A genuinely bi-partisan group of people is looking for ways to reform our broken system. What I’d like:

End jail time for small time possession of illegal drugs. Anything less than a few ounces, maybe write the guy a ticket. No more jail time for failure to pay fines. End civil asset forfeiture. No more three strikes laws. Civil penalties for prosecutors who convict the innocent, or do fishing expeditions like the “Jon Doe” investigation in Wisconsin.

That would be a good start.

China seems to be dumping US Treasuries.

Women and minorities are obtaining concealed carry permits – a lot of concealed carry permits. Liberals won’t know what to do about this. As for us – it just means that, in the long run, a lot of women and minorities will eventually be voting conservative.

The guy who killed our Marines here at home spent a lot of time over in the Middle East. Someone please tell me why we allow easy travel between the Middle East and the United States.

Obama’s approval rating is 44.7%. Just keep in mind that it is very hard for a party to out-do it’s President’s approval rating on election day. To depress you, maybe what happens is Trump goes Perot next year and the final result is Hillary, 45%, Walker 42%, Trump 13%.

I actually spent some time reading the Iran deal. It is just terrible, as you suspected. Of course, people can read it different ways…I read it like an Iranian mullah who wants to do whatever he pleases. In that reading Iran…gets to do whatever it pleases. Seriously. 24 day waiting period for inspections. We not only have to lift sanctions, but help Iran gain market share and stamp on any State or local government which doesn’t want to do business with Iran. We have to give them scientific help of the best sort. And we have to obey the “spirit” of the deal – which is undefined. And if there’s a dispute about the implementation of the deal then we have 35 days to see it Iran’s way and if we don’t, then the deal binds us to see it Iran’s way. This isn’t diplomacy – this is Obama helping Iran to become the dominant power of the Middle East and pretending that he’s just making a nuke deal.

We are becoming a nation of cowards.

Hillary ain’t too popular.

From quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends. – Hilaire Belloc