Some Things I Found Interesting Open Thread

Missing the point is a very fine art; and has been carried to something like perfection by politicians and Pressmen to-day. For the point is generally a very sharp point; and is, moreover, sharp at both ends. That is to say that both parties would probably impale themselves in an uncomfortable manner if they did not manage to avoid it altogether. G. K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers and other Essays, 1917

In case you were thinking the dishonesty of our press and politicians was something new.

America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Yeah – and methinks it has only gotten worse.

Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it – we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines – the very structure of our society is dissolving.

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasms of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism. But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

In Islam there has been no such dissolution of ancestral doctrine – or, at any rate, nothing corresponding to the universal break-up of religion in Europe. The whole spiritual strength of Islam is still present in the masses of Syria and Anatolia, of the East Asian mountains, of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa. – Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies, 1938

Our civilization lost it’s religion (Christianity); it substituted patriotism for a while, until that went cold. Then various forms of communism became fashionable and while they still exist, the don’t really call forth any devotion. Islam, however, continues. If you wonder why some children of the West go to join Islam and fight for it, look no further than the fact that we believe in nothing…and Belloc figured this out in 1938, when Islam – as such – was completely decayed and almost entirely under the European thumb. The Muslims believe – you can say they believe wrongly, but they believe…and only those who actually believe in something stronger than Islam will survive.

36 thoughts on “Some Things I Found Interesting Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook April 19, 2015 / 9:48 am

    America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance.

    There’s an old saying, “what one generation tolerates, the next embraces. As shown by the speed with which the same sex marriage argument has been lost, it’s not going to take a generation any more. If it (the radical homosexual agenda) would stop there, I think most people wouldn’t care. I’ve always been a pretty carefree, roll-with-the-punches kind of guy, and I certainly wouldn’t care. I’m not one who believes that 2 people of the same sex getting married in any way devalues the union between myself and my wife. But anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to what’s going on knows that it isn’t going to stop there. Now that a couple thousand year old (at least in the Christian world) definition of marriage has been changed, there’s nothing to stop it from being continually changing to accommodate whatever scenario the Left deems desirable or popular (or tolerable). The Left (Progressives) has even hijacked the word “progress”, which is now taken to mean continual change for change’s sake with total disregard for any unintended consequences. Seriously — how do you lose a word like that? How can someone live in an alternative reality where progress doesn’t mean improvement?

    The entertainment industry is constantly pushing the homosexual lifestyle in our face. On the popular TV show, NCIS New Orleans, this past week the plot revolved around the kidnapping of a baby belonging to two married men, one of whom was a naval officer. TV shows and movies are rife with references to the catastrophic ramifications of climate change. The Left’s apoplectic reaction to Indiana’s RFRA is an indication that the argument is certainly not going to stop with the public acceptance of same sex marriage. Punishing people (think Christians) for not agreeing with Leftist thought will soon become punishing people for not participating in things they find morally repugnant or know are not true (ie combating climate change) as long as Christians remain true to their faith and turn the other cheek. IMO, Christians will be faced with the ultimate dilemma in order to survive: engage in some very un-Christian acts or go underground. Christians have rapidly become the most persecuted group in the rest of the world. Anyone who thinks that won’t come to our shores is naive in the extreme. And the courts aren’t going to step in and save Christians. I hope I won’t be around to see it, because the result will be the new dark ages.

    BTY, Mark. could you re-post your last comment from the previous thread with some context. The comments on that thread are going to be closed soon, if they aren’t already, and that comment dovetails with this discussion.

    • M. Noonan April 19, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Here ya go:

      Not much, to be sure. They are living in their little world – divorced from reality. I’ve decided that I’ll pointedly ignore what the left is saying…its all mindless drivel, anyways…well, that part of it which isn’t a demand that people like us be removed from the public square, that is. But even when we get to that, we all know it. We dig it – the far left feels that it is now time for us on the right to feel the oppression which we allegedly once dealt out. That we who are on the right, today, never dealt out any oppression doesn’t matter. A little while ago Dave Burge (@iowahawkblog) Tweeted the story of the 12 Christians who were thrown overboard to drown by Muslims…one of the friendly, loving, little SJWs Tweeted back, “how does it feel to be a minority, Christians?”. Now, to be sure, not all leftists are like that – but I don’t count on a one of them to actually fight to defend us. They are like the Old Bolsheviks in 1929…sure that Comrade Stalin would never turn on them. They forget that those with a hankering to oppress never stop unless someone forcibly stops them. Each one of our SJWs will eventually run afoul of their own SJWs…and if they have managed to eliminate us, they’re going to find the going rather rough.

      These days I’m only interested in our chances – which I think are vastly better than the Conventional Wisdom states…but, then again, not nearly as good as they should be. The Left has managed to make vast numbers of people dependent and anyone who thinks they won’t get illegals to stuff ballot boxes is nuts. We’ll see how it comes out – but I think the wheel is about to turn in our favor in a rather decisive manner. But, even if it doesn’t, we still win in the long run – because if the left wins, they’ll destroy the tattered remains of our civilization and it will be us who rebuild it…just as we have many times in the past.

      • Retired Spook April 20, 2015 / 7:38 am

        its all mindless drivel, anyways…well, that part of it which isn’t a demand that people like us be removed from the public square

        See, I think that part is mindless drivel as well. Any kook Leftist who advocates punishing, prosecuting, imprisoning and killing people who disagree with them is about as mindless as you can get. And in the last couple years there have been a number of Lefties who advocated such things. But it does reflect the thinking of the founders in that they realized that an armed citizenry was the only defense against such evil. If both sides were equally armed, or if those who would used the heavy hand of government to force their adversaries to kowtow to their wishes could count on law enforcement and the military to back them up, I might be worried, but those are two BIG if’s.

        Your last point that we will either win or we will be the ones who pick up the pieces is spot on, IMO. The Left itself has inadvertently made that argument for us. Most Conservatives believe that Reagan defeated the Soviet Union while the view of many on the Left was the the Soviet Union would have imploded on its own without Reagan’s policies. I think Progressivism will probably implode on its own, but the damage that will be done to civilization if we just sit back and wait is incalculable.

  2. Retired Spook April 19, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    Every once in a while push back comes from an unlikely place.

    • Cluster April 19, 2015 / 6:59 pm

      Skepticism is indeed the definition of science, not consensus.

  3. Retired Spook April 19, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    More push back from the Sunday comics page. Maybe there’s hope yet for civilization.

  4. tiredoflibbs April 19, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    What I have seen with our current crop of progressives is the old Stalin observation:
    “If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes the truth”.

    What we have seen time and again with this administration and the low information drones is exactly that. From the Bush/Gore election, the Iraq war, the collapse of the housing market and the several scandals of this administration (if it were a Republican administration the left would demand for impeachment at the revelation of each and every of them). Instead, what we get is the constant regurgitation of these lies.

    As an example, the founding documents shows that this country was founded with the belief that freedom and inalienable rights comes from God and each and every human being is born with these. The left will point out that God is not mentioned in the Constitution which is true, but they CONVENIENTLY forget (missing the point) that this is explicitly stated in the Declaration of Independence. And yes, the Declaration of Independence is a founding document (again missing the point). These revisionists love to ignore that fact since it does not fit their ideology and blows their arguments out of the water.

    • Cluster April 19, 2015 / 8:25 pm

      Remember, this is a party and ideology that barely passed a voice vote on the inclusion of God into their platform. If it wasn’t bad enough already that they actually had to take the vote.

  5. Shawny Lee April 20, 2015 / 6:31 am

    Now, I’m a Christian and a Patriot but I don’t necessarily believe that one has to be either to know what most were taught by their parents, reinforced by our schools and churches. When did we as a culture turn away from teaching right from wrong, conducting ourselves honorably and responsibly, treating others as we would want to be treated? These weren’t just conservative values they also belonged to liberals in this lifetime, well, what used to be liberals anyway, not the “progressive’s” and RINO’s parading as Democrats these days getting all the airtime, but the centrist majority of responsible, caring, hard-working, moral Americans? Are they still the “silent majority”being bombarded on a daily basis by small minorities who for some reason have been given the floor, a microphone and more rights? Why do folks who identify themselves entirely by their sexual preferences even have a platform in our society? Why is an ignorant race hustler like Sharpton a paid news consultant when even the blacks disown him? How, as a culture, did we allow “women’s rights” to include murdering children in the womb but not the right to spank or home-school them? I think we still do have common ground we had better find fast, but more than that, some decency and common sense.

  6. Retired Spook April 20, 2015 / 11:19 pm

    I’ve thought for some time now that our Progressive adversaries are led by some truly evil people. That was never more evident than in the facts that are beginning to come out about the John Doe investigations against Scott Walker and his supporters in Wisconsin. I’m generally a pretty mellow guy, but I can’t remember an article in recent memory that enraged me as much as this one. I don’t think it’s going to be enough to merely defeat these SOBs at the polls. They need to be shoveled off into the dustbin of history.

    • M. Noonan April 21, 2015 / 12:05 am

      The John Doe stuff is what the left wants to do to us – but what most of our lefties don’t understand is that it will be used against them, as well. “First they came for the Jews…”. A very few liberals are starting to figure this out…when we get to the point where clapping is considered a “trigger” because the most fanatical stupid moron in the room thinks it is, then everyone should sit up and take notice. The left is building a world where whomever claims to be the most offended wins – and gets to oppress everyone else.

      But John Doe also goes to the heart of my little program – de-fund the left. Of course go after the public sector unions, but also end tax exempt status for all PACs. Yes, that will adversely affect us, we well, but more so the left…very narrowly define what a charity is (and I’d have it that at least 80% of the funds expended must be for food, clothing, housing, medical care/research, psychological counseling, rehab) and just crush the ability of the left to use vast sums of unaccounted money to further their cause. Terminate the student loan program (sold as a bit of debt relief for the kids crushed under student loans). Change the tax code so that rich-person “foundations” which provide bags of money for leftwing causes are no longer fiscally viable. The left says they want to get money out of politics – well, so do I, but for real. The only political money which can be spent is money donated directly to a candidate or a party, and the candidates and parties must immediately disclose where every cent came from or face 20 years in jail for the candidate/party leader. I don’t care if Soros donates a billion to the DNC – as long as we know about it and can tell the American people who is buying the Democrat party, it’s all good…and, yes, turn about is fair play against us on that (and I’d rather we didn’t get any of our money from well heeled donors, anyways…the middle and working classes have collectively more money anyways and I want them to be the back bone of our party.

    • Cluster April 21, 2015 / 8:02 am

      The left is at war with traditional conservative Americans, and I think a lot of people are figuring that out. As someone said the other day – “We don’t have a problem with intolerance. We have a problem with tolerance.” – and that is exactly right. The left is using tolerance as a club to beat those they oppose into submitting to their world view. The militant left, which now dominates the Democratic Party, has abandoned any semblance of debating the issues in favor of going straight up Alinsky on everyone by attacking their character and motives. They have become so intolerant, in the name of tolerance, that engaging them in debate is pointless. We must now win, and win at all cost. Fortunately, the conservative victories over the last couple of years at the city, county and state levels proves that the majority of this country are traditional conservative Americans. And seeing how vacuous and deficient Hillary’s campaign is already, prepare yourselves for the gender and class cards to be played very aggressively by the left.

      • M. Noonan April 22, 2015 / 12:07 am

        I do believe the collapse of the Democrat party at the State level is a sign post to the future – people will put up with a lot and people are rather comfortable with some form of the Welfare State…but people are not at all ready for the hard left utopia the left wants to usher in. The difference can be seen in this – reasonable pro-choice people are ok with a ban on abortion after 20 weeks…our far left fanatics won’t even go for a bill which criminalizes the murder of an unborn infant the mother wished to keep.

        Our trouble is how to get the average, LIV to know what the left is really up to? The expose of Wisconsin’s horrific “John Doe” investigation is a good step in the right direction, but our real task is to let the people know the full story. Getting them to understand that the left doesn’t want tolerance, but wants an outright ban against everyone they disagree with…

      • Cluster April 22, 2015 / 8:00 am

        people will put up with a lot and people are rather comfortable with some form of the Welfare State…but people are not at all ready for the hard left utopia the left wants to usher in.

        That is spot on.

        Our trouble is how to get the average, LIV to know what the left is really up to?

        This I disagree with to some extent. I believe it is more important to articulate conservative principles and how conservatism can positively impact LIV’s lives – think: Reagan. We need an affable, articulate conservative who is quick on their feet with a good sense of humor to swat away the leftist media flies – and I still think Rubio will grow into that role very well

      • M. Noonan April 22, 2015 / 11:33 am

        I think we’re saying the same thing to different ways – at bottom, it is a communication issue. If people really knew what Obama – and Hillary! – are like, we’d have an electoral revolution in 2016…I’m talking landslide win for President and only about 80 House Democrats surviving. We won’t get that – the Wall of Bull is too high right now. But with effective communication, we can at least win.

      • Cluster April 22, 2015 / 4:38 pm

        “The Democratic Party is not unified right now. It’s coming apart, you can see it, it’s devolving. And so everybody – it’s every man for himself, every politician for themselves right now.”

        Chris Matthews finally says something I agree with. The Democratic Party is controlled now by the militant left and they have shrunk that party to an embarrassing level whereas the GOP has abundance of young talent including the youngest woman ever elected to the House.

      • Retired Spook April 22, 2015 / 7:39 am

        I was in error in my previous post about there being more GOP governors than at any time since the 1920’s. In 1929 they had 32, and they’ve also had 32 on two other occasions including as recently as the late 90’s. But the pendulum has definitely swung as evidenced by this Washington Post article. I guess we kind of have Obama to thank, which makes the political shift all the more sweet.

        The dominance of the GOP at the state level is, as you note, a key factor, especially if nullification is going to be a tactic to fight federal over reach. Enough states may eventually agree to hold an Article V Convention to amend the Constitution, although I’m not as much a believer in that process as I was a year or two ago. Except for a balanced budget amendment and term limits, most other proposed amendments are nothing more than a response to the federal government exceeding it constitutional authority, which, if you think about it, is really stupid. But, if and until an Article V convention happens, nullification is a powerful and legal tool. Republican controlled legislatures just need to get past the idiotic mentality that they need to obey unconstitutional federal mandates and regulations or lose “Federal” money. Once they start to figure out ways to not send money to the federal government in the first place, the immense power and control exerted at the federal level will begin to roll back.

      • Cluster April 22, 2015 / 10:19 am

        Under the YCMTSU category – Obama is traveling to Florida today to speak on the rising sea levels:

        On Wednesday, Obama hopes to underscore how rising sea levels — an effect of a warmer planet — could wreak havoc on Florida’s multi-billion-dollar tourism economy

        Yet just 7 years ago he proclaimed:

        ….this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal

        Is this just another failure on his part? Or could this be part of a broader progressive agenda to expand the reach and financial coffers of a centralized bureaucracy? Hmmmmmmm …..

      • M. Noonan April 22, 2015 / 11:32 am

        It is Federal money, though, which erodes the powers of the States…the answer to this is to block grant the money to the States with minimal strings attached. You know, if we give Arizona $1 billion for highways, as long as the audit shows it was used for highways, we don’t care how it was particularly used…these days, to get federal money for roads, schools and such the States have to import all sorts of liberal nonsense dreamed up in DC.

  7. Retired Spook April 21, 2015 / 9:28 am

    Sooner or later the Left’s tactics of extortion and intimidation are going to stop working as more an more individual Conservatives stand up to them, and more and more states defy unconstitutional federal mandates and regulations, and the only thing they’ll have left is violence. That’s when things are going to get interesting. It speaks well to the character of Conservatives that we’ve kept our powder dry through everything so far, but there are forces on the Left that are watching their political power slip away at every level of government and growing impatient. You can see it in the language of Leftist websites and letters to the editor.

    The Left dominates the educational system and the judicial system, and yet they’re losing ground, and actually losing it pretty fast. Since Obama was inaugurated Republicans have net gains in state legislatures of approximately 900 seats, a gain in the U,S, House of Representatives of around 70, a gain of 13 in the U.S. Senate, and more states (31) are led by Republican governors than at any time since the 1920’s, including the dark blue states of Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois. And it’s primarily because no one on the Left can articulate that their goal is to expand freedom and prosperity, because it isn’t. They don’t even attempt to lie anymore that that is their goal. Their rhetoric is couched in terms like “fairness”, “equality” and “entitlement”, never in terms like “honor”, “character”, “entrepreneurism”, “rugged individualism”, “self-reliance”, “integrity”, and “charity”. The yearning for freedom is an inherent part of the human spirit, and nowhere in the world is that more true than in America. No amount of judicial activism and educational brainwashing can overcome that.

    • Cluster April 21, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      I wonder if anyone actually wants Hillary as their “champion”. And what a pathetic frame of mind to have to believe that you need someone in government to be your “champion”. Sad, sad, sad.

  8. Retired Spook April 21, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Brandon Smith’s latest installment in his series on global finance and economics is timely to our discussion.

  9. Retired Spook April 21, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    This is the lady who wants to save the middle class? Right!!!!

    • The Return of Rathaven April 23, 2015 / 7:27 pm

      I think she actually said, “I want to save the middle-finger for the middle-class.”

      • M. Noonan April 23, 2015 / 10:06 pm


  10. Retired Spook April 23, 2015 / 7:46 am

    It appears the Greek debt crisis may finally be coming to a head. It’s clear from the linked article that stupidity really knows no bounds in today’s upside-down world.

    The Greek crisis is moving toward a climax.

    The issue is actually quite simple. (is that why you say at the beginning of the next paragraph that it’s “more complex”?

    The Greek government owes a great deal of money to European institutions and the International Monetary Fund. (owe, shmow, they’ve already proved they can keep the charade going almost indefinitely)

    It has accumulated this debt over time, but it has become increasingly difficult for Greece to meet its payments. (yeah, when you’re a nation of deadbeat entitlementarian, tax cheats, that’s just gonna happen)

    If Greece doesn’t meet these payments, the IMF and European institutions have said they will not extend any more loans to Greece. (yeah, but everyone knows they will)

    Greece must make a calculation. If it pays the loans on time and receives additional funding, will it be better off than not paying the loans and being cut off from more? (I know some parents who have tried that with their irresponsible kids. It’s called tough love — sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t)

    Obviously, the question is more complex (No, you said at the beginning that it’s “actually quite simple”)

    It is not clear that if the Greeks refuse to pay, they will be cut off from further loans. (see, that’s what I said)

    First, the other side might be bluffing, as it has in the past. (only for 3 years — cut them some slack)

    Second, if they do pay the next round, and they do get the next tranche of funding, is this simply kicking the can down the road? (we’ve kicked the can down the road to the tune of $18 trillion since 1980. Come on Greece — if we can do it, you can do it)

    Does it solve Greece’s underlying problem, which is that its debt structure is unsustainable? In a world that contains Argentina and American Airlines, we have learned that bankruptcy and lack of access to credit markets do not necessarily go hand in hand. (yeah, who knows? Maybe they’ll just continue to defy the laws of economics indefinitely — until they don’t.)

    There’s a lot more, but I think you get the point.

  11. Retired Spook April 23, 2015 / 1:27 pm

    Looks like the Clintons’ web of deceit is beginning to unravel. What poetic justice that the NYT is the instrument of their destruction.

    • Cluster April 23, 2015 / 3:43 pm

      The progressive “pile on” is fun to watch. Of course a not so hidden secret is that the Democrats and the Media are not exactly big Hillary fans. My prediction – it’s going to be an O’Malley/Warren ticket

      • Retired Spook April 23, 2015 / 5:26 pm

        It is gratifying to see Democrats eat their own, and especially when it involves two of the worst grifters to ever occupy the White House. I was beginning to think Republicans had a monopoly on that.

        I’d love to see an O’Malley/Warren ticket. O’Malley left Maryland in such bad economic shape that his Lt. Governor was promptly defeated by Republican Larry Hogan. In 2013 Maryland ranked 49th in economic growth.

      • Cluster April 23, 2015 / 6:00 pm

        O’Malley and Warren are two bona fide communists, so I too would like to see that ticket. And remember, results have never mattered to progressives. It’s the intent.

      • M. Noonan April 23, 2015 / 10:07 pm

        We’ll see – there will have to be a woman on the Democrat 2016…and if it isn’t Hillary, Warren is pretty much all there is. But I’m still counting on Democrats falling in line…but I’ve heard whispers that some smart Democrats are realizing that Hillary is a loser.

    • M. Noonan April 23, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      The liberal defense is now that since the NYT’s hasn’t found a memo from Hillary ordering the approval of the deal because she got a bribe, it therefor didn’t happen…they are getting desperate.

      • Retired Spook April 23, 2015 / 10:31 pm

        In a criminal trial it’s called “reasonable doubt”. There is so much reasonable doubt about the extracurricular activities of the Clintons that some in the media are beginning to throw around the acronym “RICO”, and refer to the Clinton Family Foundation as the Clinton Crime Family Foundation. With only a 15% pass through to charity, their claims of helping people all around the world are just so much hot air. I just don’t see how they survive this, not if there’s an ounce of justice in this world.

      • M. Noonan April 23, 2015 / 11:16 pm

        You’re right, they shouldn’t – but, in my view, until we get a GOP President and Attorney General who will ruthlessly prosecute political corruption it will go on

      • Cluster April 24, 2015 / 8:11 am

        The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. And of course their is no evidence – the server has been wiped clean. This is as corrupt as it gets.

      • Mark Moser April 24, 2015 / 8:34 am

        Perhaps, it’s time for another John Doe investigation targeting the Clintons. How can we get them to move to Wisconsin? Any bets on their faring as well as Walker did under such scrutiny?

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