Relentlessly Refusing to Understand Dallas, Or Anything Else

…the whole modern world, or at any rate the whole modern Press, has a perpetual and consuming terror of plain morals. Men always attempt to avoid condemning a thing upon merely moral grounds. If I beat my grandmother to death tomorrow in the middle of Battersea Park, you may be perfectly certain that people will say anything about it except the single and fairly obvious fact: it is wrong. Some will call it insane; that is, will accuse it of deficiency of intelligence. This is not necessarily true at all. You could not tell whether the act was unintelligent or not unless you knew my grandmother. Some will call it vulgar, disgusting, and the rest of it; that is, they will accuse it of a lack of manners. Perhaps it does show a lack of manners; but this is scarcely its most serious disadvantage. Others will talk about the loathsome spectacle and the revolting scene; that is, they will accuse it of deficiency of art, or aesthetic beauty. This again depends on the circumstances: in order to be quite certain that the appearance of the old lady has definitely deteriorated under the process of being beaten to death, it is necessary for the philosophical critic to be quite certain how ugly she was before. Another school of thinkers say that the action is lacking in efficiency: that it is an uneconomic waste of a good grandmother. But that could only depend on the value, which is again an individual matter. The only real point that is worth mentioning is that the action is wicked, because your grandmother has a right not to be beaten to death. But of this simple moral explanation modern journalism has, as I say, a standing fear. It will call the action anything else – mad, bestial, vulgar, idiotic, rather than call it sinful. – G. K. Chesterton, “All Things Considered”, 1908

Now, ask yourself – has anyone in the MSM called the actions of the Dallas shooter immoral? The main thing that the man did was murder – which is a sin. It doesn’t, in the largest sense, matter why he did it – what he did was wrong. Immoral. Sinful. The only time we really care why a man murders is when we’re putting him on trial and even then it is only so that we can establish, as a matter of fact, that he did sin. Far more important than understanding the often twisted motives of those who sin is to call an immoral action wrong. Start making the motivation your primary concern and before too long what you’re doing is finding ways to excuse the sin. Our primary focus here should be to proclaim very loudly and firmly that what the man did was wrong; that no one should ever do such a thing; that there is never the slightest justification for sinning. Period. Full stop.

But, we don’t do that – and, as you can see from the date of the quote, we haven’t done it for quite a while. We’re very far down the road of trying to understand why a sinner sins, and thus we’re very far down the road to pretty much finding an excuse for every sin that comes along. If we were a moral people then what would be flustering us is not that Hillary wasn’t indicted, but that she lied (a sin, you see?) and isn’t sorry for it. True, she should be indicted but that is hardly the point – she should feel ashamed. Everyone who has been boosting her chances for the Presidency should also feel ashamed (and betrayed). We shouldn’t be talking about whether or not the prosecutor blew the case, but why the issue had to go beyond the moment we discovered (and this was quite a long while back) that Hillary had deliberately lied.

Until we start being a people who call a sin a sin, and who start to feel shame when we sin, or see others sin, then we’ll never get back to being a people who can make rational choices. We’ll just keep on going down this route – our leaders will become ever more corrupt; horrible murders and other crimes will pile up; our people will become more hate-filled, depressed and bewildered…and all because we won’t just starting saying about wrong things, “hey, that’s wrong”.

The Gun Debate – Open Thread

Obama and Progressives are calling for “sensible gun laws” as if that is the problem. They continue to demonize the NRA as if that is the problem. They continue to conflate radical Islamists with the isolated deranged American criminal, as if that is a moral equivalency. And they dare not speak one word of condemnation toward inner city gang violence, nor judge those who perpetrate those crimes for fear of constituency backlash. In summary, Obama and Progressives are not at all addressing the actual problem, which is typical, hence the absolute mess we find ourselves in. In short, we have to stop listening to Progressives.

The problems we face in this country and in this world are due to the absence of well armed, law abiding, decent people, not the presence of them. On the world stage, the problem is that the Radical Islamic Jihadists are better armed, more focused, and more brutal than those who want a peaceful existence. The Kurds need more weapons, the peaceful Sunni’s and Shiite’s need more weapons, and countries like Jordan and the UAE need more forceful support. We need more weapons to confront and defeat the Islamists, not less. And we need to be more brutal. This is not a war where you take prisoners. This is a war where you kill as many of them as you possibly can until they realize that they can not win. You want to close Gitmo? Fine. Put a bullet in the head of the remaining prisoners and burn the place to the ground. Case closed.

Domestically, we need more weapons in the hands of law abiding Americans so that they can protect themselves from the deranged gun man, or from the increasing threat of radicalized Muslims. And we need to clean out the cesspools of our inner cities and give those people hope of a better future. Make sure that children have a stable home with two parents, make sure they have school choice and a good education, make sure they have clean and decent housing, make sure they are not living in a drug and gang infested neighborhood, and make sure they have the opportunity for a good paying job and the opportunity to lift themselves up. And these are conservative ideals, not progressive ideals, and that is why Governorships and State Legislatures have increasingly gone conservative in the last 8 years, and that is why the White House will be conservative in January 2017.

Ending World War Two

August 6th was the 70th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima and there was a lot of the usual hand-wringing about the deed from the usual suspects – Arthur K over at Ace has a good round up of counter-arguments to that sentiment. Most notably the fact that those who complain about the bombing aren’t those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who would have had to invade Japan in November of 1945 if the Bomb hadn’t done the trick. I admit to a bias in this area as one of the Marines who would have had to hit the Japanese beaches was my father. There is a high probability that I wouldn’t exist if the Bomb hadn’t been dropped.

People also tend to just not know how savage the Pacific War was. I recently for the first time watched Flags of Our Fathers. It was a bit of a disjointed movie and I won’t put it down as one of Eastwood’s best efforts, but there is a scene in there which moved me nearly to tears. It is when the son of one of the Marines who raise the flag on Suribachi is talking to his aged, now-dying father in the hospital. It reminded me terribly of the last few days I had my father with me. As the story goes, that son never really knew what his father had done in World War Two – he only really found out by going through his father’s things after he died. I never even got that much.

My father never told me about the war. The only thing I ever got out of him was, “it smelled like blood and shit”. His battle was Saipan. Nearly 14,000 American casualties, including more than 3,400 dead – in less than a month of fighting. Japanese dead ran above 50,000, including around 20,000 civilian dead, many of whom committed suicide rather than fall into our hands, because the Japanese military told them we’d murder them all if captured. That is more than 53,000 dead in less than a month in an area less than 45 square miles. Just try, for a moment, to imagine what the place looked like on July 9th, 1944 when the island was declared secure. There must have been bodies just everywhere – and as it was war, the bodies would have been in quite a horrible state. Even if dad didn’t have to engage in hand-to-hand fighting, what his 17 year old eyes must have seen had to have been grim beyond description. Six months prior he was a high school boy living the sheltered life of the United States. And he carried that with him for 65 years. I wondered why he was so distant at times. But I think, now, I understand.

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Being Clear on Religious Liberty

Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) which is fundamentally the same as the federal RFRA and the RFRA’s in force in 19 other States – and liberals went ballistic. Given the rapidity with which the outrage spread, I can only presume that it was all orchestrated – liberals, at any rate, not being given to doing anything until they are so ordered by the liberal leadership (no liberal wants to get out in front just in case the Party Line turns out to be different from personal opinion). As to why it was orchestrated – I figure that the left is trying to gin up its base for 2016 and this is just the start of it, and as Democrats have zero chance of winning Indiana in 2016, it makes the perfect target for liberal slander and hatred. Expect more and more of this sort of manufactured outrage as time goes on – Hillary’s only chance (other than the GOP nominating Jeb) being people upset over nothing rather than paying attention to what is happening.

Still, there is an actual issue here. Liberals are attempting to frame it as a replay of Jim Crow – the RFRA, it is alleged, will allow a “straights only” lunch counter and this will be a horrific violation of homosexual rights. The truth, of course, is completely different. The purpose of RFRA is not to harm anyone, but to protect the rights of a minority – in this case, a religious minority (orthodox Christians). Jim Crow was different – that was laws which required the treatment of non-whites as second class citizens by all and sundry. RFRA is just a way out if someone tries to get someone to do something in violation of their deeply held religious beliefs. It would not allow me, if I were a baker, to refuse to serve homosexual customers – it does excuse me from participating in a same-sex wedding by making the cake which will be consumed at that wedding. If I were a baker – and being that I am Catholic – you could get just about anything you want form me…but you couldn’t get a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. There are other sorts of confections you couldn’t get from me, as well…I probably would not want to bake a cake which, say, proclaimed some dogma of Christian Science. You just want a cake – you got it; you want a cake which requires me to sin: it ain’t happening.

And that is all RFRA does – it allows me to not do something for you. If I am not doing something for you then I am also not doing anything to you. I am not violating your rights by not providing a service. In fact, if you were able to compel me to do something for you, then not only would you likely be violating my religious beliefs, but you’d also be forcing me into involuntary servitude…and slavery is explicitly prohibited in our Constitution.

I would never dream of asking someone to do something against their conscience. I’d never ask a pacifist to serve in the army. I’d never ask a Jew to provide me a ham sandwich. I’d never ask a Muslim to sell me some wine. It is just plain and simple courtesy that I do this – it would be the height of arrogant oppression if I were to demand that everyone do for me as I wish. We do live in a pluralist society – in the United States there really are all kinds of people and the only way such a society works is if everyone respects everyone else. Doing it any other way just leads to anarchy, oppression, a disintegration of the ties that bind and a risk of complete societal breakdown.

Live and let live – wise words to live by.

It’s The Lies, Stupid

A quote from Theodore Dalrymple via Mark Steyn via Ace of Spades:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control…

At the end of the day, it isn’t my business if someone wants to believe or speak lies. I am not the world’s truth enforcer. Lies, for the most part, are pretty easily discerned once a person takes a little time to think about them. If someone is so intellectually lazy that they won’t take the time to figure out if something is true or false, it isn’t up to me to do anything specific about it. My duty starts and ends with merely trying to tell the truth as best I can determine. The problem comes in with what Dalrymple is talking about: the social enforcement of lies. Anyone trying to compel me – or anyone else – to lie is very much my business.

Our people on the left, of course, live on lies – their who worldview is based upon a set of falsehoods and only via falsehoods can they advance their cause. The problem we all have is that our leftists don’t just leave it at that – they insist we all join in their lies and affirm them positively in the public square. If I won’t say that affirmative action is continually needed in the United States to correct the inherently racist nature of American society, then I am a racist – I’m evil and have to be shut up and shut out of the debate. I can only enter the debate if I subscribe in advance to a falsehood – that America is an inherently racist society. It is a long list of lies that the left insists upon, as well: everything from “only white people can be racists” to “there’s a wage gap between men and women due to sexism” and a thousand things in between must be agreed to, or I’m out. If you ever wonder why our leftists are so strident against us it is because of this refusal to join in their lies…our refusal marks us out, in their minds, as evil…and you don’t sit down and chat with evil, now do you? Additionally, of course, if the lies are exposed for what they are, then the left as a political force is finished for good.

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Hitler and Stalin

The History Channel is about to premier a new documentary series about the World Wars and the hook seems to be how the one effected the other, especially the leaders.  The ad campaign is starting to cause some grief in how they portray Hitler and Stalin.  For Hitler, the tag lines are “World War 1: Made him a madman; World War 2; Made him a monster”, while for Stalin it is “World War 1: Made him a man; World War 2; Made him a tyrant”. People are correctly pointing out that Hitler was a monster – and Stalin a tyrant – long before World War Two came along.

I don’t want to pre-judge the History Channel show – it might be good; I was intrigued when I saw an ad for it tonight – but it is clear that, as per usual for documentaries, it won’t get it exactly right.  This is because film documentaries can’t get it right – time constraints prevent a full airing of all relevant facts, even when the documentary maker is determined to be as truthful as possible.  To really explain Stalin and Hitler would take many hundreds of pages of closely typed information and to fully understand, the reader would already have to be familiar with a great deal of history leading up to their era.  Most people simply lack this – and always will.  Except for people with a genuine love for history, it just gets tedious (after all, who is going to want to get into the life stories of Georg Ritter von Schonerer and Victor Adler? Well, if you want to understand Hitler fully, you kinda have to – and then understand the complete intellectual collapse which was represented by Schonerer and Adler – who got together at one point to hammer out a social reform program only to go their separate ways…Schonerer to be the grandfather of Nazi Pan-Germanism and anti-Semitism, Adler to be the founder of the Austrian Social-Democrat Party…with the added kicker that Adler was Jewish). It is, in short, hard to nutshell people like Hitler and Stalin.  And just about impossible to do a proper study of the men in a television documentary.

And, so, if anyone is expecting the History Channel’s new show to really provide insight into such men, you are doing to be disappointed, even if the actual show itself is interesting and, at points, informative.  But there is a real danger in taking such people in a superficial manner as it can lead to gross misunderstanding of how they came about.  Remember, while people can look back in horror upon them, it must not be forgotten that at one point tens of millions of people followed them…and, especially in the case of Hitler, followed them with extreme devotion.  People really believed – and while we can comfort ourselves by asserting (correctly) that such people were tricked by scoundrels, we still have to think about just why they were tricked.

There are pat answers, of course – all of them sharing the basic fact that they are wrong. In the case of Stalin, the general line goes that he hijacked Leninism and fooled people into thinking he was the proper heir of the great man. For Hitler, it is asserted that he nursed German national pride which as bruised after the German defeat in World War Two – and both men selected enemies whom the people could hate with wild abandon (Hitler and the Jews, of course; but Stalin and the Kulaks, as well). There is some truth in that, but not even close to the actuality. The more important thing I’ve discovered, from my very extensive reading and long reflection, is that both men got on because the people they tricked had nothing else they actually believed in.

This, to me, is the key to understanding all the horrors we have subjected ourselves to this past 100 years.  Most of us believe nothing, and so believe anything that comes down the pike.  Solzhenitsyn put it neatly when he said the problem of the 20th century is that we had forgot about God.  Not having anything real to repose our trust in, we have given our trust to one charlatan after another.  Not all of us, of course – a few have had the saving grace of believing in something and thus keeping a clear eye.  Of course, a great deal of precisely such people were mown down in the death camps of Hitler and Stalin.

People like Hitler and Stalin, like all good con artists, insert into unbelief something to believe in.  Something which seems neat, logical and covering all bases.  These two men used terror as a means of reinforcing their deceptions, but terror wasn’t needed all the time – and in Hitler’s case, was hardly needed at all, in the sense that most Germans weren’t terrified by the Hitler regime, but delighted with it (unlike Stalin’s, Russia, in Hitler’s Germany people could come and go pretty much as they pleased – Stalin dared not let anyone out, while Hitler was certain that any Germans he allowed to travel out of Germany would come happily come back…in the end, Hitler was the more astute liar than Stalin). But Hitler and Stalin weren’t alone – and they have their legion of successors in the modern world.  People who give people lies to place where faith in God should be.

We can solemnly intone “never again” about the horrors of Stalin and Hitler, but unless we start to believe, in overwhelming majority, in something that is true, we’ll continue to be hoodwinked in large and small matters…and the rise of another megalomaniac mass-murderer is going to remain just around the corner.


The Death of Civilization

Here’s how they die, at least in the modern, internet era:  pitching romantic vacations in the hopes that someone might wind up pregnant:

Denmark has a lot of things going for it. Last year, the UN’s World Happiness Report crowned it the globe’s happiest country, citing the nation’s commitment to maternity leave, gender equality, biking, and drinking lots of wine when it’s cold outside.

Its economy is also tops, chugging out $211 billion in annual GDP despite its relatively small population of 5.6 million. Economic inequality? Not a problem. Income distributes more evenly there than most places.

But Denmark has a sex problem. (Re-evaluating that happiness ranking already?)

Well, it’s not exactly a sex problem, per se. It’s more like a baby problem. According to government statistics, Denmark posted a birth rate of 10 per 1,000 residents in 2013 — its lowest in decades. The nation’s birthrate was  9.9 in 1983…

And, so, a travel agency has worked a “Do It For Denmark” campaign – at the link you can view the mildly NSFW ad pitch.  Its all very cute and funny, but it also reveals the underlying problem.  For all our wealth and for all our civilizational obsession with sex, we ain’t having kids.  And here’s the problem – if a people doesn’t create new people, it dies.  Funny how that works, huh?

We have no stigma attached to shacking up without marriage.  No one would dare call a child born out of wedlock a bastard.  Our popular culture is saturated with sexual references.  We have a “hook up” culture among our young which appears to hold that sexual activity is just part of a movie/dinner date night.  Everyone is encouraged to have as much sex as possible…and yet birth rates around the world have cratered.  Often to the point where some nations are already losing population year by year.  What gives?

For most people it would all be a great mystery.  It won’t be for some – those of us who either back when already knew or who have discovered the truth: when you separate sex out from its marital and procreative functions (via pre-marital sex and various forms of birth control, plus abortion) you will get lots more sex, but you won’t get sex which has any actual purpose in life…and you’ll also get people who have grown to believe that sex is just a thing of itself, having no purpose beyond the actual sex act.  And then you’ll get cratering birth rates, welfare States in trouble (all welfare States are built upon the requirement of a steadily increasing population) and absurd ad campaigns to convince people to have sex with a purpose.

As I’ve said elsewhere, this is just the end of a civilization – a dying, liberal civilization which proposed to make everything just great for everyone as soon as we cast off all the burdens of the old, Judeo-Christian civilization.  Well, with abortion on demand, same-sex marriage and, now, human bodies being burned for fuel, I think we can say that the very last shreds of the old civilization have been cast off.  This is now the liberal civilization long dreamed of.  Here it is.  Do you like it?  Well, don’t get too used to it – its already dead.  It’ll be replaced – by a Judeo-Christian civilization…where people will not only know how to have sex, but will know what it’s for without having to be prompted by a slick ad campaign.