The View From 1776

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Monday, January 31, 2005

Good Conduct Comes from a Moral Code, Not Regulations

Huge numbers of regulations signify a breakdown in society, not a means of improvement.

Peter Jones’s Ancient and Modern, in the January 29th issue of The Spectator (UK), amplifies the point made in What, Not How.  In that posting, I wrote:

“Historically, education was conceived as a process of character formation.  Today in the United States it’s a cross between trade school and Socialist Youth indoctrination.  The end product is a confused mush of “self esteem” with little solid content.

“Character formation was the foundation of western civilization, first articulated by the Jews, then by the Greeks.  The bible’s Old Testament is a chronicle of God-given laws, standards, and traditions, with prophets continually instructing the Jews to return to God’s path.  Plato said that Homer was the teacher of the Greeks.

“In practical terms what this meant was that education was a process of preserving and passing along the traditions and virtues of society.  Job remained steadfast in his love of God, despite seemingly unjust treatment.  Daniel’s companions survived the fiery furnace and Daniel escaped unharmed from the lion’s den, because they remained true to God and refused to worship false gods.  Greek heroes in the Iliad display all too human and petty character flaws, but nonetheless take the battlefield to fight for their comrades and their city state….....

“The Constitution was deliberately structured to effect a balance between maximum personal freedom and sufficient power to protect citizens from domestic outlaws and foreign enemies.  But it created a government of defined and limited powers. 

“For such a government to succeed, individual citizens had to be self-restrained by personal morality.”

In contrast, an essential aspect of liberal-socialism is its obsession with regulating every aspect of economic and social activity.  Individuals have no meaning outside the web of political-state directives, nor are individuals believed to be capable of doing the right thing or of caring for themselves on their own.  Liberal intellectuals both tell us the latest definitions of social justice, and devise the educational, regulatory, and judicial means to impose them upon us.

Prophesy from the Bottom of Chappaquiddick Bay

Teddy’s still underwater and unreformed.

Power Line’s A word from the president seconds Condolences to Teddy Kennedy.

HINDROCKET adds:  Ted Kennedy issued a statement today, too.  The election was a disaster for Kennedy and his fellow defeatists, so Kennedy says that President Bush “must look beyond the election.”  Yes, the sooner everyone forgets the triumph that today’s election repressents, the better!  The complete text of Kennedy’s statement doesn’t seem to be available online, but this much is quoted in the linked article:
The best way to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we have no long-term designs on their country is for the administration to withdraw some troops now and to begin to negotiate a phase-down of our long-term military presence.

Actually, most Iraqis are not as dim-witted as Kennedy, and they figured out long ago that we have no “long-term designs on their country.”  Most Iraqis want exactly what President Bush and most Americans want: for our troops to leave as soon as reasonably possibe, but not prematurely so as to compromise security.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Democratic Party “Values” on Display

Power Line, in Democrats Debate Democracy, offers us a glimpse into the motivations of liberal-socialists whose support leaves sad specimens like Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry in the United States Senate.

A new research site

The Modern History Project has an extensive database of articles and background information about people and ideas that have shaped our present-day world.

The editors have been kind enough to include among their reference sources a link to THE VIEW FROM 1776.

To find a permanent link to this site, click the Links tab (above), then click The Modern History Project link at the top of the list.

Condolences to Teddy Kennedy

Poor Teddy: as bad a prophet as swimmer and diver at Chappaquiddick.

There’s no joy in Beantown tonight.  Plus, more business for the California and Palm Beach shrinks, as distraught liberal-socialists are hammered once again.

New York Times headlines: “Iraqi Voters Turn Out in High Numbers Despite Attacks Intended to Deter Them; Violence Fails to Spoil a Party Atmosphere on Baghdad’s Streets.”

As Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan wrote in the January 28, 2005, edition:

“Sen. Edward M. Kennedy yesterday said U.S. troops, instead of defeating the insurgency in Iraq, are spawning it, and he called for immediate withdrawal of 12,000 troops after this weekend’s election and a complete pullout by early next year.

“There will be more serious violence if we continue our present dangerous and reckless course. It will not be easy to extricate ourselves from Iraq, but we must begin,” said the Massachusetts Democrat and leading liberal voice in the Senate, who is the highest-profile lawmaker to call for withdrawal.

Speaking at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in the District, Mr. Kennedy said that U.S. troops and officials are seen by Iraqis as an occupational force, rather than a means to peace, and they are the reason violence is escalating…....

President Bush’s supporters are hoping that the insurgency will falter after this weekend’s historic elections, but Mr. Kennedy said the administration has been wrong every time that it has predicted better times just around the corner.”

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer’s assessment in The Politics of the Rice Vote, January 28, 2005, was:

“It seems particularly inopportune for Sen. Edward Kennedy, for example, to use this moment to call the Iraq policy a catastrophe and a hopeless quagmire. It is possible that history will, in time, prove him right. But how does he know?

To assert with such certainty that the war is lost, especially at such a hopeful time, seems not only to be betting against our side. It presents the political dilemma that faces all war dissidents—particularly those whose main argument is unwinnability: It tells the brave and committed soldiers on the front line they are fighting in vain.

Regardless of the sincerity of Kennedy’s assertion, it carries heavy political risk. Kennedy, however, is long past aspirations for higher political office. The list of 13 Senators who opposed Rice includes some thinking seriously of running for the presidency in 2008. Most prominent of these are Evan Bayh and John Kerry. And Barbara Boxer has clearly used the Rice hearings to raise her national political profile. By using Rice to vigorously oppose the war, they all vie for the 2008 Howard Dean role—albeit played calm and composed—of unequivocal antiwar candidate and favorite of the party’s activist left.”

Islam: Hitler and the Crusades

More re The Search for Moderate Islam.

Dissecting Leftism‘s Saturday, January 29, 2005, post titled “MUSLIMS &  JEWS” has interesting supplemental data regarding the inherent nature of Islam and its historical relations with the West.

The Depression: What Went Wrong?

A review of “Rethinking the Great Depression,” by Gene Smiley.

Richard Vedder’s review of Mr. Smiley’s book provides an excellent summary of competing economic theories about the causes of the 1930s Depression and why it was so agonizingly prolonged.

He concludes:

“Europe by and large got out of the Depression faster than the U.S., whereas double-digit unemployment persisted in the United States into the 1940s. The reason is simple: New Deal economic policy was counterproductive. Roosevelt’s NRA and Wagner Act institutionalized and extended the high-wage policy so disastrously introduced by Hoover. The intense anti-business attitudes of the president and his associates, so vividly described by Smiley, added to the low level of business confidence and the sluggishness of investment in the later 1930s.”

For more details regarding the feckless policies of the New Deal, see The Economics of Liberal Values - Part Two and
The Economics of Liberal Values - Part Three: Consumption vs Savings.

Regarding the Wagner Act, see Labor Unions: Socialism’s Shock Troops.

Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 01/30 at 01:18 AM
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Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Search for Moderate Islam

Whatever your view on Islam, Larry Auster’s two-part article on the FrontPage website is a must-read.

We Know What’s Best for You

And, for your own good, you WILL do it our way!

Today’s Washington Times article Indian students can’t be Braves? reports:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has asked the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) to re-evaluate its Indian mascot and logo in the name of proper cultural diversity. Trouble is, the school was founded in 1887 to educate American Indians.

In those days it was called the Croatan Normal School, later known as the Pembroke State College for Indians. Over a fifth of the current 5,000-member student body are Indians. The yearbook is called the Indianhead; the faculty newsletter, the Brave Bulletin, and the school boasts a charter chapter of Alpha Pi Omega—the nation’s first American Indian sorority.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Can Science Survive Scientism?

Galileo had it easy.

Today’s Wall Street Journal article The Branding of a Heretic describes the savage efforts of the high priests of socialism to excommunicate and to disembowel anyone who dares to question the dogma of Darwinian evolution.

Journal reporter David Klinghoffer writes:

“The question of whether Intelligent Design (ID) may be presented to public-school students alongside neo-Darwinian evolution has roiled parents and teachers in various communities lately. Whether ID may be presented to adult scientific professionals is another question altogether but also controversial. It is now roiling the government-supported Smithsonian Institution, where one scientist has had his career all but ruined over it.”

As noted in Continuing the Argument About Darwinian Evolution, the Catholic Church for years permitted Galileo freely to publish his theories that the earth revolves around the sun.  Not until Galileo wrote that his old friend, the new Pope, was a fool did the Church give him the choice of excommunication or ceasing to advocate his theory.

Richard Sternberg, a research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington,  was neither offered Galileo’s opportunity to defend his writings before a Church council, nor given the choice of excommunication or ceasing to advocate his views.  Mr. Sternberg was instead immediately denounced, shunned by his peers, and ostracized from the biological research community. 

What terrible heresy led to his excommunication from scientism?

While serving as managing editor of a nominally independent journal published at the museum, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Mr. Sternberg permitted the publication of an article by Stephen Meyer, who holds a Cambridge University doctorate in the philosophy of biology.  That article set forth the arguments in favor of Intelligent Design, a doctrine opposed to the speculative hypothesis of Darwinian evolution.  Never mind that the article had been peer-reviewed by credentialed biologists before publication. 

No one gave Mr. Sternberg Galileo’s opportunity to defend himself, probably because defenders of Darwinian evolution know that they have no proof whatever of their hypothesis.  They can only sputter, as did (according to the Journal article) Hans Sues, a museum senior scientist, who denounced the article approved for publication by Mr. Sternberg and then sent a widely circulated e-mail calling it “unscientific garbage.”

Scientific method requires scrupulous examination of facts, and a willingness to reconsider existing theories in light of new evidence that appears to contradict it.  Indeed, much of scientific progress since the 16th century has come about in just this fashion.
The scientism practiced by devotees of Darwinian evolution, however, is not science, but simply a secular religious worship masquerading as science.  In Darwinian scientism no free inquiry, no examination of evidence will be permitted.  The gods of secularism have revealed the dogma of social justice, which necessitates moral relativism based on the secular theory of Darwinian evolution, and anyone revealing inconvenient, contradictory facts must be destroyed. 

If scientism permits free examination of the tenets of Darwinian evolution, liberal-socialism can not survive.  As in the movie “The Matrix,” if the plug is pulled on the illusion of secularity, it crumbles into meaningless digits, revealing God’s truth.

If the Darwinian “Matrix” is to be preserved, students must not be given a chance to examine competing ideas.  Otherwise “diversity” and the moral relativism necessary to sustain intellectual diktats regarding social justice would stand nakedly, revealed as the virulent forces of tyranny.


This debate (both sides of the argument) has been covered extensively in prior posts:

Creating Life - Science 101

Science vs Secularity

Evolution as a Religion

Darwinian Evolution Undermines the Constitution

Continuing the Argument About Darwinian Evolution

More Arguments about Darwinian Evolution

Posted by Thomas E. Brewton on 01/28 at 11:37 PM
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