The View From 1776
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
New York Times Inadvertently Damns Democrats
The problem is that the Times can’t recognize economic cause and effect.
Today’s New York Times editorial page opines, in A Factory Farm Near You:
Once upon a time, only a decade or so, it wasn?t hard to know where factory hog farms were because they were nearly all in North Carolina. But since those days, the practice of crowding together huge concentrations of animals ? hogs, poultry, dairy cows, beef cattle ? in the interests of supposed efficiency has spread around the country.
Wherever it appears, factory farming has two notable effects. It threatens the environment, because of huge concentrations of animal manure and lax regulation. And it threatens local political control. Residents who want a say over whether and where factory farms, whose stench can be overwhelming, can be built find their voices drowned out by the industry?s cash and lobbying clout.
Ironically, the ill complained of by the Times is the creation of their very own liberal-Progressive-socialist confreres, dating back to 1933. A considerable element in what the Times calls “supposed efficiency” is the large-scale production subsidized by Federal hand-outs.
Times editorial writers seem to have forgot that “industry?s cash and lobbying clout” is one of the continuing special-interest cash cows for the Democratic Party, which has perennially resisted efforts to reform or eliminate farm support legislation. That’s because the big money in Federal farm subsidies goes, not to the independent family farmer of Thomas Jefferson’s idyllic picture, but to huge corporations, which have been, for obvious reasons, big contributors to the Democrats.
Lest we forget, this whole mess originated with Franklin Roosevelt’s Brain Trusters’ and state-planners’ creation of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) in 1933 as one of the major pillars supporting the New Deal conversion of our nation to socialism. The aim, in the classic socialist model, was to control farm production and prices.
Farm price supports drive prices up, not down. That encourages over-production, on the largest feasible scale. Collectivized government supports collectivized agriculture.
Large corporations are the entities with financial resources to take full advantage of government handouts, as well as the entities with deep enough pockets to pay back politicians with large campaign contributions.
In Farming For Dollars, July 6, 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported:
...Farmers have been pocketing about $20 billion a year in taxpayer handouts, even as they enjoy record crop prices. Thanks to the ethanol subsidy boom, corn has hit as high as $4 a bushel, more than double the 2005 price. Yet almost half of all farm subsidies go to corn growers, thanks to the clout of Midwest and Plains-state Senators. The USDA reports that prices for wheat, soybeans and sugar are also at “near-historic highs.”
...Farmers have received price supports and an annual “emergency” payout every year since 2001. In 2003, drought assistance went to farmers in hundreds of counties where investigators later discovered there was no drought. Farmers in Washington state received earthquake assistance even when their crops weren’t damaged. Yet the farm lobby continues to push $7 billion in new “emergency” payouts this year for livestock, milk, fisheries and rural development aid.
The enduring myth is that all of this aid goes to needy family farms. In reality price supports have accelerated the demise of small farms because the benefits go to the most profitable growers. Citizens Against Government Waste has documented that three-quarters of the payments under the 2002 farm bill have gone to the richest 10% of farmers. More than half of the $1.9 billion sugar program lines the pockets of the wealthiest 1% of plantation owners.
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Liberals Ratchet Up the Violence Meter
Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins, in their violent attacks on spiritual religion, sound very much like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.
Herr Hitler and his propaganda minister needed a scape goat to explain the collapse of German militarism in World War I and the German Empire’s wallowing into fecklessness under the socialist Weimar Republic. As the world knows to its sorrow, they found the scape goat.
Messrs. Hitchins and Dawkins see a terribly disordered world that they blame upon religion. Mr. Hitchins, in god is not Great, repeats every few pages: “Religion poisons everything.” Mr. Dawkins, in The Blind Watchmaker, wrote:
It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet someone who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I?d rather not consider that).
Rather than accepting that the evils they recount are products of inherently sinful human nature, they choose to blame spiritual religion for human nature. Rather than recognizing that Judeo-Christianity strives to turn human nature toward moral conduct, they blame spiritual religion for failing to do so in all cases.
Why are they so passionately driven to condemn spiritual religion? They believe that spiritual religion should be expunged from society, seeing it as a threat to the unfettered moral relativism of liberal-socialism. They see spiritual religion as ignorance that prevents the teaching of philosophical materialism.
What they apparently do not see is that their atheistic materialism is the foundation of totalitarian tyranny, as we saw in the Soviet Union, National Socialist Germany, and all the other socialistic societies that either became dictatorships or withered as did France , Germany, and Great Britain before its rescue by Margaret Thatcher.
Another thing that they ignore is the increasing uncertainty that science itself is encountering in the realms both of nuclear particle physics and of cosmology (the study of the origins, physical processes, and presumed end of the universe). They ignore the entirely contradictory paradigms of evolutionary scientism and the legitimate physical sciences.
In that regard, see Boson Bozos, in which I noted:
Many scientists believe that they can penetrate the Mind of God and thereby become immensely powerful, or that there is no God.? Christopher Marlowe?s “Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” exemplifies the former in the character of the man who sells his soul to the Devil for power and knowledge.? The French philosophers of the Revolution exemplify the latter.
Among other things, the vast multiplicity of cosmological and nuclear particle theories violates the principle of Ocham?s razor: the simplest explanation in a welter of possibilities is the preferred one.? The simplest answer to what has stumped the best physics, mathematical, and cosmological minds is God.? The universe was designed and created by God, a Being outside of and predating the universe, a Being whose nature is so multi-dimensional as to be utterly beyond the comprehension of human minds.
Darwin?s evolutionary biology depicts the world as an amoral domain governed by material influences that are without design or purpose, a world in which all life forms are the cumulative products of chance.? Cosmologists and physicists, at the same time, take the opposite view, that the origin and ultimate end of the universe is the product of design inherent in mathematics and the laws of physics and chemistry, a universe therefore that had a precise, identifiable beginning and a foreseeable end.
Liberals, priding themselves on their tough-minded rationality, have no trouble in swallowing whole both of these mutually exclusive world views.? It seems to be necessary only to label something scientific for their uncritical acceptance.
Liberals readily accept the intuitively impossible quantum phenomenon of photons, at a distance from each other, responding to impulses on only one of the photons.? But, because their professors told them that religion is ignorance, they are unwilling to consider the truth recounted by eye witnesses to Jesus Christ?s miracles, people who willingly died excruciating deaths to attest to those miracles.
Ironically, mathematical and theoretical abstraction is leading theoreticians in the physical sciences into a realm of impenetrable complexity, ever closer to the religious and philosophical realm in which the Bible is the paramount authority, a realm in which one cannot escape a world of Divine intelligent design.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007
Signs and Assignments
For those with ears to hear, God gives intuitions of what we should do to help others.
Captain Brian Thomas, leader of the Stamford Salvation Army unit, preached Sunday’s sermon at the Black Rock-Long Ridge Congregational Church in North Stamford, Connecticut. His subject was Signs and Assignments.
In the Old Testament God frequently provided signs to the Israelites to confirm his commands. One such is recorded in the Book of Judges, which chronicles the period between gaining the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership and the Israelites’ first king, Saul.
As all too frequently happened, the Israelites periodically became too wealthy and contented, shifting their worship from God to pursuit of worldly goods and pagan gods.
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help. (Judges 6:1-6)
The Lord answered the Israelites’ entreaties by calling upon a young and untried Gideon, who, as would most of us, asked, “Why me God? How can I be sure that I’m really hearing your call correctly? Please give me a sign.”
Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised- look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew?a bowlful of water.
Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. (Judges 6:36-40)
Thereafter, following God’s instructions, Gideon led his outnumbered band against the Midianite army, blowing his trumpet and sending the enemy fleeing in disarray.
In the New Testament, the nature of signs from God changes to a more personal, less heroic vein. Each of us is a potential Gideon, called by God to aid one of his fellows in need.
The Apostle Paul lays it out in Romans 12:10-12:
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Again in the Book of Matthew 25:34-40:
Then [Jesus] will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
[Jesus] will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
When you have a sudden inspiration to call someone or to do something that will help a family member, a friend, a member of the church, or a non-believer, do it. We can never know what good may come of it, but God does. That’s why he gives us such inspirations, and that’s why we must always be alert to God’s voice prompting us and why we must respond.
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Friday, July 27, 2007
Free Enterprise and Government Regulation
Lawmakers can dismount from their soak-the-rich hobby horses. Reality curtails business excesses; no need for help from Congressman Barney Frank.
The free marketplace has chastised hedge fund managers more effectively than any taxes or regulations Congressional socialists might have concocted.
The Wall Street Journal in its July, 27, 2007, edition reports:
As flagging debt markets bring the private-equity boom to a halt, the likelihood that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. will have to postpone its initial public offering is increasing.
Jeff Arricale, who runs a financial-stock mutual fund for T. Rowe Price Group Inc., said he doubts KKR will be able to find enough investors to pull off an IPO if current market conditions continue. “Sure, at some price it is possible to do it, but I’d be shocked if they end up doing this IPO.”
Five blocks south of KKR’s New York headquarters overlooking Central Park, rival firm Blackstone Group LP is learning just how tough this market has become. Shares of its own initial public offering—priced just over a month ago—are now 17% below their $31 debut, and closed yesterday in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading at $25.70, up 19 cents, or 0.7%.
In recent weeks, news articles have described the decline in home sales and the back-up effects on other sectors of the economy: junk bonds, LBOs and hedge funds investing in those securities and various forms of derivatives. Heading a very lengthy list of troubled entities was Wall Street brokerage firm Bear Stearns, whose two hedge funds, with $10 billion in funds under management before the blow-up, are now worthless.
Led by Massachusetts (where else?) Congressman Barney Frank, lawmakers have been imitating a pack of hyenas on the prowl, eagerly surrounding hedge funds and circling for the kill.
Stirring their populist, class-warfare hormones was the huge personal profits made by hedge fund managers like Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman. At the IPO price for Blackstone when it recently went public, Mr. Schwarzman’s net worth ballooned to a reported $7.5 billion. Many other hedge fund managers also ranked among the most highly compensated individuals in the country.
This display of income inequality was too much for Congressman Frank. Under the Keynesian and socialist economic doctrines of the liberal-Progressives, business profits can only have been made by stealing from the workers. Thus the Feds had an obligation to snatch those profits from hedge fund managers and return them to the labor unions. In a good socialist state, everybody is equally poor. (See Economic Class Warfare).
In the real world, the capitalist free-market works far more decisively and effectively than ham-handed government regulation and taxes. As I wrote in The Economics of Liberal Values:
The critical point is that the capital necessary to start and to run a business is separated from the business people.? Businesses want money to expand.? Lenders and investors want to lend money to businesses only when they can be reasonably sure of getting it repaid, plus a profit reflecting the risk incurred in lending and investing.? Capitalism thus has a built-in regulator, a system of internal checks and balances.
To get money, businesses must first convince hard-eyed lenders and investors that a market exists for their products and that they can satisfy that market?s demands.? Lenders and investors have strong incentives to avoid bad loans and investments: they lose their jobs and their own money if they don?t.
Contrast this with the never-ending torrent of Federal spending to buy voters’ loyalty.
...Businesses approved by the state-planners don?t have to compete with rival businesses to get funds.? They get funding directly from the National State, in accordance with a master plan for the economy.? Individuals play no role at all in the process, since their product preferences have no effect.? Planners make all the decision about what is produced, how much of it, and where it is to be delivered.? Grossly inefficient and outmoded business enterprises, for that reason, survive decade after decade in a socialist economy.
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Thursday, July 26, 2007
Freedom - What It Meant
Marine Corps veteran Warren Bonesteel gives us a timely reminder.
by Warren Bonesteel
23 July, 2007
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ?~William Faulkner
We stand at a crucial point in mankind’s history. The world’s governments are no longer in control of the political and social memes and narratives in the same fashion as they were even a mere five years ago. We, The People, are better informed than ever before. We are more aware, than ever before, of the deceitfulness of our political, social and cultural leaders. Their corruption and deceit can no longer be hidden or disguised. We must hold them accountable. Through holding our leaders accountable, by replacing them with better men if they are not, by working together as sovereign and rational individuals, we become the example for millions of others in living as free and sovereign people. By doing what we now do, this day and every day, we are setting the stage for the future course of this struggle. We are even now laying the foundations of the memes and narratives by which we, our families, friends and those yet unborn, might live as free and sovereign men without fear and at peace. We, The People, control the future.
After enduring generations of tyranny and of limited freedoms, even if the citizens of the world defeat the purposes of each and every one of the present elitist tyrannies they confront, the world’‘s populations will have to re-learn almost everything they think they know about freedom and liberty. Most of us have never experienced or known the personal empowerment, or had the corresponding responsibility, of living as sovereign and free individuals. Even if we achieve uncompromising victory in our present struggle, individual and local conflicts will arise from this factor, alone. Such conflicts as these can be faced with relative equanimity. To allow ourselves or any other sovereign and free individual to be controlled or constrained by any present government among men, however, is to declare and to hold a position that cannot be honestly or rationally defended. World-wide, government corruption is systemic. They present contemptuous hatred for and against those whom they claim to serve, and they display such behavior openly and proudly, each and every day.
Our struggle is not only about the injustices or sacrifices that we and our friends and families have endured. Our struggle is not against finding meaning in those sacrifices made by ourselves and others in the cause for freedom. Our struggle is one wherein we, as sovereign and free individuals, are leading every man, woman and child on earth to live full and peaceful lives as free and sovereign people. Through our individual sacrifices and by our personal involvement, we help to create a world were no man will ever enslave another for the purpose of ideology, of religion, of ambition, or of greed. What we choose to do or choose not do, today, will determine the course of history for all time to come.
Can the people of the world achieve freedom and peace without enduring major outbreaks of violence? Will the governments of the world become ever more controlling and tyrannical in response to the peoples’ openly declared desires and yearnings for freedom, liberty, and security from fear? Will the People break free of the constraints imposed upon them? Will they break free of the disdain, the lies, the corruption and the tyranny which is daily poured out upon them? This is that point in time which we now face. The ultimate victory could now go to tyranny…or to freedom. The decision is ours to make or to avoid. As free men, it is our responsibility. It is a decision for which we will be held accountable.
As the world’s population begins its spontaneous and leaderless push towards freedom, the governments of the world will attempt to counter this amorphous, global movement by implementing even greater control over their citizens. Now is not the time for us to doubt. Now is not the time to quit. Now is not the time to say that the sacrifice has been too much. If we quit, now? If we lose courage, now? If we succumb to despair, now, at this time in history? We will give way to tyranny for all time to come. The battlefield surrounds us. The thoughts, the fears, the facts, the lies, the rhetoric, the shear terror and horror of the violence perpetrated upon us and upon our loved ones is all a part of a whole. We are at war against those who use fear, greed and ambition to divide and control us. The present danger has not at all passed us by…but we are winning.
Our personal and individual sacrifices in this fight for freedom have not been without import or lacking in impact. Our individual struggles and sacrifices pale in comparison to what the world might have already experienced had we not endured and sacrificed as we have. Had our ancestors not endured and sacrificed as they did in their turn, we would not have achieved the freedoms and the liberties we presently enjoy. These sacrifices are not yet finished. They are only begun. They are, however, necessary. If we do not endure this struggle today, tomorrow will not allow us to struggle at all. This is our responsibility. We are accountable to ourselves as free and sovereign men. We stand accountable before all of human history. We are accountable to one another. We are accountable to the future. We must not fail those who came before. We must not fail ourselves. We must not fail those who will come after. For Freedom’s sake. For Freedom’s cause. For the future of mankind. These are the reasons we sacrifice. These are the reasons we endure.
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Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. ~George Bernard Shaw
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine
Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville
From the time when the exercise of the intellect became a source of strength and of wealth, we see that every addition to science, every fresh truth, and every new idea became a germ of power placed within the reach of the people. Poetry, eloquence, and memory, the graces of the mind, the fire of imagination, depth of thought, and all the gifts which Heaven scatters at a venture turned to the advantage of democracy; and even when they were in the possession of its adversaries, they still served its cause by throwing into bold relief the natural greatness of man. Its conquests spread, therefore, with those of civilization and knowledge; and literature became an arsenal open to all, where the poor and the weak daily resorted for arms.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Bill of Rights: First Amendment
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Constitution: Article. VI.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
One of those debts is to those who have served, fought, bled and died to give you freedom. Don’t spit on their graves, their sacrifice, or their service, by ignoring The Constitution.
(Article. VI. cont.)
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
To the People of the State of New York:
AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine:
Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Warren “Bones” Bonesteel
Author and Researcher
Sgt USMC 1976-1983
55 Crestview Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
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Does Religion Subvert Science?
How then to account for Isaac Newton, arguably the greatest mathematician and one of the foremost scientists in world history?
Everett Sherrett brought to my attention Jeff Jacoby’s article in the Jewish World Review website about Newton’s deeply held religious faith.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The New York Times is Holier than Thou
No matter how black the sin, it’s OK, because liberal-Progressives, being of pure socialistic mind, can do no wrong.
Stalin murdered tens of millions of dissidents, but he did it, in the logic of liberal-socialism, for the future benefit of humanity. So too the New York Times.
Read Editor Bill Keller Defends His Paper’s Shoddy Duke Rape Hoax Coverage on the TimesWatch.org website.
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Stalin Lives - In England
British PC education follows American lead, wipes out Western history.
Read Lisa Fabrizio’s article, Not Their Finest Hour, on the Intellectual Conservative website.
The pull-quote summarizes the thrust of PC education in Britain:
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority?in Britain has dropped Winston Churchill from its list of key historical figures, in order to make room for “modern” issues.
This is straight out of the Soviet Union, where those out of favor with Stalin were liquidated and all records of their existence were expunged. Documents were destroyed or altered and photographs were retouched to remove individuals who had became non-persons.
Stalin took his cue from V. I. Lenin, who, in 1923, instructed the Commissars of Education:
We must hate ? hatred is the basis of Communism. Children must be taught to hate their parents if they are not Communists.
More or less the same sort of thing has happened in the United States.
In the June 19, 1997, issue of Forbes Magazine, columnist and educator Thomas Sowell wrote:
Harvard professor Nathan Glazer’s new book on multiculturalism likewise concentrates on the horse race aspects of the issues involved. His very title?“We Are All Multiculturalists Now”?announces the outcome of the horse race: We have met the enemy and we are his.
Professor Glazer points out that multiculturalism already pervades the curriculum in schools and colleges across the country. This includes Afrocentric, feminist and other “perspectives.” Studies show that more of today’s students can tell you who Harriet Tubman was than know that Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Again and again, Glazer regales us with how multiculturalism is advancing on all fronts, emphasizing the “inescapability” of what is happening, “how complete has been the victory of multiculturalism in the public schools of America,” and other expressions of a kind of “wave of the future” view of multiculturalism.
This issue - what to include in the core curriculum of college students - was covered by James Atlas in his Battle of the Books (1990). Mr. Atlas is a self-identified liberal who worked as an editor at the New York Times Magazine and wrote for iconic liberal publications such as the New York Review of Books, Atlantic Monthly, and Partisan Review (founded by New York City Trotskyites).? He wrote:
Again, put simply: Has the United States become too diverse a society to embrace one idea of itself?..... Who gets to decide what books - even what languages - are taught in our schools?? Is the canon an instrument of oppression - ?the property of a small and powerful caste that is linguistically and ethnically unified,? to quote Stanford professor Mary Louise Pratt?? Or is it an instrument of liberty that will enable minorities to achieve self-esteem and - ultimately - political and economic power? .... Every effort to inculcate a body of knowledge that reflects our common history is seen as an effort to oppress.?
.... The question, as Lionel Trilling [one of the leading lights among the New York socialist intellectuals in the 1950s and 60s] framed it in a prophetic lecture, ?The Uncertain Future of the Humanistic Educational Ideal,? was a practical one: ?What is best for young minds to be engaged by, how they may best be shaped through what they read - or look at or listen to - and think about.? At Columbia, where Trilling studied and where he taught for a half-century, the Great Books Program, as it came to be known there, was firmly enshrined.? The study of the ?whole man? - that is to say, history, ethics, and philosophy, as well as literature - was standard procedure. .......By the 1960s, the whole-man idea had been scaled down considerably.? It was possible to earn a bachelor of arts without a lot of sweat.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
To become messengers of the Gospel, we have to move outside our comfort zones.
Eric Lubbert, one of our church’s Elders, preached the sermon Sunday at the Black Rock-Long Ridge Congregational Church, in North Stamford, Connecticut.
Speaking of his own experience, Mr. Lubbert noted that it’s too easy in our Christian lives to become comfortable, to settle into a routine of going to church on Sunday, and going little farther than that. If, however, we are to heed Jesus’s command, we must break out of those comfort zones and take risks to bring the Good News to our family, friends, and co-workers.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
That doesn’t mean that we must stand up and preach to others in every gathering. It does mean that we must both be open to opportunities, and be prepared to witness in appropriate ways: invite people to attend Sunday services and special functions at church; invite new church visitors to dinner at your home; tell them about the positive difference that Christ has made in your life.
Above all, live a decent, kind, thoughtful life in which you think first, not of your own self-interest, but of what is the just, kind, and civilized way to deal with other people.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-16)
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
Nothing will happen until you, figuratively speaking, put your feet into the water. As in the Book of Joshua, when the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan, at flood stage, to claim the Promised Land:
And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ (Joshua 3:7-8)
And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD -the Lord of all the earth?set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap. (Joshua 3:13)
Give control of your life to the Holy Spirit, which empowered the Disciples to go forth and speak effectively to all sorts of people.
How can we do this?
? Ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit;
? Ask God for boldness;
? Write a prayer list of people and expend the time and energy to get to know them, their needs and fears, and ways that you can help them;
? Conduct a Bible study with your spouse and your children;
? Be available to help people when their needs arise; look for opportunities to help;
? Serve people; follow the example Jesus set when the Apostles asked who would be ranked highest in the Lord’s Kingdom; in response, Jesus washed their feet to make the point the he who is highest must humble himself and become a servant.
? Discover and use the gifts that God has given you; employ them to the glory of God;
? Listen for the voice of God, those sudden intuitions or inspirations to help someone that pop into your mind; heed God’s messages.
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Monday, July 23, 2007
The Duke lacrosse team fiasco shows that liberals, especially educators, have created a phony cultural paradigm that distorts reality and prevents clear-sighted analysis of the truth.
Myron Magnet, in City Journal, dissects the 1960s and 1970s cultural paradigm that gained ascendency during the Baby Boomer student anarchist era. It’s a must-read.
Using the notorious miscarriage of justice in the Duke University lacrosse team case, he exposes the deeper, false cultural roots that support, indeed almost guarantee, repetitions of the phenomenon everywhere in the United States today.
The hodge-podge of contradictory cliches that passes for intellectually-approved culture today is a far cry from the unwritten constitution that Thomas Jefferson described as “the harmonizing sentiments of , whether expressed in conversations, in letters, printed essays, or the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc.?
Though Mr. Magnet doesn’t dwell upon it, this liberal-Progressive paradigm is merely the hubristic presumption, in modern clothing, of ivory-tower French Enlightenment philosophers. They believed, as do today’s liberal-Progressives, that, in Darwinian fashion, human nature is continually evolving and that intellectuals can corral and manipulate the factors that impel the putative evolution.
As has almost always been true with liberal intellectuals, they sincerely believe that their remaking of our cultural paradigm will benefit humanity. The problem is that their version of social justice always has proved to be ineffective, if not disastrously destructive.