We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, June 27. 2005
Ex-Donkey has more of the text. Not bad.
The Christian Left
I reviewed Opie's post from earlier today and surfed the Christians for Progress website. All I can see in the website is that Christ was a socialist revolutionary, but I never saw that anywhere in Scripture. This is just another political movement using Christ as a disguise, just as some unfortunate parts of the Christian Right do. Pure nonsense, and blasphemous too, really.
As I understand it, the whole point was that He was a major disappointment as a political Messiah. Many of His followers who threw palm leaves on the path to Jerusalem hoped he was coming to remove the imperial Romans. But He was a Messiah of the spirit, humbly inviting us to enter the true eternal kingdom, not the kingdom of man but the Kingdom of God, which transcends earthly concerns. Did He not invite us to abandon worldly concerns - including our families and farms and fishing boats and possessions - and to worry about our souls and to put our faith in God - not man - and to follow Him towards a life abundant in spirit, and eternal? And does that not require a scary leap of faith, to trust something other than ourselves? Or did I miss something in Sunday School? I am not a man of deep faith, and I am overly consumed by earthly and vain pleasures, but I do have a brain, of sorts.
Comment from The Dylanologist:
Additionally, for anyone to call any part of Christ's ministry "social criticism" is historically inaccurate, as the very conception of a "social order" did not really exist in the common consciousness until the French Revolution or even later (I would argue anyways). Of course, different social classes did exist at the time and certainly people were aware of their station in life, but the idea that "all men are created equal" would have been unthinkable and indeed incomprehensible to anyone alive in 30 AD. In any case, Christ was not arguing for the the human or civil rights of each individual (and probably wouldn't have greatly cared about such things anyways), but rather for the equal potential of each human being to attain salvation through faith in Him. The point being that once one has accepted Christ into his heart, class, income, race, sex etc. become mere incidental factors, irrelevant to one's ultimate fate. To argue that Christ ever intended his teachings to be a form of social rebellion thus misses the point of his entire ministry.
Show me the money. It has been a few months since the tragic Tsunami hit the shores but just because the MSM isn't covering it, doesn't mean we should forget those poor victims. Pray for them and let's hope the donors make good on their pledges. Travelwire:
Critics say that much of the pledged funds has not reached survivors, due partly to unfulfilled promises by donors. The Institute for Human Development, an independent Indian research group, said in an April report that only 39 percent of the $6.7 billion pledged by governments, agencies, and private donors for the entire tsunami region had been released. Lag times after pledges are common in most international efforts, and the good news is that $2.6 billion has already gone out. The Indonesian government says it has received $1.8 billion of the $7 billion pledged to it.
Posted by Opie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 07:58 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The LA Times vs. Reality
From Immigration Blog, signs at LA Immigration protest:
printed: "Fight the Right! Fight Capitalism!" (apparently from the "Party for Socialism and Liberation") alongside an ANSWER LA sign
Who would have thought Bush would be on their side? Read entire here.
What's with Google?
CSM covers Google's hopes and dreams.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
The New New Math
The latest Math educational fad is the new multicultural math, as discussed by Diane Ravitch in Opinion Journal. You didn't know it, but your math is a tool of capitalist oppression. (But then why do the kids in China seem to learn it fairly well?) Educational fads, like ebonics and new reading methods, damage kids. I was subject to the "new math" for two years in the 60s and it took me years to get back on track, and I still resent having been a guinea pig for that fiasco.
The challenges of math education are several:
1. It's not "fun": Sure it is, with an enthusiastic teacher.
Read her piece. This New New math is as racist as anything I have ever read: there is no better way to guarantee that "people of color" and women will never master basic life and work skills. You won't know whether to laugh or cry. But I feel sorry for the kids - when they hit trig and pre-calc they won't know what hit them. And God knows, you'll never figure out how to price bonds. Of course, I feel that it is a tragedy that you can graduate from college these days without passing calc and statistics, but I know how it is: They need to fill those seats with "consumers."
The Noble Savage
The romantic sentimentalizing of "the noble savage" has been a bugaboo of the Bird Dog for a long time - despite his own Indian blood (lots more of it than Ward Churchill). Margaret Mead in her later years had shed all of her illusions about primitive peoples - Sandall in Commentary:
“All primitive peoples,” Margaret Mead had said to her young Oxford visitor, “lead miserable, unhappy, cruel lives, most of which are spent trying to kill each other.” She was overdoing it, but she had a point—a point largely lost sight of in today’s systematic sentimentalizing of the Stone Age.
Nevertheless, some people insist on the version of the simple savage living in harmony etc etc. - it's a Garden of Eden fantasy. The story of the Brazilian indians, and their modern-day explorer-admirers, and the discovery of diamonds on their reservation, is fascinating.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 06:12 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Step aside Reverend Jerry - there's a new Pastor in town.
In the Red states, Christians rally around a more inclusive approach to Christianity and politics. Founded by Jacksonville, Florida, businessman Patrick Mrotek, the Christian Alliance for Progress (CAP) says its purpose is the “reclaim” the Christian faith from the extreme religious right.
The Reverend Timothy F. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister and the group’s director of religious affairs, said in an interview Wednesday that the Christian left has for too long allowed the Christian right to be the public face of his religion in America. “The language of our faith has been placed in the service of policy ends that don’t reflect the Gospel, and we have become deeply troubled over that,” he said. American Prospect Online - ViewWeb CAP launched its Web site last month, and, with no advertising, has already attracted thousands of signatories to its “Jacksonville Declaration,” a statement of principles that, among other things, explicitly disavows the politics of the religious right:
“We must tell you now that you do not speak for us, or for our politics. We say ‘No’ to the ways you are using the name and language of Christianity to advance what we see as extremist political goals. We do not support your agenda to erode the separation of church and state, to blur the vital distinction between your interpretation of Christianity and our shared democratic institutions. Moreover, we do not accept what seems to be your understanding of Christian values. We reject a Christianity co-opted by any government and used as a tool to ostracize, to subjugate, or to condone bigotry, greed and injustice.”
Euro Leftists Funding Al Quaida
Who is surprised? In Vodakpundit
Voice of a Suicide Bomber
It seems to be mostly about God. In Time.
A Few More Views on Kelo
Samizdata: But perhaps this is for the best as there is no long any doubt that things are badly broken Scott at Powerline: The founders observed that tyrannical rule and material scarcity had by and large been the fate of man through the ages. They saw the confiscation of property by government in the name of the sovereign power of the state as an old and sorry story. Through the protection of property rights they aimed to forge a new order of the ages. It lies to us to regain their understanding and act on it. Captain's Quarters has a review of jurists on the potential for abuse on the Court, including Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in 1930: “As the decisions now stand, I see hardly any limit but the sky to the invalidating of those rights if they happen to strike a majority of this Court as for any reason undesirable.”
"Public affairs go on pretty much as usual: perpetual chicanery and rather more personal abuse than there used to be...."
Sunday, June 26. 2005
from Paul's Letter to the Philippians:
Finally, brothers and sisters, fix your thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious. If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Saturday, June 25. 2005
A Man and a Maid
There was a little man,
Friday, June 24. 2005
Aw, man, gee whiz, can you Japanese give the whales a break? What is it about the Japanese and whales? They taste like beef? So eat beef. We will never run out of cows.
McCain: "A (media) whore desperate for attention", plus sodomy
A perfect piece - custom-made for Maggie's Farm - by Hynes in American Spectator.
Kelo - Another Viewpoint
In contrast to the Barrister's hysteria and hyperventilation here last evening, Gwynnie would like to offer a more sober point of view. Gwynnie sought help from an old ex-lawyer, who dissected the news reports for her, noting that reading the court's opinions might bring about a different interpretation, because the MSM invariably got everything wrong.
The old lawyer looked at the Fox News report, and will comment on extracts (shown in italics).
He reminds us of the great property takings of the recent century: urban renewal and the interstate highway system, and of the fact that the people who did the construction of those projects made money at them. The Supremes (which her lawyer friend detests) said:
New London could pursue private development under the Fifth Amendment, which allows governments to take private property if the land is for public use, since the project the city has in mind promises to bring more jobs and revenue. Under the ruling, residents still will be entitled to "just compensation" for their homes as provided under the Fifth Amendment. . . . New London has suffered the kind of economic woes afflicting urban areas across the country, with losses of residents and jobs. . . . City officials envision a commercial development including a riverfront hotel, health club and offices that would attract tourists to the Thames riverfront, complementing an adjoining Pfizer Corp. research center and a proposed Coast Guard museum.. . . A city council member who approved the development, said, "I am charged with doing what's best for the 26,000 people that live in
Old lawyer says that maybe this is what city officials should be thinking about for the community good. Strong words are being used against the project:
"It's a little shocking to believe you can lose your home in this country," said resident Bill Von Winkle, who said he would keep fighting the bulldozers in his working-class neighborhood. "I won't be going anywhere. Not my house. This is definitely not the last word."
Yet eminent domain is settled law; the Supremes haven’t expanded anything here. Homes were lost for the interstate highways,
"Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government," Stevens wrote, adding that local officials are better positioned than federal judges to decide what's best for a community. . . .
There is a local alternative: throw the dummies out of office (unless the community thinks they made the right decision). If the local dummies are too corrupt, make state law:
At least eight states —
Continue reading ""
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein
Thursday, June 23. 2005
A Rogue Court
Mark Levin has it right tonight on the radio - we have a Rogue Supreme Court. Replacing Rehnquist will make no difference. There is a liberal/leftist majority on this court which sees no limit to federal power, and which sees no limits to its own powers in the Constitution. This is truly strange and deeply worrisome, and takes us one giant step closer to a Royal Govt., as did the California marijuana case on the Commerce Clause, which essentially pushed "delete" on the Commerce Clause (the case involved no commerce, and nothing interstate). Yes, I am beyond t-ed off - I am flabbergasted - in a sense, private property just ceased to exist. A freebie for Mark here. I need a drink.
The Great Horowitz wins a big one.
A Very Backward Supreme Ct. Decision (Kelo)
The Lefties on the Court today expanded the Fifth Amendment, regarding eminent domain, to include hotel construction in CT. In my opinion, this is a return to feudalism, and essentially permits any reason for taking of property... including putting a Walmart on my farm. In CNN. What does the Left stand for? Expansion of Federal power, and destruction of the nation's power, traditions, morals, culture, and religion. It's simple. Text of decision here. Is this an argument for new blood on the Court? Sure is. Perhaps Breyer was inspired by British or French court cases (from the year 1325).
Why the Sudden Fierce Anti-War Noises?
Thanks, Powerline, for the intro to Irish Pennants - almost wrote Irish Penance - which has a good theory - the left wants us to lose before we can finally win:
I suspect Democrats and liberal journalists are stepping up their criticisms because they fear they have only a few months more in which a precipitous American withdrawal could produce a Vietnam-like defeat. If, come January, American troops are still in Iraq in about their current strength, it'll be too late to prevent a glorious American victory, one which the whole unwilling world will not be able to deny.
Rove Speaks Out
Worth reading, in Ankle-Biter (News Junkie is on vacation)
And Fallacci nails it on Euristan
in Powerline. I like her use of the word "servility"
No-one enjoys anticipating their death, and plenty of folks seem to postpone dealing with it, but it is the grown-up thing to do. Having a Living Will is as important as having a will and, if you are young without kids, the Living Will is more important. Yes, your family and your doctor will probably decide to "let you go" if you are hopelessly damaged, but what if they aren't around? What if they are confused?
The CSM goes through what is involved.
Go Outside and Play
In every society on earth, people venerated nature and worshipped nature gods. There were gods of thunder and gods of rain. Mountains were worshipped, as were rivers, animals and every natural force known to man. In ancient Egypt, for example, gods included the Nile River, the frog, sun, wind, gazelle, bull, cow, serpent, moon and crocodile. Then came Genesis, which announced that a supernatural God, i.e., a god who existed outside of nature, created nature. Nothing about nature was divine.
Yes, Prager is persuasive as always, but why do I feel God on the top of Whistler? Or on a trout stream? Is that a pagan sentiment? Or awe of God's creation? Prager makes me wonder about that. Surely He who created the giraffe intended us to admire it before eating it, even if not invested with a divine spark. Or maybe the ancient pagan can never be fully removed from us.