Archive for June, 2016

on civilization and culture

June 25, 2016

I’m beginning to read Samuel Huntington’s book, The Clash of Civilizations. I think one of the things that concerns me most is the Progressive separation between what they identify as their aims and the cultural underpinnings that make those aims achievable. How easily civil society can be destroyed, and the harm that will result, is missed by modern liberals and progressives, as this report from a debate in Canada demonstrates.

the State against the people

June 25, 2016

It’s hard for me to imagine that the next four years will be on balance better for the public at large, whoever becomes President of the United States. The shift toward government at all levels as the main driver for most aspects of American life, whether education, business, family, spiritual practice, etc., seems to me to lead inevitably toward greater tension between the rulers and the ruled. We’ve entered a phase where “the common good” is defined by the state as what’s best for it rather than as what’s actually best for the citizenry. Examples like Wisconsin’s from a few years ago show that there is still a recognition among many that there are limits to what should be granted to government and its employees, but overall I’m afraid too many people are too willing to turn over power to the centralized government rather than be responsible for their own welfare.

when Chris Christie was rising

June 23, 2016

I kind of miss the Chris Christie of the early part of this decade.

it can’t continue

June 21, 2016

Despite the problem being ignored for the past several years, the looming fiscal crisis in this country is inevitable, and it’s going to lead to a lot of problems because so many will be caught completely off-guard and unprepared to cope.

This is an overview from a few years ago: “A Tsunami Approaches

This is a specific illustration from Illinois: “Illinois on the Fiscal Brink

The public is going to be set in opposition to the government at all levels, and it won’t look good for either side.

on distrust of institutions

June 20, 2016

There’s a sense among many that well established points of view should command general assent, and that it’s somewhat of a sign of mental deficiency to dissent from the widely promoted points of view. The problem for those in the ruling class, however, is that their position has been so abused over the past few decades that more and more people have abandoned the principle of credulity, the default assumption of honesty in communication. Part of the reason for the baseline skepticism is that the powers that be have promulgated falsehoods frequently enough that fewer and fewer people are willing to accept their statements at face value.

From the wayback machine, a reminder of how disingenuous and mendacious the reporting was after Representative Giffords was injured, and many others murdered, in early 2011. Politicians and reporters can’t expect people to believe their statements without scrutiny after this sort of conduct.

when history is practiced

June 18, 2016

By “history” here I’m referring to the engagement of research and investigation first hand and personally with the subject to be analyzed and evaluated. Walt Harrington seems to practice history pretty well, based on this essay about President George W. Bush, written a couple of years after the end of his presidency. He personally has engaged with the subject and so writes with real knowledge and understanding. It’s remarkably refreshing in contrast with so much that gets posted these days.

on Obama’s spiritual transcendence

June 16, 2016

I wonder if Mr. Morford retains his belief that this President has been different from the rest. Something has occurred in our society over the past 20 years that has made genuine assessment of political figures very difficult. It would be hard to challenge and critique the policies and actions of someone you regard as spiritually advanced relative to the rest of the human race.

on false equivalence of Islam and American Conservatism

June 14, 2016

This is an important observation:

Progressive ideologues go out of their way to equate Christian theology with Islamic extremism. I may not agree with the GOP party platform on LGBT issues, but comparing religious Christians or Republicans to ISIS, al-Qaeda or the mullocracy in Tehran is simply irrational hate speech.

Quote of the day

June 13, 2016

Michael Graham in the Washington Examiner:

You may say Trump’s comments are crazy, but how is “ban all Muslims” any more crazy than “Muslims have no connection whatsoever to terrorism?” It’s not. And if you give voters the choice of two crazies, they’ll take “the one less likely to get me killed at an Orlando nightclub.”

on democracy and despots

June 13, 2016

“Despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy.” — G.K. Chesterton