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Showing posts from February, 2014

The ***A, Illinois, and pseudo-marriage

Sadly, same-sex "marriage" is now legal in the state of my birth, Illinois.

Here is a statement on the implications of that fact by the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA.

Note the equivocation and weasel-wording of even those expectations it supposedly has of gay and lesbian "pastors."

Some things never change- including the inability of the ELCA to make a clear statement about anything without equivocating it into meaninglessness.

But no. The equivocation isn't really about meaninglessness; it never had been. It's more sinister than that. Walther's words come to mind:

At the beginning of the fourth century, the church historian Nicephorus informs us, the entire Christian congregation at Nicomedia in Asia Minor was suddenly attacked on the orders of the emperor Maximian. They had been instructed to sacrifice to the gods, but instead were celebrating the joyous Christmas festival. Their attackers quickly surrounded and burned the church, killing …

Tom Harkin, Ray Suarez, and Lincoln Steffens

Lincoln Steffens  (left) was the first "useful idiot," to use Lenin's pungent phrase, meaning a naïve and idealistic Westerner who swallows propaganda as if it were champagne  and vomits forth effusive moral praise of the monstrous. Steffens visited the Soviet Union- which turned out to be, other than that of  Communist China, by far the most murderous regime in human history- in the early days of the Revolution, and enthused, "I have seen the future, and it works!"

Eventually, even Steffens wised up about the glories of the Russian revolution. It seems that there are Americans who never will wise up about the Cuban one.

Speaking as I did in a recent post of my soon-to-be-retired-and-entirely-unlamented senator, Tom Harkin, it seems that he and similarly clueless public radio announcer Ray Suarez have recently engaged in naïve and ill-informed praise of  one of the most disastrous but best-propagandized aspects of the Cuban revolution, its health care system.


Barack Obama and the First Amendment

If contempt for the Constitution and a lack of reluctance to act on that contempt is any criterion, this be the most impeachable president we've ever had. Anti-freedom of religion. Anti-freedom of the press. And anti-freedom of speech. And willing to make those perverse convictions the basis of policy.

But don't get all excited, Tea Party and Paulista whack-jobs. There are two arguments which ought to halt all talk of impeaching Mr. Obama.

The first is that it would make Joe Biden president, and the second is that we'd be running against an incumbent again in 2016- even if it would be Joe Biden.

Which party is the party of scientific ignorance, again?

You know how Republicans are supposed to be anti-science, Neanderthal knuckle-draggers, and generally stupid? Well, guess what.

According to a National Science Foundation survey, 51% of Democrats don't know that the earth takes a year to complete one orbit of the Sun.

Republicans have their rough spots, too- though interestingly, their positions even on answers considered "wrong" were sometimes nuanced enough to raise questions about whether their actual positions are can be so categorized.

The Volokh Conspiracy post does contain a major piece of scientific misinformation. "Evolution" is not the idea that humans evolved from other animals. That would be "macroevolution." "Microevolution-" the notion that species evolve and adapt within the boundaries of their own kind- is also a form of evolution, and is accepted even by the most militant creationists.

It's truly remarkable how few of the sophisticated, informed critics of creationism e…

Liberal fascists try to silence Krauthammer on global warming

Claiming that opinions that disagree with theirs are "lies," the hypocrites of the Left have launched a campaign to get the Washington Post to silence columnist Charles Krauthammer on the subject of climate change.

The same can be said about this as can be said about gay "marriage" and a host of other issues: if the Left is so sure of its position, why does it try to silence those who disagree with them instead of declaring the debate closed and refusing to engage them? Hmmm? Why has the Democratic party become the party of "shut up?

See also this item on attempts by the  Left to suppress dissent from The Narrative in advance of the 2014 midterms.

County Board President Preckwinkle may challenge Rahm Emanuel for Chicago mayor next year

Chicago voters may have an interesting choice next year when it comes to which extremist they elect as their mayor.

It seems that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle-- an African-American woman and an Obama mentor- is considering challenging the man who won't let you open a restaurant in his city unless he likes your political and religious views.

Chicago is a city in big trouble, financially and in every other way. Emanuel certainly will have a hard time making a case for his re-election, though in Chicago making your case in such matters is less important than whose back you are in  a position to scratch. I would argue that he  deserves defeat; his behavior in the Chick-fil-A episode alone ought to disqualify him from further public service in any society which values the Bill of Rights, and I haven't noticed the murder rate dropping precipitately, the budget situation improving, or much other evidence that the city of my birth and youth has benefitted much from thr…

Barack Obama: the 'Super-Nixon'

Richard Milhaus Nixon is one of the most tragic figures in American history.

The malicious Left has never been willing to regard our 37th president as anything other than Satan incarnate, and its vitriol against him (not always, I will grant, undeserved) has been a constant ever since his 1950 California Senate race against Helen Gahagan Douglas. To hear the Left tell it, Nixon had no virtues whatsoever.

But history tells another tale. Whatever one might think of Nixon, were it not for Watergate, his accomplishments in the areas of both foreign and domestic policy were such that he would inevitably have been remembered otherwise at the very least as a near-great president. Thus, he's a classic example of the tragic hero as the Greeks saw him: a man who stood on the pinnacle of greatness, only to be undone by a fatal flaw.

Lyndon Johnson is a similar character. In Nixon's case, the flaw was paranoia, leading both to the Watergate affair and to the rest of what he termed (to pa…

What's this? An HONEST "progressive" academic?

The enmity between the academic Left and academic freedom- indeed, between the Left and dissent of any kind- is axiomatic these days. It's not just that you can't open a chicken restaurant in Chicago unless the mayor likes your politics; you're going to take a major hit on your GPA, suffer all kinds of harassment and discrimination, and maybe be denied a degree- or far more likely, a job- if your prof and/or the Nomenklatura of your university isn't satisfied about your political orthodoxy.

Truth no longer matters on the academic Left. What matters is The Narrative. Indeed, as Nietzsche would have it, what serves The Narrative- what advances the cause, what furthers the will to power- is The Truth to the cultural Left.

But they're generally not honest enough to come right out and say it. If anything, they'll do all they can to deny, tap-dance, and generally obfuscate their own fundamental intolerance and intellectual dishonesty.

Not so Sandra Y.L. Korn, a memb…

'Who is that Man behind the curtain?' More scientists believe in God than you think!

I know. This meme that scientists are overwhelmingly atheists is an oldie-and-moldie, an assertion that never had any particular evidence to support it anyway.

But in fact, scientists are more religious than most people think (thanks, once again, to those secularist-oriented media that so distorts our perceptions on such matters).

Nearly 36 percent of scientists have no doubt about God’s existence.  18 percent of scientists attended weekly religious services (compared with 20 percent of the general U.S. population 15 percent of scientists consider themselves very religious (19 percent). 13.5 percent of scientists read religious texts weekly (17 percent)
This is not to say that scientists, as a group,  are not less religious than most of us. But reports of the spiritual death of the scientific community are, as Mark Twain said of his obituary, highly exaggerated.

HT: Real Clear Religion

No, Christians are NOT more likely to divorce than secular Americans!

It's not enough that the militant Left has been flooding us with propaganda falsifying the data on same-sex relationships (it's been well-established for decades that even "caring and committed" same-sex male couples are rarely sexually monogamous, and- despite the bizarre attempts in some quarters to actually suggest that same-sex relationships are somehow better than  normal ones- that both gay and lesbian relationships are inherently more tumultuous  far less stable than heterosexual ones).

Now they're actually coming up with studies claiming that Christian couples are more likely to divorce than the general population. In fact, that study shows a slightly larger percentage of conservative Christians divorcing today than less-conservative ones. But the most like to divorce by far remain those who are secular Americans!

An examination of those studies here.

It would be nice if the social Left would argue honestly. But if it did, it would lose. Which is why we&#…

Kritarchy in Virginia: once again, political correctness and a judges' preferences trump law and logic on same-sex "marriage"

Yet another Federal judge has abused her powers to impose her personal views on same-sex marriage on the body politic without anything resembling reasonable legal or constitutional grounds.

This time, it was even in the South, the most traditional and socially conservative part of the country.

U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen based her ruling overturning Virginia's popularly-ratified ban on same-sex "marriage" on the extra-legal and extra-constitutional grounds of "inclusivity," choosing to ignore the many  differences, both practical and legal, which make marriage between men and women on one hand and "marriage" between members of the same gender a matter of comparing apples and oranges. As is the case generally with those taking her view, "discrimination" apparently can exist even in cases so dissimilar that a comparison between the two is meaningless.

Which is certainly the case in comparing traditional marriage with the same…

Teresa Wagner: poster child for academic- and personal- freedom

I've remarked before on this blog on the degree to which Iowa is a breeding-ground for political extremism, both left and right. The tendency of the Iowa caucuses to push both parties to the extremes by favoring unelectable ideologues over pragmatic statesmen is probably the best single argument against the primacy of the caucuses in the nominating process. And yesterday I blogged the case of an Iowa legislator who thinks that babies should be aborted because they may have colic.

My adopted home state is the scene of another significant struggle in the battle between reason and unreason, between pragmatism and ideology, and between freedom and its curtailment. Yesterday the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case of Wagner vs. Jones.

You probably haven't heard of the case. You should. Paul Mirengoff discusses it here, over at PowerLine.

The case involves the failure of the University of Iowa to hire an über-qualified pro-life activist over several much les…

I have news for you, Your Honor.

ALL abortion clinics are unsafe.

They're supposed to be. Their sole reason for existing is to take human lives.

And lack of success in taking them in large numbers is not a reason to reduce a $36,000 fine to $77 for a facility so dangerous to both victims of abortion- the mother AND the child.

And the state of my current residence isn't in terribly great shape, either.

It seems that Democratic (naturally) State Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell- an ELCA "Lutheran-" thinks that abortions are a good idea because babies have colic.

She takes this position in opposition to a bill passed by the Republican-controlled house banning- wait for it- webcam abortions.

If there's anything even wackier than an Iowa Republican, it's an Iowa Democrat. Of course, having one's spiritual values formed by the theology of the ***A doesn't exactly help one deal rationally with ethical values, either.

Dissent from The Narrative will NOT be tolerated

More on the Big Brother aspect of the current administration in Washington.

There's one set of rules when you're Michael Moore, and quite another when you're Dinesh D'Souza.

Quite understandable when the party in power is the one cogently described so often as the party of "'Shut up,' he explained." That, of course, is the typical Leftist response to any demand that its policies be justified and rationally defended rather than accepted sola fide by the sheep.

This is not a joke.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and those currently governing the state of my birth are, however.

The state is partnering with the satirical website The Onion to promote Obamacare.

Which is, of course, itself in many ways a joke.

Plantinga on the irrationality of atheism

Here's an interesting interview with Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga on a proposition which I also maintain: that atheism is essentially irrational.

There are a thousand things every atheist believes which cannot be empirically observed and demonstrated. On the other hand, no atheist has yet come up with an explanation for the transition from non-living matter to living and even self-aware beings that is anything other than laughable.

Or, on the other hand, fessed up to the fact that Carl Sagan's appeal to Occam's Razor doesn't work: the notion that physical matter has always existed may save a step in explaining the existence of the universe, but in a natural universe in which entropy rather than stability is the rule it doesn't fit the known facts nearly as well as the prior existence of an agency which is beyond the rules which govern the created- the word is deliberately chosen- order.

An eternal Creator Who is beyond the rules of nature simply makes more…

Ya gotta swear that it's not Obamacare

The Obama administration is now requiring an oath from employers that layoffs are not due to Obamacare.

Whether it even has the legal authority to do so is very questionable, to say the least. But then, this is a president who has already told us in the State of the Union address that he plans, in essence, to do a bit of ruling by decree in his second term.

But make no mistake: the Thought Police are out there- so remember, for heaven's sake, that we have always been at war with East Asia.

Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review comments on the administration's growing lawlessness here, at The Corner.

HT: Drudge

If you're a 'sicko,' stay away from Cuba!

Of all the lies so readily believed by "progressives," the notion that Cuba has a model health care system is one of the most widespread.

Cuba's system is very impressive indeed- if you're a Party member. Until fairly recently, foreign visitors got to use that wonderful health care system, too. But if you're a usually, everyday Cuban, you're lucky if you can get yourself an aspirin.

More detailed information on that point here.

Tom Harken, my (thankfully) soon-to-be-retired senator, is a gullible sort- even gullible enough to be taken in by the Cuban health care nirvana lie.
But then, most "progressives" are. No lie is too big if you're determined enough to believe Michael Moore. But even Al Jazreea- which seems to have bought at least some of the propaganda- is more perceptive on this point than they are.

As that walrus was saying....

Seems that "lifelong Republican" Mark Jacobs, who is one of the GOP candidates seeking to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), contributed to the Senate campaign of New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine.

Oops. In fairness, Corzine was the CEO of the company Jacobs worked for at the time.

Kathleen Parker observes- as I myself have often done- that President Obama seems to have a problem grasping the concept "religious liberty."

"Where's Ruth?" Apparently Hillary Clinton doesn't know.

And speaking of matters Clintonian, why is Rand Paul obsessed with Monica Lewinski?

This article is worth reading simply for its title.

While I personally think it's a load of foma,this guy thinks that Kurt Vonnegut wasn't reallyBonkononist.

Nicholas Hahn ponders Pope Francis's upcoming appointment of a successor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's nemesis, retiring archbishop and culture warrior Francis Cardinal George.

And finally, Mollie Ziegler Hemingwa…