tz's tower

Where I try for an overview of religion (mainly Christian and Catholic), liberty, economics, politics, and life.
Favorite Links
AntiWar.com - The latest news and commentary about leviathan and his fodder
Vox's Blog
Peter Kreeft - lectures
GrokLaw (SCO v. IBM analysis and opensource
And Universalis - the online source for the divine office, liturgy of the hours, and mass readings as well as calendar:
Universalis (USA, Advent on Sunday)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

 

Veni, Vidi, Vichy. The Catholic Bishops have discovered that rights have been eroding.

I do not know how to be properly charitable in the response to the sudden discovery by the Catholic Collective known as the USCCB that the government has been eroding our rights.  Where have they been for the last 5 decades?  Actually they have been supporting the usurpations or have been silent when it did not affect them.

Where were they in 1983 when Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the religion clauses of the First Amendment do not prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from revoking the tax exempt status of a religious university whose practices are contrary to a compelling government public policy, such as eradicating racial discrimination.

Of course back then banning interracial dating, even for a religious reason was nasty but contraception was still not thought of in the same way by the government.  But you cannot divide religious liberty into nice and nasty and hope you will always be considered in the "nice" category.

Personally I find it hard to forget we have an ongoing abortion holocaust murdering a million innocents every year.  The Bishops have their yearly proclamations, and ceremonies, and occasionally something happens, but I cannot help remembering the "Jesus drives out the Moneychangers" since they are now totally upset they might have to write a cheque for a few dollars and in the midst of the raging holocaust it might violate their conscience.

The Church has from its beginning taken care of the poor.  In 1919 it said we need universal health care, and proceeded to build Catholic (charity) hospitals, there were religious orders of registered nurses, and other organizations set out to provide it.  Rerum Novarum taught the total evil of socialism and began the teaching on subsidiarity.

Then came LBJ, and "The Great Society".  The busy Bishops decided to render the whole healthcare mess which was complex and expensive to Caesar, REJECTING the core of Catholic social teaching.  Make no mistake, the Bishops support socialized medicine - like the Europeans and Canadians where there are waiting lists, rationing and hard or soft euthanasia.  As well as state-paid abortion.  For now, the Bishops supported the destruction of liberty and corruption represented by Obamacare.  They object only to the 0.01% of tyranny that violates their conscience.

And apparently, like the right-wing republican "Catholic Radio" (cafeteria Catholicism, but from the other side), they had no outrage at nuns or even children being sexually assaulted:  (Imagine if it was a Priest!)
Steven Langton was a Bishop.  The Archbishop of Canterbury when England was still loyal to the Pope.  He was responsible for the Magna Charta.

Today's Bishops didn't raise a peep I could find when the Indiana Supreme Court destroyed the castle doctrine - that you had no right to resist an unlawful entry by police.  Or warrant-less wiretaps, and immunity for the corrupt corporations that helped.

They wish to have a Government micromanaged society - to take over all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that are the state's responsibility.

They wish and have supported the destruction of liberty, subsidiarity, and have encouraged Socialism over these five decades.  Some prominent Catholics like the late Joseph Sobran and Patrick Buchanan have been trying to stop the cancerous growth of government,  and others today are in the forefront of Liberty as libertarians.

They have at best been ignored by the Bishops.  At worst they have been opposed, sometimes actively if not directly.


For me, the HHS Mandate is merely the last nail in the coffin.  I've been fighting on the side of full liberty and against intrusive government as best I could for the last four decades.  Having the Bishops first come out in support of Obamacare with a promise to be nice, then being betrayed, and now trying to fight just this one narrow mandate is too much.

I am burned out and even resentful of their hypocrisy.  My response to their being upset about the HHS mandate is the same tepid "oh, so what?" they have replied to every expansion of government power, taxes, regulation, especially at the federal level.  People like me have been SHOUTING that the expansion would lead to exactly this result, but they have been deaf for the last few decades, or more preoccupied with having Caesar build the City of God on earth.


Cardinal Dolan, where have you been over the last few decades?  You still believe the Federal Government - maybe by putting a gun to employers like yourself and individuals - needs to "provide" health care or insurance.  That they are within their power to regulate and tax.


No one will fight harder for liberty, but you aren't asking me to fight for liberty.  You are asking me to fight for a corrupt exemption just for you.  Every bit of Obamacare is unconstitutional, tyrannical, and unjust, not just the tiny provision you find objectionable.  You aren't asking to form your own insurance and health system based on the Gospel that anyone or even Catholics like me can join, you want to keep your secularized system.

Cardinal, you want me and everyone else to join you in this petty battle for some tiny shred of liberty you would like to preserve in a land that for efficiency, convenience, or fear (of terrorists) has discarded every other right.

I will only fight a great battle for a great thing - which is nothing less than the restoration of liberty in the Constitution (in the original intent) and Natural Law.


In that great battle the USCCB has been my enemy for most of this time and I see no evidence you really desire liberty for its own sake, in its full and terrible glory.  But you cannot pick and choose which parts of Natural Law, the Constitution, Human Rights you want to fight for and fight against others.


I expect you to eventually lose this battle, as you have lost the battle for the right to life for 39 years.  But at some point the Bishops will realize that Liberty is not severable.  That Caesar should not and cannot do anything without violence for that is what Government is.  That only the Church can and should do works of mercy.  As nothing is impossible with God, it can never be to late to fight on the side of Liberty.  So I will call on the Bishops to fight not just for one tiny shred of liberty, but the whole liberty our founding fathers fought for.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

 

Parthenophobia - the silent bigotry

I would have titled this post "the world has gone mad", but we already know that, but it needs to change its meds.

Recently there was a case where a gay college student was taped <i>in flagrante delicto</i> and the video posted on the internet.  He committed suicide.

I would also note that there was a case of a college girl who went to an abortion clinic where she paid and they said they performed an abortion but she also committed suicide.  The autopsy revealed she NEVER had been pregnant.

The whole thing is madness.

A "What would you do?" this week features a cougar seducing a highschool student.  But isn't he being encouraged to explore his sexuality?

Recently there was some kind of day where everyone was supposed to wear purple in support of gays.

What there should be is (maybe on the feast of the immaculate conception 12/8 or St. Philomena's day 8/11) everyone should wear white just to say that virginity is a sign of virtue, self-control, and that it is something to be tolerated and accepted, if not actually celebrated.

We don't let children legally drink (even if they are in the army killing people) until they are 21 - I'd drop the age, but the principle is the same.  There are minimum ages for driving, validly signing contracts.  And there are statutory rape laws.  What about the boy that has to spend the next 18 years paying child support?  Or the girl who has to raise a child?

Children will do immoral things and rebel, but it does help to have the excuse that something is illegal - they can appeal to the state's typical level of brutality even if parents or church aren't an accepted authority - "If I end up in jail, will you pay my bail, or if  even if we take precautions my girlfriend ends up having a baby, will you pay the child support for me - and put it in writing" would tend to end the debate.

Children mature at different rates, but the average teenager either has been kicked in the teeth many times in the school of hard knocks or doesn't know because he or she hasn't experienced the cold, cruel, world.  In the rush of puberty, no one really knows anything about their sexuality other than the desire to jump on anything to relieve the urges.  There should be an easy way to get through this phase without getting (often literal and permanent) scars.

Let children keep the shreds of their innocence as long as possible.  Not every child is homeschooled, but this is part of the abuse.

Friday, May 25, 2007

 

Speed should kill


And NJ Governor Corzine should be dead, and he himself admits:
“I’m New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.”
So begins Corzine’s public service announcement promoting seat belt use, which is being released Thursday.
...
Corzine has apologized and voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating state law by failing to buckle up as he rode in the front seat of his SUV, which was driven by a state trooper. It crashed after it was clipped by a pickup truck on the Garden State Parkway. The SUV was going 91 mph in a 65 mph zone.

So should state troopers be wearing seatbelts when driving an SUV (which are generally not very nimble) going 25 over? Maybe MADD should also encourage drunk drivers to wear their seatbelts. Drive like a drunken stunt-junkie, but always wear your seatbelt!

Or is it that he doesn't want to be told how fast he should drive, but it's ok to fine him for not buckling up?

Is it just me, or somehow there is something disproportionate here. Like bothering about illegal parking during an armed robbery.

Friday, May 18, 2007

 

Bizarro World



When Rosie O'Donnell actually moderates a discussion and sounds reasonable (about the Rudy-Ron exchange).

The old structures, alliances, and alignments are breaking down. Things are becoming polarized, and even worse than before, but not along the old ideas of left-right, but generally mindless war and imperium v.s. a traditional republic.

 

Fighting an insurgency


The Michigan GOP doesn't know what is hitting them.

After the Chairman started a petition to remove Ron Paul from the debates stating he does NOT represent the GOP, the Ron Paul supporters started contacting him. Coverage is at blog.lewrockwell.com and dailypaul.org which has links to contacts and other coverage sites.

They deserve every headache they have.

Never do they call for this kind of treatment for commie-lib-feminazi candidates who happen to be running as republicans. This guy likes Guiliani, which apparently means anti-gun, pro-abortion, big-spending ARE GOP positions. Quoting the 9/11 commission report apparently isn't.

What happened to "the big tent"?

And Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment?

They were fine as long as the candidates were flaming liberals. Now a true conservative comes up and the tent is suddenly small, and we can speak ill of other republican candidates and even call for their expulsion from the debates.

If that is the party the Michigan GOP represents, I can comfortably do everything I can do discourage support.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

 

Osama and the $6000000 men


We're paying for dead civilians. $2000 per death.
So, if Osama kicked in $6M - 3000 9/11 deaths times $2000, would it make it all better?
And note, these are killed by american weapons, not a suicide bomber from another denomination or political party.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

 

Proportionality


I've been commenting on Cho's massacre, and some of the "why didn't any real men stop him" with responses pointing out that - including the recent fizzled bombing attempt in TX - if you are pro-life, what Cho did, abortionists often do even worse every day. Ought the real men defend these innocents? Using what?

Too many people have compartmentalized the unborn - they may be pro-life but will accept the current holocaust which if done at a millionth the rate to already born humans would have them calling for imposing martial law.

Either the unborn are full persons and the slaughter ought to be considered in that light - so any move, pacifistic, civil disobedient, or violent against abortion and abortionists should be the same toward anyone like a terrorist.

There can only be a different if the prolifer buys into the myth that the unborn are a lesser class.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

 

"Fallen" is a misnomer


We say we have fallen from grace, or are fallen creatures, and the acts of disobedience were "the fall".

This is wrong in the sense that falling is normal. Gravity pulls everything toward the earth. The loose rock "falls" when blown or jarred.

The fall and the continuing effects were not from some semi-stable state where adam and eve needed to be continually watchful less something trivial come along to trip them. It wasn't like stumbling or going to sleep when tired and falling. It is hard to describe, but it is more like if I tried to convince you that your eye was actually a veil and you would see better if you gouged it out - you see through your head, and you might need glasses to compensate for the distortions the eye adds. If you think about it if you didn't know, you might think the eye was like a pair of dirty glasses. Yet if you can find someone innocent enough, you might convince them to suffer through the pain to blind themselves in an attempt to see more clearly.

The only sense in which the "fall" is useful is that our condition is such that we are like someone with numb legs trying to walk across the deck of a boat in rough seas, and even with vigilance we fall, but we ought to attempt to minimize it as much as possible.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

 

Next - the movie which shows free will v.s. predestination


Although I don't think the movie was that great, it did point out how these two things can be the same. The main character sees up to 2 minutes into the future. The camera demonstrates all the possibilities he sees with each choice. In one case he has to search and we see him splitting up as he decides to go left, right, or straight.

I don't know if God will know our decisions, but he does know every possible decision we have ever made and could ever make in all the combinations and provides grace appropriate to that path.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

 

Libertarians 0, Cynics 1


My experiment at my other blog (tobit-3-6) has failed. I have gotten no aid.

Libertarians say that charities and people will be there to help others. Sorry, that is completely false. Maybe they will help select others, or create charitocracies that are to help their guilt rather than a suffering person's pain, but they won't help someone in visible need.

Taxation is still stealing, but that doesn't change the world at large which is indifferent or even cruel far more often than beneficial. To put it differently, the sin of general uncharity doesn't justify the sin of theft against the uncharitable.

 

Some nonsense on Cho


Even Walter Williams said the school should have expelled him. If the university discovered it had a dangerous chemical, something toxic and/or explosive (picric acid has been found in old chemistry classroom supply rooms), should they have just dumped it on the nearest public street off campus?

You have a person which is a live grenade with the pin pulled who will explode. Would it have been better if he shot 33 at a highschool, mall, hospital, public building or somewhere else?

This is one of the questions where there are no simple answers. During any whatever pride weekend there will be behavior far more bizarre than Cho exhibited. Should they be banned and the students who insist on doing such things be expelled?

And yet, he apparently was bullied at the school, but not in an un-PC way that would have the students who dissed him expelled. So bullying was acceptable?

I only bring this up because it is very specifically NOT a simple question. You can't draw lines on a mandelbrot set.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

 
I've been in a great deal of pain lately and am generally discouraged. So I've decided that between lent and divine mercy sunday (the sunday after easter sunday) I will be commenting at a new blog discussing my situation, charity, "the problem of pain", and related issues. I invite you to take a look and perhaps stay. I do promise to blog daily there, but generally not on politics.

I've been commenting on Vox Populi and Taki's top Drawer and plan to continue intermittently there.

So unless something really significant happens, I won't be posting here until mid-april, and even then I'll leave a pointer on the new blog.

Friday, January 12, 2007

 

The quadraplegic body of christ


When I think of St. Paul's discussion of Christ with Jesus himself as the head, but with the church as the body, the only image I can bring up today is one of Christopher Reeve.

Ask for help, you will be pushed to a library, or to a charitable bureaucracy, or be told that's unfortunate, but if we elect more caring politicians things will be better.

The church can't even seem to breathe on its own - We don't have catholic hospitals that provide healing - they ask you what kind of insurance you have and will bill you into bankruptcy just like any other. People in difficulty are given counseling or a list of governmental agencies to apply for aid. But the government is not the church.

Instead of breathing and eating and walking around on our own and using our helping hands, we have governmental machinery to do all that for us while our body has atrophied to the point we can't even remember nor could do things even if we wanted to. But is this what Christ wanted?

Some might say it is more efficient. But efficiency is not charity. Charity requires love. A touch. Something personal. Helping the faceless poor, or going with the pharisee's trumpet's blaring to homeless shelters for a photo-op turkey dinner service is no part of the gospel message. He didn't say they will know you are christians by your political activism.

We need to recover the strong, muscular "body of christ" of the first christians, and the medeval saints who established real hospitals, and others who helped whom they found in the state they found them in directly instead of trying to build systems, or have the king build systems.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

 

Lack of brotherhood


Something struck me as strange at a large show of motorcycle products I went to this weekend. It was only strange because when I was growing up it would have been as common as seeing people smoking. Two brothers were looking at some motorcycle in a manufacturer's booth.

Brothers. Two. Looking similar but not twins. I remember growing up, it was common to see groups of three brothers or sisters or other collections from the same family. Yet now, even the "red states" have taken to zero population growth.

A society without large families will be very different than one with. You might wonder at the arabs and the rest of the Islamic world - how they survive without the materialism and socialism. But their safety-net is their families. When you have lots of uncles, nephews, brothers, cousins (and I don't mean to ignore the female side - it is as important but I don't want to keep sounding redundant and you can think on that side for yourself).

Why do we need "big government" to save us? Because we don't have a dozen family members who might be able to share a burden. We have maybe two or there.

I've already commented about the tens of thousands of soldiers who are not in Iraq now since they were killed 20 years ago in abortion clinics. When you have only one son, his death is a lot more disruptive than if he is the only soldier among 5 brothers. Because we as a culture don't consider life precious in quantity, we are forced to overdo it in quality.

Europe is dead, and we are in our death-spiral. Catholic doctrine is correct, but most protestant denominations have bought into that part of the culture of death - and Catholics follow the culture.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

 

Heaven has a place for those who pray


The Simon and Garfunkel song, "Mrs Robinson" keeps going through my head, except with the persona of Mr. (Rev. Marion "Pat") Robertson.

Deuteronomy 18:20 says:

But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death." You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

"Do not be afraid" can be rendered as "Have utterly no respect whatsover" from the hebrew.

Of course he might be right. Predicting snow in Canada in winter is also likely to come to pass.

(I will also add interpreting scripture into this. How many of Hal Lindsey's and the rest of "Armageddon is around the corner" gang were predicting the Soviet Union taking over the world. If they were so wrong on that - and don't seem to be bothered by Bush's RFID passports, real-id, and the rest, something is very wrong with them and I'd add them to the same heap the Rev. Robertson finds himself upon).

He didn't suggest a way to avoid it - perhaps throwing abortionists into the nearest active volcano? Of course the supreme court would not allow that any more than they would allow abstinence to be taught in government schools, after all they want no child left behind in a state of virginity.

Monday, January 01, 2007

 

Revenge, not Justice


Saddam Hussein is dead. And there are celebrations. But they are the kind that occur in the shiite neighborhoods when some bomb kills random sunnis, or in sunni neighborhoods when a bomb kills random shiites, or in both when americans are killed.

This is why "Democracy" cannot work. There or nearly any place else in the middle east (and I even wonder about Israel if they get their wish and the arab problem disappeared tomorrow - would the Ashkenazi and the Safartic jews start battling?).

And we are still too quick to execute people in the US (it would be no loss if the death penalty is eliminated - those who approve of it are also seeking revenge, not justice).

Western Civilization is a combination rooted in the rational thought of Scholastic Roman Catholicism, refined through various protestant ethics, and refined by parts of the enlightenment. But this old and rare refined system is not easily transplanted.

For now, we have Iraqis trained to do the pantomime in elections and courtrooms, but still end up slaughtering their enemies out of revenge, often when we are looking and sometimes even with our aid. And no matter how the form is imitated, the spirit and substance comes from christian thought and hearts. Those who say it is better to turn the other cheek, to forgive, to not remember wrongs easily. That anger itself is a sin. That the church and community is best at solving such things and that the state is what those who can't easily be reformed are thrown into much as the unrepentant will end up in hell.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

 

Reason, Morality, Law, and God


This was originally a comment on Vox's blog:

The arguments [about atheists and how they might construct a morality] here are interesting as they are part of what anarchists (market style) want to try to use to establish a law without any state.

The practical extension is where morality becomes law - whom can use force and when?

Can I impose my will - even something perfectly rational and hence just like the golden rule upon someone? If I'm imposing an arbitrary will using force, in what way does it help if it is "rational". Or is this breaking of free will, maybe free expression, etc. intrinsically evil and thus contradictory?

Christians posit a loving and rational God, and Muslims at least posit a God who would want human souls in heaven with him. In either case the laws listed are designed to be a verification and extension of reason, mainly because the goal isn't merely temporal peace and prosperity, but eternal bliss. And the morality of the latter is a proper superset of the former.

The atheist's problem is that unlike mathematics and physics, he doesn't come up with a law which is obeyed by the universe, only at best an "ought" with weighted consequences applied to imperfect (christians would use the word "fallen" here) humans.

And the fundamental problem is the inability to always choose the good - I ought to exercise but instead will eat the ice cream. I ought to avoid defrauding people but I prefer a hi-cost, low-labor lifestyle.

So reason is sufficient for identifying most evils, but that stops neither the atheist nor the christian from doing them.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

 

More Microsophistry


I didn't know this, but it should have been expected. Windows 2000 has no patch to update the definition of "daylight savings time" (The congress added a few weeks for this and future years). My objection is not so much that they don't release the patch, but they still maintain licensing, copyright, EULA, whatever to prevent anyone else from easily fixing it. Meanwhile IE7 breaks a lot of things.

As much as I've had annoyances with Ubuntu (Dapper took a while to get 3D graphics to work, Edgy broke it), at least I can theoretically fix them. It might need some effort, but either I or someone else will fix the problems.

With Microsoft, the fix is top buy the service pack labeled as the next version for over $100. (I am not kidding - the last version of Windows 95 with USB support was compared with the first version of Windows 98 and they differed LESS than a normal service pack; also Windows 2000 was Windows NT version 5 - they also just added USB support, but if they called it a "service pack" they couldn't charge as much for the upgrade).

Friday, December 15, 2006

 

The Sacred and the Profane



Jesus said don't give what is sacred to dogs, do not cast pearls before swine.

The Constitution party is going through a bit of a soul-searching, but the reports of its death are premature. That doesn't mean that it won't cease or that it will become relevant.

The desire to be a 100% pro-life party is one of the key issues which they should keep. I don't know and can't find the transcripts of what happened at Tampa, so all I have is hearsay. But it seems it was a "Disaffiliate them or we will leave" type a threat.

Governance is the reconciliation of conflicting principles - even the most important ones. Was proper procedure followed? Was the move to eject the Nevada affiliate (who dissented by allowing cases of rape and incest) done properly? Or is the rule of law instead of men not also an important principle? As well as loyalty and friendship?

But one objection I not only dispense with, but consider that it stains those who would raise it is to turn a political party into a church. Or something sacred.

As I've pointed out in earlier posts, Government is evil. A necessary one, but still an evil. They must steal in the form of taxation. They do arrest people and deprive them of liberty before they are adjudicated as guilty and rarely compensate (and even if they did, wouldn't it be with monies stolen from others by taxation?). When a road is built, taking a property even if it is lavishly compensated is still theft.

There is no way to make government or governance holy. It is only necessary because we are fallen group of beings and is concerned mostly with mitigating the worst effects of the fall.

But I would suppose there are some who think you could have a rest-room as a church.

It may give some glory to God if government is done in a way which minimizes evil, which would include the evils of division and infighting, quarreling and detraction. But if the constitution party cannot even avoid such within their ranks, how could they possibly govern even the smallest part of a nation?

(Detraction is the same as slander except that the information is true instead of false, but it is damaging - and often the damage is intentional).

Christians generally are called to suffer evils. And if there is a disagreement to move without creating more bad blood. Getting up in foreign public forums and denouncing the other side is not an example of Christian behavior and makes unbelievers question Christianity itself.

When a brother has fallen you threaten and do disown him and make nasty if true remarks from another pulpit? Where's that in the Bible?

Not all tests and temptations are blatant. Some are subtle and seductive. To take the easy path or to walk the wrong direction on the narrow one. Some paths that lead in the right direction are also wide and still end up in hell.

And if Christians cannot keep the peace within their own ranks, God will send cruel pagans who will keep it for them.

And if they are faithless in small things, how can they expect God to grant them large things?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

 

Judge Roy Moore Hates the Constitution


As do those on "The American View".

In his article today at WND he complains that one of the new members of congress will take an oath on the Koran. Of course he states:

To support the Constitution of the United States one must uphold an underlying principle of that document, liberty of conscience, which is the right of every person to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience, without interference by the government.

I guess it means except muslims.

And I wonder if he's ever read the constitution particularly article VI:

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.

If he doesn't like it, he can amend it if he can get the votes in congress and the states. Otherwise he is no better than those who claim the department of education is constitutional because it is "good" (even the bible suggests education). But that is not an enumerated power.

Actually it is worse since the constitution speaks plainly on the matter. This is not even some of the less direct words in the bill of rights (e.g. "A well regulated militia...").

What part of the bold text above does the judge misunderstand or understand the clear meaning of but rejects anyway? Or can he find emanations and penumbras like they did when they wanted to make contraception and abortion rights?

On "The American View" though, John Lofton and Michael Peroutka have taken the same view - that there must be a religious test for public office and specifically a test of christianity (though they don't specify if they consider Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Mormons, or Jehovah Witnesses, much less Jews as qualifying). The link is to program 69. At the cue point 18:48 "the founding fathers insisted on a credible confession of faith".

You cannot find this in Madison's convention record or the debates, the ratification debates, the federalist or anti-federalist literature or any court finding I know of through 1825 where there might have been some real debate about what article VI really meant, much less that it meant precisely the opposite of the penned words. It was simply noncontroversial. It meant exactly what it said. (I would note state governments had loyalty oaths, but they were also to specific denominations but at the time this was a state, not a federal matter).

But I doubt anyone will argue the point. They will simply imagine the founding fathers really agreed with them even though they left absolutely no record or any other indication of such an idea. Go ahead, find any documented evidence (but something better than Jefferson's letter to the Baptists talking about the wall of separation since most don't accept it).

I've also had to defend things from the other side - there were only three clear and prominent "deists" in our founding fathers (Franklin, Paine, and Jefferson, though the latter was more unitarian and the former believed that God kept track of our good and bad deeds), most of the signers were clearly and unequivocally Christians - trinitarian and believing God plays a role in our lives today. But specifically they look to europe and the wars between the great religions and even between denominations (most Americans were nonconformists) and wanted no part of it.

But it makes it hard when people think it is better to violate (yes, as in rape) the clear language of the Constitution as long as they are doing it for Christ. They do the work of the devil. As Thomas Moore said (when he noted the devil would be entitled to protection under the law), when the laws are gone, what will protect you from the devil?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

At least Putin is a protector


Crosspost comment from Vox's Blog:

I have to applaud Putin in the sense he is the Pat Buchanan of his nation.

Poisoning? Look to the oligarch who visited a country starting with "I" not under the NPT first.

But that is my point. The old guard became oligarchs and sold the old soviet resources off for pennies on the dollar - as long as the pennies ended up in their swiss bank accounts.

Over here, with the copyright and patent IP mining, as well as the corporate welfare queens, "free trade" agreements that basically specify we can be raped and they can't, open borders for mexican illegals, and other corporatism (note I'm a liberatarian, but many corporatists masquerade as libertarians).

As I've asked (and never gotten answered) often at mises.org - does free trade include the trafficking in stolen merchandise? The now rich oligarchs and russian mafia didn't exactly establish correct ownership of those things Putin is reasserting rights to.

And at least for all the literally KGB like tactics Putin might be using, he is doing so in defense of his country and nation. Bush does the same things or fails to do things so corporations can get rich.

Not that I can endorse him but Putin at least has good ends. Bush the infantile has evil in both the means and the ends.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

 

Magic v.s. Technology, what are they?



I've pointed out that Harry Potter's world is one of technology, not magic. If Hermione pointed an advanced voice activated remote control with replicator (as per Star Trek) abilities to fix Harry's glasses, there would not be a controversy. Or if they were mixing DNA segments with pharmaceuticals in their potions class.

So what is technology? What is Magic? Peter Kreeft notes that CS Lewis in The Abolition of Man noted they often serve the same ends - control over nature, only that technology has been more effective.

To cut to the chase, Technology is matter on matter. Magic is spirit on matter. When I ignite a fire using any of several methods, use protons to transmute elements, etc. I am employing something which is an extension of my body, not my soul or spirit. For it to be magic, either an Angel or a Demon would have to be involved (I'm not sure that humans are specifically incapable of magic by themselves, only that if possible, it requires either talent, practice, or some other thing which makes the ability rare and/or obscure). When a witch draws a circle and commands a demon to ignite something - that is Magic.

There are spiritual things in Harry Potter, but they aren't the same things or used in the same way. We use horses for transport, but HP doesn't use a dementor to do magic.

 

A VERY, VERY important article by William Lind



On War #195
December 4, 2006

Boomerang Effect

By William S. Lind

Last week, one of my students, a Marine captain, asked whether I had heard a news report about an “IED-like device” supposedly found near Cincinnati, and if I thought we would soon start seeing IEDs here in the U.S. I replied that I had not heard the news story, but as to whether we would see IEDs here at home, the answer is yes.

One of the things U.S. troops are learning in Iraq is how people with little training and few resources can fight a state. Most American troops will see this within the framework of counterinsurgency. But a minority will apply their new-found knowledge in a very different way. After they return to the U.S. and leave the military, they will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state. It will not be long before we see police squad cars getting hit with IEDs and other techniques employed by Iraqi insurgents, right here in the streets of American cities.

Continued...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

 
Cracked Pottery Barn rules

I wrote a response to an article about Iraq at mises.org

Here libertarian readers will at once interpose an objection. Should we not welcome the demise of a strong state, rather than mourn its passing? The objection misfires.

By "Strong State", do you mean Iraq or the United States of America? Is not Mises.org and the rest of the company specifically dedicated to the demise of the Strong State on this soil (I've noted before no one actually moved to Somalia and although they often praised its stateless existence they provided no aid to maintain it).

Also note that by saying (to paraphrase) "by invading, the US owes Iraq...", you don't address the Spooner objection that he never personally agreed to the constitution. The same thugs and tyrants who oppress the US Citizens (try smoking or traveling via air, to say nothing about taxes) are the same ones who destroyed Iraq.

Personally, if you are going to talk reparations, you can start with present company. Except the government is already bankrupt. Whom are you going to steal from in order to provide the funding?

Yes, if you in your automobile injure another you could justly be responsible for his medical bills, but that doesn't mean you have any ability to pay them. Yet the government which does the oppression also passes compulsory insurance laws - whatever the ideal of justice might say. In the eternal scheme of things, I may owe you, but in the temporal, do I owe you or not when the government says I don't? And if it has the authority (even mere argumentum ad balaculum) to say that, why doesn't it have the authority to say the war was fine and we can just leave the wreckage and rubble to the now liberated populace in Iraq.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

 

I can't yet blog from my hog; Securitocracy


Sorry for the gap, but we've had the last bit of nice weather over the last week and I've been overindulging on my Night-Train before it goes into winter storage.

But I do want to comment on the six Imams.

Which of the statements do you consider true:

1. The TSA with its gate-rapes and clearly identifiable air-marshalls should have made everyone on the plane feel safe - in effect the TSA certified them as harmless and the imams should sue and get beaucoup bucks as well as force the airlines and passengers to undergo "government works so don't bother muslims" sensitivity training.

2. All that security stuff is nonsense, so the six Imams could have been a real threat even with all the wasted time, indignities, huge cost, and real trouble every airline passenger is already subjected to, so we should eliminate the TSA, DHS, and probably most of the rest of the Securitocracy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

 

Tidings of comfort, but no joy


I was reading on WND a complaint about why people are so angry, mad, sad, etc. and how this thanksgiving day we should be thankful.

The PR firm of Mammon and Molech have managed to change the debate.

It wasn't about how important friends and family are. It cited the example of a teenager having a cell phone as how good things were, but the whole article was basically a secular and materialist list of comforts.

Yes, with cell phones they can keep in touch as their divorced parents decide who gets Thanksgiving and who gets Christmas.

They should be thankful they weren't aborted.

If your family is intact, and you have friends, be thankful for that. The junk won't last anyway.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

 

It isn't all bad


Today:

The WSJ reports Democrats May Eliminate IRS's Use of Collection Agencies

Meanwhile, at WND Jill Stanek says she isn't really calling for a purge of homosexuals when she is calling for exactly that - but gives Santorum a pass on Spectre. Why the double standard?

She wants her politicians to per personally pure and publically traitors to the pro-life cause?

I'd prefer someone who votes 100% pro-life. We are all sinners, some have less popular vices and sins than others.

Monday, November 13, 2006

 

I should clarify


Any soul, even a politician's, is far more valuable than any temporal thing so I really do care if they are going to heaven or hell, and what they might do or not do "in the closet" can affect that. However I can't know their final destination, all I can know is how they ACTUALLY vote on issues. And if they are voting themselves into hell, they may have to stay out of office as alcoholics normally must be kept out of bars.

 

Arguments about aristocrats, texts, words, and deeds



A comment thread on Vox Populi I replied to, but my points may be of general interest.


Aren't we attempting, even in a democracy to establish an aristocracy? If we are all equal in the larger sense, it makes no sense if I vote for a socialist dropout than a learned libertarian.

And even Protestants usually don't pick one of the congregation to be pastor of the week - they usually find someone with learning or at least a charism for preaching.

Your complaint is not that we don't have an aristocracy, but that the aristocratic offices are filled with stupid, fallen, and otherwise corrupt people. But this is equally true of our leveler methods of rulership.

As to greeks or jews or romans, before Christ, each had their own evils. The most perfect keepers of the Law were the Pharisees, and you already know the labels Jesus applied to him. Greek and Roman culture too had high points and low points - similarly recognizing the law, but at best you could get a virtuous pagan.

But to bring the discussion to the center, Either Jesus Christ was special, and I should weigh his words and deeds above others, or he is on the same level. And either the Apostles and his mother are specially chosen by him and I should respect and venerate them, Peter - the rock upon which he built his church - beyond the rest, or they too are "just as good as me and you". And the diciples, saints, martyrs were no better and no worse?

Jesus was literate and instead of teaching a bunch of fishermen and other rabble, he could have founded a scriptorium and dictated something far clearer and better than the Bible, and distributed it then go to the cross and at the Ascension just dropped the scrolls like so many leaflets.

Instead he established a Church with it's Traditions. The same way at Sanai he had a few words written in stone, many more written down as the Torah, but many, many, more words which established Jewish Tradition on how to understand and apply the Torah. The Torah is more clearly written than the Gospels and Acts, and even it also required a priesthood and a set of traditions - not all written down.

The bible itself doesn't claim sola scriptura, nor does it establish its own canon - I think only the bookends (Torah and Apocalypse) assert their own canonicity with "God told me to write this down" from an unimpeachable source. Maybe a few of the prophets. I don't think you can find even in the Gospel of John an internal claim of inspiration.

Nor do we have the original manuscripts - hence the argumentation.

And that is even in violation of Jesus' own words. If you believe Jesus said and meant what is the Sermon on the Mount, I doubt you are living it out perfectly. Instead you wish to argue if one imperfect copy of some text is better or worse than an imperfect translation of the same text. I would assert you know what Jesus said and meant and the world would be better off if everyone spent more time and effort living it out than arguing obscure issues - as Paul said about arguments about words. But you don't act what he says out either.

 

Election aftermath



Vox Day talks about the 3monkeys waking up

Craig Smith weighs in too

And in response to Jill Stanek's WND article today, I wrote:

On Santorum, either the "5 non-negotiables" are actually just suggestions, or Santorum violated them in his endorsement of Spectre. Worse, he has said it was God who gave him victory over impossible odds in his elections - so by endorsing Spectre he implicitly said God's power fizzled out in 2004.

To the rest, I can just sah "Duuuuuhhhhh".

The conservatives dumped the faux conservative republicans who promise and campaign one way and actually vote the opposite.

Many of the democrats are conservative.

As to whether a politician is homosexual or not, I really don't care. I really do care how he or she votes. I'm still not sure about Liberace's private life, but I enjoyed his shows and music. Those can stand alone.

I would remind people that declamation (telling the truth to cause hurt) is also a sin, and a serious one. Even true gossip is still gossip - it just isn't slander.

And that is where we can make a critical mistake. Do we elect pure and innocent wimps, or fallen heros that will do their duty?

For 2008 and beyond (and for me before) the question is not whether you are a nice person or I think you will get to heaven. It is "If I elect you, will you do everything to reverse Roe v. Wade , ban euthanasia and embryonic vivisection, and even pass a human life ammendment"? If the answer is yes, I don't care what you do in the closet. If the answer is no, I still don't care if you have been faithful to your spouse for 50 years as you will not be faithful to me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

 

Kill people and break things


Rush identified the function of a military, but government in general merely adds two more things to murder and vandalism: theft and assault/battery/imprisonment.

The police sometimes do the things a military does, but in order to function it needs to both tax and appropriate land (for things like roads), and it needs to be able to coerce and/or quarantine criminals - or even those who might pose another hazard (a carrier of a deadly disease or someone mentally unable to function).

This is why I admit government is evil. But there are evil people too, and whatever you end up calling the system that handles them, it will be a government. And there are cases where people can only act collectively or not at all (I've given the case of irrational people refusing to give their property to a road builder - one "libertarian" response seemed to imply that the laws of geometery could be amended - a road is best when it goes through the straightest or topographically easiest path, but even taking something and leaving something of greater value is theft).

And in sum, that is why government must be limited to the smallest possible to accomplish the smallest number of tasks it can be possibly allowed.

You might add the accomplishment of building the road or even settling a dispute, but I've noted above the former requires theft and the latter will require using coercive measures - people cannot normally ignore state judgments.

 

A lapsed Anglican



Someone once joked that many episcopalians were "lapsed" Catholics, leading one to wonder what a lapsed anglican might be.

Wonder no more, John Derbyshire explains. Though "lapsed" is entirely my take on the situation.

Wesley J. Smith responded and the conversation continued.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

 

The price of War


And now the recriminations.

But just like any government intervention, it will have unintended consequences which are often as bad if not worse than the situation the intervention was designed to relieve.

But war is that much worse. It is an execution in every sense. You will murder the guilty and innocent and destroy much good in the process.

I've written that any state intervention is best though of like chemotherapy - something very bad and difficult and only warranted for the few instance where doing nothing is much worse - like cancer.

War is like having to chew off your leg to escape a trap. It will be utterly horrible and debilitating and costly in every way imaginable. Every other alternative is better. So only if something is both confirmed as being a real threat to the continued existence and liberty should it even be considered, much less enacted.

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

Rush, Hannity are also compromisers



When have you last heard Rush talk about Abortion. Or Hannity. Or any of the "right wing media". Oh, that's right, they might lose a ratings point or two. Rush complained that at his tour, people would leave when he brought up the subject and came back in afterward. And when was the last "gay community update"?

What about the hundreds of thousands of soldiers murdered two decades ago before they were even born. Wouldn't Iraq have gone better if these children weren't killed and some joined the service?

Every child killed by Planned Parenthood is one that Osama won't have to bother with tomorrow.

I've asked about a Hizbullah Abortion Clinic killing future IDF soldiers - but it has and is happening here.

If the conservative media would have just shown an abortion - Saw IV and Hostel II, now playing really live down the street at your local clinic - I'd like to see Colmes say he is OK with it while Hannity is holding up the picture - the Republicans might have won. People will favor removal of tissue blobs but not the shredding of live babies. But their ratings would suffer. So evade. Just like the GOP. But they will eventually disappear.

And I did tune into Rush complaining about Germany charging Rummy about Abu Gharib. He didn't mention if he was irate because Rummy is actually innocent, or because Rummy actually ordered it and we should do more cruel things. He complained about Clinton's evasions and changing defenses.

I would respect him and the administration a whole lot more if they would just come out and say they wish to be cruel barbarians and do monstrous things to muslims. That at least would be honest. Bush said of Abu Gharib "That is not the America I know". So how did it happen? Who is responsible?

 

On Hypocracy



At his blog, Vox quotes an article about the recent pederast pastor, then comments about how we are all hypocrites.

My response is in his comment section, but I'm going to reproduce it here:

The reason Hypocracy is gravely sinful is because it represents deep unforgiveness.

I can go on about differences between denominations, but does anyone doubt Jesus own words when he was asked how WE should pray?

Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us.

In effect, a hypocrite is saying Gods mercy doesn't extend to a particular type of sinner or occasion of sin - which the person himself is caught up in.

This is the meaning of the Pharisee v.s. the Tax Collector. The former in the temple said "I'm glad I'm not like that sinner" and was not forgiven, but the latter begged God for mercy and was forgiven.

You cannot ask God to forgive you and condemn others for the same thing - remember the parable of the man who owed several thousand talents?

"Blessed are the merciful for they will obtain mercy".

I don't have to find any "hard" parts of the bible. Jesus plain words suffice.

There are four sins against the holy spirit (which will not be forgiven). The first two are presumption and despair, and hypocracy is the emulsifier which allows an admixture of these two to kill a soul. Despair that sins won't be forgiven, and persumption in that instead of needing to repent and ask for forgiveness, condemning the sin itself effects salvation.

A Hypocrite invokes God's justice and denies God's forgiveness and mercy at the same time, but the latter is a greater attribute.

God is truth which would imply justice, but God is even more love which would imply mercy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

 

And on Novell getting paid by Microsoft to die



It would do well to remember the Plays for Sure devices and those microsoft promises now that they are selling the Zune.

No, virginia, Plays for Sure music - it got that name to convince vendors and consumers everything will work together - won't work on the Zune, nor will music for the Zune work on PfS devices.

 

Well, I sorta care...



As I write this the senate is up for grabs. Other than the so-far vain hope that the Bush judiciary will overturn Roe, I wouldn't care. In this case I just hope there are enough to confirm a constructionist - assuming Bush ever nominates one.

I don't know if this is a good thing or not. Ron Paul has been reelected, and God's standard apparently has dropped from 10 to 1, which might just be grading on a curve - he demanded 10 good men lest Sodom and Ghomorrah be destroyed.

In another race, Santorum - who denied the power of God in 2004 to give victory (to Pat Toomey), yet said his earlier victories were God's doing (at the Detroit Men's Conference) lost badly. George Washington (as well as Terry Goodkind's Wizard's 7th rule) says "Deserve Victory". Santorum deserved defeat. Justice still prevails. No, I'm not happy about the loss of a pro-lifer, but I am happy about the loss of a hypocrite who specifically went against the 5 "non-negotiables" while claiming to be a good catholic. As his leader said, "You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists".

In another Saddam, Bill Lind is against executing Saddam. His proposal makes sense, although I normally would detest realpolitik. This is a must-read, although I would suggest we don't need delta-force as much as just doing a little oops.

When you have someone who is fallen and is acting that way, usually it is ineffective to try to punish him or alter the situation even if the status quo is bad for his family - the alternative is often worse.

Christians cannot bring heaven down to earth and their attempts to do so almost always summon hell.

And that is not even when they are doing something hellish like war to depose another, usually lesser evil.

If a country has made a pact with the devil, it is best to leave them in their hell unless they call - no, actually plead for redemption.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

 

Remove the chains or add more



Joseph Farah today in WND suggests he hopes for a complete democratic defeat. I don't. Here is my response.

If you come upon a very hungry lion fighting with a very hungry bear, you should try to even the battle, not hope that one will win, since after eliminating the opponent they will come after you.

The lesser evil is still evil. Evil republicans will not become good because the evil democrats are defeated. They will simply become worse since there will be no opposition.

Our founding fathers and the constitution would have a different take. They knew government was evil so designed the three evil branches to fight each other - the congress was supposed to batter the executive and vice versa, and the court would act as a biased referee to be honored or ignored.

The GOP controlling the house is not acting as a check on Bush. For all the other evil she would attempt, Pelosi would act as a check (and Bush would act as a check on her). Bush might cut and run, but he also might appoint someone who would fight the war on their terms and even win. This sit and bleed policy is only possible because the legislature won't goad the executive into changing. And two years of Pelosi in the house is likely to prevent Frau Chancellor from getting into office. Not the least reason is that the GOP is likely to find another libertarian Reagan instead of a mushy pro-abort moderate for president.

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