Tuesday, September 5, 2017

In 65 Years, the World Has Turned Upside Down

This piece was published on August 30, 2017, but with Labor day coming, and preparations for a house full of guests, I didn't have much time to devote to finding stories to highlight for readers.  The article in question is by David French at the National Review entitled Can a Progressive's 'Inclusive Values' Include Christianity? French starts off by acknowledging that he has signed the Nashville Statement, which, as he points out:
Over the weekend, I was honored to sign a document called the Nashville Statement. It’s a basic declaration of Christian orthodoxy on sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Its 14 articles can be boiled down to a simple statement: We believe the Bible is the word of God, and the word of God declares that sexual intimacy is reserved for the lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage. It acknowledges the reality of same-sex attraction as well as the reality of transgender self-conceptions, but denies that God sanctions same-sex sexual activity or a transgendered self-conception that is at odds with biological reality. In other words, it’s basic Christianity.
Too often I think we hear the words of condemnation: we have sinned, but we don't hear the words of grace: but if you truly repent, God will forgive you. The Nashviille Statement contains both the condemnation and the grace. It is thus well balanced, and indeed, I signed it myself. Would that the church body to which our congregation belongs, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America could write such a powerful, yet Biblically accurate statement of faith. Alas, it has been taken over by radicals like so many other institutions in America. But according to French, many Evangelicals think that being a Christian means never hurting anyone's feelings:
The backlash was of course immediate, with multiple liberal Evangelicals deriding the statement as cruel or mean. In their theology, God’s word is subject to an overriding cultural and political test. One can reject even His clearest commands if those commands are “mean” or “intolerant.” And what’s “mean” or “intolerant” is — oddly enough — defined almost entirely by secular social revolutionaries...
The statements by Jen Hatmaker, a respected Evangelical and author, are troubling to say the least. It is as if she has read and internalized only one half of the Bible, and discarded the other half. But Jen Hatmaker at least represents just one person's opinion. She has no power to make us do anything. The mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry's statement that the Nashville Statement does not represent the "inclusive values of the city & the people of Nashville" is more troubling because:
This statement is in many ways far more ominous than anything that comes from the liberal Evangelical world. The liberal Evangelical argument is one reason that the Nashville Statement was necessary. The authors and signatories expected pushback. Barry’s statement, however, is different. It’s not separation of church and state, it’s a declaration of state against church. We are reaching a troubling stage of American politics when the reality of American pluralism is yielding to a demand for cultural and religious uniformity. Megan Barry is expected to have a position on civil rights and civil liberties, but that’s a far cry from stating that Biblical orthodoxy is incompatible with the “inclusive values” of a city that’s located in the heart of the Bible Belt. The Southern Baptist Convention has a headquarter building right in downtown Nashville. You can’t drive five minutes in Nashville without seeing a church that’s teaching exactly the values and beliefs contained in the Nashville Statement. Is Barry’s position that they should change their ways, shut up, or leave?
We are living in times not much different that those Paul describes in his letters to the Corinthians. In 65 years the world has been turned upside down. Father give us strength to keep proclaiming your word.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bloomberg Exposed

I am taking off an admittedly biased news source today, as the reporting appears to be accurate.  My piece comes from an NRA/ILA blog post entitled Disaffected Gun Control Activist Exposes Bloomberg Top Down Bureaucracy. The post in turn cites another post by Kate Ranta at the Huffington Post. I cite the NRA/ILA post because I suspect many of my readers don't quite believe that Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action are in fact astroturf groups.  I don't cite Kate Ranta's piece at HuffPo, because I don't want to give them any more traffic, but if you want to read it, you can find the link in the NRA/ILA post.

True "grass roots" organizations rely on dues from members for their financial support, and unless these groups are very large, depend on volunteers to show leadership and to do any sort of lobbying of the legislature.  Because these groups can show a large, well organized membership, they do get the attention of legislatures and the public.  Such groups include the Virginia Citizens' Defense League and Grass Roots North Carolina. In addition, such groups typically have a narrow focus because once the scope widens, disagreements with the goals of the group may split the group apart. Grass Roots North Carolina is a typical example. The focus is on gun rights. That doesn't mean that gun rights advocates don't care about other rights as well, just that they have chosen to get involved with gun rights through a focused group.

An astroturf organization is so named because unlike a grass roots organization, there are no roots.  Astroturf is all show and no substance, like the carpet for which it is named,  manufactured by the AstroTurf corporation. Astroturf operations tend to be waged by a lone person or a corporation, in this case by Michael Bloomberg, who funds most of the activity. Astroturf relies on paid lobbyist, paid spokesmen, and their messaging is carefully orchestrated from the top.  This is why Bloomberg routinely outspends grass roots gun advocacy groups but loses anyway.

Michael Bloomberg appears to be a narcissistic, ego maniac, who wants to control everyone and everything, from how big a soft drink they can buy, to how much salt restaurants put in food, to whether or not you and I can defend ourselves.  I don't understand such people, and I really don't want to.  I just want to be left alone.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fred Read: To the Barricades

I like to read Fred Reed as he writes about seeming everything.  Fred has led a misspent life, which gives him an excellent, if cynical, perspective.  His take on the current civil war is contained in his post To The Barricades: We Will At Least Be Less Bored. Fred writes:
Half the country, led by New York, wants to control, and does control, everything of importance to the other half. Everything is decided remotely: what your children learn in school, what you can’t say to them because they might tell their teachers; who you have to hire, with whom you have to associate, what religious practices are permitted, whether you can have a Christmas tree in the town square or sing carols on the public streets, whether you can defend yourself and your family. New York versus the Deplorables. The city holds the high cards.
Bitter conflicts force the taking of sides, often with people one does not like. For example, I think Trump is a horse’s ass, dangerous, naive, uninformed, and a thoroughgoing damned fool. I detest the KKK (which barely exists, but never mind) and disagree with the Alt-Right on many things. Yet when I look at the other side, the armed bands, the censorship, thought control, indoctrination, the re-writing of history, their media arm, the identity politics, the push for control, control, control—I think,“I’ll take Trump—gack–and certainly the Deplorables.” And of course if violence comes, it’s one or the other. You can’t reason with a mob armed with lengths of rebar.
Precisely so. In the real world, where you are unlikely to find a true conservative candidate, much less find a republican with a spine, one has to take what one can get. Given a choice of, as Fred says, New York, or Trump, I'll take Trump. If I have to pick sides, I guess the Deplorables are closer to my thinking than the control freaks of the Left.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Left Forgets Its Own History

Why does the Left keep doubling down on gun control despite the fact that clubs, bats, and other weapons were used in Charlottesville, and an automobile was used to kill one person.  Indeed, vehicles have been used in Charlottesville and elsewhere, yet the Left seems to focus only on guns.  Today, Jeffrey T. Brown asks Does the Left Know Something's Coming Involving Guns? Although the Left keeps hinting that they are worried about the right, there has been no right wing gunmen so far. Indeed, it was a Bernie Sanders supporter that opened fire on Republican Whip Steve Scalise. With that history, and with the constant Left wing violence, it seems the people on the Right have been remarkably restrained.

 Brown asks further though:
What if they know something we don't? This sounds a little "out there," but we live in a time when what is going on beneath the surface dwarfs what we see as the end result of someone's planning. So what if the discordant calls for gun control are because those politicians, anarchists, and activists (though I repeat myself) have foreknowledge of some kind of planned escalation of their brand of "protest" and are setting the stage for disingenuous "I told you sos'? What if they have something of a timeline along which they either believe that things will happen or will make things happen, to escalate the blitzkrieg of media and hysteria by which they effect "change" – meaning a coup?

What if they and the media are in bed together on this, too, and have prepared their stories and narratives ahead of time? In Charlottesville, Trump was caught flat-footed but still gave an accurate response regarding hate on many sides, but Terry McAuliffe had a complete speech ready to go, condemning the left's shadowy enemies while omitting any mention of the Marxist combatants who came to do actual, physical harm. No one in the media batted an eye.
Brown further points out that:
The left, it seems, has orchestrated these fights. Their surrogates are not there to protest; they are there to provoke. They come armed, masked, and emboldened by the political support of the left. It's the Marxist left's goon squad, there to ensure that one side speaks, one side controls, and the other side stays quiet or is punished. Liberal mayors and governors seem disinterested in preventing the violence, even ahead of time. Police officers report, as in Baltimore and Charlottesville, that they were told to "stand down," though they knew that harm could have been prevented if they'd been allowed to do their jobs.
The Left, it seems is building toward an event, possibly one manufactured, as in Charlottesville, where someone will shoot and then all hell breaks loose. Just as at Kent State in 1968, a provocateur will shoot off a pistol, or a long gun, and turn what is a "peaceful" riot into a full blown deadly event with at least one person killed. As at Kent State, the "peaceful" protesters will have weapons staged to come out when the riot inevitably turns deadly, to do as much damage as they can. As at Charlottesville, the subsequent drum beat will turn a single death of someone who shouldn't have been there into a massacre.

So why is the Left doing this?  What do they gain from destroying the rule of law, from destroying the history of the Democrat party by destroying the statues of various Confederates?  Brown again has the answer:  
On the other hand, what if the crises don't happen? Well, then the left fabricates them. We saw this clearly in the days and weeks following the election, as dozens of leftists utterly made up hoaxes about being assaulted, or insulted, or seeing churches burn, none of which turned out to be true. What if, as we saw with the fake "Trump supporters are racist" meme, the left gets tired of waiting for an event that doesn't come and makes it happen? In this day and age, with the malice and insanity of the left on full display, who thinks this is not within the realm of possibility?

I hope I'm wrong, but the left is determined to continue the philosophical movements of the Obama years despite its loss. Leftists don't care about elections. They care about raw power, intimidation, disinformation, and corruption. The wealth of America is a goal well worth lying and cheating for if you're on the left. What's another constitutional right sacrificed? It's not as though they'll be around much longer anyway if they win.
This has all played out before. In those days, the "direct action" gang was called the Weathermen. Their decade of rioting and mayhem resulted in the election of Richard Nixon. As with Trump, the Left was gunning for Nixon from day one, which helped Nixon by making him look like the underdog. The Left eventually got rid of Nixon, because of his own fatal flaws, but history would be much different had the Left played by the rules. They wouldn't be playing out this replay if they remembered their own history.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

On National Carry Reciprocity

Again, I am running up against a deadline, so there won't be an extended discussion.  I urge you to read Salena Zito's article at Townhall.com entitled Thank God He Was Carrying. Of course judges and prosecutors have special dispensation, as do police officers. Such people often make enemies by the very jobs they do, even if they are absolutely fair, honest, never make a mistake. But a lot of normal people make enemies who are unreasonable as well. We also deserve to carry and not just in our home states. National Carry Reciprocity is another important item the Congress is not passing because they are too focused on hating Trump. I urge them to get over Trump, and embrace the opportunity to begin returning the nation to its people.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Republicans Unmasked

I've got to run today, but please read Trump's Unintended Consequence: The Republican Party Reveals Itself, and it ain't pretty.

I've been a Republican since I first voted for Richard Nixon (sorry about that.)  I admit I have not often liked my choices, and this election was no different.  The problem has been that the Democrats keep moving Leftward, while I am staying put.  But if the Republicans can not see fit to repeal Obamacare, or give us meaningful tax reform, what good are they?  I intend to sit the next election out.  Or, as David Prentiss put it:

What is a nation who has been lied to by both parties supposed to do? What is the base of the GOP going to do?

I don’t know, but I do know I’ve never seen the center right base so disgusted and angry at its own. GOP: Trust me, the base hasn’t left Trump, but it has left you. It’s not official yet, but the avalanche is about to begin. The anger is going to boil over. Upon you. GOP: you’re not going to like it, but you have no one to blame but yourselves.

To the very small list of conservatives that fought the good fight: I apologize. But to the rest: You have become like the salt in the parable. Good for nothing.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'm From the Government and I'm Here to Kill You

David Hardy of the blog Of Arms and the Law has a new book coming out entitle I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Kill You, about horrible disasters visited on the American people by an often indifferent and incompetent government with no legal consequences whatsoever. You can pre-order the book at Amazon.