Archive for September, 2010

Political ridiculousness

Yesterday I heard a Mike McWherter (Tennessee Democratic gubernatorial candidate) radio ad which tried to make the point that Bill Haslam (republican gubernatorial candidate) is not a true conservative like Haslam claims to be. I personally didn’t vote for Haslam so I’m no humongous fan, but what exactly is the purpose of a Democratic ad painting Republicans as not conservative enough? Is the Democrat trying to argue that he is the true conservative in the race?

If he were the true conservative, then why didn’t he run as a Republican? It is common knowledge the the Democratic National Convention is basically a communist party within the United States. And even the people who might disagree with that assessment would nonetheless agree that the Democratic party is not supposed to stand for conservatism. (Oh, I wish that it did, and that everybody were a conservative!) Many local Democrats in conservative areas will, of course, embody only watered-down versions of the Leftist platform, but they must be Leftists to one degree or another — or else they would not be Democrats.

The ad I heard makes about as much sense as Bill Haslam running an ad saying that Mike McWherton may say he is a Democrat, but he is not nearly as socialistic as he pretends. It’s like…Uhh, so? Are you saying that you, the Republican, are a socialist?

It’s humorous that even the wicked Leftists try to pretend like they are conservatives. Everyone seems instinctively to recognize that conservatism is good. The Leftists try to pretend like they are more conservative than the conservatives when the Leftists have already self-identified as rejecting what the conservatives claim to stand for. Just imagine if Adolf Hitler were running an ad where he asked:  “Jesus may claim to be a loving ruler who rejects the wanton murder of his subjects…but is he really?” I would just think, Umm who are you to even raise that issue?

Logically, I guess maybe the point of the ad could be that even the conservatives aren’t actually conservative, and that all conservatives are therefore hypocrites and that therefore conservatism is a dead philosophy. But if you hear the ad, I think you will agree that such was not the tone of the ad. Rather, the ad actually seemed to be praising conservatism — only it was a Democrat doing the praising. You see the same thing in national politics, where the Democrats will criticize the Republicans under President Bush for spending too much money. Then you’re just like, So what’s the new Democrat plan — to stop spending so much? Excellent! Oh, wait…


The religion of non-judgment

I think it’s pretty clear that the nation’s most prominent religion today is Nonjudgementalism. Nonjudgmentalism is the great religion of non-judgment. Under Nonjudgmentalist theology, judging others is the only possible sin. If you judge others, Nonjudgmentalists will judge you. But just as long as you follow this one golden rule, you will ultimately be admitted into the Nonjudgmentalist paradise.

Everyone already knows that condemning certain immoralities in public is politically correct and could bring on a firestorm of criticism. But I think few people understand how greatly our laws have actually begun to correspond to the divine decrees of Nonjudgmentalism. In family law, for example, the division of marital assets (in Tennessee, at least) may not be based on marital “fault.” A spouse who cheats on or commits violence against the other may in fact wind up with 60% of the marital estate following a divorce, despite the wrongdoing. It is important to avoid judging wicked individuals in these cases because judging the individuals might keep us from bringing the nonjudgmental paradise to earth.

Somewhat surprisingly, even in the criminal system (which is supposed to be about imposing judgment on criminals) our laws tend not to cast judgment, either. Instead, criminal law primarily aims at “incapacitation” of the dangerous. For example, executions for murderers have become exceedingly rare. Rather, we just throw murderers in prison along with all the other criminals. The most common argument against the death penalty clearly invokes Nonjudgmentalist beliefs:  Specifically, people will say, “Well, I don’t want to execute anyone because then we might execute the wrong person.” Oh, I get it. A judgment might theoretically turn out to be wrong, so therefore we should just not impose any judgment at all. This policy of non-judgment makes sense under the new religion, which proclaims it far better just to throw all the defendants (innocent or guilty) in prison for twenty-or-so years. That way, maybe they can spend that time sitting behind bars to come up with some new legal arguments or factual evidence and can demonstrate their innocence somewhere down the line. (The great virtue in this strategy is that the current jury and judge do not have to think.)

We even indoctrinate our youngsters into this Nonjudgmentalist legal framework. In many schools, for example, if two boys get caught fighting, they are both punished even if one was only defending himself. When these young people grow into the adult world, however, they will get into even worse trouble if they have not been properly indoctrinated. This greater danger looms because the adult world has embraced Nonjudgmentalist theology even more strongly than the schools. If you ever have to shoot someone who was actually trying to attack you, for example, go ahead and expect to be arrested and to lose many many thousands of dollars fighting to keep yourself out of prison. (And that result will occur only if you are lucky. Instead, you might spend many many thousands of dollars and then wind up in prison.) Self-defense is a difficult defense to assert in the modern world — thanks largely to idiot cops and panzified prosecutors — even if all the evidence tends to point in your favor. Nonjudgmentalist law condemns self-defense and instead expects citizens to “turn the other cheek” toward violent criminals.

The reason some states have adopted the “Castle Doctrine” laws in recent years — giving a presumption of self-defense if the shooting takes place inside the shooter’s home — was to combat the Nonjudgmentalist prosecutors who despise the doctrine of self-defense. But obviously these laws have only limited applicability (i.e., the house) and have not even been enacted in many jurisdictions.

And of course, don’t even get me started about the lax prosecution of perjurors who have made false criminal accusations. For example, false rape accusations are almost never prosecuted. But even if they were, in Tennessee about the most prison time a person can theoretically get for a perjury conviction is around four years imprisonment (which is significantly less than the victim of the false accusation might suffer). Under Nonjudgmentalist thought, it is important to avoid judging the witnesses who appear in court. If a woman falsely accuses a man, judging her might deter others from making similar allegations, and such a result would erode the paradise we have created.

And regarding the current economic climate (where national debt almost exceeds the GDP), the Nonjudgmentalist jurists have adopted a rather humorous approach. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, specifically, it is illegal for a debt-collector to embarass a debtor in front of a third party. Even though debtors used to be enslaved or thrown in prison, in our enlightened Nonjudgmentalist society, embarrassment would be far too harsh. It is highly important to avoid making anyone feel bad about himself.

Of course, probably the most obvious flaw in Nonjudgmentalist belief  concerns the idea that avoidance of judgment is actually possible. For example, if your neighbor plans to sacrifice his daughter to the feathered reptile god Quetzlcoatl when you just happen to walk by, you must judge between the participants. You can call the police or pull out a weapon of your own in defense of the third party (thereby judging your neighbor), or you can remain silent and keep on walking (condemning the neighbor’s daughter…to death). Although all other moral choices might seem significantly different or otherwise less clear-cut, they really are not all that different. Ultimately, refusal ever to “judge” commits you to judging goodness itself as outdated, and you thereby commit yourself forever to the side of wickedness.

Nonjudgmentalists themselves at times tend to recognize this flaw in their own reasoning. It is why they do still throw murderers in prison, despite their commitment to nonjudgment. They recognize that their paradise of amorality can only fully occur in their blessed-and-holy other realm, to which they aspire but which can never fully occupy this current world. They tacitly admit that in this terrible and fallen earth they must sometimes stoop to the dirty, sinful work of imposing limited judgment — at least in some matters. Just do not judge them too terribly for it.

The unconstitutionality of the nationalization of industries

In honor of Constitution Day, I will now explain why government ownership of companies and industries is actually illegal.

THE CONSTITUTION, Article I, Section 8

The Congress shall have power . . . To establish post offices and post roads[.]

Here, the Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to own a post office. This section of the Constitution also authorizes the establishment of courts, an army, and a navy. All of these items are explicitly authorized, even though such items as courts and an army would seem to be authorized by common sense. The implication here is that Congress is not allowed to do other actions not authorized. Unlike the army and navy, however, postal delivery is a service that might otherwise be feasibly provided by private enterprise, by businesses similar to UPS or FedEx. The clear implication of explicitly authorizing a government-owned postal business is that Congress may not own other businesses.

This implication is further solidified later in the Constitution:

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Congress does not have the legal power to run any businesses other than the Post Office. Hence, most of the bail-outs are illegal, as would be any government-owned health industry or numerous other fascistic or socialistic schemes.

One potential objection might come as follows:  What about the Property Clause in Article IV, Section 3? Does this clause not authorize Congress to acquire great amounts of property and then oversee it directly?

The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States[.]

This section allows Congress to regulate property that it already owns, but it does not itself authorize Congress to acquire property at all. It certainly does not authorize the acquisition of property for any purpose whatsoever. Rather, Congress may only constitutionally acquire property in accordance with its other powers.

Article I, Section 8

The Congress shall have power . . . To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States[.]

Thus, Congress has the power to acquire property for the purpose of, say, coining money. That is the situation to which the Property Clause is referring. But Congress does not have the power to buy up the local Kroger, just because it feels like it.

A mere shell of a man

Let’s forget about politics for a moment and ask a personal question: Politics aside, who would you rather be — George W. Bush or Barack Obama?

Would you rather be the guy who does what he considers right regardless of polls, or the guy who says whatever the group he is with wants to hear? Would you rather be the guy who makes due with the political atmosphere that exists among most of the media, or the guy who repeatedly goes out of his way to whine about Fox News? Would you rather be the guy who carries around copies of religious literature that he actually believes in and that allows his beliefs to mold his choices, or the guy who when asked about his religion, describes how he is half Christian, half Muslim, half “eastern,” and half Jewish? Would you rather be the guy who inspires a mixture of hatred and fear among his enemies, or the guy who circles the world apologizing and bowing to everyone? Would you rather be the guy who makes up his own words because he’s the President and because he can, or the guy who pronounces things like “PAHK-ee-STAHN”?

Would you like to be a guy who refers to himself as a “mutt” and then later whines that other people talk about him like he is a dog? President Obama simply does not act like a man.

[T]his petulant child-man never can *be* a president, because he’s not a man, he’s not an adult. . . . Can you imagine G.W.Bush, whom the “liberals” *did* (and do) “talk about [as though he were] a dog,” acting-out like this in public? Can you imagine Ronald Reagan, whom the “liberals” hated, with that special passion to which only that can aspire, when he was alive, acting-out like this in public? Hell, can you imagine even Richard Nixon acting-out like this in public?

We have seen before us two male role models, but one is a positive role model and the other is a negative role model. Regardless of politics, I would rather be George W. Bush.

I think involvement in politics does always tend to weaken one’s masculinity somewhat, but Obama really takes it to the extreme.

Regarding Koran burnings

The Koran burning planned by the pastor of the Dove Outreach Center has grown into a big news item lately. Make no mistake based merely on the impressive-sounding name:  The “Dove Outreach Center” is actually only a small church in Florida having about fifty members. But despite the relative unimportance of this small church full of potential burners, the planned burning has thrown the entire nation into an uproar — because the Koran burning might make Muslims mad, and might incite violence and such.

Specifically, I have noticed several conservatives who have voiced their opposition the Koran burning, including Glenn Chatfield, Crude, Sean Hannity, Franklin Graham, my dad, and the Pope. According to Franklin Graham, “It’s never right to deface or destroy sacred texts or writings of other religions even if you don’t agree with them.” But is that really correct? Is it never right to engage in such defacement?

To the contrary, such defacement is at least sometimes righteous:

Acts 19:18-19

Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

And lest anyone argue that “sorcery” is not actually a religion, I think most of its practitioners would disagree. On the other hand, I suppose that a Christian could always argue that the churchmembers listed in Acts were in fact engaging in wrongdoing when they burned the books (as Franklin Graham seems to argue). But the text itself does not seem to hint at that idea, and neither does the rest of the Bible.

But aside from the issue of whether burning religious documents is strictly right or wrong, Glenn Chatfield instead framed the question as follows:

Are we as Christians to be intentionally insulting unbelievers?  How do we reach them with the Gospel that way?

Should we ever intentionally insult unbelievers? Well, let’s look and see…

1 Kings 18:26-27

So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”

Granted, maybe if we assumed that 1) all unbelievers were Muslims and that 2) all these Muslims unbelievers had a tremendous respect for pushovers and wimps, then yeah I suppose under such assumptions the appeasement logic would make sense.

But instead, imagine that one unbeliever is not particularly attracted to Islam, but merely lives in fear of the religion. Because of his fear and because of the his accurate observation that no one in the West seems willing to stand up to Islam, he decides to submit to Islam even against his will. For that one unbeliever, the best way to reach him with the gospel is to demolish his fears

Judges 6:25-31

That same night the LORD said to [Gideon], “. . . . Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! . . . . The men of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” So that day they called Gideon “Jerub-Baal,” saying, “Let Baal contend with him,” because he broke down Baal’s altar.

I personally cannot stand all the trembling and trepidation in this nation over Islam. In fact, I’m still mad about that last episode of South Park last season, where extended sections of the show (mentioning Muhammed’s name and showing his face) were bleeped out and blacked out to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities.  I’m still mad about the people murdered by Muslims for drawing political cartoons showing Muhammed’s (fictional) face. For that matter, I’m still mad about the Muslims who blew up two of our skyscrapers and now are planting a mosque in place of them to honor the historical conquests of Islam. I’m mad, and I imagine others are mad, too. People are tired of living in fear of these murderers. So if anyone wants to burn a damned Koran and thereby liberate the minds of the fearful, I think that person is doing a good deed. Maybe if more people would start burning Korans in public, we could cut down on the fear. Maybe the idiot terrorists could find some more important things to get upset about and would stop shooting people for showing pictures of “the Prophet.” They can’t take us all down. Let’s burn so many Korans that the only realistic response will be for the extremists to pray, “Let Allah contend with these Americans, because they all burn Korans as often as they eat bacon.”

Overall, I think the obliteration of fear is certainly a worthwhile cause. But my feeling is that both conservatives and churchmembers these days have just turned into wusses, and that this wussiness is a big part of our problem.

Drew Justice is smarter than Stephen Hawking

Late last week Stephen Hawking announced that he no longer considers theism a sensible explanation for the existence of the universe. Rather, God is “redundant” because physical laws can explain the formation of the cosmos:

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” Hawking writes. . . . It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” (Emphases added)

Let us assume for the moment that he is correct that gravity can create universe(s). I personally have no idea how that works and it seems a bit ridiculous to me, but I suppose that I don’t know everything so maybe it’s possible. But regardless of any of that, why is there a law such as gravity? Answer that one, brainiac!

Imagining the “evolution” of the universe becomes a much easier job once you steal one creation from God (in this case, gravity) and then use it to build (“evolve”) the rest of the world on your own. Crude Ideas states the real issue rather elegantly:

Arguing that God is not necessary to explain this or that because your theoretical “physical” explanation can describe the event/phenomena in question without talk of God is like arguing that giving a complete physical description of a computer and software renders talk of a programmer redundant.

Stephen Hawking also has somehow decided to call this evolution “spontaneous creation.” That seems a good bit like planting a seed in the ground and giving it water and then acting amazed that the seed “spontaneously” turns into a flower.

Stupid holidays

Man, this whole “Labor Day” thing is really ruining my day. First, I was gonna go ship a textbook that I sold on Amazon. But I just got back from over at the post office, where I found out the post office was actually closed. Then, after shipping the book I was planning to go to the gym. But I just looked on the website of the Williamson County Rec Center, and it turns out they’re closed, too. And I had so much energy from sleeping a long time.

And the crazy thing is that my brother works at Home Depot hauling big items, and he didn’t even get the day off. Labor Day…Bah, humbug.

At least Mark Levin is still on the radio today (unlike most of the talkshow hosts).

Edit — Oh, it’s just a recording of Mark. My bad.