Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Feds Have NO Right Interfering With Religion

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States.

Thomas Jefferson (1808)

Monday, May 22, 2017

History Need to Illuminate the Future

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.

Alexis de Tocqueville, cited by Alvin J. Schmidt, “The American Muhammad: Joseph Smith, Founder of Mormonism,” pg. 247

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Media and Islam

The real Muhammad is no longer revealed in numerous books or in much of the media, a phenomenon largely the result of the ubiquitous presence of political correctness in the West.  With few exceptions, he is falsely portrayed as an irenic man who founded a religion of peace, contrary to the Koran’s numerous verses that specifically advocate violence and the killing of “infidels.” . . . 

In recent years, the Western print media, movies, and television have produced various negative portrayals of Jesus Christ and of Christianity.  But Muhammad’s past violent activities, clearly stated in the Koran and in the Hadith, are overlooked by the media and by apologists of Islam.

Alvin J. Schmidt, “The American Muhammad: Joseph Smith, Founder of Mormonism,” pg. 208-209

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reviewing the Heart

What lies behind us and lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 15, 2017

With Absolute Power Lies Come True

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but can also lie and make their lies come true.

Eric Hoffer, cited by Alvin J. Schmidt in, “The American Muhammad: Joseph Smith, Founder of Mormonism,” pg. 187

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

True Law

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its command, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), The Republic, II: XXXII:33

Friday, May 12, 2017

Start Listening!

History repeats itself because no one was listening to the first time.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Orwell and Huxley Revisited

We were keeping our eye on 1984.  When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves.  The roots of liberal democracy had held.  Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another — slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Word.  Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.  Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression.  But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history.  As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.  What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.  Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.  Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.  Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.  Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.  Orwell feared we would become a captive culture.  Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.

As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”  In 1984, Huxley added, “people are controlled by inflicting pain.” in Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us.  Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It Is Essential to be Armed

[T]o preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

Federal Farmer (1787)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Government-Directed Financial Collapse

The trend today is toward more and more control of the economy by government that goes directly against our traditions, against the ideas of freedom and individual initiative that made us great. . . .   There’s no question that the self-sufficiency and material well-being of Americans are being diminished by government.  We’re following England down the road to intellectual and financial destruction.

Barry Goldwater, 1975.  Cited by
Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.309

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Power of the State to Manipulate

Part of the reason for [the half-hearted and inefficient tyrannies of the past] was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.  The invention of print, however, made it easer to manipulate public opinion, and the film and radio carried the process further.  With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit it simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. . . .   The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

George Orwell, 1984