Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A HUGE Reason to Leave the Government Schools

Public (that is, government-funded, nonchurch) schooling caught on in the 1840s and thereafter, after the nation’s founders were gone. Many schools were not so much nonsectarian as anti-sectarian, and anti one faith in particular, Catholicism.  Catholics, perceiving the public schools as devoted to teaching Protestantism, worked to set up their own institutions and asked that some of their tax money be used to defray expenses.  The response was ugly:  Opposition among Protestants to the growing number of Catholic immigrants, largely from Ireland, and concern that children going to Catholic schools would grow up to oppose American liberty led to riots in the 1840s and 1850s.  One Philadelphia riot in 1844 resulted in thirteen deaths and the burning down of a Catholic church.

Some writers wanted to stop all immigration, but others looked to public schools to save America.  An article in The Massachusetts Teacher in 1851 stated that children of immigrants “must be taught as our own children are taught.  We say must be, because in many cases this can only be accomplished by coercion. . . .  The children must be gathered up and forced into school, and those who resist or impede this plan, whether parents or priests, must be held accountable and punished.”  The Wisconsin Teachers’ Association declared in 1865 that “children are the property of the state.”

Ironically, the public schools weren’t doing much to teach Protestantism.  The intellectual leader of the public school movement was Horace Mann, a Unitarian who pushed for largely secularized publics schools and overcame opposition from Protestants by assuring them that daily readings from the King James Bible and generic moral instruction could continue.  He succeeded largely because of bigotry and over the objections of theologians such as R.L. Danny (the Stonewall Jackson aide), who explained that teaching a person how to use a saw could be done in a value-neutral way, but “dexterity in an art is not education.  The latter nurtures a soul, the other only drills a sense-organ or muscle; the one has a mechanical end, the other a moral.”

Nevertheless, bigotry was so rampant that some Protestants were content to try teaching in a religion-less way as long as Catholics would be hard-pressed to maintain their own school system.

Marvin Olasky, Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon. pg.91-92

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Prosecutor Is No Longer Just Standing By

Did churches in ancient and medieval times sometimes overstep their bounds?  Of course, but defining Christianity in terms of the sins that have been committed in its name is like defining electricity solely as that which made the electric chair.  The key question in American society is not whether church will overawe state but whether the state will deprive Christians the freedom to criticize what the Bible says is sin.  Will media and governmental leaders accept a diversity of opinion and tolerate those who say what God has said, or will any such comments be labeled Talibanesque “hate speech”?  The prosecutor is standing by.

Marvin Olasky, Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon. pg.65

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Liberty vs License

The 1904 version of “America the Beautiful” proclaims, “Confirm thy soul in self-control, they liberty in law.”  Liberty, self-control, and the external control of law all work together to keep us from being enslaved by out temporary desires.  Two centuries ago, the antonym to “liberty” that sprang to people’s lips was not “slavery” but “license.”  A free person stood in the middle of a spectrum, not tugged by one mob to embrace libertinism or by another mob to hug dictatorship and political slavery.

Marvin Olasky, Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon. pg.21

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The American Republic Has Fallen

Republics are created by the virtue, public spirt, and intelligence of the citizens.  They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people in order to betray them.

Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice 1811 to 1845

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Surplus Population?

The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him whether he is the surplus population; or if he is not, how he knows that he is not.

G.K. Chesterton

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 Needs 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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

SCOTUS and the Abortion Decision Fraud

Justice Blackmun wrote the majority opinion in Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  This was judicial activism of the boldest kind (though technically it only nullified state laws) and for many Americans ranks as the most notorious of all decisions by the high court.  It was the decision by which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional laws in 46 states which prohibited various sorts of elective abortions in the first six months of pregnancy.  Justice Blackmun claimed that the question of abortion was covered under an alleged “right of personal privacy” of the mother to dispose of what was allegedly a part of her body.  He admitted that “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.:”  But, “In a line of decisions . . . , the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy does exist under the Constitution. . . .”  Moreover, this “right of privacy . . . is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”  That a state was intruding upon a woman’s right to privacy when it prohibited elective abortions in early stages of pregnancies was apparently clear enough to Blackmun and his majority.

It me be supposed that the prohibitions against the taking of life without due process of law would have brought the Supreme Court down on the side of the state laws prohibiting abortion.  But no, according to Blackmun’s view, this matter of whether or not an unborn infant was such a “life,” entitled to constitutional protection, was too muddled to decide.  Blackmun wrote, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.  When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, Philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not is a position to speculate as to the answer.”  Instead of tackling head-on the issue of when life begins, Blackmun retreated to a doctrine of stages of the development of the embryo.  These were divided into three, with each corresponding period of pregnancy labeled as a “trimester.”  During the first “trimester,” the Supreme Court solemnly announced, the state could not interfere with the “right” of the female to abort her child-in-embryo.  This “right” extended through the second “trimester” as well, though the state might do such things  prescribe who might perform abortions.  During the third “trimester” a state was free to prohibit abortions.  The distinction the Court relied on was that after the sixth month, the infant could frequently survive if separated from his or her mother. . . . 

The propagandized and indoctrinated American people—taught to believe that every utterance of the Supreme Court was the “law of the land”—were slow to mobilize against this newest assault upon their ways.  Nor did they have any ready means at hand to state their horror and to deal with the perpetrators of it.  The liberal-dominated media accepted the decision as another victory for women’s rights.  A further decision in 1976 made this aspect of it decision even clearer.  The Court held “that states could not require either the consent of the husband, or—if the woman was an unmarried minor—the consent of her parents, as a condition for terminating pregnancy in the first trimester.”  In short, any child who became pregnant could dispose of it as she chose during the early months.  Liberals generally tried to keep such debate over the abortion issue as occurred publicly in the austere framework of “women’s rights,” and lectured opponents against introduction emotion.  Even so, resistance to elective abortion has become increasingly vocal over the years, and there is good reason to expect that it will eventually bear fruit in legal changes.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.293-294

Friday, May 5, 2017

Commercial Surrogate Motherhood

Media portrayals of surrogacy feature beaming parents and adorable babies, hiding the blatant class exploitation and profiteering, the commodification of women and children, and the serious, even life-threatening health risks to women who sell their eggs or rent their bodies as surrogates. The New York Times, for example, published a marketing article on surrogacy and placed it in the Fashion & Style section of the paper, as if children were must-have accessories for narcissistic elites. Drawing on patriarchal stereotypes, surrogates are presented as selfless, giving women who exist only to be of service to others.

In reality, commercial surrogacy is a predatory, profit-driven industry that preys on marginalized women, creating a breeder class for the wealthy, be they heterosexual or homosexual. It subjects women to life-threatening health risks to produce custom-made children and children being intentionally severed from genetic and biological sources of identity—human rights be damned. In essence, it is the ultimate manifestation of the American neoliberal project of capitalist commodification of human life to create profit and fulfill the narcissistic desires of an entitled elite.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Are You Afraid of the Light?

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Read a Book — Drop the TV

A student’s freedom to read is nor seriously injured by someone’s banning [of] a book on Long Island or in Anaheim or anyplace else….  Television clearly does impair the student’s freedom to read, and it does so with innocent hands, so to speak.  Television does not ban book, it simply displaces them.

Neil Postman

Monday, May 1, 2017

How Genocide Begins with Groupthink

Perhaps most important to a genocidal plan is neutralizing any possible support for the victims. The Ottoman government maintained a well-coordinated propaganda campaign that vilified the Armenians in the eyes of their Turkish neighbors. In like manner, the Jews were demonized among their neighbors in Nazi Germany.

This sort of thing happens in all mass killings, including those done for reasons other than ethnicity. For example, in Stalinist Russia, several million peasant farmers in the Ukraine were deliberately starved to death in the winter of 1932-33 in what is known as the Holodomor. Soviet propaganda demonized these people, known as “kulaks,” as enemies of the people because they resisted the forced collectivization of agriculture, i.e., the confiscation of their farms. In Rwanda, Hutu propaganda vilified and scapegoated the Tutsis, often through radio, priming the popular mindset for the mass slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis during a 100-day period in 1994. The list of “final solutions” goes on and on.

Information warfare through a centrally controlled media is key to turning neighbor against neighbor. It plays a huge role in caricaturing perceived enemies and growing an us-versus-them mindset. In short, propaganda that psychologically manipulates a population is key to laying the groundwork for extreme social polarization, and ultimately for genocide.

This sort of propaganda thrives on ignorance and dissipates under conditions of social trust and general goodwill. This is why free speech and freedom of expression are not negotiable to any free society.