Friday, March 24, 2017

Enemies of the People

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Democratic Party Is Destructive

The Democratic party cultivates black anger at America, victimhood, group grievance and dependency on government.  In almost every area of life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic party.  The Democratic party has become a wholly destructive force in this country.  . . . If you vote for any Democrat, you contribute to the damage.

Dennis Prager

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Freedom Needs Education

The secret of Freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.

Maximilien Robespierre

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

All Freedoms Begin With Free Economy

A man’s right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master, they are the essence of a free economy, and on that freedom all our other freedoms depend.

Margaret Thatcher

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cultural Results of Anti-God Agenda

We have raised a generation unaware of God’s presence and its potency as an aid to self-monitoring. What might happen, for example, if a gang member were to reject bad influence with a paraphrase of Joseph’s words: “God is watching and would not want me to go with you.”  (Actually, if more of us were to simply think this sentiment, what impact might that have on morality in our society?). ...  

In spite of the fact that many studies show considerably less criminal activity among religiously involved families, the anti-god theoreticians feel that the cure is worse than the disease.  Under no circumstances can we encourage religion, and we must try to remove it from organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (or at least remove these organizations from our schools).  Most ordinary citizens would disagree.  The most serious public policy consequence of this principle is that...there can never be enough policemen. Once each person’s internal monitoring system has been disconnected, everyone needs to be watched all the time. …

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.254

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Discernment In Choosing a Wife

My recommendation to any young man discerning marriage: ask your prospective bride how she feels about modern feminism. If she laughs at you, much as my wife would, you’ve got yourself a keeper. If she takes the opportunity to go on a 18-minute rant about the imaginary “gender wage gap” and the importance of “reproductive rights,” run away as fast as your feet will carry you. My friend, you just dodged a bullet. Praise Jesus.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Government Gives - And It Takes

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Gerald Ford

Friday, March 17, 2017

Public Schools and Gender Ideology

The belief that one’s internal sense of self determines maleness or femaleness and that subjective feelings take precedence over an objective physical reality constitutes a severing of mind from body. Our sex is who we are: it can’t be amputated from our body like a limb. But the true believers in gender ideology are hard at work, pulling in converts to this gnostic worldview that shuns the material that we humans are made of: the body. You can be assured that an ideology like this will, to use Pope Francis’s words, lead to the “annihilation of man” in our culture, in the law, and in the lives of those who fall prey to the tenets of this weaponized “civil rights” movement.

What worries me most is that schools across the country are quashing debate, abandoning academic excellence, and reducing themselves to pawns in a political movement whose claims are highly questionable, unscientific, and harmful to children. Public schools have a duty to serve all children, but a school cannot serve children and a totalitarian ideology all at once. . . . 

First, schools will teach children to accept an ideology that is predicated on the lie that biological sex plays second fiddle to a self-proclaimed, subjective gender identity, and that the sex of one’s body is mutable or even irrelevant. This isn’t just an idea that you can tuck away in a unit study or an anti-bullying presentation. It will inevitably find its way into every aspect of a school and make a deep impression on the developing minds of children. For example, girls, under the regressive mandates of anti-bullying and gender inclusion policies, would have to agree to call boys in their locker room “girls,” effectively losing their rights to free speech and to privacy from males. And science—particularly biology—would die a quick death at the hands of a concept that necessarily eradicates observable facts about human sexuality. Gender ideology in the curriculum is a lie enshrined as truth.

Second, institutionalizing gender ideology will require that schools ignore the evidence that it causes real harm to children. You can’t extol the virtues of gender ideology and question its soundness at the same time. By celebrating transgenderism as a valid identity, schools are promoting a body-mind disconnect that may very well bring on the gender dysphoric state they were attempting to prevent. And when the widely accepted “affirmative” medical treatments of gender dysphoria in children are both poorly studied and glaringly injurious, we have nothing to celebrate.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"General Welfare" Clause

Regarding the general welfare phrase, James Madison addressed this question in 1817 in vetoing a bill for internal improvements.  He said, "To refer the power in question to the clause 'to provide for the common defense and general welfare' would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow nugatory and improper.  Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the limited one hitherto understood to belong to them. . . ."

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.61-62

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Minimum Wage Laws

If you need government to set you a “living wage,” it’s because you have failed to make yourself worth a living wage.  A higher minimum wage is merely a subsidy to ensure you don’t have to put in the effort necessary to earn what you want.  I’m unclear why your failure to work hard, gain skills and not do the stupid things that lead a 30 year old to be making minimum wage morally compels me to give you my money.

Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, March 31, 2014

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Evidences for Ideology vs Principled Position

When people make blanket claims about a group (“white people are like X;” “black people never do Y”), they are expressing an ideology, not using words tailored to fit reality. Human beings are simply too diverse and complicated to fit into such universal categories. If you hear someone summing up the “state of the Russian mind” or “what the American people want” or claiming that politician X shows sure signs of a social pathology, but there is no evidence of research nor of any time spent personally examining the psychology of the individual, then you’re dealing with quackery; the person is a fake. Such people will check their scientific methodology at the door in order to gain a place in the arena of modern media’s ideological shouting match. They are welcomed by groups that want a certain sort of “voice”—not a quiet, calm, thoughtful voice, but one that will provide pseudo-intellectual “cover” for all the prejudices that group already possesses.

If, rather than trying to glean evidence from observable reality, a person seems more intent on forcing reality into the categories of his or her system, then you’re dealing with an ideologue. If evidence supporting a theory is trumpeted loudly and repeatedly, and evidence that may refute it is ignored repeatedly, then it’s an ideology, not a principled position. If every bit of data, no matter how contrary, is taken as evidence of the truth of the theory, then it’s ideology, not science.

If media conversations are staked two-to-one against a position, then the organizers are ideologues, not holders of a principled position. If organizers clearly set out to disadvantage one side rather than the other, they are ideologues. If interlocutors spend most of their time engaging in ad hominem attacks rather than examining terms, premises, or arguments, then they’re ideologues, not holders of a principled position. If an interlocutor seems more concerned with “looking smart” than with coming to some common understanding of the truth, then he or she is probably an ideologue. If the most pressing argument is the prestige and ostensible expertise of the speaker, or the supposed lack of these on the part of the interlocutor, then you’re probably dealing with an ideology.

Randall Smith,  “Ideology and the Corruption of Language

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Language of Ideology

[H]ow do we recognize the language of “ideology” and distinguish it from a “principled position”? One common clue is that those who hold a principled position welcome arguments; they welcome having their position tested and possibly corrected. A principled position always has room for increased subtlety and greater complexity. Holders of an “ideology,” on the other hand, will tend to eschew argument or any examination of the ideology’s underlying presuppositions or premises, often refusing to concede that greater subtlety may be required to apply the principles to real-life situations. Ideology disdains argument; people with principled positions embrace it warmly and engage in it gladly. . . .

[C]orruption of language is a characteristic sign of ideology. Throughout the Platonic dialogues, Socrates spends a great deal of time trying to clarify words, attempting to get clear on what people mean when they use terms such as “good” or “just” or “great.” Ideologies want to skip over all that hard work. Asking what someone means by “good” or “just” or “fair” is, to the devoted ideologue, like the greengrocer refusing to put the sign in his window. It suggests you’re not a party member.

Watch out for this. Refusing to discuss one’s terms because the point is “obvious,” insisting on using euphemisms rather than plain speech, relying on a very specialized vocabulary and being unable to express one’s thoughts without it, using speech to vilify persons rather than to clarify positions: these are all clues that you’re dealing with ideology, not principle.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Looters vs Producers

When a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law — men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims — then money becomes its creators’ avenger.  Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them.  But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it.  Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to the most ruthless at brutality.  When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Public School and Government Indoctrination

I began to wonder, reluctantly, whether it was possible that being in school itself was what was dumbing them down.  Was it possible I had been hired not to enlarge children’s power, but to diminish it?  That seemed crazy on the face of it, but slowly I began to realize that the bells and the confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to “prevent” children from learning how to think and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior.

John Taylor Gatto

Friday, March 10, 2017

Freedom Untethered From Truth

Freedom untethered from truth is freedom’s worst enemy.  For if there is only your truth and my truth, and neither one of us recognizes a transcendent moral standard (call it “the truth”) by which to adjudicate our differences, then the only way to settle an argument is for you to impose your power on me, or for me to impose my power on you.  Freedom untethered from truth leads to chaos; chaos leads to anarchy; and since human beings cannot tolerate anarchy, tyranny as the answer to the human imperative of order is just around the corner.  The false humanism of the freedom of indifference leads first to freedom’s decay, and then to freedom’s demise.

George Weigel, “John Paul II and the Crisis of Humanism,” First Things, December 1999.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Good Ideas in Plato’s “Republic”

With regard to the censorship of stories, Socrates (or Plato) seems above all concerned with what we expose our children to. What intelligent parents don’t regulate what their children read, watch, listen to, etc.? But once this becomes a matter of public legislation, we stir up a hornet’s nest. And outlawing certain types of music, musical instruments, food, and so on, does appear extreme. Yet I have always suspected that Plato’s main purpose with all of this is to get us to see that aesthetic worlds aren’t morally or politically neutral. . . .

Beyond mere survival, for human beings to flourish, they need the virtues. Actually, this is a tautology: human flourishing just is living a virtuous life. As Socrates argues at the end of Book 1, a pruning knife needs its “virtue,” that is, sharpness, to be a good pruning knife. So too, he adds, human beings need the virtues to live the good life. But which virtues are the virtues? In Book 4, Socrates tells us that they are wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice—what St. Ambrose would later call the virtutes cardinales. We can discuss whether this is a complete list, but, rightly understood, I don’t see how anyone can deny that the cardinal virtues are essential for a good human life.

However, just as no one teaches himself his mother tongue, no one trains himself in virtue. We are trained in virtue by others. Not only, then, do we need a community to survive, we also need it, as I mentioned earlier, to flourish. Ideally, training in virtue occurs in the family. But families need environments that are friendly to this training in virtue, even reinforcing it where appropriate. In other words, virtue shouldn’t be merely a private matter but a public and political one. Socrates gets this. You might say that he gets it all too well. It’s the reason for the censorship, the closed social classes, and the banishment of the mimetic poets. These are among the measures Socrates proposes to make the city a well-ordered city.

Joseph G. Trabbic,  In Defense of Plato’s Republic 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Importance of Books

Books are carriers of civilization.  Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.  They are engines of change, windows on the world, “lighthouses erected in the sea of time.”

Barbara W. Tuchman

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From “Civics” to “Social Studies”

Civics was a class that you used to be required before you could graduate from high school.  You were taught what was in the U.S. Constitution.  And after all the student rebellions in the ‘60s, civics was banished from the student curriculum and was replaced by something called social studies.  Here we live in a country that has a fabulous constitution and all these guarantees, a contract between the citizens and the government — nobody knows what’s in it.  It’s one of the best kept secrets.  And so, if you don’t know what your rights are, how can you stand up for them?

Frank Zappa

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dare To Tell the Truth

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school, and the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

When Thoughts Aren’t Controlled

The implications of controlling one’s thoughts are huge.  One arena of life in which much damage is caused by the secular position is that there are no bad thoughts in married life.  Mainstream magazines often quote therapists who encourage sexual fantasizing as harmless and at times even beneficial.  The truth is that male human nature being what it is, no real live woman, let alone a wife who has borne him a child or two, can possibly match up to the object of her husband’s fantasies.  Likewise, few middle-aged men would win the Mr. Olympia contest.  Why would anyone encourage husbands or wives to engage in behavior that can only make them less content in their marriage?

Children raised with no ability or desire to restrain their fantasies of sensual and material appetites are being condemned to a life of constant dissatisfaction.  Dissatisfaction regularly leads to resentment and then envy.  It is a short step from envy to a justification for taking what is not rightfully yours, or to exacerbating your problems by blaming them on anyone but yourself.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.253-254

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Losing Liberty

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.  Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.  And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

D.H. Lawrence

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Road to Terror

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

Harry S. Truman

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Rule by Force Won't Have Peace

So long as [men] hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some (any) alleged "good" can justify it — there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations. 

Ayn Rand (1905-1982)