Sunday, December 29, 2013

Are You Spiritual or Religious?

When someone asks that question, they're usually of the opinion that being "Spiritual" is superior to being "Religious".  The actual difference between the two terms is largely dependent on how you define the two words. When someone says, "I'm spiritual rather than religious" they usually mean, "I don't like going to church - I find it too restrictive and if I say I'm spiritual I can take the moral high ground and not feel guilty for skipping services." Another of my favorites is, "I worship God in my head, not in a pew." It's very convenient to keep God in your head where no one can tell whether you are acting consistently with your 'spiritual' beliefs. That way you can change them if being consistent with your beliefs gets uncomfortable in any way. Being spiritual may be a religion of convenience and shifting values, but it's still a religion nonetheless.

According to Webster, religion is simply a set of beliefs or a belief system, if you will. Although the term "religion" usually applies to a system of worship of a supernatural being, it can apply to any organized or even disorganized system of beliefs. Technically atheism is a religion.  The twisted belief system of the KKK is religion at its worst. I've known soldiers whose military training left them with beliefs that were every bit as set in psychological stone as that of any religion going.

We all have a religion whether we want to or not. Even the determination not to have a "religion" is in itself the type of belief system that could be thought to constitute a religion. This makes militant atheists froth at the mouth when I say it, because it interferes with their efforts to cast "religion" as a pejorative term and to use it as the universal bugbear and the cause or all war and strife, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was completely nonreligious avowed atheists who were responsible for hundreds of millions of murders in the 20th century. Ultimately, the either/or choice with respect to being either spiritual or religious is a false choice. Any belief system can start wars or commit genocide including atheism or any other ism, if that is going to be your criteria for what constitutes a religion.

Spiritual people have a religion whether they like it or not, however loosey goosey it may be. A denomination is not strictly a religion. It's an organization with a set of religious beliefsn. You may dislike the organization. You may dislike the organization's set of beliefs (it's religion), but don't confuse the building and it's staff with the belief set any more than you'd confuse the United States with the doofuses that go to Washington DC to try and run things.

Beliefs act as a constant; a measuring stick if you will. The behavior of the denomination or individual church can be measured more or less against those beliefs. The misbehavior of the organization says nothing about the beliefs as to whether they are true or consistent. The blame for organizational misbehavior rests at the door of the individuals who claim the leadership or who are part of the membership who support the misbehavior.

There may be problems within any organization without its making the belief system invalid.  People are people, truth is truth. For those of you, for instance, who have left my church and claim to have gained peace and joy and all that good stuff without us, I have to wonder why you still seem so angry with the church you left and feel the need to trash us with such vehemence. We did not hold you in the church. We let you go with a free heart. Of course, we feel your decision was wrong. Of course, we aren't supportive of your new lifestyle where that lifestyle includes things we think are wrong. If you require us to approve of things we cannot approve of, you are going to be disappointed. We can love and accept you and still disagree with your behavior.

Here's where people who are "ex" anything always get their shorts in a bunch. They reject a belief system, almost always with some animosity, and then want those they left behind to either join them in rejecting their former religion or at least to violate our own consciences in some way in order to show we approve of their choice.

You people ask the impossible. Go with God. We think you made a mistake, sure. But then, don't you think we are wrong too?  For instance, my church believes the end of time is approaching and Christ will come soon. If you don't withdraw yourself from "the world", we believe it will take you down with it.  If you don't believe that, well and good. We'll see how it turns out for all of us. Till then, there's no need to snipe at one another. And by the way, you're welcome back whenever you feel the urge to hang with old friends. Just don't come into our house to trash it. We don't do that to you.  If someone from my church does persecute you, just let me know and I'll chastise them about it for you. God is the great judge, not us. That's as it ought to be.

Yours in Christ,

Tom King
A spiritual religious person
© 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Should Christians Condone Gay Behavior to Prevent Them from Killing Themselves

A recent blog post I read rather vaguely posited that because teens who identify themselves as gay are committing suicide, that it doesn't matter what we believe about homosexuality. Somehow or other, the writer suggested we should do something to insure the kids don't kill themselves.  He referred to a Methodist pastor who was defrocked for performing a gay marriage for his son as an example of the kind of thing the church should not do. The writer seemed to be suggesting that the church should not have defrocked the pastor.

Okay, that's where I begin to have a problem with the whole compassion for gay people thing. It's not that I don't have tons of compassion for these folk. If anybody on the planet is getting a bum deal, it's someone who discovers he or she is homosexual. That's got to be a tough row to hoe, especially if you are a Christian.

Frankly, I don't see what's so hard to understand about this issue.  Sin is sin. The Bible gives an awful lot of clarification on what is and is not wrong to do.  Forget the Old Testament if you wish, but the New Testament touches on the issue as well. The only reason this is a hot button issue is because there is an organized movement in this country to declare homosexuality no longer a sin.

They've already won one major victory.  With the publication of the DSM-3 diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychological Association, the APA bowed to gay lobbyists and removed homosexuality from the manual as a mental disorder and has since released several directives that forbid therapists from treating it with the goal of curing the condition. Research into the causes of homosexuality has been thoroughly repressed and currently there is little or no effort to find a way to reverse the condition. The only thing the APA says counselors and physicians should offer in the way of treatment is help "accepting" the condition.  I think that's barbaric. It absolutely destroys any work on finding an effective treatment or cure for the condition. So even if you wanted to be cured, the APA says you can't. It's as if pedophiles were to successfully lobby to take pedophilia out of the DSM and off the law books (which actually has been proposed by organizations like NAMBLA) and then strong-armed the APA to forbid anyone to treat the kids affected by child molesters. I'm not saying having consensual gay sex is the same as molestation, though the line does get fuzzy sometimes. What I do know is that sin is sin and we've all come short.

I don't see where the confusion over how we should treat homosexuals is. Our marching orders from Christ are quite clear. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Case closed. We do it all the time with a wide range of sins. We are constantly saying how all sins are equal and that any one, unforgiven, will keep you out of heaven. The unpardonable sin is the sin we do not want to be forgiven. We have church members who struggle with sins like temper, gossiping, lying, greed and cursing.  We've got folk who run off on their wives, remarry and back they come to church and we welcome them in.

That doesn't make it not a sin to cheat on your wife. Can you get forgiven? Sure. Should you keep on sinning?  Nope.  The Bible's pretty clear. Love the sinner. Bring them to Jesus. That doesn't mean we pretend a sin is not a sin.

If we decide that because it upsets people for us to believe say, gossiping is a sin, then should we come out in favor of it so that gossips don't feel bad about themselves. Should we have a special Sabbath School class just for gossips in which we talk about the gossip lifestyle, exchange info about the best places to gossip and who are the best people to gossip with.  I love my brothers and sisters who have some confusion about their sexuality. I will help them all I can, but I won't encourage them to marry other gay people and to go to gay bars and gay activities to "find someone" with whom to commit what the Bible says is sin. And just for the record, I don't encourage gossips either.

What the gay community is conducting is a kind of blackmail. The gay activists are saying that if we don't toss aside the Biblical prohibition against homosexuality and declare it okay, then they'll quite coming to church and maybe even kill themselves and it will be our fault because we wouldn't say homosexual acts are not a sin.  I, personally, don't think the church or its members should submit to that kind of blackmail. I love my gay friends and acquaintances all entirely without reservation. It doesn't mean I have to change my religious beliefs in order to love them and that is precisely what the LGBT community is asking me to do.

Now if the same folk wanted me to help find a cure or to help them to figure out how to live with their condition without sinning, then I'm there. Just because you have an urge doesn't mean you have to act on it. If my spouse were suddenly be injured or become ill and be unable to engage in sex anymore, my personal desire to keep doing so would not give license to run around on my loved one simply because I had an urge I couldn't fill. Abraham got into all kinds of trouble with that kind of thinking and the Middle East is a hell hole to this day because the children of his two wives can't get along.

It's why God told us we needed to stick with a single spouse of the opposite sex. Anything else is problematic apparently. And I'm not allowed to second guess His commands just because it's inconvenient for me. If I disobey, it's a sin - every sin doing equal damage to my soul. Every sin requires equal forgiveness. None of us gets a pass even if we whine to God and anyone else who will listen that one or the other of the commandments is not 'fair'.

© 2013 by Tom King

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Throw the Bums Out - Why It Won't Work.

Every election that comes around we get mad and threaten to throw the bums out for the good of the nation. The problem is that we talk about it, but never do it and it wouldn't do any good if we did.

All this talk about throwing out the congress and replacing it as though that would do any good is little more than hot air. It wouldn't work. There's only one cure for the bloated, chronically ineffective government we've saddled ourselves with.

We'd have to fire literally millions of government bureaucrats to accomplish such a transformation and that isn't going to happen. Not ever! Bureaucrats are a persistent parasite on the backside of society. They accumulate like barnacles on the bottom of a ship. Over the course of years they become such a huge mass that the ship of state inevitably sinks under the dead weight of too many "officials". It's why even a benign government that starts our lean and effective, inevitably collapses under it's own weight. 

So why don't we do something about it? There's no effective way to rid a society of its bureaucrats. Even if the people realize what's going on and pressure their leaders to do something about it, the politicians will try to solve the problem by first appointing a commission to study the issue and then, "surprise", the commission hires more bureaucrats to study why there are too many bureaucrats.

And if the ship of state does sink, if it blows up or burns down, the bureaucrats will survive, like the proverbial cockroaches after a nuclear holocaust. They will rise from the ashes and seek out new masters to serve them.

Reminds me of what Tolkien said about "fighting the long defeat".

Just One Man's Opinion,

T.W. King

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Women and Men ARE Different. Who'd a Thunk It?

Men (right) tend to be more discreetly wired according to
hemisphere while women tend to be more cross-wired
across the brain's hemispheres. Men are more able to isolate
feelings from logic and action. Women tend to always
be responding to emotional input even when thinking "logically".
Dr. John Yeoman gets a little heat this time out from the PC crowd for asserting in his column on the craft of writing that (prepare to register shock here) MEN AND WOMEN ARE WIRED UP DIFFERENTLY. Of course comedians, Democrats and romance novelists have made whole careers based on that theory, but that doesn't stop the vive le' difference deniers from speaking out.  There is new medical evidence out now that supports what we've known all along. There's a reason we're different in how we think.  Men and women either learn something from this that helps us understand each other better or we shove our collective heads firmly in the sand and go with political ideology over good sense and go on failing to understand each other.

The ability of a woman to write as a man or a man to write women speaks more to the writer's powers of observation, honesty and skill than to to any flaw in your logic, John - no matter how the defenders of political correctitude might wish it. Were there not profound differences between how the sexes are wired up, writing across the great gender divide wouldn't be such a remarkable feat. The most inauthentic fiction you'll ever read is by writers who are either not aware that men and women tend to be wired up rather differently or those who are beating the old "men are no different from women" dead horse for political purposes. A psychological study once tried altering traditional gender attitudes of small children by switching the boys' and girls' stereotypical toys. What they found is that Legos and Army men make lovely doll houses, that soldiers need love too and that, if you bend Barbie at the waist and grab her legs, she makes a passable six-shooter! As you say there are variations along the spectrum, but as with most generalities, the exception simply proves the rule by the mere fact that the exception stands out so sharply against the background generalization.

*  Link to original column:

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Tale of Two Stories - Politics Muddy the Waters As Usual

Todd Starnes - Fox News
Fox News' Todd Starnes posted a story this week about a Georgia School District's censorship of Christmas decorations. At first the school didn't comment. Then Americans United, a Soros-supported liberal group shot back with a story saying Starnes was lying.  Later NBC local station WSAV issued a story deploring how the attack in conservative media was damaging the good work the Bulloch School District was trying to do with regard to religious issues in the school.

Starnes has since appended the school board's statement to the original story.  As I expected the school system doesn't really deny that orders were given to the school teachers regarding what is permissible with regard to Christmas practices in the school. The teacher whose husband wrote the original email upon which the story is based is likely in hot water at any rate.

In their statement, the School District didn't deny charges in detail.
Instead they preferred to limit their reposnse to a statement that they are concerned that the controversy may interfere with the “current open and ongoing discussions that the school system is having with local citizens about religious liberties and expression.” - bureaucrat-speak for "...we're trying to make everyone happy and to avoid being sued."  It's likely the lawyers are now involved and burying anything incriminating as we speak, so it's unlikely the whole story will ever fully come out for good or ill.

Friends accused me of not reading the opposing stories and relying entirely on Fox News. There was no need to be snarky, though it likely gave them some smug sense of satisfaction. Of course I read the AU story.  I also checked the NBC story. After all, a local NBC station is rather more credible as a news source than AU, given AU's rabid leftist leanings.  That said, however, I also read the story with my skepticism intact and the school district's attempts to quell the controversy fall rather short of the mark.  The story is evolving at this point and I'm not sure either version of it is totally accurate whichever end of the political spectrum the writers and protagonists occupy. 

I'm a PR guy in one of my incarnations and I know how NPOs and schools tend to react. At first they refuse to comment and then, after it's too late to correct the initial story, they issue a carefully worded statement that, while truthful, may only tell part of the story (the part that makes them look good). Lawyers usually write them and they only make you look more guilty. Lawyers write statements that are designed to be read aloud in court. They could care less what the public thinks as long as they can win their cases. (That's my little plug for hiring a good PR guy if you are having a newsworthy crisis!)

Saying "no comment" is always a mistake and almost inevitably results in bad press getting out there. Lawyers always tell you not to comment as they have no interest in your reputation, only in winning court cases. You may eventually force a retraction through legal means, but nobody ever reads the retractions so you are left with the original impression in people's minds. It works both ways politically, whether the story is about a conservative or liberal faux pas. I always advise my clients who are dealing with a newsworthy crisis to get out there fast with a statement. Get on camera, on mike and in the print outlets. Issue a press release. Saying "No comment" plays like an admission of guilt and that little note at the end of a breaking story (XYZ school did not respond to requests for verification of this story) doesn't make you look any better to the public.

All that said, "My position is that I, personally, will celebrate Christmas openly whatever anyone says. I'll spend my money where I want, use the Christmas greeting I want and sing the Christmas carols I want.  As to my Seasonal spending practices, currently, my policy is that if I see "Merry Christmas" on a banner hung over one storefront and "Happy Winter Holiday" on the one across the street, I will select the store that brings me the more Christmas cheer.  That is freedom of speech, assembly, expression and trade all rolled into one. Let the market speak.

I would also add, that those in the conservative media who have spoken out on this story should be prepared to make any corrections that might be warranted should the facts be different than at first reported to us.
That is what I am doing in this story - correcting, so far as possible, any mis-reporting of my statements about the original story or any incorrect statements I might have made. If there is anything else, then I'll be sure and report that.  For now, ya'll have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

Just one man's opinion,

© 2013 by Tom King

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just Who is the Bigot?

Banning Christian religious expression is simply bigotry.
Christmas is coming. Tis the season to be offended. Let the Christmas music begin. Just don't use the world "Christmas" or show any hint of a manger or any carols that actually mention Jesus or his Dad. A Georgia school even took down Christmas cards the kids gave to the teachers and hid them out of sight so the poor innocent children might avoid being offended by seeing the word Christmas or an expression of religious sentiment.

You know, the left makes an awfully big deal about being opposed to bigotry, while tolerating horrendous levels of bigotry within their own ranks toward Christianity. Efforts to express Christian faith, music or traditions anywhere in public are inevitably greeted with showers of lawsuits, injunctions and hate mail seeking to ban such displays because it offends people.

Anyone who is offended is little more than a bigot by definition.  Suppose I objected to the expressions of black culture I hear all the time in public places. Suppose I demanded they be suppressed. Should I get nasty and demand that any mention of Muslim fasts and feasts or of religious expression by Muslims be quashed I'd deserved to be called a bigot. Suppose I was offended by burkhas? Wouldn't that qualify me as a bigot. What if I decided I didn't like all that mariachi music and the celebrations in public parks by Mexican-Americans on Cinco-de-Mayo.  So why are those who are bigoted against the Christian faith allowed to say cruel things, publicly attack the Christian faith and get away with demanding that largely Christian communities forgo public displays and that they be required hide their faith under a bushel where it doesn't offend anyone in schools, public markets and public squares?

Doesn't the fact that you are offended by Christians, sort of define you as a bigot? 

Is the pot calling out the kettle here?

Just one man's opinion,

© 2013 by Tom King

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why the GOP Needs "Divisive" Voices

We need voices "crying in the wilderness" in the GOP.
A new meme has hit the nets as the Soros-hired trolls begin to pump out comments.  The new talking point questions why the GOP tolerates "divisive" voices like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Cruz and Rand Paul and points out (as thought they were worried about the health of the Republican Party) that such voices are "divisive".  Watch for it. It will be popping up all over Facebook and other forums.

Here's an answer as to why we need the "divisive" voices:  The Republican Party has for some years been busily "wondering after the beast" as Revelation puts it. Republican "leaders" want the power that Democrats seem so adept at seizing. Playing politics has become more important than standing for principle. The GOP leadership has become enamored of the DC version of the game of thrones and is losing interest in defending the Republic. Like ancient Israel, we need a few voices crying in the wilderness. Unity doesn't do you a whole lot of good if you're all unified and marching toward Hell.

© b2013 by Tom King

Amazon Warehouse - "Long Hours, Harsh Working Conditions"

What we gonna do tonight, Jeffy?
Well, "Boo-hoo." 

Mitch Wagner whinges this week about working conditions at's warehouse in a book review on Internet Evolution. The book he reviewed (and no I'm not giving you a link to it), is another one of those smug "potshots at the big dog" type of expose's and who needs 'em?

Okay, admittedly I'm an old guy (59) and to youthful pundits, blogging in their t-shirts, my opinion counts for little, but since when does a warehouse without air-conditioning qualify as harsh working conditions? It's a warehouse for crying out loud! Long hours, little chance of promotion, pressure to work fast? In the dictionary under "warehouse" it should say, "Long hours, little chance of promotion, pressure to work fast". These conditions are why our mothers want us to go to college people." Crappy working conditions are what you get if you are "too cool for school" dudes! Be happy. At least you have a roof over your head. You could be schlepping steel plates around a staging yard in the winter in the middle of a Blue Norther that's blowing stuff that is just east of being snow and west of being hail!  Now them's harsh working conditions!

Wagner also "wonders" about the wisdom of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos,' strategy of plowing all Amazon's profits back into the company. Well why not?  The thing ought to be a nonprofit corporation for all the companies it is keeping alive and helping to prosper during this mini-depression through sales partnerships with Amazon. Wagner, himself, admits that his clothes and practically everything else within sight of his webcam are all Amazon purchases. When he worries about Amazon's profits, he doesn't consider that everyone selling on Amazon is making profits. So long as Bezos keeps drawing his considerable paycheck, I don't think he's terribly worried about current profits. Wagner asks when Amazon is going to make a profit. Perhaps, Mitch, you should ask the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything else. 

To wit, "What we gonna do tonight, Jeffy?"

"Same thing we do every night, Mitchy. "TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"

© 2013 by Tom King

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Medal of Freedom Should Perhaps Be Renamed

Daniel Kahneman
Interesting - President Obama is awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Daniel Kahneman for Economics. Kahneman is a behavioral psychologist who has worked in something called "hedonistic economics". His work attempts to explain, in part, the mistakes people make when estimating the effects of different scenarios on their future happiness (also known as affective forecasting - predicting how feelings can be affected by illusion. The "illusion" occurs when people consider the impact of one specific factor on their overall happiness while ignoring other factors. In other words, give people a powerful enough illusion and they tend to greatly exaggerate the importance of that factor in their future happiness, while overlooking the numerous other factors that would in most cases have a greater impact.

In other words, whether that was his intent or not, Kahneman gave the propagandists a tool that teaches them how to fixate the minds of the masses on one big thing that is presented as the "key" to their future happiness so that they will ignore and dismiss other factors that are likely to be more important and may even undermine their happiness. For example, fix the public mind on the importance of universal healthcare so that they ignore the loss of individual liberty, the threat of massive debt, massive taxation and the loss of opportunity and freedom of action.

While Dr. Kahneman may be a lovely person who had no intent to aid in the downfall of America, perhaps "Medal of Freedom" isn't the write name for his award. 

Obama also included Bill Clinton, Oprah and Gloria Steinem in the group and, oddly enough, Loretta Lynn - though Lynn is an old pal of Jimmy Carter, so that probably explains it.

Ah, well, the politics roles on.

© 2013 by Tom King

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Did Religion Destroy the Alexandria Library?

There's a new meme running around among Progressives and militant atheists that says, "Religion is responsible for burning the famous ancient library at Alexandria, Egypt."  The story goes on that Christians burned the library and that if they hadn't we'd be living on other planets and driving flying cars today. It's easy to say what would have been from the safety of a millennium and a half distance in time and easy to assign blame when you don't have to string up crime scene tape.

It's a lot of balderdash, besides, but why "waste a good lie" to paraphrase a former White House Aid - especially when you can use it to make your enemies look bad. 

The truth is rather different.  The Alexandria library actually suffered several fires during it's history. Julius Caesar more or less accidentally set fire to it in 48 BC during a battle for the city.

Roman Emperor Aurelian lit it up again around 270 AD during the sack of Alexandria during his war with Queen Zenobia. Troops got a bit enthusiastic and burned a goodly bit of it.

The one ostensibly Christian foray into library burning was instigated under Coptic Bishop and later Pope Theophilus.  After a spate of pagan, Muslims and Jewish attacks on Christians and a couple of riots in which everyone participated, Theophilus ordered reprisals and then promptly died. Stories have it that he had the cheeky female chief librarian, Hypatia assassinated, but he was dead well before Hypatia's murder so is not likely the culprit. In all the kerfuffle the restored library was burned in 391. It was done mostly for political reasons, but why ruin a good anti-religion story.  The Bishop at the time apparently thought all that book-learning was making it difficult to subjugate the Egyptian pagans and Jews.  Typical government thinking.

The Muslims finished off what was left when they conquered Egypt in 642.  So the idea that Christians or even "religion" destroyed the library is absurd. Virtually every decision to torch the scrolls was a political one, even those made under the guise of religion. Keeping people ignorant is a technique most frequently used by governments to insure the peons are too stupid to make trouble.  Religious people tend to revere the written word.

The only written words revered by governments are found on the Tax Rolls.

© 2013 by Tom King

Pro-Obama Art - Putting the Fun in Making Fun

by Olga Kuczer
I added the "comment". The original painting was submitted straight as a tribute to President Obama. What's really sad about this picture is that the artist, Olga Kuczer, says she painted it because, "I really Hope People will look at this painting and Believe in Good Changes are coming in America with Obama.” The capital letters are hers. I'm sure she has absolutely no idea why, when most of us look at this image, we see echoes of the sycophantish worship of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and Mao and a thousand other charismatic leaders who were going to save "the people" and change their countries for the better - and then proceeded to give us the gas ovens, the gulags, mass starvation, genocide and tyranny.  Ms. Kuczer cannot possibly realize what a horror this image represents to hundreds of millions of us. There's more stuff like this at the Art of Obama website. Take some Dramamine first. You'll need it.
Olga got some negative comments on her art even on the pro-Obama website that original version was posted to. What's particularly telling is that her responses reveal that she has no clue as to why anyone would take offense.  Her response is that "Everybody sees what they want to see." Boy does she have that right. It's what's scary about the Obama acolytes. They see what they want to see, not what is. When more Americans become like Olga and don't cringe at idea of someone exchanging a man's image for that of Lady Liberty, we are so done as a free nation!

Can you imagine the horror and outrage in the media if someone had painted THIS picture 8 years ago???

The left would react with the same horror that conservatives find in the original image of Obama destroying Lady Liberty from within.  It's ironic that a painting in honor of President Obama would so clearly depict what his administration is doing to this country.  Unfortunately for all of us, the irony is lost on sycophants. They always have this surprised look on their faces as their dear leader cues them  up for the trains to Treblinka.

© 2013 by Tom King

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

ABC's Rick Klein Gives "Helpful" Advice to Republicans

Rick Klein - Boy King of all things
Political at ABC News
Ditch the Tea Party Candidates

Yahoo News' gleeful analysis of two East Coast state governor's races draws the conclusion that Republicans ought to reject the Tea Party conservative wing for candidates that are just slightly right of center - a formula for disaster virtually everywhere else in the country except the East Coast. Author Rick Klein cites Chris Christie's success in New Jersey and Tea Party supported conservative Ken Cuccinelli apparently losing campaign in Virginia as THE examples of what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Before the GOP starts taking advice from Klein, the brother of openly leftist Huffpo columnist Ezra Klein and would-be guru of all things political, as the new political director at ABC, they might want to consider the source of all this helpful advice and the premise behind it.

New Jersey as Klein's article points out is "Deep Blue" and Virginia, while ostensibly a Southern State, is virtually a parish of Washington DC so far as the number of Northern Virginians working in the capital goes. So many DC workers depend on Democrats for their continued and growing employment opportunities these days that the modern Army of Northern Virginia while still distinctly pro-Democrat, supports a very different party from the one that poor white Southerners fought for in the name of "States Rights". The Democrat party's pro-union and anti-states rights policies are the polar opposite of what Bobby Lee's descendents once claimed to have fought for, although very much pro-rich plantation owner if you judge by the number's of so-called 1 percenters that contribute heavily to Democrats.

Rick Klein's "strategy" to help the Republicans win elections might work in a heavily Yankee state like Jersey or the new Virginia, though I suspect that what the Yankees like most about Christie is his saucy, kick-ass rhetoric rather than his Republican-ness.  However, Klein's advice to kick the Tea Party conservatives to the curb would pretty much finish dividing the party and secure a Democrat majority ad nauseum anywhere west of the Alleghenies or East of the Sierras - which is likely just what Mr. Klein hopes for.

Klein, trained in the best leftist journalism schools, buys the mistaken premise that one captures the moderate "swing vote" best by running a moderate candidate, despite the fact that the moderate lost to the leftist in both of the last two elections. The only big wins for Republicans in the past 40 years have been when they've run a hard nosed conservative for president and similarly conservative candidates in most of the heartland.

What Klein neglects to mention in his "advice" is, that if the Republicans run a bunch of Chris Christies next go round, the Tea party will exit stage right and take their votes with them to a third party, or worse, to nowhere at all. Given the leftist tone over at the Libertarian Party, it's not likely they'll go there, so a fourth party (if you count the Libertarians as a party) becomes an even more likely possibility, leaving the plurality of votes solidly in the hands of the Democrats and likely to remain there.

How much more entertaining would it be for an ABC political director to have three or four political parties upon which to opine?

© 2013 by Tom King

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sharks and Snow and Chicks in Bikinis - The Decline and Fall of the Film Industry

Avalanche Sharks?  

Really? I don't know what they were smoking when they came up with this abysmal idea for a movie, but it proves my point about drugs and brain damage.  The movie is directed by Scott Wheeler and written by Keith Shaw whose credits include such works of cinematograhy art as Sand Shark, Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Dracano, Dragon Wasps, Boa vs. Python, Mega Piranha, The Thing Below and Malibu Shark Attack.

Here's the scene:

Scott says, "What we gonna make a movie about?"
Keith says, "I dunno, how about sharks?"
Scott says, "Sharks is good, they could eat some chicks in bikinis or somethin'."
Keith says, "Yeah, but we need a twist cause cause just plain sharks eatin' chicks has already been done to death. After Malibu Shark Attack, I couldn't sell another plain shark script for nothin'"
Scott says, "Somebody did tornadoes and sharks already."
Keith says, "Yeah, Sharknado.  All the good shark ideas are gone.  Two-headed sharks, giant sharks and dinosaurs, dinosaur sharks...."
Scott says, "Giant sharks vs giant octopuses (I did the visuals on that one), Sharktopuses, sharks and crocodiles, sharks in lakes, sharks in sewers, sand sharks...."
Keith says, "Yeah that was a good one, the sharks like pop up out of the sand and eat chicks in bikinis..."
Bill says, "Yeah I did the visuals on that one.  Hey, I just realized. Nobody's done one with sharks and snow..."
Ted says, "Dude, I get it. The sharks swim around under the snow and pop up and eat chicks in bikinis."
Scott says, "How do we get bikinis into a movie about snow."
Keith says, "Easy dude. Haven't you ever been to a ski resort, man? They got hot tubs full of chicks in bikinis and even sometimes the chicks go skiing in bikinis.  Oh, wait...........skinny skiing!"
Scott says, "Brilliant Keith! We put in some danger, what's dangerous about snow?"
Scott and Keith together, "AVALANCHE!"
Scott claps his hands.  "We call it Avalanche Sharks. In the trailer we show these shark fins cutting through the snow and a couple of chicks in bikinis being chased on skis and eaten by giant sharks."
Keith says, "That's a hit there man. Pure cinematic genius!"
Scott says, "You gonna finish that joint?"
Keith says, "Naw. I got three more lines I'm workin' on here."

The really sad thing that I think signals the end of society as we know it is that the stupid thing will probably make money.

© 2013 by Tom King

Time to Change Tactics and Go Guerrilla

New look for conservatives.
I'm a big military history buff and when I think about conflict, even conflict of a philosophical nature, I tend to think in military terminology about a response to something I think is just plain wrong. Ellen White's landmark 1888 book, The Great Controversy, lays out the spiritual history of the world in terms of a momentous conflict between good and evil and it is hard this day and age not to see the great political world conflicts as a similar confrontation between good and evil.

In the past three decades, the political division in the United States of America between liberals and conservatives have become become more pronounced to the point that we haven't seen this level of political nastiness since 1859, right before the Civil War broke out.

Politically, conservatism is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of America in favor of a centrist, socialist bread and circuses dispensing entrenched left-wing government bureaucracy and its allies in the Democrat party. There's a reason we're losing the battle.

Bill Whittle pointed out in this week's Klavan and Whittle members-only episode on PJTV that when you look at the situation from a military standpoint, it's easy to see why we're losing.  The left has air-superiority. Over the past century, the conservatives in America have gradually allowed themselves to lose the battle for the airwaves. The left infiltrated journalism schools, bought up media outlets, TV, radio and newspaper outlets and learned from the communist party how to infiltrate and use music, films and other entertainment resources to sell their message. Conservatives allowed liberals to steal a march on us that wound up with an almost entirely leftist mainstream media by the end of the 1970s.

On the media front, there has been an insurgency led by guys like Rush Limbaugh who took a medium searching for a product and gave it one.  AM radio was dying in the 80s because FM stations did a better job of broadcasting music - less static and interference. Limbaugh proved that people would put up with a little static to hear conservative political talk while driving to and from work or taking a lunch break. Limbaugh tried a brief foray into television, but TV was too entrenched and he shut it down, sticking with what worked. Because of his success, other conservative talk shows took off and soon there were radio stations that were all talk. Then Fox News sprang up on the new cable TV alternative to over-the-air network programming and proved that conservatives preferred a more balanced news source by a rather wide margin.

Next the Internet offered independent, unsponsored writers an outlet in the form of weblogs and the new blogosphere suddenly began pouring forth information that had not been sanitized and politicized by the mainstream media. The contrast between information in the blogosphere and in the traditional news was startling. If we are to keep the conservative viewpoint any kind of force at all, we have to get that message out there in any form we can, using any media available. 

Bill Whittle's assertation that we've lost air superiority is true, but we have actually been fighting back nontraditional resources like the Internet. The blogger groups grew up and established a legitimate place for themselves in news media.  Conservative Internet-based media like PJTV, Breitbart and the Drudge Report have outstripped similar liberal net-based efforts, but the mainstream media still seems to have the power to shout down conservative opinion, at least with what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed "the low-information voter".

It's time we start thinking of the battle for the American soul as if it were a war. It is one.  So, what do you do when your enemy has air superiority?

You don't give them a target to shoot at. You have to feel bad about the public blitzkriegs people like Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann have had to endure.  Every time a conservative moves to the leadership, the liberals call in air strikes.  And air strikes they are, because every time a conservative leader rears his or her head, liberal thought police like Media Matters assault the news media with talking points and they all dutifully repeat those talking points over and over and over until the American public is forced to look up from the latest episode of Jersey Shores or Dancing with the Stars and notice that the media is saying that Sarah Palin is stupid.

We are entering a phase in this conflict where a guerrilla war is what we're fighting - at least until (and if) we can take back the big guns. In reality, whether we admit it or not, it's been a guerrilla war for some time.  So how do you fight a guerrilla war.

The first thing we do is take off the brightly colored uniforms. We have to stop labeling ourselves as Tea Party or Conservative or Libertarian. We just have to lead with the awkward questions and avoid labeling the questions as "conservative".  Instead of addressing stupidity about global warming by wailing about how stupid liberals are, which identifies you immediately as one of those evil conservatives Diane Sawyer warned you about, know enough about the issue to ask questions like this one from Bill Whittle, "Oh, and which 'climate' are we protecting from change?"  The Earth has had climates that have ranged from so hot the Earth was covered with jungle to so cold the Earth was covered in ice.  Are we talking about the climate of 2013 or 1944 or 1912 or 1492 or 550 AD or even 1000 BC? Climates change. Who are we to decide which one is best.

George Carlin pointed out in one of his more spectacular rants that we can't save the planet and that it's impossibly arrogant to think we can. If mother nature doesn't like us, she'll just swat us like bugs and move on down the road. Send your friend who is concerned about global climate change, the youtube clip of that little speech of Carlin's without comment. They just love Carlin.

Whatever issue it is, the debt, the budget, entitlements or foreign policy, just stop waving the conservative, tea party or Republican flag. It only calls down the drones upon your head. Instead, use the stealth approach.  Simply make the logical argument or ask one of those questions that's hard for them to answer.  If we ask the unanswerable questions and let the public figure it out for themselves, we are harder to discredit.  The liberals are already trying to do that by posing as conservatives and trying to ask those killer questions that prove the left is right. Unfortunately, for them, what seems obvious from the perspective of their laptops perched on one of those little round tables at the university Starbuck's is not so obvious when you look at it from out in the real world. Logic, it turns out, is the conservative's friend.

Like a SEAL team working "in-country", we have to hold back on the machine gun fire and take the time to win the hearts and minds of the real people if we ever hope to at least come out ahead in all this. To do so, we may have to forgo the flags for a bit. We need to stop leading with labels and lead with logic. We have to approach with kindness and simple questions, not hostility. We have to treat those who do not understand what is going on as if they were our neighbors and share information with them in a neighborly fashion.  

It will likely come as a surprise, for some of our conservative, tea party, patriot, Republican, Libertarian compatriots that the folk we need to be reaching actually are our neighbors and that we need to treat them as we would have them treat us - with respect.
© 2013 by Tom King

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Misunderstanding Robin Hood

He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.  Ergo, in an insupportable leap of what passes for logic on the liberal left, Robin Hood must have been a Progressive Socialist!

People - those in the media, college poli-sci courses, the acting profession and residents of California think of Robin Hood as the original champion of the idea of "redistribution of wealth". The fact is Robin o' the Hood was a Conservative of the worst sort. While you are reviving the liberals in the room who have fainted at hearing such blasphemy, hear me out.

To begin with, lets clarify who the interested parties were in this so-called "wealth redistribution" scheme of Mr. Hood's. First you have "the poor". Who were the poor? I can tell you who they were not. They weren't layabouts living on the dole and watching soap operas all day.  First there were no soap operas, save those sung by passing minstrels in the evening by the old communal bonfire.  The poor, in fact, were hard-working Englishmen who paid taxes and tried to eek out a living and feed their families on what was left after the Sheriff's men rounded them up at tax time. In short, just the sort of riff-raff that join the Tea Party, start their own businesses, become Republicans, read books written more than one year ago and do all kinds of other such subversive activities.

Now, then, let's take a look at the rich. First off, "the rich" of the time weren't corporate CEOs, doctors, lawyers, hedge-fund managers or bankers. Folks in those professions were pretty much middle class and in many cases "lower" middle-class. People we think of as poor live better off than most of these guys did.  

No, the "rich" were, in fact, the titled, landed-gentry - the nobles, the barons, dukes, earls and kings who lived off taxes they collected from "the poor". In other words, they were "the government". There was also a second wealthy class at the time - the church's upper-management. The great bishops, cardinals, monsignors and popes of the time collected vast sums from their poor parishioners and redistributed it largely to themselves.  You might consider them the uber-wealthy corporations of their day. They lived large off their "customers" and protected their markets by squeezing out any competition (with, of course, the help of the equally corrupt government). You might object to the analogy, but it fits.  Even though the clergy took vows of poverty, when it came down to living poorly , they simply redefined what poverty was. Sure all the jewels, rich clothing, expensive food and lavish apartments belonged to the church, but if you have a lifetime appointment and unlimited use of such stuff, then the jewel-encrusted hat you wear might as well be yours. Food prepared by the church appointed cooks eats just the same. AND when you get right down to it, the church leaders were a kind of spiritual government that was as important to life as the secular government and both worked together quite shamelessly to fleece the flocks of peasants of the product of their labors.

What Robin did was a kind of "undistribution of wealth".  Robin took the wealth back that the government and the apostate church took from the peasants through taxation and gave it back to the people from whom they had taken it. Robin's problem was not with "wealth", but with taxation. So he began his depredations on the clergy and the nobility as a kind of "tax relief" program - one that was inexpensive (his men hunted their own food, made their own clothes, weapons and shelter), efficient and effective.

So, as a conservative, I'm very pro-Robin Hood. To me he was always against heavy taxation, the privilege of the upper classes and in favor of freedom, life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Just one man's opinion (which happens to be the correct one).

© 2013 by Tom King

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Public Service Announcement from the Coalition of Wealth Sharers (COWS)

British comedian Russell Brand recently spouted off on some talk show somewhere or other that he though there should be more spreading of the wealth. You hear this a lot from guilt ridden celebrities. They seem to hope that by doing this, the government will take a little from everybody to take care of all this wealth redistribution without actually taking some of theirs.

I have a proposal. Every time a rich celebrity talks about how we need to redistribute the wealth, send him or her an invoice like this one.   Just fill in the blanks on this puppy and mail it to said celebrity. Let him or her know that for a mere $164,999.25 you can offer said entertainer an easy way to redistribute his or her ill-gotten wealth to individuals who have had no opportunity to exploit the masses themselves. AND they can rid themselves of a great deal of unwanted guilt in the process.  They can start with me and you.

We've all surely bought enough tickets, watched enough commercials and bought enough promotional products to be able to claim to have contributed to the inordinately large amount of money they've earned and collected over the years.

I suspect that if every time a celebrity talked about redistribution of wealth, they got about a thousand or more bills from fans seeking a personal "redistribution" of their own wealth, the real consequences of wealth redistribution would, perhaps, sink in through the mental crack fog and nestle somewhere in some unused cognitive center in their brains.

One can only hope!

© 2013 by Tom King

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mother Nature Makes Suggestion for Fifth Head on Mt. Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore this past weekend (note the misty face to Lincoln's right).

A tourist couple snapped the photo above of Mt. Rushmore the day after the park re-opened after the big government shutdown If you look to the right of Lincoln, you'll see a shadowy face in the rocks that looks like a guy with a big nose and weak chin.

This mysterious fifth "head" looks surprisingly like John Tyler, the only American President who ever committed open treason against the United States.  In his twilight years Tyler supported secession and became a delegate to the provisional Confederate Congress. He was buried in a coffin draped with the Confederate flag. 

You can see the resemblance - especially around the nose and chin.

Tyler was also the first president to have an impeachment attempted against him. He also paid journalists and granted them favors for writing positive things about himself and his policies in an effort to improve his "legacy".

Oddly enough, Libertarian Ivan Eland, a crony of Ron Paul's, wrote a 2009 book "Recarving Rushmore" in which he rated Presidents in terms of peace, prosperity, and liberty. In his book, Eland ranked the hapless and inept, slave-holding John Tyler as the best President of all time. This was despite the fact that Tyler was instrumental in getting the Civil War going, both during his presidency and later when he refused to compromise over the extension of slavery into the Western territories (he was for it).

So now, apparently, his ghost shows up on Rushmore with 4 other presidents - none of whom made Eland's Top 5. Washington made #7 just one spot ahead of Jimmy Carter - mostly because Washington quit voluntarily after two terms.  Teddy Roosevelt made #21 - he did, after all, break off and start a third party.  Thomas Jefferson rated low on his "Jeffersonian ideals" with Eland and only made #26. Lincoln made #29 and would have been lower I think if Eland hadn't been afraid of being universally shouted down by readers and critics alike. Eland put Reagan, Kennedy and George W at 34, 35 and 36 respectively. He did put Woodrow Wilson last, a move with which I heartily agree.

John Tyler in his prime.
Perhaps Mother Nature decided to give Mt. Rushmore a "tramp stamp" tatoo, after the whole government shutdown debacle and the nasty way park rangers treated visitors. Perhaps John Tyler is all we deserve in the way of a president, given the dim-bulbitude of the American voter these days. Perhaps it's an omen that another Civil War is coming. Who knows!

Kinda spooky this close to Halloween, though, huh?

© 2013 by Tom King

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crayon Drawings Hanging on the Fridge

How creative minds are busily building their own prison.

Artists, God love 'em, are wonderfully naive. They simply want to pursue their art, whether it be painting, music, the theater or whatever. Unfortunately, art isn't always a very good way to make money. You seem to have to die first before anyone is willing to pay for what you've produced.  Film and TV actors are probably the artistic exception to that rule - a few authors perhaps. 

What artists and would-be artists want more than anything is a patron - someone who will support them while they produce great art so they don't have to wait tables or operate a cash register at Walmart. They want a little dignity while they do their art - a little bread; a warm place to stay.

Now along comes a new "patron" that promises them freedom to pursue their art - government. A very progressive form of government it will be too. There will be bread and healthcare for all we are told. "affordable" housing, public transportation and all the food you need so that you may pursue your vision in perfect freedom.

And the artist in us loves the idea of such a sugar daddy. Finally, someone understands and appreciates us.  We begin producing art that supports this noble idea, that will surely create the utopian state we have so long dreamed about. Like those crayon drawings we hang on the fridge, their work is displayed in public museums, acted out on publicly paid for stages and on PBS. They sing the praises of the hope and change that is promised.

Their hearts swell with pride that they live in a nation with such wise leaders and visionary administrators. They ignore the discomforts that inevitably (as they are told) go along with such dramatic changes. Because we are all now equal in the sight of the government, we must try to be a little more the same. After all, an artist is not better than a plumber. Why should they receive such vastly disparate rewards if they have done well. All artists can be rewarded the same and only then will true creativity flourish.

Too late, the artist discovers that their patron has become their master and it is only as they are marched away to the gulags and the guillotines that they discover that their master really doesn't like criticism.

Too late they come to understand that if it is the government that makes everyone "the same" (a far different thing than allowing us all to be "equal"), then the government must inevitably stifle creativity and individualism and lop off the head of anyone who sticks it above the crowd. It is a sacrifice that must be made to save the utopia that has been created by the power of the great leaders.

Too late the artist discovers the true cost of his guarantee of bread and a warm place to stay.

Just one man's opinion,

Tom King
© 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Who's Pulling the Trigger on Obamacare?

Obamacare rolls out!
One of my liberal friends says he feels sorry for his Republican friends because the party "...has been hijacked by the Tea Party and made to look ridiculous."  He says that the Republicans are holding a gun to the Democrats' heads and saying "Give me what I want or I'll pull the trigger." 

And, apparently, that's a bad thing to his progressive socialist way of thinking.

It looks to me like it's the Democrats holding the gun only they're saying, "Give me what I want. I've already pulled the trigger!"

The trouble is, that after the abysmal failure of the Obamacare rollout and the Gestapo tactics by government employees on orders from on high, the Democrats have alienated a lot of people:
  • People whose flights were needlessly canceled.
  • KIA soldiers' families who had to get their death benefits from a foundation rather than the US military.
  • People locked out of parks and fenced off from monuments that sit by public sidewalks.
  • Private business people forced to shutter their businesses because the government says their lease is null and void government workers don't get a paycheck.
  • Old people tossed out of their retirement homes because the rangers say it's unsafe to drive on a park road while the government is shut down even though it's being patrolled by more park rangers and cops than usual because they're afraid the old people mike sneak back to their homes.
  • Everybody who actually tried to sign up for Obamacare and got the blue error screen of death!
 I think the Dems must have used one of those "Wiley Coyote" cartoon guns with the "U" shaped barrel that always blasts you in the face when you shoot it.

Just sayin'

Tom King 
© 2013

*The title of this article in no way advocates the shooting of any political figure whatsoever. It is an ancient metaphor drawn from the misty origins of television and film. If you are from the NSA, FBI or CIA, please note that I am basically harmless and don't own any weapons more dangerous than an Eversharp kitchen night.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Little Democrat Who Cried "Wolf"

The Democrats have a tendency to exaggerate when it comes to the consequences of budget cutting. After repeatedly crying "wolf" they're reduced to barricading the WWII memorial and kicking old people out of their homes to make their point.  But we're catching on and it could bode ill for the president if he ever does need to tell us the truth about a looming crisis. We may not believe him.

If the government was shut down, the president assured us that little children will starve, old people will die and all that other stuff the Democrats tell us every time the GOP threatens to cut their budgets.  So far, other than some obviously staged problems, we're all still keeping on with our business.

This happened back in the 90s when Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans shut down the government twice. The Democrats predicted dire consequences. Meanwhile, the Republicans arm-twisted the president and his party into making real concessions and managed to pass 4 consecutive budgets and ended the decade with a 12% budget surplus under an unwilling Democrat president.  The government shutdown wasn't the end of the world and it accomplished a great deal toward kicking the economy into overdrive.

Anybody remember the sequester last year? The seas were supposed to rise, coastal cities inundated, children and grandmothers starved or rolled off cliffs in their wheelchairs, asteroids would rain down upon the earth and bubonic plague would sweep the land because the federal government only got a 1% raise in funding last year instead of 3%. The evil Republicans, we were told, wanted to kill us all, starve old people and run over little children with our power-chairs. 

Well, does anyone remember that we're still under sequestration? We still seem to be rolling along despite the deprivation the federal bureaucracy has had to endure. The Dems even say we're doing better. I thought the economy would collapse if the government didn't go farther into debt to get that 3% increase they were "supposed" to get. Are they saying sequestration helped the economy?

Me, I've gotten to the point I have to put on my hip waders every time this administration makes a speech.

© 2013 by Tom King

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Tale of Two Bridges

Is Obamacare the Democrat version of "A Bridge Too Far"?

Bernard Law Montgomery
In the Fall of 1944, Allied Command finally gave Monty his opportunity for glory on the continent of Europe. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery had proposed an ambitious plan to capture four bridges in the Netherlands as part of an attempt to sweep around German defenses into the Reich itself. In deference to Churchill and British sensibilities, Eisenhower and the Allied command accepted Monty's plan and his assurances that the troops under his command would sweep over the old men and young boys who were all that was left defending German positions in Holland. 

Montgomery was wrong.  Operation Market Garden, Monty's complex and intricately timed battle plan began to go wrong almost as soon as it was launched.  As do most battle plans, Market Garden did not survive contact with the enemy.  A lot of men were killed or captured and when the dust settled the key Arnhem Bridge remained in German hands. Cornelius Ryan memorialized the incident in his 1974 book "A Bridge Too Far" which was later made into a surprisingly accurate movie three years later.  It is well worth watch as a cautionary tale of what happens when a leader's ego is greater than his ability.

The President's big plan for social change was appropriately named "Obamacare", tying President Barak Obama's "Hope and Change" legacy to his signature piece of legislation.  If you're going to "fix" healthcare, it was thought, then why not do it BIG.  Some legislators had doubts, but as with Montgomery, nobody wanted to tell Obama his plan had some problems.  Instead they buried it in 2000 pages of regulatory details and pushed it through, House Speaker Pelosi proclaiming, "You'll have to pass it to find out what's in it."

Tuesday was the big Obamacare launch.  Like Operation Market Garden, Obamacare did not do well when it came into contact with the ene......I mean, the American citizens who were supposed to rise up and shout for joy when they found out, "....what's in it."

Obamacare's Facebook page erupted in negativity following it's first bug-filled days of bringing healthcare to the ignorant masses.  Operated by Organizing for Action, a pro-Obama group supported by deep-pocketed members including billionaire investor George Soros and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Obamacare's Facebook page has a big banner that proclaims "Signed, Sealed and Delivering." As millions of Americans have discovered to their financial discomfort this week, Obamacare is delivering all right, but not anything like it promised to. 

Is Obamacare the president's "Progressive Socialist Program Too Far"?

Perhaps the Republican stand is not ill-advised after all - perhaps something on the order of Concord Bridge.  Hopefully it's nothing like Arnhem.  First the Germans were the bad guys and unfortunately, for our analogy, Montgomery still managed to fall back, recover and roll over them German defenders.  The Reich fell anyway, despite Monty's partial defeat.  That was a good thing for democracy, but I'm pretty sure if the Democrats manage to salvage this "government program too far", democracy is likely to lose big this time around.

© 2013 by Tom King

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Arguing with Bullies: The Phobia Gambit

I love all the people out there who get their pantaloons in a twist because conservatives and Christians don't believe homosexual behavior is a good thing. They inevitably issue an angry denouncement proclaiming us "homophobic" as though we are somehow "afraid" of gay people.  I've seen a recent call for a boycott of Orson Scott Card's books and the new movie "Ender's Game" because Scott is Mormon and believes homosexual behavior is a sin. They call Card homophobic, a bigot and loser.

That makes no sense. 

If people like Card and me were "afraid" of gay people, we'd all pretend we thought gay marriage and gay sex were okey-dokey with us so that the scary gay people wouldn't hurt us and would stop calling us hurtful names that might make people not like us anymore. 

What a load of piffle!

Look I don't like alcohol addiction either but it doesn't make me alcoholicphobic or addictphobiic. I think adultery is wrong, but I'm not adultererphobic or for that matter sinnerphobic, a term I could use to apply to the fear of any person whose behavior violates my personal moral code.  The use of "phobic" applied to a person who disagrees with you on some moral point is nothing more than playground taunting, "You're just afraid; that's why you won't do it!" I can't tell you how many times I heard that used by 7th grade bullies to try and force some frightened kid to submit to their will or to do something he didn't want to do. 

Sadly for the LGBT advocacy community, many of us have grown up since 7th grade and we don't respond well to bullying. Their favorite tactic is useless against anyone who has actually bothered to grow up.  I seriously doubt Orson Scott Card is worried about the gay community boycotting his books. They don't read them anyway. Scott is making a good living writing for the huge untapped conservative audience for sci-fi/fantasy novels out there. They buys up his books in hardcover every time a new Ender novel comes out.  I've got the whole set myself.  The Commandant of the Marines made "Ender's Game" required reading for officer candidates. 

I don't own a single volume by Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde or Gore Vidal, not because they are gay authors, but because I don't like their stuff. I'm not boycotting them, nor calling for a boycott of gay authors.  I'll not be making any "boycott these gay authors" list. I just don't have any interest in buying books based on someone's sexual orientation. If I don't like their stuff I pass it by.  If I do, I read it.  I hear that Vidal's "Lincoln", for instance, is quite good and it may get a read before I'm done.  His historical perspective on Lincoln is, I hear, really well crafted and unique in the Lincoln literature. 

The difference I have with they hystrionic homophobe-bashers is that I don't care what books you own or do not own.  I don't call my LGBT friends heterophobic or Christian-phobic or Conservative-phobic if they disagree with me. As a way to force people to accept your point of view, I find the "you're afraid of us" argument less than effective with people who are at all worth convincing - grownups for instance.

Convincing the herd beasts is easy. Make them feel left out of the group and they totter into line as directed by the current societal bully boys.  People with real character and independence of thought recognize the bully argument for what it is and ignore it.  Those folk have left 7th grade far behind them. We are no longer afraid of them - not phobic if you will.

There's nothing sadder or more pathetic than a 40 year-old bully still trying to bend people to his will - or to hers for that matter.

© by Tom King