Sunday, December 17, 2017

New Weapons/Old Tactics in America's Political Civil War.

The current back and forth artillery barrage of accusations of sexual abuse against virtually everybody was inevitable in the war on men by liberal feminists. Progressives chose sides and used the feminists as troops in their war on American free market capitalism and constitutional conservatives. In every war the enemy can potentially catch up with every weapon you deploy. 
Republicans finally figured out that the sex, drugs, rock n' roll lifestyle enjoyed by Democrats made them vulnerable to the same tactics the Dems were using them. The death toll in this Political Civil War is going to be horrific. Every politician, particularly male ones, is a target. Soon, someone is going to remember all those scandals with female teachers hitting on boys and go looking after sexual skeletons in lady politicians' closets.

Because the parties are still married to old-style political strategies, they're going to be like the Civil War and WWI generals in the face of new weaponry. The slaughter is going to be horrific. Whoever has any serious sexual naughtiness in their past is terribly vulnerable if they take up a life in politics. Their past will catch up with them, whoever they are. Everyone is taking potshots at one another. It makes it almost impossible for a person of principle to do the right thing.

The only guys that will survive are the rare few people with spotless pasts who will fight to protect their reputations and guys with hides like a rhino like Donald Trump who know how to use the media like a weapon. This calls for citizens who are willing to run for office, serve a term or two and leave behind a legacy of good law and lean government. We need politicians who aren't primarily politicians, but are people who know how to do things and how things work and don't care about getting re-elected or accumulating power permanently.

Such a crop of people, Democrats and Republicans would change this nation. I have little hope of anything like that happening before the end of time, but it's a nice idea. We can pray for a remnant of warriors to stand for the right in the midst of the storm.  That's probably all we're going to get. We may lose this battle by the world's standards, but by all that's holy, we will make a magnificent fight of it.

© 2017 by Tom King



Thursday, December 14, 2017

Net Neutrality Is Dead and Munchkins Are Dancing In the Street

We are the FCC, sir. WE are omneepeetent!
 
Hooray! Net Neutrality is repealed. The Democrats are wailing that the Internet is doomed because businesses that provide goods and services on the Web will not be heavily regulated by the federal government for "the good of the people."

Oh, frabjous day!  The truth is Net Neutrality had nothing to do with neutrality. It had everything to do with power. It's a battle over who controls the Internet - the users and innovators who made it a powerful economic engine or the government which has been trying to figure out how to control and tax the Internet since it got out of hand thirty years ago. People argue that without NN and FCC control, the Internet will be controlled by big corporations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Centurylink, Comcast, Xfinity and such. Trouble is, every one of those "evil" big corporations SUPPORTED Net Neutrality and spent lots of money trying to get it passed. 
 
Why do you suppose that is? Okay, I'll tell you, young Padawan. It's because the Democrat sponsored bill made the Net into a public utility and gave the FCC regulatory increased powers over who does what on the World Wide Web. Now there would be fewer folk that Big Digital needs to bribe in order to get their way. Without NN, customers decide whether or not they use these digital behemoths' products. If the product sucks, they can go elsewhere to obtain service. With NN, you just grease the right government officials with lobbying dollars and voila! You get whatever "regulation" you want.

Why not make the Internet a public utility? Won't that upset Big Digital? Not so much! AT&T was much happier when the phone system was a "public utility" regulated by the FCC. You see government regulators LOVE big corporations. The more big corporations, the less work the FCC has to do. All those independent little entrepreneurs clog the system with essential paperwork. Big corporations love government regulation because it protects their monopoly. This way the FCC can control the amount of paperwork so as to exert the maximum power with the minimum effort.

And without efficient government paperwork, government bureaucrats either don't have any work to do or they have too much. The trouble with the Internet is that the government has historically little power to censor, control and tax those who do business there. It wound up being the digital Wild West. So, of course Democrats on the FCC board wanted Net Neutrality so badly. 
 
Three reasons:
  1. It gave them power to tax Internet users and to control what people say about the government.
  2. It gave them an excuse to hire more people and there's nothing bureaucrats love more than more minions. It gives them the illusion of greatness to have lots of hired servants.
  3. It furthers the goal of centralization of power in the hands of government.
Don't forget what condition the phone company was in before deregulation. Remember "Ernestine the telephone operator" - the old Lily Tomlin comedy routine? Lily got laughs from Ernestine's bullying of customers. I remember one line where the customer said "You can't do that!" She snorted derisively and said, "We are the phone company. We are omneepeetent!"

It was funny, but not far from truth. Within a year of deregulation, we went from $1 plus per minute long distance to Sprint's ground-breaking ten cents a minute long distance. Mobile phones went from a car trunk full of equipment, $200 a month service charges and a year's waiting list to buying cell phones in Walmart for a hundred bucks and paying $20 a month for service within the space of a couple of years.

The phone system still hasn't shed all the taxes leftover from when it was a "public utility". Do we really want to make the Internet into "Ma Bell"? Apparently at least some of us do not. Thank goodness for them.



Ding dong, Net Neutrality's dead, and this Munchkin is hap, hap, happy about it!

© 2017
by Tom King



Friday, December 8, 2017

Did the U.S. Provoke Pearl Harbor and What Does That Have to Do With Jerusalem?


Why did we cut off war-making supplies to Japan in the 30s?
This photo of Japanese atrocities from Nanking were all the
"excuse" we needed to stop supporting them.

I saw the article listed below posted on Facebook today. By the time I'd written down my litany of outrage, the post had been taken down. This monumentally offensive argument that somehow the USA "asked" to be attacked by Japan because we refused to sell them steel and oil and aluminum for their war machine is an argument for the same sort of appeasement foreign policy that Neville Chamberlain conducted with Hitler and we all saw how appeasing that maniac worked. Today it's the same argument for how we ought to appease the Islamic aggression against Israel and the West. Obama did it by bowing to various Kings and potentates. Americans are marching in the street to protest President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The protesters claim that we will "offend" the Arab world. Then suddenly here we get a PhD history professor claiming that doing such things causes people to attack us.

The idea that we provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor without cause is a flying load of horse crap! I've heard this stupid revisionist history argument before. It's just one more argument for appeasement of bully nations. Japan was mad at us because we quit selling them steel. They were using the steel to wage war on China, Korea, Southeast Asia and to support their efforts to conquer the Pacific Islands. Can you imagine the war machine we would have face had we kept on selling them oil and steel and aluminum and other war materials? We didn't provoke war with them. If anything we kept if from being worse than it was. They attacked Pearl Harbor in part because they were in danger of running out of American steel before they finished conquering what they laughably called the Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere. Laughable because Japan would have been the only "partner" in that sphere who wasn't conquered and the only one making any money off the deal.

Claiming that Pearl Harbor was our fault because we didn't try to mollify the Japanese is like telling the 10 year old me that I should make lower grades and stop "provoking" the bullies in my school because my making good grades and makes them look bad.

I utterly reject this incredibly stupid argument. We did the morally right thing by cutting off Japan's supplies of war materials while they were raping Nanking and running roughshod over their neighbors in Korea, Manchuria and Southeast Asia. Japan is a strong-man culture. Note how well we get along with them after we kicked their butts in WWII. Note also that the Arab culture is a strong man culture which is reflected in their religion. It suggests one should adopt a strong approach if you wish to be respected by the Muslim world. Anything less looks weak and vulnerable and strong man cultures believe weakness must by its very nature be exploited.

Trump did right by firmly recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It says clearly - "Hands off Jerusalem. You're not going to ever get it back!" It was the right thing to do. Strength is the only thing they understand in their political system.

Here's the offensive article in case you're interested:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Good Enough for Government Work



I knew an old contractor once who used to tell me when I was obsessing on aligning some 2x4 exactly along the line, "It's good enough for government work." He went on to further explain. "You know how they do it in the government. Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a piece of chalk, and cut it with an axe!"

Actually, he left out two steps. Today government works like this:

  1. First, a consultant conducts a quarter million dollar feasibility study, 
  2. An engineer measures it with a micrometer, 
  3. A contractor marks it with a piece of chalk
  4. An undocumented worker cuts it with an axe. 
  5. Then a Democrat takes credit for it or, if it falls down, blames it on a Republican.
© 2017 by Tom King


Monday, December 4, 2017

Wolves, Hyenas and Uncle Karl

Wolves and Hyenas - they're both predators so who do you root for? If you're
one of the antelope, you kinda hope they kill each other off
and
leave you alone to eat grass and raise other little antelopes.


The way to deceive most effectively is to present two apparently opposite choices so that whichever you choose, it works out to be the same choice in the end. It is the great deception of our time that hard leftist groups like Antifa and supposedly hard right Nazi groups are opposites. In reality, the two groups are two sides of the same coin.

As T.H. White once put it "...for one brief shining moment" in Earth's long and sad history, one nation (under God by the way) rejected the idea that certain men and women were especially selected by reason of birth to rule over all of us.  It took less than a century for the forces of evil to counter-attack. In the late 1800s, Karl Marx advanced the theory of collective socialism which rejected religion as "the opiate of the people" and proposed to create a worker's paradise for all people by reversing the ideas found in the United States Constitution. Rather than the revolutionary idea set forth in America's founding documents, that the state was to serve the people.

Marx, rather, advanced the notion that the people should serve the state. Basically, the state and the intellectually superior leadership of that state, would plan the economy, jobs, healthcare, housing, education and pretty much everything else. Ultimately, Marx's so-called "classless" state actually wind up being a two class state. Whatever it's intended to be, that's always how it works out.

They say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but that's not exactly true.
It's more like "power attracts the corruptible." People who love powerful centralized government like to believe that they are among the elites destined to lead such a government. There is a reason so many are obsessively attracted to progressive socialist ideology. Adherents actually believe that human beings can create a utopia on Earth if the right leaders take charge on behalf of the ignorant proletariat.

Here's the rub. This has all been done before. Back in 1920s Germany two factions fought it out for supremacy. Both were socialist. both were against the existing Weimar government and both were socialist. Communists and Fascists were slugging it out in the streets for supremacy. Both claimed Marxist ancestry.

Communist/Nazi clashes of the 20s and 30s.
Today, the major extreme groups are both authoritarian in nature. Anything moderate or less than the pure doctrine of the group, is unacceptable and must be shouted down. Even moderate conservatives for instance like Bill Whittle, Dennis Prager or Ben Shapiro, no matter how calm and reasoned their speech, must be silenced with prejudice. At the same time, the extreme right feels the need to shout down Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi or George Soros in the most obscene terms possible.

The hyenas and the wolves in their noisy clash tend to make everything about themselves. As a result, those of us who are not predators are drowned out. And what should be happening right now in the way of a healing dialogue in our country is being drowned out by the battle royale among the political predators.

© 2017 by Tom King


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hoist by Their Own Petards



I used to hear the phrase "hoist by their own petard" and imagine someone dangling from the end of a rope attached to a particularly sensitive appendage. The phrase with that thought in mind is particularly poetic these days, if not entirely accurate. Actually a "petard" is a bomb of the sort that sappers (military engineers) used to set under under walls to attack fortifications (from which we derive the term "undermine"). To be "hoist by one's own petard" is literally to have the bomb or mine, with which you are attempting to attack your enemy, blow up in your face and send you flying. Thus you are "hoist" by your own petard.

The Democrats have long been using undermining as a way to attack their enemies. One of the favorite weapons has been to attack sexist pigs (pretty much all Republicans) by finding people who have been sexually abused. Hillary Clinton famously argued that all such accusations must be given credibility as no one would ever make such an accusation falsely. She said this after destroying the multiple women who accused her hubbie of groping, fondling, raping, or propositioning them for sex. Even after he got caught getting serviced under the Presidential desk during a conversation with a cabinet official and lied bald-faced to the American people about it, Democrats lined up to defend him saying, "It was only sex!"

Of late, the Democrats are discovering how dangerous it is to attack your enemy with sexual petards while smoking long cigars yourself. The carnage has been spectacular taking down Senators, Congressmen, movie moguls, actors and journalists right and left. Women, apparently tired of being groped in the name of sexual liberation, have come out of the woodwork to accuse dozens of famous men (even one notable gay man) of everything from butt-grabbing and casting couch misbehavior to pedophilia and saying naughty words.

The Democrats should check the quality and stability of the sorts of explosives they are using to build their petards. While they've successfully damaged such notables as Roy Moore and Bill O'Reilly, they've also blown up long-time supporter Harvey Weinstein who has a whole bunch of embarrassing photos of himself with his arms around Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and other Democrat women who all seem to be smiling and enjoying the embrace of the old Hollywood lech.

The list is getting embarrassingly long including such notables as Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, and Louis C.K.* The latest "shocking" accusation has been a complaint filed with Minnesota Public Radio against lovable 75 year-old liberal curmudgeon and humorist Garrison Keillor, who was terminated immediately by MPR. Kellor, ironically, recently defended Democrat Senator and professional comedian (ah, but I repeat myself) Al Franken over his sexual indiscretions saying that the accusations against Franken were "low comedy" and should be forgiven. Keillor went on to say, "A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation."

It is the irony of progressive liberalism that the so-called "party of the people" claims that it will usher in an age of liberation in which a utopia of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll will surely follow the worldwide adoption of the principles of socialism. Yet in every case, almost the first thing the new socialist dear leaders do is ban rock n' roll, make drugs unobtainable (even the pharmaceutical ones) and make sex a dangerous proposition. There have never been more grim societies than the ones that first promised to create a worker's paradise. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the rest of them created grim societies based on repression and shared misery. The sex, drugs, and rock n' roll crowd were inevitably the first ones up against the wall.

Newsweek attempted to blame it all on Republicans claiming the Democrats had borrowed the technique of claiming sexual misconduct against political opponents from Republicans. "They did it first," is the liberal journalist's talking point, as though Bill Clinton boning the interns was the first time any politician was ever called out on sexual misconduct. Even Bill Clinton isn't safe now as both sides have opened fire with all their guns. Clinton, himself, the poster boy for "it's only sex", is currently being fed to the journalistic wood-chipper by fellow Democrats who, as Winston Churchill famously described it, "...are feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last."

CS Lewis more than a half century ago pointed out the danger of allowing ourselves to be governed by "omnipotent moral busybodies". The great danger in seizing for yourself the unearned moral high ground is that the morally superior almost inevitably morph into grim, judgmental, iron-pantsed hypocrites and if you've given them any power over you, they will be determined to exercise that power over you. Robber Barons, as Lewis pointed out, may eventually be satisfied and stop robbing you, but those who boss and bully you with the approval of their own conscience never get tired of it and always become progressively more oppressive.

Just sayin'.

© 2017 by Tom King

 * I've begun to think it's all part of a feminist plot to take over the world. Men are getting scarce anymore on news programs and the ones that are left have been very polite to their female colleagues lately. I'm noticing male journalists wear a kind of hunted look lately, sitting there alone, the only source of testosterone on a long talk show couch that reeks of estrogen and anger from one end to the other.



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Which is the Greatest Nation in the World?


This question gets posed all the time by angry millenials and Democrats, armed with talking points hoping you'll say "America" so they can bury you in misinformation to prove how bad the USA is.  Usually, they can't give you a very satisfactory answer when you ask them which one is the greatest if not the United States. You'll likely get some mumbles about Sweden or Denmark, both of which are crumbling socialist economies - something progressives don't like to talk about. 

If by greatest, our questioner means “The nation that best suits my political opinions” then he has given us an impossible task because he demands an answer based on a private definition of greatness largely based on the worthless standard of his own feelings. If I base my answer on my feelings, my interloculator doubtless would take exception to my use of my own feelings as a measure of what he calls “greatness”. If, however, we are talking about objective statistical measures, then we need to specify the statistical measure by which we are to judge America’s greatness.

For instance:

GREATEST POPULATION - Not us, probably China

GREATEST ECONOMY - Neck and Neck with China with the U.S. probably the most flexible and resilient of the two. If China's economy collapsed, we'd be alright, but if the U.S. goes down, China goes down with us.

GREATEST MILITARY STRENGTH - U.S.A. without doubt. Nobody really wants to take us on head to head except the truly suicidal.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT - In science, technology, medicine, invention, industry and innovation, the USA holds the high ground. The US leads in the aviation, medicine, space exploration, entertainment and communication technology, military power and economic dynamism. Everyone else is pretty much playing catch up because we either led the way or passed them up.
 
GREATEST CULTURE - I would say USA given we’ve pretty much appropriated the best bits of every culture in the world and melded them into a richly varied crazy quilt of traditions, beliefs, art, music, food and religion.

MOST ORGANIZED GOVERNMENT - Not us! The US Constitution deliberately created a system of checks and balances that prevents the government from being too organized or powerful. Organized government requires socialism, communism or an outright dictatorship.

BEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM - While certainly not free, if you are talking quality, it’s the USA. Leaders of world governments leave their own countries and come here to have work done on their hearts or brains. The best and brightest young people come here from all over the world to study medicine and stay here to work. That’s why there’s likely a 60% chance your doctor has a foreign accent if you live in the USA.

GREATEST FREEDOM - USA hands down. Our constitution is the model for every truly democratic nation in the world. We are the original. Pretty much everyone else is a copy.

GREATEST FREEDOM OF SPEECH - USA bar none. Yakov Smirnoff once said, "In Russia we have freedom of speech. In America you have freedom AFTER speech."

GREATEST FREEDOM OF RELIGION - USA without question. Even people from oppressive religious countries come to the United States to practice their religion - even religions whose practitioners in their home countries chant "Death to America" have members of their faith freely practicing their religion here in America.

GREATEST OPPORTUNITY - In the USA, the rags to riches story is standard because it happens so often. The majority of our millionaires are first generation wealthy. You can start out in abject poverty and become a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire.

EQUALITY - Depends what you mean by equality. If you mean equality of opportunity, the U.S. wins hands down. If you mean equality or sameness of outcomes, you need to go to a nice communist country or one of those dictatorships with the two class system - the rich and the poor. Sharing of misery is the closest anyone gets to sameness of outcomes.

SAFETY - It’s been a long time in the USA since a marauding army has overrun a town or village, much less a fair-sized state and slaughtered people willy-nilly. If you check the actual murder rates (note that gun violence and actual murder rates are two different things), we're pretty safe in that way. Death by being murdered by your own government doesn't get counted as "murder".  Some nations with low rates of “gun deaths” have commensurately higher rates of death by bludgeoning, strangulation, arson, poisoning, rape, drowning, electrocution and stabbing. Killers will kill. They don’t stop simply because they don’t have guns and people without guns can’t defend themselves so the innocent tend to die more often because they can’t defend themselves.

Ask yourself which country you feel safest wandering around in? Me? I do my touristing in the USA. I’ve been out of the States twice and both times found myself in places where I felt threatened. Doesn’t happen much here in the USA except in cities run by Democrats.

The question that makes up the title of this blog entry is one of those that the self-flagellating precious snowflake generation likes to throw up in order to set you up. They have a cut and paste snowstorm of carefully manipulated facts and figures prepared, designed to make you look stupid for claiming the USA is the greatest nation in the world.

Well they’re wrong and I’m right. The United States is the greatest country in the world.

Just so you know.

© 2017
by Tom King

Friday, November 17, 2017

Oh Goody - Net Neutrality is Back


Here we go again. Just got a Change.org petition supporting a new iteration of the old net neutrality. This legislation they are pushing (now with bipartisan support they say), is supposed to give everyone equal access to the Internet by prohibiting those nasty big corporate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from giving preferential treatment, special rates or reserved high bandwidth access to big websites that use a lot of bandwidth like Netflix, Hulu, or Facebook.

Sounds great. Equality for all, right?

Well, the problem is that if ISPs have to provide the same speeds for everyone and the same access, the websites we all use and love are likely to wind up running slower. So even if you get access to all that mythical super high speed Internet the evil corporations won't let you have, the sites you are trying to get faster access to, might very well run slower because the nasty evil corporations have to share resources, not fairly, but the same for all. 

It's no way to run Internet services effectively. Imagine freeways without HOV lanes during the morning and afternoon rush hours. It's the same thing.

The poison pill in all of this (if a more inefficient Internet isn't toxic enough) is that little bit of lagniappe that gets stuck into every new law that Democrats and politicians want to pass. The new law would make the Internet a "public utility" regulated by the FCC. 

Remember federally regulated public utilities? Remember the phone company back when a long distance call could cost you a dollar a minute and it took you two years, a trunk full of expensive equipment and an expensive car phone monthly payment? You know when there was only one choice for phone service - Ma Bell or in rare cases some podunk phone company if you happened to live in an area Bell wasn't interested in.

When are we going to learn our lesson?  Making the Internet a public utility on the heels of Barak Obama's turning over significant control of the Internet over to an international organization, is really a bad idea. Here's why:
  1. Net Neutrality is a one-size-fits-all solution. It's like mandating that only one flavor of ice cream be sold. There's no room for people to pay for extra premium flavors or for ice cream parlors to develop ice cream sundaes or banana splits or anything new or better. Forcing a one-size-fits-all solution on the Internet and giving control to the federal government, keeps companies from testing new ideas or developing new business models and products that people want. It stifles innovation.
  2. Net neutrality is all about the government picking winners and losers while pretending to be just “leveling the playing field.” The government is notoriously poor at planning economies and making decisions about what works best for business. 
  3. The technology behind the Internet moves to fast. The biggest trouble with the government regulating the Internet is one of speed. A contractor friend used to say that the government "...measures it with a micrometer, marks it with a piece of chalk and cuts it with an axe!"  I would add that they have to do a multi-million dollar feasibility study first. By the time the government figures out how it all ought to be done, what it will take to do it, the solution is outdated and the technology the feds based their decision on is obsolete.
  4. The government can't write regulations that anticipate the way technology will change. Given it can take a bill three years to go through congress, it will likely be aimed in the wrong direction. It's take the FCC more than a decade and they still haven't passed net neutrality. Who believes the government can regulate the Wild West show that is the Internet with any success.  
  5. Putting the government in charge of the web stifles competition. Since deregulation of the telephone business and electricity utilities created competition. When people could pay for cut-rate or premium services and choose from several different companies, the quality of service improved dramatically. Net Neutrality is going the opposite direction.
  6. Net Neutrality is being sold as a way to protect free speech. How is giving the government the power to control what is being said on the Internet going to protect free speech. It's from the government that we have to protect free speech.
There are already anti-trust laws. If the government would just enforce them and make sure consumers can choose among methods of service and ISPs, then customers are put in charge of who provides their Internet service. Instead of the government, consumers get to pick winners and losers among ISPs and websites. They do so with their dollars and spending time on the net.

We don't need the the government to meddle in something that is already working better than virtually any other sector of the economy. Even Barak Obama and the Democrats couldn't kill the Internet during our extended recession.

How about let's keep the revenuers from meddling with our very successful business tool. Vote no on Net Neutrality. It's a trap!

© 2017 by Tom King

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homosexuality: A Christian Perspective

Guest blogger: CS Lewis

First, to map out the boundaries within which all discussion must go on, I take it for certain that the physical satisfaction of homosexual desires is sin. This leaves the homosexual no worse off that any normal person who is, for whatever reason, prevented from marrying. Second our speculations on the cause of the abnormality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (John 9:1-3): only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we find it, which would "turn the necessity to glorious gain." Of course, the first step must be to accept any privations which, if so disabled, we can't lawfully get. The homosexual has to accept sexual abstinence just as the poor man has to forgo otherwise lawful pleasures because he would be unjust to his wife and children if he took them. That is merely a negative condition.

What should the positive life of the homosexual be? I wish I had a letter which a pious male homosexual, now dead, once wrote to me - but of course it was the sort of letter one takes care to destroy. He believed that his necessity could be turned to spiritual gain: that there were certain kinds of sympathy and understanding, a certain social role which mere men and mere women could not give. But it is all horribly vague - too long ago. Perhaps any homosexual who humbly accepts his cross and puts himself under Divine guidance will, however, be shown the way. I am sure that any attempt to evade it (e.g., by mock- or quasi-marriage with a member of one's own sex even if this does not led to any carnal act) is the wrong way."

- C.S. Lewis

© 2017 by Tom King

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Get Out the Guys in White Coats - Antifa's Baaack!

Socialist Brownshirts, only without the work ethic or organizational skills.*
Today was supposed to be the big Antifa protest. I do not understand these guys. Haven't checked the news yet, but I suspect we will have some nice gratuitous violence before it's over. Are these folk insane? You decide.

These are, after all, people who hate big government and big corporations. They believe that the only way to fix the evil big government is to make it bigger and stronger and more intrusive and turn all the evil corporations over to government control.

These are people who hate the police. So they want to disarm all Americans except criminals so we won't shoot ourselves accidentally so that only the police have guns and can shoot us intentionally.

These are people who believe that it's better for people to serve the state than for the state to serve the people. When the do get their way and establish a collectivist state, then they inevitably call that system of government "The People's Republic".

The ANTIFA flag has recently been modified
to include some green. That should help, huh?
These are people who divide the nation into minority victim groups by ethnicity, sex and religion.  Then they complain that there is a racial, gender and religious divide in America.

These are people who want to disband our military so the world will be at peace. Then they demand we import as many undocumented aliens as possible from countries that export terrorism and chant "Death to America" at government sponsored rallies. Then they are shocked and surprised when some refugee in a rented truck runs over a gaggle of liberal bicyclists (who are riding bicycles in New York trying to save the planet from pollution) while shouting "Allahu akbar!"

These are people with PhDs who preach peace and nonviolence from university pulpits. Then they demonstrate their pacifism by beating up people going to a free speech event with their bicycle locks, clubs, bats and other miscellaneous implements of destruction. 

 Now these guys could march in straight lines.
These are people who claim to be anti-fascist. You can tell they are by their name.  Yet they carry a flag that has the same colors and design of a Nazi flag. They dress up like Brownshirts only in black (which color was favored by the Nazi/fascist German SS by the way). Then they take a page from the Nazis and burn the cars of working immigrants, shout down Jewish speakers and beat up anyone who listens to anyone who disagrees with them. And what's up with the red and black flags? Though I did notice that they have changed it somewhat and added some green to their Antifa flags (available on Amazon.com - $23.99 double-sided). The green is, I suppose, to promote their morally superior environmentalism. (The fact that Hitler was pro nature and a big time environmentalist should in no way be considered sinister or even important so far as parallel imagery goes.)

Except, oh wait, green was the color of the SS flag! Can't seem to escape the comparisons somehow.

I guess we learn from history that insanity is not a barrier to people allowing you to run the government of a nation. How many times have sadistic lunatics risen to ultimate power in Earth's history? Power doesn't just corrupt. It attracts the corruptible like a flame attracts moths. And often the moths get burned once their purpose is accomplished. Being a follower of the winning crowd and being devoted to the crowd's powerful leaders doesn't make you safer. Remember what happened to Hitler's Brownshirts? Google "Night of the Long Knives", when Stormtroopers broke up several gay orgies that Brownshirt leaders were notorious for and then.....
Well there's a reason it was called "Night of the Long Knives!"
Waffen SS flag.

Perhaps we should call today Krystallenacht II. Perhaps they'll break some windows or loot some Jewish shops, who knows? I hear JC Penny's security is kind of lax these days.

© 2017 by Tom King

*
Note to Antifa members: You know black is not all that slimming when you're that overweight.
.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Case of Premature Celebration

Well the left is an oozy puddle of happy goo on the floor this morning as their fantasy of somehow making Hillary Clinton the president gets a shot in the gelatinous appendage with the indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. CNN and the NY Times are fairly quivering with excitement. I expect to hear plenty of premature high-fiving from my Democrat friends this morning. Given how impossible it was to dislodge a corrupt Democrat regime the past 8 years, I expect it will be every bit as hard to dislodge Trump, given that he learned the art of dirty politics from Democrats.

It may be that Trump's a sleazeball, but he's our sleazeball. At least that will be how the Trumpbots spin it all. Me? I didn't vote for him for precisely this reason. BUT, as long as he keeps doing conservative things like bringing down Obamacare (which is even more expensive every year), shrinking the government, cutting taxes and appointing conservative judges, I'm willing to allow that perhaps the presidency is teaching him something.

In the ever-sleazier world of politics, you play the hand you were dealt.
The Democrat left is trying to overturn the table because they don't like the cards they got during this last deal. If somebody doesn't impeach Donald Trump soon, the left is going to declare jihad. They may already have with the big Antifa protest scheduled for November 4.

Wouldn't it be lovely if they gave a riot and nobody watched. I think news agencies should to only talking head reports that day and show no pictures. If Antifa doesn't get on TV it will make them very very double-ungood sad. It's like serial killers and terrorists. If they don't get their names on television and all the media, it spoils their whole day. We could call them "unsubs" and talk a lot about how evil it is to do something bad to all the nice people they hurt. 


As to Manafort and Gates, I say let 'em swing. If they did wrong, the Trump administration should condemn them heartily. I believe the president has already fired them both. Both the GOP and the DNC make a serious mistake when they defend the miscreants in their midst. They should take a page from churches, where our members who are sinners are invited to come forward, confess their sins and be forgiven. America is a forgiving place. Look at how quickly we forgave Bill Clinton for lying straight to our faces when he was president. All he had to do was look a little penitent and he was back up on his horse again.

It's going to be a miserable four years.
Democrats are incapable of tolerating being out of power. They're like the kid that throws himself on the floor and screams if he doesn't get a candy bar in the Walmart checkout line. After working with leftist bureaucrats for a good deal of my 40 year career, I find I have become enured to the filth and degradation of the political system - rather the way, I suppose, that a coroner becomes enured to the blood and guts of an autopsy.

That's really kind of sad when I think about it.


© 2017 by Tom King

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Was Mark Twain an Evil Man?

Mark Twain after the loss of his daughter Suzy

A Christian's Defense of Mark Twain
  • ...a God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him! - Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)

Mark Twain is a favorite of mine as a source of great quotations.
Lately a friend has been busting my chops for quoting him. He posted the above passage to prove I shouldn't quote Twain if I was a Christian. The passage itself is from Twain's "Mysterious Stranger", a story he wrote following a series of tragic losses in his life. The passage, as you can see asks some very hard questions of Christians and of God Himself. Sadly, Twain doesn't have any answers. In his day, Christian apologists were virtually uniform in their embrace of the loving God/eternal torturer portrait of the Almighty. That picture of God has driven sturdier souls than Sam Clemens away from the church and into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So let me offer a defense of Twain. He is not the first man to question God's will. He won't be the last. First of all, Twain asked the question a lot of grieving people ask when they lose a loved one to death. They want to know what happens to them next. In Twain's day, churchmen almost universally offered but two possibilities. One was eternity as some vague floaty creature who gets issued a harp and is commanded to sing eternal praises. The other is a blistered miserable creature writhing in a vast pit of fire and unable to die.

Suzy Clemens who died of spinal
meningitis at age 24.
Remember, Mark Twain had just lost his beloved daughter and being a public figure and a writer all that got worked out on a public stage in a very public way. This was a man grieving and Twain was too smart to accept the easy religious pablum about disembodied spirits floating off to heaven. And the idea that his daughter might be consigned to hell was just too horrible to contemplate. 

I imagine that other versions of the "what happens when we die" doctrine might have made Twain think more kindly of Christians, but Twain was only acquainted with the hell fire immortal soul doctrine as generally preached to him as a boy.  There actually are other interpretations of Scripture on that point. I, for instance, am a Seventh-day Adventist. We do not believe the soul is immortal, or that anyone burns in hell forever. For us death is sleep and the resurrection happens at the Second Coming. Hell is a quick and merciful end for those who insist on being evil.

Perhaps if Twain had seen another portrait of an actually merciful God, it might have helped him in his grief. Sadly, for Twain there was no other picture of God available to him. As he rightly points out, the God of the Golden Rule and the God of eternal torment being the same person doesn't make sense. Remember, that Christianity as Twain knew it was chock-a-block with hypocrisy and its adherents preached a cruel God who burned babies alive for an eternity, consigning even relatively minor sinners to writhe in the flames for ages without end. Twain had a really hard time with the doctrine of hell and he greatly feared for his daughter's soul. It was easier for him to believe in no God at all than in the sadistic God of Christianity as preached in most churches of the day.


One can hardly blame him for his negative reaction to the picture of God that the Christians of his day presented. I suspect God would prefer that Twain ask the question and demand answers than for him to have accepted the smooth and horrific lies told about Him by the great hell fire and damnation preachers of Twain's day. It's not an accident that the first book of the Bible written (chronologically) was Job and that book is all about demanding answers from God with regard to death and suffering. And in that book God seems to approve of honest questions over self-serving assumptions.

Twain loved his family deeply.
Myself, I have found Twain a gentle soul and an extraordinarily honest observer of the human condition, often bruised by the cruelty of life on Earth. I suspect he was searching for the very God I met when I was seventeen years old. I also suspect God will be merciful to Twain and other grieving fathers and mothers in the end who in their despair were simply searching for the God who is the Comforter. That what they got from their pastors was God the Punisher is not their fault. I suspect many will be saved who were driven from the fold by lies about the nature of God. "Other sheep have I who are not of this fold," said Jesus - Jesus, who by the way, came to show us what a merciful God really looks like.

Had I not discovered the truth about God, I'd have asked the same questions Twain did and made the same accusations. Remember, it was God, Himself, who approved of Job's impertinent demands for answers over his friends' smooth "explanations" of God's behavior. It was to Job that God gave the responsibility of presenting offerings for Eliphaz, Bildad, and the rest, who were chastised for accusing God of cursing Job.

A lot of good souls are driven from the church over the very issues that Mark Twain presents in the passage you quoted. There is no sin in asking questions and demanding answers from God. Twain pointed out the hypocrisy of smug ideas about what God is like as presented by preachers who preached the big lie of an ever-burning hell. It's all through Twain's writings at this time of bitter loss and grief.

How about a little mercy for the man, guys? Nobody from our bunch ever introduced Sam Clemens to the real and merciful God with whom he could have trusted his lost precious daughter. Twain did the best he knew how. It is we Christians who failed him in his hour of need.

There's been an anti-Twain sentiment in the evangelical and apostate Protestant community of late and of course there has. Twain, with brutal accuracy, pointed out the logical impossibility of a loving God who would consign souls to eternal torment. He's messing with the "Christian" leadership's favorite terrorist tool for scaring sinners into the pews. They must, therefore, frighten their sheep away from Twain lest they too ask uncomfortable questions for which there are no easy answers.

As a Seventh Day Adventist, I agree with Twain. A God like the one many Christians preach is not one I could worship either. Were I Jesus, I'd meet Sam Clemens at the Second Coming and tell him not to worry about hell. Those preachers were wrong. There's no eternal torment and anyone who really wants eternal life and an end to evil will have it and then, I think, Jesus will place his nail-scarred hands on the shoulders of that poor broken man and lead him to where his lost daughter has risen and is alive again.

That's the merciful God I know and I do believe that if Twain had ever been properly introduced to Him, he'd have written a much different book. It's a trap of the devil that turns well-meaning Christians against someone like Twain who asks the question that should be asked of every preacher, priest and missionary who confidently preaches hell fire and damnation and eternal torment and then tries to tell his terrified audience that God is love. How can we defend those people?

The picture of God, presented by theologians, that presents Him as a loving eternal torturer is so ludicrous, that it's long been the main reason people reject Christianity. I mean how can you love someone who does worse to people than Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot and all the kings and emperors put together? Many of the great theologians of all denominations have also rejected the idea of eternal torment in hell for the lost, but they have had to keep quiet about it lest they be shouted down by those of their colleagues who wish to retain the doctrine of fiery hell as a terror tool. CS Lewis said that in Scripture, hell is always spoken of as an ending, not a change of state from human to eternally tormented soul. He didn't speak very loudly about it, though or he'd have been ridden out on a rail as a heretic.

The confusion about God's character began when we chose to believed the very first lie - "Thou shalt not surely die." Remember that he who said it is a liar. But the idea that we can't really die is seductive. It lets us be immortal gods and condemns the actual God of Heaven as a slave-master for threatening us with hell to win our obedience. Twain merely pointed out the absurdity of what Christians were saying about God themselves.

So how about we lay off Twain and answer the question he asks? Is God some kind of omnipotent psychopath or is He love incarnate?  The answer to that question is, I think, the most important question in the great controversy between good and evil.

© 2017 by Tom

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Looking for the "Big Win" - Progressives vs. Conservatives

However beautiful the strategy,
you should occasionally look at
the result - Winston Churchill
TRIGGER WARNING
I posted the Churchill quote the other day and got an immediate response from a friend who like to debunk my quotations that offend some people on the left. I'm not sure whether he objected to it being Churchill who said it or that Winnie suggested that results might be a valid way to evaluate whether or not your "beautiful strategy" is working or not.

Anyway he shot back, "
And the conservative agenda. The war on drugs: screaming success, right? Prohibition: big win, right? Trickle-down economics: now that was a real winner!"

My left-leaning buddies like to taunt us conservatives with our supposed failures like playground bullies in second grade with their thumbs in their ears and their fingers flapping, going "Nanny, nanny boo boo! As though shouting talking points at us is an actual argument. I've talked here before about the Satanic propaganda system. In the Garden the serpent started off with a lie assumed to be truth because he said it was so. "Thou shalt not surely die!" Because he said it with authority, Eve didn't question that part of the argument, setting her up for the second part, "Thou shalt be like gods!" She believed the second lie because she accepted that the first lie was general knowledge (everybody knows....) and assumed that it was therefore true. 

You know intellectually, of course, that saying something was a failure doesn't make it so and nanny boo-boo isn't proof that your premise is correct. Emotionally, however, your instinct to belong to the herd makes such statements, however false they might be. FEEL right. If you can get past the feeling right bit, you may discover that the truth is somewhat different than the herd believes. Remember the members of the herd believe that if they follow the running butt in front of them they'll be okay. They believe this right up until they run off the cliff hot on the heels of their fellow cattle.

So let's examine the assumptions about "the big win" we have failed to get.

The Failure of Prohibition:  
Pre-Prohibition family fun
Everybody, even Seventh day Adventists whose grandparents and great grandparents fought for and voted for Prohibition, now think that Prohibition failed because mobsters used it as a way to commit crimes and make money.  Well Prohibition may have been repealed, and criminals committed crimes, but that doesn't mean Prohibition failed. America's booze-soaked culture prior to prohibition had gotten to such a point that families with small children served whiskey at breakfast like we serve orange juice today. Most people don't remember this, but it was common for kids 8-10 years old to drink wine and beer in pre-Prohibition America. Early childhood alcohol consumption was considered normal. A little white lightnin' in a baby bottle was well-known as a way to quiet a fractious child.

There are disinformation sites on the Internet that say Prohibition increased alcohol consumption. These are pressing a propaganda message says that prohibiting a thing makes it more desirable. Has pornography become less attractive by making it more available? These heavily massaged statistics are a lot of baloney, propagated by people who wanted easy access to booze. But, at the same time, here are some stats about what was going on at the time of Prohibition.

  • Wife beating and lack of family support decreased 82%
  • Drunkenness decreased 55.3%
  • Assault decreased 53.1%
  • Vagrancy decreased 52.8%
  • Disorderly conduct decreased 51.5%
  • Delinquency decreased 50.0%
  • Deaths due to cirrhosis decreased 50.0%
  • The number of inmates in jails and prisons decreased 75%, and
    many correctional institutions were closed entirely
  • General domestic complaints decreased by two-thirds
  • County hospital death rates were historically low
  • Alcohol became almost unavailable
  • Prostitution decreased
  • The national crime rate (excluding Chicago) declined 38%; in Chicago, the crime rate declined 25% (despite the best efforts of Al Capone, the O'Banions, the Genna Brothers and Bugs Moran)
  • Savings accounts tripled
  • Real estate values increased dramatically, due to home improvements
  • Families became better clothed
  • Attendence at churches and schools became more regular
  • Factory job attendance and job performance greatly increased
  • Demand for services at welfare missions decreased by half
America's alcohol-fueled culture was causing the dissolution of families, rampant alcoholism, economic ruin and misery. What prohibition actually accomplished was to reset the way the American culture looked at alcohol. Thanks to prohibition alcohol came to be viewed as a vice by American mainstream culture. Instead of tacit approval of drinking, Americans were reset to a standard disapproval of drinking, especially around kids. Instead of embracing alcohol, after prohibition, Americans merely tolerated it. AND the rates of alcoholism which dropped dramatically during prohibition, never have come back to pre-Prohibition levels. America as a nation, in effect spent a generation in rehab kicking the habit during Prohibition. So Prohibition was actually a BIG WIN. We are a far more productive and sober nation than we were before Prohibition.

The Failed Drug War:  
Now that the far left and right have banded together to use the so-called failure of Prohibition as an excuse to shut down the war on illegal drugs, now we get to see if the progressive's are right. Will making drugs legal and stopping the racist persecution of the poor, the potheads, the junkies and their suppliers, want to give up drugs. Will illegal hallucinogenic drugs will lose their fascination for teenagers. Will we make big tax dollars on the sale of legal drugs once the stigma is removed. I have looked at the early numbers and it looks like we're headed for a BIG LOSE.

The Failure of Trickle Down Economics:

Ronald Reagan's trickle down economics policy, though sabotaged at every turn by Democrat dominated Congresses, still managed to kick off the longest sustained economic uptick in history. Bill Clinton was smart enough to get out of the way of the Republican Congress during his administration long enough to allow the economy to blow through a slight recession during the Bush 40 administration. So how did government's attempted management of the economy under Obama and Democrats go? Well, we've just begun to emerge from the longest recession since the debacle of the Great Depression as extended and deepened under FDR. Even liberal economists are now admitting that FDR's New Deal government management only extended the nation' misery.

So yeah! They were all big winners.~  (sarcasm alert in case you missed it)

Progressivism's "Big Win":

Mussolini as "Atlas in front of Rockefeller Center.
Early progressive socialism - In the US our first big progressive president after Teddy Roosevelt dabbled in it, was Woodrow Wilson, Democrat. Wilson furthered the federal government's racism and put us in the middle of a bloody war he'd sworn he wouldn't get us into. Early progressive heroes of US progressives included the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and Adolph Hitler (the artist carved what looked like Mussolini's head on the body of a sculpture of "Atlas" at Radio City Music Hall in 1937. US progressives paid tribute to the Italian fascist along with Stalin and even Hitler. FDR sent staff members to visit the facist nations during the 30s hoping to learn "how they recovered so quickly from the depression and their own economic miseries. FDR came away with the idea that direct government control of economies was how to stop the Depression. All he really succeeded in doing is prolonging the Depression until he had to go to war against his fascist role models in 1941.

Then there came the Middle Ages of progressive collectivism - 176 million deaths by execution, starvation and torture under Chairman Mao. Ukrainian Kulottes were deliberately starved in millions under "Uncle" Joe Stalin to eliminate the middle class and tens of millions more went to the Soviet gulags and Siberian work camps (the collectivist version of slavery). More recently, two million were murdered and untold numbers lost their lives fleeing in small boats from the North Vietnamese conquest of South Vietnam. Pol Pot slaughtered millions in the Cambodian killing fields. Socialists like Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin in Africa, Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela destroyed their countries economically and slaughtered their citizens in further millions in the name of the progressive Worker's Paradises that collectivism/socialism was supposed to create.

Even bastardized versions of the progressive gospel in which, for a time, capitalism supported socialism, proved inherently unstable and collapsed or are collapsing of their own weight. (see Denmark, Sweden, Greece and the rest of the EU) And yet people cling to the same old Marxist ideas, renaming it things like progressivism, communitarianism, or social democracy. Redefining old words and inventing new ones, they always hang on to the same failed idea that an elite bunch of self-proclaimed smart people (in N. Korea they call them "Dear Leaders") can save us all from ourselves.

I don't see a single "big win" in all the long history of the "progressive" movement's search for a way to create a man-made paradise. The only "win" I can see is that they successfully placed black folk once again in thrall to their Democrat masters using Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty as cover. The condition of black people is apparently so bad that multi-millionaire NFL players are taking a knee in protest. If I were a Democrat, that's a result I wouldn't want to look at either.

As it turns out only God can create a paradise and before He can do that, He has to convince human beings that the whole sin thing inevitably ends up in death and misery. Thus He has allowed us to destroy ourselves trying to do build alternative paradises and, as Old Blue Eyes sang it, "We did it ouuuuuuuuur way!" Letting little Festus fall flat on his face is sometimes the only way a parent can teach a child and that a child can learn that he is not omnipotent and immortal. It's probably the only way God can convince the human race that we aren't God and that we cannot do what He can. God, like a long-suffering parent has to let us fall on our collective faces. He is allowing His errant children to learn by experience that we don't have the right stuff to create paradises on our own hook.

Learning the hard way, though, can be very very painful.  Much better to learn something and then not repeat your earlier mistakes. As someone wise, no one knows exactly who, once wrote, "To repeat the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome is, by definition, insanity." Seems there's a lot of that going around these days.

© 2017 by Tom King