Never take for granted

The right to assemble for worship:

Chinese police officers demolished one of the country’s largest evangelical churches this week, using heavy machinery and dynamite to raze the building where more than 50,000 Christians worshiped.

The Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province was one of at least two Christian churches demolished by the authorities in recent weeks, part of what critics describe as a national effort to regulate spiritual life in China.

Under President Xi Jinping, the government has destroyed churches or removed their steeples and crosses as part of a campaign that reflects the Communist Party’s longstanding fear that Christianity, viewed as a Western philosophy, is a threat to the party’s authority.

And never forget there are plenty of people living in the United States, Canada and Europe who’d like nothing more than to take down all the crosses and dynamite all the churches here, too.

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Dissent versus dissing

NFL fans appear to be ready to mount their own “protest” by ignoring the sport, after a fatal league infestation of knee-taking.  This is giving the Left vapors: “you can’t do that!  It’s our right to dissent.”

Yes, it is.  And it’s the fans’ right not to associate with people who do so in such a childish fashion.  You see, this isn’t about dissent so much as it’s about dissing. (As in “disrespecting.”)

Dissing the symbols of America, just because its past isn’t more perfect than any other nation.  Whether you take a knee during the anthem or simply cut to the chase and burn the flag, you’re expressing hostility to symbols that still mean a great deal to a lot of people.  Many of those people would be only too happy to help fund you a one-way plane ticket to whatever country whose heritage and symbols you find superior.  We’re generous that way.

Dissing present-day citizens who have the audacity to believe government should both protect the border and leave them alone, and they should have the ability to call out and resist idiocy — such as allowing people to choose whatever bathroom they “feel like” that day — as they see it.

Dissing the Christian heritage that forms an essential part of the foundation this country was built upon.  (Why isn’t it “dissent” to refuse to participate in a gay “marriage” ceremony?  Aren’t professional sports also “public accommodations?”  Bake that cake Stand up NFL — you’re offending people!)

The mistake many make is in focusing on the issue du jour in isolation.  This isn’t about just the NFL.  It’s merely a continuation of a tiresome trend that has finally worn out its welcome and the average American’s patience: the cultural appropriation of anything considered “as American as Mom and apple pie” to churn out anti-American agitprop.  The populist/traditionalist backlash that is brewing is due to people realizing the elites aren’t out to reform America so much as they are to replace it with something more to their globalist likings.  They’ve been doing this to our institutions for decades.  Now the fight is more out in the open.  This situation makes many angry.  I’m one of them.  The very anger I feel towards ‘those people’ (a deliberate reference – figure it out if you can) makes me concerned for the future.  For if I imagine it multiplied by millions of fellow citizens, it is a tremendous potential force that can be harnessed for good or evil.  Nor is America alone is seeing this anger rise among those who still value the nation of their birth.

As Christians, we’re not told it’s wrong to be angry — only that in our anger “do not sin.” Easier said than done.  As the famous philosopher Yoda once said, “…anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering…”   And frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the ringleaders of these constant shenanigans suffer…

…even if it’s only suffering cramped economy-class seating on a long one-way flight to somewhere else, with citizenship and return privileges revoked.

Too harsh, you say?  Subversion–what they’ve been up to for a couple generations–is merely treason spread out over time.  Once it’s recognized for what it is, such a penalty seems light in comparison to the standard.

A two-minute warning

It should be apparent by now that absolutely everything in American society has been subordinated to politics and messaging by the Left.  This is not a good development.  It means there is no room for apolitical interactions, no common ground on which both sides can agree “we may disagree, but don’t have to do it here.”  There are no symbols around which everyone can rally and say “at least we have this much in common.”  Thus the pressure in the cooker continues to grow.

Since the topic of NFL players acting childishly during the National Anthem has become the issue du jour, and has now spread to other sports, I thought I’d put in my two sense cents:

  1. “This is about free speech.”  No, it’s not.  The Constitution guarantees an absence of government coercion against speech it doesn’t like.  The public has always been free to measure the actions and speech of those who put themselves in the public eye.  The Left decided years ago to up the stakes in this area by going after the employment of those who said or supported things they didn’t like (for example, search: Brendon Eich, ex-chairman of Mozilla).  So it should follow Americans are not required to keep funding the salaries–much less subsidizing the stadiums–of well-paid players who don’t appreciate what they have.  The issue is the Left simply doesn’t like it when the same rules are applied to them.  Should have read your Alinsky better…
  2. “Only racists and bigots object to this.”  Garbage.  There are literally millions of veterans (including me) disgusted at watching the NFL borrow the valor of the military with flyovers and huge patriotic displays at their events (something the government even paid them to do), then stand behind players who want to make a particular two-and-a-half-minute tune about them rather than their country.  Unfortunately, football’s core demographic is pretty patriotic.  The NFL knows this.  Let’s see how the bait-and-switch works for them.

A process I’ve seen described as “The Great Tune-Out” appears to be under way.  Civic-minded average Americans seem to have decided not to listen any longer to political rants from pampered entertainers, and this is having an effect in multiple markets.  Good.  It’s about time.  We were told after the election that the majority shouldn’t have to live with a candidate who “only” won the electoral college.  Majority rule, and all that.

Maybe we’re discovering the majority in this country still values it, and is tired of feeding parasitical organizations that keep spitting in their face.  One can hope.  In the mean time, enjoy your now-cleared Sunday afternoon schedules!

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Say “no” to unqualified voting

We’ve been indoctrinated to believe voting is a “right,” and that much of progress in America is related to the gradual expansion of the franchise to the point where anyone with a pulse can enter a voting booth.  We’ve even become so “inclusive” that some cities are allowing non-citizens(!!) to vote.

Before I get bombarded with the usual Progressive insults, let me state for the record that I do not believe voting should be limited on the basis of ethnicity or wealth (i.e. landowning requirements).  But on the question of voting, there is one thing of which I am certain: the automatic universal franchise for those born here is the worst idea in the history of republican thought.  Why have I reached this conclusion?  Consider this:

A new survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that most Americans are ignorant of many very basic facts about the Constitution.

* More than one in three people (37%) could not name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
* Only one in four (26%) can name all three branches of the government.
* One in three (33%) can’t name any branch of government. None. Not even one.

You can’t do anything in life well without knowing the rules.  Why should voting be any different?  Now, note carefully what the Washington Post (motto: “Democracy Dies In Darkness“) says next:

The protection of constitutional rights is in large part the business of lawyers, judges, government officials, and other experts. But public opinion plays an important role, as well, which it is unlikely to do as effectively if most of the public is ignorant.

No.  Emphatically no.

The informed and invested citizen is the primary protector of our constitutional freedom.  Therein lies a major part of the problem: being informed and taking action requires effort and some level of personal sacrifice (such as leisure time).  For the vast majority of people, this is simply too much work.  It’s well-said that “Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.”  Voting is not a “right.”  It is a privilege, and carries with it the reverse of the coin: responsibility.  To hand over the responsibility largely to “lawyers, judges, government officials, and other experts” (notice the order in which these are listed?) is to hand over the privilege of having a voice as a citizen.  By not acting to enforce the Constitutional role on our various government functions, the public has allowed them to determine the limits of their own power (hint: none).  A true citizen refuses to accept that, and challenges — physically, if necessary — undermining of the Constitution.

The only way to be able to do that is to know the Constitution.  It’s no surprise to anyone who’s read this blog for long that I believe voting should be restricted to those who have passed a civic exam at least as difficult as the citizenship test (which, frankly, is not a high bar).  Such an arrangement does not preclude participation on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, wealth or any of the other categories that have been used historically to deny the franchise.

What it does is require the would-be voter to earn the privilege — something nearly everyone can do (excepting the mentally incompetent, who already are not allowed full privileges in society).  By bestowing citizenship on those who enter our nation illegally, and allowing anyone with a pulse to vote, our nation shows it does not value either.

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
— Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776

Frankly, studying for an exam is a small price to pay for the franchise.  Others have theorized about requiring much, much more.  (While I don’t subscribe to Heinlein’s exact solution, the requirement to have a “citizen” demonstrate a commitment to something more than their own narrow self-interest would go far to fix what ails us.)

The next time you’re contemplating the sorry state of our nation, just remember it’s likely a good number of the people surveyed were in a polling place last November, and their vote was swayed more by emotions (“I feel like there should be universal health care”) than by knowledge and analysis (“There is no such thing as a free lunch“).

Idiocracy, indeed.

Don’t think she’s alone, either

We’re living in a time when many masks and pretenses are dropping.  In this case, it’s because one side believes they’ve achieved enough power to no longer need hiding:

Among her elite social circles in Washington, DC, and the Hamptons, Washington Post religion writer Sally Quinn did not keep her use of black magic a secret. In a lengthy and glowing profile, the Washingtonian reveals that Quinn’s fascination and outright use of the dark arts were just another part of her wide and varied social scene.

***

Ouija boards, astrological charts, palm reading, talismans—Quinn embraces it all. And yes, she has been in contact with her husband since his passing. Through a medium. Repeatedly.

Some friends have voiced reservations that Quinn is now showing all her cards, so to speak. “Don’t play up the voodoo too much,” one implored. But Sally does nothing by halves. (emphasis added) She reveals that, in her less mellow days, she put hexes on three people who promptly wound up having their lives ruined, or ended.  ((Since she believes she was responsible, shouldn’t this be tantamount to admission of assault and murder?  After all, we’re told repeatedly to accept the sincerely held beliefs of everyone…  — Jemison))

Quinn co-founded a regular column on religion in the Post that later morphed into a standalone website, but neglected to mention these little tidbits until it came time to write her memoir.  Thus, under the cloak of ‘journalism,’ she published many columns seeking to undermine orthodox Christian beliefs and their proponants.  Contrast this approach to that of the late Charlie Reese, who made a point of ensuring his readers knew where he was coming from by publishing periodical columns about it.

[Note: I recommend regular readers here to look at the three linked columns in the previous sentence.  I read Reese’s columns as a young adult.  He, along with Thomas Sowell, caused me to think deeply about governance and economics, though they are far being from my only influences.  Reese’s transparency about his worldview was the inspiration for the “About” tab at the top of this blog, where you can get a basic overview of where I’m coming from.  It’s a practice I think should be standard among writers who aspire to be more than mere propagandists.]

Why would Quinn conceal her beliefs as a columnist for a decade, only revealing them when it was time to cash out?  Likely because for that decade she was but one of many agents undermining the historical value systems of this nation, an effort moving much swifter and closer to its goals than the now-revered 1960s.  That Quinn felt free to “tell all” in this month’s book shows two things, I think:

  1. She does not fear social, much less physical, repercussion
  2. She and her publisher believe there is a large audience for what she now says openly

Keep in mind this woman moved in the highest social circles of Washington D.C.  According to a reviewer, the memoir contains many examples of highly selfish, manipulative and admittedly demonic-spirited behavior.  While the reviewer occasionally seems to cringe at the material, she concludes by quoting the author’s expectation of respect, and calls it “courageous.” — the same label applied to anyone who publicly jettisons and/or attacks Christian beliefs.   D.C seems filled to overflowing with such “courage” today, and its true colors are showing through.

Does it become more apparent now why I’ve long nicknamed that city “Mordor?”

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

Escaping the collective

Between them, Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter carry enormous power to shape the public conversation.  What’s worse, all of those companies have shown themselves willing to censor and eliminate speech they dislike.  It’s time to find alternatives:

DuckDuckGo may never become a verb the way “Google” did, but at least their search engine doesn’t track your every move.  I moved to the Pale Moon browser after Mozilla threw out their highly successful CEO for having donated to the cause of not recognizing gay “marriage” in California. That same CEO has now created a new browser, Brave, which I use for most web work. You may also have noted over the past few months that some of my links go to Infogalactic, not Wikipedia anymore. And yes, Jemison Thorsby has a Gab account, though I use it to listen, not to broadcast. (Yet.)  I’m still looking into some of the email platforms noted in the video.  If I have recommendations later, I’ll pass them along.

Vox Day and his fellow travelers who have the chops to do so are trying to create content-neutral platforms as an alternative to the gulag-inclined monopolies that exist today. I don’t have the tech skills to help them, but I CAN contribute by using and promoting these alternate platforms.

And so can you. Silicon Valley needs to be overthrown as the biased gatekeepers of the national discussion.

Summoning the demons

(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject.  If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement.  History clearly shows where that road leads.

And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations?  Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads.  Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent.  In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight.  It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying.  I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…

We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.

There is more to this, however.  With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?

I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response.  Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:

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