Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Liberal Fascism update

I loved this book. It reflects ideas I've been noticing in the histories of WWI, the 1920s and 1930s, etc. I've studied. I've always pointed out to my students the differences -- and vast similarities -- between Communism (international socialism)and Fascism (national socialism) as well as the Progressives in Europe and the U.S. in the early 20th century. The happy-face totalitarianism he outlines in Liberal Fascism is no less chilling to me -- a sort of menacing smile (like a Joan Cusack character or Kathy Bates in the film Misery).

Goldberg fleshes out that argument and documents it thoroughly. His chapter on Woodrow Wilson is both disturbing and revelatory. He is also balanced -- pointing out the fascist temptation inherent in some of GW Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism" which seems to echo Teddy Roosevelt's muscular progressivism as well as Herbert Hoover's "Beneficent Hand". It's telling and ironic that liberals smear Bush as a fascist for his foreign policy when the danger lies in his domestic agenda. Once again his progressive critics prove they neither know what "fascism" is or the place it has in their own leftist intellectual history. Perhaps they'll read this book and learn something. One can hope.

It's a big book -- both intellectually and physically, but it reads like neither. He has written a big book where the big ideas are communicated with wit and clarity and a long book that reads quickly -- relatively speaking. Also catch his various book tour interviews as they clarify even more his inherent reasonableness and good faith.

My main critique is the sheer volume of caveats about how he is not calling Hillary Clinton or FDR "fascist", etc. I understand why he does so, but the logical conclusion to their policy agendas is totalitarianism. It does no good to gloss over that. His niceness does not hide that conclusion from any intelligent and fair reading of the book.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Credit Where it's due

Mike Huckabee failed to inspire me -- and he should drop out yesterday from the Republican race. He is -- however -- one funny guy.

Abortion

It never harms anyone. It's just another medical decision.

Women in Art

video

I've always liked this video. Jonah Goldberg linked to something similar in The Corner which was women in film through the last 80 years.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The West is in Trouble

According to the London Daily Telegraph, some female Muslim medics are refusing to obey hygiene rules in the UK because the hand washing ritual causes them to expose their bare arms -- which is against (natch) their religion. Apparently this story is a few years old, but I've just become aware of it. Unfortunately I'm not surprised. Yet another item of cultural capitulation in the face of a very real threat. I'm sure it would be difficult to keep these women from working at UK NHS due to anti-discrimination laws, yet to hire people who refuse to clean themselves properly raises very real risks.

When will reasonable people stand up and say "enough is enough"? Tolerance should not -- and does not -- mean that we have to take complete leave of our senses. My odds of dying of staph in hospital are exponentially higher than getting blown up by a terrorist. This tyranny of the minority should not be allowed to stand

Speaking of the Truth

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NAS)

You want answers? I want the Truth!!



This is a clip from an episode of ER entitled "Atonement". Very few TV shows or movies accurately depict the end of life for either believers or unbelievers. Many folks pass on contented and assured of their salvation. Many others slip through contentedly to Hell buried deep in denial and platitudes. Another group are scared spitless about what's next and need answers -- want answers -- the Truth. This clip is awesome. Relativism is the broad road to Hell. It is ultimately of no comfort and even less help. Someone on the ER writing staff understands that -- or at least empathizes with those who have such fear. So many people die in movies and TV shows and God is never mentioned -- as if no one questions "what's next?" or worries in the least about it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

And on a more hopeful note.

That last post reads like a bit of a downer. It is isn't it? We're not all headed to perdition after all.

How come? How do we get off that multi-laned road and head back on the narrow road? Where do we begin? How about the beginning? "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7 (NAS) Huh? Yes fellow Christian -- let's start at home. How about some good old-fashioned "FEAR" -- as in AWESOME God (look up that word). If God were the most reverend instead of man there might not be so many headed down the very wide boulevard.

"Jesus is my buddy!" you say. "We are all God's children!" you shout. That says more about you than it does Christ.

Overconsumption and Doomsday

There's an interesting article by Ronald Bailey over at reasononline magazine on whether or not we -- as in the materialistic modern world -- are over-consuming our way to Doomsday. The article critiques an article from the New York Times called "The Pursuit of Unnecessary Things" about Malthusian themes of overconsumption and overpopulation.

Reason is hardly friendly to Judeo-Christian world view, but Bailey's article decries the NYT article as overhyped.

What he misses, of course, is the eternal question. Are we overconsuming and walking down the road to Hell? I was teaching my Con Law class this week and we were talking about John Locke and his view of "property" based in part on I Timothy 6:17. Basically -- "property" is anything taken from a "state of nature" by man and made his own -- temporally.

I Timothy 6:17 says, "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." NAS


Obviously Paul warns Timothy and the Church against focusing too much on earthly riches, etc. Locke takes the last part "...all things to enjoy" in his Second Treatise on Government and expounds that hoarding more than one can "enjoy" is too much. Adam Smith cautions that pursuing too much wealth can lead to the pursuit of "unnecessary things" (hence the title of the NYT piece).

How all that relates to the regulation or non-regulation of private property is not what gets me to write this post. I've been struck the last few years by the radical individualism and rampant -- and crass -- materialism and commercialism -- in the church (and at times in my life truth be told). Robert Bork called it Slouching Toward Gomorrah. We -- I -- have way too much -- more than I could ever hope to enjoy. I believe it's called "waste". Time, money, effort, gas, things.... Repentance starts at home and in the Church.

Politically and, more importantly, morally and spiritually -- we are numb -- overconsuming while we are on the wide road that leads to perdition.

Movies

New -- or mostly new trailers from movies I cannot wait to see:

Star Trek, The Dark Knight, and the new Indiana Jones movie.

You can add Iron Man to the list also -- though that one may be riskier.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Christian Ramadan

I really have no words for this. Western civilization is in deep trouble.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

God and the Death Penalty

Justice. Great article from The Weekly Standard by Walter Berns of Georgetown University and the AEI. Check out his quotations of Camus who got the connection between religious faith and the justness of the death penalty -- if one is a devout believer that is.

I've often told my students that the death penalty per se is not evil and in fact is true justice for those who've been denied life without proper moral justification (i.e. murder and I would go to rape -- especially child rape). The process has been the problem. Advocates who want to end the death penalty want to throw the baby out with the bath water -- so to speak. Fix the process -- keep the death penalty.

h/t: Al Mohler

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The face of evil

al-Qaeda used two Down's Syndrome women as suicide bombers in yesterday's Baghdad killings. Update here.

What more can be said of al-Qaeda? What more need be said?

It's Official Part 2...

the U.S. Senate is also useless.
Sen. Arlen Spector sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell concerning the Patriots videotaping of the NY Jets in Game 1 of this season. The tapes were destroyed after the NFL's investigation of the matter and punishment of the Pats. He demands to know why.

Exactly what is the purpose of this? Spector is a media whore. Of course he waits 'til Super Bowl week. Even worse is the use of his time and our money for this charade. He needs to retire and Congress needs to only be in session for maybe 6 weeks a year. I know Goodell is too smart to really say what should be said. Isn't the fear of saying that the essence of totalitarian gov't? Our government is too powerful and too involved.