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Archive for September, 2011

Mind-blowing Imbecility

This essay comes from one of those prodigious anti-idiotarians, Melanie Phillips, from across the pond (thus the “English” spellings of many of the words).  The links are included so you can read the original, but I’ve reproduced it en toto below given the lucidity of her analysis.  We are well down the road of this PC idiocy here as well and it is a guarantee that we will see tremendous examples of the same in the upcoming election season, as, indeed, we see the MSM already practicing with their alleged coverage of, well, just about everything!  Forewarned is forearmed.  Be prepared to counter this kind of strategy, primarily by refusing to allow our language to be redefined to the aid and benefit of liberal agendas and insisting on rational and consistent usage of words.  I’ve added a few emphases for what I think are significant main points.  Feel free to comment/discuss in the comments section!

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Hijacking the language to stifle debate

Published in: Daily Mail

One of the most sinister aspects of political correctness is the way in which its edicts purport to be in the interests of minority groups.

This is despite the fact that, very often, they are not promulgated at the behest of minorities at all, but by members of the majority who want to destroy their own culture and who use minorities to camouflage their true intentions.

The latest manifestation stars once again that all-time world champion of political correctness, the BBC. Apparently, it has decided that the terms AD and BC (Anno Domini, or the Year of Our Lord, and Before Christ) must be replaced by the terms Common Era and Before Common Era.

Actually, this edict seems to have been laid down merely by some obscure tributary of the BBC website rather than from on high.

Nevertheless, the terms CE and BCE are now increasingly finding their way onto news bulletins and on programmes such as University Challenge or Melvyn Bragg’s Radio Four show In Our Time.

The reason given on the website is that, since the BBC is committed to impartiality, it is important not to alienate or offend non-Christians.

Well, I am a Jew, so I am presumably a member of this group that must not be alienated.

It so happens, however, that along with many other Jewish people I sometimes use CE and BCE since the terms BC and AD are not appropriate to me.

But the idea that any of us would be offended by anyone else using BC and AD would be totally ridiculous.

How could we possibly take offence, since these are the commonly used and understood expressions when referring to the calendar?

Moreover, I most certainly would not expect society in general to use these Common Era terms rather than BC and AD.

Indeed, I would go much further and react with undiluted scorn and disapproval to any attempt to do so. 

That is because I feel passionately that a society should be allowed to express its own culture – and this attack on BC and AD, fatuous as it may seem on the surface, is yet another attack on British culture and the Christian underpinnings which provide it with its history, identity and fundamental values.

The impulse behind changing such established terms – obviously as familiar to us all as the names of the days of the week – is part of the wider desire to obliterate Christianity in British culture.

The fact remains, however, that whatever terms are used the British calendar is calibrated from the birth of Jesus.

As Ann Widdecombe remarked, whatever next – abolishing the calendar itself on the grounds that it too therefore offends non-Christians?

The reasoning behind this linguistic legerdemain is entirely spurious. There is no evidence whatever that any non-Christian group is offended by BC and AD, nor that they would like them to be replaced. 

Even if they did, it cannot ever be right for minorities to seek to replace fundamental majority cultural expressions or values with their own.

To do so has nothing whatever to do with impartiality – indeed, quite the reverse. For what about the need not to offend or alienate Christians?

To ask the question is to realise how far we have travelled down this invidious road. For Christians in Britain are now routinely offended and alienated – indeed, positively harassed, and with their religious rights denied – and all in the Orwellian cause of promoting ‘diversity’.

In the latest example, police have threatened a Christian cafe owner with arrest – for displaying passages from the Bible on a TV screen which are said to incite hatred against homosexuals.

Why stop at a TV screen, one might ask. For in such a climate, it is hardly frivolous to wonder how long it will be before the Bible itself is banned.

At the weekend, a campaign was launched by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, to press for greater legal protection for Christians against such attacks.

The pressure on individual Christians, however, is merely part of a far wider onslaught on Western culture through the hijacking or censorship of language.

Thus Christmas has been renamed in various places ‘Winterval’.

Last week, it was reported that Southwark council has renamed its Guy Fawkes fireworks display ‘The Colour Thief: A Winter Extravaganza Celebrating the Change of the Seasons’.

This ludicrous gesture is presumably aimed at being more ‘inclusive’ of Catholics upset by references to the 17th-century Popish gunpowder plot.

What it actually does is exclude Britons by airbrushing out part of their history.

Even more bizarre are the latest edicts by so-called ‘equality’ experts, who say that  the traditional black garb of witches in children’s stories leads to racism (yes, seriously).

Witches should therefore be given pink hats, and fairies dressed in dark colours.

Meanwhile Anne O’Connor, an ‘early years consultant’, advises that ‘white paper’, especially in schools, provokes racism since it does not reflect the range of hues of the human race.

Maybe Ms O’Connor needs especially strong spectacles. Has anyone ever seen a human being with skin as white as paper?

And finally, teachers are told they should be ready to lie, if necessary, when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer ‘black’ or ‘brown’.

Can you believe this? What on earth has our society come to when grown individuals in receipt of public money descend to such mind-blowing imbecility?

Calling children as young as two ‘racist’ is simply grotesque. Helping them ‘unlearn’ negative associations with dark colours is to try to brainwash them in ways reminiscent of Soviet Stalinism.

But then, political correctness is all about dictating what people are permitted or forbidden to say as a way of controlling and reshaping a society and its values.

Look at the way the Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to call people who defraud the welfare system ‘benefit cheats’.

He has condemned abuses of the welfare system and said they must be stopped. So why does he say he cannot accuse the people who behave in this way of being ‘cheats’?

The answer is surely that political correctness means you can’t criticise anyone who does wrong if they belong to a group of people who are considered marginalised or oppressed.

This is effectively to give such groups a free pass for any bad behaviour. And anyone who dares criticise is accused of ‘demonising’ such groups.

This means, of course, that those who criticise such bad behaviour are themselves demonised.

Indeed, they can be positively victimised and even threatened with their lives by vicious campaigns on Twitter or the internet – all on the grounds that they have ‘demonised’ some ‘victim’ group or other.  If this wasn’t so terrifying, it would be hilarious.

The result of this hijacking of the language is that debate becomes impossible because words like rights, tolerance, liberal, justice, truth and many more have come to mean the precise opposite of what they really do mean.

The result of this inversion of right and wrong is that morality itself has been reversed or negated. Politically correct language is thus a way of shifting the very centre of moral and political gravity.

So what was once considered far-Left has become the centre-ground; and those who stand on the real centre-ground are now dismissed as extreme.

The attack on BC and AD is merely the latest salvo in the war of the words, part of the defining madness of our time.

A Dangerous Disconnect

Various psychological coping techniques will involve some “denial” of reality.  Indeed, many recreational activities, including the viewing of TV and movies, requires a “willing suspension of disbelief” in order to profit most from said activity.  However, there must come a time when one returns to reality and deals with the problems at hand, hopefully refreshed from a brief interlude away from the problem(s).

Our very survival as individuals and groups depends on this ability to re-engage reality at, or preferably before, critical junctures in history.  I would submit that this country is rapidly approaching such a juncture in our history (I don’t think I’m alone in this assertion) and, alas, our current leadership in Washington seems to be honkering down into a bubble of unreality rather than dealing with the issues.

Michael Ledeen over at Pajamas Media has put it well:

That there is little room for reality at the highest levels of the administration is all too obvious. The president’s public statements are repeatedly off key, responding to imaginary events rather than real ones, and sometimes totally dissonant, as when he gave a speech about jobs at a company that was closing down, or in his increasingly odd and incoherent efforts in foreign policy.

In an essay well worth the time to read, Mr. Ledeen gives us several concrete and recent examples of this behavior relative to our country’s foreign policies and the disastrous event horizons looming before us as a result.

Read it, and let it spur us all to greater prayer for our country and its leaders, as well as to greater efforts to make the current occupant of the Oval Office a one term occupant (and pray it’s not too late for our country to recover therefrom!).

Reaping what you sow, or don’t sow in this case

Over at the Weekly Standard, Jonathan Last has a fascinating analysis of the demographic trajectory China finds itself embracing as an unintended consequence of their One-Child policy.  Having come to the forefront of our collective attention with Biden’s recent comments, Mr. Last answers his question regarding the verbal admiration for this policy with this observation:

But the more charitable (and likely) explanation is that people who claim to admire China’s One-Child policy simply don’t know very much about it. Like where it came from. Or how it actually works. Or what it has really done to China’s demographics.

And he then goes on to explain the history, methods, and what it has really done to China’s demographics.  His conclusion:

For the Chinese, this is the scariest number of all because it suggests that even if One-Child were lifted tomorrow, it might not matter. If One-Child has eroded not just real fertility, but even the desire of the Chinese to have children, then there is no way out. Governments have tried coaxing and coercing people into having more children than they want to for centuries and it never—literally never—works.

China’s One-Child policy has been a demographic disaster for China. And the worst is yet to come.

The reality is that once again man’s “wisdom” is absolute sheer folly compared to God’s:

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5 [NKJV]

Doing your homework

22 Sep 2011 1 comment

Obama’s current plan to make “the rich” pay “their fair share” hinges on you, the people, being ignorant and accepting his assessment at face value.  Jeffrey Anderson has done the homework for you, complete with the appropriate links to the data.  The title of his essay tells it all:

Top 0.1 Percent Pays More Income Tax than Bottom 80 Percent

So, most of “The One’s” blather is just that, pablum for the left divorced from the world we live in.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

“The Rich” already pay more than “their fair share,” unless your definition of “fair” is skewed beyond the realms of reality.

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Which, alas, is the mindset of all too many Americans.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

What’s that definition of “insanity” again?

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

No, Mr. President, it is NOT a day of service!

Yes, I am referring to September 11th.  The reason for this denial requires a little history lesson and a little theology.  Fasten your seat belts, put your trays away and your seats in an upright position, and gird up the loins of your mind.

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In 1923, the world was still reeling to recover from the horrors of the trench warfare of World War I as the seeds of ideological conflict were being sown in the fertile soils of this country. The Bolshevik Revolution had just gotten a foothold in Russia, so the future focal point of liberal socialism/communism was still in its infancy. Part of the liberal vanguard here consisted of the theologians, whose slow but steady progress into the minds and hearts of the new preachers of the day eventually overcame the efforts of the likes of J. Gresham Machen and his cohorts at Princeton, much to the detriment of our present culture. However, in his book Christianity and Liberalism, (Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1923), this godly man made an astute observation that is most relevant for today (emphases added):

"At this point is detected one of the most obvious lines of cleavage between Christianity and the liberal Church. The older evangelism, says the modern liberal preacher, sought to rescue individuals, while the newer evangelism seeks to transform the whole organism of society: the older evangelism was individual; the newer evangelism is social.

"This formulation of the issue is not entirely correct, but it contains an element of truth. It is true that historic Christianity is in conflict at many points with the collectivism of the present day; it does emphasize, against the claims of society, the worth of the individual soul. It provides for the individual a refuge from all the fluctuating currents of human opinion, a secret place of meditation where a man can come alone into the presence of God. It does give a man courage to stand, if need be, against the world; it resolutely refuses to make of the individual a mere means to an end, a mere element in the composition of society. It rejects altogether any means of salvation which deals with men in a mass; it brings the individual face to face with his God. In that sense, it is true that Christianity is individualistic and not social.

"But though Christianity is individualistic, it is not only individualistic. It provides fully for the social needs of man." (page 152-153)

Dr. Machen then goes on to explain briefly how Christianity provides for the social needs of man, showing conclusively that Christianity addresses both the individual and the group. While not ignoring the group, it is this value placed upon the individual that separates true applied Christianity from the cultural ideologies of the day that, though claiming to meet the needs of the individual, do so through the individual’s association with the group to the exclusion of considerations of the individuals that comprise the group.

This is not God’s way. God expresses His concern, oversight, and omniscient care over His creatures in a multitude of ways through Scripture. Let me suggest one such.

"Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth, Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh. Moreover the sons of Obededom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth, Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him. Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour. The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah. All these of the sons of Obededom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two of Obededom." (1 Chronicles 26:1-8)

Chances are you’ve never heard of any of these men before. Why, you ask, did I just bore you with this obviously obscure passage of Scripture? There are many such passages listing names in the Old Testament. Those are the ones you usually speed read, or skip over entirely. Yet, if all Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and written for our admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11), what is God trying to communicate with these lists of names? Let me suggest that at least one reason these are included is because He knows each one of these people as individuals. He knows them by name and, in His omniscience, He knows all about them (just as He knows all about you, dear reader), their strengths and weaknesses, their joys and fears. God truly cares for the individual, and so should we.

The Ideology of Group

In contrast to this, the observations of Dr. Fred C. Schwarz in his book, You Can Trust the Communists (To Be Communists), regarding the historic fruit of the Marxist/Leninist ideology that is the basis of what we call liberalism today are stark (emphases added):

"The record of Communism is one of recurrent fratricide and genocide. Their contempt for individual human life has known no bounds. Whether the life to be sacrificed was that of friend or foe appears to have been immaterial. The Communist Party of Russia devoured its own creators. Stalin put to death a majority of the original Bolsheviks. The Communists destroyed not only landlords and Capitalists, but peasants and workers, Kalmucks and Balts with equal ferocity. In spite of knowing this, the allegiance of many educated, apparently cultured American Communists has not been shattered. Many people are amazed that they do not turn from Communism in loathing and repulsion when confronted with its unutterable barbarism, brutality, and intellectual prostitution.

"To the dedicated Communist, however, these are but the temporary necessary sacrifices which the glorious future demands. To wipe out the residual Capitalist debris is not murder but social science. Since any individual man is a mere historic accident, an undergraduate beast, it is stupid to regard him as of infinite value. It is the species and the class that are important. The Capitalist class has been rejected of history and must be destroyed."

Here is a fundamental reason why Christianity remains diametrically opposed to so much of the leftist policies that are being foisted upon Americans today by the liberals who have been allowed to permeate our country and culture. It is the value of the individual that, as a basic principle of biblical Christianity, forms the bedrock of our very government. The founding fathers constructed a government that has granted the maximum amount of freedom for individuals while acknowledging the need for associations of individuals into groups and seeking to provide appropriate boundaries for both while maximizing the potential for the prosperity of both. It was a monumental task that, amazingly enough, has succeeded to date. Our country has been one of the most prosperous nations on the face of the planet since history began.

And returning to Dr. Machen:

"Only – and here emerges the enormous difference of opinion – the Christian man believes that there can be no applied Christianity unless there be ‘a Christianity to apply.’ That is where the Christian man differs from the modern liberal. The liberal believes that applied Christianity is all there is of Christianity, Christianity being merely a way of life; the Christian man believes that applied Christianity is the result of an initial act of God." (page 155)

The Ideology of God

The Judeo-Christian ethic places not just a high value on the individual, but also on individual responsibility, and asserts that principle throughout the Bible. Responsibility goes hand in hand with privilege. Privilege in God’s sight does not lead to coddling. Each individual is responsible for his own choices, and will be held accountable for them by a holy God. Here we see a two-fold basis for the opposition of the liberal to biblical Christianity. Not only do they not like the emphasis on individual responsibility, let alone the individual himself, but individual accountability to a transcendent Being is not to be tolerated. The herd is much more impersonal, and gives him so many others to blame for his actions.

But this herd mentality causes a dependency on the group that is unhealthy and irresponsible, so that when disaster strikes, paralysis ensues, multiplying the death and destruction. Since noone is responsible, everybody assumes somebody else is responsible, and nothing gets done. The clearest example in more recent history is the stark contrast between the school buses under water in New Orleans compared to those bussing people out of Texas during the Katrina debacle.

Machen makes another interesting observation regarding the social institutions established in biblical Christianity:

"The most important of such institutions, according to Christian teaching, is the family. And that institution is being pushed more and more into the background. It is being pushed into the background by undue encroachments of the community and of the state. Modern life is tending more and more toward the contraction of the sphere of parental control and parental influence." (page 154)

These ideas of the individual and the family group are connected, because it is in the family that the individual receives the best nurture as an individual that will fit him for the social. Dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional individuals which significantly diminish the society in which they participate. This is why God tells His people, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuternomy 6:6-7)

Thus, an ideology that would diminish the individual and promote the group must attack the family, and that is one of the battlefields of the culture wars today. It really does not take a village to raise a child, just the complementary input of a mother and a father, but liberals really don’t believe that, and don’t want you to do so either.

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Why 9/11 Has Had Such a Visceral Impact

This Judeo-Christian ideology/anthropology of the individual provides us some insight into why 9/11 has had such a diverse impact on the psyche of this country. I would submit that it revolves around which side of the individual versus the group concept you embrace. The Islamofascists see themselves as a group, and their victims as the opposing group. Compassion for individuals is completely foreign to their mindset. Leftists in this respect are the same. They see the victims as a group (especially a group they can exploit, but that is another post) and thus we can hear outrageously hateful and hurtful tripe comparing the people who were in the Twin Towers to "little Eichmanns" simply because they worked there.

But the majority of Americans, whether they are Christians or not, still have the Judeo-Christian value system in their practical daily living, and do not see those who lost their lives as a collective to be pitied or used, but a set of individuals to be known and mourned and avenged. Each body that hurtled through the air to avoid a fiery death, or that was crushed in the tons of rubble, was a unique human being created in the image of God and had an intrinsic value all their own.

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And that is why we must remember 9/11. That is why we should see those horrific images on a regular basis. Until the ideology of hate that engendered that and so many other barbarisms in the world is ground into the dust bin of history, we must not forget these individuals, nor those fighting to protect us all from further such atrocities. Until those individuals who embrace this ideology of hate are reformed by truth or exterminated by force, they will not relent, and neither can we.

We must not forget. God won’t, and neither should we.

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A helpful translation service

Submitted for your edification from IBD Editorials (with some formatting added):

A Guide To Code Words In Presidential Speeches

By JOHN MERLINE Posted 09/08/2011 05:49 PM ET

After President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday night (which came after our deadline), pundits will be spending hours looking for hidden meanings. But since he’s given this speech many times already, we’ve decoded it in advance.

One thing that’s clear after reviewing Obama’s many jobs speeches over the past two years is that his speechwriters have gotten lazy. Over and over again, the president returns to the same basic formula: Times were tough when I got here, we’ve achieved a lot, but the hole was so deep it will take time to get out. And then he trots out the same rote prescriptions.

But Obama’s speeches also have lots of hidden meaning that can be hard for the nonprofessional to grasp. So we’ve provided a handy explanatory guide to many of the lines you were likely to hear in the latest version of Obama’s let’s-get-focused-on-jobs rallying cry.

When he says: We inherited $1 trillion in deficits and an economy headed for a second Great Depression.

What he means is: It’s all Bush’s fault.

When he says: Thanks to my efforts, the economy was growing until this year.

What he means is: It was Bush’s fault, but now it’s the House Republicans’ fault.

When he says: We need to focus on jobs.

What he means is: After $830 billion in stimulus spending, an auto bailout, cash for clunkers and several other multibillion-dollar "jobs" bills, none of which has worked, we need to try more of the same, but please don’t call it a stimulus.

When he says: It’s time to put country ahead of party.

What he means is: If you don’t pass my plan, you’re unpatriotic.

When he says: Our politics are broken.

What he means is: Republicans stubbornly refuse to act like potted plants.

When he says: My Republican friends.

What he means is: Those narrow-minded miscreants who are beholden to Tea Party barbarians that we need to "take out" and who, by the way, put party ahead of country (but I’m not questioning their patriotism).

When he says: Congress hasn’t been doing the business of the people.

What he means is: Congress hasn’t been doing the business of the people since January 2011, when a certain unnamed party took control of the House.

When he says: We need to invest in infrastructure.

What he means is: We need to put more money into the pockets of my public union friends, even though we know from last year that pouring tens of billions of dollars into road projects won’t create jobs.

When he says: We need to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

What he means is: I’m completely out of ideas on how to get this economy moving, since these two ideas have already been tried and failed.

When he says: We need temporary, targeted business-tax credits.

What he means is: The government knows best, otherwise, I’d propose an across-the-board tax cut and let the free market sort things out.

When he says: I’ve been aggressively cutting job-choking regulations.

What he means is: I scraped up a few minor rules we can toss overboard, while at the same time I pile up far more expensive new ones.

When he says: To show how serious I am about regulatory reform, I just put off an EPA smog rule.

What he means is: I’m so desperate to get reelected, I’ll try anything. But when I do get reelected, that EPA rule will be the first thing I reinstate.

When he says: We need to put politics aside and pass the three pending trade bills.

What he means is: I’ve been holding these bills up for more than two years, but I want to make it look like it’s the Republicans’ fault, and I know I can count on my lap dog media friends not to call me on this blatant falsehood.

When he says: We need to invest in clean energy jobs of the future.

What he means is: Pay no attention to all those failed taxpayer-supported "green" companies over there.

When he says: Thank you. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America!

What he means is: Are you ready for some football?!?!

• Merline is an IBD senior writer.