Random Thoughts on the Timeless Scene
By the way, the title of this post is a play on Thomas Sowell's occasional desk-clearing exercises he calls Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene. Expect no continuity, or at least be prepared for sudden discontinuities.
"A Russian proverb holds that when the Lord builds a church, Satan pitches a tent across the street."
"Chesterton was entranced by the billboard lights in Times Square advertising soaps and cigarettes and hair tonic: 'What a garden of delights this place would be for anyone who couldn't read.'"
Reading is indeed overrated, at least in the wrong hands.
As we know, America's first war (after independence) was with Muslims. "In March of 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met in London with the Dey of Algiers to Britain," and "posed a simple question: Why were the Muslims so hostile to a new country that had done them no injury?"
Obviously Jefferson and Adams were not sophisticated enough to know that it was our fault.
Afterwards they reported to congress in a letter stating that "Islam was founded on the Laws of the Prophet" and "that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to paradise."
However, congress favored a strategy of appeasement -- which was not then a dirty word -- via bribery, or "tribute." Adams approved, suggesting that "We ought not to fight them at all, unless we determine to fight them forever."
What did Churchill say about choosing shame over war, and getting both?
"Tripoli broke its truce, and Jefferson launched the Tripolitan War as soon as he became president." This is of course the "shores of Tripoli" referred to in the Marine Corp Hymn. It was during this crisis that Jefferson obtained a Koran to try to understand what motivated these enemies of liberty. This is the same Koran Obama refers to when he implies that Jefferson thought favorably of Islam because it was in his library.
Ans now you know the rest of the story.
In another essay, Rutler recalls that in Syria, Hitler was hailed as "'Abu Ali,' and the Young Egypt Party called him 'Muhammad Haidar.'" And when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem visited Hitler, he "obtained a promise from [him] to liquidate the Jews of Palestine after a Nazi victory."
This is by way of a reminder that we do not contend against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, and hosts of wickedness in the high places. The faces change but the forces remain.
No justice no peace. This is true, if we regard justice as the restoration of proper order, because it is harmonious order that results in peace. Which is why leftism can never result in peace, since it tries to impose order from on high in a patently unjust manner. Think of the natural harmony of man and woman in marriage. To undermine this primordial order by judicial fiat is to promote disorder and lack of peace.
"Mix sentimentality with legalism, and you have a diabolical recipe for cruelty. In the twentieth century, totalitarian systems separated power from truth. Once power is autonomous, independent of truth, it is unjust by its self-justification."
"There is no freedom without order and no order without virtue."
"What God knows is not necessarily what God wills."
"Indifference is the fanaticism of the faint of heart."
"There is a difference between skepticism and cynicism. The skeptic questions the truth, while the cynic questions the existence of truth itself."
Bill Buckley once said to a Firing Line guest: "I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would insult your intelligence."