Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obama and the Shadows of Things that Might Be

This morning I had a great idea. What's your great idea, Bob? I know! Instead of reposting just one Oldie, I can combine the multi-parters, delete a few at a time, and that way slowly get the arkive under control! As it is, it's like trying to control the national debt, which, if it grows more slowly, is considered "success." I'd love to get the arkive down to about a thousand, but it just keeps growing.

But it's not going to start today. Several things caught my attention. First, a comment by Magnus. Actually, all of his comments catch my attention, but this is the most recent one. In response to the back-and-forth yesterday about my ghastly tendency to mix religion and politics, he wrote the following:

'Yes, perhaps the day to day politics are to those "further along the path" as a shadow play on a surface, and they can see the far more "concrete" (or real) things that cast these shadows. And perhaps they don't really react to what is happening right now, but to what will be happening deep into the future. Changing what happens today would take an immense energy, but the further ahead you see, the more it is within your power to change with a small push at precisely the right time and the right place.'

What a provocative thought. Furthermore, it has the virtue of being true, for we do indeed see the shadows of deeper principles in the realm of mundane politics. This is no doubt what Paul had in mind when he made that wise crack about not struggling against flesh and blood, but anti-divine powers and principalities of darkness and all-around naughtiness. (While looking up the Biblical passage I stumbled upon this piece by Gil Bailie. I haven't read it yet, but it looks relevant, and he is always worth reading, cf. Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads.)

Next, I skimmed this article on The Trouble With Obama, which makes the point that his precipitous decline is not due just to the usual predictable factors, but because so much illusion and outright fantasy had been projected into him to begin with. A commenter remarked that "The trouble with Obama is that he is doing exactly what the conservatives said he would do and the people that voted for him hate to admit that the conservatives were right. What did they expect from someone whose book was ghostwritten by Bill Ayers and sat in Rev. Wright's church for all those years?"

In other words, independents and relatively sane Democrats are only now seeing with their own two eyes what you and I saw last year with our own three eyes. As Magnus suggests, we were visited by the Ghosts of Presidents Past and Future, and shown both the things that were and those that "might be" should we fail to adjust course. Which is why for us, this is deja vu all over again. It's just a matter of reading the signs and posters of the times.

The following post from a year ago touches on these themes, and gives me an opportunity to expand and deepen where necessary:

Just as it is possible for a person to lose the grace, so too can a nation; in other words -- or symbols -- no (↑), no (↓). With an Obama presidency, we will find out what this will be like. It may well turn out to be as his spiritual mentor, Reverend Wright says: God damn America!

And why not? If we abandon any pretense of spiritual ideals, it is not God who will damn America. Rather, we'll do it ourselves. I'm pretty sure we'll discover what it felt like to be a Christian living in Rome, as the barbarian hordes were about to put an end to that world (which at the time was "the" world).

I am especially concerned about the catastrophe of Obama potentially nominating three Supreme Court justices before a filibuster-proof senate. This will have the effect of radically remaking America for good (which is to say, bad). There will be no turning back. For generations to come, we will live under a judicial tyranny in which a few leftist ideologues get to decide what they want the Constitution to mean. The rule of men all over again, just as the left likes it.

The redefinition of marriage will be a done deal. The ludicrous Roe v. Wade will not only stand, but be extended. State mandated racial discrimination will certainly become further entrenched. More civil rights for terrorists. More restrictions on religion, weakening of the second amendment, more attacks on the Boy Scouts, the return of the Fairness Doctrine (it's latest iteration talks about imposing subjective "community standards" in order to rid the airwaves of national programs such as Rush Limbaugh), and with it, the end of meaningful free speech, at least as far as conservatives are concerned. No Rush Limbaugh unless Randi Rhodes gets equal time. Can you imagine? I am sure that our judicial masters would find a way to make school vouchers unconstitutional, meaning that there is no hope for real reform of the educational establishment, especially for urban blacks and others condemned to being ground up in the liberal education machine.

I suppose that this is the one eventuality that could finally convince me of the truth of the traditionalists' belief in a cyclically winding down cosmos. It's difficult to see how we could turn things around and return to the liberal ideals of the Founders.

Because we've recently been talking about it, I've got my copy of Meditations on the Tarot handy. Perhaps I can thumb through it and look for some kind of guidance. Hmm, let's see, which card should we examine -- The Emperor? The World? The Tower of Destruction? The Hanged Man? Death?

Yes, probably in that order. Also the Hermit card, because that is what the Raccoon will be reduced to -- just a part of the spiritual remnant of a bygone time. We'll keep the light on for the last remaining few.

I'm looking at the Emperor card, and right at the outset you see what a disaster Obama is, for UF reminds us that a person is endowed with genuine authority as a result of knowledge, action, or being. In short, one must know something, be something, or be capable of something. The latter reduces to knowledge-in-action, while genuine knowledge reduces to being, so ultimately genuine authority resides in the realm of Being -- or is an extension of it. We know real authority when we see it, because it radiates from the person. A spiritually normal person would be "convicted" merely by being in the presence of such a one.

Now, what of Obama? Having been the victim of the finest education the left has to offer, he obviously knows nothing. To put it another way, he knows a great deal, all of it kooky at best. And he has accomplished nothing, unless you consider his work with the child sex-slave front-group, ACORN, to have been an achievement. Therefore, his support appears very much to reside in the dimension of being. He is the One. He will Heal the Nation. He will Change things. He gives us Hope. He's just.... special.

So right away we see that Obama represents the projection and embodiment of deeply religious impulses, only deeply irrational (as opposed to transrational). To put it another way, anyone with a speck of spiritual discernment is not only immune to Obama's attraction, but is repelled by such a man. He is full of phony authority on every level, but it's not just an "absence," but the positive presence of a negation. In other words, Obama does not just embody the emptiness of ignorance, but the fullness of lies, i.e., (-k). Worse yet, in his luciferic spirituality, he embodies a (-¶) that makes him a kind of counterfeit holy man in the cheesy mold of Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and other "divine salesmen" from whom Bob Dobbs -- who is thesis to their antithesis -- saves the elect --->

Unfortunately, "satanic" has become a loaded word, but I have a precise definition in mind. That is, it represents the inversion of spiritual values as opposed to their mere opposition, which would be luciferic. For example, to redefine marriage is explicitly satanic, for it is to overturn the very order of the cosmos in its vertical sense.

Here, I'll tell you a little story. We recently lost a couple more dear friend of 25 years because we are not leftists. It came as a shock, because we rarely even discussed politics with these two. Now interestingly, not only are these people irreligious, but they are overtly hostile to religion. Furthermore, they are intensely pro-Obama, to such an extent that they are actually more worried about him losing the election than I am of him winning it.

It is a truism that the irreligious person merely displaces his religious impulses onto another plane. We all know that. The danger arises because the religious impulse is then detached from tradition, which is to say, the accumulated wisdom and authorized channels of the divine-human partnership, and proceeds to run wild. It tends to merge with either the id (the vital being) or the primitive superego (the punitive conscience), which, one way or the other, results in destruction: destruction of truth, of discernment, of morality, and even of the higher planes themselves. To be precise, these planes don't go anywhere, as they are permanent features of the cosmos. It is just that human beings can no longer recognize them, and are proud of the fact. But again, they will still have the underlying "spiritual impulse," only now fully secularized. It will go anywhere but "up."

Now, this couple to whom I refer are quite rational and sophisticated. Among other things, they raised their children to believe that there is no distinction between men and women, homosexual and heterosexual. They did not inculcate them with proper gender roles, or give them any expectations of what and who they are in terms of gender. Rather, the opposite: you may be straight. You may be gay. You'll find out later in life. And we don't care anyway.

In my opinion, this represents spiritual child abuse, pure and simple. For one thing, you are cementing a kind of primitive sexual confusion in your child's mind, when they desperately need guidance and boundaries in this area. Jewish tradition probably has the most wisdom in these matters, as it is very aware of the issue of order emerging from chaos, which is the primary divine act that we are all called upon to imitate. Like the primordial chaos out of which God forms the creation, sexuality is a kind of chaotic swamp that human beings are called upon to spiritualize, divinize, and sanctify. And the prerequisite for this is honoring the distinctions between the sexes. This is why, for example, it is a sin for a Jewish person to cross dress. It has nothing whatsoever to do with prudery. To the contrary, if anything, it heightens erotic awareness. I know I don't want to live in the creepy leftist world of feminized men and masculinized women.

So anyway, this couple's daughter just went away to college, and guess what? She's "gay." Yes, she announced to her parents that she is now a lesbian. Like good liberals, they believe that sexuality is simultaneously fixed and yet "just anything." As far as I know, there's not a shred of reliable scientific evidence that lesbianism is genetically determined, and I am quite sure that this girl isn't a "lesbian." But more to the point, this poor girl is just living out the implications of her confused psychosexual programming. Probably, like most adolescents, she just has a lot of anxiety around sexuality, only heightened in her case, because her parents -- and now the culture as well -- imbued her with no guidance and no gender role. This may make the parents less anxious, but only makes the children more so.

One more point. These friends are unconsciously depressed and disappointed by their daughter's announcement, as any normal person would be. But one of the dreadful things about political correctness is that one must pretend not to feel what one feels in order be something other than who one is (which is not being at all). Therefore, they must consciously "support" or even "celebrate" their daughter's announcement, while unconsciously being deeply disappointed. So guess what? They are the victims of a rabid case of Palin Hysteria. In fact, the deal breaker with Leslie was that she admires Sarah Palin: "What? How could you? How could you support a person who hates gays? I don't think we can be friends anymore."

First project your unconscious impulses; then run away from your projections. That's all it is.

But again, I want to make a wider point, and that is the dreadful effect of the narcissistic boomer (m)ethos on subsequent generations. It is bad enough what the boomers have already done to this country, but worse yet that they have infiltrated virtually all the nation's institutions, so that their pathological memes will survive them for generations, in the Supreme Court, the educational establishment, the media, etc.

Back to the Emperor. UF makes the point that the Emperor rules as a result of his intrinsic authority. Here again, the left has successfully eroded the concept of intrinsic spiritual authority, which is one of the reasons they cannot be humbled or shamed by a superior person. Or, to turn it around, one can only be shamed if one acknowledges people and standards superior to oneself. For example I always feel humbled when Magnus strides into this place.

UF writes that "God governs the world by authority, and not by force." As a result, as God loses his authority, that vertical authority must be displaced to the horizontal. In other words, when people stop being good because they wish to live their lives in conformity to a divine ideal, that is the end of progressive freedom. Freedom is only useful to the extent that we are free to know truth and act with virtue.

But again, to abolish the divine planes is to do away with the sufficient reason for freedom,which then becomes mere license. More to the point, it lines up with what the existentialists said, that man's freedom becomes indistinguishable from "nothingness," being that we have no spiritual essence with which to conform.

Therefore, the state must literally come in to fill that void and replace God. And thereby abolish man. And slack.

No soup for you, grandma!!!


Ricky Raccoon said...

Haven't read it yet either, but I think that Baile article is by Girard. Maybe it's an inside joke. Can't tell, still on the meds :-)
Gotta run...

Gunner Sykes said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for writing it. Count me a fan.

Northern Bandit said...

There is little question that the sun is setting on the West, and that the bulwark of Western civilization, the United States, has begun to crack under the strain of infrahuman forces so temporally powerful as to be effectively unstoppable. Unstoppable in the way a plague of locusts cannot be stopped by even the most stout-hearted farmer.

This is why I increasingly place my faith not in the US (as much as I love her dearly) but rather in the transcendent plane from which she was forged. The US may or may not survive (the UK was utterly undermined and destroyed in a remarkably short period) but the Body of Christ will survive and will triumph. I am certainly not giving up the political fight against the Left, however I don't want to waste my days on a losing struggle on this plane when I can probably do more good shining my little light where I can.

Gagdad Bob said...

Hopefully, some day we'll be able to say that it took an Obama to get a ________, just as it took a Carter to get a Reagan.

julie said...

...for we do indeed see the shadows of deeper principles in the realm of mundane politics.

I didn't weigh in on the discussion for the most part yesterday, but I've always liked the mixing of political realities with spiritual ones, for just the above reason. Spiritual realities, after all, couldn't be very real if they weren't manifest in the real world. If there's no negative consequence for collectively giving ourselves over to horizontality and relativism, then what would be the point of religion? Which is simply to say that there are consequences for the decisions we make, and in general the consequences of leftism are death, one way or another.

To try and keep everything high and lofty and away from the world in which we live right now would do a disservice; if Bob stuck with only that, he may as well join the ranks of the feel-gooders. It's all well and good to give everyone a pat on the head and say "we're all god's children," which is true enough as far as it goes, but it doesn't absolve us of our responsibilities. Politics works perfectly as an example on so many levels; it's never only about Obama and leftists, they're simply the example to which everyone can relate, a universal template of bad ideas and bad behavior.

And yes, hopefully whoever comes next will be someone who can refuel that shining light on the hill.

Gagdad Bob said...

Israel, new leader of the free world.

Gagdad Bob said...

This biography I'm reading of Orestes Brownson makes a similar point: "For him religious principles and political principles formed one dialectical whole.... He was first of all a religious thinker and was trying to formulate a view of society and government that was consistent with his fundamental religious insights without, of course, making the state into a theocracy. He wanted to unite religion and politics on the level of principles, not institutions."

julie said...

That's funny - I almost asked this morning who Orestes Brownson was. Looks interesting.

Gagdad Bob said...

I wouldn't say that it's too terribly interesting, but I like to have things around from different planes and degrees of difficulty, depending on my capacities at the moment. Plus, biography is an enjoyable way to learn about history.

julie said...

Communism: it can make most people equally miserable, but it can't make them equally pretty.

I find it morbidly hilarious that they had to hire outside the nation - from a population of 1.3 billion people, to one of only 4.6 million - to find women who measured up. Is life under communism so awful that it actually makes people uglier?

hoarhey said...

Was the positioning of the poster of Reverend Racist in today's post intentional or did it just format out perfectly?

julie said...

True re. biography. Right now I'm cutting Schuon with James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small." Vastly different perspectives, and he's a much more humble and ordinary person, but still the sense of wonder comes beaming through.

Northern Bandit said...

Hopefully, some day we'll be able to say that it took an Obama to get a ________, just as it took a Carter to get a Reagan.

We all hope and pray for another Reagan, however the Left had not yet infiltrated American society in 1980 nearly to the degree they have in 2010. I routinely encounter people in the US and Canada who 25 years ago would have by temperament been conservative, but who are instead today postmodern "men". Remarkably few Americans grasp the founding principles -- I would guess perhaps a third at best.

Is there hope for the US? I don't know. The soft collapse into the padded cell of socialist statism seems in some ways to be the path of least resistance for our species. I know that I have to work at being a Christian. It is much easier to drink scotch and smoke cigars with my business cronies than it is to show up at the church-sponsored soup kitchen. It is much easier for most people to trade liberty for security. The entire continent of Europe -- most starkly in the UK since they provided the raw stuff from which American political liberty was fashioned -- a whole continent has surrendered en masse.

In other parts of the world I would expect a crack-up. If in 30 or 40 years a group of states secedes I think few would be surprised. When I lived in Boston I had vastly more in common with my old friends in Kentucky. When I live in Canada I have more in common with the peasant attending Hindu temple in remotest India than I do with the stylish young TV producer/community organizer couple two homes up the street from me.

It's like those "bodysnatcher" movies -- I think there's a new one called "Surrogates" or something. Many of the people living around me are aliens -- they would be radically unrecognizable as civilized human beings to my great-grandparents.

I really don't know that another Reagan is even possible in the US. In both Canada and the UK the conservative parties have had to slide waaaay leftward in order to be electable at all. I don't think Palin is electable. She inspires conviction in 40% of us, but that's no longer enough. The leftist majority (even if not numerically a majority, they control the culture as though they were) would absolutely ravage Sarah Palin -- even worse next time around.

The entire West has changed a great deal. America was the moral anchor for generations, but America just elected Barack Obama. By definition, the people are no longer the same people that elected Ronald Reagan, for those people could not possibly elect an Obama.

Northern Bandit said...

One of the biggest problems I see is this: in order to fight leftists during peacetime you are forced to engage them on their territory. They are masters at the Big Lie and propaganda in general. How else to explain "global warming"? If we lower ourselves into "the trenches" we run the risk of drowning in the ocean of spiritual sewage in which the left frolics. It will take some damned rugged souls to wade into the shit, fight the demons, and somehow emerge cleanly.

Gagdad Bob said...


Yes, this is why we must hammer home our superior principles and not just react to the left, as the GOP habitually does. This is another dimension to seeking clarity, not agreement, because you are totally wasting your time in arguing with a leftist. You just have to calmly say. "These are the principles you beliive in," e.g., collectivism, multiculturalism, living Constitution, whereas "these are the principles I believe in," e.g., limited government, rule of law, low taxes, individualism, vouchers, etc.

Northern Bandit said...

Of course things might get livelier in a hurry anyhow. The Left acts as a scaffolding on which the likes of the Iranian regime safely grow and mature into full monsters. Iran casually reveals a second enrichment facility; Obama counters by telling Iran that "negotiations now take on a new urgency". If that isn't the moral equivalent of whistling and looking the other way while a brutal crime is unfolding in front of you... most leftists are in the end useful idiots.

Anonymous said...

"But one of the dreadful things about political correctness is that one must pretend not to feel what one feels in order be something other than who one is (which is not being at all)."
Which is why leftists are such unhappy people.

Uncle Jefe

Northern Bandit said...


Couldn't agree more. I'd say that there are more numinous principles -- the 'coon catechism -- which precede such things as tax rates and so on. Such things tend to take care of themselves in nations -- like the US -- where the majority is morally sane thanks to living somewhere on the upper half of your political quadrant diagram.

By the way, thanks for clarifying something for me some weeks ago. I was always a bit confused about why it is that Christianity superficially seems to beg socialism -- or at least I had trouble explaining to some well-meaning but politically deluded Christians why socialism is evil when it seems to be in some ways in accord with Christian virtue.

They key of course is coercion. Simple once you get it. True Christian "communism" (i.e., the free sharing of wealth with the less fortunate, among other aspects) is never coerced whereas socialism always involves coercion, ultimately at gunpoint.


Perhaps where we see the Left taking us was our destiny all along. Robert Bork even conceding them to be the West's "legitimate child". History's examples of democracy and republics having warned us, why did we think we would be any different? Also, not to play fundamentalist on you, but a Constitution like ours isn't exactly validated in the scriptures. Many Catholic theologians have acknowledged this.

Cousin Dupree said...

People are slowly catching on to Obama the literary fraud. "Dreams of My Terrorist Neighbor," indeed.

ximeze said...

NB - "Remarkably few Americans grasp the founding principles -- I would guess perhaps a third at best."

About the same as during the Founding itself, if memory serves: 1/3 for the Crown, 1/3 for Revolution, 1/3 waiting to see which way the wind blows.

As for being convinced it's too late & the downward spiraling will continue unabated: think ACORN. A month ago they were going to do their dirty work on the census, continue voter fraud, get billions of taxpayer money in their coffers, continue bilking the IRS, continue cramming welfare rolls, continue business shakedowns, etc etc etc. Where are they today?

History is full of examples where things looked desperate & then mirabile dictu a reversal takes place. Sometimes ya just have to have some faith. Letting enervation take over or 'just 'being above it' smacks of a cop-out in some ways. It's bad enough that leftywankers try to rob us of our own slack - at least we adults can fight back. But when they set it up so Future Leader & Co have to grow up in serfdom I GET PISSED.

Screw 'trying to get along' & 'being understanding' or 'rising above'. Maybe it's a personality/caste-thing. What were they: enlighten-being, warrior, craftsman, farmer - each with their role to play. Me, I stand, get muddy & fight.

The idea of having to say to FL 20 years from now that all three eyes were hep to what was happening all around & I made no effort to stop it scares bejeezus out of me. It ain't over till it's over, bub.

Van said...

NB said "I really don't know that another Reagan is even possible in the US. "

Another Reagan isn't, but another someone, is... and that is the person these people are looking for... and by the look I've seen in some of their eyes, they intend to find someone who knows what they're looking for. I pity the poor fool who tries to pretend he understands the constitution, and can't recite it from memory accompanied with a summation of each passages meaning.

"The leftist majority (even if not numerically a majority, they control the culture as though they were) would absolutely ravage Sarah Palin -- even worse next time around."

Only if we cede the language to them. We need to cut the PC crap, remind them that We are the people of Liberty, and they are the ones supporting tyranny.

Plainly. Boldly. While laughing in their ignorant faces. We do that, and we'll feed them their own feces.

If we don't, we deserve to be ruled by them.

Something to keep in mind. I don't recall the exact dates at the moment, but something like in the early 1700's, England had to import engineers from France and elsewhere to make anything work. Within a few decades they not only ruled the world, they had the most educated people and were exporting better engineers to France and the rest of the world.

It doesn't take much. A little proper "change with a small push at precisely the right time and the right place" - this is definitely the right time and place.

What the Remnant never understood in the past, was that they actually did outnumber their 'betters', and like the elephant who doesn't realize it's far more powerful than the puny thing riding its back and prodding it with a stick, the Remnant assumes it has no power, and lets itself be directed by its fears.

Take a look at the sea of people in those photos... that was the smallest part of us. If we can manage to keep communication open in the face of Net Neutrality, and the like... it's no garrauntee... and it would be the first time in history... but this time the Remnant may actually realize that with their numbers, and with their superior understanding of Right and Wrong... we just might win this time around.

But. Not. If. You. Give. Up.

Fight. Not for any friggin' political party, but for Liberty, Truth, for your own Soul.

Van said...

NB said "They are masters at the Big Lie and propaganda in general."

Which makes them the puniest of weaklings, because they have NOTHING but lies. Pin them in any and every confrontation and demand they explain themselves. Laugh at their attemtp to run away into an insult.


They Have Nothing!

We have the Truth on our side! We have a glorious history on our side! We have The Constitution on our side, and easy access to all the ideas which support it - learn it, let others know how to do so to.

I can't say it enough... they have nothing to defend themselves with, but your permission.

Laught at them, and expose them.

Do NOT try to argue policies with them... THAT is their turf, and they'll run rings around you.

Keep the battle where it really is, on ideas, on Truth, on Liberty and Right and Wrong. Keep flinging them back into the ropes and pummel their disgusting faces, and they will collapse like the nothing they are.


Every single One of you is fully armed with enough to wipe out hundreds of them at a time, if you don't follow them into their irrelevancies.

Keep to right and wrong, and they are hosed.

Don't fold them.

Van said...

Gagdad said "Yes, this is why we must hammer home our superior principles and not just react to the left, as the GOP habitually does. This is another dimension to seeking clarity, not agreement, because you are totally wasting your time in arguing with a leftist. You just have to calmly say. "These are the principles you beliive in," e.g., collectivism, multiculturalism, living Constitution, whereas "these are the principles I believe in," e.g., limited government, rule of law, low taxes, individualism, vouchers, etc."


Van said...

NB said "They key of course is coercion. Simple once you get it. True Christian "communism" (i.e., the free sharing of wealth with the less fortunate, among other aspects) is never coerced whereas socialism always involves coercion, ultimately at gunpoint."

Yep. And most incidental leftists do get it when you explain it that way.

They are shaken up at the moment too... and it is their confusion which the leftists in power have always counted on. Inform them, and the 'powerful' are undermined.

Gagdad Bob said...

Oddly, the left calls anyone who ridicules them a "hater." This just shows how infantile they are, in that they immediately project their anger into the person who provokes it.

Gagdad Bob said...

I think it's because, being the peaceful and gentle souls that they are, they are clueless about the anger and coercion that undergirds leftist policies.

Cousin Dupree said...

New bumper-snicker, given that fact that Obama has known about Iran's uranium enrichment facility since being briefed on it last fall:

Obama: he lied us into peace!

Van said...

mahtomedi said "Robert Bork even conceding them to be the West's "legitimate child". "
My apologies to Levin, but Bork is no defender of the Constitution - at least not the constitution as the Founders understood it. Anyone who says, as he did, that the 9th and 10th amendments amounted to little more than ink blots on the parchment of the constitution - doesn't understand jack. Or jill.

Scroll down and read the Constitution here, section by section, and read the Links beneath each - understand it as They did - it is NOT that difficult, not if you are interested in what is true.

"but a Constitution like ours isn't exactly validated in the scriptures. Many Catholic theologians have acknowledged this."
B-freakin'-S. Read the above. Many Catholic theologians have also endorsed communism. Piss on em. Fools are not confined to any religion or profession.

Neither is Truth.

Find it.

Van said...

Ximeze said "But when they set it up so Future Leader & Co have to grow up in serfdom I GET PISSED."

BIG 10-4!!!

Joan of Argghh! said...

What and if Obama's pastor was this man?

That video is chock full of so many "ouch!" moments but he's gotta pour it on thick to counteract 40+ years of the thrall of destruction. Scary-good stuff.

wv: glutini wheat pasta, or a white cracker martini?

katzxy said...

America, at least the America of the founding, was a big step forward. And while we sink into the socialist swamp of `caring' and `compassion', I remind myself that if such a breakthrough could happen, it can happen again.

So I'm optimistic. But I don't expect to see the change follow a pattern we've already seen. Reagan was great. He, with Thatcher and JPII, won the cold war. And he stopped the advance of leftism. Yet he was one of a kind.

We may reverse the damage that the left has done to this country, or perhaps freedom will arise else where. But exactly how this works itself out, I've no idea.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob, RE the "fraud" article:
"Obama appears to have lopped about 9,900 hours off that standard," says Cashill."

If that doesn't remind me of a clinton someone who expertly converted $9,900 into $100,000 via cattle futures.

katzxy said...


It's about 10 times worse than you remember. HRC started with 1K, not 9.9K.

wv: arfusi
yup, I are fussy

julie said...

Re. the fraud, another clue that gives it away is what a clumsy speaker he is without the TOTUS. Granted, good writers are not necessarily good speakers, but there's still a requisite ability to put a coherent sentence together that one would expect to see from someone who writes as well as that book was supposedly written.

He speaks more like he wrote his articles: 'The belief that moribund institutions, rather than individuals are at the root of the problem, keep SAM's energies alive'.

Susannah said...

"I routinely encounter people in the US and Canada who 25 years ago would have by temperament been conservative, but who are instead today postmodern 'men'."

Yes! I am shocked at the attitude of some of my Christian friends who claim to believe that universal health care is What Jesus Would Have Done. And somehow it will magically do away with abortion, too. *Even though* the people pushing a centralized economy are the very selfsame ones who want to fund abortion with tax dollars, do away with any legal limits whatever on it, etc. Opposed to abortion, yet linking arms with abortion lovers? Flies in the face of all common sense.

All the same, I'm with Ximeze. And Van is firing me up!

xlbrl said...

To ask for another Reagan is to cooperate again, as he did, in managing this hundred year slide, not in changing it. The socialist state cannot live without the conservative making it work for him. What Reagan accomplished was remarkable indeed, yet here we are at the precipice again, and quickly.

'We are dismayed when we find that even disaster cannot cure us of our faults.'

If we do not re-discover and remove all things in which all government extends itself and reduces citizens, we will acheive that end point of democracy for which Tocqueville elequently described but for which he could find no name.

Susannah said...

Re: politics + dad taught me that how you view the world (cosmos) is foundational to *everything,* and this effectively erases the false dichotomy of sacred/secular; i.e., the "total separation of church and mind" that leftists demand of conservative Christians. You can't keep faith out of politics...not if it's real, living faith. I've tried to explain this to leftists more than once, but for them religious affiliations serve their politics--their true religion, as with those folks who meet to serve up to the congregants the meat-substitutes Bob mentioned. They don't get why we can't keep all that God-talk inside the sanctuary walls. It's because in my case, politics is just one subset of my overarching belief. I do not expect the state to be my savior. Already got one.

Bro. Bartleby said...

With hammer in one hand and tongs in the other, gripping another vexing word, another of those misformed words that needs but the smite of my hammer to enform it to its should be shape, and smite I do, and to my amazement that thought to be iron-like word, that word that in my mind had but one shape, yielded to my smite, not like red-hot iron, but like clay, willing, if not eager, to mold to my mind, or to any mind, and assume a new guise, for that was its soul, to mean whatever like-minded minds wanted it to mean, and always ready to change, from this to that, and not from hammer beats, but from minds, minds that are ever reshaping the world, with its words.

Magnus Itland said...

At the time of Jesus and his apostles, deep time was a span of hundreds of years at best. Some of their words would take more than a thousand years to hit home. It is the same today, except that a thousand years passes in less than a generation. Human time is speeding up so that changes that would take a hundred years may take less than ten. And then it speeds up again.

However, the future is still equally hard to predict. That means that if you, in the age of Emperor Augustus, had not been able to foresee the Middle Ages... then you are not able to foresee the world twenty years from now.

A fascinating side effect of this is that we, in a certain sense, have regained the lifespan of the mythical ancestors from before the Flood, who would live to see nearly a thousand years pass. Even had this been literally true, they would hardly learn as much, or see as much change, in their 900 years as some of us have seen already.

hoarhey said...

I'd like one person to show me ANYWHERE in the Bible where Jesus speaks of the State's role in ANYTHING.

hoarhey said...

New Testament that is.

Aquila said...


The closest He got was Matthew 22:21.

julie said...

Hoarhey, I was wondering the same thing.

Magnus, apropos time I was reading this earlier today, which seems relevant:

"No, Mrs. Dalby, I'm sorry." I put down my cup. "I don't think there's anything country vets need and want more than a husk vaccine. People keep asking us that question and we have to keep on saying no."

We had to keep on saying no for another twenty years as we watched disasters like I had just seen at the Dalbys', and the strange thing is that now we have a first rate vaccine it is taken completely for granted.

Judging by that link, they aren't taking it for granted so much anymore, though.

Anonymous said...

Bob wrote:

"The trouble with Obama is that he is doing exactly what the conservatives said he would do and the people that voted for him hate to admit that the conservatives were right."

There are some who say "you don't know the half of it yet..."

In the "prediction" circles I travel in, mediums and other sensitives are only talking about one Obama is going to "turn" on his electorate. It will be historic, grandiose and scary. 2011, June-ish, we'll see staggering developments.

Anonymous said...

Addendum: The recent "disturbance in the pnuemashpere" were the direct result of meetings between Obama and certain elements in his administration. At these high-level meetings ideas were bandied about of such magnitude that time-lines were jostled and disturbed. Huge stuff. These are historic times, but the story will not really be told until decades or even centuries hence.

Better to stay small, keep the nose to the ground, so to speak. To grasp the gravity of what is being contemplated means the end to "normal life" and the beginnings of some kind of civil disturbance.


hoarhey said...

Render to Caesar?
I think back then, Caesar was into road and aqueduct construction. He wasn't trying to take over EVERYTHING.

hoarhey said...

So in my book, 'render to Caesar' means, tax to keep the roads paved and the military kickin' ass and that ought to about do it.
Hmmm, seems the American founders had similar ideas.

hoarhey said...

So, boys and girls, the next time one of these "Christian" marxists tells you that it's the State's role to take care of people because it's a Christian principle, politely point out the FACT that they seem to be confusing the Bible with Uncle Karl's Manifesto.

hoarhey said...

Or impolitely point out the fact, whatever suits your fancy.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Super post, Bob! Actually, an outstanding series.

I would be commenting more but my wife has been playin' the hermit card on me, so now I'm struggling to catch up.

"What's that dear? Yes dear, Yes. Of course. I'll get right on that."

Never trust dames when they say "would you please do... whenever is convenient."
They really mean RIGHT NOW!!

hoarhey said...

Salvation through Statism.

That, along with a picture of Obama or his little dorky swirly-gig icon campaign symbol would make a great bumper sticker.

w.v. gater
Cuz, when's the next barbee-Q.

Mike O'Malley said...

... a shadow of things that might be?

"Saul has killed his thousands and David has killed his tens of thousands" might we be fortunate if the death toll from Dear Leader's malice and malfeasance goes no higher than tens of millions?

I recommend to all: On War and Apocalypse, by René Girard, in the August/September issue of First Things.

Gil Bailie also indicates that an English translation of Achever Clausowitz will be published this Fall.

Ricky Raccoon said...

I ran across Girard for the first time, there, about a week ago. Some other pieces are there by him and an interview. I found the piece you refer very thought provoking.
I beieve Bob doesn't care for him as much as for Bailie. I haven't read any of Bailie - but plan to. From what I've gathered so far. Bailie seems to expand or makes use of in a richer way the insights of Girard.
Maybe Bailie is to Girard as SRV is to Hendrix.

Gagdad Bob said...

Good analogy! That's how I would put it. I guess I should add that I've only read two of Girard's books, his magnum opus on violence and the sacred, plus a compilation of writings. My impression was that he has One Big Idea, but that Bailie draws out the implications much more effectively. Plus, he's not French.

Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, two big ideas: mimetic desire and the role of Christ in undermining the sacrificial scapegoat mechanism. I also think Girard is too reductionistic in applying his ideas.

Mike O'Malley said...

Thanks Ricky and Dr. Bob. I've read a number of Girard's shorter essays on occasion over the years. Based on the good doctor Bob's recommendation ;-) a year or two ago I decided to invest the necessary time to read Bailie. From there I moved on to Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World by René Girard and a number of lectures given by Gil Bailie.

I'm trying to finish up Shlaes's The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. But I have ambitions to read I See Satan Fall Like lightning and the translation of Achever Clausowitz both by the end of this year. I expect that Achever Clausowitz will supplement my earlier reading of the obscure but thought provoking Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations by Fred Charles Iklé.

In any case ... the storm gathers ... I guess that no one is going to be so impolite as to suggest we pillory the principals in this fiasco:
"New York Times
U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work
Published: December 3, 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely keeping its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.

... a statement issued by Donald Kerr, the principal director of national intelligence, said the document was being made public “since our understanding of Iran’s capabilities has changed.”

Rather than painting Iran as a rogue, irrational nation determined to join the club of nations with the bomb, the estimate states Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.” The administration called new attention to the threat posed by Iran earlier this year when President Bush had suggested in October that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to “World War III” and Vice President Dick Cheney promised “serious consequences” if the government in Tehran did not abandon its nuclear program.

Yet at the same time officials were airing these dire warnings about the Iranian threat, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency were secretly concluding that Iran’s nuclear weapons work halted years ago and that international pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran was working.

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, portrayed the assessment as “directly challenging some of this administration’s alarming rhetoric about the threat posed by Iran.” ”

One must wonder, what changed?


BTW Bob I love your new Batman Avatar!

Mike O'Malley said...

Ohh and this one is good:

More Secret Nuke Sites in Iran?

September 27, 2009 9:00 AM

When I asked Secretary Gates if the US had evidence of more secret nuclear sites in Iran, he would only say "we're watching very closely." But his tight-lipped smile sure seemed like a "tell."

Here's the exchange...

STEPHANOPOULOS: US intelligence had been tracking this site for quite some time before President Obama made it public. Is this the only secret site that we know of?

GATES: Well, I’m not going to get into that. I would just say that we’re watching very closely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does the US government believe that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program?

GATES: I think, my personal opinion is that the Iranians have the intention of having nuclear weapons. I think the question of whether they have made a formal decision to move towards the development of nuclear weapons, uh, is in doubt.

It kind of reminds me of Pres. Clinton and then staffer (and now ambassador) Susan Rice back in early 1994 arguing that genocide was NOT going on in Rwanda just "acts of genocide".

Susannah said...

Magnus, just think about the lifespan of someone like Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) & what that encompassed...

Mike O'Malley said...

I spent a bit of time tossing and turning in my sleep having read this particular essay just before I retired for the night. With a moment or two for reflection I can now see that my initial post was too rushed to convey my thoughts and that I was too grouchy about my fears that, shall we say, our communal determination voiced by the slogan "never again" has with little doubt degraded into "more likely than not".

Some of René Girard work has a heretical tone that I'd expect is off putting to orthodox believers. It seems Girard himself is returning to a more orthodox perspective. In my view, he also seems to be unwarrantedly critical of market capitalism. However, in On War and Apocalypse René Girard, addresses several interesting themes: why Islam is not aware of the victimage mechanism, how a new mutated version Islam embraces suicide bombing and become a particularly virulent danger, and how Clausowitz rightly intuited that the emergence of "total war" during the French Revolution and Napoleanic Era portended our collective inability to prevent violence from escalating into apocalyptic war. Dr. Victor Hansen has voiced related concerns as does Fred Charles Iklé in Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations.

Our good doctor Bob evokes these sobering considerations when he writes: If we abandon any pretense of spiritual ideals, it is not God who will damn America. Rather, we'll do it ourselves. The French Enlightenment and Germany's 19th Century culture war (Kulture Kampf) de-Christianize Germany and it was from that de-Christized Germany that the Nazi Third Reich emerged.

But as our good doctor suggests If we abandon any pretense of spiritual ideals, it is not God who will damn America. Rather, we'll do it ourselves. One may recall that 70% of American Jewish voters chose a man for POTUS who spent an adult lifetime surrounding himself with virulent anti-Semites and even anti-Israeli terrorists, a candidate whose own official campaign website hosted webpages for virulently anti-Semitic Socialists for Obama. I recall a generation of Jewish voters who despised and refused to vote for Richard Nixon because Nixon at one time belonged to a Golfing-Country club that refused admission to Jews. And Catholics, who accounted for about a quarter of the electorate, supported Obama, to the tune of 54%, despite that fact that candidate Obama supported infanticide and promised his radical supporters to enact vicious anti-Catholic legislation. Small government and Libertarian conservatives failed to support Republicans in two elections, 2006 and 2008, in some cases intentionally causing disastrous political loss. Why? Because in their opinion Pres. Bush spent too much money on faith based initiatives and on Gulf States recovery from Hurricane Katrina, while ignoring Pres. Bush's effort to address much larger budgetary dangers in Social Security and Fannie Mae. One could go on but we may well do it ourselves.

Thanks for allowing me to clear this up.


"We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth", President Lincoln