Archive for August, 2007

Around The World With Scipio

From time to time it is well and good to roll out a map of the world, have a look around and take stock of things. Think of yourself as a doctor and the world as your patient in for his yearly check-up.

So let’s have a look.

We see the best of times. We see the worst of times. We see times brilliant and times stupid. We see abounding evil and amazing goodness. Mostly we see what anyone would have seen every year for 5600 years since man began to create this silly contraption called civilization.

Truly there is nothing new under the sun.

We will start with the Western Hemisphere. With Canada.

Oh Canada! She once possessed the 2nd largest surface naval force in the world. Now she can scarcely defend herself against the Peruvian fishing fleet. She made a choice to go socialist some 40 years ago, and she has been slipping into irrelevancy ever since. Now all she can do is preen and posture and pretend that she matters. She does not. The world would neither be made better or worse if Canada vanished overnight. The world would not notice.

Such are the perils of pacifism and an overriding nanny statism.

Heading south we come to God’s Country. She is in the throes of a presidential election process, now cruelly drawn out and seeming to go on forever. On the Democrat side we have America’s number one gangster moll, Hillary. She wants to lord it over us by scheming her way into office. Her long record of criminality does not bother at all her legions of admiring supporters, thus proving quite well the dictate of PT Barnum. If this beast wins the White House it will say much about how far the American electorate has descended into debasement and degeneracy.

And it could lead to civil war here at home. Hillary will have on her side the habitués of San Francisco bathhouses, New York lawyers, Washington DC and Hollywood actors. We will have the military, gun owners, Oklahoma, Texas and the South on ours. Do the math.

On the Republican side of the campaign we have a worn out and backstabbing war hero, a prissy and squeaky clean Mormon, a street fighting libertine and a Hollywood actor who has yet to enter the race and who acts as if an presidential campaign is all foreplay and no consummation.

There is no telling yet who will win the nomination.

But there is more than this never-ending election cycle that ails our great Republic. There is a president who insists on providing to the Mexican government the same favors that Monica provided to Bill. There are media that work feverishly to turn over this nation to her enemies. There is a moral decline that would have shocked the folks of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is a war that should have ended in 2003 but continues in a kinder, gentler way. There are looming wars with Iran and Syria.

Enough! Let us head south of the Rio Grande after dealing with a grubby little dictatorship on a grubby little island.

Castro is either dead or dying. This tropical killer has caused more mischief for Latin America than anyone. He should have been knocked off in 1960. The world would have been spared much grief. Nevertheless, we can hear Castro’s death rattle, a noise which will become the sound of castanets and tambourines when the monster enters Hell’s maw.

Once the beast rests with the fishes, whither Cuba? Civil war? Possible. More suffering under some new tyrant? Unlikely. Castro was one-of-a-kind and his power rested solely upon himself and his cult of personality. But Cuba will certainly be a mess, and one which will demand US action—action, and lots of money and an aircraft carrier or two.

Mexico is a mess. Corrupt, cruel, arrogant, oppressive and absurdly weak, this untidy pomposity dumps its problems onto US soil with the connivance of our own Jorge. This nation has hardly made any progress since the Aztecs. Those peoples sent wretched thousands upon thousands up the stairs of their temples, there to be relieved of their beating hearts and sacrificed to their hummingbird god. Now Mexico dumps her wretched millions onto our doorstep and insults us along the way.

But such a policy does nothing for Mexico except allow her manifest social, political and economic problems to continue apace. This situation is unstable and will result in war either in Mexico or in our own Southwest.

The rest of Latin America is a mixed bag. Those nations have yet to fully learn the ways and rules of the market and the perils of socialism. The freest and most reasonable nation is Chile. The most absurd and irresponsible nation is Venezuela. The dictator there is a cut-rate Castro wannabe. The US is making the same mistake she made with Castro in 1960 by allowing Chavez to exist outside a prison cell in Miami or a graveyard in Caracas. Just do it.

Latin America has yet to free itself from blaming the US for all of its problems. Never mind that her problems began with the Spanish conquest. It has yet to grow up. I see no evidence of much political maturity down there. The muddle of Latin politics will thus continue.

But the place has the best food, the finest landscapes and the prettiest girls on the planet. Works for me.

Let us now head across the Atlantic, to Africa. If you thought Latin America a mess, the politics and economics of Africa will leave you stupefied. There has been no progress but regress—and the place is getting worse. In the words of one cynical soul:

After decades of mismanagement and corruption, most African states have became hollowed out. They are no longer instruments capable of serving the public good. Indeed, far from being able to provide aid and protection to their citizens, African governments and the vampire-like politicians who run them are regarded by the populations they rule as yet another burden they have to bear in the struggle for survival.

Let us say the most un-PC thing we can, and admit that Africa under the French and British was far better off. Would any ordinary African say otherwise?

And the Africans have no instrument to heal themselves. Take the case of Robert Mugabe. He is by all accounts an egomaniac, a killer and a kleptocrat. He has ground the once well-fed and well-run Rhodesia into a charnel house of murder, famine and corruption. He is a man who simply begs assassination. And the response of his African neighbors? They laud him with awards, accolades and titles.

Write off Africa. It is a hopeless disorder.

As is the Muslim world. It is convulsed with Jew-hatred, misogyny, corruption, poverty, genocide, mass murder and tyranny. It has oil, which is the one and only reason why normal folk pay it any heed. If the West got all its fuel from nuclear reactors it could safely ignore every Islamic nation. They produce nothing. They contribute nothing. They amount to nothing.

Europe is a museum in slow and an increasingly uncomfortable decline. It went socialist long ago, and like all socialist states it has lost the ability to reproduce itself. Future Europeans are either placed in little plastic bags and tossed into the toilet after intercourse or ripped out of the mother’s womb before birth. What does one say of a place whose fornication has become pointless?

Lacking men, Europe had to import them. And men came—from the decrepit world of Islam. By the millions they came. Now Islam is on the verge of conquering Europe and placing the Muslim standard over those nations where once reigned the Cross of Christ. The work of Charles Martel is being undone. Already England is finished. Norway and Sweden are close behind.

There will come a point where those Europeans who remain in Europe will have had enough. Their response will be violent in the extreme. There is historical precedent for Europeans using extreme violence, yes?

Russia is a gangster corporation and Putin is its CEO. It bullies and threatens. It has nothing to show for all that. Like Europe she is sterile and dying. She is being subsumed by Muslims and by Chinese. To write more of her is a waste of time.

Speaking of whom, there has been much nonsense written and spoken about China. Many predictions were made. None came true. China is a wallowing, corrupt and cruel state. Beyond her show cities near her coast there exists massive poverty and disorder. Her technology is stolen or extorted. Her dreams of the conquest of Taiwan are deranged. Her political pronouncements are full of ridiculous bombast, and almost Arab-like in their noise and shallowness. She has trouble manufacturing baby food and toys, yet excels in kicking pregnant women to death and raping Buddhist nuns.

Because of her ‘one child’ policy she has a lack of marriageable females. As I write there are 15,000,000 Chinese men whose chances of marriage and offspring are near nonexistent. One day China will go to war for women or simply move into empty nations and steal whatever females live there. This is exactly what is happening in eastern Russia.

Like Europe and Russia Japan suffers from a negative birthrate. Unlike those places she is remarkably productive. She has a talent for creating really cool electronic gadgets and neat cars. She has another talent as well, one demonstrated many times: She enjoys making war upon China. Here is China’s biggest worry, and it is not without merit. Japan is at the point of abandoning her militarily restrictive constitution and going for re-armament in a big way. The reasons are the goof-ball policies of North Korea—accurately seen as a pawn of China—and the increasing militaristic rhetoric from Peking.

Japan will not simply roll over and go gently into the night of political irrelevance. Even the miniscule military she has today is a model of efficiency. Now let us imagine it 20 times larger. I assure you that China does—every day.

Enough already!

The world this morning looks like a mess. Let us now predict the world in 50 years.

The US will be divided into two states after a sharp, multi-faceted civil war brought on by 8 further years of Clintonian corruption (2008 – 2016 AD) and the continual encroachment by Mexico upon US territory. The Conservative States of America (CSA) will comprise in the main the present states of the South and Oklahoma, Texas and the Dakotas, as well as much of western Canada. In that new nation conceived in liberty will exist free enterprise, small government, no income tax and a ferocious military. Much of the Southwest and all of southern California will have reverted back to Mexico. A feeble, corrupt and nanny state will pompously and absurdly still call itself the US. It will be made of the Northeast and the Northwest and will be governed from Washington DC. Its productive classes will have fled to the CSA.

The political disorder in the once US will lead Chile, Brazil and Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela, and Peru and Bolivia, to form huge trading blocs and free enterprise zones.

Half of modern day Europe will have subsumed into the European Islamic Caliphate comprising England, Scandinavia, and parts of Germany, France and Spain. This Caliphate will come to resemble the Islamic world of today—untidy, impoverished and violent. There will be no Jews left in Europe. What remains of non-Islamic Europe will have instituted a mass killing off all Moslems in its territories. The frontier between Caliphate Europe and the rest of Europe will be bloody in the extreme.

Mecca will still exist as the center of Islamic worship, but its water systems will have been destroyed in the Great Middle Eastern War (2010-2011 AD) under president Hillary Clinton. Pilgrims will have to get to Mecca using camel caravans, rather like when Mohammed was alive. Syria will have been depopulated after suffering the nuclear destruction of her cities of Damascus and Latakia by Israel in that war. Those territories now Palestinian will become part of a Greater Israel. Those Palestinians still living will be shoved into Egypt and Jordan in one of the greatest forced movements of humankind in history.

Russia will be nothing more than a rump state formed around Moscow and St. Petersburg. The rest of what was once called Russia will be Islamic and Chinese.

China will be enduring calls from her Russian provinces for independence. She will be unable to stop it, and there will form a new Chinese state in what is now Siberia. China herself will be undergoing several civil wars at the same time and will break up into several competing states based upon geography and language.

Japan, Taiwan and a long unified Korea will be interlocked in security and economic treaties. Japan will compete with China in using the Philipines as a source for wives for their single men. This will create a huge social problem as ‘pure’ Japanese look down upon the increasing millions of mixed race Japanese.

Or Christ will simply call an end to this affair we call ‘the world’ and return—perhaps today.

Be prepared in any case. We are all in for some interesting times.

(Update: For another view—or perhaps it is the same one from a different angle—see here. Some gems follow.)

I’ll wager that many of the toughest challenges for Americans in the future won’t be associated with our geopolitical decline, weakness or decrepitude. No: Our challenges will be the unimagined consequences of our many successes…

Americans are blessed with a durable Constitution, cultural diversity, abundant resources and an open society. I think we’re capable of solving our problems. That’s the position, too, of Murphy, whose America/Rome meditation ends on a hopeful note. He writes that a fundamental characteristic of Americans is the belief that improvement is possible. Sure, we’re making many of the mistakes the Romans made: “But the antidote is everywhere. The antidote is being American.”

(Update: I knew it—you wanted another slice of evidence that all will be well in the American world. Ok, here it is. The writing is beyond good, it is elegant.)

Long Ago And Far Away

The first full week of school has begun. At last I can practice that vocation of which God has deemed me worthy. And that is teaching adolescents how to live. Oh, and if there is time perhaps some history as well.

The name of my course is ‘8th Grade US History’ or something like that. But the real course of study is life. I will give my students my version of it. They will take what they can use and write their own version of it. When they are husbands and fathers and wives and mothers perhaps they will remember.

They are at that age where they can look at adults and know the things that are right and the things that are not. And they will mark them accordingly.

Perhaps I did the same thing when I was in 8th grade. My teacher was Mr. Mansfield. He smoked cigarettes. Some of the other boys claimed to take a puff now and then. I did not dare. There was something vaguely sinister about smoking. It marked you as a tough guy and more than a little bit of an outlaw. I remember that the guys who smoked—or who claimed to smoke—always got the bad grades. The girls liked them, though.

I was no outlaw then—I became one later—but I still did my share of rash behavior. Once Bobby Kohn and I made hydrogen gas. We would put tin snips from a tuna can into a Coke bottle, add water and Drano and then put a balloon over the mouth of the bottle. The balloon would fill with hydrogen. When full we would take the balloon, tie it off and put on another.

Soon Bobby and I had a small arsenal of floating bombs. We got some fuse and tied about 10 feet of it onto each balloon and let them float away after lighting the fuse. The bomb got about 20 feet in the air before exploding—very loudly, thank you very much.

Once Bobby miscalculated the length of fuse, and the bomb went off while he still held it. He lost his eyebrows and much of his hair. And he did not see very well for a while. But after about a month all the hair grew back.

The last I heard of Bobby was that he had joined the Marine Corps.

When I tell this tale to 8th grade boys every one of them, even the timid ones, beg me for the recipe for hydrogen. Not a chance. They will have to devise their own brands of mischief and not copy mine.

I also refuse to provide them the makings of a crude bomb I constructed before my 8th grade years. And should I say that Bobby helped me? The bomb was small but effective. We tried it out on Saint Anthony’s outdoor drinking faucet. I still remember the beautiful stream of water that flowed when the bomb went off.

And I remember what Father Carroll did when he found out who had demolished the school’s outdoor plumbing. He was one mad priest. When I see him in Heaven I will apologize—for the bomb and also for stealing Holy Water. I don’t think he ever found out about that.

That summer before 8th grade was memorable for pyrotechnics and also for two rites of passage every boy must endure. I kissed my first girl and fought my first fight. I liked the kiss better. Her name was Millie. She had long blond hair and was a bit of a tomboy. She liked me though for reasons that today escape me. I can still conjure up her face.

The fight scared me. All boys will understand. When you know you have to fight there is a sensation that passes through your gut. It is exactly the same feeling a boy gets at his first school dance when he knows he has to meet a girl. You breathe differently and time goes in short bursts. But after the first blow all is well. There is no pain, only a desire to hurt the other boy until he is on the ground. I won that one and became the hero of the day. I lost my next two fights but emerged victorious in my last one—an acceptable record.

Those 8th graders I will stand before today will have similar things to tell their sons and daughters. By that time I will be either dead or well-retired somewhere in northern Idaho. I can see myself living in a one room shack. I will sit on the porch in a wife beater and rock in my wooden rocking chair. In my lap I will cradle a 12 gauge. On a crude stand next to the chair will be a half-empty—not half-full—bottle of Jack Daniels. Next to the bottle will be my Bible.

And what the heck, I might even have a pack of Marlboros next to the Bible.

If one of my ex-students comes for a visit I might—I say might—surrender that recipe for making hydrogen. As for the Saint Anthony’s plumbing bomb, that recipe is only for Father Carroll.

I will tell him when I see him.

The Dying Roar Of A Syphilitic Hunchback

We hear much these days about a ‘return of the Cold War.’ This fear is based upon a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin. Here is just a small sample of recent scary headlines.

Putin calls for response to US ‘threat’

Putin increases missile defence rhetoric

Russia orders long-range bomber patrols

Putin slams Britain over “colonial thinking” in row

Post-Cold War chill hangs over Bush-Putin summit

‘Soviet era less bleak than US history’

Putin raises spectre of nuclear war in Europe

And so on. What to make of all this?

Not much.

Putin certainly has many fantasies about Russia: A Russia that will reclaim control over all those old Soviet territories. A Russia that seeks to return to its days of Stalinist glory. A Russia that will be able to stand up to the United States. A Russia that will use her oil and gas wealth to finance all of this.

All nonsense. All impossible. All ridiculous. Russia has neither the will nor the capacity nor the manpower to achieve any of this.

First, let us forget about power derived from oil. If oil resulted in power then Saudi Arabia would be the strongest nation on earth and Mexico and Venezuela would be regional hegemons. A list of nations that possess vast oil reserves is little more than a catalogue of military weaklings, corrupt dictatorships and petty despotisms. Not for nothing has oil been termed ‘the Devil’s excrement.’

A nation’s power does not derive from its resources. If it did then Japan would be poor and the Congo would be rich. Power derives from law, limited government and the ability to create wealth. How many of these does Russia have?

The Soviet Union did not have these either. Her power then like Russia’s power now existed only in the power to destroy and to threaten. Her wealth was stolen or extorted. She created nothing of value, not even soap. The USSR was really a gangster regime run like the mafia. Her one talent was the extermination of tens of millions of her own citizens. She always was, in George Will’s words, “An India with guns.”

Russia is likewise, except men live longer in India. The life expectancy of Russian men is 58—they are literally drinking themselves to death. The life expectancy of Russian women is 72. But it is much worse. Russians are dying out.

The primary causes of Russia’s population decrease and loss of about 700,000 to 800,000 citizens each year are a high death rate, low birth rate, high rate of abortions, and a low level of immigration.

Hard to have a Russia without Russians.

A nation can have all the resources in the world but without people they will stay in the ground. More likely, another race of people will show up to take them. This is already happening in Russia’s East.

Moscow should act quickly and decisively to limit Chinese immigration into the Russian Far East lest the growing number of Chinese there “polarize” the country, weaken Russian national identity, and give Beijing a lever over Russia in the future.

China is doing to Russia what Texans did to Mexico and Goths did to Rome.

Diseased, aborted, morally exhausted and alcoholic Russia totters toward the abyss. Nothing that Putin can do can stop it.

(Update: More gasping from the syphilitic hunchback.)

Rather than become full partners with the Coalition in the War on Terror, Putin’s decrepit and corrupt regime is dedicated to maintaining profitable Cold War financial arrangements, while desperately seeking to reestablish some semblance of the old Soviet order by vigorously opposing the US missile defense shield. Russian generals who bully our new European partners over hosting a key Eastern European radar site get the most attention.

(Update: The Replacement Fertility Rate—also called the Total Fertility Rate—is the number of children each woman must have to keep the population of a nation stable. It is generally around 2.1. The number for Russia is 1.17.)

Russia’s total fertility rate stands at 1.17, and some believe that it can reach as low as 1.0–well below replacement level of 2.14. All agreed that it will not rise higher than 1.5 over the next 20 years. Russia’s abortion rate remains extremely high, and noted demographer Murray Feshbach claims that thirty percent of Russian women of childbearing age are infertile.

Russia is finished. It is being depopulated, emptied of White Russians—who have even lost the desire to make their fornication count for something—and populated from the east by Chinese and from the south by Moslems.

Within the lifetime of living men Russia will survive only in the pages of history.

We Are Better Than You

After 14 years of living, working and walking throughout Central and South America I decided to return home in 2004. I had 50 states to choose from. I chose Oklahoma and moved to its capital of Oklahoma City. The choice was God inspired.

I love it here—the culture, the weather, the politics, almost everything. I say ‘almost’ for two reasons, natural beauty and tornados. Oklahoma is flat with few forests but millions of acres of grasslands. All lakes here are man-made. The landscape is not unattractive but has little to recommend to a solo backpacker like me. And come May tornado season begins. I have been in one and would not like to repeat such an event. And there are thunderstorms a plenty, all chock full of winds and hail.

But what of it? Here I am free from the manifest social problems that infect the cities on the West Coast. Oklahomans would have none of such nonsense. We do things differently here. No yearly parade of sexual perverts down the avenues of the streets where children play, no legions of homeless rabble begging for alcohol and drugs, no pierced and tattooed teenage flotsam wandering aimlessly down sidewalks.

In fact, there are few sidewalks at all. And there is very little public transport. I cannot recall the last time I saw a city bus. This means that folks have to work to buy cars—or rather trucks, if they are men. For we here in Oklahoma will have none of the collectivism, fraud, corruption and taxes that are associated with busses and light rail systems.

Here we have wide open spaces. I have yet to be in a traffic jam. People from the coastal enclaves of crowded East and West Coast cities marvel at our legroom. To us here in Oklahoma, people there live like insects, all cramped together and crawling over one another. Some of them might like to move here where they can live as God intended. We welcome them, but they had better behave. No East or West Coast claptrap will be tolerated.

Oklahomans have little patience for the cowardice, corruption and flabbiness of Washington, DC. The senators we send there are the two best men in the Senate. Here is a description of one of them, Jim Inhofe.

He is among the most vocal skeptics of climate change (global warming) in Congress. Inhofe often cites the Bible as the source for his stances on various political issues.

Imagine that! Using the Bible as an inspiration to governing! Try that in San Francisco. Not for nothing are we called ‘the Buckle of the Bible Belt.’

Here is a bit on our other senator, Tom Coburn.

Coburn was considered one of the “true believers” in the Republican freshman class of 1995, and was one of the most conservative members of the House.

Coburn’s Senate voting record is as conservative as his House record. He received a perfect 100% rating from the American Conservative Union for the year 2005.

I love these guys! They resemble not at all Kerry and Kennedy and Reid.

To use one example, here is how we Oklahomans are dealing with the lawlessness of uncontrolled illegal immigration. George Bush could learn a thing or two.

Mandatory deportation has illegals on the run

State law limiting benefits looms, an estimated 25,000 take to road

The state of Oklahoma recently approved a new law that requires deportation for illegal aliens who are arrested, and limits benefits and jobs to those individuals. The report said in East Tulsa, where a community of Hispanics has grown over recent years, there’s been a sudden drop in population.

We simply tired of Washington’s inability to govern, and so we did the thing ourselves. And you can forget all the lies, jibber-jabber, obfuscation and bureaucratese. Oklahomans think clearly about such things. We take the laws and the heritage of our nation seriously.

This isn’t about whether you are for or against immigration, or for or against immigrants. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is or if you speak with an accent. What matters is if you are in the country legally or illegally. The only people threatened by House Bill 1804 are those who choose to break the law.

Questions?

Imagine if such straight talk came out of our nation’s capital. Or better, imagine if our nation’s capital were Oklahoma City rather than Washington.

If Hillary becomes president that will be an option. We will let her arrogantly rule from Washington while we enjoy liberty here in Oklahoma. And we of course will welcome other states that wish to join us.

And they will.

Sheep And Goats

How can we say that one man is a Christian and another man is not?

Certainly Christ left us with some method to recognize His followers. And just as certainly it is vital that we do so.

Christianity is a demanding faith, the particulars of which are aptly laid out in the New Testament. To be a Christian a man must allow—one must ask—Christ to come into his life. Once done all sorts of things happen. The man becomes literally ‘born again.’ He is a new man. He has left his purely carnal existence and become a child of God.

The mere fact of birth does not mean one is a child of Christ. The Carpenter Himself made this plain in the Gospels. Some of His listeners after all He called children of the Father of Lies. He also said that until the end of time there will be goats in the midst of His sheep. Even among His twelve there was Judas.

So we can count on the obvious fact that some of those who claim to belong to Christ in reality belong to the other guy. We should neither be disheartened nor surprised at this. We were warned that this would be so.

So we can expect goats to dress up as sheep. Why do they do this? Quick answer: To cause the sheep to join the goats. You see, there is a tremendous battle going on all around you. You do not see most of it but you see evidence of it. We call this evidence ‘temptation.’ When you experience this there is somebody next to you. He is not your friend.

Of course, those who belong to the goats hardly ever admit to being a goat. That would be too easy. They claim Christ. It is simple to do so. It is popular in our nation to do so. It is especially popular among our political class. Christianity is a marketing tool. This is easy to show. Who would be elected to office who claimed atheism?

This is why politicians like to be photographed in church and why they like to talk about prayer and God. It is good for their business. Bill Clinton loved to be shown lugging around a huge Bible. George Bush said that Christ was his favorite philosopher.

But the goats have a problem, and it is a serious one. A child of Christ was given the gift of ‘discernment.’ It is the ability to ‘see beyond the seen.’ A Christian can use this tool to see who is really a sheep and who is not.

Heading back to the Gospels we see that a Christian man is to live, as much as he possibly can, as Christ lived. He will of course fail regularly. But when this happens Christ picks up His sheep and gives a hand. We see this in our human realm when a father allows his child to take his first steps. The child stumbles along for a few feet but then falls back to the ground. The father is right there, picking his child up and encouraging him on.

But consider another type of father, one who laughs when his child falls to the ground and refuses to pick him up. He even does all he can to keep his child from ever rising up from all fours. The child will thus spend all his life shambling around like an animal. He will become a goat. He might even come to like being a goat. Of course, he will not like it forever.

Two types of fathers. Two types of sons. Goats and sheep. Both children will come to resemble their fathers.

We know this from folk wisdom: ‘The fruit does not fall far from the tree.’ Christ Himself said something like this: “By their fruits you shall know them.”

We have come to the heart of the matter. The fruit of goats and the fruit of sheep are different. Goats are

filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32)

Sheep are different.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

There you have it.

But how about us? Where do we fit in? How are we to tell if we ourselves are Christians or not?

Here is the formula. Simply place your own name in the place of ‘love’ and ‘it’ in this passage.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

You see what I mean. Shameful and embarrassing, yes?

The solution—the only solution—is to get on your knees right now, this instant if you can.

Your Father will be delighted to help you walk.

Once Upon A Time

When I was a young man I was frivolous with much. With money, with words, with companions, with women, with my life, with time. Especially with time.

At 54 I am no longer frivolous. Money is regularly earned, regularly spent and regularly placed in a retirement account. Women and drink, those great devourers of young men’s money—and some older men’s money—are no longer issues. Perhaps it is because I have become a better man, or perhaps it is because I can no longer afford them. Maybe I never could.

I talked too much and too loudly when young. Now I hoard words, treating them as things precious and few. I have learned that silence, being a scarce commodity, has more value than words which are available everywhere freely and in quantities infinite. At last I understand why there are monks who live their lives in silence. In the quiet they hear all that needs to be heard.

Of boon companions I had many in my youth. We drank together, lusted together, laughed together. We broke every law of God and man we could. In the end we betrayed each other in great messes of lies, violence, adulteries and alcohol. Of all those from my days as a young man I see none today. I have no idea where most are. I do not want to know. The reason is a simple one: They know a part of my past that is shameful. To meet them today would be to be reminded. I do not want to be reminded. I want to forget.

I once loved things and used people. Women were as cars. I would take one for a spin to see if I enjoyed the drive. If not—I seldom did—I would take out another. Even the keepers were only kept for a while before being discarded. I heard few complaints for women treated me as I treated them. The usual things were said. The usual things were done. The usual things were felt. All of it added up to precisely nothing.

I talked and I acted as if I were invulnerable. In a less delicate age the things I did would have got me shot to death.

I survived, but barely. There was that messy landing when skydiving. And that careless fall while rock climbing. I traveled though nations convulsed by civil war and revolution. I had close encounters with men and beasts south of the Rio Grande. I laughed through all of it, playing to the hilt the perfect invincible fool. At such memories I no longer laugh, I shudder.

When young I never—but never—thought of time. It was infinite and I bothered about it as much as I bothered about the wind. There was never a sense that it was running out like sand in an hourglass. I lived—I thought I lived—free from its constraints. I did as my flesh directed.

But biology is a hard master that cannot be long denied. When my 20s were a memory and my 30s were half gone I had my first intimations of age. There appeared something new, an odd slowness in body. Strange new pains made their presence known. Recovery from a night’s celebration of Bacchus took longer.

There was more, an exhaustion of mind and spirit. It showed itself in the mirror. Eyes once bright now were bleary. A mouth once quick to laugh now took a cynical turn. All the abuses of money, words, companions, women and life were coming to a head. I felt as if I lived in a cage.

Something had to be done. Something was done.

I sat at a small café in the late Spring of 1989. Unusually for Portland the sky was clear. On the ground beside me was a backpack. It contained all I thought I would need. Inside were tent, clothes and Thucydides. An acquaintance walked by and asked where I was going. My reply stunned her. “To Central America,” I said. With that I grabbed the pack, headed to the bus station and bought a ticket south.

We hear that you cannot run away from your problems. That is a lie. Sometimes the problems of a man are place and persons. Get away from them and he is free to become what Cicero called ‘a new man.’ I could not heed Horace Greely and go West—I was already West—but I could head beyond the reach of my old life. I could leave the old man behind and create a new one.

Since then there have been many ‘new men,’ each a bit better, a bit wiser, a bit more scarred, than the last. Some things once thought absolutely essential had to be discarded along the way. Odd, I do not miss them. A great weight has been lifted from me.

When I relate this tale to young men they laugh, a sound I know well. It is no great matter to me, as each man must cut his own way in this world. Some will die or become embittered along the way, but that is in the nature of things.

I am very much alive and know nothing of bitterness. There is a certain joy in getting older, a joy that is beyond the understanding of young men. I would never wish to return to my life of 20 years ago. All my thoughts of time look forward.

One day there will be at my door the Grim Reaper. I have seen him several times in my life but always from afar. Each time he got closer and closer. I do not fear the meeting. After he greets me all that I knew on this earth will melt away. It will become as shadows and dust. And it will happen in an instant. Time itself will be gone, its tyranny over my life broken forever. For Eternity knows nothing of time.

I will come face to face with the Creator of time. All that was my life will be known to Him. I will have nothing to offer but rags. On that day there will be surprises.

I hope that I like them.

Short Takes

The clamor about Wikipedia is silly. So what if some of the public editing is petty or slanderous? It can be fixed after all. Remember all those encyclopedia editions year after year we had to endure from Britannica? How many errors did they have? Yet they could not be repaired and their errors carried on.

As did the errors of the media at least until very recently. We hear of a multitude of lies, fabrications and distortions passed on as revealed truth. Those in the past were seldom discovered—indeed, they are with us still. The internet changed all of that, just as it changed the way we seek information.

This is true ‘power to the people.’ This phrase has been used to justify murderous tyrants who falsely claimed to speak for ‘the people.’ Now ‘the people’ are freed from the narrow bigotry of Encyclopedia Britannica and from the tyranny and mendacity of the pagan media. This is a tremendous net increase in freedom.

There are those who complain about such freedom in the hands of the masses. These are usually the ones who in the past controlled all that we Americans could see and hear. Now their power is being shattered. Whenever you read of some media big shot attacking bloggers, that is the reason—that, and fear and loathing and envy.

The idea behind Wikipedia is brilliant. So what if it can be subject to abuse? Everything can.

Even God can. Here are some abuses.

I don’t pretend to understand the wisdom and power of God. I do believe in prayer. I am very dependent on my faith, and prayer is a big part of that.

I believe in the power of prayer. Part of what I pray for is the strength and wisdom to act on the things I can control.

My sense of social justice comes from being a Roman Catholic. Prayer is personal. It is important that we have faith, that we have values, but if I’m president I am not going to wear my religion on my sleeve.

I pray daily. I prayed [when] my 16 year old son died, prayed before Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer. There are some things beyond our control … I don’t think you can prevent bad things happening through prayer.

These are from Democrats running for office. This from a party that supports abortion, sodomy, removing Christ from American life and rendering unto Caesar that which is God’s. But who is fooled? Is God fooled?

The Democrats play the ‘God game’ of pretending that their lives both public and private are Godly. They do this for the simple reason that they want the power that the Christian vote will bring them. They are as Simon Magus, who marveled at the power of Christ and offered Peter a great sum of money to get it.

Just to remind you—and we need to be reminded more than instructed.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the holy Spirit.”

But Peter said to him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought that you could buy the gift of God with money. You have no share or lot in this matter, for your heart is not upright before God. Repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your intention may be forgiven. For I see that you are filled with bitter gall and are in the bonds of iniquity.” (Acts 8:18-23)

And ‘bitter gall’ superbly describes what Hillary Clinton is filled with. Her husband is filled with something else.

The Democrats are the wealthiest group of folks in congress. They control the legislative branch, the public education system, the unions, the academy, the media, the bureaucracy, the entertainment industry and a whole host of Jim Wallis-type liberal churches. Yet they are not satisfied. They want to control every damn facet of our lives. And they want our guns. One preceeds the other.

Our lovely Democrats! Bigger and bigger government. Higher and higher taxes. More and more legislation. Greater and greater control over our lives. Simply stated, they are the party of government and immorality and treason. For the love of Heaven let us speak of things as they are.

It is no wonder the Democrats hate Christianity. For Christ provides a haven from government, a sector completely immune from its seductions. No tyrant can tolerate any part of society beyond its reach. It was intolerable to Mao and Stalin and Hitler. It is intolerable to Castro and Kim Jong-Il.

And it is intolerable to Hillary. If she is elected prepare for interesting times.

Man And Moloch

Mussolini had the last words on State worship.

Everything in the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State.

Let us call such a view ‘the State as God,’ for that is what it is. It is substituting the worship of God for the worship of the State. You may call it fascism if you wish—Il Duce certainly did—but that changes nothing. When one looks to the State for his needs rather than to God he is treating the State as God.

Such a man at first might not even be aware that he no longer worships God. He might still attend church regularly but he is really just going through the motions. His true love is nowhere to be found there.

The usual form of government for 6000 years has been State worship. Thus were both pharaohs and Incas seen as living incarnations of a god. Thus were Mesopotamian kings modestly titled ‘Kings of Kings, Great Kings, Mighty Kings, the Kings of the World, the Kings of the Four Corners.’ The Romans were more restrained and only allowed their Caesars to be worshipped after they were safely dead.

But even the Romans had a form of State worship to which all were required to conform. This got those early Christians into some difficulties, as they worshipped the true God. Thus they were tossed into lions’ dens, burned to death and generally severely put upon. And here we see that all gods are jealous gods, just as God is a jealous God. They brook no competition. The Roman State would accept no other competitor. Its way or the highway, nothing else would do.

All State worship ends in this way, in stacks of corpses. Whatever name we know it as—Nazism, communism, totalitarianism, socialism—it has a hunger for human life and takes it at will. There is a reason for this.

The State sees humanity as a weak and perishable vessel. It has no purpose other than to serve the State. The one immutable law is that men die but the State lives forever. We see this philosophy in every ruler, every king, every president, every emperor and every prime minister who ever lived. They all act as if their particular nation will be everlasting.

Christianity is entirely different. It sees man as everlasting and the State as ephemeral. Thus man is literally infinitely more important than the State. The two can coexist but one must be subservient to the other. Thus did the Carpenter say, “Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to God, that which is God’s.” The State replies, “Render unto me all that you have and all that you are.”

This is why the first thing State worshippers do when they get power is to diminish and then destroy Christianity. That faith, after all, plainly states that some things in life are only for God. This is intolerable for those whose only god is the State.

We see this clearly in communism, which has been in each and every instance openly hostile to Christianity. It murders priests, burns churches and puts the faithful to death. No opposition can be allowed, for the State is a jealous god.

We see this here in America as well, though in a much more subtle and insidious way. The State seeks to eliminate Christianity from the public sphere and has largely succeeded. Organizations like the Boy Scouts that have a Christian core are to be persecuted as well. Propaganda organs of the State where future citizens are to be indoctrinated—we call these organs ‘public schools’—are to be cleansed of anything hostile to the State.

There is more, of course. Behaviors manifestly opposed to Christianity—sodomy, abortion—are to be State supported and forced upon Christians throughout America by using schools, the entertainment industry and the media. No stone is to be left unturned as the State moves to root out and demolish its competition for the heart and soul of man.

This is no different from what happened in Israel 2200 years ago. Then the State worshippers were the Seleucids. These were absolutely hostile to anything that presented itself as opposition to the official ideology, a system based upon homosexuality and displays of public nudity. Sound familiar?

These were anathema to Judaism, though then as now many of the faithful became weak and gradually submitted to the demands of the State. We see this today in the weakening of mainline Protestant faiths, many of which have given in to the State’s demand that, among other things, homosexuality be accepted. Thus there are appearing more and more open and practicing homosexual pastors of both genders. These have openly surrendered to State worship, though they of course would never put it quite this way. They claim their beliefs are really based upon ‘tolerance,’ a word that by the way is openly promoted by the State itself.

Americans seem oblivious to how much State worship has overtaken them. Few of us make the connection that the more we demand the State do—retirement, health care, education—the more of our money will be turned over to the State to pay for all of it. Taxes are the food of the State, and it is voracious.

To make this plain, imagine a man who refuses to pay his taxes. He will be imprisoned, his family destroyed, his property seized and his children sent away to become the sons and daughters of strangers. So tell me, would Cuba act any differently?

Behind State worship there is of course a person. This ancient demon’s name is Moloch (‘king’) but he has also been called Baal (‘lord’). Once a man submits to Moloch he becomes his servant. We see many such today. It is easy to identify them, especially among the political class. The next time you hear some politician vowing some new government program, you might ask yourself whether the program serves God or Caesar. If Caesar then you know that Moloch is about.

Here is one example. It is from a recent speech by that champion of Moloch, Hillary Clinton.

If you’re a family that is struggling, and you don’t have health care, well, you are invisible to this president. If you’re a single mom trying to find affordable child care so you can go to work, well, you’re invisible, too.

Her real message is that we should turn over all our choices about health care and the raising of our children to the State. This is in line with all of her solutions to America’s problems—they all involve increasing the power of the State and thus of her master, Moloch. The next time you hear of some politician promising that all we need to do is feed more taxes to the State, you will know where his heart lies.

You should know one outstanding attribute of Moloch, that he demanded the sacrifice of children. People of old would take their newborns to a brazen image of Moloch with jaw agape and toss them into his fiery maw where they were burned to death. The moral difference between this ancient practice and our modern one of abortion is precisely nothing.

Perhaps the first worshipper of Moloch was Cain. After killing his brother he fled into the wilderness and built the world’s first city—that is, he founded the first state. State worship thus was begun by the first murderer.

If you wish to understand why the actions of States throughout history has been so bloody, you need look no further than this.

1722_moloch2.gif

Airport Notes

I flew over Utah on my way back to Oklahoma. There was a three hour layover in Salt Lake City, all of which I spent in the airport. While yet in the air I marveled at the stark and desolate land 30,000 feet below, and of those Mormons who walked from Illinois to establish communities there.

Whatever one thinks about their theology, it simply cannot be denied that they had guts. But then, many Americans 150 years ago had guts. It took guts—lots of them—to push West from the Appalachians and subdue the land. Disease and savages took their toll. But still the Americans came. How many of us today could do something like that?

From an examination of the folks in the airport, not many. It is cliché to hear that Americans are fat. And it is also true. I lived in Argentina for a decade and every year flew back to the States for a visit. The Argentines are some of the most attractive people on earth—and the women are simply gorgeous. Any male who disagrees with me is certainly a homosexual. The Argentines are thin too. Upon landing in the US the contrast shocked. It could have embarrassed me but then I was thin as well. But that was 20 pounds ago.

A question, please: Why do grown men dress like high school kids? You know, the baseball caps, t-shirts, tennis shoes and shorts that are the standard uniform of adolescents around the globe. At the airport were legions of men attired thus. Scipio to such men: Grow up. Dress appropriately. Wear long-sleeves and a collar when you go to the airport. To dress as a child is to be ridiculous. If you complain that your sons are immature then the reason might lie in your wardrobe.

And for the love of God, why do strangers think that the world cries out to see their naked legs? Pudgy, fleshy-legged men with exposed skin belong in Las Vegas casinos, not waddling about in public. Scipio to such men: I have no desire to any part of you naked. I assume—unless you live in San Francisco—that you have no desire to see any part of me naked. Cover your flabby legs lest I sue you for making me ill.

Another question, please: Why do fat guys wear t-shirts emblazoned with some sport team’s moniker? It would be more honest to wear t-shirts advertising Burger King—and such restaurants were everywhere in the Salt Lake City airport.

So were bookstores. Each had prominently displayed Hugh Hewitt’s hagiography of Mitt Romney, A Mormon in the White House. I have no idea if the book helps or hurts Romney’s chances to be president. I only know I will vote for the Republican candidate. There is—literally—no chance in Hell I would ever vote for a Democrat for president. Perhaps that is because the Democrat Party supports inserting scissors into the brains of a baby. That party also supports special rights for questionable males who insert their…but never mind.

If Hillary wins the November election maybe Hewitt will write a book titled A Demon in the White House. At least Madame Hillary has the decency to cover her ample flesh of her ample legs with her ample pants suits.

hilliarycankles.jpg

I am sure you understand.

Anyway, the Salt Lake City airport was extraordinarily clean and organized. This befitted the city it served. Oddly, there were many smoking rooms, none with doors and some only a few feet from a childrens’ play area. And there were lots of these, a good thing as Mormons have lots of kids. This fact drives the New York Times and its acolytes into a Romney-hating frenzy. They really, really hate the guy.

Which is of course a sure sign that it fears Romney and that Romney is a good man. You see, the NYT serves its father, and Romney serves Another.

I left Salt Lake City on a Delta flight. Some minutes later I was miles above Moab, Utah. I imagined that I was down there in my Jeep on some of the miles and miles of 4-wheel drive trails.

Come next year and imagination will not be necessary.

(Update: From R. Emmett Tyrell)

As the earth gets warmer, our fellow Americans could begin to shed even more of their clothing than they do in summer. Frankly, in this season of shorts and tank tops, I have seen enough flab. The naked midriff is a fashion that I found distinctly anaphrodisiacal. Most American anatomies, obese or otherwise, are best left covered.

A Little Knowledge

This sort of headline is a perennial.

Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned

What we have here is yet another comparison between modern America and ancient Rome. The usual spiel goes like this: ‘Rome fell. We are like Rome. Repent!’

There is a problem with such historical analyses. Which ‘fall of Rome’ is meant? Usually the moralist means some vague ‘Roman Empire’ that he learned from re-runs of Spartacus and Quo Vadis on late night TV.

Some questions arise, such as: Does the writer refer to the fall of the Roman Republic (133 – 30 BC)? Or the fall of the Empire in the West (378 – 476 AD)? Or the fall of Constantinople (1261 – 1453)? He does not say.

Our Cassandra is David Walker. He is a high-level career bureaucrat at the very entertaining and exciting US Government Accountability Office. He was appointed to this 15-year position by ex-president Stain-Dress. As such it is odd that he volunteers to lecture the rest of us on morals and history. One would think that his ex-boss would provide ample fodder for his moralistic outbursts.

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.

Walker’s list of evils encompassess the usual liberal complaints against this Republican administration—immigration, ‘sustainability,’ Iraq, health care and so on.

Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

This very trendy analysis includes—but of course—the fall of that bridge in Minneapolis.

Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems.

Walker has offered his services to all presidential candidates. Very good of him.

When one looks closely at Walker’s advice, it looks suspiciously like the platform of the Democrat Party: More government everywhere and all the time. In other words, Walker advises the US to adopt exactly those policies that doomed the empire in the West. It was killed by taxes and a parasitical government aided and abetted by uncontrolled immigration.

Other things that to Walker spelled the end of Rome—health care costs and a decline in government services—are completely irrelevant. Rome scarcely had a government until the 1st century AD. Indeed, it is the era of corruption, vote buying and political slander of the late Republic that most resembles our own, not the fall of Rome in the West.

To put matters plainly, Rome began as a free republic in 509 BC. She had a natural hatred of despots and never allowed any one man much power. As she began her career of overseas conquests after the 2nd Punic War (218 – 201 BC) she fell into corruption both moral and political. Only men like the Caesars could possibly have held the thing together. Though it lasted 500 more years in the West and 1500 in the East the freedom that had characterized the early Romans vanished. They started as freemen and ended as slaves.

And that is exactly what is happening to us. The more we look to government for what ails us—literally in the case of health care—the more power we turn over to the state and the less free we become.

We are becoming like the Romans but not for the reasons Walker laid out. One day—maybe quite soon—we will cry out for a Caesar.

I am sure that the wife of Walker’s old boss would like to volunteer.