Archive for April, 2008

Break Time

It happens to every man who gets joy from writing. Once in a while he will put pen to paper and nothing appears. He might scribble a few thoughts but nothing comes together or makes much sense. Writing becomes then a mere chore. If he makes his living by writing he must force the words out somehow. But such thoughts seldom have the force of imagination behind them.

That is where I am these days. If hours spent staring at a computer screen automatically resulted in something I would have written a novel by now. But there is nothing. There are ideas, true. But getting them out of my mind and into an essay has proven nigh impossible.

What is worse is that I can find no particular reason why this is so. If I could I would apply a remedy. But all is guesswork.

So I will leave it alone for a while and get back to it when it makes sense to do so—when it is impossible not to do so.

May that hour arrive soon.

Test Week

Every year about this time Oklahoma City schools embark upon an entire week of standardized testing. US History, Language Arts, Math and Science are the subjects. Regular classes are effectively shut down until these exams are completed.

The students do not mind at all, as teachers give no homework during this time. Besides, they are allowed to chew gum, eat loads of sweets and spend much time outside between tests. Nice work if you can get it.

The exams themselves are demanding, the US History one particularly so. I would bet that many college types would find themselves at a loss over some of the questions.

In June all the exams are graded and the schools are rated according to how high they scored compared to all other schools. The school where I work has done splendidly in the past, outperforming many private schools. Teachers are expected to equal or better their students’ scores every year.

These exams have their share of bureaucratic requirements, which take up much time. For one, there has been little occasion to devote to things like writing. Many ideas float around in my mind with no time to put them upon cyber paper.

Testing ends more or less this Friday, when what passes for normalcy among teachers and students will resume.

Poor Folk

The Carpenter said that we would always have the poor with us. To insure this He allowed man to create Democrats. These folks love the poor so much they make more of them whenever and wherever they can.

The Democrats have long been in love with socialism, a style of economics and attitudes superbly designed to create poverty. Socialism is a system which is really nothing more than forcing men into a reliance upon government—that is, government controlled by Democrats. You see, Democrats are the party of government. Their philosophies and programs all depend on a large and intrusive government.

The true socialist puts no stock in individuals or in religion. His real interest is devolving to the State as much power as he can.

This was a simple thing to do in ancient despotisms like Russia or China. There the people had no habits of self government and no concept of Natural Rights. It is a bit trickier to install socialism in the US—all that stuff about the Bill of Rights, natural law, federalism and so on. And it must be said that Christianity has no patience for socialist programs, as it relies upon God and not the State. Indeed, the State is seen more often than not as an enemy of Christianity. And since most Americans practiced some form of Christianity socialism would have a tough go.

The socialist first had to numb the people’s interest in their own history. He did this by seizing control of public education and the universities. The Founders and their documents were expunged in favor of recycling and transgender studies. This done, he could work on removing all public expressions of Christianity—no prayers in school, no Bibles on teachers’ desks, no Ten Commandments.

The socialist has been wildly successful. Christianity is regularly impugned and its doctrines rendered ineffectual. And the more people have become unhooked from their faith in God, the more easily they can be hooked into a faith in government. And that is what socialism is, a substitute faith, a replacement for Christianity. The Democrats of course know this and approve of it. They themselves have been at war with God for decades. One need only look at their views on homosexuality and abortion and compare them with those of the Carpenter.

The same is of course true of the Democrat candidates for president. One can safely and accurately say that no Democrat can run for president unless he be a God hater. If you get in a froth because those words you know neither the Democrats nor God.

The Democrats believe themselves to be close to winning the presidency this year. If they do they will effectively control all three branches of government. We can get a hint where they will take us if we look at their accomplishments since they took control of the legislative branch in 2006.

Up:

Gasoline up from $2.19 to $3.35 or 53%.

Unemployment up from 4.5% to 5% or 11.1%.

National debt per capita was $27,677 then and now $31,551 or 14% higher.

Congressional pay increase.

Down:

Consumer confidence at multiple year lows.

Equity value of mutual funds down $2.3 trillion.

Home equity values down $1.2 trillion.

Congress’s approval rating at all time low.

And that is only two years of Democrat work. Imagine an Obama or a Hillary—socialists both—with a veto proof legislature and four or eight years in the White House. Time enough for much mischief.

Those who vote Democrat in November are really voting for more Americans to be poor, and thus more willing to turn to government for succor. And the Democrats will be ready to receive them. That is the point.

That is the only point.

Update: We can expect more of this after November, alas.

History As It Should Be

Some academic types get themselves into a froth when a movie based upon history is not absolutely accurate. Thus they obsessed over Gladiator. They were in high dudgeon over Troy. They yelped over The Patriot. They were apoplectic over Apocalypto

Memo to historians: Movies are made to generate revenue. They are not meant to be documentaries. Get over it.

The über-violent 300 drew the particular attention of historians. No doubt all those muscular Spartans running about in ancient Speedos while wringing Persian necks caused many hearts to go all a-flutter. Some scholars actually liked the film. Some thoroughly hated it. Zack Snyder made it, and he says 300 is “an opera, not a documentary. That’s what I say when people say it’s historically inaccurate.”

An opera, not a documentary. This about sums it up.

There is more. If one is conversant in the ancient texts that tell the tale of the Persian Wars and of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, one may get the sense that the movie more accurately details events than mere words ever could. It shows the reality of the thing that goes beyond appearances and gets to the truth of the matter as witnessed and lived by the Greeks.

The Greeks saw the wars with Persia (490 – 479 BC) as the seminal event of their day. They considered Persia as a land of slaves and the Greek cities as abodes of free men. Persia was an Eastern colossus of millions of human beings, a world empire one hundred times the size of Athens and Sparta. Her king was simply called ‘the king’; everyone knew who that meant. It is an easy thing to believe that the historical Xerxes behaved exactly as the movie showed him, as a god upon the earth.

To put the matter simply, 300 was the way the Greeks themselves must have experienced the Persian Wars. It was myth and reality and fantasy all mixed up, a war where thousands of Greeks would later swear that they had seen a gigantic Greek soldier fighting by their sides and that the gods themselves had left Olympus to fight with them. We laugh at such things but to the Greeks these were as historical as WW II is to us.

Some historians get it.

Victor Davis Hanson…who wrote the foreword to a 2007 re-issue of the graphic novel, states that the film demonstrates a specific affinity with the original material of Herodotus in that it captures the martial ethos of ancient Sparta and represents Thermopylae as a “clash of civilizations”. He remarks that Simonides, Aeschylus and Herodotus viewed Thermopylae as a battle against “Eastern centralism and collective serfdom”, which opposed “the idea of the free citizen of an autonomous polis”. He further states that the film portrays the battle in a “surreal” manner, and that the intent was to “entertain and shock first, and instruct second.”

Some historians do not.

No mention is made in 300 of the fact that at the same time a vastly outnumbered fleet led by Athenians was holding off the Persians in the straits adjacent to Thermopylae, or that Athenians would soon save all of Greece by destroying the Persian fleet at Salamis. This would wreck 300’s vision, in which Greek ideals are selectively embodied in their only worthy champions, the Spartans.

I read such critiques and I get the feeling that I must have seen a different film.

We know that had Leonidas and his 300 fled before the Persian host that the other Greeks would hardly have chosen to stay. And that it was the delay of three days at the Hot Gates purchased by the stand of the Spartans that gave the Athenians time enough to evacuate their city for Salamis.

The movie praises and romanticizes the Spartans and their king Leonidas. It was right to do so. They earned it.

Will Durant said that we must deal with the past as if it were the remains of a shipwreck. We guess from the planks and canvas and detritus that wash upon the shore the type of ship and cargo, the nature of the crew, the disposition of its captain, and the reasons for and the direction of the ship’s voyage. It is clearly impossible, but we do the best we can. This is the past as historians must deal with it.

Poets and artists and filmmakers can deal with the past differently. They are not bound by words but are free to mix in myth and imagination with history. The results are movies like 300, like Troy, like Apocalypto. We can include in this category movies like Patton and Gone With The Wind—romantic myths all of them.

Such movies entertain but also create an interest in the past. A professor of ancient history might have problems with 300, but even he must admit that the movie no doubt has led many students to his classroom.

And that was exactly what happened to me. Long ago and far away I was a callow youth who came upon the movie Spartacus. That did it. I was hooked on those old Romans. It mattered not at all that the movie was riddled with fancy and error and speculation. What mattered was that I was drawn into a lifetime of study of the ancient world. I imagine that there are young adults today who were entranced by 300, and will one day become scholars of Greek history.

The proper teaching of history is not just lecturing on ancient texts but the recreating of lost worlds. This 300 has done.

Whatever part of that movie is not true certainly should be.

Update: Had not Leonidas and his 300 stayed and died at the Hot Gates, there would have been no Athenian victory at Salamis later that year (480 BC). The Persians and their Eastern absolutism would have marched through Western Europe.

The philosopher Hegel (1770 – 1831) had this to say about Salamis.

The interest of the world’s hung trembling in the balance. Oriental despotism, a world united under one lord and sovereign, on the one side, and separate states, insignificant in extent and resources, but animated by free individuality, on the other side, stood front to front in array of battle. Never in history has the superiority of spiritual power over material bulk, and that of no contemptible amount, been made so gloriously manifest.

The Spartans had only one duty, to allow the forming of Western Civilization. They did it, and did it well.

Epistle To The Pagans

The pope journeys to this nation as Paul journeyed to the gentiles. For ours is becoming a pagan land, and America is a prime field for mission work. And there is much work to be done.

Christians are commanded ‘to be in the world but not of it.’ This is not a suggestion. American Christians have become mesmerized by the useless baubles, bangles and beads of this world. They have for some time become indistinguishable from non-Christians. Levels of divorce, addictions to pornography, use of birth control, support of abortion, tolerance of sexual perversion—such are scarcely different between Christians and pagans here in what was once called ‘God’s Country’.

Christians have forgotten that they are not in any way to yoke themselves to the worldview of the pagans. How does one yoke the perverse to the normal? The blasphemous to the sacred? The clean to the unclean? Jerusalem to Babylon?

The pagan lands of America at their best scarcely rise above the trivial and the frivolous. At their worst they sink into absolute moral depravity and human degradation. They have sunk even farther than had Rome before Christ, for Rome had not yet heard of the Son of Man. After she knew Him she repented, and converted.

America has no such excuse. She has heard His Word and flees from it. Her avatars of culture, of government, of education, of media, of entertainment, are almost entirely pagan and anti-Christian in their outlook and behavior. They have long worked to convince that evil is good and good is evil, and have largely succeeded. The teachings of Christ are pushed aside, removed from public view, assaulted in front of millions, denied to our schoolchildren, ridiculed among our elite.

If Christ returned to walk among us He would again be crucified, no doubt to the self-satisfied acclaim of our movers and shakers.

Christians are not to be in any way dispirited, however. For they have been promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church of God. And the gates of Hell exactly describes what have opened upon our nation.

All of this is known by Benedict. He has much work to do. As much work as Paul had. Perhaps more.

Common Ground On Fields Of Death

Democrats will say anything and pretend everything to cover up their position on the infanticide that is abortion. It is no surprise that they try this. They want political power, and their support of the killing of future Americans does not gain them votes.

True to Democrat form, the Obama is currently busy seeking what his supporters call ‘common ground’ on the killing fields of abortion.

He has the unique skills to try to lower the temperature and foster a sense of common ground, and try to figure out ways that people can agree.

Agree? May I ask what ‘common ground’ there can be on abortion? Between those who support it and those who do not there can be no compromise at all. Either abortion is evil or it is not. If it is evil then those who support it are evil as well. There can be no middle ground. To believe otherwise is to admit to moral confusion.

There have been 50,000,000 abortions since Roe. Between ‘abortion on demand’—the current state of affairs—and no abortions at all, should the moral man compromise on aborting only 25,000,000?

If abortion is not evil then it becomes exactly what its supporters claim it has always been, a mere ‘choice’. But then, we are left in a dilemma: What ‘choice’ can there be when the supreme court has forced Roe upon every state in the country? The fact is that without the force of government behind it abortion would almost vanish from the remaining Christian lands in our nation.

But this possibility is intolerable to pro-abortion folks. And here we are led into the theology of the thing. For evil, like cancer, must spread to survive, it must overtake the good and corrupt it as well. This is the real purpose of Roe, to pollute every part of our nation with the slaughterhouses of abortion mills.

The government itself has thus become a participant in the spread of evil.

It was just the same with slavery. No one today would dispute its evil, but millions in our nation once saw it as a positive good. These were not content with merely possessing slavery in their backyards. No, they had to insist that those who despised slavery were forced by the State to accept it, to participate in it. Thus was the manifestly evil Fugitive Slave Law written into the legal code of our Republic.

And true to form the supreme court in its Dred Scott ruling made slavery legal in every state of our nation. Dred Scott was the Roe of its day, forcing every American to participate in a tremendous evil. No ‘choice’ was permitted.

Obama himself can hardly hide his support for Roe.

Obama has never supported a single measure that would curtail access to abortion — even under controversial circumstances.

And so he will wriggle and squirm about, hoping by such sophistry to convince some who despise abortion to throw in with him. Those who do will then become willing participants in its evil. They will be paid its wages.

And what can we then say about Obama himself? I would remind him that an instant after his death he will be standing in front of the Creator of those 50,000,000. If the fool then trots out his arguments about some ‘common ground’ for abortion, I expect there will be surprises—for Obama and all like him.

Surprises, and the laughter of demons.

Finish It

I have written since 2003 about the necessity of war with Iran. There can be no peace in Iraq and no stability in the Middle East until the mullahs are dealt with—finally, completely and with extreme prejudice.

The truth of the matter is that they have been at war with us for 30 years. We have done so very little against this foe, though it has diligently engaged itself on four continents with the murder of Americans whenever it could get at them. Every president since Carter has is some form or another disgraced himself and misused American arms when dealing with Iran.

It is time to end this absurd game. The bill is coming due and it demands full payment. Let us pay it out with interest.

I think the judgment is that Iran’s time has come. Most people should have seen this coming…I’m pretty certain Iran has…It knows full well it is about to be engaged.

The purpose of having a military is to deal with threats like Iran. If we do not use it for such let us then disband it.

Update: Need a reminder? Here it is.

Know Nothings

It takes but a moment in this never ending political season to find idiocy coming from the mouths of politicians. They cannot help it, I suppose. Normally a careful lot well used to controlling all that we see and hear, at times their masks drop and we get a view of their interiors. They are seldom pretty things to see. The image of white washed tombs come to mind.

The more Barack Hussein Obama talks the more the absolute emptiness of the man and his supporters is laid bare. His words remind again and again that all of those well-heeled and well-educated folks who believed Obama to be a political messiah, an agent of change and the Great Black Hope simply deluded themselves. Fools they were and fools they be—all those fancy degrees and all those magnificent bank accounts notwithstanding.

Here is their hero Obama unplugged and at full throttle speaking of rural Pennsylvanians.

So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

The reality of the thing is that he was speaking of every American outside of his own Liberal Tribe. What he said is exactly what the members of his tribe say among themselves. It is how they view rural, Southern, Christian and gun owning Americans. There is nothing new here at all.

Obama of course has sought to back-peddle, to obfuscate, to explain away, but all the fool did was reveal more of his loathing of his countrymen.

I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania. I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois.

Obama claims to know what goes on in every part rural America but then claims ignorance of what goes on in his own church.

And this omniscient fellow believes he knows the minds of the rest of us.

What is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they’re being listened to. So they pray and they count on each other and they count on their families. You know this in your own lives.

And what we need is a federal government that is actually paying attention. A government that is fighting for working people day in and day out making sure that we are trying to allow them to live out the American dream and that’s what this campaign is about.

Someone needs to inform that Chicago idiot that those in Red State America need no silk suited donkey to lecture them about what they need and “what they know in their own lives.” They certainly do not need a federal government that pays more attention to them.

The mouth of Obama shows why the Democrat Party long ago abandoned any hope of getting the electoral votes of the South. The Liberal Tribe of Obama despises it. It returns the favor. And as the Chicago idiot noted, it has guns.

Naturally, the Hillary jumped all over this even though she feels exactly the same way about rural America.

The people of faith I know don’t ‘cling’ to religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich. I also disagree with Senator Obama’s assertion that people in this country ‘cling to guns’ and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration. People don’t need a president who looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them.

So the Hillary has now morphed into a theologian and a gun lover.

Even the Republican’s own Little Big Man has piped up. From his campaign comes this.

Asked to respond, McCain adviser Steve Schmidt called it a “remarkable statement and extremely revealing.”

“It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking,” Schmidt said. “It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”

We hear the phrase ‘out of touch with average Americans’ and we recall the Little Big Man’s positions on illegal immigration, global warming and waterboarding of terrorist killers.

So there you have it, a full week of political follies.

I do have one suggestion: Can the three presidential candidates stop using the adjective ‘hardworking’ when referring to Americans? How would any of these professional politicos know anything about how normal Americans work? None of these creatures has ever had a job in the private sector, none has ever produced wealth and none has demonstrated any idea how it is created.

All three are believers in the kindness and beneficence of big government. All three have been mired in corruption. All three have insulted Christianity. All three gibber the global warming mantra. All three are complete and utter creatures of Washington DC.

And after 220 years of republican government they are the best we can come up with?

Update: Here are 12 reasons Obama is a fool. I might add that if you support him you are one too.

Update: Oh bother! Once you begin to write about ‘The Obama’ all kinds of idiocies are revealed. Here is how he sees the Constitution. Like all liberals it is just something that is to be ignored.

So let’s see: You cannot be a Christian and support Obama. You cannot be a gun owner and support Obama. You cannot be a Southerner and support Obama. You cannot be a lover of the foundational documents of this nation and support Obama. So who would support him?

Elite snobs. Latte liberals. Arrogant effetes. Callow college kids. Black racists. Professional America haters. And other such fine folks.

Update: And speaking of those callow college kids, you may peer into their self-absorbed agonistes here. A more worthless and useless bunch of metrosexual sillies would be hard to come by. A republic that turns its future over to such types does not deserve to survive—and it won’t.

Hillary's Men Gap

Something that has always amused me is the number of males who support Hillary. I used ‘males’ rather than ‘men,’ the simple reason being for this literary sleight of hand is that while all men are males the reverse is manifestly not true. One could as easily write that while Hillary is a female—most of my sources agree on this—she is no woman, and certainly no lady.

The chronicles of Hillary are so well documented that there is no real debate over her character. All is known that need be known. I need not even list them here. It is enough to ask a simple but entirely sensible question: What sort of man would enjoy waking up to Hillary Clinton every morning for the rest of his life? To have the first thing he sees every day be her charming face? To know that forever and a day she would always be at his side?

A man considers this and can thus feel some pity for Bill Clinton.

It is not at all about Hillary’s looks—not totally anyway. It is all about what she is. In no particular order of importance, here is what she is: Filthy mouthed, arrogant, mendacious, condescending, corrupt, domineering, nagging—and without a doubt a hater of real men. How she became such a creature is a question for a psychologist—or perhaps a theologian—and her condition predates her association with Bill.

What sort of man would desire quality time with such a harridan? And if you think my words harsh consider these from the pen of lesbian intellectual—an odd pairing of words, I admit—-Camille Paglia.

Hillary’s willingness to tolerate Bill’s compulsive philandering is a function of her general contempt for men. She distrusts them and feels morally superior to them…It’s no coincidence that Hillary’s staff has always consisted mostly of adoring women, with nerdy or geeky guys forming an adjunct brain trust.

Want more? Paglia provides it.

I agree that the male staff who Hillary attracts are slick, geeky weasels or rancid, asexual cream puffs…If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say Hillary is reconstituting the toxic hierarchy of her childhood household, with her on top instead of her drill-sergeant father…How anyone could confuse Hillary’s sourly cynical, male-bashing megalomania with authentic feminism is beyond me.

Now we know why Hillary has nothing but contempt for the military. It is not at all about this policy or that policy, or about Iraq. It is because the military is made up of real men. This also the reason she despises George Bush and Dick Cheney. This is also the reason she is in favor of gun control. Real men are comfortable around guns.

And—no surprise here—this is why homosexuals simply adore Hillary. These questionable males, so perverse in their behavior, so confused about the purpose of the lower male bowel, so wretched in their lives, see in Hillary the strong domineering figure so missing from their own existence. It is similar with the legions of poorly educated single moms. They see in Hillary someone who will get revenge upon those males in their own lives who ‘did them wrong.’

It is not only that real men would never support Hillary. Real women would never support her either. Real women hold a secret disdain for females who dominate males. To them such a condition is wholly unnatural. If you do not know this then you do not know women. And it must be said that wimpish males—‘asexual cream puffs’— who are married to shrewish, Hillary-type females, who are so nagged and dominated in their homes, will exact revenge in the secrecy and anonymity of the voting booth.

It is no secret that poor old Bill long ago fled Hillary’s bed for more pleasant climes. Can any of us really blame the guy?

Scipio Goes To War

Scipio was an ancient Roman cognomen—what we call a ‘family name.’ It has a magnificent lineage, full of men of renown. America has nothing to compare to it. No nation does.

You may here get a hint of this family as it went to war with Hannibal and Carthage in the 2nd and 3rd Punic Wars.

The last moments show how the Romans dealt with their ancient enemy. It is instructive in demonstrating how to win a war. America once understood this. We won wars by taking the enemy’s capital and running up the American flag. Check and Mate—game over.

But then, Rome had a real senate. We have a only a flabby body of soft poseurs and questionable men. How much of this gutless flotsam will be remembered in twenty years? In ten? The Scipio clan is remembered 2200 years after the fall of Carthage.

Imagine taking the American Senate and dropping its members into the Roman Senate of 220 BC. They would likely be confused with some traveling troupe of male prostitutes before having swords shoved in their guts.