Monday, August 03, 2015

Debates or a Root Canal? Hard Choice.

I am going to have a hard time watching these FNC "debates" with 10 Republican candidates. I've expressed some of my dissatisfaction before, but it needs saying again.

These are not debates. They are press/news conferences, with the candidates answering pre-selected questions from news media, who quite often let their bias-slip show under their dresses. Aside from having a completely ridiculous number of people running, making it impossible to really AIR OUT any issue, you are not going to get a clear or accurate picture of the candidates and how they stand with any detail. Sound bites do not tell you anything of substance. 

If we want a DEBATE, then we need to have two of them at a time or some workable ratio. It needs to be under traditional debate rules—the kind you would encounter in any high school or college forensics program, assuming you can still find one. The moderator if there must be one MODERATES and does not become part of the debate. You choose the issue, and then you let the candidates slug it out about why their ideas are superior and why they disagree with their opponents. No name calling. No smart aleck remarks. No impugning of motivations or character simply because they have a different point of view. Keep it on the facts.

1. Here is what I would do on said issue. My opponent wants to do this, but I disagree, and here is why I think his/her ideas will not work. Here's why mine will.

2. The opponent has the same chance, and both candidates (again under TRADITIONAL debate rules) has the chance to offer rebuttal.

Keep it off the networks. Put it on C-Span, where there won't be any commercials or other interruptions, and they won't be worried about time. Yes, it won't be "sexy" television, and the reporter/anchor/moderators will miss a chance to show the rest of us great unwashed their unmitigated brilliance. They won't get to zing a candidate with an editorial crack and then cut the candidate off so they can't respond either. If I was running the debate, they'd get hauled out of the auditorium by the scruff of their necks.

It wouldn't please the media, but we the people—the voters and the taxpayers—might just learn something of substance. And if we can't be bothered to pay that kind of attention to the issues of the day, we might as well be called Orwell's proles, stay home, live at the pub, and enjoy our collective ignorance while our statist overlords mother hen us to death. You see, we're too stupid to manage ourselves. ‪#‎CynicismOffTheChart‬

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unborn Babies and "Parasites?"

The ancient cult of Molech in action.
Abortion raises heated feelings on all sides of the issue. I get it. As a former radio guy and news director, I've known that a long time and have covered many a protest and news conference. 
Earlier this morning on Facebook and Twitter, I saw a posting referencing a tweet put up by author Anne Lamott, a theological liberal and favorite among Emergent Church types. I saw the original tweet in question, too. Lamott tweeted out support of Planned Parenthood in the midst of the current controversy over PP and their alleged sale of organs and other body parts from aborted infants. Because I know of Lamott's views on other issues, the fact that she's a liberal on the subject of abortion did not surprise me at all. 
What DID surprise me is what an individual tweeted in DEFENSE of Lamott. This particular individual acknowledged the humanity of an unborn child, then proceeded to call the unborn baby "parasitic" and the mother the "host" of the parasite until birth. 
I am just aghast. Seriously?!? Are we really that far gone in our society? Is our conscience seared that badly? Think this one through just a little. If you're an expectant couple, when you anticipate the birth of your child, watching a plate or ashtray wiggle on Mommy's tummy as the pregnancy gets farther along, do you see your little child to be as a "parasite?" I mean, when you think parasite, you think of an intestinal worm, body lice, etc. But an unborn baby? 
This is just too much. If that is the mentality some have, then it's not too large a leap for me to imagine the cult of Molech coming back, and people throwing their firstborn into the flaming arms of the idol. The one good thing in something as ghastly as this is that I'm seeing many who have been pro-choice or pro-abortion rights are rethinking their position on this issue.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Cecil" and Misplaced Outrage?

I suppose before I head into what I want to say, I'd best put up a "disclaimer" of sorts. Or at least a run-down of what my views on hunting and fishing are.

I love nature and wildlife. It's part of God's creation, and man has been charged with stewardship of that creation. However, I am not a pagan who worships "Earth Mother Gaia" or a radical environmentalist who thinks the best thing that could happen to the planet is for all human beings to die.

I have no problem with going hunting. I would never hunt just to kill an animal and have its head as a trophy on my wall. I would hunt for meat to feed myself or the family. Never simply for "sport." I do not like these big game hunts in Africa or other parts of the globe. It's simply killing an animal to have a photo of yourself with the game you bagged or again, to mount or stuff the animal for a brag piece in your house. There may be other reasons to kill animals, such as the rabid dog, the nuisance raccoon that's attacking you or your kids from under your back deck, rats in the attic, etc. But I would not hunt just for the sport of it. And in that light, the story about the killing of "Cecil" the lion is a sad one for me.

Now, having said all that, I am getting a little bit aggravated at the ginned up outrage around the planet over this. To drive a dentist into hiding? Seriously? If you don't like these hunts, then lobby the governments of the countries in question to ban them.

But now, my real sense of outrage. I wish some of the media and folks having a virtual stroke over the shooting death of a lion would show some of the same outrage at Planned Parenthood and the alleged infanticide for sale racket going on there. I think killing an unborn child and selling off its organs is far more egregious an offense than a big game hunt.

But our current generation's sense of proportion has been cockeyed for a long time now.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Razing History? Enough!

Before I make my comment, I would like you to have a look at this article from the Connecticut Post. Let it sink in.

And now,  I hope what I say here will provide some food for thought. Thought seems to be in short supply right now.

I tend to frown on knee-jerk reactions in response to the prevailing wind as it is, and the prevailing wind is getting ridiculously putrid. The NAACP (or as it's called sometimes, the National Association for the Advance of LIBERAL Colored Persons) is pushing for American Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson to be removed from memorials, monuments, event names, and other things because they were involved in slavery. 
Seriously, are we now going to completely deconstruct American history? Blow up Mt. Rushmore? Raze all the memorials around the country? Think a minute, please. 
We used to learn in history that people (including leaders, monarchs, the average citizen) were "products of the times in which they lived." One needed to understand the times to fairly evaluate. It's always easier in hindsight. If we all had lived in the late 1700s-early to mid 1800s, would we be any different? Can we be sure that we'd be sitting on our high and mighty thrones looking down our noses at everyone who went before us? Or would we have made the same choices they made?
The great thing about "The American Experiment" and the much-maligned, much-misunderstood "American Exceptionalism" is the fact that our very system was designed to learn, grow, and change when necessary. The Constitution was made very difficult to amend on purpose, because Founding Fathers like Jefferson etc. knew freedoms once lost are almost impossible to get back. They knew the dangers of absolute power. But they also knew that some alteration may be needed over time, and when such alteration became necessary, the vast majority of the people would hopefully be the driving force behind the change. The system was also set up that, if some law, decision, order, and even court ruling, was mistaken - it could be reversed and corrected later. Bizarrely enough, Jefferson himself was against slavery, although he had views on race that we hold askance now, thankfully. But again, it must be seen through the times in which Jefferson lived. Even Lincoln, "The Great Emancipator," held views toward blacks that would be considered racist today. Is it impossible to imagine that, given enough time, both Jefferson and Lincoln would have eventually evolved to discard even those views? 
This push to wipe every vestige off our history because we think we're so morally superior to the Founding Fathers is ridiculous. Yes, they were flawed men and women. Yes, they made mistakes. Yes, they even sinned egregiously at times. But that's who we are as a people. I personally do not like how Native Americans were treated in history. Even then, we have to ask the question of how Native American tribes treated each other before we ever got here. Humanity is fallen and does things fallen people do. No one has the right to a halo. 
I tremble to think how we will be remembered in 200 years. If we can nonchalantly talk about crunching up unborn babies for body parts over wine and salad, we may not be remembered too well. I can see a few presidential libraries being razed and portraits being removed from mansions, statehouses, courts, and legislatures. 
History has provided us with enough truly evil figures who do not deserve monuments other than to remember their evil, such as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, etc. Can we save our ire for that type of figure, and not blot out every vestige of American history so we can pat ourselves and assuage ourselves of collective guilt for every bad moment in time?

Friday, July 17, 2015

American Exceptionalism: Not What You Might Think!

One thing I do wish SOMEONE on the talking head panels would point out - perhaps no phrase these days is more misunderstood or distorted for political convenience than the term "exceptional nation" applied to America.

American exceptionalism in its origin did NOT mean that Americans in and of themselves were better than anyone else on the planet, or our people worth more than anyone else on the planet.

It meant this: given world history in Europe, Asia, etc - America was a concept—an ideal—where the social contract was set forth in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The ideas of personal freedom and individual responsibility, coupled with a healthy recognition that God governed in the affairs of men, were the fruit planted and nourished unlike any other countries governed by monarchies or dictatorships. Our republic used to be called "The American Experiment" for a reason. We were a country like no other, and that is why drew millions here from around the world. 

This is close to being entirely lost. Those who want to fundamentally change America from the ground up have to be successful in uprooting our philosophical foundation for their efforts to pay off. So they redefine "American exceptionalism" to mean an inherent arrogance and conceit that we're better than anyone else and entitled to whatever we want. That is a false definition, but unfortunately I have a hunch it is precisely what generations of American students hear in school, university, and of course, much of the media.

One final aside: I don't dispute that there ARE some who actually do hold the opinion that being American makes us better than anyone else to whom God gave breath. To their shame and loss. But we defeat that notion by resurrecting and teaching what the REAL meaning of the term is.