June 30, 2010

The end of the world as we know it

Let me be perfectly clear on one thing: the world as we know it has already ended!

When? Well, when push comes to shove, it ends every single day. This world we live in now (with the internet, persistent virtual worlds, phones that fit in your pocket, global terrorism, and an America so divided Democrats use "Republican" as a cuss word and Republicans use "Democrat" the same way) is completely different from the world of my childhood. That world ended. By the time young people in high school today are my age, they will find themselves living in a world as alien to them as this one is to me. The world dies and is reborn every single day. The pace of change has become so dramatic that it is completely impossible to predict what our world be like five years from now, let alone a century from now. We just don't know what new technology, serendipitious discovery, or geologic disaster will strike next.

Post-apocalyptic fiction of all kinds puts this uncertainty into a metaphor we can touch, play with, mold, symbolize, and otherwise manipulate to help us understand where we have been, where we are going, and what we can do about it. It does not matter if the story is dystopian or utopian, good post-apocalyptic fiction leaves us better prepared to endure the rapid changes that confront us every single day of our lives. It keeps us sane.

I love a good post-apocalyptic book, a movie is even better. If somebody could come out with a post-apocalyptic game built around some enemy force other than vampires, zombies, or cannibals, I could probably love a good "the shit has hit the fan and we're all gonna die!" game as well. Auto Assault, NetDevil's ill-fated joint venture with NC Soft, came very close to an ideal post-apocalyptic virtual world. Better social tools, a more useful out of the car experience, and a less chaotic craft system, could have made for a genre-defining game. None of that happened and as a result, Auto Assault failed before it had a chance to really get going.

And so it was that when I found "The Book of Eli" had left theaters before I had a chance to see it, I ordered the DVD from Amazon. "The Road" I was totally unfamiliar with until someone mentioned it a few days before I placed my order, so I went ahead and ordered both the movie and the Kindle book. The Kindle book arrived instantly, of course, so I took a day and a half or so to read it.

I have never been a Cormac McCarthy fan and "The Road" is a very good example of why. Long, drawn-out sentences, page after page of minutely detailed descriptions of death and disaster, along with a father-son relationship that bordered way too closely on homo-erotic for my taste, made the book a burdensome chore and my fondest memory of the experience was finishing the last page. I have two sons who are both adults now and never once did I experience the kind of projection, self-identification, and possessiveness that the father in "The Road" feels for his son. I love my sons dearly, but they are not me, I do not live through them, and I'd much rather cuddle up with my wife than either one. In her absence, I sleep alone. Perhaps that makes me a cold, distant father. Perhaps not. I do know I am very proud of both my sons and I am very happy with the men they have become. I think I did a pretty good job raising them, even without the kind of sickly-sweet intimacy typified by the relationship McCarthy spends tens of thousands of words describing in lurid, nauseating, detail.

After setting the book aside, I began to dread the arrival of the DVD. Every once in awhile Hollywood takes a mediocre book and produces a brilliant movie (consider, for example, "Dances with Wolves"), but this is definitely the exception rather than the rule. Both "The Road" and "The Book of Eli" arrived in the same package. I immediately put "The Road" into the player and watched the entire two-hour dissertation on the hopelessness of humanity and the evil we are so very capable of working. When it ended, my one highlight of the evening was that it had not given me acid reflux. If I want to spend two hours contemplating the evils of humanity I'll open Isaiah or Daniel and start reading, thank-you very much. I don't need a homo-erotic, end of the world, elitist nightmare to indulge that particular bit of self-flagellation.

Yesterday other tasks occupied me, so it was late this morning before I was able to put "The Book of Eli" into the player and watch.

Wow... Now that's more like it! Hope! Realistic climate and weather! Real people with real emotions, real needs, and real weaknesses! Men, women, children, isolated homesteads, and small communities, as well as other people on the road.

Consider, for example, the "commune" surrounded by skulls that appears in both book and movie in "The Road". What do we have? Some skulls on spikes, a bloody patch of snow, ten or twenty raving lunatics, a woman and her daughter who wind up in the cook pot. This is the same kind of shallow effort to generate fear and tension as you would find in bands of orcs, zombies, evil aliens, or faceless Nazi soldiers. Meaningless, unrealistic enemies that don't speak, surround our unlucky hero, and devour the innocent, proving exactly how evil they are. Compare that with the five or eight bandits who surround Eli in his first violent encounter. They use a trapped woman for bait, engage him first with an oh-so-innocent demand, then push him physically, and finally attack him en masse. Although they are still shallow bad guys, and only two of them ever show any personality, the two who do interact with Eli feel like they have a realistic motivation for their actions. Also, they are all different body types, they wear different clothes, and they use their bodies in realistic ways, right from the moment when woman flashes her cleavage to when the big guy with the chainsaw swings his heavy tool in wide, barely controlled arcs.

"The Book of Eli" feels far more realistic to me. When societies collapse, this is exactly the kind of scenario that unfolds. Groups and individuals doing their best to survive, protecting their meager resources, and getting their daily needs fulfilled. Some, like those who gather in Carnegie's little city, work at a variety of tasks in an effort to partake in the available resource (in this case, water). Others, like George and Martha in their desert house, mark off their corner of the world, fix it up as best they can, and die defending it. Sex, hunger, jealousy, desire, ambition, preservation, the full range of human emotion and experience is available as the story unfolds. Realistic characters operating from realistic motivations, each doing their best to get their own individual needs met in a world gone insane. The religious undertone that carries the story and holds it together is also realistic. In a post-apocalyptic world there would indeed be people carrying around their Bible, their Qur'an, one of a dozen published sutras, or some other holy book important to their sense of self and well-being.

What many people in the modern world fail to understand is that atheism is the faith of those who live in luxury. In a dystopian world, everyone would believe in something. It might be that the only thing they would believe in is their own two hands and they would spend their every waking hour cursing god, heaven, or fate, but that is a far cry from sitting around denying the existence of the supernatural altogether. In order to deny the working of fate and fortune, you must have the luxury of not depending on them. The godless self-hatred seen in the nameless hero of "The Road" is unrealistic. Fighting for survival does not allow for that level of detached introspection, no matter how intelligent and educated you are.

June 27, 2010

The collectivist next door

Wells Fargo Bank Targeted
ICE Office in Shopping Mall Targeted
ICE Facility Targeted
FBI/DHS "Harass" Indymedia

These four articles are typical of the deceptive practices and delusional thinking of many individuals who support collectivist goals. These are the foot soldiers of insurrection. Notice how they clamor about society having too many rules, but only because they seek a society with no rules at all. A few days ago I wrote about efforts being taken by the current administration to kill the First Amendment without the hassle and political risk of repealing it. Freedom of speech is a good thing, and even an insurrectionist like "spamsuck(s)" in the articles and posts linked above does indeed have the right to express support for this criminal action. The people who gathered up stones and threw them through the windows of Wells Fargo Bank and the ICE offices also have the right to their opinion and their chosen mode of expression. However, every action has a consequence. In this case, the consequence is an FBI/DNS investigation that might someday result in the removal of Indymedia from the internet and that would not be a good thing.

Unless someone on the staff of Indymedia is directly complicit in these actions, there is no real justification for shutting them down. The only people who should be sent to prison over this action are the people (or the person) who threw the rocks. Those responsible must be called into account for their actions. To hide behind the veil of "freedom of speech" while destroying private property is cowardly and despicable. There are countless other ways to demonstrate dissent. Petition drives, boycotts, and protest marches are simple, cheap, and effective. Most important of all, they are legal and well within reach of anyone who disagrees with the policies of any institution regardless of whether that institution is private, public, or non-governmental. Throwing rocks through the offices of a private bank and a government office is both ineffective and illegal. I did not support this kind of action when Sispsey Street Irregulars called for it back in March, and I most certainly do not support such actions when undertaken by some random collectivist too cowardly to leave his name on a public server.

Anarchy is both a collectivist goal and a collectivist tactic. When there is no government and no rule of law then the strong are free to completely oppress the weak. Relationships develop based upon total dependency and those relationships can more easily be perverted into a tyranny of petty warlords. Look at the mess that Mogadishu became during the Somali civil war. Petty tyrants used black market weapons bought with money earned through drug sales or diamond smuggling to oppress and destroy one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Africa. The collapse of the Somali government and the inability of any one warlord to regain control of the city led to complete and total anarchy. This is not freedom. This is not liberty. This is a collectivist paradise because now instead of one tyrant there can be many, each with their own little band of dependent zombies blindly obedient to their vampiric master. In anarchy no one can reach their full potential. Neither the warlord nor the foot soldier has any opportunity to choose who they will serve or how they will develop because the survival of both is bound up in their total dependency on one another.

Anarchy is not individualism, nor is it freedom. Anarchy is slavery to the collective will of your individual warband and nothing more.

June 26, 2010

The final unholy alliance

First, two academic treatises:
Purifying the World
Veiled Truths

Then, a really odd news report coming out of Dearborn, Michigan:
Four Evangelists Arrested Outside Arab Festival

And, the testimony of the evangelists themselves:
Videos of Christians Arrested at Arab Festival

Finally, an op-ed discussing both the arrest and the larger context:
Islamic law comes to Dearborn

There is a common thread tying all of this together, a common ideology that has led to what is possibly the single most unholy alliance in the history of our world. Not since the Akkadian invasion of Sumer in 2350 B.C. has the world so clearly been divided into two camps. The first camp, and by all appearances the stronger of the two, is that great coalition between the liberal progressive fascists devoted to a humanitarian utopia based on social engineering and their newfound allies, the Islamic fascists who are devoted to a theocratic utopia based upon Shari'a. Both groups view the other as useful idiots crafted by fate to be used and then destroyed once their goals have been achieved. Both groups are focused on Christianity as the great deception that prevents them from realizing their utopia. Both groups also believe Israel is the source of money and influence that runs the Christian world through a shadow government of "Zionists". Together they form a coalition of radical fascism that is reaching into every corner of the globe.

Minnesota now allows Shari'a compliant home loans, and in Minneapolis itself Muslim cab drivers refuse to take passengers who are not in compliance with Shari'a. And, as noted in the link above, in Dearborn, Michigan this past weekend four Christian evangelists were arrested for passing out copies of the Book of John outside the Arab International Festival. Chris Matthews, Robert Reich, and numerous others have called for Pres. Obama to nationalize BP, an oil company owned by a foreign government. After all, these pundits reason, the government already owns Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and GM, so they might as well add an oil company to the portfolio. And where would all that money go? Well, I imagine some of it will go to the Taliban, some of it will go to Hamas, and some of it will go to Iran, none of which takes into account the billions of dollars in American oil money being used by Saudi Arabia to spread Wahhabi Islam. Most news networks reported on the "peace" flotilla raided by the Isreali Defense Force a few weeks ago, but almost none of them reported that the main organizers behind the flotilla itself were close friends and allies of Pres. Obama. Did you notice that in the aftermath of the raid Pres. Obama took neither side of issue, refusing to condemn the flotilla participants while at the same time refusing to condemn the actions of the IDF? Naturally, this left both sides of the issue furious. After all, time and time again the president has reached across to the world's muslim leaders while treating Israel like an unwanted second-cousin.

My view of this mess is jaundiced by both my faith in Christ and my love of history. I see in the unfolding of this newest alliance both the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and the culmination of a war that began in the fertile plains of the Tigris-Euphrates river plain. Once more, hopefully for the very last time, the armies of collectivism and forced conformity are banding together in a desperate attempt to destroy freedom and individuality. As always, their targets are anyone who dares to think differently, dares to stand up for their natural rights, and dares to oppose the "divine" plan of narcissists backed by the unthinking.

It is no surprise, I guess, that zombie and vampire movies have become so popular over the past decade or so. In order to submerge your personal dreams beneath those of some arrogant and self-absorbed leader you must be zombie-like in your ability to follow orders without questioning them. In order to live off the dreams and aspirations of whole groups of people while treating them as faceless warriors in the struggle to realize your own ambitions, you must also be willing to bleed them of their individuality, their humanity, and their very life. It strikes me that far too many in today's world aspire to being either the parasite on top of the heap or a mindless minion who is not required to think, dream, or analyze, merely exist and lay down their life for "the greater good".

I am not willing to bleed those around me dry, nor am I willing to allow myself to be bled to feed the dreams of someone else. I dream my own dreams and pursue my own goals. I support those who earn my respect and avoid those who try to sell me on visions of golden heights of human perfection. I encourage everyone I know to find and pursue their own dreams while discouraging them from viewing others with hatred or jealousy. My whole life has been dedicated to lifting up those around me without submerging myself. If there is "good" and "bad" or "righteousness" and "evil", then to my mind the good and the righteous are everyone who understands that there is no earthly power greater than the individual, and no greater duty than service to the world around you.

A king who does not serve is a vampire and a tyrant. A servant who does not think is no better than a zombie and less useful than a stone. It is only when king and servant alike are both rewarded for maximizing their individual potential that the world can enjoy both prosperity and peace. If this modern alliance between fanatics both atheist and theist results in a global conflict that aims the world's armies straight at the heart of Jerusalum, then I will have to sit back and rethink the way I have long interpreted these verses (Revelation 19:7-9):
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves.

If the world turns on Israel, I will be among her defenders, either right here in my own homeland or over there in the holy land. Whichever battlefield God sees fit to place me on. Do I want this war to come? No! I want my children to live in peace, prosperity, and freedom. If the final battle can be delayed another century, or even another millenium, then we are all better off for it. Best of all, naturally, is for it to never happen. Somehow I don't think the collectivists will allow that. They've been fighting for dominance for over four thousand years while the rest of us have been fighting just to convince them to leave us alone. They aren't about to stop now.

June 23, 2010

Behind the curtain they have just killed the First Amendment

The final assault on the heights of free speech began innocently enough. A handful of congressional representatives went looking for a way to end the influence of groups like the NRA, the AARP, and the AIPAC. The bill they came up is H.R. 5175, also known as, the "Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending on Elections" act. This title was obviously chosen to allow them to call this overt attack on the free speech of the American people by the ironic short-form, "DISCLOSE". Naturally, this did not go over well with any of these groups. So they all sent notifications to their members and their members called their representatives. Faced with the ire of the people they were claiming to represent, the sponsors of the bill came up with an amendment that would exclude "groups with more than one million members", and a few other identifying details. At that point the NRA backed off. While they did not endorse the bill, they announced that they would no longer oppose it.

This created a problem. If passed, the bill would now directly allow the participation of the groups it was designed to block while preventing smaller groups, public news media, and even internet bloggers from voicing any opinions about candidates, political parties, or public referendum items in the days leading up a national election. The big kids could keep right on speaking but the little folks would have to either clam up or risk fines and imprisonment.

Meanwhile, unknown to most of us, way off in the background in the hidden corridors of the court system, a little known case concerning copyright laws was being argued. For the past few decades, a lot of small press operations have been making money selling reprints of classic literature. I have half a dozen books by Biblio Bazaar, for example, along with half a dozen more by Arcadia Publishing. That case, "Golan vs. Holder", is supposed to bring United States internal copyright laws in line with international laws. Apparently there is a strong globalist lobby seeking to defend the entrenched revenue streams of multi-generational intellectual property which is honored under the laws of several European nations and protected by EU copyright laws but not by American copyright laws. In short, Eric Holder is trying to limit the rights of Americans in order to satisfy the demands of the EU. If this case (still working its way through the appeals system) finally settles in the Attorney General's favor, then European publishers will continue to publish "Tom Sawyer" and "Huck Finn" without paying royalties, but American publishers will have to start paying royalties for publishing the "Iliad", "Alice in Wonderland", or even "Cinderella". Not to mention the impact in the areas of classical music, theater, cinema, and even ancient political treatises that are generally of interest only to historians.

"Golan vs. Holder" would also grant the federal government broad prosecutorial powers in the realms of computer software, such as violent video games set in exotic locales or blog posts that include family photos of visits to European ruins. They could also arbitrarily apply this power to stop production of any material that hinders their own political agenda; for example, clip art collections taken from classical European paintings depicting the Goddess of Liberty in all her diverse forms which are beloved by Tea Party and 9/12 groups all over America for producing homemade pamphlets, flyers, and posters. Whether the government would actually pursue these kinds of cases is anybody's guess.

Now, if "Golan vs. Holder" winds up in favor of the federal government and the "DISCLOSE Act" gets signed into law by Pres. Obama, then we have a perfect storm of events that folks like Mark Lloyd and Cass Sunstein could use to easily, legally, and completely shut down any and all media that presents opinions, rebuttals, and counterpoints to anything the Whitehouse produces. Blogs like mine and those of my friends would be forced to vanish, Facebook and MySpace accounts used by anyone who posts disappointment with or overt dissent against the government could easily be deleted. All forms of expression except graffiti could easily and legally be brought into a single coherent worldview dictated and controlled by the public relations people in the Whitehouse. For those of you who love Pres. Obama and his agenda this probably seems like a godsend, but what happens when the next Bush-Cheney team throws your guys out of Washington? Even worse, what happens if someone like Ahmadinejad manages to win a presidential election and moves into the Whitehouse?

If you don't prepare for the worst case scenario then the worst case scenario will come find you. Consider carefully the rise to power, consolidation of power, and eventual reign of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Gaddafi, and Ahmadinejad. History is very clear on this issue, my friends. If any government, no matter how benevolent in intent, is granted tyrannical powers, that government will quickly fall under the control of a tyrant.

Be very careful what you ask for, you might get it!

June 21, 2010

That's it? A handful of Neo-Nazis?

I am sorely tempted to file paperwork for an NGO, gather some financial backing, recruit some full-time fighters, run them through an intensive training program, and head down to the border with Mexico. This is insane. Is it true? Is the greatly feared "Rage on the Right" nothing more than a bunch of weekend roleplayers? Is the growing militia movement that has terrorized the left nothing more than a handful of Neo-Nazis patroling one of the most peaceful sectors of the Arizona border?

Tucson Sentinel: Militia group plans Pinal patrol
East Valley Tribune: No incident reported during militia patrol
KOLD News 13: Heavily armed militia group to patrol smuggling corridor
ABC 15: Citizen group takes border battle into own hands
Arizona Daily Star: Border watch in Pinal worries officials

And that is all I can find. One, lone, solitary citizen militia commanded by a man with a criminal record who up until now has publically supported the National Socialist Movement of America. A modern Nazi.

I'm worried. I really am. For eighteen months I have watched some fine speeches, read some very strongly worded blogs, and followed the growing anger in the core block of American culture, the 60% who vote independent, read their Bibles everyday, work hard to make their living, and conduct their lives with honesty and integrity. The people I have admired most throughout my entire life.

But here we are. The President of the United States has announced to the world that a wide path through the Arizona border is open to every drug runner, terrorist, and petty criminal in the world. How have the Arizona citizen militias responded? Dead silence. Hecate of Hecate's Crossroad has a video from a Texas Sheriff desperate for help, a man who has advised his constinuents to arm themselves and be prepared to fight for their lives. Beyond that, the internet is silent, the media reports nothing, and a band of Neo-Nazis patrols the least dangerous region of the gap in the Arizona border with Mexico.

Oh, wait, there is one minor footnote, and yes, I do believe it is a totally meaningless bit of political grandstanding.

The federal government has surrendered their responsibility. Citizens of Arizona, your lives, liberty, and property are in your own hands. Please, for the your own sake and the sake of your children, step up to plate and give it your best swing. You might only hit a single, but I guarantee you will not strike out.

June 19, 2010

Pres. Obama closes Arizona border to Americans

This is what I get for not watching television for the past week. Apparently I missed this report on Fox News. Watch it and weep.

Did you follow that? Pres. Obama has issued a travel advisory for three counties in Arizona. Instead of authorizing the Arizona National Guard to fulfill what is supposed to be their primary responsibility, defending the people of Arizona, he has told Americans to stay out of these three, rural counties. Some people are equating this to giving that territory to Mexico, and while that is not accurate, neither is it as hyperbolic as it seems at first glance. Effectively, that is exactly what he has done.

Arizona militias take notice. If you can move into this power vacuum, drive out the drug dealers, and secure the lives and property of legal Arizona residents, you will prove your prowess as military units and win the support of constitutionalists in all fifty states. This is exactly the kind of situation a local, constitutional citizen militia is designed to counter.

Put up or shut up. If you are not dedicated to defending your community regardless of the personal sacrifice it entails, then you are not a militia.

Karl Denniger runs the numbers

Karl Denniger: Social Security, Here's the Problem

Karl has the facts, draws the analysis, and states the case far better than I could ever dream of doing. Go read his article, watch the video, and examine the charts. Reality is hard to face, but if we do not face it soon, the whole house of cards will come tumbling down around our ears.

I'm sorry, liberal America, but there is no more money and there will be no more money for at least another generation. The reason there is no more money is because it has all been spent supporting your agenda! Every last penny of it has gone into programs you hold near and dear. For over a century we have tried your ideas and they do not work. The only thing we have accomplished is a massive, violent drug trade, a nation overflowing in fatherless households, and a debt bill my children's children will not be able to repay.

The great socialist experiment has failed. It is past time to abandon the effort and return to a free market economy with little to no government regulation and a minimal tax burden.

Unless your real goal is a bloodbath.

June 17, 2010

The guns of November

No sane person wants to see the United States of America dissolve into armed rebellion. On the other hand, ever since Barry Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson, a growing segment of the American public dedicated to traditional ideals, small government, and personal freedom has been steadily and consistently ignored by elitist politicians backed by Marxist scholarship and corrupt special interests. True, a handful of these freedom-loving Americans are little better than criminals, but the vast majority are honest, hard-working Americans. These are ordinary, everyday people who would like to run a business of their own but the current regulatory and taxation climate is so insanely complex that no single person could ever hope to navigate the labyrinthine legal minefield controlling who can run a business, how that business can operate, and who collects taxes on that business. Government is killing small business through over-regulation and over-taxation and then failing to comprehend why the American economy keeps falling into recessions and depressions. Or at least they pretend not to understand.

Either every politician we've had for the past four decades has been woefully incompetent and completely delusional or they have spent their careers catering to some power-hungry clique of Americans that have managed to worm their way into key advisory positions. It honestly looks like a conspiracy, but it is probably not one. It is probably just a matter of too many narcissists in positions of influence and authority. There have been too many people who crave total control. When these people enjoy complete access to elected officials the policies our government adopts become completely tyrannical, granting those same advisors complete control over the most minute details of daily life. There are too many academics, lawyers, bureaucrats, elected officials, and appointed officials with the position and authority to tell the rest of us what to eat, how to dress, and where to live. It's gotten to be insane!

I just built a house here in Ohio. Federal, State, and County building codes added tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of construction. Money that I could have used to add a second building dedicated to a small produce stand, a small winery, or maybe a small publishing company. Now, instead of starting a company and looking for a market, I have to finish paying off features and enhancements that I neither desired nor need. It will be at least two years before I can start a business, and by that time the regulatory climate will be so severe that in reality I would be better off signing up for welfare and living off food stamps. There is greater reward for not working at all then there is for starting a business and building a legacy!

Every government is parasitic. There has never been a government that created and produced more revenue than it required, and there never will be. The business of governing is by its very nature a drain on society, and yet, we cannot sustain a functional society without some kind of government. Since we need this parasite to exist, the first priority must be insuring that our relationship to government is symbiotic and not parasitic. Right now, there are $109 trillion in unfunded liabilities and the number is growing every single day. $94 trillion dollars of that figure is directly related to Medicare and Medicare prescription plans. These funds are feeding layer upon layer of parasitic government agencies. Very little of this unfunded liability will ever go to paying the actual medical expenses of the participants. Most of it will be wasted on government employees who produce nothing and add nothing to the economy. Millions of tax-funded jobs that do nothing all day long but write reports explaining how they are spending money that does not even exist yet.

And now that healthcare "reform" has passed it paves the way for yet another leviathan bureaucracy to oversee the healthcare industry, write standards determining who is entitled to what treatment, and regulate how medical professionals do their jobs. More regulations, more interference, more oversight, and none of it is necessary! The real problem is far more simple: liability claims. There are too many lawyers chasing ambulances looking for mistakes that they can transform into million dollar lawsuits for damages that more often than not, their clients themselves are responsible for.

If I spend my life smoking and die of lung cancer, for example, why should the tobacco company pay my surviving spouse hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation? If I put a cup of coffee from a local McDonald's between my legs while I'm driving and crush the cup trying to jab down on the accelerator or brake, why should McDonald's pay me a million dollars? If I get shot trying to rob a convenience store in order to pay for my drug habit and die on the operating table because I am the fifteenth gunshot victim the emergency room surgeon has been forced to work on as a result of my drug supplier's gang war, why is my mother entitled to a million dollar liability pay out?

The one thing this country needs is tort reform. We don't need more taxes or more entitlement programs. We need to remove redundant agencies and streamline any essential ones. Also important is to take away the ability of departments like the IRS to bypass the normal court systems as well as the ability of departments like the EPA to create arbitrary regulations without going through Congress. We need a smaller, less involved government that is focused on international relations and cheap to operate. We need to break the ability of lawyers and judges to award huge pay outs for problems people create themselves.

In short, we need to return to a limited Constitutional government that people dread working for. A federal government job should be the most underpaid, lowest benefit position a person can get. Why? Because we can no longer afford anything else!

And that is why television commercials like the one below will be the hallmark of this campaign. We are fighting a Second American Revolution in the polls. If traditional, Constitutional values lose out yet again...

Well, let's hope and pray they win. No sane person wants the alternative.

June 15, 2010

Akkad, Sumer, and the Modern World

One of these days I suppose I will have to sit down and write a book about the relationship between the Akkadian invasion of Sumer and the modern world. It pops up again and again in my blog posts, YouTube comments, and even in comments I make on Facebook. It has taken me a couple hours that I really cannot spare today, but I have gathered all of the relevant posts together here in one place.

The Short Version:

In about 2350 B.C., the corrupt Akkadian king was assassinated by one of his staff. That person became the king of Akkad. In the south, the Sumerian city-states were struggling to somehow preserve their ideal of individual liberty while meeting the needs of their citizen's growing decadence and sense of entitlement. Largely as a result of their citizens belief that the city was obligated to take care of the people, Sumer had been suffering from declining infrastructure and had endured a century-long economic depression. The new Akkadian king saw that the south had become both militarily and economically weak, so he gathered his forces and began capturing the Sumerian cities one by one. With each capture, his army and his national wealth expanded through the absorption of both soldiers and personal wealth.

Sound familiar? It should. This pattern has been repeated over and over again throughout history. In China, in Rome, in Khymer, in India, in Europe, and apparently now in America. Through sacrifice, greed, and ambition, a civilization rises from poverty into dominance, then slides slowly but surely into decadence until finally someone else steps up to take control, beginning the cycle over again.

There are two forces at work in human history. Christians call them "God" and "Satan". Being a Christian, that explanation has great appeal for me. I cannot deny, however, that with or without supernatural influence the pattern is consistent and the forces are obvious. The individual strives to be free to think, feel, and act in ways that will allow them to raise a family, protect their property, and grow ever more prosperous. The collective, regardless of its size, tries to force the individual to behave in ways conducive to the goals of the collective which are always expressed in same vocabulary as the goals of the individual, but for various reasons are only able to be realized in the lives of the collective's leaders. The collective seeks to control the individual and through that control, increase the survival of individuals who on their own, would not survive. The individual simply seeks to apply their personal survival skills to their own life and the lives of their family.

We are always in a state of conflict. The Arabs are quite right when they say, "I against my brother, my brother and I against our cousins, our family against our neighbors, our family and our neighbors against the tribe, our tribe against the next tribe, our two tribes against the nation, our nation against the world."

The only way to break this cycle of violence is to preserve the rights and privileges of the individual while at the same time preventing each individual from infringing on the rights and privileges of those around him. Akkad was a corrupt, oppressive, collectivist society. Sumer was a faltering society of individuals in decline. The war these two societies fought raged for decades. Once Akkad had finally captured the Sumerian cities, Sumerian rebellions lasted for generations. The final product of this conflict is the desert that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. Although, to be fair, there are many scholars who blame the desert for the conflict despite ample evidence that the entire region was once rich in flora and fauna, a true "garden of Eden".

So then, here are links to posts where I relate this ancient conflict to what is happening in the world around us. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I fail completely, but this is a theme that I come back to time and time again and will continue to emphasize as the world comes crashing down around me.

The Long Version:

The role of history
Christianity takes on the porn industry
The mythical golden past
Freedom fighters or hoodlums
Zeitgeist, the movie
For the greater good?
Idols of our time
It's never about religion, or is it?
Collectivism vs. Individualism
Rotten at the core
The real war
Holy days and holidays

A quick update

I'm headed out the door, but there have been some developments in a story I wrote about in this post:

Dead from lack of common sense

Those updates are here:

Baltimore PD search for one of their own
Officer held in shooting
Tshamba held without bond

June 13, 2010

Lessons we must learn from ethnic cleansing in other countries

75,000 Uzbeks flee ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan

There are many lessons to take from this kind of event. The first being that this is a clear illustration of how disenfranchised and disinterested ethnic groups can become explosive. The recent Arizona law that caused such furor is exactly the kind of law needed to prevent disenfranchisement within ethnic communities in America. This is because it requires full compliance with national laws rather than allowing illegal aliens to reinforce isolationist cultural values within Hispanic communities in Arizona. In short, it prevents disenfranchisement by enforcing legal immigration which reinforces the American value of the rule of law taking precedence over cultural loyalty.

Legal immigration encourages participation in society and prevents the kind of fracturing that leads to ethnic cleansing. Illegal immigration does just the opposite, as witnessed by the rising influence of La Raza and the predominance of MS-13 in Hispanic communities all across the United States. The policies and activities of La Raza are particularly problematic because they have positioned themselves in the public eye as defenders of an oppressed community while working feverishly to prevent that community from ever fully integrating into American life

If race riots come to Los Angeles this summer while Phoenix avoids them the Arizona law will be one very important reason. If there are race riots in Phoenix, then it will be important to pay close attention to where the instigators of those riots come from. If they come from outside the state, it reflects directly the hands-off approach far too many American cities have taken in their dealings with illegal immigrants, as well as the boycotts those same cities have called for in response to the Arizona law. Both of these actions encourage greater disenfranchisement within Hispanic communities, inevitably leading to explosive demands for greater recognition and more government assistance.

As David Codrea points out, a legislative climate that does not recognize the individual right to self-defense also contributes to rampaging violence along ethnic lines. As Clayton E. Cramer discusses in his paper "The Racist Roots of Gun Control", the earliest efforts to deny Second Amendment rights to American citizens began when southern blacks responded to KKK raids by shooting the men in white cloaks. Gun control began as, and today very much remains, a concentrated effort to disarm minorities. This is why mayors of cities with the highest incidents of minority-heavy violent drug gangs are also the loudest, most influential proponents of gun control. They are trying to disarm gangs which they themselves always associate with minority groups; therefore they believe that by disarming their city's minorities they can disarm the gangs. In reality, every attempt to restrict firearms ownership and usage among law-abiding members of the minority community only contributes to that community's disenfranchisement, leading to more guns in the hands of gang members, more fear in the lives of non-gang members, and a profound reinforcement of both that community's sense of isolation and their potential for explosive violence. Every time a city restricts gun ownership they empower the criminals. When those criminals target disenfranchised youth in minority communities, it creates exactly the kind of spiraling violence seen in Chicago, Oakland, and even Omaha, Nebraska. And that is why David Codrea took the time to point out that Osh, Kyrgyzstan is the kind of place the anti-gun campaign would love to create right here in America. There is only one problem, doing so makes it even easier for a majority population to oppress, or even slaughter, a disenfranchised minority.

"Multiculturalism" is the very mistaken idea that diverse ethnic communities can live side by side in perfect harmony within the confines of a larger, overriding social structure. There has never been a single historic example of this situation lasting for even one generation. If diverse cultural groups live under the umbrella of a single social structure, they must share a common language and a common assumption that the rule of law provided by the overriding society is more important than their community's cultural identity. They don't have to abandon that identity, but they must accept that the rule of law imposed between their community and their neighbor is greater than that identity.

The rights and freedoms provided by the Constitution of United States of America, particularly the First and Second Amendment, have provided the glue that has kept America cohesive for over two centuries. If we allow such travesties as the "Patriot Act", the "Affordable Health Care for America Act", and the "American Clean Energy and Security Act" to continue, along with the hundreds of other bills being debated and passed by the current Congress that fix non-existent problems by restricting American freedoms and destroying our Constitutional protections, then we will lose completely the social cohesion that has held us together this long. Once we arrive at a point where diverse ethnic, geographic, religious, and other socially isolated groups are no longer bound by the rule of law and subordinate to the Constitution, there will be nothing to prevent them from savagely rampaging over the civil rights and liberties of one another.

It is not the freedoms we enjoy that are causing our decline. It is, instead, the powerful social movement aimed at destroying those freedoms which is both contributing to and rapidly accelerating our transition into a country with the same internal problems as Israel, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, and eventually, North Korea.

Biblical Apologetics (a short list of resources)

Over the past month and a half there has been a renewed interest in the videos on my YouTube channel, especially those videos I have posted in defense of Christianity. As the influence of Pres. Obama and his radical left allies declines, the followers of this movement are certain to go back to waging a grassroots campaign of intimidation, personal attacks, ridicule, and humiliation on anyone, anywhere, who dares to believe. Now, as always, it is important to be ready and able to offer a logical defense of our beliefs, even if you personally are more motivated by emotion than ration. Our enemies never rest. They cannot. The puppetmaster behind them is the most harsh, unforgiving, unrelenting antagonist of the truth that has ever been created.

Here are the tools I use to defend my faith. Some of these tools you might find useful, some of them you might not fully understand the significance of, and still others you might simply find meaningless to you personally. I offer them here to my fellow believers as options, and to disbelievers as the foundation of why I believe that God himself appeared among men in the person of a carpenter named Yeshua, died unjustly on a Roman cross of crucifixtion, and rose again on the third day to the shock and amazement of his followers.

I don't demand anyone accept this evidence without question. I do ask they give it the same serious consideration they would give any evidence to the contrary. My personal faith is not derived from emotions and hyperbole. I believe because the facts clearly demonstrate that about two thousand years ago something happened on a warm spring morning in Palestine that completely changed our world and the only record we have of that event is the testimony of the disciples of Christ.

Below is a list of links with information on the reliability of the Bible and the historicity of Christ.

An essay on doubt and an online book.

Wikipedia list of pre-500 A.D. New Testament Papyri

A list of comparable ancient manuscripts

Mike Licona's Apologetics Website

Online Library of Ancient Greek manuscripts (Biblical and non-Biblical)

History of Euclid's "Elements" (oldest surviving copy 888 A.D.)

Jodi Magness, "Has the tomb of Jesus been discovered?", an interesting though hotly contested archeaological exploration of an ancient Jewish tomb

Randall Niles Videos:
Evidence for Jesus
Randall Niles' Personal Testimony

2,000 year-old heel bone with nail, doubly interesting because prior to this discovery the vast majority of Roman historians argued that there was no evidence of nails being used in crucifixion

Location of Jerusalem's pre-70 A.D. outer wall confirmed

Clay Bulla (seal impression) of a Biblical person found

Earliest know Christian worship site

Chris White discusses the Council of Nicea and the Gnostic Gospels

An essay by Josh McDowell, a former atheist who went searching for evidence to disprove Christianity and wound up a believer

And if you still need more, feel free to Google any of the historians and scholars mentioned above.