In a move reminiscent of Minority Report the pre-cogs at the FCC this week took measures to stop crimes that have not yet happened by proclaiming the Internet to be a public utility, and as such, appropriately regulated by the bureaucracy they preside over. It is part of a disturbing trend begun by President Obama whereby policy affecting millions is decided by a few men clandestinely operating outside the boundaries of the Constitution; the self-proclaimed elite deciding what is best for the country outside the prescribed methods for enacting law.
I've spent enough time around a lumberyard to know an eight foot two by four when I see one, so when I needed a ten footer the other day I was surprised when the attendant brought me to a pile of eight footers. "These look like eight footers," I objected. The young, clearly inexperienced, attendant took out his tape measure and replied, "Yes, but appearances can be deceiving". Upon measuring the lumber we discovered that sometimes appearances are not deceiving, the reason the two by fours looked like eight footers was because they were eight footers.
"...when God is invisible behind the world, the contents of the world will become new gods; when the symbols of transcendent religiosity are banned, new symbols develop from the inner-worldly language of science to take their place. Like the Christian ecclesia, the inner-worldly community has its apocalypse too; yet the new apocalyptics insist that the symbols they create are scientific judgements."
In full disclosure, I stole the above quote from Jonah Goldberg, but it's only fair, seeing that he repeatedly steals my topics before I have a chance to write on them! I'll do my best not to further plagiarize him.
One of the benefits of living in the great Northeast is that you occasionally get a "snow day", when work is cancelled and you get an extra holiday. In an area of the country where we are highly driven and always fully scheduled, it would seem providential that we sometimes are given an excuse to take a break, and do things we wouldn't ordinarily be able to justify the time for. Hence this mid-week blog on a lighter note, which really has little to do with politics.
"Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ, In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
In what has seemingly become a perennial occurrence, President Obama again managed to find a way to deprecate Christianity in the unlikely forum of the National Prayer Breakfast. Citing examples from hundreds of years ago, he made a ludicrous attempt at moral equivalency between Islamic terrorism and Christianity, because clearly, Christians aren't perfect either. Possibly if the President could have found some examples from this century, his comments would not have seemed so ridiculous. It's a little like telling a woman she ought not be so indignant at her abusive husband because after all, she herself had a great grand uncle who once beat his wife.
Amidst the cacophony of literature and entertainment we provide for our children in this modern age, we hopefully have not abandoned the pearls of wisdom found in the traditional tales that we ourselves were schooled in. In filling their little minds of mush with anti-bullying diatribes, Sponge-Bob, and "Heather Has Two Mommies", we ought not neglect the timeless life teachings of stories like "The King's New Clothes", "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", or "Henny Penny".
There is little we find more abhorrent than when our heroes turn out to be villains. We are rightly abhorred by stories of long-suffering mothers who were discovered to be intentionally poisoning their children, teachers who molest their students, health-care workers who take lives, pastors who seduce and rob their followers, and police officers who assault and harass rather than protect and serve. Equally disturbing are the all too frequent stories of when arsonists turn out to be firefighters. While it may seem reasonable to assume that these twisted firestarters joined volunteer fire departments (which is generally where they are found) because of their lust for the inferno, there is some evidence that their pyromania actually develops as a result of their firefighting activity. Fighting a fire is a rush that is relatively rare in these suburban and rural areas, and like a drug where the first hit is free, the rush can be addictive. When the action is slow, the firestarter creates the disaster that brings the rush. No doubt the arsonist was unbalanced to begin with, but without the fire department they might just have become your obnoxious neighbor who's always starting drama.
Since God has done us the honor of creating us in His own image, we seem to feel that it is only fair that we recreate Him in ours. One might imagine that a reflection of a reflection should result in a circular translation of the original image, but alas, much is lost in the translation!
"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."
Hopelessness is the final refuge of the coward and the sluggard. No human is immune from the temptations of fear and sloth, and so we are all on occasion apt to teeter on the edge of losing that one glorious flame that holds us on course for our journey of life. Hope means work. Hope can be scary. If you believe for tomorrow, then you are obliged to prepare for it, and in all probability help bring it about. If you have hope in a future, then the future's enemies are your enemies today. It would be easier to surrender. Easier to imagine the battle has been lost. Easier to abandon the burden of hope, and to live out our days in the melancholy ease of submission. Yet, if we do, will we not be haunted by the words of Winston Churchill and the ghosts of the martyrs who shared such sentiments?
"America swings like a pendulum do."
(with apologies to Roger Miller!)
Just to review a little recent history: Barack Obama was elected as President in 2008, which coupled with an impressive showing for Democrats in the 2006 mid term election caused the now all too familiar proclamations that the GOP was dead, that America was no longer a center right nation, that a new progressive era had risen. Then came 2010 and the Tea Party. Less proclaimed by the media, but it would seem from the election results that America had suddenly returned to its conservative roots. Republicans regained control of the House, and Democrats suddenly started embracing 2nd amendment rights, and shooting rifles at Obamacare on commercials. Fast forward to 2012 and GOP voters largely stayed home, disenchanted with the lackluster choice of Mitt Romney as a candidate, and arguably the worst President in recent history was comfortably reelected. So much for the Tea Party revolution. Then, a few months ago in the 2014 midterms, Republicans romped to victories pretty much everywhere there was a competitive election to be held with both establishment and non-establishment candidates. God bless our schizophrenic America! The pendulum swings, but only in two directions.