Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Extreme Christian fanatics?

With the 2012 GOP presidential contenders already pretty clear -- some combination of Bachman, Romney and Perry -- the Donks have got their campaign of lies underway. All three contenders are "extreme Christian fanatics". Even the Mormon Romney presumably qualifies.

Below is an excerpt from one such attack. Notable in it is that NOT ONE WORD from Bachman, Romney or Perry is quoted. Views are attrbuted to them entirely out of thin air. They are accused of beliefs that they have never avowed. The only authority quoted for attributing nutty views to the GOP contenders is previous accusations by other Leftists.

But that's OK. Its a secret conspiracy, you see, just like the Jewish conspiracy to control the world or GWB's conspiracy to blow up the twin towers. Leftists mock Christians for their beliefs but Leftists will believe anything if it suits them. And they mainline on conspiracy theories.

So the fact that a rather nutty but tiny Christian sect exists is enough evidence to prove that any chosen Christian must believe in its tenets -- even if most people in the Christian world have never even heard of the sect concerned. Lies are the lifeblood of Leftism.

With Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race, it is now fairly clear that the GOP candidate will either be Mitt Romney or someone who makes George W. Bush look like Tom Paine. Of the three most plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.

Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing. But because it seems so outrĂ©, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult. Most writers, myself included, who explore it have been called paranoid. In a contemptuous 2006 First Things review of several books, including Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy, and my own Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote, “the fear of theocracy has become a defining panic of the Bush era.”

Now, however, we have the most theocratic Republican field in American history, and suddenly, the concept of Dominionism is reaching mainstream audiences. Writing about Bachmann in The New Yorker this month, Ryan Lizza spent several paragraphs explaining how the premise fit into the Minnesota congresswoman’s intellectual and theological development. And a recent Texas Observer cover story on Rick Perry examined his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Dominionist variant of Pentecostalism that coalesced about a decade ago. “[W]hat makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government,” wrote Forrest Wilder. Its members “believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take ‘dominion’ over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world.”

In many ways, Dominionism is more a political phenomenon than a theological one. It cuts across Christian denominations, from stern, austere sects to the signs-and-wonders culture of modern megachurches. Think of it like political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran.

Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s. Christian Reconstructionism openly advocates replacing American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, replete with the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and even apostasy. The appeal of Christian Reconstructionism is, obviously, limited, and mainstream Christian right figures like Ralph Reed have denounced it.



Damn that bad luck

"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas -- the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises -- which set the economy back.

"All those things have been headwinds for our economy," Obama said. "Now, those are things that we can't completely control. The question is, how do we manage these challenging times and do the right things when it comes to those things that we can control?"

"The problem," Obama continued, "is that we've got the kind of partisan brinksmanship that is willing to put party ahead of country, that is more interested in seeing their political opponents lose than seeing the country win. Nowhere was that more evident than in this recent debt ceiling debacle."

Actually Mr. President, you're the problem. You and your hypocrisy. You and your policies. You and your cohorts in Congress. You and the fools who continue to believe what you say. You and your blindness to your own partisan brinkmanship, your own incompetence, your hatred for capitalism, your embrace of socialist thought.

It is you Mr. President who wants to see this country lose, you and your war against fossil fuels, your embrace of union thuggery, your notions toward bigger government, your obsession with penalizing the productive, your ideology that enslaves the poor.

Mr. President, for once quit pointing your bony finger of blame outward, for once have the integrity to face the man in the mirror not in adoration but in humility, for once see that you Mr. President are the problem.

It's not bad luck Mr. President. It's you. You.



Peddling lies is all Obama is good at

Seeing as President Obama cannot govern, he's had to go back to campaigning -- an activity with which he's quite comfortable but decreasingly successful, as evidenced by his falling poll numbers and his endless, repetitive speeches.

I don't just throw out this governance charge lightly. The Los Angeles Times reports that Obama is no longer receiving daily Oval Office economic briefings. More troubling, he doesn't even appear to have much of an economic team left to advise him. "The economic team lacks a top-caliber economist" and "is noticeably short on big-name players -- potentially hurting his ability to find solutions and sell them to Wall Street, Congress and the American public."

The Times quotes Edward Mills, a financial policy analyst with FBR Capital Markets, as saying, "When you ask about the economic team, it's kind of like, 'What economic team?' They are very thin at a very critical time."

Not to worry. At a time when Obama doesn't even have in place a chairman for his Council of Economic Advisers, he's talking about creating yet another federal department on "Jobs." That's the ticket; he doesn't have real people in real positions, so he just creates new positions. You can't fool all the people all the time, but you hope that you can fool just enough of them to ensure re-election.

Then again, perhaps we should be counting our blessings, because no one Obama would pick, despite that person's Ivy League credentials, would have the faintest clue how jobs are created or the slightest inclination to let the private sector work its magic.

Obama is obviously in way over his head. Don't get me wrong. He knows what he wants and is definitely in charge of big-picture items. He's the one driving the national car into a ditch. But he is not a detail guy. He doesn't want to be bothered with how things get done. "Just plug the damn hole."

Increasingly, people have caught on to the toxic combination of his extreme leftist ideology, his fundamental incompetence, his defiant refusal to accept accountability, and his mean-spirited partisan scapegoating. Gallup shows his approval rating at 39 percent, an all-time low.

So what's he supposed to do now? It's not as if he can just make the country vote for him against its will (Department of Justice voting supervision notwithstanding) as he crammed Obamacare down our throats.

But he can go back to the stump -- hoping to rekindle the messiah myth or the "hope and change" chimera. Voila!, The Associated Press reports that with his "dismal approval polls," Obama is planning on hitting the road and launching a political counteroffensive this week.

A counteroffensive? That word is obviously designed to depict a long-suffering, bipartisan Obama who has kept his nose to the grindstone on behalf of all Americans, only to be subjected to a unilateral Republican assault.

Excuse me? From the beginning, Obama has been on the offensive against everyone who dares oppose any part of his poisonous agenda. To suggest he's countering anything does damage to the language.

And what message does Obama have in store for us in his counteroffensive? Well, we don't have to guess, because he laid it out for us in his weekly radio address Saturday. I'll let you be the judge of whether he has any new ideas to tackle the economy and debt.

He said that putting people back to work "has got to be our top priority" -- as if he hasn't been saying that for a couple of years. He proposed putting construction workers "back to work rebuilding America," implying that he can just snap his federal fingers, spend borrowed money and inaugurate make-work jobs and things will all be well. He didn't specify how new stimulus schemes would be more successful than his previous $800 billion monstrosity.

He said he wants to cut red tape so entrepreneurs can get their ideas to market more quickly. So now our regent of regulation has become a champion of deregulation? Why not? He is, after all, a "fierce advocate of the free market."

Lest you think Obama is frozen in the same old rhetoric and impervious to new ideas, he seasoned his soliloquy with this brand-new assertion: "We didn't get into this mess overnight, and it's going to take time to get out of it."

And he leveled the novel charge that Congress only opposes him because of its partisanship. If it would only follow his example and "put country before party and the interests of our children before our own," we could solve these problems he "inherited."

In closing, Obama exhorted Americans to let their congressmen know how they feel. Finally, a course of action on which we can agree.

Yes, please do pick up your phones, send emails, tweet, text and shout from the rooftops. Good idea, Mr. President. Now you're talkin'.



Social Degeneration

Thomas Sowell

Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race. After mobs of young blacks rampaged through Philadelphia committing violence -- as similar mobs have rampaged through Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee and other places -- Philadelphia's black mayor, Michael A. Nutter, ordered a police crackdown and lashed out at the whole lifestyle of those who did such things.

"Pull up your pants and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt," he said. "If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy," the mayor said. He added: "You have damaged your own race."

While this might seem like it is just plain common sense, what Mayor Nutter said undermines a whole vision of the world that has brought fame, fortune and power to race hustlers in politics, the media and academia. Any racial disparities in hiring can only be due to racism and discrimination, according to the prevailing vision, which reaches from street corner demagogues to the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Just to identify the rioters and looters as black is a radical departure, when mayors, police chiefs and the media in other cities report on these outbreaks of violence without mentioning the race of those who are doing these things. The Chicago Tribune even made excuses for failing to mention race when reporting on violent attacks by blacks on whites in Chicago.

Such excuses might make sense if the same politicians and media talking heads were not constantly mentioning race when denouncing the fact that a disproportionate number of young black men are being sent to prison.

The prevailing social dogma is that disparities in outcomes between races can only be due to disparities in how these races are treated. In other words, there cannot possibly be any differences in behavior.

But if black and white Americans had exactly the same behavior patterns, they would be the only two groups on this planet that are the same.

The Chinese minority in Malaysia has long been more successful and more prosperous than the Malay majority, just as the Indians in Fiji have long been more successful and more prosperous than the indigenous Fijians. At various places and times throughout history, the same could be said of the Armenians in Turkey, the Lebanese in Sierra Leone, the Parsees in India, the Japanese in Brazil, and numerous others.

There are similar disparities within particular racial or ethnic groups. Even this late in history, I have had northern Italians explain to me why they are not like southern Italians. In Australia, Jewish leaders in both Sydney and Melbourne went to great lengths to tell me why and how the Jews are different in these two cities.

In the United States, despite the higher poverty level among blacks than among whites, the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994. The disparities within the black community are huge, both in behavior and in outcomes.

Nevertheless, the dogma persists that differences between groups can only be due to the way others treat them or to differences in the way others perceive them in "stereotypes."

All around the country, people in politics and the media have been tip-toeing around the fact that violent attacks by blacks on whites in public places are racially motivated, even when the attackers themselves use anti-white invective and mock the victims they leave lying on the streets bleeding.

This is not something to ignore or excuse. It is something to be stopped. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia seems to be the first to openly recognize this.

This needs to be done for the sake of both black and white Americans -- and even for the sake of the hoodlums. They have set out on a path that leads only downward for themselves.


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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