29 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #385: And Now, Some Words from Their Sponsor

US law forbids our officials to negotiate with organizations designated by the State Department as terrorist.  Does it not violate the spirit of this law to parley with countries listed by that same body as state sponsors of terrorism, e.g., Iran?

26 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #384: A Feather(head) in His CAP (Alternate Title: The Founder Is a Bounder)

Within two weeks of the Republican landslide in the 2010 midterm US elections, the founder of the far-left Center for American Progress (CAP) sent Obama an extensive list of policy areas in which the repudiated president ought to ignore Congress and instead rule by executive order, thus becoming more truly our dictator than he already is; that founder is John Podesta, who has just joined Emperor Nerobama's administration.  People need to understand how politically extreme, indeed, dangerous, the Obama regime is.

21 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #383: Their Version Is Per-Version

As you probably already know, the cable-television network A&E has indefinitely suspended Phil Robertson from appearing on its program Duck Dynasty, over an interview that he did with GQ magazine in which he voiced opposition to homosexual behavior.  You may not know that (A&E's parent network) ABC will be airing a special featuring Miley Cyrus, whose recent performance "twerking" with a giant teddy bear was the centerpiece of what has been called the most revolting spectacle in the entire history of television.  And so, Robertson is in disfavor for opposing depravity, while Virus—I mean, Cyrus—is in favor despite committing a depravity.  Do you have a sneaking suspicion that the ABC/A&E executives will be in some trouble on Judgment Day?

20 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #382: That's a Lot to Allot!

US Senator Coburn comes out with an annual "Wastebook" that lists examples of government misspending.  One item in this year's edition concerns $3 million allocated by the NASA for studying how Congress works.  I don't expect the NASA to pay me $3 million for telling them this, but I can give a one-word summary of how Congress works: "badly".

15 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #381: A Taxing Problem (Alternate Title: Why Has Planned Parenthood Panned Parenthood?)

Many persons have expressed anxiety over the fact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known unofficially as "ObamaCare", and to me as ObamaCareless) will compel people who oppose the inducing of abortion to pay for that procedure.  They're right to be concerned, but none of them seem to realize that anyone who supplies revenue to Uncle Sam already subsidizes abortions.  Many States (and the District of Columbia) mandate their own funding of foeticide, and even in those that do not do so, the federal government picks up the bill for many abortions.  The federal government defrays a high percentage of the operational expenses of Planned Parenthood, the USA's largest provider of abortions; the Hyde Amendment ostensibly guarantees that this money will not go to the committing of such murders, but performing and promoting abortion is practically all that PP does.  Moreover, as if it weren't bad enough that the US taxpayer pays for abortions to be carried out in his own country, he's also currently paying for them to be carried out in other countries, since Emperor Nerobama put an end to President Reagan's "Mexico City" rule (which bars foreign foeticide-related programs from receiving US funds; Clinton had already reversed the policy, but Bush the Younger reëstablished it).
The question of whether a Christian can conscientiously contribute part of his income to a government that allocates dollars for the killing of the unborn is complex.  Christ told us to "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" (Mk. 12:17a), and St. Paul wrote "For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due …" (Rom. 13:6-7a); the Church, though, has always held that one must disobey the secular power if it tries to force us to disobey God.  Further complication comes from the fact that Scripture does not mention abortion but that writings of the Early Church Fathers (e.g., Justin Martyr) do.  Because of sales tax, the sad truth is that on almost every occasion on which we make a purchase, part of our money goes to cover the cost of inducing abortion; since we can't very well go our whole lives without buying anything, unless we live in a place where people barter goods rather than sell them, I must conclude that we might as well go on rendering taxes to the odious regime in the District of Columbia.  (Of course, if Obama continues his economic policies, we may have to go back to the barter system anyway.)

07 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #380: Not My Kind of Fella, That Nelson Mandela

The fallen world in which we live often rewards vice and punishes virtue; there may be no better illustration of this than the contrast between the late Nelson Mandela and F. W. DeKlerk.
If you've never heard of the latter, well, that's part of the point that I intend to make.  The former co-founded (in 1961) and led Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation"), the violent (left-)wing of the African National Congress (ANC), which carried out guerilla attacks against civilian targets (in other words, acts of terrorism); within just three years, however, the "Spear" had been broken, for its insurgency had been quashed and Mandela put into prison.  There he remained until his release was secured by South Africa's President F. W. DeKlerk, who also brought about the abolition of apartheid.  DeKlerk's actions meant that South Africa experienced not a continuation of the bloodshed that Mandela had thought necessary, but instead negotiations with the ANC as representatives of the Black majority; these negotiations resulted in the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and in a peaceful transition to multiracial suffrage in South-African elections.
(The purpose of the preceding sentence is not to say that DeKlerk's reforms made South Africa a better place, which, sadly but predictably, they did not.  The elections held after the end of apartheid were won by Mandela's ANC, which, thanks to its tripartite alliance with both the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, has enjoyed a monopoly on power in the nearly-two-decades since then.  South Africa's economy was already in bad shape when the ANC took over, but that had much to do with foreign sanctions over apartheid, which came to an end with the end of apartheid itself; under the ANC things have only gotten worse, with g.d.p. growth pathetically low and unemployment phenomenally high.)
DeKlerk has received some honors, such as receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in conjunction with Mandela, but today he's nearly forgotten; whereas Mandela is adulated all over the world as the supposed liberator of Black South Africa, even though, as you can see from what I've already told you, he didn't really liberate anyone; indeed, he needed liberation.
Isaiah 5:20 reads "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"  Woe to us.

04 December 2013

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

The Doman Domain is attracting increasing attention, and so it may again be time to showcase a posting that I made when I had a smaller audience than I do now.

25 November 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #59

Recently I learned that a US Army Air Force incendiary-bombing of Tokyo destroyed that city more thoroughly than atomic-bombing did Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  From a military standpoint, one naturally wants to prevent the enemy from acquiring such things as bombs that can each wreak the same amount of havoc as can hundreds or thousands of less potent arms, but what does it matter ethically?  People seem to think that the use of "weapons of mass destruction" by a belligerent is not morally permissible but that the use of any other type of armament is; they might see things less simplistically if they realized that "conventional" weaponry, if there be enough of it, can do just as much damage as a nuclear warhead.

20 November 2013

Uncommon Commentary #379: Is it Racist to Permit White Lies?

Much of modern society evidently regards it as acceptable to lie when one is not under oath to speak the truth.  (I refer not to "little white lies" but to more serious instances of dishonesty.  In my opinion, however, one ought not to even get into the habit of telling the "little white" variety, for, just as a drug habit can lead to abuse of more-dangerous substances, one may find one's fibs growing and changing color.)  During President Clinton's impeachment trial, for example, defenders of "Slick Willie" acknowledged that he had lied (about having laid) but denied that he had done so under a circumstance that would qualify the falsehood as perjury, or else they merely denied that it could be proven that he had committed perjury.  Christ, on the other hand, instructed us not to swear to tell the truth under certain conditions, but, rather, to tell it at all times; we ought to believe that He spoke the truth when He said this.

13 November 2013

Uncommon Commentary #378: Obama's Health-Care Law Makes Me Sick

The partisan problem with bipartisan proposals to delay ObamaCareless [see the list of domanisms] mandates for a year is that such postponements would stave off ill effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until after the first Tuesday in November 2014, and thus improve the re-election prospects of many of the very politicians who bear responsibility for this mess.  Rather than try to make the law work, why not make another attempt to repeal it? (This would surely have a higher chance of success than past attempts, thanks to public displeasure over the early failures that we are witnessing.)  Even allowing it to die from its natural infirmities would be preferable to trying to save its life; this would be (temporarily) bad news for the People, but it would be their own fault for returning Obama to office after it became yet more obvious that he's not presidential material.  Like those whom we elect to be our leaders, we must suffer the consequences of our poor decisions.

12 November 2013

Uncommon Commentary #377: "The President Is a Liar. Period."

It's been said that actions speak louder than words.  Similarly, an apology (even a genuine one) usually means nothing unless it is accompanied by correction of behavior.  President Obombast's "apology" to the millions of persons drowning in the deluge of health-insurance cancellations was just an expression of regret for their misfortune; he neither confessed personal responsibility for the situation nor admitted that he had repeatedly lied in denying that such a situation would develop (or, later, that it had developed).  If he were sincerely sorry for those affected adversely by his legislative monstrosity, and if his ego were not larger than his country, he would ask Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known informally as ObamaCare and to me as ObamaCareless), before it claims any more victims.

08 November 2013

Uncommon Commentary #376: UC #367 Follow-Up

Wendy Davis, the Texas State senatrix who became a heroine of the pro-fœticide camp and an enemy of God with her filibuster that thwarted the first attempt to restrict the practice of inducing abortion in the Lone Star State, called herself "pro-life" in an oration to her supporters.  She justified the self-designation by saying "I care about the life of every child; every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream …."  I don't know how Davis expects children to get a proper education or to be part of whatever she means by "the Texas dream" if they're never born, but the point of this posting is to note how what one newspaper story calls her "semantic switch" illustrates a conclusion that I drew in Poll Results that Get the Gall Up (Part One).

06 November 2013

Uncommon Commentary #375: Paul Revere Didn't Revere Paul

(Saint Paul, that is; see below.)
I'm a US citizen, but I don't celebrate Independence Day.  Does this scandalize you?  If you're a Christian, or if you just have common sense or a good knowledge of history, there's no reason why it ought to do so.
I have both a general reason and a specific reason for my non-commemoration.
The general reason: The New Testament and the Church Fathers tell us (as I explained in more detail in UC #319) that we are only sojourners in this world, and that our true home lies in Heaven; accordingly, I consider myself to be not an "American" but a subject of the Kingdom of God who happens to have spent his earthly exile thus far in a country called the United States of America.  (I'm loyal to my native land; I'm just not in love with it.)
The specific reason: To commemorate the US Declaration of Independence is not only to be patriotic but also to implicitly endorse the colonial rebellion, which was:
  1. Un-Christian.  Romans 13:2 tells us that anyone who rebels against authority rebels against what God has established, and makes himself liable to damnation.  How does one reconcile political revolution with a verse like that?  (Also see 1 Peter 2:13-14.)
  2. Hypocritical.  I grew up believing Revolution ideology like my earthly countrymen, but, when I conducted a serious, objective study of US history, I learned that the insurgents were not "patriots" resisting foreign "tyranny"; they were British colonists guilty not only of insurrection against governance by their own people, but even of soliciting the intervention of powers such as France and Spain, which had been engaged in hostilities versus Great Britain a decade-and-a-half earlier.  Should anyone do the same to us, we'd call their actions treason, not patriotism.
  3. Ultimately Pointless.  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and a host of smaller polities like Barbados all have the same freedoms that we do, yet not one of them made a unilateral declaration of independence and conducted military campaigns versus the home country.  Moreover: What's so wonderful about independence anyway?  The USA is bankrupt in terms of both morals and money; could our land really be governed any worse if it had never cast off royal rule?
  4. Detrimental to Non-"Patriots".  The revolt by (some of) the colonists was the occasion of a war that evidently did not need to be fought (see the preceding paragraph); in countries that remained loyal to Great Britain, slavery was abolished in the 1830's, whereas, in this country, emancipation would not take place for another three decades; the Crown had done what it could to protect the American Indians from the rapacity and genocidal intent of many of its country's settlers—in fact, that was a rarely-mentioned cause of the Revolution—and once the colonies became "states", that restraining influence disappeared; and Loyalists, whose estates would be confiscated, and large numbers of whom would soon be forced to emigrate, obviously derived no benefit either.
I could have augmented the relevance of this posting my making it on the Fourth of July, but, as indicated above, I used to have the same beliefs that are still held by those who don't realize the detriments of excessively esteeming the USA; the purpose of this uncommon commentary is not to antagonize my (earthly) countrymen but to tell them how much happier they (and I) would be if they would just stop taking our nationality so seriously.

29 October 2013

Uncommon Commentary #374: Lift High the Cruz

The less-astute (i.e., left-wing) commentators of today have lately tried to portray US Senator Cruz and his like as threats to "democracy", just as they portray many others who disagree with them.  This was, of course, just further effort by the Left to discredit the "Right" by capitalizing exaggerated anguish over the temporary closing of seventeen percent of the federal government (which, though a debacle, was no "crisis").  That Cruz and company would risk a quasi-shutdown by daring to oppose Emperor Nerobama's regime, for the sake of trying to defund the unaffordable monstrosity that I like to call ObamaCareless, was actually a rare positive interruption of the Decline and Fall of the USA; that their effort failed was a predictable development in the true, ongoing crisis of the federal overspending that is bankrupting the world's wealthiest country.

25 October 2013

Uncommon Commentary #373: Define the Fine

What is art?  Defenders of non-art often pose this question rhetorically, but it's unwise to put a rhetorical question to someone who can give a legitimate answer to it.  Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary gives six definitions for "art", starting with the most basic: "skill acquired by experience, study, or observation".  The one that here concerns us (and the defenders of bogus art referred to above) is "4b(1): fine arts".  Turning to the entry for "fine art", we find "1a: art (as painting, sculpture, or music) concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects — usu. used in pl."  The word "beautiful" provides refutation of the presumption that something qualifies as (by implication, fine) art if some egghead says that it does.  If a painting, for example, looks as though it could have been done by a preschooler or a monkey, it may qualify as a "creation" but not as art.

18 October 2013

Uncommon Commentary #372: Good Versus Evil, God Versus Devil

The entire history of our fallen world is a struggle between Good and Evil.  This struggle is not, however, identical to that between "democracy" and "dictatorship".
The very recent idea that (what we incorrectly call) "democracy" equates to the forces of Light, and "dictatorship" to those of Darkness, may be the result of geopolitical developments over the past century or so.  "Democracies" such as the UK, USA, and France allied with one another during the two World Wars, the "Cold War", and the "War on Terror"; their opponents in these conflicts have included National Socialist Germany, Imperial Japan, the countries of the Warsaw Pact, and now "Islamofascism" [see below].  It's easy to see how the human penchant for oversimplification might lead us to conclude that "democracies" are inherently good and "dictatorships" inherently bad, but the reality is more complex.  Israel's King David, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Grand Prince St. Vladimir of Kiev, and nearly all the other benevolent rulers in history prior to the Twentieth Century were either absolute or near-absolute monarchs.  Further, countries whose people elect their leaders are quite capable of working evil, such as oppressing minorities and waging wars of aggression; there are so many examples that this point ought not to require elaboration (except perhaps to say that a government of the People, by the People, and for the People will be only so virtuous as the People, and that this level of virtue, because of Original Sin, is not very high).
The "democracies" could claim a higher degree of piety than either the Communist lands, which were atheist, or the fascist and quasi-fascist polities, in which adulation of the state was made a substitute for true religion (even though the US House of Representatives had, in 1918, itself adopted the idolatrous American's Creed).  As the coining of the term "Islamofascism" shows, we have conflated Islamism with oppressive rule, adding a contrast between Western hyper-secularism and Moslem fanaticism to the popular good-versus-evil equation.  As in the case of "democracy" and "dictatorship", we have insisted upon seeing Islamism and modern Western secularism as respectively black and white even though we know .how complex the world is.  Islamists unquestionably menace the world through their support of jihad, but they're not wrong in every way; they forbid many evils that characteristically disgrace their irreligious antagonists, such as pornography and induced abortion.  In fact, if Western societies would adopt a philosophy that one might (by analogy with "Islamism") call "Christianism", or, to use my term, "political theocentrism", they wouldn't be falling apart as they now are.
The great war of our time and of all time is between not "freedom" and "tyranny", or "secular democracy" and "Islamofascism", but worldliness and godliness.  All Christians, indeed, all people need to understand this.

17 October 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #6

From 4:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 October, I'll be the guest on an Advantage Radio Ministries program called Second Chances; I'll be giving testimony as a believer in Christ, and spreading the word about my "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" novella Vinland Viking.  The interview will air on three New Jersey stations associated with LIFT-FM: 98.5, 97.9, and 103.3.  If you are unlucky(?) enough not to live in or near NJ, or if you do but simply miss the transmission, you'll have your own second chance; the broadcast will be archived at www.AdvantageRadioministries.org.

11 October 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #5

As I stated in Blatant Self-Promotion #4, the interview about my "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" novella, Vinland Viking, is being re-broadcast as the featured program on The Christian Authors Show throughout this weekend.  To hear it, go to the show page.  (The only legitimate excuse for not listening to this is being too busy buying or reading the book itself.)

08 October 2013

Uncommon Commentary #371: The Ugly American (President)

The apologies that President Obombast habitually makes for the USA are (contrary to the opinion of some America-idolaters) sometimes merited, but this doesn't mean that they are needed.  Committed US antagonists like Iran are more likely to be impressed by power than by apologies, especially if those apologies are obviously insincere; after all, Obama ought to be apologizing for his own behavior (e.g., disregarding the Pakistan government's demands that we stop carrying out attacks by remotely operated vehicles or "drones" within that country's territory) rather than grandstanding on issues that became largely moot decades ago.  In international relations, it's more important to be respected than to be liked.

03 October 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #4

If you've been furloughed, here's a good way to pass the time: Listen to my interview on The (Christian) Authors Show, about my "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" novella Vinland Viking.  It is now archived in the player on the show page, and can be heard at any time of the day or night (or twilight).  Further, it will be re-broadcast as the featured program on The Christian Authors Show throughout the weekend of 11-13 October. (This does not mean that the interview lasts for three days; it's only a little over 10 minutes long, but, because it's available on-demand, you can hear it over and over until you've memorized every syllable or until the budget impasse ends, whichever comes first.)

02 October 2013

Uncommon Commentary #370: I'd Rather the Government Shut Up than Down

The prospect of the quasi-shutdown in the USA required the heads of government departments to decide which of their personnel are "essential" and which "non-essential"; those in the latter category have been furloughed.  This raises a question: If these employees are not essential, why were they ever working for Uncle Sam?  Are we expected to believe that these non-essentials perform their duties only to make the government work as "well" as it does?

26 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #369: Keep off the Grass

Marijuana probably ought to be legalized, if only for the sake of consistency with the legality of alcoholic beverages, since it is thought to be no more harmful or habit-forming than liquor (although some experts fear that the former is increasing in potency); I've no intention of smoking it myself or of crusading for its wider legality, however, since there are things that this country needs far more than legal marijuana, e.g., a different president. (On the other hand, if we spoke enough weed, perhaps we’ll not care who is our president.)

17 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #368: Poll Results that Get the Gall Up (Part Two)

In our judicial system, courts are under obligation to follow precedent (i.e., previous rulings on the same subject), even when the precedent is wrong, as it was in the case of Roe v. Wade and that of the accompanying Doe v. Bolton; this makes it extremely unlikely that those decisions will ever be overturned, and, consequently, extremely likely that any laws that do more than regulate the inducing of abortion (and even many of those that do only that) will be invalidated by the courts.  Very recently, a judge indeed blocked a North Dakota "fetal heartbeat" law from going into effect at the beginning of August, writing that the legislation is unconstitutional "based on the United States [sic] Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade from 1973 ... and the progeny of cases that have followed."  Since our highest judicial authority has held that the US Constitution guarantees a right to murder unborn children, the one foreseeable way in which the inducing of abortion could be made illegal in the USA would be to amend the US Constitution—but, Gallup has made surveys on this subject also, asking people whether they support "a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all circumstances, except when necessary to save the life of the mother".  As you can see from the results reproduced below, opinion has trended in precisely the wrong direction; the sole hope for anti-foeticidists is that opinion has reversed over the eight years since the latest poll was taken.

 Favor
Oppose
No opinion

 %
%
%
2005 Nov 11-13
 37
61
2
2003 Jan 10-12
 38
59
3
1996 Jul 25-28
 38
59
3
1992 Jan 16-19
 42
56
2
1984
 50
46
4
Opposition to induced abortion has always been most pronounced among religious persons, who also tend to be the most fervent supporters of what we call "American democracy".  I wonder, therefore, whether it ever occurs to my fellow pro-lifers that, were this country not a "democracy" (accurately, a republic with near-universal adult suffrage), foeticide could have been outlawed decades ago, and that, so long as we are a "democracy", it almost unquestionably will never be outlawed.  I'm not advocating overthrow of the government; I just challenge people to stop being so smugly conventional, and think about whether that government is really so wonderful as everyone assumes it to be.

13 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #367: Poll Results that Get the Gall Up (Part One)

I recall hearing, in the late 1980's or early 1990's, that the majority of the people in the USA opposed (induced) abortion but were ambivalent about what ought to substitute for it.  Remembering this made me curious about what I've heard more recently, and which seemed quite inconsistent with the ongoing collapse of our moral standards: that the USA is becoming pro-life.  I did research at Gallup.org and learned, among other things, that the difference between the percentage of the populace describing themselves as "pro-life" and the percentage calling themselves "pro-choice" underwent a 32-point shift from 1995 to May 2009: from 33 percent "pro-life" and 56 percent "pro-choice" in 1995 to 51 percent "pro-life" and 42 percent "pro-choice" in May 2009.  This looks like a revolution in opinion, but "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are just labels.  On the five occasions when the Gallupers have posed the question "Thinking more generally, do you think abortion should generally [Note the use of this word.—Doman] be legal or generally illegal during each of the following stages of pregnancy?", the results (from Gallup.org) were as follows. (You'll have to "click" the image if you want to see the entire thing.)
From the first to the latest survey, therefore, the disparity between the should-be-legal and the should-be-illegal positions decreased, in regard to the first trimester of pregnancy, from +34 to +30 percentage points; in regard to the other two trimesters, the disparity increased from -39 to -37 and from -69 to -66 percentage points.  These results suggest that what has really changed is not public attitude but rather the concept of "pro-life".  Indeed, when I read one of Gallup.org's articles (In U.S., Nonreligious, Postgrads [sic] Are Highly "Pro-Choice") for a separate purpose, I found support for this hypothesis: "While the poll ["Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll", of 3-6 May 2012] found a significant decline in self-identification as pro-choice, Americans' [sic] more basic views of the legality of abortion were unchanged this year." ("Significant decline in self-identification as pro-choice" alludes to the previous survey's tie between the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" camps, each with 47 percentage points.  The table below, from Gallup.org, shows the result for each occasion on which Gallup has asked those polled "With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro-life or pro-choice?"; note that the 27-30 December 2012 survey, taken less than eight months after the percentage of "pro-choice" respondents had fallen to a record-low 41, registers a 13-point swing in the opposite direction.)
The object of this posting is not to discourage my fellow pro-lifers by showing them how much work still needs to be done; rather, it is to caution them against assuming that fœticide can be outlawed completely (or even close to completely) by working through the "democratic" process.  If you want to achieve any kind of success, you must be realistic about your goals, and it seems very unrealistic to hope for anything more than extremely limited victories such as July's legislation in Texas.  Anyway, public opinion is not the only obstacle to ending the tragedy of induced abortion, as you will see in a future uncommon commentary.

10 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #366: Obama Doesn't Make de Grade

Previously demanding military action for what he said to be the necessary purpose of "degrading" and "punishing" the Assad regime over its alleged use of chemical weapons on 21 August, President Obombast now says that he'll ask Congress to delay the potential missile-strikes for the sake of the proposal, accepted by Syria, to place that country's poison-gas arsenal under "international control"; on Monday, he justified this latest deviation in his "policy" toward Syria by saying that he "fervently" hoped for peace and that a diplomatic solution is "overwhelmingly my preference."  But, wait a minute: Even if this alternate option should actually result in the dismantling of Syria's (already-used) chemical weaponry, how will it "degrade" and "punish" the Assad government for what Obama's administration contends was an intolerable crossing of the "red line"?  From the outset, I've considered prospective US intervention in the Syrian civil war to be madness, and so the purpose of this uncommon commentary is not to argue that Obama is wrong to retreat from his tough talk; rather, it is to note that his reaction to this development provides further evidence that our president is a clown whose bluster means nothing.  In the title of this posting, I made a play on the word "degrade"; I could make another by saying that Obama's approach to foreign relations rates a "D-grade", but the truth is that it deserves nothing higher than an "F".

08 September 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #3

Tomorrow—indeed, all day tomorrow—I'll be interviewed by The (Christian) Authors Show about my "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" novella Vinland Viking The interview lasts for no more than 15 minutes, yet, as I've indicated, it will be The Christian Authors Show's only broadcast on 9/9; having no familiarity with "internet radio", I don't know whether this means that the interview will air some 96 times (four times each hour for 24 hours) or that you can simply hear it "on demand" throughout the day at www.TheChristianAuthorsShow.com. (I recommend that you do spend the entire day listening to it instead of the congressional debates on whether to attack Syria.)

06 September 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #58

Considering how many foreign interventions the USA has bungled since World War II (and especially over the past decade), I shan't be at all surprised should isolationism make a comeback; in fact, I'll be surprised if it doesn't.

05 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #365: President IBombYa

As you may recall, our conniver-in-chief and his administration promised in 2011 that our action regarding the Libyan civil war would last for "days, not weeks", and then parlayed our rôle in the creation of a mere "no-fly" zone over Benghazi into a de-facto alliance with Gadhafi's chiefly Islamist enemies, which lasted for months; now, they're vowing that our potential strikes against Syria will be "limited" and that they will not lead to "regime change".  If they betrayed us on Libya, why should we believe that they won't do the same on Syria?

04 September 2013

Uncommon Commentary #364: Credibility on the (Red) Line?

A recent editorial in National [sic] Review magazine read, in part:
The outrage of our allies and the logic of the president’s own statements make it nearly impossible for him to escape acting this time.  If he did somehow find a way out, it would dangerously erode the credibility of the United States [of America, presumably].  The president can’t repeatedly make threats that prove utterly empty without inviting every bad actor in the world to laugh off whatever we say in the future, in potentially much more dire and important circumstances.
Note that whoever penned this editorial is not commending Obama's handling of the situation in Syria, but, rather, arguing that his mishandling of the same has put US "credibility" in jeopardy and thus made action against Assad's regime necessary!  This must be the first time that anyone has used the ineptitude of his country's commander-in-chief as a rationale for intervention in a foreign conflict.

Uncommon Commentary #363: Bombing, in More than One Sense of the Word

More thoughts related to the prospective US action versus Syria:
  1. Do you remember when our previous president was accused of lying this country's way into war?  Accused by many of the very men who are now telling us what they know to be untrue: that we have a "national security interest" in attacking Syrian government forces?
  2. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Yo'Mama administration still has not effected its plan, made early this year, to arm the Syrian opposition with small arms and ammunition; one reason posited for the delay is that "the Obama administration is concerned about creating an even worse crisis in the country by tipping the balance in favor of the rebels".  If that concern is genuine, then the Obamists are right to have it, but I thought that the whole idea of arming the insurgents was to give them a fighting chance against the Assad regime.  If we fear that supplying them with weapons might tip the "balance" in their favor, why even do it?

02 September 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #2

A week from now, I'll be interviewed by The (Christian) Authors Show about my "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" novella Vinland Viking.  The interview runs for no more than 15 minutes, yet, it seems, will be run continuously for an entire day on 9/9.  I don't think that you need to hear it 96 times (4 times each hour for 24 hours), but you can hear the broadcast as often or as seldom as you please at www.TheChristianAuthorsShow.com.

31 August 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #57

Regarding the upcoming Colorado gubernatorial contest, there is a reason to vote for a potential Republican challenger against the incumbent Democrat even aside from the fact that the latter is one of the worst governors in the country: wouldn't you rather have a governor named "Tancredo" (which hearkens to Tancred, a leader of the First Crusade) than one named "Hickenlooper"?

29 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #362: US Government Goes to Pot

I had not realized until lately just how much overlap there is in the functions of the State (e.g., Connecticut) and those of the state (that is, the USA as a whole), and how absurd this double jurisdiction can be.  For instance, Colorado and the State of Washington have legalized the possession and recreational consumption of marijuana (as opposed to "medicinal" use, if such a concept is indeed valid), but smoking of the same remains illicit at the federal level; and so, if you puff on a "joint" in Denver or Seattle, a local policeman may not arrest you but an agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration may.  Really, is this any way to run a country?

27 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #361: I Wish that I Could Draw a Red Line Through Obama's Name

An attack by our military upon that of the Syrian government is "not a matter of if but when", according to a Defense official who evidently has not read item number 57 on the list here.  There’s reason to doubt that the US presidential administration will really authorize this assault—after all, President Obombast drew his "red line" over a year ago—but the fact that this option is even being considered is almost incredible.  Yes, Assad’s regime has been sadistic in its attempt to quash the insurgency in his country, but do we really want to do something that might alter the fortune of battle in this civil war in favor of the jihadists who are known to dominate the rebel forces, as we did so recently in Libya?  In The "Arab Spring" Spews Blood, I wrote of that intervention as being possibly the worst of all Obama's blunders, but there is something even more stupid than making a mistake of such magnitude: making it again.

25 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #360: Feministas Only Smell Strong

I don't use the term "strong woman", because it implies that the average woman is not "strong".  Women cry more easily than men, but that doesn't mean that they're weaker; it merely means that they are more sensitive. (I'm more sensitive than the average man, which certainly doesn't mean that I'm weaker than they.)  This is not a feminista argument; in fact, it was likely feministas who dreamt up the "strong woman" phrase, to assert their self-imagined superiority over others of their sex.

24 August 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #56

I don't go around correcting people's grammatical and syntactical errors. (This is not because I believe, as they seem to do, that they have some innate right to speak our language badly; rather, it’s because I would have no time to do anything else.)  Sometimes, however, I think that I ought to do so.  A well-known maxim goes: "If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well".  Doesn't that apply as truly to speaking and writing English as to anything else?

23 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #359: "Popular Culture"? How's That for an Oxymoron?

Detrimental effects of the hyperbolic Journalese (which is not one of the coinages alled "domanisms") that has become almost ubiquitous in the USA are by no means restricted to the English language.  Persons who are materially fortunate (but perhaps spiritually unfortunate) enough to be celebrities of popular culture generally have egos of a size to match their status; calling them "superstars", "icons", or "legends" only exacerbates the problem.

22 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #358: US Politics Is No Party

I don't belong to any political party, but I always vote Republican.  In our winner-take-all, de facto two-party system, a vote for anyone but the GOP is almost as bad as a vote for the Democrats, who, in my opinion, not only lack solutions to this country's problems but have themselves caused many of them.

17 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #357: UC #356 Follow-Up

My previous posting included a link to a news article.  As if the overreaction reported in that story weren’t bad enough, the president of the Missouri NAACP is now demanding an investigation by both the Department of Justice and the Secret Service into the rodeo clown who lampooned Obama.  If he wanted only the DoJ to be involved, one might assume that he was asking that body to determine whether the clown has committed a civil-rights violation (which, were that the motive in soliciting federal intervention, would be sufficiently Orwellian); the Secret Service, however, serves no purpose other than to protect the lives of politicians.  Does the Missouri NAACP, then, equate ridicule of Obama with intention to cause him bodily harm?  "NAACP" is an acronym for "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People", but it might stand more accurately for "Nazis Assiduously Attacking Critics of the President".

15 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #356: One Clown Mocks Another

This news item reports on the aftermath of an incident, at the Missouri State Fair, to which President Obombast's term "phony [sic] scandal" applies much more truly than it does to the real scandals that our chief executive is trying to belittle.  The rodeo-clown act was disrespectful, but: So what?  What has Obama, an unprincipled, megalomaniacal bully, done to deserve respect?  Certainly an important office like the US presidency has inherent dignity, but this doesn't mean that a dishonorable man transforms into an honorable one by means of lying his way into our country's highest office.  I regard any president as worthy of respect so long as he sincerely endeavors to serve in the best interests of his country; I think that this was true of Carter, failure though he was, but would anyone seriously argue that it's true of the present occupant of the Oval Office?

08 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #355: Besides, That Day Ought to Have Some Connection with a Saint Rather than with a ...

I’ve just learned that yesterday was the feast day of St. Cayetano, patron saint of the unemployed.  Why not transfer that commemoration to 4 August, which is President Obama's birthday?

04 August 2013

Uncommon Commentary #354: That Filibuster Was a Filly's Bluster

Don't expect the Texas law that regulates the committing of foeticide (or any others of its nature) to save the number of lives that many of its backers expect it will.  Once the law takes effect, women who would previously have had their children killed after 20-weeks' gestation may simply have abortions earlier during pregnancy, or have the procedure performed in some other State (like bordering New Mexico, which has no restrictions whatsoever on the practice); additionally, abortions after the 20-week limit may come to be induced illegally in Texas, as they are in other States (see Miscellaneous Musing #55).
On a related subject: Isn't it sadly ironic that Texas State Senatrix Wendy Davis, in filibustering against a bill intended to ban most late-term executions of unborn girls (and boys), captured media attention by wearing pink shoes?

31 July 2013

Uncommon Commentary #353: Arab-Spring Fever

It's remarkable how seriously some otherwise-sensible commentators apparently take the notion of an "Obama Doctrine".  If Obama's approach to the upheavals in the Near East were consistent enough to be called a "doctrine", would he have reacted as inconsistently as he has?  After weeks of defying pressure to do something to aid the rebellion in Libya, he abruptly reversed his public stance and ended up taking the USA to war without a declaration of such; he denied that his administration was working toward Gaddafi's violent overthrow, and then claimed credit for the violent overthrow when it did occur; he spent two years resisting calls for intervention in Syria—this resistance included drawing a "red line" over the use of chemical weapons, the crossing of which he never made a precondition for joining the fight versus Gaddafi—before executing another Libya-style flip-flop, which so far has not led to anything but a promise to supply anti-Assad insurgents with small arms; and he has dithered over policy regarding Egypt in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood's ouster, first calling for a "review" on whether to continue military aid, then justifying continuation of that aid by describing the (latest) coup d'état as a popular revolution, and presently holding up that aid, specifically, the delivery to Egypt of four F-16's that we promised to that country while Morsi and his ilk were still in power.
It seems obvious to me that, when President Obombast speaks of the election of radical Islamists as a "transitional phase" between secular despotism and secular "democracy", he's not elucidating a doctrine but merely pretending that the developments of the disastrous "Arab Spring" are proceeding just as he had planned.  Foreign-policy doctrines are only for presidents who sincerely try to serve in their country's best interests.

30 July 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #55

The decrease in the annual reported number of induced abortions in this country, from approximately 1.6 million two decades ago to an estimated 1.2 million nowadays, is welcome news except for a caveat; note the word "reported".  For its data on abortions, the government relies on the very industry that performs them, which has obvious incentive to conceal the committing of the late-term foeticides that have been made illegal in the majority of States.  It seems unlikely that this alone could account for a 25 percent drop, but, of course, there may be other factors, such as the concurrent loss of stigma toward unwed motherhood.  Anyway, this is not an uncommon commentary but only a miscellaneous musing, and so my object here is not to state anything positively but merely to wonder what the truth is in this case.

26 July 2013

Blatant Self-Promotion #1

My "epic novella" and "Christian historical fantasy-adventure" Vinland Viking: An Original Saga by Gary L. Doman is going on a "virtual book tour" next month; take careful note of the dates for the v.b.t., as this will be the most important occurrence in the history of mankind!

Monday, August 5th
Book review at The Book Connection
Tuesday, August 6th
Guest post at Literarily Speaking
Wednesday, August 7th
Interview at Blogcritics
Thursday, August 8th
Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner
Friday, August 9th
Guest post and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
Monday, August 12th
Interview at Between the Covers
Tuesday, August 13th
Wednesday, August 14th
Thursday, August 15th
Book review at A Year of Jubilee Reviews
Friday, August 16th
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books
Monday, August 19th
Interview at As the Pages Turn
Tuesday, August 20th
Book review at Vic’s Media Room
Wednesday, August 21st
Interview at Examiner
Thursday, August 22nd
Book spotlight at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, August 23rd
Monday, August 26th
Book spotlight at Review from Here
Wednesday, August 28th
Interview at Broowaha
Friday, August 30th
Interview at Pump Up Your Book
Book review at Blooming with Books

23 July 2013

UC #352: Listen to Him Rave On About Trayvon!

President YoMama's (see the list of domanisms, below) statement that Trayvon [sic] Martin "could have been me [sic] 35 years ago" speaks no better of the punk-turned-"martyr" than what the police discovered on the deceased's telephone!

16 July 2013

Uncommon Commentary #351: If They Really Think that They're All Just One Person, They Have Bigger Problems than I Thought

Pro-injustice demonstrators are bearing signs that read "We Are All Trayvon Martin".  If that message is true, God help them!  As was inevitable on the part of people who jump to race-based conclusions (or who simply don't care what the truth is, so long as they can satisfy their desire to hate), those who demanded that George Zimmerman (a Caucasoid who reportedly is Hispanic, and so doesn't qualify as "White" in our odd ethnic terminology) be tried and convicted for the killing of the Black Trayvon [sic] Martin have depicted the latter as a saint; photographs and text messages discovered on his cellular telephone—not "cell phone", please—give us rather a different portrayal.  The subjects of Martin's photographs, for instance, include marijuana plants, a hand "menacingly" holding a semi-automatic pistol, and even naked underage girls.  In contrast, Zimmerman (who, by the way, is part Black) and his wife mentored two (Black) children for no charge, and Reuters interviewers found that the accused's neighbors, no matter what their ethnicity, regarded him as caring deeply for them.
Also, I have a message for President Obombast: Martin's death obviously is a tragedy for him, but it is not "a tragedy for America [sic]".  (By the last of these words I assume that you mean the United States of America, not the entire New World, i.e., North and South America.)  The real tragedy for this country is that the response to what examination of the facts revealed to be a justifiable homicide, and to acquittal as the result of a trial that ought not to have even taken place—after all, the Sanford police chief declined to charge Zimmerman with any crime, and the local district attorney chose not to prosecute—demonstrates that, years after your election to the US presidency, We the People are still obsessed with race.

11 July 2013

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

In view of this month’s developments in Egypt, and especially of the army’s explanation that (what obviously was, but which they deny was) its coup d'état came in response to the popular upheaval against Morsi's misrule, you may want to revisit UC #150.

04 July 2013

Uncommon Commentary #350!: The List in Paragraph Two Also Includes Obama

According to a news item, President Obombast has "urged a quick return to elected civilian government" in Egypt, and said that "we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution."  Shockingly, the same story relates that he "said [that he] had ordered a review of the legal implications for US aid to Egypt in the wake of the military's toppling of the elected leader".  Obama, then, renewed the USA's annual $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt in May, when there was no indication that our enemy Morsi would fall from power, yet he considers there to be "legal implications" now as a result of the coup d'état?  Is he really so obtuse as not to perceive that this counterrevolutionary act is the best that we (and everyone else except the Islamists) could hope for in Egypt?
Mohammed Morsi was indeed "democratically elected", but so were the National Socialists ("Nazis"), the Hamas, Hugo Chávez, Yassir Arafat, Salvador Allende, Vladimir Putin, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and so forth; what has that to do with right and wrong?  I may be risking stoning by patriots in making this statement on 4 July, but I here assert that sovereignty resides not in the People but in our divine sovereign.  The Bible tells us, as in Romans 13:1, that rulers derive their authority from God; it has no qualification as to whether those leaders have attained power "democratically", and, indeed, none of them had, for Judæa was a province of the Roman Empire when St. Paul wrote that verse.  What we miscall "democracy" is no more inviolable than any other mere human institution.
I bid "Good riddance" to Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood theocrats, but there are plenty of equally dangerous radicals who could well gain power if the Egyptian military heeds our president's urging; fortunately, no one outside the USA still seems to pay much attention to anything that Obama says.

03 July 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #54 Update

In Miscellaneous Musing #54, I wrote that Snowden "seeks asylum in polities which (save Iceland) are unfriendly to the USA"; since then, however, WikiLeaks [sic] has released the names of 19 more states to which he has made requests either for asylum or for assistance in seeking asylum.  The total list now comprises Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and Venezuela; just one third of these, i.e., Bolivia, mainland China, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Russia, and Venezuela, can really be considered US antagonists.

28 June 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #54

Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor?  He says that he's neither, and it's also possible, given the complexity of the human psyche, that he fits into both categories.  I haven't made up my mind about him (and I don't know that I ever can without knowing his motives), but I'll grant that I have a hard time getting indignant toward him, for the following reasons: He hasn't sold secrets to a hostile foreign power, but merely exposed them in a hostile foreign publication; It's not true that he unwittingly betrayed his depravity by fleeing to a part of mainland China, because Hong Kong retains the political and legal system of its British-Crown-Colony era; He demonstrated great courage in authorizing two newspapers to reveal his identity—I still don't know why he did it, unless it was to prepare his loved ones for the trials to come; He has sacrificed his highly lucrative career as a computer programmer, and condemned himself to a life in exile from his native land; and, That the detestable organization "WikiLeaks" has been acting on his behalf, and that he seeks asylum in polities that (save Switzerland) are unfriendly to the USA, does not prove that he is guilty of treason. (A man whose own country has revoked his passport and indicted him for high crimes needs what friends he can get; moreover, nearly all the states of the world that lack treaties of extradition with the USA are either unfriendly ones or "developing" ones in which no outsiders really want to live.)
I don't have a conclusion here, but that's why this is a miscellaneous musing rather than an uncommon commentary.

21 June 2013

Uncommon Commentary #349: Since "Cyber" Really Means "Zero", "Cyber Command" Could Refer to Our Leadership

I don't know whether NSA Director (and leader of Cyber [sic] Command) Keith Alexander exaggerates the number of terrorist plots that his agency's controversial surveillance has "disrupted or prevented"—There was a time when I would have given him the benefit of the doubt, but, Who can still believe anything said by a member of Emperor Nerobama's administration?—but I would be surprised if it should turn out that the NSA's extremely comprehensive program has not prevented any.  Even if the Director's assertion is a fact, however, it doesn't prove that terrorism could not have been thwarted with equal or superior effectiveness by less-intrusive methods.  "Profiling", for instance, has proven remarkably effective in identifying the sort of person who commits any given crime; the one thing that stops us from employing it in the fight versus Terror is our own political-correctness, or, to use my own coinage: "Totalitarianism Lite".  "Profiling" is, of course, regarded by many of the profiled as a violation of their rights—see UC #65 for my refutation of the objection to "racial profiling"—but public-opinion polls reveal that the average person is not pleased with being spied upon by the NSA, either.  How does invading the privacy of practically the entire population qualify as less of an offence than investigating just a portion thereof?

18 June 2013

Uncommon Commentary #348: A Suggestion that Makes MO' Sense

Here's a better idea than "statehood" for the District of Columbia, which, if it should become the fifty-first "state" [see Uncommon Commentary #340 and the footnote to Miscellaneous Musing #9], would be easily and ridiculously the smallest such unit: transfer the US capital to Saint Louis, Missouri, which there was indeed a movement to do in the 1870's, and return what is now the D. of C. to Maryland.  Lest readers think that I want to bring misery to Missouri and turn Maryland into a merry land, it ought to be noted that this does not mean that we would need to appropriate land to become an equivalent of the District of Columbia; the practice of having federal territory to contain the capital city has been (presumably) imitated by countries like Mexico and Australia, but it really serves no purpose.  Note also that St. Louis, MO has advantages over Washington, DC: being farther inland, the former is safer from attack by foreign armed forces; and, as a Christian, I'd rather have a capital named for a saint than for our first president, who, contrary to his usual portrayal, was far from saintly!

17 June 2013

Miscellaneous Musing #53: MM #52 Follow-Up

I've another question about Newtown's plan to raze the Sandy Hook school and raise a new one upon its ruins. (Yes: There is a pun on "raze" and "raise".)  Where will the children who would have gone to the current edifice get their education while its replacement is under construction?  Except for igloos, tents, and the occasional lean-to, no building that I've ever heard of has gone up in the under-three-months that the town has left before the onset of the next academic year.

13 June 2013

Uncommon Commentary #347: "Immigration Reform" School

I like Senator Marco Rubio, but he and other Republicans who favor "immigration reform" are wrong to deny that the pending bill of that designation is an amnesty.  There's just one responsible way to handle the problem of persons coming to this country in violation of the law: round them up, and either jail them here or send them back whence they came.  Any other approach qualifies as amnesty, no matter what anyone calls it.