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-fÅ“ticide 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.