30 December 2014

Uncommon Commentary #438: Last Post of the Year!

Isn’t it remarkable how insensitive people can be when enforcing what they call “sensitivity”, and how offensive when overreacting to something that ought to be inoffensive?

23 December 2014

Another (Actually, Two More) Best of Uncommon Commentary

I previously noted here on the Doman Domain that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” which are the subject of the infamous recent report by Senate Democrats cannot be considered torture; I ought to have added that one might oppose e.i.t.’s for the same reason why one might oppose actual torture, but this does not change my opinion that the employment of those techniques was ethically justifiable.  They were not used on domestic lawbreakers, and they were not practiced for the sake of sadism; they were administered to gain intelligence that would help to prevent additional terrorist attacks and to hunt down those responsible for what attacks had already taken place.  I certainly don’t want to be un-Christian, and I’m well aware that Christ told us “So whatever you wish would do to you, do also to them” [Mt. 7:12a], but I think that this Golden Rule applies to personal relationships rather than to matters of state security; after all, the New Testament also tells us that “… he [the temporal ruler] does not wield the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.” [Rom. 13:4]  To see what else I’ve had to say on this subject, see UC’s #18 and 54.

22 December 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #67

Were I a minister or secretary of defense, I would probably recommend that my state either destroy all its offensive airborne weaponry or sell it to a close ally, and re-allocate for aerial defenses (e.g., surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, and systems like Israel’s Iron Dome) all the resources previously devoted thereto; in fact, I would propose an international treaty to ban such ordnance. (Said treaty would not, sadly, be ratified by most Western powers, which like to pretend to take action against evil from time to time by launching “airstrikes”.)

18 December 2014

Uncommon Commentary #437: UC #57 Follow-Up

Do you recall that I wrote, on 20 November of this year, that “I had intended to post an entirely new uncommon commentary this week, but it’s not working out as I had hoped it would; …”?  Well, now it has worked out.
Occasionally, one must endure listening to some version of the following cliché: “In America [sic], we would rather have 1000 guilty people [sic] go free than see a single innocent one convicted”.  In addition to the lack of originality, there are at least two problems with this pronouncement.  First, it’s almost certainly untrue.  I’ve never heard of any opinion polls on the subject, but I doubt very much that the average person in this country would really favor a system of justice in which wrongful acquittals are 1000 times as common as wrongful convictions.  Second, the statement implies that our justice system works so well in regard to the principle of “presumption of innocence” that persons who are not guilty of a crime are either never or almost never imprisoned or executed for that crime.  Thanks to, however, such developments as the application of new technologies to old cases (e.g., genetic testing on rape victims and on their alleged rapists), we now know that wrongful conviction happens uncomfortably often.
I used to be disquieted by the lack of “presumption of innocence” in, for example, the French legal system; I imagined that, were one mistakenly charged in France with having committed a crime, the likelihood of being cleared of the charge was no greater than that of a flipped coin coming up heads instead of tails.  “Presumption of innocence” made judicial systems that are culturally English or English in derivation, such as that of the USA, seem highly preferable.  I was partly right; “presumption of innocence” may be preferable as a principle, but we must admit that it operates much better in theory than in practice.  Having heard as many stories as I have about US citizens finally being exonerated of crimes for which they had spent years in prison, and of others escaping earthly penalties for crimes which they obviously did commit (and having learned, subsequent to the posting of my 20/11/2014 Best of Uncommon Commentary, that it is commonly known among legal professionals that “juries tend to ignore the law”), I no longer see any reason to conclude that US justice is better than the French version at protecting innocents and punishing wrongdoers.  What this means is not that we must emulate the French approach to criminal justice, but only that we ought to concede that our own approach is overrated, and that we need to enact reforms; in UC #57 I suggested one such reform, which would be to abolish trial-by-jury. (This ought to be popular, since it would mean abolishing jury duty!)

12 December 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

In consideration of this article, which provides further evidence that New Orleans is poorly situated, you may want to visit or revisit this u.c. (If not, do so anyway!)

05 December 2014

Uncommon Commentary #436: Midterm Examination

The Democratic “National” Committee has, to quote a news story, “named a 10-person panel to examine the party’s struggles during the 2014 and 2010 elections and recommend solutions.”  Appointing what has been described as a “task force” is unnecessary.  The Democratic Party fared poorly in the past two midterm elections (as well as in those of 1994) because they occurred two years after a presidential election won by a Democrat whose leadership deficiencies harmed the USA, and that each set of midterm elections in question was a referendum on those deficiencies. (It is true that a Democrat also won the presidency in 1996, and that his doing so did not adversely affect his party’s fortunes in 1998; the initial dynamism of the Republican majority in both chambers of Congress, however, and President (Bill) Clinton’s lack of the same quality, clearly left the former instead of the latter setting the country’s agenda after 1994.) Of course, if Dumbocrats were astute enough to understand this, they wouldn’t be Dumbocrats, would they?

04 December 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

I’ve again updated UC #219, which now lists the 75 clichés that I hate the most; don’t let the fact that I’ve made “Tea Party” the newest addition, though, give you a false impression of my ideological bent.  I’m sympathetic to the movement of that inane name; it just irritates me that we’ve come to the point where anyone who supports a non-establishment Republican candidate for political office is dubbed “Tea Party”, regardless of whether he’s ever attended a rally against government overspending. (You may also want to see UC#130.)

26 November 2014

Uncommon Commentary #435: An Unedifying Edifice

The actual name of what we call the “Statue of Liberty” is “Liberty Enlightening the World”, hence the fact that she carries a torch.  This landmark may be an “icon” of the USA, but, to be totally honest, it’s one in need of iconoclasm; those of us who are still Christians ought to know that it is not an abstract concept like political “liberty” but Christ that enlightens the world.  Moreover, since it’s thought to have been modeled on or at least inspired by the Colossus of Rhodes, which was a portrayal of the pagan god Helios, the statue may even qualify as an idol.  Had I the power to do so, I would officially rechristen “Lady Liberty” as the “Statue of Wisdom” (and the island where she stands as “Wisdom Island”), since wisdom, unlike liberty, is personified in Scripture and can truly be said to have an enlightening influence.

20 November 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

I had intended to post an entirely new uncommon commentary this week, but it’s not working out as I had hoped it would; instead, read this u.c. on a nearly-identical subject, revised by my peerless (a pun, which you’ll understand when you follow the link in this sentence) self.

11 November 2014

Uncommon Commentary #434: Free Ideas Are Often Worth the Price

I don’t recall having heard the term “marketplace of ideas” until just a few years ago, when it seems to have either been coined or become more popular than before.  To give two recent examples: Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote “History teaches that the remedy for tasteless speech is not government repression -- it is more speech.  In a free society, when the marketplace of ideas is open and unfettered, the truth is obvious”; and former NYC Mayor Giuliani said, shortly afterward, “We recognize that people differ and that the First Amendment gives us the answer: the marketplace of ideas.”
There’s no question that in actual marketplaces, where tangible commodities are sold, superior products generally out-compete inferior ones as long as these non-metaphorical marketplaces are spared gratuitous interference by the government.  The notion that free-market principles apply not only to trade but also to the sphere of public opinion, which notion Judge Napolitano and others apparently take for granted, is, however, very dubious.  What I think history really teaches is that bad ideas are at least as popular as good ones, and that even when “the truth is obvious”, people often spurn it for falsehood; or, to employ a phrase from the Bible, they prefer darkness to light. (If the Judge is right, why is this country in the mess that it is now?  Why are such patently bad ideas as acceptance of unwed motherhood, or that of same-sex marriage, in the ascendant?)
In my opinion, placing confidence in the concept of a “marketplace of ideas” fails to counteract the libertarian and the leftist in their conceit that government ought to make no attempt to elevate public morality.  I don’t advocate a kind of Christian totalitarianism, but, as the ongoing degeneration of our culture ought to make evident, we need much more moral censorship than we presently have.  Leaders of a Christian country (or, like ours, one that used to be Christian) must understand that the civil power, owing its authority to God (Romans 13:1), has an obligation to defend and to promote godly ideas, even if those ideas don’t sell as well as the sinful ones.

02 November 2014

Uncommon Commentary #433: Washington, D[ysfunctional]C[apital]

Many Republicans are excited over the prospect of gaining a majority in the US Senate through this year’s elections.  If this happens, though, the majority will be a slight one, unable to withstand the veto power of a president who unquestionably will still accuse his opponents of obstructionism; we must expect “gridlock”, therefore, to persist in the federal misgovernment for at least another two years.  A lame duck can still bite.

29 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #432: In a World Like Ours, Who Needs to Make up Scary Stories?

Unlike many of my fellow Christians, I’m not an anti-Halloween hardliner; I have no objection to taking children trick-or-treating, or to watching frightening films, on 31 October.  I do, however, consider it a travesty that the observance of this quasi-holiday overshadows the real holiday that falls on the following day, viz., All Saints’ Day. (It’s an ironic travesty, since Halloween derives its very name, which is short for “All Hallow Even”, from its being the eve of the celebration of all hallowed souls.) Film networks like Turner Classic Movies, which always air horror flicks on Halloween and usually begin doing so days or even weeks in advance, could certainly devote 1 November to pictures about persons who have been canonized, like Francis of Assisi, The Song of Bernadette, and The Passion of Joan of Arc.  Doubtless there have been many more features concerning ghosts, vampires, and zombies than martyrs and confessors, but networks that have large-enough cinematic libraries ought to be able to avoid showing the same biographies of the beatific year after year. (Even showing films of Eva Marie Saint, Jill St. John, &c., or those featuring the character Simon “the Saint” Templar, would at least remind viewers of what day it is!)

25 October 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #66

Why do the writers of news stories always need to know how old a person is, even if age has no relevance to the story?  If they are going to ask a woman for her age, why don’t they also inquire about her marital status, her measurements, and whether she dyes her hair?

23 October 2014

The Best of Miscellaneous Musing

Since I wrote MM #46, I’ve learned that my opinion therein has been corroborated by Dr. Tim Gray, a professional and orthodox Scripture scholar whom I’ve seen on EWTN.  Therefore, I advise you to visit that posting either again or for the first time, the latter being the case only if you dwell among those backward peoples in the highland forests of New Guinea who do not yet know of the Doman Domain.

16 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #431: Still Eric Holder, but Hopefully Never Again an Office-Holder

My initial reaction to the news of Eric Holder’s resignation from the post of US Attorney General was the same as my reaction to the departure of nearly everyone else who finally acquires sense enough to leave the inept and malfeasant Obama Administration: “Good riddance!”  Just as first impressions can be misleading, however, first reactions are often erroneous.  It is, of course, good that the worst attorney general in US history will no longer be serving (himself) in that capacity, even though we can safely assume that Emperor Nerobama will make a deplorable choice for his replacement—Let’s pray that Janet Reno doesn’t want her old job back!—; but the fact that this is a self-ouster means that it can hardly qualify as good riddance.  After all, the man ought to have been impeached long ago, but, now, his corruption and incompetence will be rewarded with a fat pension.  This is worse than the equivalent of “cheating the hangman”; it’s cheating the entire country.

07 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #430: Obama Is a Misleader, not a Leader

A news article reads, in part: “Obama paid tribute Sunday to disabled U.S. veterans, acknowledging that the country has at times failed to repay their service[,] and vowing to never lead them into pointless battle.”  Note that he didn’t vow to never lead current members of the armed forces into pointless battle.

03 October 2014

Uncommon Commentary #429: I-SIS? I-ran? Ay Me!

In advocating a partnership with Iran against the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as the ISIS or ISIL), US Sen. Graham posed the question “Why did we deal with Stalin?”, and then answered it himself: “Because he was not as bad as Hitler.”  One might reasonably expect somebody to give a correct answer to his own question, but the Senator is quite mistaken.  The right reply is that, after Germany declared war upon both the USA and Stalin’s USSR, these two countries had a common enemy in Hitler; indeed, circumstances practically forced them into a military alliance.
Moreover, the reason for Sen. Graham’s WWII reference, which evidently is to argue that Iran is preferable to the IS, is even more wrong than his assertion that Stalin was “not as bad as Hitler”.  The nascent Islamic State lacks an air force and is estimated by the CIA to comprise between 20,000 and 30,000 fighting men, most of whom have no real military training; Iran has a total population of 77 million, 550,000 of whom are members of the standing armed forces and another two million of whom serve in its reserves, and, of course, it is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons.  Which one do you consider the greater threat to the rest of the world? (Using the Senator’s logic, we perhaps ought to ally ourselves with the IS against Iran!)

25 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #428: A Second Strike Against the Islamic State? Actually, There Are Two Strikes Against Us

A recent news item began: “The U.S. and Arab allies launched another round of strikes Wednesday on [rock-]oil refineries in Syria, which the militants use in part to fund their multi-million[-]dollar operation.”  Why not strike the militants, rather than destroy infrastructure that a postwar Syria would need to rebuild its economy?  Likely because hitting large, usually undefended civilian targets with “airstrikes” is all that one can accomplish in the absence of the ground forces that will be needed to win this war.

23 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #427: “Boots on the Ground”? I’d Rather Have Those Boots Kicking Obama’s Rear End

Several years ago, Obama told the Germans that they ought to send more troops to Afghanistan so that the USA could reduce its own military commitment there and thereby reduce the burden on its taxpayers.  German opinion was summarized as: “Ach du lieber!  Why should we strengthen our forces so that US citizens can get a tax cut?”  There was nothing wrong with asking Germany to contribute more soldiers, but Obama certainly employed a strange tactic in doing so.  His approach then seems much like his belated effort to build a coalition against the Islamic State while simultaneously vowing that no US troops will enter combat on the ground.  I can imagine a typical response to his diplomatic efforts:

“If I understand you correctly, Mr. President—All right, all right, ‘Your Imperial Majesty’—, you expect other countries such as mine to supply the thousands of ground troops that will be needed to defeat the Islamic State, while your military does nothing but carry out ‘airstrikes’.  And so, we suffer all the casualties, and then, if victory comes, you’ll arrogate all the credit for the success, just as the NATO did 15 years ago regarding Kosovo, or as you did when Gadhafi was killed.  Do you think that we’re as stupid as the people who voted for you?”

22 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #426

Perhaps it’s not completely absurd for Emperor Nerobama to deny that the Islamic State is Islamic.  After all, he’s a Democrat, but certainly no democrat.

21 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #425: Kanye Help it if He’s an Egotist?

At a recent concert, “rap artist” Kanye [sic] West told his audience that he wouldn’t finish his “rap”—one can’t call such a thing a “song”—unless everyone present should stand.  That would’ve been enough reason for me to remain seated!

17 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #424: My Editorial Against Editorials

The practice of including editorials in newspapers dates back a few centuries, but that’s a few centuries too long.  There is, after all, a reason why newspapers are not called “opinionpapers”.

10 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #423: Between Barack and a Hard Place

Much has been said and written lately about the USA’s abdication of leadership of the “Free World” under Obama.  Indubitably it is true that the President’s obvious reluctance to take any sort of action that might help to redress the international situation, and his ineptitude in managing US intervention when his critics and public opinion prod him into taking such action, have contributed significantly to the recent rapid deterioration of the state of our world.  Hawks, however, ought to keep a few things in mind:
  1. A bankrupt country cannot be a superpower.  “Sequestration” has had deleterious effects on our ability to fight wars, but a land that owes as much money as ours does must make drastic cuts in spending on the military as well as in other areas of government.
  2. Our performance as the world’s policeman was rather less than adequate even before Obama became commander-in-chief.  On occasion we had a success like the 1949 Berlin Airlift or the 1983 invasion of Grenada, but more often we had a failure like the botch in Vietnam or that in Somalia.  As I’ve written previously, there is at least one thing worse than isolationism: incompetent intervention.
  3. Should the USA cease to exist, some adjustments would have to be made—most countries in Europe have gotten lazy about the need for defense, preferring to rely upon their alliance with us—but civilization would likely survive, as it did for five millennia before the founding of the USA.  (It ought to be noted that most threats to peace and prosperity nowadays come from such non-state actors as terrorist groups, which can be thwarted by polities that don’t have high defense expenditures.  We saw an example of this in 2013, when the French military expelled Al-Qaeda from Mali with no assistance from us except for our supplying a few remotely-operated vehicles, known colloquially as “drones”.)
In conclusion, I implore the interventionists to remember their mistake regarding Libya three years ago, and just leave bad-enough alone by allowing Obama to not lead from behind or from anywhere else.  If we really want to do something to oppose the false goddess ISIS (or ISIL; now, it seems, known correctly as the Islamic State), let’s first amend the US Constitution so that we can have recall elections to oust the President in mid-term, and then replace the current one with somebody who would make a competent commander-in-chief.

03 September 2014

Uncommon Commentary #422: I Wish it Were the “Last Week” of Obama’s Presidency

A news story reads partly as follows, except for the italicization, which is mine: “… Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s air strikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis ….”  Who says that our president ignores the legislature?

29 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #421: Alarmists Might Say "Keep Your Pause to Yourself!"

In the late 1980’s and the 1990’s, when global-warming hysteria was young, my position on the subject was that it was entirely appropriate to carry out research on whether catastrophic, anthropogenic “climate change” (to use the term that adherents of the global-warmist religion now prefer) is taking place, but that there was no cause for panic.  By now, however, those who want to find real evidence of such an apocalypse have had over a quarter of a century in which to do so—And the burden of proof is on them, not on the skeptics, because it’s the former who demand that we cope with this putative threat through radical action, which would both eliminate millions of jobs in the fossil-fuel industries and raise energy costs for consumers (and because long-term variation in world temperatures is natural, as anyone who has ever heard of the Ice Ages of the Pleistocene Epoch ought to know)—and they haven’t found it, although they talk as if they had.  It’s ironic that Al Gory, President Obombast, &c. habitually apply the word "deniers" to anyone who does not follow them obsequiously in this regard, since it's actually they who have taken on the rôle of obscurantist as they wilfully ignore the "pause" in warming (1998-present, which means that its inception actually predates Gory’s launching of his anti-“global-warming” crusade) and other evidence that discredits the alarmist position.  As you like to say, Al, “the debate is over”, and you’ve lost!

21 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #420: Why Won’t Obama Help His Own Worshipers?

(Followers of the Yazidi religion, you see, idolize Satan.)
President Obombast reached a new level of dishonesty with his announcement one week ago regarding the siege of Mt. Sanjar, where thousands of Yazidis were trapped without food or water.  He declared that the siege had been broken (by his “airstrikes”, of course) and that, therefore, the rescue mission that his critics had goaded his administration into planning was now unnecessary.  The reality was that Yazidis had been escaping from the mountain with the assistance of Kurdish forces, so that an estimated 5,000 remained thereon out of the 30,000-to-40,000 that our intelligence expected to find still there; our bloviator-in-chief evidently didn’t consider this lowered number sufficient to justify the prevention of mass murder.  Obama has always been a liar, but proclaiming that we have resolved an ongoing humanitarian crisis is on a par with what Beijing told us about the Tiananmen Square massacre 25 years ago!

18 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #419: Thanks for the Tanks, Yanks!

Rather than exacerbate a domestic problem (the over-militarization of local law-enforcement) by giving away surplus ordnance (including even tanks) to police departments that have no need of such heavy armament, why don’t we help to solve a foreign problem by having the Pentagon donate this weaponry to the Kurds of Iraq, who do need it to fight our common adversary the Islamists?

13 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #418

Emperor Nerobama demands that the US Congress give him 3.7 billion dollars to cope with the crisis on our southern border, and threatens to act without congressional approval.  Here’s something that would be less expensive, and likely more effective: a public-relations campaign in the Central American states whence all these children are coming, asking them why they want to live in a country so badly governed as ours.

06 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #417: Nowadays, it’s Hip to Be a Hypocrite

I wonder whether the Obombast administration, which denounces Israel over civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, is aware that our own armed forces killed millions of innocents during World War II.  (It’s a coincidence that I’m making this posting on the anniversary of the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima, which obliterated an entire city full of noncombatants.)  My purpose here is not to condemn WWII air-raids or the men who carried them out, but to condemn self-righteous hypocrisy.

05 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #416: You and the UN and the Ukraine

Here’s my proposed resolution of the crisis in the Ukraine: Solicit the assent of the warring parties, as well as of Russia, to the holding of an UN-sponsored referendum on independence for the areas in question.  The terms of this plebiscite would be as follows: Monitors from neutral countries would oversee the voting; Should the denizens of the disputed regions vote to secede (and then join Russia, if they so choose), they’ll be allowed to do so in peace; If they vote against secession, UN troops will be sent to the area to prevent any further insurgence.  Wouldn’t either outcome be preferable to a continuance of the bloodshed?

04 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #415: Being Ignorant of History Is Worse than Letting the Bannock Burn

(“Bannock” has been used, in New England, to apply to a “thin cake baked on a griddle”.)
That this year marks the seven-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn presumably is the reason why Scottish nationalists have chosen 2014 for the holding of their hubristic and pointless referendum on independence.  Here are a couple of facts that you probably didn’t know about the circumstances of that engagement:
  1. During those feudal times, loyalty was to one's overlord rather than to one's country; whether that overlord, for instance, the King of England (to whom the Bruce and all the other candidates for the crown of Scotland had sworn fealty in 1291), was of a different nationality from one's own was irrelevant.  Robert the Bruce and his adherents were motivated not by patriotism but merely by his dynastic ambition.
  2. During Bannockburn, it appears, not only the Bruce (who had committed either murder or attempted murder inside a church) but the whole of Scotland was under excommunication by the Pope.
The above might prove enlightening to those Scottish patriots who like to believe that Robert the Bruce's side had the moral high ground!

03 August 2014

Uncommon Commentary #414: Whoever Coined the Name Ought to Be Exiled to Cyberia

Tomorrow reputedly is “Cyber [sic] Monday”.  Since I try to avoid popular culture, I don’t know what that appellation means; since 4 August is also Emperor Nerobama’s birthday, however, and the pseudo-word “cyber” derives from “cipher”, which literally means “zero”, I’d say that the designation is accidentally appropriate this year!

29 July 2014

Uncommon Commentary #413: Iron Domes and Thick Skulls

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, which we Yanks helped to create, has proven highly successful at neutralizing the threat of Hamas rockets; Why, then, have we no plans to get something similar?  Why, indeed, haven’t we already had such a thing for a long time?  The Iron Dome was designed to intercept short-range weapons rather than those that carry nuclear warheads, which consequently must be destroyed when outside our atmosphere, but the principle on which it operates (namely, that one can hit a missile in flight with another missile) is exactly the same as that of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which was envisioned in the USA three decades ago.  The answer to the questions that I posed earlier in this uncommon commentary is, of course, political partisanship.  The SDI was a project of President Reagan, and US Leftists refuse to admit that their great antagonist was right about anything, even if their recalcitrance prevents us from adopting a technology that could save our civilization from nuclear annihilation.  Since we’ve assisted in the development for Israel of something that we still haven’t developed for our own country, I suggest that we refer to it as the “Irony Dome”.

25 July 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

In UC #159, I referred to Planned Parenthood as “PP”.  My derogatory remark has taken on new significance now that this detestable organization’s counselors have been caught on tape, advising what they think are 15-year-old girls to allow their partners in sexual intercourse to urinate on them (and engage in other forms of behavior that are physically, psychologically, and spiritually unhealthy).

18 July 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #65

When we say that some country or another is “Christian”, we need to begin refining this definition.  There is considerable difference between a state whose population largely professes Christianity, but whose government has adopted a position of neutrality toward religion, and one that it is actually governed according to the principles of the New Testament.

13 July 2014

Uncommon Commentary #412: Separation of Wisdom and Secularism

The real "separation of church and state" that the USA needs is not the sort that the secular Left stridently demands.  There ought to be much more influence of religion upon the state, but much less of that of the state upon religion.

04 July 2014

Uncommon Commentary #411: Bias by Us

Two days ago in East Jerusalem, police received a report that a 17-year-old Palestinian Arab had been forced into a car; one hour later, he was found lifeless elsewhere in the city.  The Obombast administration (e.g., "National" Security Adviser Susan Rice, Secretary of State Kerry, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest[!]) immediately pronounced the murder "despicable", "sickening", "heinous ", &c., and repeatedly expressed "condolences to the Palestinian people [sic]".  If there was similar official US condemnation and sympathy over the deaths of those three young Israeli seminarians (one of whom also had US citizenship), whose corpses were discovered near Hebron two days earlier, I somehow missed it.

30 June 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary: Failed State-smanship, Too

Domestic and foreign critics have been pressing for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign, and the country's vice-president has asked the parliament to convene tomorrow to begin the process of forming a new government (within the same parliamentary system).  I don't disagree that the current PM is a failed leader, but what Western diplomacy still doesn't seem to comprehend—Eleven days ago, President Obombast called for "inclusive" government in Iraq, as if the Sunni Islamists, who appear to be well on their way to a takeover of the whole country, would be satisfied with a larger share of power in a ruling coalition!—is that Iraq is a failed state.  In UC #3, I referred to Iraq's government as "terminally ill"; to see what the rest of the world ought to have done instead of imposing such a regime upon the Arabs and Kurds in that land, revisit the penultimate paragraph of said posting. (Then, read the rest of it!)

29 June 2014

Uncommon Commentary #410: Regarding Value to Our Country, Their Net Worth Is Zero

Hillary [sic] lately said that she's not "truly well-off", even though the Clintons' net worth is an estimated $100 million.  Perhaps she meant that she's not well-off being married to Slick!

23 June 2014

Uncommon Commentary #409: Is This a Josh, or Is it in Earnest?

Since the synonym section of my dictionary's entry for "serious" reads "earnest suggests sincerity … of purpose", it's hard to think of a less appropriate name for a professional liar (viz., Obama White House Press Secretary) than that of Jay Blarney's replacement, Josh Earnest (or Ernest; I've seen it spelled both ways).

22 June 2014

Uncommon Commentary #408: Bergdahl Was AWOL, Which Makes the Trade AWFUL (Alternate Title: Bergdahl Got His Just Desserts for Deserting in the Desert)

Regarding the Obama administration's swap of five terrorists, whom a Pentagon official likened to "four-star generals" of the Taliban, for Sergeant Bergdahl: How long do you think someone would last as the general manager of a professional "football" team if he traded a quintet of all-stars for a fourth-stringer who left the field without permission while a play was being run?  Certainly not for eight seasons!

19 June 2014

Uncommon Commentary #407: Khattala Suffers a Seizure

On Trinity Sunday, US forces captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia and one of the suspects in the 2012 attack upon our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.  Two days later, reporters asked a Pentagon official why we were previously unable to seize a man who lived openly in Libya, even granting interviews to foreign media such as the BBC and Fox News; the spokesman's non-answer, "What matters is that … we got him", leads one to suspect that the administration could have nabbed this person whenever it chose to do so.  The reason why it did so now can only be a subject of speculation at this time, but the most likely explanation is that it sought to distract people's attention from news about the consequences of the Nerobama regime's ineptitude and malfeasance, perhaps specifically the belated formation of a special congressional committee to investigate the cover-up concerning the very debacle that made it necessary to try to bring the likes of Khattala to justice.

10 June 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

This short u.c. is among those that you may have missed; see "An Important Note on the Archive" on the right side of the Doman Domain.  Since it's updated anyway, why not take this opportunity to view it?

07 June 2014

Uncommon Commentary #406: "Like-Minded", not "Life-Minded"

Who ought to be against abortion: Anyone who's been born!  Don't "pro-choice" children of like-minded mothers realize that these mothers would have destroyed them had the pregnancies that produced them been undesirable?

06 June 2014

Best of Miscellaneous Musing

Since today marks the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy invasion, known officially as Operation Overlord and popularly but foolishly as "D-Day" (v.i.), you'll want to revisit MM #7.
(The date on which this invasion began was called "D-Day" for the same reason why the time of its launching was called "H-Hour" and the entire operation was dubbed "Operation Overlord": The planners didn't want the enemy to know what would happen.  "Overlord" was the code name given to this particular operation; "D-Day" was the code name used for the date of commencement of any military campaign, just as "H-Hour" was that designating the hour of its commencement.  For some reason, the public has come to associate "D-Day" specifically with Overlord.)

29 May 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #64

The USA's "national" anthem is not played when places of business or schools or even government offices open for the day, or at the commencement of a musical or theatrical performance or even of a presidential address, or under almost any other non-athletic circumstance, and so why is it played at the beginning of sporting events?  Do the organizers of such events fear that, should the anthem not be played, the attendees might not know what country they're in?

23 May 2014

Uncommon Commentary #405: When Peaceniks Nix Peace (Alternate Title: Putting the "Fist" in "Pacifist")

One of the great misconceptions of our time is the idea that leftists oppose war.  The truth is merely that their motivation for waging wars differs from that of rightists.  Rightists tend to be intensely patriotic, and thus to feel a duty to serve their country under arms even if they disagree with the reason for the belligerency.  For leftists, by contrast, whether to fight a war or to refuse to do so is a purely ideological question, the answer thereto depending on whether they expect their cause to benefit more from war or from peace.  Indeed, since some religious sects forbid their members to kill fellow human beings, and religious persons lean politically "conservative" rather than "liberal", there probably are more genuine pacifists on the Right than on the Left.

15 May 2014

Uncommon Commentary #404: Acts 5, Secularists 0

I've paid more than one visit to an history-and-archaeology w.w.w. site called Livius.org.  Since (the old version of) said site follows the egregious practice of using "BCE" and "CE" instead of BC and AD, I can't give it my wholehearted recommendation, but it does provide an interesting list of messianic claimants during antiquity.  What interests me the most about the list is the fact that, of the 19 entries, just one was ever acclaimed as messiah even after he died.  If the man in whom you had placed your hopes had just been executed, don't you think that you would give up on him?  What would you gain (unless you are a masochist who wants to be persecuted and ultimately put to death) by proclaiming that he had risen from the tomb, if you didn't really believe that he had done so?  Either Christ's disciples repeatedly experienced the mass hallucination that He appeared to them, or He did actually appear; if you're a secular fanatic you'll prefer the former explanation, but, if you're like me, you'll prefer the correct one.  (You may also want to read the similar opinion expressed by Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-39, which passage mentions two of the false messiahs.)

09 May 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #63

Having a capital, a (single) city in which organs of government are concentrated, made sense prior to the advent of either instantaneous distant communication or weapons of instantaneous mass destruction.  Now that messages between officials can be received immediately in places thousands of miles from their origin, however, it's outdated; and now that a single surprise attack with a (nuclear) bomb can annihilate an entire city and thus wipe out all three branches of the US government at once, it's a liability.

01 May 2014

Uncommon Commentary #403: Ranters v. Rancher

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada cattle-rancher who has won notoriety through his defiance of the federal government over allegedly illegal grazing, aroused further furor with supposedly "racist" comments made about a week back.  I haven't really decided whether Bundy or the Bureau of Land Management is in the right in this dispute (although I do, of course, think that the BLM used an excessive display of force when it attempted to seize his herd), but I certainly have something to say about the second controversy.  What Bundy said to ignite the firestorm was:
They (Blacks) abort their young children, they put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton.  And, I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy.
When asked on the Peter Schiff Show to clarify his remarks, he said "I'm wondering are they happier now under this government subsidy system than they were (when) they were slaves?", and, at a press conference, he said that he was just posing a "question" about whether Black people are better off now than in the days of slavery.
If Bundy were actually saying that Black people are morally inferior to Whites, or advocating the restoration of slavery, then he would deserve censure (though still not the opprobrium directed at him); Do you honestly think that he was doing that?  To me it sounds as though he merely (though artlessly) laments the high rates of abortion, incarceration, and government assistance among US Blacks, and questions whether they are truly any better off in these circumstances than they were before emancipation.  I've heard similar jeremiads from well-known Black leaders, but, since Bundy is Caucasoid, we who have developed tin ears from having lived with Political Correctness (or, as I've dubbed it, "Totalitarianism Light") for a quarter-century hear the words "Black" (or "African-American") and "slaves" and temporarily discard our ability to reason; one can see this in the fact that not only left-wing outlets like Media Matters (which ought to change its name to "Media Matters, but Logic Doesn't"), but even Republicans who have supported Bundy in his standoff versus Uncle Sam, like US Senator Rant Paul—I mean, Rand Paul—have inveighed against him by calling his statement "racist" and "offensive".  Such judgmentalism (with an unhealthy dose of paranoia likely mixed in) is itself offensive, and provides additional evidence that Big Brother is alive and well in this country, which takes pride in considering itself the freest in the world from thought control.

26 April 2014

Uncommon Commentary #402: Miscellaneous Musing #54 (and MM #54 Update) Follow-Up

All the revelations by Edward Snowden embarrass Uncle Sam, but, with just one possible exception of which I know, they in no way compromise our security. (An intelligence professional has said that targets of US government surveillance will change their behavior now that they know that the NSA is snooping on their, and everyone else's, electronic mails and telephone calls and so forth.)  The man is technically guilty of betraying a trust, but to speak of him as if he belonged in the same category as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who stole secrets that facilitated the USSR's acquisition of atomic weaponry, does more than strain the limits of credulity; it bursts right through them.

21 April 2014

Uncommon Commentary #401: Cry Me a River, Crimea Peninsula

Since "Great Russians" (the people whom we simply call "Russians" today) rather than Ukrainians (known historically as "Little Russians") have long made up most of the population of both the Crimean peninsula and the eastern, industrial belt of the Ukraine, it really makes more sense for these areas to be part of Russia than for them to remain Ukrainian; indeed, when both Russia (as the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Ukraine (as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) were components of the USSR, Crimea was for some time part of the former rather than the latter.
This does not mean, however, that Russia's ongoing expansionism genuinely concerns ethnicity.  Since Great Russia made no attempt to absorb any part of Little Russia while the pro-Russian Yanukovych was in power in Kiev, we can safely assume that Vladimir Putin is trying to compensate for the overthrow of his client by carving off as much of the Ukraine as he thinks he can using nationalism as justification; it may be that what we are now seeing is one step in a divide-and-conquer policy that will lead to the swallowing-up of the entire Ukraine, and it may even be, as some have speculated, that the invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the present situation demonstrate an intention on Putin's part to reassemble the Soviet empire.
Nor does it mean that we ought to ignore the current phase of Russia's aggrandizement or to go on pretending that our pathetic sanctions are an adequate response thereto.  The dissolution of the USSR left some of that state's atomic weapons within the boundaries of what had become the just-plain-republic of Ukraine; in return for the abolition of those nuclear arms, which the Ukrainians could have used to defend their land against what is currently happening, we promised in 1994 to uphold Ukrainian territorial integrity.  This theoretical guarantee justifies taking serious action to oppose Russia's annexation of Crimea and potential further acquisitions; we don't need to conjure hypocritical objections such as the Obombast administration's complaint that the Crimean decision to leave the Ukraine was not "legitimate". (I say "hypocritical" because the Obama Nation is itself a product of a unilateral declaration of independence, which was not preceded by a referendum in which 97 percent of the participants voted for secession.  Historians estimate that a mere third of the denizens of the Thirteen Colonies favored the independence movement.)
Confrontation with Russia therefore is diplomatically obligatory, but it seems to require more nerve than even so egotistical a man as Obama has; perhaps that's why he has referred to himself as a "community organizer" and not as an "international community" organizer.

13 April 2014

Uncommon Commentary #400!: And Since it's Not Made of Cheese Like the Moon, There's Nothing to Eat

Attempting to colonize Mars is a deplorable idea.  The Red Planet is almost completely unsuitable for human habitation, and there's really no reason to try to make it more suitable by, as has been proposed, monkeying with the atmosphere for the sake of engineering an "intentional greenhouse effect", because our own planet is generally far from crowded; the problem here is not one of excessive population but of extremely uneven distribution of that population.  Before we risk repeating elsewhere in the cosmos the same mistakes that we've made on our own world, let's put better effort into correcting what's gone wrong on Earth.

09 April 2014

The Even-Better of Uncommon Commentary

I had intended to make a new posting, which would form "Part Two" of a previous uncommon commentary, but I found a way to add the new material to what I had expounded on the same subject.  You will probably appreciate, therefore, revisiting the greatly expanded UC #387.

05 April 2014

Uncommon Commentary #399

The governmental disaster currently afflicting the USA is officially named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; it's known informally (and deplorably; see the updated UC #219) as ObamaCare, and to me as ObamaCareless; most prosaically, it's sometimes simply "Obama's health-care law".  Instead of the last of these, and in consideration of the fact that anything that could have gone wrong with it has done so, why not call it "Murphy's law"?

30 March 2014

The Best of Uncommon Commentary (Has Gotten Better, or at Least Longer)

I haven't yet come up with a way to conclude an uncommon commentary on which I've been working, and so, in the meantime, why don't you revisit the greatly expanded (from the original 15 list items to nearly five times that many) UC #219?

19 March 2014

Uncommon Commentary #398: When Speaking of ObamaCareless, "Fine" Is a Noun, not an Adjective

There's been plenty of talk about the government's pending failure to sign up the seven million suckers for ObamaCareless that it confidently predicted it would be able to marshal by the end of this month.  I know of no one, however, who has observed that this debacle is becoming manifest despite the individual mandate.  If people have to pay a fine unless they buy your product, and sales still fall far short of your expectations, what you're offering them must really be bad.

13 March 2014

Uncommon Commentary #397: It's Hard to Be Gay if You're "Gay"

Because I'm not an homosexual and I don't live in Uganda, I haven't read up on the anti-homosexuality law in that country, but I hope that it (along with similar legislation in, e.g., Nigeria) doesn't punish a person merely for being homosexual as opposed to actually committing sodomy; the Church holds that (since homosexuality is known to psychiatrists to be a mental disease) it's not sinful merely to feel same-sex attraction, although it is a sin to yield to such impulses, just as it is for a heterosexual to fornicate.  Even laws that penalize only the committing of homosexual acts likely are unnecessary.  Contrary to the "Gay pride" blather that we sometimes hear, probably no one wants to have a psychological aberration; the fact that homophiles are unable to have something that nearly all of us desire (i.e., a healthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex), and that homosexual behavior can have deadly consequences, means that homosexuality really is its own punishment.

07 March 2014

Uncommon Commentary #396: Will You Listen to Him Kerry On!

Making John Kerry the US secretary of state was deplorable, except in one respect: it keeps him out of this country for most of the year.

05 March 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #62

This Lent, rather than give up a trifle such as chocolate, why not avoid something that brings the temptation to sin?  Most of us would benefit spiritually by, for instance, leaving our televisions off for the duration of the season. (We would benefit even more by leaving them off permanently, but the cold-turkey approach may be more than we can handle.)

28 February 2014

Uncommon Commentary #395: Tyranny of the Majority (Leader)

It's bad enough that Harry Reid is a slanderous jerk, as he is demonstrating by again making a baseless accusation against those who don't see things his way; this time, he's calumniating Americans for Prosperity as having hired actors to tell invented stories about their suffering because of ObamaCareless.  Reid is not alone in maligning anyone who makes the Democratic Party look bad, but he also abuses his position as US Senate Majority Leader by refusing to bring bills to the floor for a vote if he simply doesn't want them to become law.  It is long past the time for this congressional disgrace to be relegated to the status of Minority Leader (as well as for his being ousted from public office altogether!); the voters muffed their chance in 2012, but perhaps they'll get it right in this year's elections.

25 February 2014

Uncommon Commentary #394: Vice Isn't Nice

Known homosexual athletes (like the NFL draftee whom First _ Michelle Obombast calls an "inspiration") ought not to share locker rooms with heterosexuals, any more than heterosexuals ought to share them with the opposite sex.  This isn't "homophobia"; it's common sense.

18 February 2014

Uncommon Commentary #393: A "Pen" Is Where Obama Belongs

On several occasions, I have written about Emperor Nerobama's abuse of his power in issuing executive orders.  This issue is now receiving wider attention, thanks to his imprudent "I've got [sic] a pen" boast and his latest State of the Union address.  Released this past week were the pertinent, alarming results of a public-opinion survey taken under the joint direction of two polling companies, one Democratic and one Republican.  Question number four read: "Barack Obama said he will take action to advance his policy goals with or without Congress, and that he'll use executive orders to get around Congress.  Do you think this is the way our government is supposed to work, or not?"  74 percent of the respondents correctly answered "no", but 23 percent said yes, even though one of the first things that we are taught about the US government is that it operates on the principle of "separation of powers", i.e., legislative powers are reserved for the legislative branch, executive powers for the independently elected executive, and judicial powers for the judiciary.  Among Dumbocrats it was 40 percent "yes" and 54 percent "no"; among Blacks, 54 yes and only 42 no; and, astonishingly, respondents with a college degree were less likely (26 percent "yes", 73 percent "no") to get this right than those without such a degree (20-75)!  Even more disturbing is the response to question number five ("Regardless of what you think about how things are supposed to work, do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama going around Congress and using executive orders?"): the percentage that replies positively rises to 37 percent, against 60 percent disapproving.  This means that, in addition to the 23 percent who think that Obama's promise to subvert the will of Congress is constitutional, 14 percent (nearly one in seven) acknowledge that the President's behavior is unconstitutional but agree with it anyway.  Among members of his party the percentages are 66 percent approval versus 31 percent disapproval; among members of the only race to which he admits he belongs—as I've noted previously on the Doman Domain, Obama is just as much White as he is Black, but his mother's side of the family doesn't seem to count—, it's an appalling 81 percent approval and only 16 percent disapproval.
I've said it before, and, at the risk of being thought a dangerous radical, I'll say it again: The US form of government is viable only if the average voter is astute enough to choose his leaders wisely.  When two-thirds of the chief executive's party is either so obtuse or so mindlessly partisan as to commend his despotism, what we call "democracy" is obsolete.

12 February 2014

Uncommon Commentary #392: Massacring St. Valentine's Day

In referring to Saint Valentine’s Day simply as "Valentine's Day", we—that is, you; I don't do it—contribute to the super-secularization of what could once have been called our "culture".  St. Valentine's Day was associated with romantic love as long ago as the age of Chaucer, but until fairly recently it was remembered that the real meaning of this true holiday, i.e., holy day, is that it is the feast of at least one saint named Valentine.  Calling it "Valentine's Day" helps to sustain the impression that "Valentine" refers not to a person who dedicated his life to God but to our practice of giving one another "valentines".

07 February 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #61

There have been television programs about attempts to find the Ark of the Covenant; one (Ancient X-Files) aired two days ago on some cable channel, and concerned the quest of one archaeologist who speculates that the artifact is to be located in tunnels that underlie the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  The Ethiopian Orthodox Church holds that the ark is not lost at all, but, rather, is kept inside a church in the ancient city Axum.  And then, of course, there was the ludicrously overrated feature film Raiders of the Lost Ark, which placed the Biblical treasure in Egypt but offered no explanation as to how it got there.  According to documents alluded to in 2 Maccabees 2:4-8, on the other hand, the prophet Jeremiah had the ark sealed within a cave on what is now called Mount Pisgah, and declared that it would not need to be rediscovered but would someday be revealed by God.  The Second Book of the Maccabees is considered apocryphal by many Christians, and so this account perhaps need not be taken as authoritative; if one is to search for the Ark of the Covenant, though, doesn't it make sense to start by looking in a place that has actually been named as its repository?

30 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #391: The State of the Union? It's Quacking—I Mean, Cracking—Up

Emperor Nerobama has declared his intention to circumvent Congress in 2014 when it doesn't do his will; that's bad enough, but, should Republicans wrest control of the US Senate from Harry Reid and his fellow obstructionists in this year's elections, 2015 may be even worse.  Legislatively, Obama has become so truly a "lame duck" that he might soon develop wings and webbed feet, but the Democrats' rule of the Senate means that he probably retains some hope of completing his transformation of this land into a leftist's utopia with the aid of congressional myrmidons; more importantly, the tendency toward governmental paralysis that has inevitably resulted from dominance of the two legislative chambers by rival parties has prevented Republicans from undoing (some of) the harm that the President has wrought.  Should, therefore, the Republican Party both hold on to its majority in the House of Representatives and gain the several Senate seats that it needs for a majority in that other body, Obama's obvious despotic nature (and his egomania, which undoubtedly gives him great displeasure over the waning of his influence in a country where many previously regarded him as a secular messiah) may compel him to steal even more power, with even more executive orders, than he already does.  I don't say that this will happen, but no one ought to dispute that it can.

22 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #390: The Majority Fools

The majority of respondents to a new public-opinion poll identified "government" as the greatest threat facing the USA.  Presumably this refers specifically to big and overweening government rather to any government at all, but, even if so, the people are wrong.  Big and overweening government certainly is harmful to the well-being of this land, but the greatest threat is one that rarely receives mention even as a minor issue: the abandonment of Christian standards of morality, which endangers our entire civilization.

18 January 2014

Miscellaneous Musing #60

Have you ever noticed that everything Democrats said about Reagan's presidency turned out to be true not of his but of Clinton's?  They accused the Republican of being all style and no substance, of running a corrupt administration, and of having high approval-ratings that were unaffected by scandal, and they pilloried his First Lady for allegedly having undue influence in the White House.  I don't remember what made me think of this—but, then, this is a Miscellaneous Musing.

15 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #389: Civil Marriage Is Often Uncivil Anyway

If there were a polity governed by the principles of what I call "Domanism"—let's call it "Domania" or perhaps "the Doman Empire"—, it would take a very different approach to marriage from what prevails in the super-secular modern West.  The state would recognize Christian, Jewish, and most other religious wedding ceremonies, but not the civil variety. (Couples whose wedding had been performed by, e.g., a justice of the peace either prior to the establishment of this quasi-utopia, or in a land wherefrom they had subsequently migrated, would have to legitimate their marriage by making vows to God before a clergyman; so that children born previously would not be bastards, this solemnified marriage would be held as retroactive to the date of the civil ceremony.)  As reason and religion both require, marriage would be permitted only between persons of opposite sexes, and each person would be allowed just one husband or wife at a time.  Cohabitation with someone of the other sex would be forbidden.  Following Matthew 5:32, divorce would be allowed only in the event of sexual misconduct (which evidently is the meaning of "porneia", the word used in the New Testament); the spouse who was cheated on would be permitted to remarry, but the one who committed adultery would not be so permitted while the former spouse remained alive.
It's unlikely that Domania /the Doman Empire will be established while our fallen race is still running the world, but, if it ever should be, I'll supply you with pertinent information such as gross domestic product and average life expectancy and, most importantly, maps of this land.  (Ideally, it would extend over all Christendom, the territories in which Christianity has historically been the prevalent faith.  Of course, it would be even better if this potential realm overspread the entire world, but let's take one thing at a time; it's hard enough to get most nominal Christians to behave like Christians, without trying to enforce such standards of behavior among the infidels.)

10 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #388: Arrow 3, Leftists 0 [Alternate Title: Soreheads and Warheads]

Israel has again successfully tested its Arrow 3 missile-defense system, which, when operational, will (if necessary) intercept enemy rockets above the atmosphere.  This sounds very much like the Strategic Defense Initiative, which has been envisioned for some three decades here in the USA but which, because of opposition by leftists who evidently would rather leave this country defenseless against long-range missiles than admit that Ronald Reagan was right in this regard, has made no progress beyond tests that validated the premise on which the concept is based.  Israel's enemies may live closer to her than ours do to us, but it sounds as though that country will be a better place to live than the USA when the next major war begins.

08 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #387: Granted, Spouting Garbage Is No Better than Hauling It

Some thoughts on the latest political bogeyman:
Leftists crafted the term "income inequality" to sound scandalous, but it means only that some of us make more money than others do.  I won't defend the fact that many persons such as celebrities of popular "culture" (most of whom are themselves leftists) get paid far more than they deserve, while others who make a more positive contribution to civilization live in poverty; but it is one thing to deplore injustice in how wealth is currently distributed, and it is quite another to attack the very idea of unevenness in that distribution.  In a perfect world (i.e., one subsequent to the advent of the Millenium; see the last paragraph), there would be no need for money and possessions; in our imperfectible fallen world, it makes perfect sense that someone with a higher level of education and a higher position in any given field of endeavor should receive higher pay than someone with less education and responsibility.  Is President Obombast trying to argue that, for example, he, as a law-school graduate and the holder of the most important office in the USA, ought to earn no more than a high-school dropout who handles refuse for a living?
Let's suppose that one man earns a million dollars annually, and another makes $20,000.  Let us further suppose that, after some period of time, the wealthier man has parlayed his investments into a $1.1 million income, whereas the other has gotten a new job that pays him $25,000 per year.  The "gap between rich and poor" has thus widened between these two, from $980,000 to $1,075,000; both men, however, have more money than they did before (and the one who previously earned $20,000 has boosted his income by 25 percent, whereas that of the wealthier man has risen by just one percent).  Should this be a scandal?  Not to me.  In my opinion, "income inequality" (or, since this is being spoken of as if it were a disease, "I.I.") is a problem only if two men get paid substantially different amounts because of a factor such as ethnic discrimination, or if the penurious have no opportunity to improve their lot.
It ought to be noted also that, even should the economic and social environment be wholly conducive to the self-elevation of a person from the status of "have-not" to that of "have", there will still be I.I. (This inequality exists even among the rich; some are worth only one or two million dollars apiece, whereas others are worth hundreds of millions, or even billions.  In fact, the lone circumstance in which there could be no I.I. would be a total lack of income.)  Plenty of talented and intelligent persons (including myself) lack the mindset of an entrepeneur, and therefore would not benefit from a rectification of the misgovernance that makes the USA (contrary to the left-wing conception of this country as a capitalists' paradise) one of the worst places in the world in which to own and operate a business, especially a small one.
Anyone who sincerely considers disparity in earnings to be a "crisis", which can be resolved (by government, of course) prior to the thousand-year reign of Christ and the saints, ought to mind Christ's words "You will always have the poor with you".  For anyone who merely raises the issue in order to wage partisan class-warfare, there are many other Scripture verses that apply.

06 January 2014

Uncommon Commentary #386: A Capital Suggestion

It ought to be a capital offense to co-operate in any way with any criminal, such as paying a ransom. (It evidently is already illegal to pay the ransom-demands of foreign terrorists.) The purpose of this seemingly draconian measure (of which the people would, of course, have to be made well-aware) would be to negate the leverage that the criminal gains over the law-abiding by threatening to kill whoever doesn't do as he says. (Bear in mind that the paying of a ransom, anyway, does not by any means guarantee that a kidnapper will return his victim alive.)  This approach could be abandoned if it failed to work as well in practice as it does in theory, but it seems worth a try.