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.