24 December 2015

Uncommon Commentary #489: A Right to Riot?

If in no other respect, 2015 has been a good year for persons who seek to abuse the principle of freedom of speech (or, as it is sometimes stated, “expression”; see below).  In April, Baltimore Mayoress Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made the following remarkable remark: “I worked with the police and I instructed them to do everything that they could to ensure that the protesters could exercise their right to free speech.  It is a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” (“Rawlings-Blake”—I don’t know the reason for the two surnames; perhaps she considers herself to be too important to have just one—has subsequently asserted that she didn’t mean what she might have seemed to be saying, and that her words were taken out of context, but a senior law-enforcement source confirmed that the hyphenated official gave an order for police to desist from performing their duty to protect the law-abiding as riots, arson, and looting erupted.) And Oklahoma City has given Satanist Adam Daniels a permit to, on this Christmas Eve, pour stage blood, treated with sulfur powder and ash, over a statue of the Virgin Mary that stands before St. Joseph Old Cathedral.
Courts have ruled that expression can, at least in some cases, be considered an equivalent of speech; if someone wanted to, for example, create a painting with a political message (such as, in my judgment, the depiction of the burning of a flag [v.i.]), it would be his prerogative to do so.  A painting, however, is a product of creative rather than destructive expression; positing a constitutional or human right to lay waste to a neighborhood, or to commit public desecration (presumably on private property), or to put a torch to a flag, is like arguing that one has the right to slash a painting by someone else.
Lastly: If violating someone else’s rights indeed is subsumed under free speech, I propose that Christians in Oklahoma City pour stage blood, treated with sulfur powder and ash, over Adam Daniels!

21 December 2015

Uncommon Commentary #488: Don’t Monkey Around with Human Nature

I recently learned of a scientific study in which captive vervet monkeys were allowed to play with toys of their own choice; according to the television program that was the source of this information, it was found that “Just like human children, male vervet monkeys prefer toy cars and balls, while females prefer dolls and cooking-pots.  Most scientists believe that male primates [v.i.] are genetically programmed to play in a way that helps them to develop hunting-and-gathering skills; females are more likely to choose toys that teach them about child care.”  Since we of the species Homo sapiens are also primates, do not the results of this experiment further discredit those brownskirts (see the list of domanisms, below) who deny that there are psychological differences between men and women?

14 December 2015

Uncommon Commentary #487: Never Call Out to a Female Sibling “It’s I, Sis!”

The ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist atrocity in Paris, and it has been confirmed that Tashfeen Malik, of San-Bernardino-attack infamy, pledged loyalty to that same group.  It’s been said that “What happens in France happens here 10 years later” (see UC#59), but, sometimes, we don’t have to wait even that long.

07 December 2015

Uncommon Commentary #486: The Next President Obombast? (God Forbid!)

When a CBS interviewer told Dr. Ben Carson that advocates of legal fœticide accuse pro-lifers of instigating the tragedy in Colorado Springs, the reputedly pro-life presidential candidate made a reply worthy of the current occupant of the Oval Office (who, in 2009, called on both sides of the induced-abortion debate to “stop demonizing” each other), saying that “There is no question that, you know, hateful rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from–Right or Left–, is something that is detrimental to our society” and that there is “No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation”.  I’ve no idea what “hateful rhetoric” it is that Dr. Carson seems to attribute to the “Right”; the only hateful rhetoric that I’ve ever heard on this issue has come from the very side which has been laying responsibility for this crime at the feet of persons who oppose the institutionalized murder committed by the likes of Planned Parenthood. (Indeed, making such an accusation is itself “hateful rhetoric”—Is it not?)

04 December 2015

Uncommon Commentary #485: A Fallen Star-Advertiser

According to a 29 November article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (the author of which is obviously biased against the pro-life cause): “Violence against doctors or clinics [sic] providing abortion services [Inducing abortion is a “service”?—Doman] has claimed the lives of at least 11 people [sic] in the United States [of America, presumably] since 1993….  The most recent deaths came … in Colorado Springs, Colo.”  Even if the actions in Colorado Springs of shooter Robert Lewis Dear actually qualify as anti-fœticide—he reportedly said something of “baby body parts”, but it ought to be noted that opposing the sale of whole or incomplete cadavers is not the same as opposing the procedures that yielded those cadavers, and that those who have known Dear best say that he never mentioned abortion—, and if any deaths resulted from such violence prior to the past 22 years, we can reasonably assume that the all-time number of those deaths is lower than the total tally of victims of fœticide, which is approaching 60 million.

30 November 2015

[Monday's] Miscellaneous Musing [#76]: Mongol Marauders Made Mayhem

Among the many things that irk me is hearing someone speak as if there had been such a thing as a Mongol “empire”.  Temujin (the man known to history by the title “Genghis Khan”) and his successors conquered immense territories, but the Mongols, being nomadic barbarians, had neither the willingness nor the ability to rule what they conquered; they merely exacted tribute from defeated peoples, by threatening to return and do something even worse than what they had done previously.  Their system was highly effective for a rather long time, but it was not imperialism; it was banditry on a national scale. (Temujin’s descendant Kublai Khan did rule an empire, but it was not a Mongol empire; it was a Chinese empire with a Mongol dynasty.) I have seen some historical maps in which tributary states are included in other “empires” such as the hegemony established by the Guptas over much of India, and the word “empire” is often used very loosely; to talk of a Mongol “empire”, though, which gives the impression that the Mongols not merely enjoyed ascendancy but actually controlled a realm stretching from Eastern Europe to Korea, is, in my opinion, to use that word much more loosely than it ought to be used.

23 November 2015

Uncommon Commentary #484: What He’s Degraded Is His Office

I wonder whether any other commentators have made the observation that President Obombast’s instantly notorious example of bad timing, saying, hours before ISIS operatives executed the attack in Paris that produced well over 100 deaths, that the terror-army has been “contained”—What happened to his vow to “degrade and defeat” this group?—, took place on Friday the Thirteenth.  It is not, however, my intention to promote superstition, the existence of which is detrimental to true religion.  This isn’t bad luck; it’s bad leadership.

16 November 2015

Uncommon Commentary #483: Days of Whining and Neuroses

(I had some difficulty coming up with a title for this u.c., until I remembered the motion picture Days of Wine and Roses.)
It’s difficult to understand how, in the willfully neurotic civilization that we presently have, one can have a career in politics without developing a pathological dread of saying something that might offend a significant portion of our population, and thus have a damaging or even fatal effect on that career.  Do you remember US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott?  His life in public office was effectively destroyed by a single off-the-record comment.  Lott, of course, was a Republican, and the peril of which I write does apply much more truly to the GOP than to the Democrats, who, anyway, expect their constituents to be super-sensitive, intolerant paranoiacs.

09 November 2015

Uncommon Commentary #482: United States of Gomorrahca

Enforced legality of same-sex marriage throughout the USA may be more than four months old, but I still have something to say about this issue.  The reason why one doesn’t marry a member of one’s own sex is the same reason why one doesn’t marry one’s brother or sister: it’s unnatural, and the US Supreme Court cannot strike down natural law.

02 November 2015

Uncommon Commentary #481: There’s Nothing Fine About This China

The alteration in government-mandated family-planning by the Peoples’ Republic of China is not so revolutionary as it might seem.  Contrary to the impression given by the Western media’s labeling of this policy as “one-child-per-family”—see below for my own term—, it was never true that couples throughout the land were forbidden to have more than a single child; that prohibition applied only in urban areas, whereas rural folk were permitted to have two, and members of ethnic minorities could have three or more.  The resultant misapprehension, and the correspondingly excessive welcoming of the PRC’s news by the uninformed over what they think to be a repeal rather than a mere modification of a terrible policy, demonstrates the importance of using accurate terms and avoiding oversimplification. (This easing of what I call reproduction-rationing provides a further lesson for the West, which is thought by some to be endangered by overpopulation but which actually has the same demographic concerns that motivated the Chinese Communist Party’s decision.)

26 October 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #75

In Daniel 2:31-45, the prophet who gave his name to the book tells New-Babylonian King Nebuchadrezzar (this is the correct transliteration of Nebuchadnezzar):
You saw, O king, and behold, a great image.  This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening.  The head of this image was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thigh of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.  As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it smote the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces; then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found.  But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation.  You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the sons of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold.  After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.  And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things; and like iron which crushes, it shall break and crush all these.  And as you saw the feet and toes partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle.  As you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not hold with clay.  And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people.  It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever; just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold.  A great God has made known to the king what shall be hereafter.  The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.
The significance of the passage for this posting, and for all mankind, concerns the “fourth kingdom”.  This can be identified only with the Roman Empire. (After making this exposition, I learned that the author of 2 Esdras evidently came to the same conclusion.  According to Scripture scholar Robert Dentan, on p. 43 of The Apocrypha, Bridge of the Testaments: “Chapters 11-12 contain a vision of … an eagle rising from the sea to dominate the whole world.  This is plainly a picture of the Roman Empire, which our book identifies with the last of the four beasts mentioned in Daniel 7 (II Esd. 11:39 and 12:11).”) It fits the chronology, because it followed the Neo-Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic powers in establishing supremacy in the world known to the author of Daniel; it was often divided between East and West, the former being easily the stronger and wealthier of the two (as demonstrated by the fact that the Eastern Roman or "Byzantine" Empire survived the Western portion by nearly a millennium), and it was during the last period of unified rule (AD 324-395) that Christianity (then still a minority faith, like the stone that, as Nebuchadrezzar dreamt, grew into a mountain) became the official religion. (Note that, again in the words of Dentan, the Book of Daniel "can be dated with certainty in the year 165 B.C."; skeptics, therefore, cannot object that this was a retroactive pseudo-prediction.) Christendom is the "kingdom which shall never be destroyed."

19 October 2015

Uncommon Commentary #480: Verbal Abuse

Perhaps no word has been more thoroughly abused than “patriot”, which has been applied to everyone from nationalist hotheads (e.g., Gabriele d'Annunzio—a man who, incidentally, also boasted of having eaten a roasted baby—, whom Italian irredentists hailed for leading an expedition to seize Fiume while the future of that disputed city was still being negotiated by peaceful men) to xenophobes (such as the “Boxers” of the Boxer Rebellion in China, who slaughtered not only whatever foreigners they encountered but also any countrymen whom they considered to have been corrupted by foreign influences, especially converts to Christianity; most of the martyrs in Chinese history were killed at this time) to genocidal maniacs (for instance, Nathaniel Bacon, leader of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 and the “Torchbearer of the Revolution”, who wanted to extirpate Virginia’s indigenous population and to launch unprovoked attacks upon Indians even outside the colony) to glorified cattle-thieves (like Braveheart protagonist William Wallace) to thugs and unprincipled propagandists—both terms apply to Sam Adams, who evidently was despised as such, at least privately, by his fellow insurrectionists—to terrorists (the ZAPU organization in what was then called Rhodesia, and countless other examples).  In Orwellian fashion, we Yanks even employ the designation for British colonists who made war upon their fellow Britons and who, further, solicited the military intervention of Britain’s enemies France and Spain: the USA’s founders and those who sided with them in our war of independence. (This may seem to be a radical or unpatriotic statement, but the fact that the revolt which led to the birth of the USA had nothing to do with patriotism is easy to demonstrate.  In what year was the United States of America founded?  1776.  And in what year did the US Revolutionary War commence?  1775.  How could the rebels who fired upon government troops at Concord and Lexington have been fighting for their country if that country had yet to exist?)  Patriotism has been called “the last refuge of a scoundrel”, but, often, it’s the only refuge.
(Thus, it is not the NFL franchise in the District of Columbia but the one in Boston that needs renaming.  My suggestion for the new name appears in the list of domanisms: “Deflatriots.”)

12 October 2015

Uncommon Commentary #479: UC #477 Follow-Up

HR 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, survived the US House of Representatives; there were 248 yea votes, 177 nays, and one “present”, and so 41.8% of available congressmen effectively voted for infanticide. The site Govtrack.us gives this bill only a 15 percent likelihood of being enacted, and the chance given for the Senate’s version, S. 2066, is a pathetic two percent. Compare this situation with that in 2002 (at which time there were far fewer Republicans in the US Congress than there are now), when its predecessor the Born Alive Infants Protection Act passed the Senate unanimously (see UC #336) and “with the support of all but 15 members of the House”. I don’t know whether this quote means that all 15 voted against it or that some actively opposed it and the others abstained, and I know not why there are unequal prognoses regarding the enactment of the House and Senate bills if identical versions must be passed so that a single piece of legislation can be sent to the President’s desk, but I do know one thing: the astonishing increase in acceptance of infanticide that evidently has occurred over a span of just 13 years demonstrates how quickly our civilization is descending into savagery.

05 October 2015

Uncommon Commentary #478: It’s the Teacher Who Needs the Lesson

On 18 September, a teacher in Virginia got into trouble after a member of her history class raised the most important issue of our time, which is, of course, the nickname of the NFL’s Redskins. (Perhaps their name ought to be spelled “R______s” or called “the R-word”.  This suggestion is sarcastic, but some might take it seriously!) Presumably displeased by that fact that “The kids kept saying, ‘It's no big deal; it's a football team’,” Lynne Pierce asked her charges “What would you think if someone started a team called the Newport News Nigger?”  It ought to have been obvious that she was referring to this word as an insult rather than using it as one (see UC #456), yet a student took offense and reported the incident to the administration of the re-education camp—I mean, school—, which put Pierce on leave.  This is outrageous, and, were I the principal, I would reinstate her, though only after warning against turning classroom discussion into a means of political indoctrination; I would also have a talk with whoever informed on her, explaining that, if he doesn’t want to grow up to be maladjusted like the rest of our society, he’ll have to stop overreacting.  The purpose of this uncommon commentary, however, is not to go to the aid of Pierce (in whose defense a campaign is already being waged), but, rather, to note the instructive irony of the situation: that she became a victim of the very paranoia and hypersensitivity that she apparently was attempting to instill in her pupils!

28 September 2015

Uncommon Commentary #477: At the Bottom of This Slippery Slope Lies Hell

On 18 September, 177 US Reprehensives—I mean, Representatives, all of them Democrats (see UC #475), voted against House Resolution 3504, which is intended to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion”. This “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” stipulates: “Any health care practitioner present at the time the child is born alive shall—(A) exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; ….” Infanticide is as monstrous as fœticide, but the vote by these 177 does make sense within the sinister logic of the “pro-choice”: if children don’t have a right to life before birth, they don’t have one after birth either.

21 September 2015

Uncommon Commentary #476: UC #475 Follow-Up

In UC #475, I wrote that a devotee of Christ can favor some of the causes espoused by Democrats, but that, since not all issues are of equal importance, it is very problematic to vote for political candidates who favor the other positions associated with the Republicans’ chief antagonists. My purpose here is to say that this principle does apply to the GOP as well: in the unlikely event that, for example, an election should come to a choice between a spendthrift Democrat who has Christian views on questions of culture and morality, and a Republican who is a fiscal conservative but who holds “progressive” positions on those same matters, I, despite being a “Republican sympathizer”, would have to cast my ballot for the Democrat.

14 September 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #74: Pride Is Reason for Humility

Christian theologians hold pride to be a deadly sin—indeed, it’s considered to be paramount among the Seven Deadly Sins, as it is the one committed by Lucifer in becoming Satan—, yet we typically speak of it as if it were a positive quality, as in “We’re so proud of you!” or “Don’t you have any pride?” (This does not mean that it’s always bad to have anything that is ever called “pride”; sometimes, we’re just using the wrong word.  For example, it’s often said that somebody takes “pride in his work”.  I think that it’s legitimate for a person to be pleased or satisfied with what he has accomplished, and that only if his accomplishments give him too high an opinion of himself, especially if he believes that his accomplishments make him superior to others, does he become guilty of the sin of pride.)  Conversely, the world regards humiliation, that is to say, a cause of the Christian virtue humility, as necessarily destructive. (This paradox might be the best illustration of how thoroughly benighted our society is, if not for the increasing acceptance as normal of the psychological abnormalities homosexuality and “transgenderism”, and the correspondingly increasing intolerance of those who do not adhere to this viewpoint.)

07 September 2015

Uncommon Commentary #475: The Left Is So Gauche!

A devotee of Christ can favor some of the positions that are associated with the Democratic Party; it’s not incompatible with Christian belief to favor big government, for example, or to oppose development projects for the sake of protecting the natural environment.  On Election Day, however, except when a proposition is on the ballot, one votes for candidates; and, if one votes Democrat, those candidates are far more likely than not to follow such un-Christian practices as lying to the public and slandering the opposition, and to have un-Christian or even anti-Christian attitudes on social issues like (induced) abortion and “LGBT rights”.  Unless, therefore, one feels that, e.g., the highly dubious threat from “climate change” is so much more important than a definite life-and-death matter like fœticide that one is justified in electing an Obama or a Hillary [sic], I don’t see how a true Christian (or anyone else with a conscience) can still vote for (most) Democrats.

31 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #474: Moreover, "Zir" Means "Butthead" in the Urdu Language

If you can’t tolerate crackpot ideas from leftists in academia, take the pills that your physician prescribed for that purpose, and then read this.  It would be easy to say that using, e.g., “xe” and “zyr” in place of “she” and “his” is the most ridiculous thing of which I’ve ever heard, but it may be only tied for first place, because there is a widely accepted practice—if I recall correctly, it’s been used even by the author of the article to which you are linked above—that really is no less inane: employing “Ms.” (which is just as artificial as the contrivances proffered by Tennessee-Knoxville, and ungrammatical to boot, since it is not a real abbreviation) as a title for a woman who either is not married or who is married but simply declines to use her husband’s family name.  See UC #66: ABig Ms.take.  (It ought to be noted also that the three words at the top of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s list of recommended pronouns, “they”, “them”, and “their”, already are commonly misused as singular as well as plural forms for the sake of “gender neutrality”.)  Will “xem” and “zirs” also someday be regarded as proper?

24 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #473: Let the Trump Resound?

If you owned a company, and you were to give a job in your company to someone who had no business experience, would you hire him to be the CEO? The average person would agree that it makes much more sense to give this inexperienced applicant an entry-level position, and allow him to rise only so high as his ability takes him. In fact, the average person likely feels that this principle of starting-at-the-bottom-and-working-one’s-way-to-the-top applies to pretty much any other field of endeavor, except politics; people seem to feel that the most important job in the entire country, that of president of the USA, is a suitable one for an amateur!
It could be that an extraordinarily gifted person need not be a professional politician to make a good US president (although it must be said that the record of our chief executives who had not previously held public office, i.e., those whose only prior leadership experience was as generals, does not inspire confidence); regardless, we ought not to spurn a worthy candidate just because he is an office-holder. If someone who is honest and competent learns early that he has a talent for public service, why should he not devote his life to it?
The (re)current popular revulsion against “career politicians”, therefore, which is thought to be a chief reason for the rise of political outsiders like Donald Trump, Dr. Carson, and Carly Fiorina, is wrongheaded, though understandable in view of US history. (Anyway, if we're so cynical about our political system that we think that only someone from outside it can set things right, we ought to admit that the "American experiment" has failed, and revert to colonial status.)
It could even have the opposite of the intended effect: it is ominously akin to the desire for “change” that in 2008 helped to turn Obama, the presidential-candidate from Hell, into the President-elect from Hell.

17 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #472

Here's a better idea than reopening our embassy in Havana: let's return to the practice, which was discontinued after World War II, of appointing ambassadors only to countries that play a significant rôle in world affairs. We would save money by closing most of our embassies; more importantly, many persons who have been rewarded with undeserved ambassadorships for their work raising money for Obama’s presidential campaigns (thus becoming bundlers for a bungler) would be put out of work. This change would not amount to a sundering of diplomatic relations, since we would continue to maintain consulates for the sake of whatever citizens of ours might find themselves in the country that is host to the consulate.
Similarly: Many states have severed diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and established them instead with the People's Republic of China (the mainland). It ought to be noted, though, that there are two types of recognition of a country's government: official, and de-facto (viz., recognition in fact though not in name). The former is awarded to whom one considers to be the legitimate leaders of a polity, whereas the latter is conferred upon regimes that one considers to be illegitimate but too important to ignore. Why not, therefore, maintain diplomatic relations with both the RoC and the PRC, recognizing only the rulers of the former as the rightful ones of China? Better, why not make the bestowal of de-facto recognition either the universal practice or at least the rule rather than the exception?

14 August 2015

Uncommon Commentary #471: The Case Ought to Be Called “Vice v. Virtue” (Alternate Title: Better Red than (Spiritually) Dead)

It’s very possible that federal malfeasance like the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, which imposed legal but unnatural same-sex marriage upon the entire land, will lead to at least a partial disintegration of the USA during my life in this world, as “Red States” leave the union rather than continue to endure misgovernance from the District of Columbia; to be quite honest, I hope that they do, and that, when they do, I’m living in one of them (or in some other country where people still have some grasp of the distinction between good and evil).  See UC #423: Between Barack and a Hard Place for why such a disintegration need not have catastrophic effects for world security.
It’s also possible that one or more State governments might simply refuse to acknowledge this ungodly ruling (and other insufferable DiCtates from DC).  Could the federal government feasibly enforce it?  It could withhold funds that would otherwise go to such a State, but the States that have the most reason to reject the Obergefell-versus-Hodges decision are also those that are most likely to have budget surpluses and thus to have no need for handouts from Washington anyway.  Perhaps Emperor Nerobama’s administration would send FBI agents to arrest recusant governors and State legislators; each State, though, has its own section of the National Guard as well as police, and so things could get quite interesting!

03 August 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #73

Anti-religious fanatics and other unbelievers often make the accusation that the Church is full of “hypocrites”; sadly, even Christians often misuse the word in such a way so as to seem to confirm this opinion, and so a correction needs to be made.  A true hypocrite is someone who pretends to be better than others for the feeling of superiority that it gives him to do so.  Earnestly but unsuccessfully endeavoring to live up to one’s ideals is not hypocrisy; it is merely being a fallible member of the fallen human race.

02 August 2015

The Best of Uncommon Commentary

In this best-of-u.c., I refer you to two former postings (UC’s #450 and 452); moreover, I connect you to this pertinent news article. (And so, the present posting could alternately be titled “Vital Link #_”.)  Yet, I charge you no more money than I would for the reading of a u.c. that links to just one former posting and to no articles at all!

27 July 2015

Uncommon Commentary #470: What’s the Maximum Height for a Small Business President?

Hellary Clinton recently said: “I want to be the small-business president”.  During a presidency of hers, US companies of any size would be doing small business!

21 July 2015

Uncommon Commentary #469: Planned Parenthoodlums

When queried about the citizen-conducted sting operation that exposed yet another reason to defund and then abolish Banned Parenthood—I mean, Planned Parenthood—, professional apologist-for-evil (viz., Obama spokesman) Josh Earnest expressed confidence in this organization which has ties to the present regime: “Planned Parenthood said they follow the highest ethical guidelines.”  “Highest ethical guidelines” regarding what:—the sale of body parts from their murder victims?
(You may also want to visit UC #159: Stingers v. Stinkers.)

17 July 2015

Uncommon Commentary #468: A Substandard Standard?

I wonder how many persons who have been defacing monuments to heroes of the Confederate States of America, or proscribing the battle flag of that polity, have heard of Lord Dunmore's Proclamation. (They would have if they had read MM #51, but, if they read the Doman Domain, they wouldn't be defacing monuments and proscribing flags.) In this, which was issued in 1775, Virginia's royal governor freed all slaves held by participants in the incipient US Revolutionary War; since the US Declaration of Independence, in its list of grievances against King George, alludes to this emancipation by charging that the monarch had "excited domestic insurrections" among those colonists who were in insurrection, one might argue that the Stars-and-Stripes is just as "racist" as the Stars-and-Bars allegedly is.  I am not saying that the banner that represents the USA is actually an emblem of hate; I'm saying that the Confederate version is not one either, and that to abolish it in a knee-jerk reaction, as South Carolina has just done, is to hand a victory to the willfully ignorant (see UC #340) and to the totalitarian.

13 July 2015

Uncommon Commentary #467: The Left Is Not Right

To a Christian, there ought to be no question that the US Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage is morally wrong.  Whether it’s constitutionally wrong depends on whether one applies a narrow or a broad interpretation to the US Constitution, specifically to the provision in Article XIV for “equal protection under the law”.  Whether the ruling is constitutionally correct or incorrect is, however, rather a moot question.  The mere fact that the Left is using this revered founding document to advance its socio-political agenda ought to teach a lesson to my comrades in the Culture War, who persist in the belief that our country’s greatest strength is its form of government.  In my opinion, “American democracy” is one of the chief reasons why the USA can no longer be considered Christian.
(Also, see UC #163.)

09 July 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #72

More than a dozen women have recently accused comedian Bill Cosby of having sexually assaulted them at various times in the past 46 years, and it now appears that at least some of the allegations are valid.  None of his actual and purported victims have taken him to criminal court, though, and this seems to be a part of a disturbing trend.  20 years ago, as you probably can recall, former professional athlete O. J. Simpson was tried for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend; he was acquitted, but a civil court subsequently held him responsible for the deaths, and he was required to pay millions of dollars in damages.  A decade later, history repeated itself in the case of actor Robert Blake (who had played the title rôle on the television series Baretta), except that he was accused of shooting only one person, to whom he was still married. (Some wit made the remark that “If you kill your wife in Hollywood, you don’t go to prison, but you have to pay a fine.”) At about the same time that Blake survived prosecution, Andrea Constand became the first person to publicly say that Cosby drugged and violated her; rather than press charges against him, however, she brought a lawsuit, which he settled before it could go to trial.  Likewise, Judy Huth hasn’t even attempted to get him convicted of his reputed offense against her, but is instead pursuing litigation.  Do these women, remembering Simpson and Blake, lack faith in our criminal-justice system?  Or is their true goal to get rich by suing a typically overpaid celebrity of popular culture?

03 July 2015

Uncommon Commentary #466: Gaping at a Gap in the GOP

(The pun in the title works only if one voices “GOP” as a word that rhymes with “hop”.)
Democrats often try too hard to imagine rifts in the Republican Party, but it seems to me (an unaligned voter) that there is at least a hairline fracture not only in the GOP but also in the political ideology wherewith it is largely conterminous, which is rather incorrectly known as either “conservatism” or “the right wing”. (See the entry for “retroversive” in the list of domanisms, below, and the last paragraph of UC #5.)  This potential schism is between “social conservatives”, i.e., persons whose primary policy-goal is to reverse our country’s passing into ethical oblivion, and those “conservatives” whose area of chief concern is instead either the economy or that of defense and foreign relations.  There is already some degree of disharmony, for GOP strategists have long deemed moral issues like abortion and “Gay rights” as ones to be avoided by Republican candidates for public office.  The US Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the sodomites may act as a catalyst for this latent development, because a significant and apparently growing number of persons who call themselves political conservatives approve of legalizing same-sex marriage, considering this trend to be perfectly consistent with the US Founders’ emphasis on “liberty”. (Unfortunately, their assessment is likely accurate.) It ought to be noted also that this cause is very popular with libertarians, who are essentially “conservatives” without traditional concepts of virtue and vice.  If our country continues to abandon Christian principles, and secular-minded patriots continue to justify this abandonment by appealing to “American” principles, my fellow Christians may see the truth of what I’ve been saying for years: that the USA’s national ideology is incompatible with Christian belief, and that we need to choose between the two.

26 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #465: Dunce SCOTUS

(The word “dunce” derives from the name of theologian (John) Duns Scotus, who, however, was far from stupid; “SCOTUS” is an acronym for “Supreme Court of the United States”, “United States” being an inadequate name for the country that is correctly called “United States of America”, or “USA”.)
According to the television listings, C-Span has allotted the entire period today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to President Obama Eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney.  I assume that President Obombast won’t actually fill the entire time slot with his verbiage—Even Bill Clinton has never given a speech that lasted for four hours!—, but, the real question is: Why isn’t he instead giving a eulogy for good sense on the US Supreme Court, which has made a major misruling for the second day in a row?

25 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #464: Arranged with the Deranged

The pending deal with Iran increasingly seems to resemble the one in the late 1990’s with North Korea, which enabled that country to develop nuclear weaponry.  Here’s my advice to the US negotiators: First demand the release of all political prisoners, then ascertain that they are free, and then don’t sign the agreement.

24 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #463: Banners of a Banner

In the aftermath of any shooting that occurs during the reign of the “post-partisan unifier” Barack Obama, like the one that happened several days ago in Charleston, South Carolina, I often don’t know whether I’m revolted more by the bloodshed or by the Left’s exploitation of it. (And it is only the Left which is guilty of this politicization; I haven’t heard any rightists allege that racial quotas in hiring and in university admissions drove Dylann [sic] Roof to murder Blacks.) Now, leftists are contending that South Carolina’s use of the Confederate battle flag as its State flag somehow has relevance to the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and are again demanding that the federal government force that State to replace its allegedly racist pennant.  I formerly thought that everyone learned in high school, as I did, that the so-called US “Civil War”—“War of Southern Secession” and “War for Southern Independence” are more accurate names—was fought over not slavery but sovereignty; see UC #340.  Someone who displays the Confederate battle flag may or may not be a White-supremacist like Roof, but, even if he is, his use of it does not necessarily make this standard an emblem of bigotry.  Ought Buddhists to desist from employing their ancient symbol the swastika, because it was adopted by National Socialists who believed themselves to be descended from the people of Tibet? (One might argue that the very fact that the Stars-and-Bars is regarded by many as hateful, however wrongly, is reason to abandon it.  To a Christian, there may well be justification for this viewpoint; St. Paul instructed followers of Christ to avoid giving scandal to others.  It must be remembered, though, that Paul lived in the First Century AD rather than the Twenty-First; I can’t believe that he would expect us to indulge the hypersensitivity that prevails in our Depraved New World.)
The only thing that I’ll add here, referring to what I wrote in the opening sentence, is that this controversy demonstrates that leftists don’t always oppose capitalism.  No one else capitalizes tragedy as they do!

19 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #462: UC #451 Follow-Up

Since I wrote UC #451, it has occurred to me that other designations could be applied to the woman presently known as Hillary [sic] (Rodham) Clinton.  For instance, according to my dictionary, the suffix “-ary” can mean “thing belonging to or connected with; esp., place of” or “person belonging to, connected with, or engaged in”.  Why not, then, alter her first name to Hellary?  Furthermore, since “dunghill” can mean “something (as a situation or condition) that is repulsive or degraded”, how about “Dunghillary”?  And because “Sodom” is defined as “a place notorious for vice or corruption”, may I suggest using that as her maiden name instead of Rodham? (Hopefully, there’s one thing that she’ll never be called: “the President”.)

10 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #461: Hitler Refutes Charge of Anti-Semitism

Obnoxious atheist, Obama supporter, and HBO host Bill Maher has actually denied that there is a left-wing war against religion in general and Christianity in particular, saying “I really want to know: Where is religion belittled in the liberal world?”  Doesn’t that jerk watch his own program?

05 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #460: Does Being Part of “Pop” Culture Mean that One’s Bubble Will Burst?

One mystery of life is why so many of the people who seem to have everything that a person could want, that is, the popular-culture elite, ruin their apparently enviable lives through substance abuse.  Have they such inflated opinions of themselves that they believe that addiction is a problem that affects no one but those mere mortals who are not “icons”?  Is it because the Betty Ford clinic has, as made evident by the trashion “rehab [sic] chic”, rendered it almost glamorous to be or to have been addicted to something?  There’s probably truth in these possible explanations, but the major reason may be our living in a spiritual vacuum; having all that our debased civilization offers, and realizing that they still don’t have true happiness, celebrities try to fill said vacuum with drugs or alcohol or both.  Whatever is the best explanation, it’s yet another reason to assiduously ignore Hollywood and its ilk.

26 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #459: A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

It’s been said by some persons that we need “a new strategy” to beat the ISIS, but the word “new” doesn’t belong in that phrase.  The purpose of the “pin-prick” campaign by President Yo’Mama[see the list of domanisms]'s administration’s is not to inflict defeat upon the Islamists but merely to mollify the US public (and it’s failing even in that regard).

19 May 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #71: This May Be Unpleasant, but She Was No Peasant

A television series called Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, hosted by Jack and Holly Palance, aired in the 1980’s.  According to one episode, the French government’s own records prove that Joan of Arc was still alive years after her supposed burning at the stake, and that she was of royal rather than humble lineage.  I don’t know whether this information is correct, but, if so, I’m not surprised, for I had always found the tale of this putative saint (whose canonization did not take place until 1925, half a millennium after her lifetime) to be rather an odd one.  Why should God care who won a war between the forces of the King of England and those of the King of France?
In feudal Scotland, it was the prerogative of the clan chief, even if the chief were female, to lead the clansmen in battle.  Rarely, as you might expect, did a woman actually do so; what she would typically do is lead them to battle, delegate the command thereof to a male subordinate, and then station herself outside the battlefield but close enough to it so that she would still be visible to her troops.  Nevertheless, since high birth was considered to be more important than one’s sex, she could command them personally if she so desired.  This principle may be the key to understanding how the legend of Joan of Arc developed; French propagandists presumably took what was already a phenomenal occurrence, military exploits by a member of the gentler sex, and embellished it with fictions about her being an ignorant peasant girl given a divine mission to liberate her country, in order to make it seem that God was on their side.  God is on the side of the victims of armed conflict, not necessarily that of the victors.

13 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #458: A Foundation of Lies

The author of Clinton Cash will deserve a medal if his exposé causes Hillary [sic] to lose next year’s presidential election.  He has found a pattern of donations to the quasi-charity called the Clinton Foundation, and/or payment of absurdly high speaking-fees to Bill Clinton, by foreign entities that had dealings with the US Department of State during Mrs. Clinton’s reign over Foggy Bottom.  These correlations don’t prove corruption, but there’s clearly enough evidence to warrant a government investigation; anyway—this is my snide remark for today—, the mere fact that Bill received such exorbitant remunerations for his addresses suggests that those remunerations equated to bribes of his wife as Secretary of State.  How much money would you pay for a speech by a blathering windbag like Bill Clinton?

12 May 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #70: Black, White, and Gray

Would the Baltimore riots have taken place had the thugs known that half the police officers who have been charged with crimes relating to the death of Freddie Gray are Black?

11 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #457: The Winner of This Contest Deserves No Garland

It is not necessarily perverse or pusillanimous to criticize the organizer of the “Draw Muhammad” contest, and the participants therein, as having provoked the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas. (In Islam, it is forbidden to portray the founder of the religion.) We ought not to be cowed by Muslim threats of violence, but neither ought we to antagonize Muslims without good cause. (I shall here expound this last statement.  Several years ago in Australia, Islamic immigrants were demanding to be governed under sharia instead of the civil law that applies to nearly everyone else in that country.  Prime Minister Rudd rightfully refused the demand, telling them—in a reply that I consider to be extraordinary on the part of a Labourite—that it is the responsibility of recent immigrants to assimilate to established Australian culture.  In this case, a clash between Muslim and Western ideologies occurred, but it did so because it was unavoidable under the circumstances, as it often is in our pluralistic world.  In contrast, there’s nothing unavoidable about a “draw Muhammad” contest; the only reason why one stages such a competition is to intentionally infuriate Muslims.)

06 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #456: UC #455 Follow-Up

In my last-previous u.c., there appears the word “Nigger”.  I do not use the word as a racial insult, but merely refer to its use as such; some readers may, however, object to the mere fact that the word is spelled out. (If so, I wouldn’t know; as you may already have noticed, I don’t allow comments on my postings, because I don’t want the crackpots and libelers out there to have even more opportunity to make their opinions known than they already do.  Anyway, this is the Doman Domain; if you’re not a crackpot or a libeler, get your own weblog!) The current practice of avoiding “Nigger” either verbally, by calling it “the n-word”, or in print, by writing “n_____”, as if it were an obscenity that ought never to even be mentioned, impresses me as being not only priggish but also counterproductive.  After all, how do our children learn not to use the “n-word” if they don’t know what the “n-word” is?

02 May 2015

Uncommon Commentary #455: Carl Stokes the Furnace of Race Hatred

“Thug” seems now to be regarded, at least by many leftists, as a racially sensitive term; on CNN (to give the most absurd example of this usage), Baltimore Councilman Carl Stokes slandered critics of those persons who devastated much of his city, by saying “No, we don't have to call them [the rioters, arsonists, and looters] ‘thugs’.  Just call them ‘Niggers’.”  If “thug” comes to be viewed by the general population as an equivalent for the noun “Black”, the demagoguery of Stokes and others will backfire.
I’ll conclude by noting that “thug” derives from a word for practitioners of “thugee”, viz., ritual murder formerly committed for the appeasement of the Hindu goddess Kali; if anyone ought to regard this word as an ethnic slur, therefore, it’s not Blacks but Indians!

28 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #454: Turks Who Are Jerks

As this year marks the centennial anniversary of what has become known as the Armenian Genocide, there has been discussion, much of it pointless and even detrimental [v.i.], as to whether what took place in the northeast Ottoman Empire in 1915 can rightly be deemed genocide.  What happened was as follows.  During World War I, the Russian army invaded Ottoman Turkey across the border between the two countries, in which area lived the Armenians of the Turkish realm.  The Turkish authorities feared that the Christian Armenians would give aid to the Christian Russians, and so they ordered the massacre of Armenians serving in the Ottoman army and the deportation of the empire’s remaining Armenian population to places like the Syrian Desert, where these women, children, and male civilians perished in enormous numbers from exposure, thirst, starvation, and depredation.
“Genocide” was coined to describe the National Socialists’ “Final Solution” to the “Jewish Problem”, which solution was to attempt to exterminate all the Jews of the world.  The Ottoman leadership, by contrast, did not care whether the Armenians died so long as they were in no position to help the enemy.  What the Turks did to their Armenians may not, therefore, truly qualify as “genocide”, which my dictionary defines as “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”; note the word “whole” in this definition.  It must also be acknowledged that the term “genocide” has been used far too loosely by many ethnic groups who have grievances against other nationalities.  To question whether there was an Armenian “genocide”, however, basing one’s question on a legal definition thereof, is to serve the purpose of the deniers who control Turkey’s government, which still refuses to acknowledge that what has been called genocide even took place. (The official lie is that the Armenian deaths were caused by their fellow Armenians in a civil war.) Nearly everyone outside Turkey admits that this country’s atrocities of a century ago count as war crimes, and so: Why quibble about words?

23 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #453: Doctrinal Error

Ever since the present US administration commenced its disastrous intervention in Libya, various persons have endeavored to define an “Obama Doctrine”.  The latest, presumably official effort came from President Obombast himself: “We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”  What the *&^%$#@! does that mean?
Here’s the real Obama Doctrine: “I’ll make any ad hoc foreign-policy decisions necessary for the sake of appeasing public opinion or for what I want my legacy to be, even if they are detrimental to the country and the world.”

18 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #452: UC #450 Follow-Up

A bill is under congressional consideration which is intended to assert (to some degree) the Senate’s right to reject or to ratify our de-facto treaty with Iran.  A news article reads (with some corrections):
Under the bill, Obama could unilaterally lift or ease any sanctions that were imposed on Iran through presidential executive means.  But the bill would prohibit him for 60 days from suspending, waiving, or otherwise easing any sanctions that Congress levied on Iran.  During that 60-day period, Congress could hold hearings and approve, disapprove, or take no action on any final nuclear agreement with Iran.  If Congress passed a joint resolution approving a final deal -- or took no action -- Obama could move ahead to ease sanctions levied by Congress.  But if Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving it, Obama would be blocked from providing Iran with any relief from congressional sanctions.
Theoretically, he would be blocked; but what would prevent Emperor Nerobama [see the list of domanisms] from simply disregarding this law, just as he disregards the already-existing constitutional provision to which I alluded in the first sentence of this posting?  (This demonstrates the hopelessness of again trying to use legislation to enforce the Legislature’s prerogatives against an overweening president, and it further reveals a basic flaw in our political system.  The authors of the US Constitution seem to have proceeded from the assumption that those whom the people elect as their leaders will have no much respect for the workings of the government that they will obey the rules laid down by its founders.  But what if they don’t have such respect?  What if they’re abusers of authority, like the man who has turned the Oval Office into the Evil Office?  There is, of course, the potentiality of impeachment, as I mentioned in UC #450; but, were a president convicted of impeachment charges, how would we respond if he simply refused to relinquish his power?  We don’t have a federal police force that we could send in to arrest him.  Would civil war break out?)

10 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #451: Why Should Anyone Called “Hillary” Be Cheerful?

(“Cheerful” is what “Hilary”—this being the correct spelling—means.  “Hillary” is the surname of the conqueror of Mount Everest.)
Some brownskirt (see the list of domanisms, below) alleges that it’s “sexist” to call Hillary [sic] Clinton by her first name (as has been done by, for example, the past-and-future-candidate’s own “Ready for Hillary” [sic] campaign).  “Clinton”, though, is her married name; isn’t it “sexist” to use that?  I suspect that the tendency to refer to the former First Lady by only her first name is either the result of a desire to avoid feminism-incited controversy, or a subconscious acknowledgement of the fact that (as I noted in a previous uncommon commentary), in our patrilineal culture, there really is no such thing as a feminine surname.  In any case, I have the solution to this pseudo-problem: Let’s start referring to her by a title instead.  I propose “Supreme Hag of the USA”.

06 April 2015

Uncommon Commentary #450: A Treaty, but Not a Treat

And so, we’ve negotiated with Iran the "framework" of an arrangement that evokes Neville Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” proclamation from 1938, and Emperor Nerobama’s administration still insists that said arrangement does not qualify as a treaty and therefore is not subject to approval or disapproval by the US Senate, contrary to the US Constitution. (If it’s not a treaty, what is it?)  The defects of our deal with the Deil (this latter word being the Scottish dialectical variant of “Devil”) have already been adequately discussed by pundits at reliable media like FoxNews.com, and so there’s no need for me to add my opinions here.  My primary purpose in this posting is to speculate: What can the Senate do to enforce its right to ratify, or reject ratification of, what obviously is a treaty?  The only option that I can see is to impeach Obama; this ought to have been done long ago, and may be feasible now that the Senate majority comprises Republicans, who, however, are undoubtedly haunted by the political consequences of their attempt to bring another abuser of presidential power, Bill Clinton, to justice.  Our congressional leaders may, therefore, lack the fortitude to do anything more than protest impotently against this latest, and perhaps most egregious yet, instance of executive overreach.

29 March 2015

Uncommon Commentary #449: Don’t Let Our Language Languish

People in general would likely agree that, if one is to do anything, one ought to try to do that thing as well as one reasonably can.  Yet, they seem to feel that this principle does not apply to the speaking and writing of English, and indeed that, while there may be such things as nonstandard grammar and syntax, the concept of substandard usage isn’t even valid; that it’s all just a question of dialect (or of the politically-motivated absurdity called “Ebonics”—As if being Black rendered one incapable of using proper English!).  In the play Pygmalion, Professor Henry Higgins says: “Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech, that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and the Bible.”  If George Bernard Shaw (a fine dramatist but a distasteful person overall) understood that good English matters, the average, comparatively respectable person ought to understand it also.

19 March 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #69: I’m a Mongoloid, Idiot!

Is it because people in the USA have such poor knowledge of geography and history nowadays that they refer to members of the Mongoloid race of our species as “Asians”, as if all the peoples of Asia were Mongoloid?  If one is reluctant to use “Mongoloid” (which, like “Caucasoid” and “Negroid”, is a scientific term), one could refer to US citizens of Chinese, Korean, Indochinese, &c. ancestry as East Asian or Far Eastern; even these words are imperfect, since, e.g., the Ainu of northern Japan are considered to be mostly Caucasoid, but they would be satisfactory for informal speech.

11 March 2015

Uncommon Commentary #448: A President with Precedent

One observation that I have made about Bill Clinton (though not here on the Doman Domain) is that he was not only a bad president but the worst kind of president that we could have had then.  The end of our Cold War foe the USSR in 1991, and that of the last previous recession 20 months before Clinton’s election, meant that the most pressing problem facing the USA at the time of his inauguration was one not of economic or foreign policy but rather of domestic policy: the collapse of Christian standards of morality.  What we needed in the 1990’s was a chief executive who would understand that we were in a moral crisis that endangered our civilization (as it still does), and who would have enough strength of leadership and personal integrity to pull Uncle Sam out of his swan dive into the Lake of Fire.  What did we get instead?  “Slick Willie”.
Just as Clinton was the worst kind of president that we could have had then, Obama is the worst that we could have now: a man who, while his country is at war versus Muslim terrorists, denies that there even is such a thing as a Muslim terrorist; and one who, while his country is running up a larger debt than any other in history, tells us that the way forward is for the US government to spend even more money than it already does.  One way to guarantee that the USA continues its decline is to keep choosing the wrong person for its highest office, and we the people seem determined to do precisely that.

04 March 2015

Miscellaneous Musing #68: Not Founded on, but Confounded By

For years I’ve been wondering just where people got the idea that the United States of America was “founded on Christian [or “Judeo-Christian”] principles”.  Perhaps it has a quasi-historical basis; the Second Great Awakening is reckoned by some as a motivation for the Revolution, and some of the Puritan sects of the Seventeenth Century had a democratic character and therefore might be adduced as evidence of a connection between Christianity and our Revolution, which, however, was not really so “democratic” as people today think it was. (I say “quasi-historical” because, in my opinion, neither any Great Awakenings nor any Nonconformist denominations had any influence whatsoever upon the founding of the USA.  I might write more on this topic on another occasion.)  It could also be merely that readers of the founding documents of the USA make the same mistake that I did at approximately age 18.  Reading through the Declaration of Independence, I was impressed by the multiple mentions of God made therein; as I learned more of history and religion, though, I realized the significance of the fact that the Declaration nowhere mentions God simply as “God”, but always calls Him “Nature’s God” or “the Creator”; this betrays the opinion of Eighteenth-Century Deists like the document’s author, Thomas Jefferson, who believed that the Deity created the universe and established the physical laws by which it functions, but takes no further part in its operation.  This attitude is not atheism in the sense of a doctrine that God does not exist, but it’s not Christianity (or Judaism, or any other organized religion) either.
I know that those who write or say that the USA was “founded on Christian principles” are trying to fight the Culture War, and I sympathize with them; but I have a passion for the truth, and so it troubles me when people delude themselves, and there’s no question that this idea is a delusion; the founders of this country were products of their era, the misnamed Enlightenment, which was anti-Christian.  Furthermore, it’s hard to win any kind of war without waging it intelligently, and, unfortunately, the people who have heretofore led the effort to turn our country back toward God—the generals, so to speak, in the Culture War—have been super-patriots who seem to think that the solution to any problem facing the USA is to somehow “return to the principles of the Founders”.  What I’m trying to make people understand is that the principles to which we need to return are those not of the Deists and Freemasons whom we call the Founding Fathers, but those of the Church Fathers.

25 February 2015

Uncommon Commentary #447: Don’t Snow on Our (“Victory”) Parade (Alternate Title: They've Also Established a Record Low for Ethical Standards)

Bostonians are probably wondering what they’ve done to deserve all these winter storms and record-low temperatures, but the answer is obvious: They cheated in football!

21 February 2015

Uncommon Commentary #446: Moore v. a Moron

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore recently made an appearance on CNN, concerning his defiance of a federal judge’s order to flout the State constitution by granting marriage licenses to homosexuals.  He said “… our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution; they come from God.”  Anchorman Chris Cuomo replied: “Our laws do not come from God, Your Honor, and you know that; they come from man.” (At least he didn't say "humans".  See UC #1.)  The anchorman said “laws” whereas the Chief Justice had used the word “rights”, but it seems probable that Cuomo, who is likely a leftist regardless of whether he’s related to the odious gubernatorial dynasty that shares his name, is proceeding from the left-wing conceit that what we have is owed to secular government rather than to the deity from Whom, as Romans 13:1 tells us, all secular authority comes.  If so, he’s wrong; unhappily, though, so is Moore.
Innate rights come from God—It was reportedly the Roman Catholic Church that came up with the idea that we are born with rights as unique creations of God, although, as I explain below, the concept of “human rights” is greatly abused in our time—but, remember: Moore said that “… our rights contained in the Bill of Rights … come from God.”  Let’s look at the Bill of Rights, which is a name for the first ten articles of, or amendments to, the US Constitution.  The very first one ordains that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion; we therefore have a constitutional right, which, according to Moore, comes from God, to worship a deity of, e.g., Hinduism.  In the First Commandment, however, God tells us not to worship any god but Him.  Does Moore hold that He gives us a right to disregard His commandment?
The idea that God gave us the privileges that we enshrine in our constitutions as “rights” is not only presumptuous; it has also had a harmful effect.  If one sets a precedent by claiming a divine justification for what cannot be inferred from Christian sources (viz., the New Testament, writings of Church Fathers, canons of Church councils, the magisterium, and perhaps post-biblical revelation) or from any other religion, what is to prevent someone else from simply inventing human “rights”?  The United Nations has actually declared gun control (not gun ownership) to be a human right; many of my countrymen think that they have a natural right to wed someone of the same sex, which is the very reason why Chief Justice Moore was on CNN.
The founders of the USA remind me of the Pharisees whom Christ criticized for passing off human innovations as if those innovations were of divine origin.  Why not just reserve the enumeration of rights to the Church, which is responsible for the concept?

14 February 2015

Uncommon Commentary #445: Love and Like Are Unalike

One often hears people say such things as “I like this one, but I love that one”; “love”, however, is not the superlative of “like”.  To like somebody merely means to get along with him, to enjoy his company; to love somebody is to care about that person, and so it’s quite possible to like someone without loving him and to love him without liking him.  The importance of this distinction is more than academic.  Another thing that one will hear people say, as a way of justifying themselves to those who try to save them from the consequences of their sins, is “God loves me just the way I am”.  He does love you just the way you are, but that doesn’t mean that He approves of what you are.  Being Christian doesn’t mean that you have to like people, but it means that you have to love them.

07 February 2015

Vital Link #5: Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition to Be Fair!

Again saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, Emperor Nerobama seized the opportunity of the National Prayer Breakfast to liken our Christian forebears to the homicidal maniacs of the Islamic State.  He said, in part:
… unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place -- remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ ….  So [sic], it is not unique to one group or one religion; there is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.
In addition to being inapt, this latest apology for militant Muslims is historically inaccurate.  You can learn the truth about the Crusades here.  I can’t link you to any similar resource regarding the likewise-maligned Inquisition, but I know that scholars have written books which prove that the negative modern view of it is almost entirely a product of disingenuous Protestant propaganda; if you try, you can find such a work without any help from me, although you probably won’t find any that have the nifty title of this u.c.

02 February 2015

Uncommon Commentary #444: This Might Simply Make You Ashamed of Your Comrades

The following sentence appears on page 563 of Sidney Harcave’s Russia: A History: “In November, 1920, it [Soviet Russia] legalized the performance of abortions, at the same time denouncing abortion as an evil which would in time be eradicated.”  Half a century later, proponents of legally induced abortion here in the USA would likewise present fœticide as a necessary evil, whereas now they behave as if it were a violation of their rights merely to have to defend their position on this issue.  I don’t know if pro-choicers ever view the Doman Domain, but, if you who are reading this u.c. are among their number: How do you feel to learn that even the Bolsheviks, who massacred the Romanovs and who created the Red Terror, had a higher regard for the most vulnerable human lives than you do?

26 January 2015

Uncommon Commentary #443: Obama Needs to Change His Address

(The pun on “address”, in the title of this u.c., has a double meaning; the word primarily refers to the State of the Union, but the USA would also benefit from Obama-the-Bungle-Boy’s [see the guide to domanisms] not continuing to reside at the White House.)
This past week, when the President of the USA snubbed the traditional media to speak with a bunch of YouTube hosts, one of them told him that the #1 question on Google in this country during the recent State of the Union address was “How old is Obama?”  Assuming that his information is correct: Why did people want to know that, at that time?  Were they curious as to how an apparently grown man could say the childish things that he did?  Or, were they thinking that our chief executive must be much older than he looks, because only someone who is too old to change would (as his oration-on-the-nation demonstrated to be true of him) persist in a mode of leadership that has done so much damage as it has to his party, his country, and his world?
(Incidentally, I really don’t like the idea of an opposition-party response to a State of the Union address, but such a response may become necessary when the occupant of the Oval Office, as the current one always does, transforms the SOTU tradition into an opportunity to deliver a campaign speech.)

24 January 2015

Uncommon Commentary #442: How Can He Be a Minority Leader if He’s White?

Senate-Majority-Leader-demoted-to-Senate-Minority-Leader Harry Reid will undergo eye surgery on Monday; the sort of vision that really requires attention in his case, though, cannot be improved through a medical operation.

19 January 2015

Uncommon Commentary #441: A Lyin’ Line (Alternate Title: For Someone Who Uses “I” So Often as Obama Does, He Certainly Has Trouble with the “I-Word”)

(The “I-word” is, of course, “Islam”.)
I don’t know whether the majority of Moslems favor jihad versus civilians—and neither does anyone else, because no worldwide survey of Mohammedan opinion has ever been taken—but the quotations in the penultimate paragraph of I Slam Islam? belie what we've all heard so often, with only minor variations, from President Obombast and the like-minded: that jihadism really has no place in Islam, and that the tenets of this legitimate religion—What qualifies a religion as "legitimate" in the eyes of leftists?—have been misrepresented by a handful of "extremists" who carry out, or promote, terrorist attacks.  It's not uncommon for belligerents to tell lies about one another, but our Commander-in-Chief in the War on Terror won't even tell the damning truth about militant Islamists.

12 January 2015

Uncommon Commentary #440: Absolving the Criminally Insane Is Itself Criminally Insane

Why does our system of justice consider the psychiatric concept of criminal insanity, and the theological concept of evil, to be mutually exclusive?  Does it never occur to us that perhaps someone’s criminal insanity has resulted from his evil?  Had Adolf Hitler, who was clearly a paranoiac, lived past the end of World War II and been put on trial at Nuremberg, ought he to have been judged “not guilty by reason of insanity”?

05 January 2015

Uncommon Commentary #439: Rated PU

Those persons who presented Sony Pictures’ cancellation, and cancellation of the cancellation, of the release of The Interview in the context of a struggle for “freedom of expression” apparently want to believe that this film is to the Kim regime what Charles Chaplin’s The Great Dictator was to the Third Reich: a clever satire of a loathsome regime.  The Interview, however, evidently is not a political statement; critics whose job it is to review Hollywood’s releases so that others will know whether those releases are worth viewing seem all to agree that it’s just a tasteless and mindless film that attempts to derive humor from assassination.  I don’t defend Sony’s initial decision, but to urge people to buy a ticket for The Interview, as the Republican Party did, is going too far. (To be fair to the GOP, I ought to note here that it urged people not to see the film but merely to buy a ticket to do so!)