Archive for November, 2016

Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead

November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro is a special sort of evil. The kind of evil who has no scruples against killing people because they disagree or they are out past 8PM or up before 5AM or because they just want to leave the hellhole he has created for them.

The Pope prays for the soul of Fidel Castro. Unfortunately, the fate of Fidel’s soul is not in our hands anymore. We had our chance to preach the gospel to him, and he had his chance to hear it. As a mormon, I hope Fidel will embrace the salvation of Christ in the next life. But at the same time, I know that the people he and his brutal regime murdered are there waiting to welcome him and ask him why he did what he did. The scriptures tell us that the blood of the innocent cries to God for justice, and the earth itself groans with sin.

Nevertheless, Fidel Castro is the sort of evil tyrannical dictator we don’t want running America. He is the kind of person we don’t want anywhere near any levers of power. The fact that he was a communist means he got a free pass in the popular media (the same media that congratulated the New York Times for sending a reporter to the Ukraine during the Holodomor only to report everything was fine.) We know where the loyalties of that media lie. I have no problem calling people who praise Castro a communist, and I have no problem saying that blood is on their hands.

I often wonder what passes through the minds of the people who wear Che Guevera T-Shirts and emblems. Do they know that the only reason Che is popular is because if you spoke out in Cuba about what Che actually did you would be killed?

You can google for the Fidel Castro body count. Very conservative estimates are in the thousands. More reasonable estimates put him in the hundreds of thousands. His connection to murderous regimes both in the American and African Continents link him with the death of millions of innocent people. If only Hitler had the same PR firm that communists had, we would be wearing Hitler T-Shirts and wondering why people get so upset when you shout “Sieg Heil!”

The Book of Mormon has stories of brutal dictators. We call them Gadianton Robbers. They work by colluding to hide their crimes from the people and presumably from God. On one such occasion, their numbers had grown so great that the people who actually kept the law had to come altogether in the center of the land to defend their flocks and fields. When the Gadianton Robbers ran out of food to feed themselves (because they don’t know how to work), they besieged the city and eventually were overthrown. Their leader was among those slain as they were cut down running from the law-keepers. They took his body and hung him from a tree and shouted “Hosannas” to God!

The communist movement is the Gadianton Robber movement. With no conception of where wealth comes from, they exist by stealing and promising their stolen goods to their supporters. They hide their crimes and collude and distort the truth about what they and others like them do. If only the world could see clearly, we might round up all those who profess communism and ask them to recant or else face the death penalty. Certainly, killing all the communists who refuse to recant would save more lives net sum, because communism already has beaten all the other evil ideologies in terms of sheer numbers of dead by many orders of magnitude. Hitler was a girl scout compared to Stalin, and Mao was Stalin evolved.

If anyone asks why I hate communism and communists, let me list the reasons here.

  • Communism has killed an extraordinarily large number of people, more than any other philosophy.
  • Communism is built on the lie that if we simply all shared (because we were forced to), we would be happy. The truth is that happiness comes from sharing voluntarily.
  • Communism is the exact opposite of Christianity. Christianity says share with the poor because you love God and you love Man. Communism says people won’t share naturally and so they need to be forced, thus depriving them of their right to worship.
  • Communism is a cover for all sorts of evil people. Think of any sort of deviancy and it’s trivial to find a large number of communists who actually do those things. This whole deal with Pizzagate — ask yourself, would a member of the Third Reich ever do such things? Sure, they murdered Jews and such, but seriously — child sex trafficking?

McCarthy was right. We, our society, has been inflitrated by the communists for a very long time. Except for a few institutions (and I wish I could say the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was totally immune to its siren song, but I can’t!) communists run the show. Hollywood is communist central. The democratic party and the majority of the republican leadership are open communists. They don’t even bother hiding anymore and they aren’t ashamed to talk openly about what they believe and think.

Make no mistake: Communism is synonymous with evil. Dig down into what your communist friend or neighbor thinks and believes, and you will find death and destruction and evil at the heart of it.

Remember: God commanded us not to covet, not to steal, not to bear false witness, and not to worship any other gods before Him. Is it hard to see how communism violates all of these commandments?

Fidel Castro is dead. And with him, dies his legacy. What will come in the aftermath? I suppose if we gave the people of Cuba, including the exiles, a chance to make a choice, they would choose something different. After all, Castro rose to power by force, he kept power by force, and he was happy to use his power by force. The people never willingly chose him.

Let all the communist leadership die a similar fate. Let them face their Creator and give an accounting of how they spent their time on earth, and let them face the people they thought they could eliminate by killing. Let them know.

By the way, the Clintons have a long body count list. When they finally die, I’ll celebrate their deaths too.

And if you’re wondering: The Cuban health care system was far inferior to ours, and their social services sucked. Their entire economy has been in shambles to such a degree you can barely imagine. People may blame the embargoes, but if you do that, let it be known you’re saying that only the USA is a source of wealth, and communism is incapable of sustaining itself.

Also: The Castros practically invented modern terrorism. They wanted to launch nuclear missiles against us. They hated Americans and had no qualms about killing innocent people.

I sincerely praise God that Fidel Castro is dead. Why it took him so long to do it, I don’t know and I can’t question, but I can praise the fact that it is now done.

Christmas Is Here

November 25, 2016

There has been a lot of hay thrown around Christmas and whether it should be called Christmas or whatever. I’m not one of those people who get offended by people who don’t agree with me, so frankly, I don’t care. But I do care when people try to tell me how to celebrate my holidays.

For starters, if saying “Merry Christmas” offends you, that’s your problem, not mine. Go talk to your therapist. But don’t pretend I’m evil because I want to share with you the joy of the Christmas season.

Secondly, the First Amendment doesn’t protect you from religion. No one is free from religion. We are free to believe what we choose to believe. And read it carefully: The first amendment says that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, meaning a church. Christianity is not a church. So Congress and the president are free to tell you Christ is rad and Satan sucks. And you can’t stop them.

Thirdly, I know that Christmas is a made-up holiday and related to some pagan ritual. I get that. What I think you are missing is why that’s important. See, when the Christians took over Europe, they didn’t do it by waving scimitars above their head and shouting “Jesus is Awesome!” No, the mass conversions happened as lowly monks would move into a town and start helping people. And when people asked why they were so nice they would say “Because Jesus told me to be nice”. And they’d ask who Jesus was and so the monk would try to explain it in ways that they could understand. So Christians took the symbols and holidays that the pagans celebrated and converted them to Christianity and in so doing converted people to Christianity. This is how over the span of a few hundred years there were no Christians in Europe to practically everyone being Christian. Yes, there were wars and fighting and raids and all kinds of nastiness in between, but at the end of the day, it was a quiet man who showed people who Christ was and explained it in terms they could understand that changed hearts and minds.

So let me tell you what Christmas is all about, or rather, what Christ is all about, using the pagan holiday we call Christmas.

Christmas is all about presents. It’s about what you can buy with your money, but not just for yourself. The ultimate goal is to find someone you care about and to get them something they want or need so you can get warm fuzzies that make you feel good, and they can get warm fuzzies and we can all have warm fuzzies because we know that there’s someone out there who cares for us.

Let me tell you about the best Christmas present ever. See, God is far away from us. (Let’s not focus on why he’s far away from us, just accept the fact that you probably haven’t spoken to him for a long time.) But God really, really cares about you. He created an entire universe just for you, and an earth, and he put people on the earth and told them to be nice to each other and have children and that’s where you came from.

But God wants to really explain his love for you in a way you can understand, and so he gave us Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ didn’t come to earth to rule. He wasn’t born a prince like you would normally think of a prince. He was born in a manger. That’s where you feed animals. His mother and father weren’t poor but they weren’t rich either. And Jesus grew up amid all sorts of problems. For instance, when he was very young the king sent out soldiers to kill all the children his age. But Jesus didn’t let that phase him. He had a job to do: He had to show people what God really thought about them. And so, when he was old enough, he started ministering to the people. That means he helped the poor and the sick. He healed many people. He raised some people from the dead. But most especially he taught people how they should act. He took the Law of Moses, a strict set of commandments about who you should kill and for what, and showed how it was really a message of hope and love. When the pious Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the very act of adultery to be condemned by the law to death, he defended her and when her accusers had left he told her to go her way and sin no more. That was it.

At the end of his life, he was tried for rebellion and blasphemy. Blasphemy means he spoke against God or rather pretended to speak for God even though he had no such authority. He was found guilty of both counts by a kangaroo courts made up to the elite in society, and even though the king offered to be merciful to Jesus because he could find nothing wrong, the people demanded he be crucified. So the king, rather than sticking up for what is right, relented. He was failed by government, by the king, by the councils, by the people, and so he was sentenced to die by crucifixion. Crucifixion was a horrible way to die. They would hang you from a cross until you didn’t have the strength to breath anymore and you suffocated. Or, if they were especially cruel, they would drive nails into the palms of your hands and into your wrists and hang you that way. People who were crucified would hang for days on the cross before they would die. Thank God that there is no culture that practices this anymore.

Jesus, while hanging on the cross, begged forgiveness for his persecutors because they were acting in ignorance. He pleaded for one of his disciples to look after his mother. And then he put his spirit into the hands of God, and he died. They buried him in a sepulchre where he laid for three days. See, he died on a a Friday and on Saturday the Jews celebrated the Sabbath so they could not do any work. On Sunday morning, his disciples came back to finish preparing his body with herbs and ointments but there were angels there, declaring that Christ was not dead by living. In a miraculous event, his body and spirit were reunited in perfect form. He spent quite a while with his disciples but in the end, he had to ascend to heaven. As he ascended, angels proclaimed that in the same way he went up, he would return one day.

The message that Christ shared with the world, the gift that his life and his sacrifice were, are simply this. God loves you, so much that he sent his Son. And his Son didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it. All Christ asks is that we put our trust in Him, turn away from our sins, and try to live better each and every day. If we can simply manage that, he promises us a position on his throne, the very throne of God, to be heirs to God like him.

So as you buy that gift for your friend or acquaintance of loved one, think of the gift that was bought for you with the life blood of God’s own son. Think of how you feel about that person you are sharing that gift with, and then consider how God feels about you. And as you receive a gift, think about how you feel if you simply accept the gift, and how good it must feel to accept such a wonderful gift such as Christ that is freely given.

So when I say “Merry Christmas”, I am telling you the good news. This is not the end. You can change. We can all change. And the most important thing is that we love one another.

Response to Vi Hart

November 24, 2016

I won’t link to the video because I found it boring and badly misinformed. There are some good ideas, but the bad ideas are too numerous to make it worth it.

Vi Hart is a popular YouTuber mathematician. Her schtick is she narrates a video of her drawing in her notebooks. The ideas she presents aren’t new but are interesting because math itself is interesting. She’s one of the few that understands that math is simply a game, and mathematicians enjoy playing that game.

Vi Hart has abandoned her schtick many years ago. The few uploads she makes are weird and cryptic and exposes her obvious bias towards liberalism and the current fads in politics enjoyed by them.

Her latest video is an attempt to understand why Trump won the election.

She starts off by showing her ignorance. It took her a very long time to realize that people think differently from her, and it seems like she is saying something taboo as she tries to tell people that that’s ok. What she doesn’t understand is that our ideals are not genetic. It doesn’t matter who we are born to, it matters what we are taught. The differences between Red America and Blue America is not genetic. It is cultural. She grew up never being told certain things that I tell my kids all the time.

For instance, I tell my little kids, “Everyone dies.” They know that they will die, I will die, their mom will die, and everyone they care about will die one day. This is a sobering thought, one that I don’t think liberals truly understand or appreciate. Our mortality means there is a clock ticking, and one day it will stop. Whether you think your life is in the hands of the Fates or God, knowing that you only have so much time wakes you up to an important second truth. That second truth is how you spend your time is the only real question you can answer in this life.

Liberals have eliminated God from almost all of their thoughts. I remember watching the DNC convention when it was proposed to remove God from their platform. Even though the people loudly protested in support, they chose to keep it and ignore what their delegates wanted. Not only was this a terrible example of their complete disregard for other’s opinions, but a witness to the fact that whatever the DNC says about God it is a sham and a fake, because their people don’t care about God at all.

I have been vocal in trying to explain why the first commandment is so important, and why the first great commandment is before the second great commandment. The first commandment, is of course, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The first great commandment is “Love God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.” The reason why these commands come first is because if you don’t get these right, nothing else matters. Once you let other gods stand before the true and living God, the God who gives you freedom and who grants you life, you start down a terrible path. That terrible path is the path of nihilism, where you succumb to the lie that life is meaningless and you don’t matter and so your actions don’t count and you might as well spend your life pursuing pleasure and ignoring morality.

I think this is the first great divide between Trump and Clinton. Clinton is the party of “We don’t care.” Trump is the party of “It matters a whole lot more than you realize.”

Her argument isn’t focused here. It’s merely a prelude to her conclusion, which is, “Old people voted for Trump, young people voted for Clinton.” That’s where the math ends and the philosophizing begins. She tries to walk down a path of trying to explain why old people are racist nazis who hate everything good like puppies and kittens and wants to send storm troopers to kill all the flowers and trees and burn the world down, while the young people understand that humans are humans and we have all just got to love each other and the planet is going to die unless you stop eating beef. (I’m exaggerating, of course, but you’ve all heard this song before so I won’t bore you with the words.)

Here, she misses a powerful point. The point is this: Old people are a lot smarter than young people. I say this as I sit at age 40, halfway between the beginning of my life and its end. Or maybe I’ll live to 100 and my half-way point is in 10 years. Regardless, my generation stopped having kids and now we are looking forward to grandkids and we care deeply about maybe having great grandkids and seeing us not be the weak link between the thousands of years before and the thousands of years to come. We don’t want our name to be remembered as the people responsible for destroying all that used to be good in the world and replacing it with something worse.

She also misses another powerful point. As old people, we’ve seen a lot of stuff. We’ve seen humans at their best and their worst. We don’t have to read history books to know what people are capable of, both for good and evil. We’ve seen it with our own eyes. You young people, you don’t know what evil is. You can’t fathom how deep evil can go and what it is capable of. We tell you stories of the Holodomor and the Holocaust and you wonder, “How can that happen?” and you don’t understand that we’re watching is happen all over again and we are trying to explain to you how you can prevent a very real Hitler or Stalin take power when your kids are turning into adults.

Let me spell it out for you in plain English so you don’t forget.

  • What you believe in is terribly important, because that and that alone will tell me what you will do.
  • There is a great evil in this world, and it doesn’t wear a black mask and it doesn’t kick puppies. This evil is far greater than you can possibly imagine.
  • The evil is really, really good at what it does, which is being evil. The way it works is it deceives you into thinking good is evil and evil is good.
  • However, if you pay attention to some warning signs, you can see that evil and call it out long before it becomes entrenched and in control.
  • Evil hates good. Evil hates it when people are self-sufficient and when they share with others and when they are kind. Hint: The people who want to ban you from sharing your food with the homeless are evil.
  • Evil hates freedom, real freedom, the freedom to say, “I refuse to participate in this” or “I think what you are doing is evil.” Hint: The people who want to ban people from saying certain things because those thing are mean are evil.
  • Evil needs support. It cannot stand on its own. Evil uses force, not persuasion. Hint: When people say you must give something up or else the planet will die are evil.
  • Evil talks a good game, but in reality, they are rotten to the core. It’s very important to look into people’s private lives to see if they walk the walk or just talk the talk. Hint: If people cannot keep their thingamabobs in their pants, they are evil.
  • Finally, the last thing evil wants you to do is get a classical education in what our Founding Fathers knew and understood. No, evil wants you to have a superficial knowledge about a large number of unimportant things rather than a deep knowledge of things that are actually important.

I wish I could write a book that will help you understand evil but also understand good. Since I can’t, I’ll just recommend a single book for you to deeply study and ponder the rest of your life. That book is, of course, the Bible. In it, you will find every preconceived notion you have challenged, and you will find a way to think about things you haven’t even considered yet.

Finally, I’ll close with this. Good is free, Good is fun, Good is easy. Accept Christ into your life, turn your life around to align with his, and enjoy the bountiful blessings of trying to walk a higher path despite your weaknesses.

Where does wealth come from?

November 24, 2016

This story cannot be told enough times.

After Christ died, in the New Testament, we read that the believers formed a church and they held things in common. We don’t know all the details of how they operated the church and such but a few stories in the Acts and elsewhere suggest that one of the major roles of the church was to accept and distribute property and food and to care for the needy.

When the pilgrims first came to America, they wanted to build that same system. They held the property in common trust, and people worked the land. This is not unlike communism that is often proposed as a superior model to capitalism.

This worked for a year. And then they ran out of food and almost starved to death.

The next year they tried something different. Each family was assigned a parcel of land and allowed to keep whatever they grew on that land.

That worked for a year, and in the end of the year, they had so much surplus that they had a huge feast.

Since that time, abundance hasn’t really left America’s shores because in our very national essence we have this idea encoded. The idea is simply this: Keep what you make.

Now, communists will try to tell you that the factory owners are somehow bilking the factory workers out of their hard-earned money and such. Yet it is these same communists who say some great injustice is committed when the factories are closed down. If the factory jobs are actually stealing from the workers, wouldn’t it be a good thing to close the factory down? I mean, who can complain when we shut down a network of thieves?

The core essence of capitalism (a name not chosen for itself but given by communists to ridicule it) is that people own things. They get to decide what to do with their time, their energy, their assets. And they keep what they do with their things. In the case of the factory, communists ignore the vast effort that went in to planning the factory and acquiring the right machines and the right people and tools to keep the machines running. The actual factory workers are a small part of the entire enterprise, and rewarded according to their value. The owner of the factory doesn’t really care about them anymore than they care about the land or the building or the machines in the building. They are just another thing that are “owned” that requires maintenance but produces some value. The moment workers or machines or factories no longer deliver value or cost more than they produce, they get shut down or turned away or sold, or even melted down for scrap metal to be recast in a new machine that is useful.

The story I like to tell is when I gave all of my kids an equal share of popsicles. The youngest kids quickly ate theirs up but my eldest put his in the freezer because he wanted to save it for later. Next thing you know, the younger kids see some kind of injustice in the fact that there is only one popsicle and my oldest son has it while they have none. It’s hard for a little mind to understand that connected to all actions is a consequence, but more importantly, once you undertake that action, you own the consequence, good or bad. If you chose to eat the popsicle, that means you have no popsicle. If you saved it, you get to keep it.

Please share the story of the first Thanksgiving with all you know. It’s important to realize that the food that fed the pilgrims didn’t come from an Indian showing them how to fertilize their crops but from the work that actually fertilized the crops and built fences and tilled and weeded the fields. Knowing how to do something is never as valuable as actually doing it.

And keep in mind. The reason why we have factories and things are because someone, somewhere, decided to save what they earned for later, and then wisely invested their surplus. If we behave like little children and take from those who have more because they have more we are no better than thieves ourselves.

The End of Reddit

November 24, 2016

I’ve been lurking in the background watching a set of events unfold on Reddit that spells its doom.

Reddit started off as a competitor to Digg. The appeal of Reddit was you could form your own communities and be your own moderator. And it was pretty cool. Reddit in the old days was the Wild Wild West. When they introduced draconian measures to put porn in the background and eliminate child pornography, some people warned that this was the beginning of the end, but hardly anyone protested because if there’s anyone we all agree on to hate, it’s child molesters.

Reddit saw the rise of the SJW (social justice warrior). These are the people who scream at you and berate you for having different thoughts. They are the ones who shout “Racist!” “Sexist!” “Homophobe!” and all sorts of nonsense, and who pretend that one who was simply born with the misfortune of being a white and a male and heir to a history of Western Civilization is the ultimate evil in the world. Reddit was a platform they could indulge themselves in, and for a time, it seemed like they had gained control of the entire platform.

However, in the corners of Reddit there were forums of conservatives and others who held on. Over time, their numbers grew, and their members became desensitized to the nonsense of the SJW and even engaged in addressing it with sick memes and mad pranks.

Then came The_Donald. One thing we conservatives do not understand nor will we ever is the power of popular appeal, the importance of political victories and things like that. We are content to sit in our homes and read philosophical works and engage in debate on the finer points of free trade and such, but it takes men of action who are willing to actually fight the fight and win the wars. (Since I am hardly a voice of effective persuasion, I can merely throw my thoughts at there and sail with the wind when it blows in a semi-correct direction.)

The_Donald dwarfed all of Reddit. See, The_Donald appealed to everyone everywhere who hated the SJWs and what politics had become. And in The_Donald, they got to learn from the best.

The_Donald dominated Reddit. New users of Reddit see a set of default communities and some of the top posts across Reddit, and The_Donald was regularly finding themselves on that top spot. Despite all the complaints of the SJWs, nothing could be done to make The_Donald any less popular.

Then came the emails. And in the emails, we learned all about how corrupt Hillary was, and nobody seemed to care. We even found out that Hillary’s people undulge themselves from time to time with good old-fashioned Satan worshiping and worse (and there is worse!).

Then came Pizzagate. See, in those emails, we learned that Hillary’s people have a fascination for pizza and some other foods. And we couldn’t understand the cryptic messages. As members of The_Donald started putting pieces together, they realized they were on to something huge because now Hillary was saying, “Don’t believe the emails! It’s all lies!” and other mysterious things. So the community for pizzagate was built.

Pizzagate took off. I refused to look at it (because it was closely related to child molestation) but I could read the reports coming from the community, the links made and all the mysterious things. The Clinton blood trail got longer and they seemed to be ready to link all the pieces together when you noticed things like massive arrests of child molestation rings in the US and Norway and all sorts of whisperings from the NYPD and FBI.

But it was not to be. On false pretenses, Pizzagate was shut down by the “Admins”. Who are the admins? These are the employees of the Reddit company, and whatever they want, they do. They were supposed to make sure that child pornography didn’t exist and pornography was put into its corner and people weren’t too mean to each other, but now the Admins, under a user named Spez (the current CEO of Reddit), Pizzagate was shut down. On Reddit. But Pizzagate did not end with them shutting down one of the forums. No, there are many forums for people interested in helping expose the largest child molestation ring in the world that includes Hillary Clinton and most of the leaders of the democratic party.

This isn’t the end. I think many people can understand why hosting something like Pizzagate on Reddit would be problematic, even if Spez wasn’t involved. The problem with investigating child molestation is there are things that are said and evidences presented that you don’t want the FBI to find on your hard drive. And if Reddit hosted such things, why, that would be deeply problematic. And besides, things were getting out of hand. One of the tactics the Clinton camp uses is to plant false flags. For instance, they’ll put someone wearing a Cruz T-shirt at a Trump rally and then that guy will start pushing people around hoping he gets beat up by some Trump fan. The next day, they can post pictures of how Trump fans beat up a Cruz supporter at their rally, or whatnot. The moderators of Pizzagate (who are not paid) were overwhelmed and they had a very difficult time maintaining an open community that adheres to all the community guidelines, particularly with obviously false flags being planted.

But what happened next is truly astonishing. After Pizzagate was shut down, people on The_Donald starting hurling insults towards Spez. And Spez, in a moment of drunken moderating (that’s what we call it when moderators let their emotions get the best of them) hacked his own database to change the comments. This, in and of itself, would be news and worthy of a large number of people leaving Reddit.

But it gets worse. There is a chat forum where moderators of the top communities (besides The_Donald, of course) and the admins can get together and chat. Now, the people most active in this small community are, of course, the SJWs. But not all of them. One of them took the transcript of the admins and mods celebrating Spez’s “drunken moderating”, and begging him to let them “accidentally” delete The_Donald and worse (such as making their votes count opposite, or letting people outside of The_Donald’s votes count more) and posted it for the world to see.

This transcript is as damning as it sounds.

SJWs are not interested in free speech, not even a little bit. They are as bad as any communist I have ever heard of, willing to use force if necessary to keep people who disagree with them from speaking.

What they don’t realize is we already knew this. But now we have documented evidence.

And now, Reddit is done.

Reddit is not a place for free speech anymore than Twitter or Facebook or YouTube are. It is just another forum heavily moderated by SJWs for SJWs where they can take out their frustrations on innocent people who simply have an opinion different from theirs.

I still browse Reddit for the opinions and views of people, and also to watch how SJWs act and what the next great social movement is.

If you’re wondering, they want to legitimize child molestation. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not smiling.

Give Thanks to God

November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is, was, and always should be about thankfulness, but not to each other. Thanksgiving wasn’t started by President Abraham Lincoln but he was the first to make a national declaration:

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

As you gather your family together, be sure to thank God for the fact that you are alive and that you live in the greatest country the world has ever known. Thank God that you don’t worry about where your next meal is coming from. Thank God that you don’t have to watch your back all the time, that you have a place where you can meet together without fear of being persecuted or hurt.

Atheists rightly wonder what God has to do with it all. Allow me a few minutes to indulge them.

It is God who created the heavens and the earth.

It is God who set man upon it.

It is God who freed us from our oppressors.

It is God who gave us commandments and told us how to rightly live so we can have peace and plenty.

It is God who put into our hearts a spirit of contentment and a willingness to obey his commandments.

When we obey God, and live by his commandments, and enjoy the bounties of the world and universe he created for us, and placed us in, how can we not be thankful?

Which one of us knows how to create a universe, let alone do it? Which one of us can organize a planet and make it inhabitable for human life? Which one of us can create life by his own devices?

Who here can claim to have earned their own freedom? Or can you only say that you were given the gift of freedom by people or beings known and unknown?

Which one of us knows how to live rightly without being told by God? This fact seems to escape the atheist who adheres to Christian morals, but before Christ came, there was no such thing as Christian morals. Search the whole earth, and the closest thing you’ll find was the Jews and their traditions. Before Christ, we had Eastern Philosophers that told us “Don’t do to each other what you don’t want done to you” but what did they build with that, and what was their heritage? It was not until the message of Christ came to the earth and entered into human thought that Western Civilization was even possible.

And when you obey those Christian ideals and live by them, and then reap the rewards promised, can you claim that you did so of your own accord, or that there was a certain feeling of compassion or kindness set in your heart that you cannot name the source of?

No filibuster for appointments

November 20, 2016

Remember when Harry Reid was majority leader of the senate and he invoked the nuclear option so Obama could appoint known terrorists, communists, socialists, and criminals to his cabinet?

I do.

And that’s why Donald Trump only cares about the opinions of 51 senators when it comes to his appointments.

We warned you, democrats. You invoked the nuclear option, and now you are never going to see the light of day. A simple majority is now all that is needed to run the government.

There’s rumors that the senate is going to be a different place now. Simply put, Trump ain’t going to put up with the shenanigans of the democrats, and will probably demand the nuclear option be invoked on other things as well, such as the supreme court nominee. He has the bully pulpit, and he’s willing to use it. If the 49 perhaps 48 democrat senators want to face down Trump, that’s their call, but I doubt the 51 or 52 republican senators are going to have enough spine to stand up to him.

Before you scream “Constitution!” you might want to read the thing first. Barack Obama was many things, and a constitutional scholar is not one of them.

On Waterboarding and War

November 20, 2016

There’s rumors Trump might permit waterboarding.

And of course, there’s the apoplectic response. “Waterboarding is torture!” “We should take the moral high ground!” “The Geneva Convention!” “We’re not monsters!”

Ahem.

First things first: When we are at war, literally anything goes. There is no moral high ground once war is declared. War is a dirty, ugly, filthy business, which I why I propose we prosecute wars with our full ability and end them as soon as possible. We should try to spend as little time as possible at war because war is not moral and nothing anyone does during war can be considered moral.

When the Civil War began, people would have picnics to watch the battles, as if they were some game or some spectacle. I simply cannot understand this. If there was a war, and it approached my home, I would run as far away as possible from it. That is, unless I was called upon to fight in the war, in which case, I would fight as hard and as long as I could to end it as soon as possible.

Granted, we have laws for how we choose to fight wars, but those laws are not written by nature. Those are laws we impose upon ourselves simply because we’d rather not do certain things even if it meant losing the war. But let me tell you this: If it became clear that the path to victory lie across those laws, how many of us would question those soldiers and commanders who decided to ignore the law? I guarantee you that if you actually thought we might lose a war, you aren’t going to ask any questions at all of our soldiers when they fight that war and win. No, they will wear the victor’s crown and rightly be considered heroes, even if they did things that they would wish we never knew about.

Which gets me to waterboarding. The liberals in our country find it distasteful. I find it rather humane compared to other forms of torture, even civilized. In fact, I cannot even call waterboarding torture because it looks nothing like the things we traditionally associate with torture. (Cue the apoplectic response right about now.)

Whether or not waterboarding is effective is completely irrelevant. Whether or not we tie our soldier’s hands during war is entirely appropriate. Should we give them a mountain of cash and say, “Win this war, no matter what!” Or do we tie them up in chains and say, “If you happen to win this war despite these limitations, we’ll think of new ways to make you less powerful later.”

Second: The issue of law. Some people think that the US constitution applies to our enemies. I am here to tell you that it does. The constitution gives the power of war to congress and the president. That is, the constitution tells the enemy who is going to come and kill them. That’s about it. None of the rest of it applies. The US constitution has no force in Afghanistan or Iraq, unless we have an embassy there. The laws apply to soldiers but it doesn’t apply to the people the soldiers kill. They have no first amendment protections, nor do they have a the protection of a trial by jury. They cannot appeal a decision to the Supreme Court. They have no recognition under our law except as an enemy. To try to impose the constitution upon people in foreign countries is exactly the sort of imperialism that liberals complain about. Yes, it may sound nice to have the people in Afghanistan to be subject to the constitution, but that would mean they were subject to the United States, a territory. I am sure the people of Afghanistan would object.

Third, the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists and never will. They didn’t sign it, they are not even a state. (If they were, we could end this really quickly.) They get no protection under the convention, and in fact, we shouldn’t be playing games with them. We catch a terrorist, we mutilate the body, desecrate it, and post it on a pike for the whole world to see. That’s if we’re feeling generous. The Romans would do far worse. By fighting us without wearing a uniform or without a state to back them, they are no soldiers and they are not even criminals. They are worse than bandits and pirates and everything else that would make civilized life impossible. To treat them with even an ounce of respect is to disrespect the very foundation of civilizations: law.

Donald Trump is not an idiot. He is likely going to completely unlock the military and our intelligence agencies to do what they do best: Find people and kill them, and blow stuff up. If he’s really smart, he will write a fat check to the generals and say, “I don’t care what you spend that on as long as we win and they lose.” Maybe he will tell the generals, “You have one more week to win the war. Make it count.” This sort of idea to many people sounds barbaric and even hateful. But the truth is, for the safety of the world, it is the wisest course of action. By unleashing our generals and our admirals and our military men to do what they know how to do, to hold them accountable only to their own conscience and the laws that govern them, is the ultimate good. Every time our military has moved in the world, ever war we’ve ever won, has brought freedom and liberty to the world. And once the fighting is over, and the enemy surrenders, we can send in our humanitarians with food and blankets and clothing and we can rebuild, without a cent from the government to help. But not until the enemy is gone.

I beg you, if you love Afghanistan, if you love Iraq, if you love any of these hell-holes inhabited by hellish radical muslims bent on murdering women and children, let our soldiers loose. Let the dogs of war fight the war. Once they are done, and the area is secure, we can move in with true humanitarian help and begin the process of healing. But as long as that wound is open, there’s only going to be more death and destruction.

Mind you, I am not arguing for perpetual war. I am arguing the opposite. I want intense, focused fighting with a clear ending point. I want congress to think really, really hard before declaring war. And in the rare case where we have an ongoing war, I want it to be over with as quickly as possible.

 

A New Political Party

November 17, 2016

Apparently, some people think now is the ideal time to start a new political party.

So let me throw my idea in the ring. (And maybe you’ll see why forming a new political party to oppose the existing political parties is a really dumb idea.)

My political party will be the absolute bestest. It will ensure that everyone’s individual rights are protected.

For starters, we stand for the abolishment of parties. So, we don’t have a formal party you can join, because that’s the exact opposite of what we stand for.

But we do have ideals. Let me list some of them:

  1. The purpose of the government is to secure individual liberties. Anything beyond this is pure tyranny, and should be fought tooth and nail.
  2. The government should be limited in power and scope, and no government should be supreme. That is, the states should have power over the federal, and the different branches of the federal should have power over each other.
  3. Although democracy is a nice idea, in practice, it never works. Same for aristocracy, plutocracy, monarchy, and pretty much any -archy or -cracy. Instead, we should find a way to balance them.
  4. When we find a way to do this, we should write it down on a piece of paper that cannot be changed outside of an explicit amendment process. (I know, this has already been done, but bear with me.)
  5. The people should be represented by representatives at the various levels of government, rather than be allowed to take direct action. Politics should not be a popularity contest, in other words.
  6. Representatives should represent the people they are supposed to represent, not the government. In other words, they should go into government and say really mean things about the people in government, and should shout about how corrupt government has become and do things like shut it down and defund it and impeach people. (Now we are getting to radical ideas.)
  7. The senate should be composed of senators who are basically politicians-for-life who don’t care what the people think. Their job is to make sure the government continues to exist despite the fact that the people want to burn it to the ground.
  8. The president should be kind of like a king, and go around beating up bad guys and throwing them in jail. When he sees that something isn’t right, he should say so and tell people they need to fix it.
  9. The courts should handle all the cases, and that’s pretty much it. They should be almost entirely independent of the government except for the fact that they can’t change the law. That means they can’t write new laws and they can’t erase ones they don’t like. All the can do is make decisions in individual cases. They certainly can’t say something is “unconstitutional” or anything like that, let alone talk about individual rights.
  10. When senators misbehave, the states should be able to call them back home.
  11. When the president misbehaves, the representatives should impeach him and the senate should remove him.
  12. When judges and justices misbehave, or when they think they can say what is constitutional or not or what is or isn’t a law, they should be removed and sent home by the representatives and the senate.
  13. I know, this stuff is pretty radical!
  14. When the entire federal government misbehaves, then the states and the people should just ignore them. Basically, they get a “time out” where they can ponder why they have suddenly become irrelevant.

That’s the political platform. I call it, “Americanism 101”. It’s all in the constitution.

Here’s how to run as an American.

  1. Be wise. Idiots need not apply. If you are an idiot, go home.
  2. Have a real job. Career politicians and government workers are automatically disqualified.
  3. Understand the constitution. For instance, if you run as president to change the laws, you’re disqualified because you are an idiot.
  4. Learn when enough is enough. After a few terms, you probably don’t belong in the house of representatives anymore. You were sent there to represent us, not become entrenched in the ways of the government.
  5. Learn how to say “No!” to the federal government. If we send you to DC, and you can’t seem to find anything wrong there, that means you’re part of the problem.
  6. Impeach like a zillion people every day. Any time anyone steps out of line, I want you pushing articles of impeachment. Let’s not play games. Let’s actually do what we sent you to do.
  7. Learn how to balance the budget by lowering taxes and eliminating spending. Hint: A lot of that spending ends up funding career politicians! That money will NOT help you get re-elected!
  8. Behave like a good Christian. I don’t care what religion you are, if you don’t know how to act as a decent human being, you don’t represent me.

That’s my new party, the “American” party, or the American Anti-Party if you prefer.

You know what to do.

The Evil of Covetousness

November 15, 2016

I’m studying the Analects of Confucius. Let me say: Wow. Just Wow. You have to experience this for yourself.

It’s a very, very difficult read. You can probably only process one or two sentences every ten minutes. And then you feel like you’re missing so many important things.

One of the themes that Confucius hits on again and again is the idea of spirit vs. matter. For instance, what does it mean when someone obeys the law, but isn’t virtuous in their hearts? Is that worth anything, or is it worthless? Confucius says it is worthless.

One of the things that stood out like a sore thumb is his comparison of three things.

  1. What good is a rich man who doesn’t share his wealth with the poor?
  2. What good is a ceremony where the participants aren’t reverent?
  3. What good is mourning if you aren’t sad?

The evil of covetousness goes way beyond just wanting something that someone else has. At the center of it, in this light, is pure evil. To deny the wealthy the chance to share their wealth out of the purest of motives — love of those not like them, not wealthy — is to turn all that is good in this world into pure evil.

If you want to take away from the rich simply because he doesn’t share his wealth the way you want him too, you are like a person who steals from a sacred ceremony the reverence, or a person who takes away sadness during mourning. If the rich were to share their wealth but not be motivated by love, it is like going to a funeral where no one cares about the deceased. It would be lifeless, void, and meaningless.

At the core of Confucianism is an inward journey where you reflect upon reflection until you are able to see things as they are. Once you can penetrate past all the lies and deception, then you can start to accumulate true knowledge, and with knowledge, you can begin exercising your free will and your heart can begin to feel. When you have a compassionate heart, then you become virtuous, and that virtue brings order to your family. (What family can function if there is not sincere love between husband, wife, and children?) If you can manage your family, you can lead an entire nation.

Thus, the journey towards fulfillment and virtue begins with seeing things as they really are, looking behind the scenes and under the rocks and at the things normally hidden from view.

In this context, materialism, the idea that the only thing that exists are physical things in the physical universe, melts away and becomes little more than window dressing. No, behind everything is either nothing or meaning, meaning that exists beyond the thing itself.

What good is filial piety, Confucius asks, if you don’t love your parents and you don’t allow them to mold you into a man of virtue? After all, parent don’t scold their children because they are bad, but because they fear they may become bad. My wife, who grew up in Korea, says, “Wear a coat not because it’s cold, but because I think it’s cold, and I worry more about you than you do for yourself.” If you can learn that lesson, you can begin to see why the universe is the way it is.

By the way, it is trivial to link Confucianism with Christianity. Confucius wasn’t Buddhist. He believed in the ancient religion of China, which I believe is pretty much the same thing as the religion we find in the Bible. And just like the Jews, people in Confucius time wondered where obedience was enough, or how forgiveness and kindness should factor into our inability to achieve perfection.

It’s very good reading. I’ll try to share more as I can uncover it. And as I said, I feel like I am just scratching the surface.