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Nihilism

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End of the world as Christian effort?

Photoshopping Stephen Hawking into the Apocalypse

Salon.com has an article, “The End of the World as We Know It,” on the possibility/probability that the world will experience an apocalypse causing the extinction of humans in the very near future.  They quote and photoshop Stephen Hawking into the apocalypse which may/might/could be due to either climate change, the shrinking biosphere, “superbugs,” out of control technology or the deliberate efforts of the “religious.” Lots of data, little that’s truly on point. A lot of speculation and more than a bit of projection – the psychiatry kind, not the scientific kind.

The author, while naming groups that might deliberately cause human extinction,  equates the Christian belief  that Jesus will return at the end of time and the Muslim belief that the 12th Iman will soon return, leaving the reader — and far too many of those commenting on the article —  to the belief that Christians, like many main-stream Muslims, believe that we can hasten the end times by causing the end of the world (“as we know it”).

These guys are much more pessimistic than I am. The reason may be, as the comments reveal, far too many non-believers think Christians believe that we can bring on the end times by hastening an apocalypse.

However, when Jesus spoke of the end of the age and the time of His return to the world (possibly two separate events), He never said anything to imply that we can even know, much less effect that time.

“No man knows.” “Only the Father.”

And what are Christians to do? “Watch.” “Do not be deceived.” “Preach the Gospel in all nations.” and “Pray that it doesn’t happen in winter or on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.)

And there’s no mention of humans causing or precipitating the Apocalypse in John’s Revelation.

Unfortunately, many of the comments in response to the article are from non-believers who ascribe world-ending motives to Christians. (There are few if any that refer to the real beliefs of some Muslims that the end times can be brought on by human actions.)

Do you know of a scripture or a Christian teaching that we can gain heaven by acting to end the world?

Call them Disruptors

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/92484292-132.html

ungovernableThe events at the University of California at Berkeley on February 1st weren’t “protests” against the appearance of Breitbart Senior Editor, Milo Yiannopoulos. (Live updates, here.  Language and violence alert.)

Trust me, it doesn’t matter who Yiannopoulos is. Forget that his “inflammatory statements” run along the line of

“They’re called microaggressions because you can’t even see them,” Yiannopoulos, a pundit at the conservative website Breitbart.com, told the crowd. “And the reason you can’t see them is because they’re not there. Nothing happens.”

What matters is that the organizers claim to be anti-fascist, yet use increasingly familiar fascist tactics.

Criminals burned a generator, shot fireworks and flares at buildings and police, broke windows, beat and pepper-sprayed people and moved into the surrounding area to vandalize businesses and banks, smashing more windows and ATMs.

uc-kill-graphitiAnd they threatened not only the President, but the lives of everyone they encountered, causing the University of California system to shut down First Amendment rights of Mr. Yannopoulos and the UC Republican club; not only for the 500 who bought tickets for that night, but another appearance scheduled for UC Davis the next night was cancelled, too. (A replay of last month’s violent disruption against Milo.)

Starting with Code Pink against President Bush, the disruption from the Left has escalated significantly in the last 8 years, at the Wisconsin and Texas State Capitols, and at most pro-life rallies & on to political events.

Speakers as wide ranged as Ann Coulter,  US Representative Tom Tancredo and Bernie Sanders have had their speeches cancelled and disrupted.

The violence and vandalism in Ferguson, Missouri and some Black Lives Matter protests were destructive of entire neighborhoods, but were reactionary, targeted and at least had a local, identifiable grievances and demands.

But then, BLM went on to stage disruptions at restaurants, aimed at private individuals with absolutely no connection to any sort of authority to make changes. The only “crimes” the people in those restaurants were accused of committing was being white – or not-Black – and eating in a restaurant. A restaurant where the disruptors would have been welcomed as customers, BTW.

If those weren’t an example of hate crimes, what is? And yet, the local authorities and Obama’s Administration during the tenures of both Attorneys General Holder and Lynch, never effectively prosecuted any of the people involved. Charges were dropped in places like Portland and Boston, 5 day sentences for blocking traffic on an interstate highway in Virginia.

And so, we had the violence after the election and on Inauguration Day, leading to the latest violence at Berkley.

This isn’t just noise and obstruction. This is nihilistic disruption and destructive violence meant to prevent free speech, free association, and stir up more violence.  I’m sick of the violence, destruction, threats, and censorship, claiming to be in advocacy for our rights. I’m concerned about what is happening and what could happen when the rest of the Nation reacts.

“Quixotic crusades over substantive victories”

Today, the Conservative grassroots are shouting raw emotions, masses feeding off headlines, “Shares,” and “Likes,” rather than the meat of the story.

Paul Waldman, in “Why have so many GOP governor’s fizzled out in the 2016 race?”online at “The Week,”  astutely describes the insanity that has gripped the Party formerly consisting of Conservatives, but which is now infested with destructive anti’s.

From the article,

  ”

Over the past few years, the party’s grass roots have been gripped by an anti-politics fervor that values quixotic crusades over substantive victories, and equates actually accomplishing anything through ordinary political processes with betrayal.”

He continues…

“That’s why someone like Ted Cruz, a senator who has never written a law and who, if you ask him what he has accomplished, will tell you about the times he “stood up” and failed to stop Barack Obama and his own party’s leaders from keeping the government open or not defaulting on America’s debts, can still be considered unsullied and thus potentially worthy of the nomination. And those like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, their minds uncluttered by even the remotest understanding of how government works, are the most popular of all.”

Brutal. Truth. Insanity, where failure equals stature and inexperience and ignorance are lauded as qualifications.

Can we re-use the Know Nothing name for our party?

Once upon a time, the grassroots of the Republican Party, especially Conservatives,  were researchers, well informed, and capable of reason. It was a joke among us that the real news was hidden in the penultimate paragraph of any news story. 

Yet, 14 years of Governor Rick Perry’s Conservative leadership in Texas is mocked amid comments about glasses and his performance over a few months in 2011. Governor Scott Walker won and re-won elections in a Blue State and braved for-hire Union mobs willing to break windows in the Wisconsin State Capitol, but he was simply ignored. Each were treated more seriously by crooked Dem Prosecutors than by Conservatives.

There’s no way this latest crop could have exposed the Clinton’s of the 1990’s – or will be able to do so in the last half of the 2010s.  Sticking out the month long re-count in Florida, or defending the Governor’s Mansion in Austin?

Not while dragging that couch they supposedly got off of in 2009 and Tweeting about the “Establishment.”

I’m not being flippant when I say, God help us!

Cruz: a basketball metaphor

Update, January 25, 2016 Read about the endorsement from Governor Perry

“I wanted to talk about him, who he was, see if I could get a handle on Ted Cruz the man, not Cruz the caricature I’d seen through the political lens. What I found was a very different person than what I had been led to believe.”

#GoSpursGo!

It’s basketball playoff season and my five-time champion San Antonio Spurs are doing great in the first round. It’s always political season around our house, but our Republicans spend too much time fighting each other to make me happy.

 

Last Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz attacked Republicans in a floor speech before the cloture vote on confirmation for now-Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

“And I said on the Senate floor yesterday there are a great many people across this country wondering why exactly did we have an election when we fought so hard in 2014, when a Republican Senate confirms the exact Attorney General Harry Reid’s Democratic senate would confirm?”

 

And then, after the cloture vote didn’t go his way, he walked off the floor without explanation before the actual confirmation vote. He was the only Senator “not present” and not voting.

 

For the next few hours, Cruz was unavailable for comment, but his staff tweeted that the  only vote that counted was the cloture vote. (More importantly,  there was a plan to catch and funds to raise back in Texas.)

 

Game over, walk off the court before the buzzer.

 

Tell that to my Spurs.  The “Little General,” A. J. Johnson, made a game-winning corner shot at 47 seconds to go to win the Final series for the San Antonio Spurs, back in 1999. And before that,  Sean Elliott’s Memorial Day Miracle, made that first (of five!) championship possible:

Contrast Elliott, who was playing with kidney disease that would require a transplant later that year, with Dennis Rodman. Rodman fought with and criticized his team and coaches, habitually showed up late,  refused to huddle with the team and sometimes disappeared altogether during the 1995 playoffs. Sound familiar?

 

Setting records for missed votes and Committee meetings, Ted is always ready to talk to the media and to the Senate – when he does show up. When he talks about the Constitution, the merits of conservative small government and the wrong thinking of the Dems and the Left, he scores every time. However, his speeches also inevitably include criticism for Republicans as well as liberals. Even after conservative victories that will save lives, he has no praise for his Party. He says he doesn’t get enough assists, never noting that he doesn’t give any either.

 

Senator Cruz wants to go straight from rookie to coach. Maybe the fans love him for his trash talk, and he’s always good for a few days’ media distraction.  But what kind of coach will he be with his inexperience and reputation on his own team as a player who often just doesn’t show, rarely scores any points on the court and is just as likely to slam his own team players as he is the opponents?

 

(The Spurs have nothing to do with my blogging, other than inspiration and a great example of fighting together with a common goal to the last second with all they’ve got. #GoSpursGo!)

 

 

IRS to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group’s Tax Return, Donors

No punitive damages because the IRS guy plead the Fifth!

Forget ideological issues.  This is not about marriage. It’s intimidation and theft of information that the Federal government forces us to give them at the point of guns.

The leak of confidential tax records should be a crime. Isn’t it time for criminal charges against one of these “leakers?”

 

Testifying under oath in a deposition as part of the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Meisel invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and declined to disclose the identity of his “conduit.”

To get at that fact, Eastman said, the National Organization for Marriage has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to grant immunity from prosecution to Meisel.

The $50,000 to be paid by the IRS represents actual damages NOM incurred responding to the illegal disclosure, not punitive damages, since the marriage group was unable to prove disclosure of the confidential records was deliberate after Meisel took the Fifth.

Meisel provided the marriage group’s tax data to the Human Rights Campaign, documents found as part of the investigation show. HRC is among organizations and activists advocating same-sex marriage that routinely describe NOM as a “hate group” or “anti-gay” for making the case for preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

via IRS to Pay $50,000 in Leaking of Marriage Group’s Tax Return, Donors.

DPS Director Responds to Letter on Security Report | The Texas Tribune

File under “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Officers simply gave visitors the choice to throw away their goods and come in or to take them away and leave, he said. No arrests were made, and no jars were confiscated.

via DPS Director Responds to Letter on Security Report | The Texas Tribune.

Similarly, most of the people who were detained before the night of July 12th were released by police at the Capitol exit door, and allowed re-entry. At least 5 who were arrested for disrupting a House session on July 10th, were released without charges and within 5 hours, according to the Houston Chronicle, when the Magistrate found “insufficient probable cause.” What does that say about Austin/Travis County justice system, that a DPS can arrest a woman, that there are videos all over the ‘Net, and yet the Magistrate can’t find “probable cause?”

Update: one of those women arrested on July 12th was one of the 5 released on the 10th, also according to the Houston Chronicle.

Planned Parenthood, big abortion and the battle to save lives in Texas | Fox News

[R]emind me again why pro-abortion activists want healthy five-month pregnant women to abort their healthy child in dirty, unsafe abortion clinics?

via Planned Parenthood, big abortion and the battle to save lives in Texas | Fox News.

Rush Limbaugh explains it all #SB5, #SCOTUS

Rush was talking about the Supreme Court ruling on gay “marriage,” but he might as well have been talking about the Texas Dems, Cecile Richards, and last night’s Mob at the Texas Capitol:

I have often said that what animates people on the left — what motivates them, what informs them — is defeating us. No matter how, no matter what, no matter what it means. Their hatred for us overwhelms anything else. No matter the result, victory that includes impugning and demeaning and insulting us is what they seek. It’s what makes them happy. Now, the left politicizes everything, and in this case, hardball politics became the name of the game.

You decide: Physician-Assisted Suicide — NEJM

You can comment, let the New England Journal of Medicine editors and the world know your thoughts.

Do you believe that Mr. Wallace should be able to receive life-terminating drugs from his physician? Which one of the following approaches to the broader issue do you find appropriate? Base your choice on the published literature, your own experience, and other sources of information.

To aid in your decision making, each of these approaches is defended in the following short essays by experts in the field. Given your knowledge of the patient and the points made by the experts, which option would you choose? Make your choice and offer your comments at NEJM.org.

via Physician-Assisted Suicide — NEJM.

My opinion is that poisoning Mr. Wallace, or writing the prescription so that he can attempt to intentionally commit suicide, is a direct infringement of Mr. Wallace’s inalienable right not to be killed.

Liberty Movement 101 (or Re-love-ution 10.1)

Check out the ongoing comments on my post at TexasGOPVote.org, if you’ve wondered about the philosophy of the Ron Paul supporters who are trying to win control of the Republican Party. They reaffirm my conclusion after years of flirting with (capital L)ibertarian philosophy: the Libertarian Party is not compatible with conservatism. Conservatism advocates small government, with a few rules, while utilitarianism, and especially objectivism, celebrate license rather than liberty and all too often de-volve into nihilism.

I can sympathize with the proponents of Libertarianism, having spent years participating on the Libertarians for Life list-serve in the ’90’s and early 2000’s. I even tried out to justify “Christian Libertarianism,” which I’ve concluded is an oxymoron. (Check out the blog, Vox Popoli, which, unlike most Libertarian groups, supports traditional marriage.)

The comments at TexasGOPVote.org by one man on marriage were probably the most enlightening:

If two men or women want to get into a contract we see as morally wrong, who are you or me to tell them no?? They don’t have to accept our definition of marriage, and we don’t have to accept their definition of marriage, but neither one of us have the right to use government force to make the other accept our values. That would be Statism. Additionally, faith is a gift, and not all are blessed with it. You, nor I have the right to claim we know that which is unknowable. We can speculate, and we can have faith, but we cannot judge others who may have different beliefs.

These aren’t the first time we’ve heard/read/countered these arguments. Remember the calls for “open marriage” and “do your own thing” in the ’60’s? Demands for restructuring marriage and the family are pervasive in virtually every historic “revolution” EXCEPT the American Revolution, which was based on Judeo-Christian principles:  from the enclave that gave us the Enlightenment, to the French Revolution, to the Soviet Revolution and the various social experiments of the 20th Century.

A little philosophy, a lot of optimism

I sometimes forget that libertarianism is one step away from  anarchy, and that anarchy is  one step away from nihilism. But a nice little online chat with objectivist (Ron Paul supporter) will remind me almost every time. On the same page blaming “Zionists” and a couple of posts past reminding me that Ayn Rand should be my conscience, I am told that we are due for an “upheaval” resulting in war or a dictator, and that America is a failed state.

America is not a failed state. We are a Nation of individuals with infinite possibilities. I do believe that necessity is the mother of invention and that a free United States will continually prove that.

The nihilist asks what good is there in defeating an enemy? It’s a whole lot better than losing and history shows that if you don’t win, you risk losing both the war and your soul.  We saw Chamberlain give up Czechoslovakia for “peace in our time” and Vichy France betray not only the French, but the Jews.  And then, we saw Churchill resolve never, never, never to give in and even Truman and his decision to end the war with Japan by dropping nuclear bombs.  I’ll stand with the latter two men.

I’ve posted a couple of blog pieces wondering whether we are at the “de Tocqueville moment,” that point in a democratic state when the majority takes from the minority that de Tocqueville warned us about.  I don’t believe we are. What it comes down to is that this time, the individuals who understand history and inalienable rights are outside the gates, fighting to get in, rather than the barbarians.

Here’s a fitting quote from Sir Winston: ““Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.””

Edited for spelling, added categories, 3/28/12 BBN

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