Saturday, October 20, 2012
50 Things Liberals Love to Hate by Mike Gallagher is certainly red meat to conservatives. He lists 50 things, ranging from Walmart, football, the South, The Founding Fathers and finally, in nothing but a stark map, America.
While he is humorous, and, to quote Candy Crowley, probably correct in the main, I don’t think any liberal will believe himself to be accurately portrayed. The book is rather cartoonish and paints broad caricatures. Lots of fun to read if a light jaunt is desired, but no real, serious discussion of the differences between liberalism and conservatism. For that, get Dennis Prager’s Last Best Hope.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Mugged by Ann Coulter is written in her refreshing no-holds-barred style. She sets out to destroy the racial demagoguery employed by Democrats from the 70s, the time they stopped being outspoken, unapologetic racists, until the Obama presidency today. Her research is impressive and devastating to those who would have us believe Democrats always protected civil rights and it has always been the nasty, racist Republicans who have done all in their power to hold back black people.
Her thesis is as follows: For decades, the Left has been putting on a play with themselves as heroes in an ongoing civil rights movement -- which they were mostly absent from at the time. Long after pervasive racial discrimination ended, they kept pretending America was being run by the Klan and that liberals were black America’s only protectors. It took the O.J. Simpson verdict -- the race-based acquittal of a spectacularly guilty black celebrity as blacks across America erupted in cheers -- to shut down the white guilt bank.
However, now almost 18 years later, with the election of our first African-American president, the race hustlers are back in full force. That’s why she needed to write this book. She desires to show Americans that it is all a lie and demagoguery designed to demonize Republicans and the Right and keep blacks voting Democrat.
She begins with stories of white cops defamed for “racist” killings of innocent blacks. Except that is not how the story happened. No matter, if the perpetrator was white and the “victim” black, the white one gets lambasted in the press as guilty. Similarly, when blacks assaulted whites, they were excused because of their race. Being black apparently gave them license to commit whatever crime seemed expedient at the time. Again, lots of examples (i.e. Marion Barry, Al Sharpton). In fact, for too long, the race of the perpetrator, if he was black, was knowingly excluded from the reports so as not to reinforce a stereotype.
Then she moves on to case after case of fraudulent cases of racist violence. Once shown to be false, the media moves on and certainly doesn’t cover the duplicity of the report with anywhere near the original reporting. This leaves the impression that racist violence is occurring with regularity.
She discusses people like Jeremiah Wright who was given a pass by the media because of his race.
She writes a great chapter on the damage well-intentioned white liberals have done to the black community. Coulter states, “This is not to say all problems of black people are caused by white people. But it has been white liberals in positions of power -- in the media, academia, Hollywood and the judicial system -- who thought it was fun (and quite hips!) to elevate all the worst elements of the black community as heroes and martyrs.”
She describes the media’s complicity in creating an environment that led to racial animosity. One such incident was the careful editing of the Rodney King tape. The version showed in the media time and again had been edited to only show the beating and not his actions that incited it. When the jury, who saw the whole tape, acquitted the officers, the people of LA were ill-prepared, thinking they had all the facts in the edited tape. In the same way, the focus of the O.J. trial became whether the officers arresting O.J. were racists. In fact, the only person convicted of anything in regards to that trial was Officer Fuhrman for not including dialogue he wrote for a screen play as an example of him using the “n-word.” However, that trial would usher in a time in which whites realized we had gone too far in accommodating bad black behavior.
Since Democrats are no longer subjugating blacks anymore, they have to make up racist incidents to convince black people they are still being harmed. Therefore they try to infuse just about anything a Republican does with racist motivations. So anything can be translated into racially induced. Today we see the words, “Chicago”, “golfer”, “the”, Romney referring to his 5 “boys”, and countless other examples the Democrats give of Republicans underlying racism. But Bill Clinton can say, “A few years ago, this guy (Obama) would have been getting us coffee.” and that’s just Bill. Her book lists the biggest historical examples of this as the Willie Horton ad, Bob Jones University, and Reagan’s belief in states’ rights. She demolishes all these as being racially motivated. Even opposing Obama on anything and not intending to vote for him is considered racist. They hear “dog whistles” and see racist boogeymen everywhere they look. Perhaps there is more than a little projection going on!
Obama’s impending assassination occupies many Democrats’ thoughts and worries. So convinced are they of the Right’s desire to murder our president, stemming from the inherent racism on the Right. The hysteria is well documented. Yet a movie about actually assassinating George Bush is free speech and celebrated. Hmmm, sounds like more projection, which I believe is the root of all Democrats demonizations of Republicans. They tar and feather the Right with what the Left either ACTUALLY does, or would do.
Obama, himself has engaged in racial demagoguery. He made up stories about his white friends discomfort around his black friends in his book. He sat under a racist pastor whom he called a friend and mentor. He acknowledges that his race has helped him succeed in the Democrat Party, but lashes out at anyone on the other side that mentions this truism. Without any knowledge of the facts he injected himself into two situations (the Henry Louis Gates arrest and the Trayvon Williams killing) and infused them with racial overtones, taking the side early on of the black person involved.
She ends stating, “White Guilt Kills.” The problem with the pandering and obsequious behavior towards blacks hurts everyone. It leads to riots, crime, and keeping black people “on the plantation” to be cared for by their white betters. Treating all people as equals, regardless of color and not pandering leads to Allen West, Tim Scott, Herman Cain, and Clarence Thomas. She concludes, “The national obsession with racism is a self-inflicted punishment that has resulted in disaster, for everyone, but most of all for black people... It is Bull Connor’s last revenge.”
Monday, October 15, 2012
Cowards by Glenn Beck is basically a collection of rants on various subjects. The title indicates that those who will not tell the American people the truth about the enormous problems facing us are cowards. Beck is here to set us straight! He begins his book with this, “George Orwell once said, ‘In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’ Consider this book a revolutionary act.”
He first starts off dissecting and discussing the history of progressivism and how fluid the Democrat and Republican labels are. At one point, progressives included the Republican Hoover and TR. He points out the danger the progressives have done no matter what the label. For this reason, he advocates libertarianism (with a small-l to differentiate them from the Libertarian Party). Believing most Americans to already be libertarian in their views, he puts forward a set of values that hold the Constitution as the basis for political action. He also demolishes some of the Libertarian priorities, like legalizing drugs and being a social liberal by distinguishing between liberty and license. Liberty includes the responsibility that comes with freedom. Yet he admits that getting Americans to change the way we govern ourselves to more accurately reflect the founding document is a long, hard process.
His next section consists of a biography of George Soros. Short version - he’s the evil capitalist the left warns us of. Except he is on the left. He destroys solely in order gain power and money. His fingers are in every liberal pie. He’s behind just about every liberal activist group. He is example number one that the left's characterization of the right is all projection. They think we are all evil like George Soros. Except that we aren't. And he is. And he's one of theirs. When they throw bombs at evil corporate-types, we can once again say, "No, that's you guys."
Then he moves onto the border with Mexico. He describes the drug cartels, the violence, and the proximity of Hezbollah. Anyone who is not for at least building a fence needs to read what Beck describes as “the conflict between criminals who operate with impunity and a complete disregard for human life and a decent, moral, civilized society in which the rule of law still matters.” Compassion gets us killed.
Continuing his libertarian theme, he goes after the Patriot Act. He details all the many ways our liberties are impugned and yet we are no safer!
Next up is Jim Wallace, the leftist Christian who wants to remake the church into an arm of the Democrat Party. Funded in part by the evil George Soros, he is simply trying to dress up old-fashioned Marxism and Progressivism in ecumenical clothing.
He takes on the Islamist Agenda in the next section. Their Sharia theology is simply not compatible with Western Democracy. We must fight their ideas and do all we can to support reform-minded Muslims.
Beck then traces the history of public education and the various reform ideas which have been implemented. He recommends taking a wrecking ball to the whole thing. But understanding this may not be politically viable, he recommends, “We need to clean out the system, top to bottom. That means investigating and firing teachers who don’t teach our kids, decertifying the teachers unions, cutting off federal funding to institutions with huge endowments, and driving down tuition payments through open competition. It means start-up educational institutions and universities, and new homeschooling and private school options that focus on apprenticeships and hands-on learning.”
Our schools are currently being used to train up little socialists and leave us little equipped for a dynamic future involving rapid changes.
In conclusion, this book is kind of a compendium of various rants Beck has probably made on his show multiple times. All are good and thoughtful. All are worth reading. All provide an education.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Godforsaken by Dinesh D’Souza takes on the age-old question: Can an all-powerful, all-knowing God be good, since bad things continue to happen? He answers the question with a resounding, “Yes” and then proceeds to explain why.
After spending many years debating atheists, D’Souza believes this question is at the root of the disbelief. Atheists are in fact “wounded theists”, people who have been deeply disappointed in God for not stopping evil. This conundrum is somewhat specific to Judeo-Christian religions. Others accept suffering more readily as random acts by random gods or the universe. Believers in God, positing that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, must then ask and try to answer the central question: why do bad things happen?
He states, “I will argue that God is the divine architect, the Cosmic Designer. He wanted to make a lawful universe containing human beings. More broadly, God wanted to create conscious, rational agents who could understand his creation and also freely relate to him. Given God’s objective to make humans, God constructed the universe not in the best possible way, but in the only way that it could be constructed.”
This idea that, given His objectives, God was limited to only one way to make the universe seems to limit God’s power, to negate His omnipotence. Yet we know there are already limits on God’s omnipotence. God cannot tell lies. He cannot make two plus two equal five. The problem arises from a wrong understanding of omnipotence. It is not the power to do anything, but the power to do the possible. And how do we know our universe was the only possible way accomplish His goals? Surprisingly, that supposed nemesis of religion, science gives us the answer.
D’Souza begins by offering the usual explanations given by believers to the problem of suffering. He states these rarely work to convince unbelievers and even the faithful find them less than satisfactory. He begins with “original sin”, then talks about suffering as punishment, or that evil is simply a lack of God’s goodness and therefore not His “fault”, or finally that this is, not the only, but the best of all possible worlds. This last one is not persuasive because we can always imagine a better world. How can this one be the best?
Next he turns to atheist’s arguments and punches some holes in them as well. While acknowledging that it seems to be the believer that faces an uphill battle in defending God, he states the atheist has his own burden of proof. He must tell us why human-produced evil exists in the first place. Human evil radically surpasses that of regular animal cruelty. Why? He also points out the fact the we humans are definitionally limited in our understanding of why God may do this or that. Yet we arrogantly act like our ways are higher than God’s ways, our thoughts higher than God’s thoughts. I may not understand a deeply researched paper on quantum physics, but does my lack of understanding mean it’s all gibberish and therefore wrong?
In the following chapters, D’Souza takes on the role of a defense attorney, not trying to prove anything, except to show the case against God doesn’t hold up. “So the task of the defense is to show that there could be morally sufficient reasons for the existence and magnitude of evil and suffering in the world. In particular, I intend to argue that evil and suffering are necessary in order to secure a vastly greater good, a good that even an omnipotent being could not obtain without it.”
The first thing that makes true evil possible is free will. God created us in His image and likeness and as He himself is free, so are we. Some would argue we either aren’t free to choose or God could have created us without freedom. But the essence of humanity is our ability to choose, to fail, and to learn. God wanted humans to love and to return that love. Without free will, we are animals. Quantum physics destroyed the idea that there is no such thing as free will within the scientific community, but God made it clear years ago when He said, “Choose you this day...” Yet in Adam and Eve, we chose to go our own way. Had we remained perfectly aligned with God, we would have been happier, but would have foregone free will. Instead, we abandoned God and introduced the kind of evil only possible with the ability to make choices.
What about evil in the form of “Acts of God”? Earthquakes kill thousands. Yet science tells us that the tectonics that allow earthquakes make our very existence possible. No earthquakes, no life at all. Fire and water, both deadly, but both absolutely necessary for life.
What about disease? Once again, our free will often brings diseases on ourselves. In addition, the things that cause disease are themselves part of a large interconnected system. Without them, who knows what other calamities would befall us.
Once again, D’Souza comes back to the idea of a finely-tuned universe, constructed in such a way that man appears to be the final destination - The Anthropic Principle. First of all, the universe operates according to laws and constants. Why? It doesn’t need to, but our world is orderly and discoverable. So many things had to go right for us to even be here to discover them. Yet some say that of course everything went right. We’re here. We got lucky. There may in fact be an infinite number of universes, all with different features. This is just the one we live in. But this multi-verse theory just points out the fact that some have given up finding a non-God explanation and are now venturing off into science fiction.
Finally, Dinesh D’Souza describes the character of God. Why did God create in the first place? Should He have? Apparently, yes. Despite all the suffering and evil, we humans seem to still believe that life is worth it. What about the evils perpetrated by God Himself in the Bible? Many of these “crimes” have deeper explanations that show a God of mercy, not murder, when carefully looked into. Would a loving God send people to hell? Well, if this life is not always fair, a loving God provides the opportunity for true justice in the after life. In Jesus Christ death and resurrection, God brought ultimate good out of the evil we introduced in the Fall. That alone proves He is a good and loving God.