Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cherokee Genealogist Demands Elizabeth Warren Tell the Truth

Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to claim Cherokee ancestry in order to manipulative affirmative action laws for personal gain has not only damaged what ought to be an easy victory over republican Sen. Scott Brown in deep blue Massachusetts, but she has also managed to anger a Cherokee genealogist who demands she fess up to the truth.

I am thoroughly amused in by the ways the political left’s obsession with race gets them into hot water. I am further amused when they do not get a chance to weasel out of it solely because they hold progressive principles. Whether warren will ignore this or engage in intellectual gymnastics remains to be seen, but I imagine she will ultimately get away with it. Maybe not beat brown in November, but she certainly will not lose over this matter.

(Via: Ace of Spades)

I do not really care about any of this, by the way. I just wanted to post asleep at the wheel’s cover of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys “Cherokee Maiden.“ I am confident the only difference between Brown and Warren is a handful of IQ points in his favor.

Oh, look--the video is from before the Dixie Chicks were persona non grata in country music.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wyoming Considers a Post-American Doomsday

The Wyoming House has advanced a bill that launches a study over what Wyoming should do in the event of a total political and/or economic collapse of the United States. the mayan calender's abrupt end for later this year is purely coincidental.

I agree with Ann Althouse--not my happiest moment, but allies are often a matter of convenience--over the issue. The federal government has most certainly had a cold War doomsday plan in place in case Washington were destroyed in a nuclear strike. One would assume in this day of terrorist acts perpetrated by small groups or lone wolves that could cause all sorts of mayhem, the doomsday plan has likely been updated post-9/11. It is only prudent for states to do the same.

The depressing part is how the concept is motivated by descending cynicism. During the cold War, we were threatened by a powerful, totalitarian enemy that could hace ended life on the planet if a conflict escalated between us. Post 9/11, we have religious fanatics using planes full of civilians to crash into buildings. What kind of sick mind even concocts such a plan, and how to you fight something so random that can still cause inestimable damage and loss of life. Now--and do not kid yourself about it, Wyoming fears the overspending of our own federal government may lead to the complete collapse of the United States. Whom can you consider the enemy of the republic once you believe the enemy is the republic itself?

I believe Althouse has a further point when she says Wyoming’s doomsday task force, should it ever come to pass, should advocate establishing a new government under Founding principles as quickly as possible. Of course, in my view that would mean reversing the answer to the grammar question settled at Appomattox It is not the United States is. It is the United States are.

Friday, December 30, 2011

There Will Come Soft Rains

For those who thought 2011 was awful, things could be worse.

This animated short is based on Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains." Interestingly enough considering the subject matter, it was produced in 1984 by a Soviet animation studio called Uzbekfilm. The dialogue is in Russian with English subtitles. do not let the subtitles turn you off from watching. In fact, you will understand when you watch the creepy impact the spoken words being in Russian have.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace on Earth

If you have been reading The Eye for any length of time, then you have noticed my odd sensibilities and penchant for apocalyptic science fiction. Call it rebellion from a Bob Jones university influenced early education and an overdose of cynicism. Or it could be because I saw Planet of the Apes and the animation short I have embedded below at a very early age.

“Peace on Earth” is a 1939 MGM animated short set at Christmas in the future when animals are the only species left. A grandfather squirrel explains to his three grandchildren what men are in the lyric ’Peace on Earth/good will to men.” The cartoon has a brutally poignant anti-war message. The two last men on earth kill each other in a face off, then animals discover the heart of the problem is they did not follow rules set forth in the Bible. The animals rebuild society based on the commandments of thou shall not kill and love they neighbor as thyself. A little more subtlety, they beat swords into plowshares by making homes out of abandoned war material, a fact which is clear if you look at the buildings from the beginning.

Animation lore claims "Peace on Earth’ was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but there is no official record of it being among the nominees. I tend to doubt it was dver nominated, but I do not discount the idea the Nobel Committee thought a cartoon, no matter what its message, was too far beneath them to officially count. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera remade and updated "Peace on Earth” in 1955. Retitled “Good Will to Men,” the animated short has more obvious Christian overtones and a much less personal annihilation of mankind--we all die in a nuclear holocaust. For whatever reason, the main characters are changed from squirrels to mice. Because of the change, one cannot help but note the similarities between the mice and one of Hanna-Barbera’s most famous creations, Jerry. I am not as fond of “Good Will to Men” as I am “Peace on Earth.” The Cold War alarmism does not resonate as much. Maybe it is because the organized anti-nuclear arms movement adopted the anti-Christian sign of the broken cross from the Roman era as its symbol. Hanna-barbera may not have been aware of that when they added stronger Christian themes in the short, but the irony kills it for me.

I prefer “Peace on Earth” because its images are based on World War I. Largely lost to history, but not to me, was a cultural anxiety regarding the end of the world at the turn of the 20th century which rivaled that of approaching 2000 landing the Left Behind series on the best seller lists. The Great War seemed like it may very well be the end to many true believers. (Some not so true. The Jehovah’s witnesses claim the apocalypse began on October 1st, 1914.) Woodrow Wilson, in his request for Congress to declare war, warned civilization hung in the balance. In that sense, "Peace on Earth” is an interesting historical novelty.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Michele Bachmann's History v. Barack Obama's Geography

Michele Bachmann's claim John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father is far more defensible than Barack Obama's statement there are 57 states.

Just sayin'.

Maybe when the media makes good on the threat to investigate her foster children, they will find out if either she or the president is smarter than a fifth grader.

UPDATE: Speaking of Bachmann's John Quincy Adams claim being defensible, American Power explains. Any Obama fans want to take a shot at naming our missing seven states as a retort?

UPDATE II: Mark Levin says George Stephanopolous should not be mocking Bachmann. I concur. The man has gone from advising a president to asking Elmo if he wants a play date with Katy Perry. There is one Rhodes Scholarship that was not wasted, huh?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

Harold Camping, Christian founder of Family Radio, falsely predicted the Rapture will occur on Saturday, what better way to celebrate the near-miss beginning of the end than watching one of my favorite documentaries from my youth/ I am talking about The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, a 1981 docudrama that chronicles the alleged predictions of French astrologer and physician Michele Nostradamas.

The film combines footage from obscure films, cheap new action scenes, and the occasional interview from “experts” like alleged psychic Jean Dixon to lay out a history of Nostradamus’ predictions, generally offering only wild interpretations of the famous quatrains to match them up with major historical events. But the docudrama is hosted with effective creepiness by the grave Orson Welles. The man can sell doomsday prophecies every bit as well as he can frozen peas. With nary a drop of alcohol present, I might add. He certainly had to be tanked when he agreed to star in this thing.

This is the fourth time I have sat through The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. The first time I watched it was in 1986 when it was one of those odd filler films Cinemax showed on two or three odd afternoons a month. At nine years old, I was already a budding history buff who was fascinated by the historical elements in the first half. But I was also a student at a fundamentalist Christian school which adhered to the bob Jones University favored pastime of constantly fretting over the Antichrist’s identity and his role as the harbinger of the end times. So the latter half of the film, which named events taking place in the far flung future of 1988 onward, were frighteningly mesmerizing. Ever notice how predictions of the future make the horrors of the past look like a dress rehearsal?

Fret not, boys and girls. Los Angeles was not destroyed by an earthquake in 1988. The antichrist did not arise out of the former Persia--Iran these days--to begin a 27 year war with the West beginning in 1994 that will be so devastating, much of the civilized world resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. One also must assume the united states and soviet union will not set aside their differences by 2021 to combine forces and defeat the Antichrist, either. We can only guess if the world will actually end in 3997 as predicted, but that is pretty close to when taylor sets off the nuke in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, so maybe.

Subsequent viewings by my older self have taken the youthful sting out of waiting for a bleak future in which iran is going to force me to eat my neighbor in order to survive a nuclear holocaust. These days, the latter half of the film has given way to a camp factor, particularly with Welles’ ominous delivery. The fan of dystopian science fiction still finds it amusing. While still incredulous over claims Nostradamus predicted the past any better than the future, I still find the historical bits every bit as interesting as the first time I watched the film.

One thing that strikes me is the heavy Christian overtones. It is not just my christian upbringing. Nostradamus allegedly refers to three Antichrists coming to power. They are said to be napoleon, Hitler, and this Persian, who will naturally be far worse than the previous. The final war will begin in the middle East as the Bible predicts, depending upon your prophetic leanings. Islam is predicted as a bitter enemy of Christianity. You cannot argue much with that these days. There will be a thousand years of peace, which mirrors the Pre-Millennialist concept of the Thousand Year Reign. All that to say I bet nothing like this film could be made today considering the Christian elements.

You may be recalling a remake of this film NBC did in 1991 right after the Gulf War. Hosted by Charlton Heston, it was otherwise a condensed version of the original with Welless taken out and new footage added to claim the 1988 Los angeles earthquake was meant to be the 1989 quake in san Francisco, and Saddam Hussein was the now toned down third Antichrist. The term Antichrist was dropped, as were references to Christianity and Islam so as not to offend anyone. The original is far more fun with its sincerity. Faked or not.

I recommend seeing The Man Who Saw Tomorrow for the total over the top cheese factor. It is made even funnier by Welles’ absolute sincerity. I am confident he was in it solely for the paycheck, but nevertheless, listen to him closely in the second half as he warns of terrible calamities far and wide. What you will not get is any serious scholarship on Nostradamus, so if that is what you are looking for, skip it. The Man Who Saw Tomorrow is pure Chariots of the Gods level comedy gold.

(Cross posted, with minor style changes, to Apocalypse Cinema)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Formspring Question #129--Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie Edition

War of Northern Aggression? You just jumped the shark.
Nah. Check out the Ordinance of Secession:
AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.

Done at Charleston the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty.
Ever read that in school? I will bet you did not, especially if you were cursed with public education.

The Ordinance of Secession passed by South Carolina in 1860 presents an interpretation of the Constitution long since lost today. The united States was a fairly loose association of states with a weak central government whose purpose was to mostly serve as a representative in dealing with foreign affairs.

The War of Northern Aggression was really a question over grammar: is it the United States is, or the United States are? Appomattox settled the question. It is the United States is. If you want to trace the monstrous growth of the federal government’s power and intrusion in everyday life, look no further than the immediate years before and after the war. It all began when the federal government defeated states’ rights by the cannon and sword.

One-Hundred and Fifty Years of Opposing Yankee Intrusion

The War of Northern Aggression turns 150 today:
To South Carolina's Dead
Of The
Confederate Army
1861 1865


This monument
perpetuates the memory ,
of those who true to the instincts of their birth,
faithful to the teachings of their fathers,
constant in their love for the State,
died in the performance of their duty:
Who have glorified a fallen cause
by the simple manhood of their lives,
the patient endurance of suffering,
and the heroism of death,
and who, in the dark house of imprisonment,
in the hopelessness of the hospital,
in the short, sharp agony of the field
found support and consolation
in the belief that at home they would not be forgotten.

Let the stranger, who may in the future times
read this inscription,
recognize that these were men
whom power could not corrupt,
whom death could not terrify,
whom defeat could not dishonor
and let their virtues plead
for just judgment of the cause in which they perished.

Let the South Carolinian
of another generation
remember that the State taught them
how to live and how to die.
And that from her broken fortunes
she has preserved for her children
the priceless treasure of their memories,
teaching all who may claim
the same birthright that truth, courage and patriotism
endure forever.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Strange Letter # 11--A Letter to a Historical Event

Dear Battle of Vienna,

It is difficult to believe an event only the most devoted of history buffs will know from 1683 could be so significant now, but it is. You marked the end of three hundred years of struggle between the kingdoms of Europe ad the Ottomon Empire. By deeatig the Muslim horde, the Habsburg’s saved Christian Europe and Western Civilization along with it.

Times havecertaily changed. Oh, the Muslims still want to conquer Western Civilization. What do you expect from a religion that counts holy war as its mot reliable means of entering heaven? It is us that ha chaned. Moral relativism met multiculturalism some time ago. Good judgment went out of style and we did nothing more than pat ourselves on the backs that we were “enlightened: enough to get rid of it.

We are losing the culture war. Muslims threaten to behead a Danish artist for darig to draw Mohammed. We not only back down, but wonder how their feelings could be so hurt they would threaten to do such a thing. It has to be our fault, right? You see, these days, we do not even nee to lose on the battlefield. It is enough that our intelligentsia wrestles with its conscience, such as that is.

You know the ultimate insult? Quite soon, there is likely to be a mosque stading tall near the stll not rebuilt World TradeCenter. Call that two signs of Muslim victory over Western Civilization with the encouragemet of many of our own countrymen. I am sorry to say we hae forgotten your spirit. Not enough of us are helping fight the latest battles in a very old war. But many o us do. You sacrifices were not in vain.

Sicerely,
Jamie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Apologies for Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Only 20% of Americans polled think think the United States should apologize for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The other 80% say we are even steven because Yoko Ono has been in the country for decades.

I take polls like this with a heavy grain of salt. We are such an historically illiterate country, whether out of intelectual laziness or politically correct design of the curriculum, that I have doubts many of those polled could explai why or even when the bombs were dropped. How may thik it was direct reege for the attack on Pearl Harbor? An embarrassingly large number, I would wager.

But I will cast aside my cynicism for a moment and assume those polled have a grasp of the historical context. How many of them also believe Japan should apologize for the Rape of Nanking, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the ’comfort womn” system of sexual slavery it maintained for its military forces?

The sins of other nations seem to pale in comparison for our need to be the good guys. Nevermind that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki arguably were a far more humanitarian method of ending the war than a protracted, bloody invasion which would certainly have killed millons on both sides.

Check out all the statistics at the link above. While 20% thik we should apologize for ou actions during World War II, a sizable umber have no clue one way or the other. They are probably impressionable enough to be convinced one way or the other with equal veracity.

It is bemusing how much our sense of right and wrong has been warped. Wheter you want to chalk it up to moral relativity or political correctness, we do not know which way is up.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Critique of Christian America and the Kingdom of God by Richard T. Hughes

A progressive South Carolia blogger has has admonished Christians to read and take heed of Richard T. Hughes book, Christian America and the Kingdom of God.

All right. Hughes runs with three theses, which I will analyze in turn:

His first thesis is that Christian America and the kingdom of God are polar opposites. You should know two biases Hughes has in his book. First, “Christian America” is synonymous with conservative Christianity. It is conservatives that are his clear target. You will not have a hard time keeping that in mind, however, because there are no Christians progressive enough to suit him, which leads to his second bias--a utopia, aleit a Christian one, is possible on Earth.

Do not be fooled into thinking Hughes’ book is a theological one or that it is even a separation of church and state book. It is neither. It is an argument that progessive politics needs to be injected into Christian theology. Because if it is not progressive, it is not “real” Christianity.

So we have our first major flaw with Hughes’ ideas--Christianity--religion in general, really--transcends politics. That Bible does not offer a guidebook for creating a government.

The belief otherwise leads to the next problem with Hughes‘ ideas. He is eaten up with the progressive idea utopia is possible on Earth. There is no way Christians can perfectly follow the teachings of Christ and create any thing resembling paradise on Earth period, much less a progressive one, which is the only utopia hughes would accept as being Christian anyway.

The kingdom of God cannot be established on Earth by sinful man. So I will concede he is right flawed Christians are opposites. Where we part ways is I do not believe that meas those who profess to be Christians are not simply because they are not establishing the kingdom of God to perfection but if certain political leanings were changed to match progressive politics, we could.

Hughes’s second thesis is that Christian America often embraces beliefs that are un-Christian. It is with this thesis Hughes academic tunnel vision really begins to show. He is a professor of Christian history, not theology. Hughes recites a long list of evils--slavery, Manifest Destiny, segregation, and dropping the atomic bombs, et al--as evidence America is not Christian. But he fails to bring in the concept of man’s flawed, sinful nature.

Possessing a sinful nature does not mean one is not a Christian. Committing a sinful act does not mean one is not a Christian. Theseare flaws that do not negate one’s statusas the follower of Christ.

Hughes is making the mistake--it goes along with his notion utopia is possible--that one has to uphold Christian principles perfectly in order to be a Christian. This is akin to saying one cannot be a baseball player unless one has thrown a perfect game, hit for the cycle, and made no fielding errors. No one would hold such requirements for one to be considered a baseball player. No one should be held to a level of perfection before being considered a Christian.

Christ did not do that. He recognized and was forgiving of the sins of others, even as he was being executed by them. He had expectations his followers were going to fail morally, but never denied them because they did. So why should Hughes, or anyone else, claim failure to live up to Christian ideals is grounds to claim said people are not Christians?

Bottom line is that he cannot. Again, we come back to the point one cannot deny people are Christians because they have not created a utopia.

Hughes final thesis is that Christians ought to craft public policy with their profession of faith in mind. Here Hughes extols the virtues of Christ while lamenting Christians do not necessarily follow them. He has a point there. On a personal level, at any rate. He takes it too far when he implies the entire nation must follow those standards than the individual Christian.

For example, he claims the United States thrives on violence rather than peace. In his mind, the United States should be pacifist. He further says the United States extols vengeance rather than forgiveness. He is referring to foreign policy. Presumably, Al Qaeda should be forgiven for killing nearly 3,000 people in the World trade Center, not be rendered powerless through war. He also caught my eye with the claim the United States glorifies wealth while ignoring the poor. This is a indictment of capitalism and a blind acceptance that government has Christian obligations to create a perpetual welfare state.

Hughes considers the former “flawed” interpretations of Christianity (violence, vengeance, and capitalism) as the result of looking at Christian vales through a politically conservative eye. What he does not acknowledge is that his counter interpretation (pacifism, forgiveness, and welfare state expansion) is Christian values seen though progressive eyes. Hughes is being a blatant hypocrite.

In summary, I think Hughes makes two big mistakes. One, he believes failure to live up to Christian standards negates one’s right to be called a Christian. By failures to live up to Christian standards, Hughes means supporting a war in Iraq, opposing universal healthcare, and voting Republican in general. Maybe voting Democrat, too. Hughes cuts no one any slack. Nor does he establish any Scriptural basis for thinking this way.

Two, Hughes applies these christian principles to public and foreign policy. Christ taught us how to conduct ourselves individually in a world in which we are not going to be able to do that anywhere near perfectly. Yes, that does mean individual Christians ought to use Christ’s principles to guide their political decisions. We ought to be a nation of Christians being as Christlike as they can.

However, you can often only be as good as the world will allow you to be, but there is not net a christian way of paving over potholes. Sometimes, Christians have to go to war. Sometimes, it is debatable what is the best course of action to take in helping the poor. Hughes does not acknowledge the rules are not so hard and fast when it comes to being a Christian nation. Because he does not, he is exactly what he is railing against.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Net Worth of Presidents: George Washington to Barack Obama

A facebook friend pointed out this article in The Atlantic calculating the net worth of every president. Looking at the list, I note a couple things.

One, the list calculates net worth at the time of death or current net worth if the former president is still alive. (Barack Obama still being alive, president, and worth $ 5 million.) there is no real differentiation between how much money the man was worth before becoming president versus how much his net worth grew beause he was once president.

An obvious exception here is Bill Clinton, who had little more than his salary as governor of Arkansas before being elected president. He has earned all of his #34million after leaving office through book sales and speaking fees.

Have other presidents had such a glaring change in income earning potential post-presidency? I would imagine so. I would further imagine relatively young presidential aspirants like Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama, who figured on having a long life after leaving the White House, were counting on cashing in once they left office.

Two, there are long stretches of time in which presidents have relatively similar net worth. There will be a period of time with many very wealthy presidents, then a time with may of net worth less than $ 1 million. Political party affiliation does not appear to be much of a factor.

It lends credence to the political science theory that the Populist v. elitist divide is more important than the progressive v. conservative one. Sometimes Americans want a plutocrat elitist and other times Americans want a common man wecan relate to. The political parties have an abundance of both.

Do you see any other interesting trends in the data?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bill Clinton and Waco

Bill Clinton, in continuation of his effort to prove he is as unfit to be an ex-president as he was to be president, has been busy attempting to tie the Tea Party movement into domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh. It is a cheap tactic. There is no indication the vast majority of Tea Partiers want anything more than their grievances addressed. They have been subject to violence themselves largely because of their unfair maligning as “taabagging” (an obscene sexual term) racists by progressives.

I do not condone the terrorist act of McVeigh by any stretch of the imagination. The fact is, however, he was not prompted to attack the federal government by an expansion of federal power or towering debt which promises higher taxes in the future, but by what he perceived was federal authorities brutally attacking citizens at the Branch Davidian compound at Waco--an attack perpetrated by the Clinton Administration.

But let us back up a minute. Why would Clinton want to bring up the Branch Davidian raid? Much of what actually happened at the raid which killed over eighty men, women, and children, is left (purposefully?) mysterious, some horrifying details are available to the public:
[T]here is the post hoc justification for the use of CS tear-gas in the raid offered by the US Justice Department and senior Clinton administration officials. The public generally, and even the Congressional hearings, seem to have accepted that the children at Waco were gassed and then died as, in effect, “collateral damage” in the course of a raid aimed at their parents.

This is not quite the case, however, by the Clinton administration’s own admissions. CS gas was used at the compound, in order, as senior White House adviser George Stephanopoulos said, echoing senior Justice Department statements, to “try and pressure” those in the compound. It was hoped, he said, that as this “pressure was increased, the maternal instincts of the mothers might take over and they might try to leave with their kids” (Washington Times, April 23, 1995).

But the FBI knew beforehand that adults in the compound had gas masks; the gas therefore would not put pressure on them. On whom, then? If the FBI knew that the adults had gas masks, but went ahead with the gas attack anyway, it is plain that this “pressure” was brought directly against the children because, as the FBI knew, they could not fit into adult– size gas masks. “Maternal feelings”, the FBI hoped, would be unleashed in the mothers by watching their children choking, gasping and blistering from the gas.

The plan Reno approved and took to President Clinton for approval contemplated the children choking in the gas unprotected for forty-eight hours if necessary, to produce the requisite “maternal feelings”. By taking aim at the children with potentially lethal gas, their mothers would be compelled, according to the FBI plan repeatedly defended by the Clinton administration afterwards as “rational” planning, to flee with them into the arms of those trying to gas them.

An independent report on Waco written by the Harvard Professor of Law and Psychiatry, Alan A. Stone, for the then Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann, says it “is difficult to believe that the US government would deliberately plan to expose twenty-five children, most of them infants and toddlers, to CS gas for forty-eight hours”. Unfortunately, however, that appears to have been exactly the plan.
So children were not to be collateral damage--a chilling enough concept--but the specific targets of the raid. While we are o the subject, the following video of Koresh was suppressed prior to the final raid in order to prevent public opinion from sympathizing with Koresh:I post this stuff not necessarily in support of Koresh, but to note Clinton’s track record of shady dealings against private citizens who did not and do not fit within his vision of the proper American.

While we are on the subject, have you ever asked yourself why progressives, many of whom vehemently oppose the death penalty, were quiet when McVeigh was sentenced to death and executed? It certainly was not because children died in the Oklahoma City bombing. It was because committed an even more heinous crime to progressives--he hated the government.

(Via: Betsy's Page.)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Barack Obama's Naive No Nukes Policy Shortsighted, Historically Ignorant

You know, it was pretty awful timing for Barack Obama to announce a no nuke policy on the same day he threw a limp wrested baseball no where near home plate. Bad timing, but sadly apt.

Obama is eat up with the naïve notion many progressive utopianisms have that getting rid of weapons will make for a peaceful world. As if sticks, stones, and fists will not still exist. Or, more importantly, rogue regimes will stop attempting to build or otherwise acquire weapons of mass destruction.

All Obama has managed to do is make the United states look weak. I do not know if his nuclear policy is part of his plan to improve American image abroad or appease peaceniks guilty over the United States’ military supremacy, but either way, he is selling us down the river.

Maybe symbolically, I will discount that. We have been reluctant to use tactical nukes because of their destructive power. The only absolute scenario we have ever declared would be if another country launched a preemptive nuclear strike, then we had the doomsday MAD strategy. I am also certain if we were attacked with a WMD, public outcry demanding aresponse would put yet another typical Obama experitation date on the new policy.

Yet I do not appreciate the two rationales Obama likely has for his decision. One, the United States needs to be willing to do everything in its power to defend itself. No matter how grim the scenario, we need a plan to win. Second, I assume Jeremiah Wright’s fiery sermon that the chickens came home to roost after Hiroshima and Nagasaki still resonate with him. I have even kicked around the idea he bowed to the Japanese emperor as an act of penance.

If Wright words are indeed part of his motivation, then Obama has not properly examined the morality of the use of nuclear weapons. Would the world have been better off had Japan won the war? No. Would more lives have been lost in an armed invasion of the country than in the bombing of two cities? Yes, millions more. Dropping those bombs was tragic, necessary, and--yes--merciful, when viewed honestly. The fact the bombs weredropped at all cannot be viewed as a immoral act in light ofreality.

Therefore, I disagree vehemently with the idea of taking their use off the table. Obama has made a very big mistake here. Yet another in a long series that prove he is too naïve to be president.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baby Boomers Lament End of Kennedy Era

Earlier this week, I wrote about how Baby Boomer self-obsession forced sixty+ year old rock stars to strut and warble pitifully at the half time shows of recent Super Bowls. Today comes even more proof Baby Boomers cannot get over themselves. I suppose it would cut more to the bone if I bought ito the fantasy of the Kennedy Camelot, but since I cannot bring myself to do so, I do not much care that Patrick Kennedy will not seek reelection for Rhode Island’s lone House seat.

Baby Boomers in the media appear quite distraught over the “end of an era.” Assuming no other Kennedy decides to run for office between now and November, the next Congress will be the first since 1947 a member of the family has not served in either the House or Senate. That is 63 years of the most prurient behavior american progressives have ever celebrated. Not only that, but lament is now gone.

Patrick Kennedy proudly kept up the tradition by doing everything from cheating his landlady out of rent money to becoming addicted to medication to crashing his car at the US capitol, then exhibiting the prerequisite above the law attitude we have all come to know from the American Royal family. You know, the attitude that says you can drown a woman through your own drunken incompetence and get away with it? I will give Patrick this one--he did not kill a woman, so he has at least risen somewhat above his family legacy.

I cannot say I am sorry to see them go. While it is likely another will step up at some point to wreak more alcohol and drug induced havoc on the public, which will be readily excused as sacrifices in the name of holy progressivism even if it involves a body count, I hope we truly have seen the end of an era. Good riddance to it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Haiti Proves Humanity Has Grown Since the Holocaust

Robert Davi compares the world's response to Haitian earthquake victims with that of Holocaust survivors by way of a personal account of an Auschwitz survivor.

I am often skeptical the world is better today than it used to be. It is nice to know somethings do change for the better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Origin of the Haitian "Pact with the Devil " Story

Solely in the name of full disclosure, I present the story that is an actual Haitian belief:
According to Haitian national history, the revolutionary war was launched on the eve of a religious ceremony at a place in the north called Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman, in French). At that ceremony on August 14, 1791, an African slave named Boukman sacrificed a pig, and both Kongo and Creole spirits descended to possess the bodies of the participants, encouraging them and fortifying them for the upcoming revolutionary war. Despite deep ambivalence on the part of intellectuals, Catholics, and the moneyed classes, Vodou has always been linked with militarism and the war of independence and, through it, the pride of nattional sovereignty.

The [Haitian] Pentecostal Church demands active rejection of such Afro-Creole traditions and regards them as satanic practice. Sermons and literature about Haiti urges missions to “pull down strongholds” and aim efforts at destroying working Vodou temples in various ways. In group rituals of prayer and fasting, the Pentecostals marched through public space performing exorcisms at spots considered sacred in Vodou and recast as satanic for Pentecostals.

One such “crusade” ceremony has had a lasting resonance for Haitian evangelicals in New York. A group of Haitian Pentecostal pastors based near Port-au-Prince launched a serious critique of the Haitian government and indeed of Haitian nationalist mythology, when they marched on August 14, to the reputed site of the original religious ritual in 1791 when the slaves of St. Domingue vowed to fight for freedom. The past ors intended to exorcise the Vodou spirits who still governed the site and “win” the space “for Jesus.” In a complicated view that blames the Catholic Church for blessing the slave market and racializing evil in terms of African’s skin, the leaders of the “Bois Caiman for Jesus” crusade blamed slavery for causing Africans to turn to Satan as their divine protector. In invoking African and Creole spirits to possess the religious leaders who had attended, Boukman had made a “pact with the devil” and dedicated Haiti to serve Satan. It was this unholy alliance that had been responsible for Haiti’s subsequent 200 years of misery. [Emphasis added.]The idea of the crusade was to undo Boukman’s pact with the devil and to halt Haiti’s economic and political downward spiral by turning Haiti into a “favored nation” of God. Video crews and reporters captured the spectacle and relayed the news of the exorcism to Port-au-Prince and into the diaspora
Take it for what it is worth.

The above excerpt is from the book Immigration and Religion in America: Comparative and Historical Perspectives by Richard D. Alba, Albert J. Raboteau, and Josh DeWind]. you can read the book on Google Reader for yourself here.