Psalm 12

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Psalm 12

For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary provides the introduction to our meditation.

When piety decays times really are bad. He who made man’s mouth will call him to an account for his proud, profane, dissembling, or even useless words. When the poor and needy are oppressed, then the times are very bad. God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor, and the sighing of the needy. When wickedness abounds, and is countenanced by those in authority, then the times are very bad. See with what good things we are here furnished for such bad times; and we cannot tell what times we may be reserved for. 1. We have a God to go to, from whom we may ask and expect the redress of all our grievances. 2. God will certainly punish and restrain false and proud men. 3. God will work deliverance for his oppressed people. His help is given in the fittest time. Though men are false, God is faithful; though they are not to be trusted, God is. The preciousness of God’s word is compared to silver refined to the highest degree. How many proofs have been given of its power and truth! God will secure his chosen remnant, however bad the times are. As long as the world stands, there will be a generation of proud and wicked men. But all God’s people are put into the hands of Christ our Saviour; there they are in safety, for none can pluck them thence; being built on Him, the Rock, they are safe, notwithstanding temptation or persecution come with ever so much force upon them.

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

Thankfully this doesn’t necessarily describe the general situation here in the United States, though we all can likely identify specific instances where it tragically does.  However, who can deny the almost exact correspondence between these verses and what we now see occurring in our nation’s capital and the cesspool that surrounds it?  As we learn ever more about the moral corruption rampant in our centers of institutional power how can we but shudder at the likely consequences of such infantile incompetence and unfettered immorality?

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

The shock of recognition is almost physical as we experience the daily deluge of lies peddled by our leaders and the media who serve them.  They flit from one unfounded accusation to another, pretending that the last collapsed lie never happened and the current lie is undeniable truth.  We are told that certain people are “guilty until proven innocent” while others are “innocent regardless of their obvious guilt.”  Human lives are destroyed without remorse as political payback.  Those who have most abused their privilege remain safe in their positions of social, political and commercial power.  I sometimes fear that the corruption runs so deep that reform is no longer possible.

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”

Perhaps the day of reckoning will come when all that has supposedly been done “for the poor” will be exposed as the inhuman evil that it actually is.  People who have driven “the poor” into despair, violence and unending poverty to enhance their raw political power may someday have to account for their actions.  This is unlikely in our fallen world but can be expected come the Judgement.

And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

The Lord’s words are indeed flawless.  However, even in our supposed institutions of Christianity they are ignored if not mocked and denied.  They are twisted into justification for whatever policy serves the purpose of increased power and expanded cultural chaos.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.

It is a great mystery just how the Lord “keeps the needy safe” when they are surrounded by the evil corruption practiced by their supposed benefactors.  Regardless, it is our duty to seek reforms that will restore dignity, hope and opportunity for those who find themselves in poverty.

The Mainstream Media’s Bias Exposed (2)

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Investors Business Daily: The mainstream media’s open hostility to President Trump may be starting to backfire, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.

Yet the mainstream media remains a potent force, for they still control the primary channels through which information flows.  Thus there are many people in the nation who, though not hardcore Progressives themselves, receive only the perspective of that cohort when they watch CBS, NBC or ABC or read the New York Times, the Washington Post or the LA times.

This dynamic creates an information discontinuity.  For while consumers of more conservative news sources are well aware of both sides of the debate (because conservative media is built on responding to the Progressive position), mainstream media consumers don’t know the conservative (or libertarian, etc.) positions because they are ignored.  By this means the opinions of millions of otherwise reasonable people can be manipulated to the clear benefit of the elite Progressives.

In spite of this powerful advantage there remains a large segment of the population who ultimately will not support the Progressive positions on climate change, gun control and abortion, among others.  This fact is infuriating to an industry that is built on the ability to influence, if not direct, public opinion.

Much of the depraved psychodrama that we see and read in the mainstream media can be traced back to this fact.  What we are witnessing is the public face of a private crisis of confidence.  The fact that Donald Trump (or any Republican) could have been elected President in spite of the full force determination by the mainstream media to drag Hillary Clinton across the finish line is a shattering blow to their perceived position and prestige.

maddow-squirrel2Unfortunately for them, the more that they expose their hateful bias and deranged behavior the less they are respected by millions of citizens.  It’s even likely that many people who believed the absurd lie of Russian collusion for the three years prior to issuance of the Mueller Report have lost confidence in the mainstream press.  And finally, even the Progressive true believers likely now have less respect for the press given their failure (to date at least) to destroy and remove President Trump from office.

We can hope and pray that the mainstream media comes to their senses and reforms their industry.  We should encourage them towards this end by rejecting their deceitful narratives and convincing more Americans to do the same.  For this soulless cadre apparently knows only the motivations of power and prestige.  As they hurtle towards the absence of both perhaps a miracle will occur.

The Mainstream Media’s Bias Exposed (1)

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The recent set of six posts titled Dispassionate Meditations on  Mass Shootings has brightly illuminated the means by which a highly partisan press can manipulate information to advance a narrative founded upon emotion.  The entire U.S. population has been traumatized by the outbreak of unprecedented mass shootings over the recent past.  Upset people are particularly vulnerable to the propagandistic use of scapegoating and scaremongering.  As one Progressive elite put it, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.

But what the mainstream media did with the horrific story of mass shootings is far more sinister than letting an opportunity for reform “go to waste.”  No, they have cynically and purposefully sought to transform these tragedies into vehicles by which emotion driven falsehoods could be injected into the American public’s mind.  Thus, the end result sought wasn’t the reduction of mass shootings but was rather the acquisition of the raw political power to accomplish ends that had been sought long before this particular series of events unfolded.

When we look back over this material we find four primary means by which this purposeful deception is accomplished, those being:

  1. Creation of a consensus Progressive narrative (i.e., It all started under and because of Trump.  It’s mostly driven by white men in pursuit of “white supremacy.”  It’s the worst in the United States because of the Second Amendment.)
  2. The suppression of any information that casts doubt on the consensus Progressive narrative (i.e., the Lott study)
  3. The framing of any information supportive of the consensus Progressive narrative as above reproach and obviously true (i.e., the presentation of the Lankford paper as unassailable truth delivered by an impeccably moral academic)
  4. The manipulation of data so as to convey a “truth” that is actually unsupported by that data (i.e., the use of mass shooter data by race without including the proportion of each race in the general population; the use of consistent data across the world to assess levels of violence).

Were news consumers to take this all at face value the obvious and only conclusion would be to enact the Progressive agenda by rejecting Republicans and the Second Amendment, impeaching President Trump and treating “white supremacy” as the greatest threat to our nation’s survival.  But the mainstream media has so often and so obviously overplayed their hand that an ever shrinking proportion of Americans accept their reporting as credible.  Therefore the media become frustrated with and contemptuous of their customers, leading to a redoubling of their efforts to deceive.

This is all deeply destructive, as the gap between the press and regular citizens widens.  For were the mainstream media to stumble upon a truth that actually did threaten our nation many of their (perhaps former) customers would be unlikely to believe them.

However, enough people continue trust in the mainstream media to enable their continuance as a source of informational power.  They are bolstered by the Internet media giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter as they suppress users and information counter to the Progressive narrative.  They are also supported by the Democrat Party and the deep state through coordinated propaganda and targeted leaks.

But since the 1980s the grip of Progressive information dominance has been in decline.  With the demise of the FCC “Fairness doctrine” in 1987 a broader spectrum of political perspectives were able to find a channel into public discourse.  With the advent of the Internet in the 1990s these channels exploded in number, quantity and influence.  Ever since then the mainstream media has sought in vain to recapture the dominance over information that they had previously experienced.

Had they responded by delivering trustworthy, relevant news they might have faired better.  However they rather chose the paths of “if it bleeds it leads,” strident left wing policy advocacy and personal destruction of their opponents.  Thus many members of their potential audience found themselves alienated and in search of alternative sources of information.

This process has only accelerated with the advent of the “fake news” mass media culture.  The Hill recently reported the following:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the mainstream press is full of fake news, a sentiment that is held by a majority of voters across the ideological spectrum.

According to data from the latest Harvard-Harris poll, which was provided exclusively to The Hill, 65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media.

That number includes 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats.

The mainstream media has brought this distrust upon themselves.  They show no inclination to change direction.  Rather they have doubled, tripled and now quadrupled down on their strategy of literally Pravda-like shilling for the Progressive elite.  Perhaps there exists a stable and lucrative audience for this product.  Only time will tell.  However, they have likely lost a vast segment of their potential audience for at least a generation, if not forever.

Humility in a Circle

circle

Sometimes the simplest things teach us about humility.  What in our world seems simpler than a circle?  And yet it contains an eternal mystery that no human will ever be able to solve.  That’s because the area (A) of a circle is equal to Pi (π) times the Radius (r) squared, that is:

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It turns out that Pi is an irrational number, which is defined as:

The number pi, which has a constant value that approximately equals 3.14, is an irrational number. It is a type or real number that cannot be expressed as a common fraction. It has an infinite or endless decimal representation, without any repeating pattern.

To date Pi has been calculated out to 31,400,000,000,000 (31.4 trillion) decimal places.  And, given the nature of Infinity, 31.4 trillion is no closer to the answer than is 2.  That’s because any number divided by Infinity, no matter how large, is equal to exactly zero.

Thus, human beings can never know the exact area of a circle.  In our practical world that’s not a real problem.  But this situation can teach us humility given that something seemingly so simple has a characteristic that is utterly unknowable.  Perhaps we should consider this when proposing solutions to problems far more complex and intractable.

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Pi calculated out to 1,000 digits

What’s at Stake in the 2020 Election? (4)

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One source of the Progressive totalitarian impulse

Final Thoughts

A primary driver of practical Progressive political action is the maintenance of that presumption of moral and intellectual superiority built on the theoretical / ideological foundation.  That is, Progressives have a burning compulsion to impose their presumed superiority on the world.  And, the only means of accomplishing this end is the acquisition of power: both political and social.

Progressives seek and then wield that power with a brutality that intimidates the opposition.  This in turn creates an environment in which their expansion of power appears to be inexorable.  However there are many millions of citizens who, though cowed, burn with anger at those who demand their submission by brute political and social force.  These people may appear to be defeated or even in support of the Progressive project.  But they are actually looking for a vehicle through which they can express their internal sense of rejection.

Our contemporary situation is the practical flowering of this conflict.  There is no way to predict which side will prevail.  However the result will likely determine if this nation remains a Constitutional Republic or is transformed into a nation of Masters and Serfs.

What’s at Stake in the 2020 Election? (3)

binary-choice

This is the stark, binary choice that has been presented to us by the Progressive Left in the 2020 election.

The Binary Choice

The choice being presented to the citizens of the United States is simple and stark:

  1. Vote in the Democrat Presidential Candidate and he/she/whatever will view their victory as a mandate to implement the Republic destroying ideas that they campaigned on.
  2. Vote in Donald Trump for a second term and, while the civility of our political discourse will continue to suffer, we will still likely have a Republic in 2024.

Back in 2016 I was deeply concerned that Donald Trump was simply a mirror image of the Progressive political corruption that exploded under Barack Obama’s presidency.  He has rather, in spite of withering, unrelenting resistance by the Democrats (and many Republicans as well), pursued the very Conservative economic and social policies that the “conservative” political establishment (now the “Never-Trumpers”) claimed they supported.  He is also seeking to extract the United States from the seemingly unending, un-winnable wars that have sapped our nation’s morale and strength.  He has kept his campaign promises to a degree that shames most recent politicians, Democrat and Republican alike.  Perhaps that’s another reason that they hate him so.

Make no mistake, if the Democrats win in 2020 under their proto-totalitarian platform, there will likely be little holding back this time.  Expect:

  • a Progressive packed Supreme Court, with 11, 13, however many justices are required to ensure uniform Progressive decisions (or they may simply remove and replace President Trump’s appointees);
  • the Justice Department (including the FBI) and Intelligence Services to become politicized to a far greater degree than they were under President Obama and thus a far greater threat to our civil liberties;
  • by unConstitutional means, for the Electoral College, the First and Second Amendments and the Senate to come under withering attack;
  • our nation’s boarders to be erased, resulting in massive migration from any country by anyone who for whatever reason wants to get in, and, once in, supported by the U.S. taxpayers;
  • an economy devastated by the aggressive deployment of Socialist policies and environmental regulations;
  • the media, social and mainstream, to become even more aggressive and cruel in their assault on any and all people who disagree, or even don’t agree with sufficient fervor;
  • the vicious, murderous physical attacks on and intimidation of non-Progressives by the Progressive proto-Fascist shock troops (i.e., Antifa) and random mobs/individuals will dramatically increase.

One other point.  For all his crudity and bombast, Donald Trump must be one of the most honest men to have attained the Presidency.  The entire apparatus of the Federal Government, Democrat Party and Mainstream Media have been out to find something (anything!) by which to destroy him since at least 2015.  All they have been able to come up with are bogus Dossiers and Whistleblower complaints.  They continue hyper-Ahab-like pursuing their Great White Wale.

The Progressive elite have revealed themselves to be utterly corrupt, incompetent, infantile, narcissistic, self-serving and deceitful.  No self respecting free person should want to be ruled by this cohort of self-lobotomized collectivist ideologues.  And now, for better or worse, it has fallen on Donald Trump to stand between us and their desired proto-totalitarian goals.

As things stand now I will vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election.

What’s at Stake in the 2020 Election? (2)

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A reader of this blog will know that I have not been enthusiastic or even supportive of Mr. Trump.  You will also know that in the 2016 Presidential Election I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump (or any other presidential candidate).  However, I have been willing to be convinced that Mr. Trump could earn my support.

In this he has both made progress and fallen short.  His appointments to the Supreme Court, choice of Mr. Barr as the Attorney General, roll-back of overweening government regulations, confrontation of Communist China, support of Israel, insistence on the rule of law at our boarders and in general, and aggressive defiance of the Progressive Left’s assault on our nation’s institutions and founding principles have all been helpful in gaining my support.  However, Mr. Trump’s use of incendiary language can sometimes push our discourse further down the road to perdition and his policies are often changeable from hour to hour when they are not impossible to understand in the first place.

However the decisive contribution to clarifying what is at stake has been made by the elite Progressive Left.  They have staked their claim to eternal power on their having achieved temporary power.  Yes, they have come to dominate virtually all of our national institutions from our classrooms to our boardrooms, from our news sources to our permanent governmental power centers.  And yet, having achieved this power they have demonstrated a level of craven self-dealing, dishonesty, incompetence and contempt that has utterly devastated their credibility as leaders of a self-respecting republic.

feudalism

Masters and serfs in Medieval feudalism, and the future the Progressive appears to promise to us.

What they offer to those whom they seek to lead is in effect serfdom.  What they claim as their divine right is lordship.  The citizens of this Republic do not, in the elite Progressive Left’s opinion, have the right to elect someone to the Presidency who opposes their interests and policies.  Our so-called democracy is a sham in which the populace either votes to confirm the Progressive Left’s anointed candidate or has their wrong choice vetoed and removed by the power elite.

Now that this nation’s citizens have made such a stupid error (in the Progressives’ “enlightened” opinion) by electing Mr. Trump to the Presidency the elite Progressive Left has lost all confidence in them.  Therefore the foundations of our Republic must be demolished so as to prevent such idiocy from reoccurring.  The First and Second Amendments to the Constitution must go.  The Electoral College and Senate must go.  The fact that there is virtually zero chance that these demolitions can be accomplished by Constitutional means is irrelevant.  The elite Progressive Left will somehow impose them by exercise of their raw power.  They have promised as much to their rabid collectivist base.  They will either deliver or face their unhinged wrath.

This shocking position by our Progressive elite class has created a binary decision election that will be discussed in the next post.

What’s at Stake in the 2020 Election? (1)

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Framing the Question

There has been so much drama and so many accusations over the past four years that it’s difficult to identify let alone assess just what’s at stake in the 2020 election.  For many citizens who have only a modest interest in politics it might seem that our nation is teetering on the brink of something vaguely bad.  But bad in what way?

Also, just why almost a year away should anyone be paying attention?  After all, there are so many issues pressing in upon us like our family life, work, social events and media, entertainment, etc. that it may seem premature to ask this question.

However, I believe that precisely because of the sheer volume of events it is already possible to determine what’s at stake.  For the election of Donald Trump has ripped the thin veneer of faux consensus off of our politics.  What had previously appeared to be a gray, impenetrable fog of posturing by Democrats and Republican politicians with unspoken assumptions and ill defined goals is now out in the open.  If we care about the future of this nation then it’s vital that we look at the two distinct and irreconcilable visions that are now contending for political primacy.

One vision contends that the nation’s institutions of power should be populated by that cohort of people who self-identify as Progressive elites.  And, the nation’s citizens should commit to follow the lead of this elite cohort regardless of the consequences to these non-elite’s interests.

The other vision contends that the elite cohort who occupy our institutions of power have abandoned any real allegiance to the nation and rather pursue self-serving policies.  And, the nation’s citizens are therefore obliged to correct this defect by exercise of their democratic power.

The elite class sees this populist push back as an existential threat to their power and well being, so their response has been visceral.  The unhappy citizens, seeing the raw exercise of power and ludicrous behavior of the elites, have lost virtually all respect for this self-appointed clique.

The elites are banking on the hope that there are enough people in the voting public who still respect their opinion that an electoral majority can be constructed that will throw out the populist President (and his supporters).  The populists hope that the behavior of the elites has destroyed enough respect or allegiance in the general population to ensure their electoral defeat.

I have no ideal whose hope is better founded.  I do contend that the chasm between the elites and citizens has become un-ignorable and un-bridgeable.

For the past couple of generations the nation has papered over the stark difference in vision between those who call themselves Progressives and those who (for a variety of reasons in a variety of organizations) oppose them.  This “papering-over” consisted primarily in the assumption that we all shared similar goals but differed on how to achieve them.  The realization that this assumption no longer holds is driving the nation towards a binary choice between preserving or destroying our republic.  This new reality creates a new dynamic in our politics, both in who runs and how voters choose.

Thoughts About “Questions for Socialists” (2)

Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg speaking at the United Nations

I’m happy to report that there is at least one adult alive who dares to correct Greta Thunberg’s ignorant presumption.  Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago.  In an open letter to Greta Thunberg he provides a scathing rebuke to this girl and to her enablers.  The following short excerpt provides a sampling of his position.

You proclaim that we need to live within the planetary boundaries, to focus on equity and “take a few steps back” for the sake of all living species. You resent the hierarchical distinctions between human and animals and entertain no qualitative distinction between a monkey, a malaria-infested mosquito and a snarling hyena. You mouth slogans such as: “We have set in motion an irreversible chain reaction beyond control,” and you advocate for universal veganism on the Ellen DeGeneres show. You do not buy new clothes, and you don’t want the rest of us to either. You want us all to stop flying in jet planes without giving us an alternative as to how we would re-transform our financial and trading systems—to say nothing of our personal enjoyment of the world—without regression to a primeval era. Few can afford to cross the Atlantic in a $6M zero carbon yacht financed by rich people who made their wealth by the very means you condemn as loathsome.

There are a few things that we, the rational adults of the world who are not bowing to you like guilt-ridden obsequious Babbitts need to say to you, Greta.

First, we did not rob you of your childhood or of your dreams. You are the legatee of a magnificent technological civilization which my generation and the one before it and several others preceding it all the way to the Industrial Revolution and the Renaissance, bequeathed to you. 

I contend that this response is not only appropriate, but also absolutely necessary.  For it is by our willingness to silently suffer fools that the ideology of fools is legitimized and advanced.  Were I to meet a young person spouting the opinions of Greta in normal life I would not respond in the scathing manned of Dr. Hill.  However, I would politely but firmly make it clear that I disagree and explain the reasons why.  And, if they responded with angry attacks on my character for having accosted the fragile feelings of a youngster I would explain that they’s better grow thicker skin if they hope to succeed in this world.

On the other hand, when the United Nations gives an international platform to a young child from which she spews contempt and idiotic bromides we are operating at another level entirely.  Here the consequences of gentleness or even embarrassed silence are great.  For Greta at the U.N. assaulted the very foundations of civilization.  What young person observing adult cowardice in the face of this assault did not respond with increased contempt for their elders?  What obsequious Socialist wouldn’t interpret our craven silence as an admission of guilt?  And what power hungry Progressive wouldn’t conclude that we don’t have the courage to oppose their project of power accumulation by any means necessary?

So, regardless of who is pushing Socialist ideas it is long past time that we respond appropriately; sometimes with gentle but firm disagreement and others with the aggressive questions and answers necessary to turn back this latest assault by a wicked, stupid and failed ideology.