Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
This will be my final post this year (except for Christmas / New Year greetings).
2019 has been an exhausting, dispiriting year. And, were I to succumb to the demands of the Progressive Left I would say that I am exhausted and dispirited. They certainly through an avalanche of hatred and shameless deceit attempted to convince me that there is no hope aside from passive submission to their will to power.
Joy Pullmann in a Federalist article titled “Impeachment is Just Another Word for Delusional Democrats Holding the Nation Hostage” well summed up the situation:
Democrats have made it clear they will sandbag the people we’ve elected to govern if we refuse to vote for Democrats. Heads they win, tails we lose. Either we vote for them, or be stuck in an endless parade of overcredentialed and underaccomplished finger-waggers until we’re browbeaten into staying home from elections after concluding that it doesn’t matter who we vote for, the left always wins.
Impeachment grand master Rep. Adam Schiff said it openly on Tuesday: Unless Democrats impeach President Trump, Democrats will consider the 2020 election illegitimate, just like they do 2016.
I won’t revisit all of my arguments regarding why this has happened and what it likely means (but feel free to read my commentary in this year’s posts if curious).
I’m well aware that the Republican Party is only now beginning to, unevenly and vaguely, come to grips with the nature of our nation’s crisis. We thus should have no expectation that, if they win big in the 2020 election, there will be the intellectual capability and moral courage to drive the necessary reforms.
But the clear deficiencies of the only party in opposition to the Democrats must not blind us to the central point. That is, the Democrat Party and the Progressive elite / Deep State whom they represent must be utterly defeated for there to be any chance of a national recovery.
The following quote from a Douglas Murray article in the Spectator USA about the vile nature of the Labor Party’s embrace of anti-semitism in the United Kingdom and what needs to be done about it also speaks to our situation in the United States. If you substitute “Democrat” for “Labor,” “Republican” for “Conservative,” “Democrat Presidential Nominee” for “Jeremy Corbyn,” “United States” for “Britain” and your choice of Democrat national politicians for the various Labor leadership names, the following excerpt becomes an almost perfect statement on what must happen in our 2020 elections.
As I say, I could easily go on. Anyone could. And for those who are still inclined to vote for the Labour party on Thursday perhaps nothing can now be said. They include people who hate the Conservative party and think that they must always vote Labour for tribal reasons. And they include people who think that whatever the unpleasantness that may linger around Corbyn and McDonnell and co it can be put down as a second order of business after the priority of getting the Conservative party out of office.
Well, I would like to make another suggestion. Jeremy Corbyn will lose this election and every effort should be put into ensuring that he loses it big: that what happens on Thursday is not just a defeat, but a defeat of such crushing totality for the Labour party that it takes it years to recover. It should be such a defeat that it is not possible for a Keir Starmer or Emily Thornberry to simply pick up the reins and go back to business as usual. Other left-wing parties may emerge and flourish. But the Labour party must never be forgiven for what it has offered to the public at this election. What Corbyn has brought into the mainstream has toxified Britain and the party that allowed it to happen should be held to account.
Nor should his wider rabble of supporters simply be allowed to slip away. Instead, they should each themselves be held accountable for what they have done — as the Mosley-ites were in the Thirties. All those Labour MPs who decided to support Corbyn because he was the leader that they had. All the weird media creations who have popped up on the television day-after-day (with no identifiable credentials other than brute loyalty or loyalty to a brute). And all those columnists and ‘journalists’ of the left who pretend that they have spent their lives ‘tackling’ racism only to spend recent years campaigning for the most racist force in British politics to gain power and making Britain a pariah among the nations.
For my part I’m working on my fifth eBook, to be published in early 2020 titled The Progressive Riot (see current cover at the top of this post). I will not be dispirited nor silent in the face of this advancing proto-totalitarian force that currently finds its home in the Democrat Party.
Either we stop it at the ballot box in 2020 and as many times thereafter as necessary or we fight it as citizens reduced to serfs, with little likelihood of success.
But if what I’m saying is true (or even credible), then why are the Progressive elites so convinced that they are uniquely correct and that we in opposition are almost certainly white supremacists of their ignorant fellow travelers? Here we must enter the less certain and more dangerous areas associated with gauging motives. However, we are greatly assisted by the numerous occasions in which the elite Progressives openly state their goals and means.
In a recent article by Andrew Sullivan titled “A Glimpse at the Intersectional Left’s Political Endgame,” he provided an accurate summary of where the Progressive Left intends to take us.
Every now and again, it’s worth thinking about what the intersectional left’s ultimate endgame really is — and here it strikes me as both useful and fair to extrapolate from Kendi’s project. They seem not to genuinely believe in liberalism, liberal democracy, or persuasion. They have no clear foundational devotion to individual rights or freedom of speech. Rather, the ultimate aim seems to be running the entire country by fiat to purge it of racism (and every other intersectional “-ism” and “phobia”, while they’re at it). And they demand “disciplinary tools” by unelected bodies to enforce “a radical reorientation of our consciousness.” There is a word for this kind of politics and this kind of theory when it is fully and completely realized, and it is totalitarian.
Mind you that Mr. Sullivan and I are not natural political allies. But there does exist, far below the surface a foundational agreement that, even when we disagree strongly, we remain companions in a complex but valuable experiment in liberty.
It is by the superposition of a theory of all encompassing oppression on lived experience that the people in the NYT’s 1619 Project obtain both their presumed moral superiority and justification for demanding their orthodoxy be declared supreme. But this position is not so much an intellectual conclusion as it is a psychological condition. Yes, this is a difficult and slippery area of thought. But there are those who, having been immersed in the cultural environment, are willing to discuss what they have found.
One of these brave people is Andy Havens, who lives in Seattle Washington. He has written an article titled “The Hordes of the Invisible” that addresses the rampant and unavoidable oppression culture in his city.
Given all this – given the undeniable momentum and power of movements towards fairness and righteousness and equality, given the ubiquity of this movement in every single aspect and institution of this city, how is it possible that it still feels like such an awful, intolerant, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic, anti-indigenous (sorry if I missed anyone) hell hole of a city?
The answer to that is actually pretty simple. The misery, the injustice, doesn’t exist in spite of all the social justice activism, it exists because of it. And truthfully, as my own subtext from the preceding paragraphs indicates, it doesn’t actually exist at all. The world, this city, as I walk around in it, is simply not in its actions a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic place. But my God it feels like it, and the activists (or the media, but I repeat myself) won’t have it any other way. What does exist, in a fetid curtain as thick as the sad salmon hauled from the poison Duwamish, is the idea of injustice. The haunting spectre of it. And they have all – high and low, black and white, gay and straight, on and on – risen up in their holy alliance against it, not realizing how adept they have been, all the while, at creating their own need for it. Students are rewarded for writing about it. They are given extra credit for attending poetry readings about it. Their social capital portfolios are almost wholly dependent upon the growth of it. Resist and you’re in. Don’t and you’re dead. It’s a sinister little perpetual motion machine, eating from its own toilet to survive, and knowing on some instinctive, subconscious (dare I say invisible?) level, that achieving its stated purpose would only eliminate its only fuel source.
It is to these damaged and incoherent people that we are expected to bow in submission. To continue doing so will lead to chaos and depravation at the very least, and perhaps even the horrors of totalitarianism at the tragic extreme. Is our temporary comfort prior to the onset of social disintegration of more value than the temporary pain associated with standing up in defiance? To answer “yes” is to become an accessory in your nation’s demise.
I have previously discussed this project in a series of posts. Having thought more about what lies beneath this mindset, and, having benefited from the thoughts of additional correspondents, some additional comments are warranted.
How can we account for the ease by which ideas contained in this initiative have been eviscerated? After all, the New York Times has the resources to hire the “best and the brightest,” be they permanent staff or occasional contributors. And yet, when the thesis behind The 1619 Project is subjected to even the most modest application of critical thought it literally disintegrates and disappears.
Of course the NYT and its 1619 contributors don’t see things this way. They are convinced that their thesis of oppression is true regardless of any facts or arguments to the contrary. One contributor to 1619, Jamelle Bouie, responded directly to these criticisms in the NYT. How he chose to end his response is deeply revealing.
No, the American revolutionaries did not declare a commitment to white supremacy, and the framers of the Constitution did not spell out their structural accommodation with slavery. But there’s good, strong evidence that these were critical parts of the founding moment, fundamentally tied to the identity and political economy of the new nation. This was not inevitable. There were other choices available — other options for constructing the nation. “A general emancipation after the revolution,” writes the historian Winthrop D. Jordan in “White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812,” “would have come as a glorious triumph, the capstone of the Revolution.” Instead, the revolutionary generation ran away from the implications of their ideas. And when, just a few years later, enslaved people in the French colony of Saint-Domingue rebelled in the name of liberty, American officials like Jefferson feared similar “combustion” in the South.
My larger point is this: History is not the uncovering of absolute truths. It is a dialogue between the present and the past, between communities of scholars and thinkers working to understand the record of what came before — it is always a process of change and revision and critique. Conservatives have every right to criticize The 1619 Project. But if they’re going to call it “lies” and “garbage history” — if they’re going accuse it of propaganda and partisanship — then they should ask themselves a question: Are they looking for better scholarship or are they making a demand for orthodoxy?
Thus Mr. Bouie admits that “the American revolutionaries did not declare a commitment to white supremacy, and the framers of the Constitution did not spell out their structural accommodation with slavery” while simultaneously claiming the existence of “strong evidence that these were critical parts of the founding moment.” But wait, isn’t the core thesis of “The 1619 Project” that 1619 was “our true founding?” Which is it, Mr. Bouie, a “founding” in 1776 or a “founding” in 1787 or a “founding” in 1619? Perhaps intellectual consistency isn’t so important when you are living at the pinnacle of moral superiority.
And, as the capstone of his argument, why does he cite the opinion of an author whose book was published in 2012? While no one should deny any person’r right to their opinion, isn’t it telling that the final argument in favor of Mr. Bouie’s position isn’t anything remotely associated with the historic record but rather the opinion of someone centuries later?
That the scandal of slavery was entwined with the deliberations associated with our nation’s founding is undeniable. That this nation’s founding was in essence an expression of “white supremacy” and an endorsement of slavery is a position that can only be maintained by stubborn exclusion of facts to the opposite.
Mr. Bouie’s final statement is “Are they looking for better scholarship or are they making a demand for orthodoxy?” It turns out that the NYT certainly wasn’t seeking the best scholarship, as is indicated in this interview of James McPherson, professor emeritus of history at Princeton University.
Q: You mentioned that you were totally surprised when you found Project 1619 in your Sunday paper. You are one of the leading historians of the Civil War and slavery. And the Times did not approach you?
A: No, they didn’t, no.
Q: We’ve spoken to a lot of historians, leading scholars in the fields of slavery, the Civil War, the American Revolution, and we’re finding that none of them were approached.
It is the 1619 Projects critics who are “looking for better scholarship,” and it is the NYT who is “making a demand for orthodoxy” by their utterly one-sided, hate infested assault on this nation’s founding.
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.
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.
Unfortunately 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 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:
- 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.)
- The suppression of any information that casts doubt on the consensus Progressive narrative (i.e., the Lott study)
- 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)
- 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.
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:
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.