Mirrors

Mirrorby Jerry Richardson4/12/15
What are mirrors; and what mirrors do you stand before?  Mirrors supposedly reflect the image of whatever is facing them.  The presumed purpose of any “mirror” is to reflect, in some fashion reality.  But what reality is reflected; and why is that desirable?

The concept of “mirror” is an extensively used metaphor; and in every case it is a metaphor that often contains another metaphor: “Seeing”; where the metaphor “seeing” usually has the sense of “knowing” or “understanding” or “comprehending.”

There are many “mirrors” that we may stand before: Physical mirrors, family mirrors, social mirrors, psychological mirrors, historical mirrors, entertainment mirrors, literature mirrors, and the biblical mirror—all of these except the first are metaphorical and I am not suggesting that my list is complete.

I have three “mirrors” in my life that I pay special attention to:

  1. My physical mirror.
  2. My lifemate mirror.
  3. My spiritual mirror.

MY PHYSICAL MIRROR

My physical mirror is the glass mirror in my bathroom. It is positioned so that it is virtually impossible for me not to notice my reflection several times a day. The current state of my body and the on-going changes are constantly in-my-face.

Aging happens to all us unless and until we die.

As we age things happen to our body.  The results are noticeable, but sometimes we’d rather not notice.  At the moment, I’m having a weight problem (again for the umpteenth time…I call it climbing fat-mountain) and frankly I don’t like to look at myself in my physical mirror because I know that it will reflect a truth that I had rather not see—my enlarged waistline.  But I will continue to look and the mirror is beginning to convince me that I really need to take some remedial action. Yeah, yeah, I know that I’m being sort-of “willfully blind.”

The ongoing lesson for me here is twofold: 1) Truth is often painful; 2) We should never avert our gaze from the truth however unwanted.

MY LIFEMATE MIRROR

My lifemate mirror is my wife of 48 years.  It is somewhat difficult for me to describe how effectively she reflects the reality of some of the misdirected thinking that I sometimes throw her way.  I get agitated, about some matter, and I often just need to vent; but sometimes, in the process of venting I will also throw-out some half-baked, sort-of-suggestion about something that I am proposing to maybe-do.

This is where the unheralded skill of my lifemate mirror is so valuable.  She knows me often better than I know myself. Her almost instant and invariably correct reading of my mood (emotional and mental) is almost scary—like a mind reader—and would be scary if I did not have 100 percent confidence in her integrity and her love for me.

She has known since we were first married that I do not respond well to nagging from anyone.  So she never nags.  But she reflects my ideas back to me in so many subtle ways.  Yet her reflecting does not gloss over the faulty-thinking that is sometimes there.  Her reflecting is not a “mirror” that distorts reality—you know, like the mirror in Andersen’s The Snow Queen.

How does she perform her reflecting?

She has an entire repertoire of very effective but inoffensive ways that result in me really examining what I have been saying to her.

She is quite effective with the faint smile—a not encouraging, not quite discouraging half-smile.  She uses it to good account along with a barely perceptible mixed head-nod—a little bit of up-and-down with a slight side-movement mixed in.  You’d really have to see it and have it pointed-out.

She occasionally, but not very often, uses a face-touch; a delicate version of a face-pull—administered like a physical question mark.

Perhaps her most effective reflection is when she doesn’t say anything, positive or negative, but simply looks at me with an expression that is a mixture of warmth and tenderness seasoned with just a pinch of slight pain, noticed by me only as a little twitch around her eyes.  It is very effective in causing me to replay whatever it was that I just said or suggested.  And it virtually always results in me sleeping-over-the-matter before taking any definitive action.

My favorite of her verbal reflections was one that she used quite-often for a couple of years before it dawned on me what she was doing.  I would make some statement that I realized upon later reflection that she was less than enthusiastic about.  At the end of my statement she would say, with a little smile on her face: “That’s a thought.”  One day after she had said that, I replied, “Everything’s a thought”!  We both had a good laugh. She hasn’t used that much since then; but she doesn’t need to, she just moves on to another of the many effective “mirror” tools in her toolkit.

Of all the things that I absolutely love and adore about my wife, it is her loving, non-hurtful way of disarming my irritations and annoyances, from everyday life, and reflecting may own thoughts back to me, so that I “see” that those flawed-thoughts aren’t really “me.”

I have great trust in being able to spot flaws reflected back to me from my lifemate mirror.

Oh, and did I mention that she is the love of my life?

MY SPIRITUAL MIRROR

My spiritual mirror is the Bible.  If we stand before the penetrating “mirror” of scripture, and face it with personal honesty, we will be able to see flaws in our moral and spiritual being that may never be made evident as effectively with any of the other numerous “mirrors” of life.

There are several verses of scripture that deal especially with the important concept of scripture as a “mirror.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 1:27 KJV

As creatures, we “mirror” God in a sense; because we are created “in the image of God.”  It is a stunningly important truth often ignored in our modern world.  It is the proper spiritual and philosophical foundation for the dignity of mankind (men and women); for human-beings’ equality before God and the law; and for mankind’s true “unalienable” rights.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV

The English word “glass” in this and the next verses (James 1:23-24) is the translation of a Greek word that means “mirror.”  Glass mirrors in the days of Paul were not clear like the ones we have today—modern mirror technology had not been discovered.  Obviously, according to the verse, the mirrors were dark and cloudy and the image one saw of his own refection would not be very representative of reality.

This verse above (1 Corinthians 13:12) is the Apostle Paul’s word picture of our present non-clarity of the divine things of God.

The partial and indirect knowledge of Paul’s mirror marks out the passage from a blurred view of the divine to an unobstructed one, thus forming a model for all analogical knowledge.
Melchoir-Bonnet, Sabine (2014-06-03). The Mirror: A History (Kindle Locations 1688-1689). Kindle Edition.

For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James 1:23-24 KJV

James’ use of the “mirror” metaphor is completely different, though important, from Paul’s use of the term.

James’ says, in effect, that a man (or woman) who uses scripture as a “mirror” and sees their self  for what they are—morally and spiritually—and then does nothing with the reality of that truth, they are like a person who looks in a mirror and then promptly forgets what they looked like.

For the Bible to be an effective spiritual “mirror” we must approach it with the proper attitude and the Bible tells us what that attitude must be:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 KJV

The value and need of the Bible as a spiritual “mirror” can be increasingly seen and studied in a modern world where many people have chosen to ignore the truth and wisdom in the most read, or at least the most sold, book in the world.  The Bible.

 THE OFFBEAT MIRROR 

In the offbeat mirror department one of the interesting concepts comes from the French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan in his concept of the mirror stage (1936):

The Mirror Stage has to do with the first time the child thinks of itself as ‘I’ in relationship with an image that it starts to understand as representing itself.
—-
…this human baby…is, at some point between the ages of six and eighteen months, going to see an image in the mirror, and realise that it is itself. This will be the first time the baby discovers itself as a unitary being, and this discovery is the source of an intense feeling of joy and excitement, which is usually shared with the adult present; the infant, having made this discovery, turns back to look at its mother, for example, and shares with her its pride and surprise. This founding act, leading to the formation of the ego and the perception of the Subject, is attended by powerful emotion.
—Bailly, Lionel (2012-12-01). Lacan: A Beginner’s Guide (Beginner’s Guides) (p. 29). Kindle Edition.

Here is a link to a cute scene of a young child discovering the amusement of his facial movements in a mirror and illustrating the mirror stage: Baby Looking into a Mirror

CONCLUSION

We all stand in front of some “mirrors.”

Which ones do you use the most?

© 2015, Jerry Richardson • (2416 views)

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28 Responses to Mirrors

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, I suppose the only one I end up using much is the physical mirror. As a deist, I obviously don’t use a spiritual mirror. And since Elizabeth doesn’t spend much time in the family room due to physical limitations (she had a brief bout with polio when young, and she thinks this is why her legs are giving her so much trouble now, which reduces the frequency of her going up and down stairways), she isn’t as useful as she might otherwise be as a mirror. (She does occasionally leave me suggestions, often religious, thereby serving as both of those mirrors to some degree.)

    Incidentally, I know what you mean about not noticing how rotund one has become. I still remember seeing a family photo about 20-25 years ago and seeing just how big I had become in the mid-section. It was one thing to know how much I weighed, or even know how many inches I was around (which was necessary information for buying clothes), and another to see it.

  2. Jerry Richardson says:

    Timothy,

    It was one thing to know how much I weighed, or even know how many inches I was around (which was necessary information for buying clothes), and another to see it.—Timothy Lane

    “…and another thing to see it.” Yeah, that’s what would cause me to by pass my physical mirror, except the thing is right in my path.

  3. Jerry Richardson says:

    PHYSICAL MIRRORS

    Perhaps the most impressive, and perhaps vainglorious, installation of mirrors in history was competed in November 1864 in Versailles, France in the Hall of Mirrors for King Louis XIV (The Sun King).

    The mirrors in the hall are false windows facing the real windows and the resulting lighting effect provides an astonishing sense of expansion of space. “…visitors described it as an architecture of emptiness.” Each of its 17 false windows, each opposite one of 17 real windows was covered by 18 mirrors which were side-by-side and unframed, joined by carved copper frames.

    Here is a link to a panoramic view of the Hall of Mirrors.
    Hall of Mirrors

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, I wasn’t able to view it (we don’t have Adobe, despite occasionally having it updated). Note that the Second Reich was proclaimed there, which is why the vengeful Treaty of Versailles was also signed there.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Just to correct a date, the hall was completed in 1684. 1864 would have put its completion just a few years before Wilhelm was crowned Kaiser of Germany at Versailles.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        KFZ,

        Just to correct a date, the hall was completed in 1684—KFZ

        Thanks, you are absolutely correct, my typo. Not 1864 it was 1684.

  4. Jerry Richardson says:

    Timothy,

    Sorry you can’t view it. It is a rather impressive 360 swing-around panoramic.

    As far as treaty of Versailles is concerned, I think it was so vengeful that it contributed materially to WWII. Many writers say it was the main cause of WWII. The lesson here is to kill you enemies on the battle field and not wait until they surrender to humiliate them. After they surrender, do what the US did in Japan and make a long-standing friend of them.

  5. Jerry Richardson says:

    Probably everyone knows the story of Narcissus falling in love with his image reflected in a pool of water; but her’s a story probably less known:

    The mirror, “matrix of the symbolic,” accompanies the human quest for identity. In order to grasp the magical, miraculous quality of the first face-to-face encounter with the mirror, one must turn to narratives rich in mythic imagery. Narcissus is the first hero of this troubling encounter with the self, but an eighteenth-century Korean tale breathes new life into his experience.

    It is the story of a poor pottery merchant, Pak, whose wife has but one dream— to possess a bronze mirror. When her husband returns with the coveted object, she discovers with stupefaction an unknown face. Pak appeared to have come back to her alone, but now as she gazes upon his image she sees a woman standing next to him and wonders, “Who is that tramp?”

    For the first time Madame Pak sees herself, and she fails to understand that the woman next to her husband is herself. Pak then grabs the mirror and sees in it a man whom he takes to be his wife’s lover. Arguments, screams, and insults ensue.

    The couple heads to the prefect in order to settle the dispute, bringing with them their apple of discord. It is then the prefect’s turn to gaze at the magical object and see a civil servant dressed in uniform. Could this be his newly arrived successor, now come to replace him . . .

    —Melchoir-Bonnet, Sabine (2014-06-03). The Mirror: A History (Kindle Locations 158-167). Kindle Edition.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I would tend to think that people would notice that the strange figures were behaving just as they were. I understand, in fact, that some pets are capable of recognizing that the image in the mirror is them. And this story naturally makes me think of a sequence from my favorite Marx Brothers movie, Duck Soup.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Timothy,

        I understand, in fact, that some pets are capable of recognizing that the image in the mirror is them
        —Timothy Lane

        Apparently not many.

        The particularity of human conduct in front of the mirror— the symbolic inscription of the subject— has been established in a series of experiments that examined animals’ reactions when placed before a mirror.

        Only mature chimpanzees were able to identify themselves; however, even then their recognition does not appear to develop into the process of psychic structuring found in humans.

        Footnote 8: “…Excepting the chimpanzee, there appears to be a natural deficiency in animals, and a cultural one in children raised in isolation, in the ability to recognize oneself in the mirror.
        —-
        Men of the eighteenth century, by then familiar with household mirrors, did not look at themselves in the same manner as men of the twelfth century, for whom the reflected image went hand in hand with the devil. More profoundly, the representation of the self depended on a complex idea of humankind, at one time both being and appearing.

        —Melchoir-Bonnet, Sabine (2014-06-03). The Mirror: A History (Kindle Locations 172-179). Kindle Edition.

        The really, really curious thing in the quote above, to me, is that children raised in cultural isolation would not recognize their own image in a mirror. Does this also mean they would not be good in other areas of symbolic thinking? Why is this?

  6. Jerry Richardson says:

    As I mentioned in my article above, there are many “mirrors” that we may encounter in life. One of the sets of “mirrors” that I am interesting in exploring are the “mirrors” that reflect the mindset of the American Progressive Left.

    There are no-doubt several excellent “mirrors” but the one that I think is currently the best and most accurate is the “mirror” of the “global warming” narrative, or as it has deceptively name-changed to become “climate change.”

    The part of the left’s “climate change” narrative that is most indicative of the mentality of the left is the constant venom spewed at those they call “climate deniers”; a term obviously intended to bring to mind the term “holocaust deniers.” And what is worse about this is that many on the left are willing to support the equation
    “climate deniers” = “holocaust deniers.”

    An excellent, if repulsive, description of the mindset of the left’s true-believers in the narrative of “climate change” aka “manmade global warming” can be seen in an article posted today on American Thinker entitled:

    Punishing Climate Deniers

    Here are just a few of the most egregious statements of hate from the left:

    2006: Bill McGuire, at University College, London, said: “We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And, to be honest, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference.”

    2006: Heidi Cullen featured Dave Roberts, who said online, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards – some sort of climate Nuremberg.” The remark was not later retracted.

    2007: Ellen Goodman, in the Boston Globe, said: “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.”

    2007: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at global warming skeptics, saying: “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” The penalty for treason is death.

    2008: Dr James Hansen of NASA demanded that skeptics be “put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

    2010: Dr. Donald Brown, Professor of “Climate Ethics” at Penn State University, declared that skeptics, who had caused “a 25-year delay in acting to stop climate change”, may be guilty of a “new crime against humanity”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

    2011: An Australian journalist said climate skeptics should be “branded” with cattle-irons to mark them out from the rest of the population.

    The reflection of the mentality of the left in the “mirror” of the “climate change” narrative is the accuracy with which it shows two essential features of the modern political left:

    1. Complete intolerance of any expressed disagreement with the left’s beliefs.
    2. Advocacy of severe punishment for anyone who disagrees with the beliefs of the left—the death penalty being acceptable and appropriate.

    The other currently well-known ideology in the world whose belief system and worldview exactly matches these two features is Islamic Jihad.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It’s a reminder that liberalism is a form of fascism. And they’re becoming increasingly open in their displays of it (though none will ever admit it).

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Timothy,

        It’s a reminder that liberalism is a form of fascism. And they’re becoming increasingly open in their displays of it (though none will ever admit it).
        —Timothy Lane

        Yes, I read an article this morning, don’t remember where, in which the author stated that the Left was becoming increasing bold and open about what they were doing because that felt that they were so close to having the dream socialist society that it didn’t matter if people knew what they were doing. The Bible has a word about that: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” —Proverbs 16:18 KJV

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One of the ways to view “self-esteem” as a supposed inherent good, when it can be the opposite when treated that way, is that it takes away the mirror. Dennis Prager loves citing a study that showed that people in prison generally had higher self-esteem than the general population. Thus, as Dennis has proffered, if thinking good things about yourself is all that matters, you’re not going to care as much about the other.

    There are many ways to create little monsters. One is focussing on “self-esteem” with the theory that saying “No” to people or pointing our their faults will scar them for life. This must be balanced, of course, with giving praise which is as vital as oxygen for inspiring people to better things.

    Because we’ve tended to become a population of emotionally fragile people, the tendency now is to just call everything “good” because to hold anyone to a standard takes effort and often involves a little pain. So we just punt. This can be institutionalized in both Leftism (with its emphasis on “sensitivity” and “inclusion”) and “Emergent Church” Christianity where there is no sin other than pointing out sins.

    Interesting things with “mirror” in it:

    + “They Do It With Mirrors” — Miss Marple

    + “Mirror, Mirror” — Star Trek, original series

  8. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    Dennis Prager loves citing a study that showed that people in prison generally had higher self-esteem than the general population
    —Brad Nelson

    Yes, good stuff.

    But self-esteem for its own sake turns out to be much worse than merely reinforcing unearned positive feelings about oneself. Not only does high self-esteem (especially when unearned) not increase “social responsibility”; it decreases it.

    The criminologist and sociologist Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at Florida State University who has spent a lifetime studying violent criminals, notes that the great majority of criminals have higher self-esteem than noncriminals. You need high self-esteem to think that rules apply to others but not to you.

    —Prager, Dennis (2012-04-24). Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (Kindle Locations 1487-1491). Kindle Edition.

    Given the fact that “You need high self-esteem to think that rules apply to others but not to you”; we can speculate that Obama’s self-esteem measure is completely off the charts? And further right in line with the sad reality of our President:

    A well-known study further illustrates the lack of correlation between high self-esteem and accomplishment.
    —Prager, Dennis (2012-04-24). Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (Kindle Location 1492). Kindle Edition.

    Wow! There would seem to be real-world value in the biblical virtue of humbleness? And here’s Dennis’ answer (correct I think) on why you find little or no humbleness on the left.

    …it is unlikely that the Left will forgo emphasizing the importance of self-esteem. Feelings in general and self-esteem in particular are simply too important to the Left.
    —-
    …if the Left ceased to feel superior in every way and regarded many of those who oppose the Left as just as bright and just as kind as Leftists believe they themselves are, the Left would more or less cease to exist.

    —Prager, Dennis (2012-04-24). Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (Kindle Locations 1503-1510). Kindle Edition.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Not just Obama. The Clintons are obviously equally narcissistic. But then, we already knew that for other reasons. This simply provides further validation of the link between excessive self-esteem and amorality.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      More wise words from Dennis….one of the few philosophers I will read.

  9. Jerry Richardson says:

    Timothy,

    This simply provides further validation of the link between excessive self-esteem and amorality.
    —Timothy Lane

    This in fact is part of a major conundrum in politics. It would seem to be preferable to have an humble, competent person in high office who actually has no person interest in holding that office. But is that combination even a possibility? It seems to me it would only be possible if there were some realistic method of “drafting” candidates; but then you are faced with a second-level puzzle; who selects the drafters?

  10. Jerry Richardson says:

    Physical mirrors, as we know them today, were rare objects for centuries and at times and in some cultures were viewed as magical and perhaps dangerous objects. “Mirrors have a strong connection to the concept of the soul, which results in a wealth of superstition…vampires, who have no souls, are thus invisible to mirrors.”

    Such superstitions are not to be confused with sensible rules concerning mirrors, perhaps misunderstood by outsiders, such as those recommended during a Jewish week of “sitting shiva” (mourning the death of a close personal relative):

    Mirrors – It is proper to cover the mirrors (with sheets, or fogged spray provided by the funeral home) in the shiva house for the following reasons:

    • During shiva, a mourner is striving to ignore his/her own physicality and vanity in order to concentrate on the reality of being a soul.

    • A mirror represents social acceptance through the enhancement of one’s appearance. Jewish mourning is supposed to be lonely, silent; dwelling on one’s personal loss. Covering the mirrors symbolizes this withdrawal from society’s gaze.

    • Prayer services, commonly held in the shiva house, cannot take place in front of a mirror. When we pray, we focus on God and not on ourselves.

    • Physical relations between a husband and wife are suspended during the week of shiva, and thus the need for physical beauty is removed.

    Sitting Shiva

    I am intrigued with the perception of the connection between our private inner life and our use of the mirror.

  11. Jerry Richardson says:

    Many people ancient and modern have attributed vanity to the desire to view self.

    In the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; an evil queen, who is young Snow White’s stepmother looks into her magic mirror each morning and asks “Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?”

    The magic mirror which cannot lie answers for some time “My queen, you are the fairest in the land.” This goes on until Snow White reaches the age of 7 and then one day the magic mirror answers “My queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you”. Needless to say this answer did not sit well with the vain and evil queen.

    Vanity has become so common place in the modern world that it is practically invisible. It is so common with celebrities and stars that most people would imagine that the stars were emotionally depressed if they didn’t continually display ostentatious vanity.

    This, overdone awareness of one’s physical appearance has of course, filtered down, via the media, into most of society and hence encountering someone who is not vain will probably result in their being labeled slovenly or at best sloppy.

    The physical mirror seems to play a part in all of this.

  12. Jerry Richardson says:

    For most people the growing-up formative years will be reflected in their worldviews. So in that sense, a person’s worldview is a “mirror” and it reflects the predominant teaching of our formative early years.

    How does that theory play-out with Barack Obama?

    Obama’s inner identity is tied to Islam. We all identify with the ethos of our formative years. His father and stepfather were Islamic, as is his family back in Kenya and Indonesia. His brothers are active Islamists. He was raised on the Koran in Islamic countries, and attended Islamic madrassa and grew up with its attitudes, sights and sounds, aspirations and narrative, likes and dislikes.

    As I grew up to favor Israel, he grew up to dislike it. Simple as that. Most of my Christian friends, Bible believers, were also raised with the biblical narrative, which admires Israel’s place in our theology and in the cosmos.

    The Marxism Obama was fed, from very early on, made him viscerally dislike successful Western countries, such as America, Israel, and Britain.

    He was taught they were colonizers and imperialist. Yet, he finds nothing imperialistic or colonial about Islam’s takeover, throughout the centuries, of northern and central Africa, Lebanon, Babylon and Persia, the Balkans, the Mediterranean areas, Malaysia and Indonesia, and other parts of Asia, vast tracts of what was India, and countless Christian and Hindu neighborhoods and cities.

    Not to see colonialism and imperialism in these conquests tells us a lot about Obama’s perspective. Love is blind. We don’t see flaws in that and those we love. But, we sure see them, always, in that which we dislike. Obama’s dislike for a strong, independent, proud Jewish renaissance in the Holy Land predates Netanyahu.

    As with America, the next two years will be difficult, for Obama has set his antagonistic sights on America and Israel… as well as its citizens. Obama has spent the last 50 years waiting for these next two.

    Obama’s Dislike of Israel

  13. Jerry Richardson says:

    The most accurate and informative “mirror” for examining what detrimental effects Progressive/Democrat policies, if unchecked, will have on the nation is California.

    California has become a “mirror” reflecting bad governmental policy.

    If you drive through California’s Central Valley, you will see, along both sides of the ribbon of highway, acres of scorched earth. The arid land goes on in some places as far as the eye can see. This land was once rich in fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Now it is a wasteland, a seemingly endless expanse of brown, dry, and barren earth.
    —-
    If you want to know what life would be like in an environmentalist-dominated society, take a drive up Interstate 5. Environmentalists sacrificed this productive land on the altar of the Endangered Species Act. President Barack Obama has vowed to keep it that way.

    Generations ago, the political leaders of California realized that the only way to provide for a growing population and to make the land productive was to create a water infrastructure that would move water from where it was abundant to where it was sparse.

    Beginning in the early 1970s, however, the environmentalists began going to court to have water diverted to naturalize streams. In the name of saving the environment, they fought every attempt to expand the water infrastructure to meet the needs of California’s rapidly growing population and agricultural base.
    —-
    In 2007, they mobilized around saving the Delta Smelt, a three-inch baitfish, as an outgrowth of a policy that for decades put animal life and vegetation ahead of drinking water and food.

    The Delta Smelt requires a rare and somewhat precise mixture of fresh and salt water. It is by any measure a fragile species.

    In August 2007, Federal Judge Oliver Wanger ruled that the fresh water pumped into the Central Valley, the lifeblood of its economic base, threatened the survival of the Delta Smelt. He ordered a severe reduction in the water directed to Central Valley agriculture.
    —-
    The fight over the Delta Smelt casts into prominent relief an ongoing cultural conflict. It is a fight between people who value a baitfish over productive farmland and America’s food resources. Irrigated California farms produce over 90% of some of the fruits and nuts that end up on America’s dinner tables.

    The environmentalists, for decades, have prevented the expansion of the vital water infrastructure needed to deal with our growing population. Environmentalists even object to building desalination plants because the intake valves kill fish and the residual water has high concentrations of salt.
    —-
    Ironically, the same environmental base that is against expanding the water infrastructure is also supportive of the states’ providing inducements to the vast numbers of illegal immigrants coming through our porous border with Mexico.
    The environmentalists see no contradiction in freezing the California water system at its 1970 level while creating a hospitable environment for millions of illegal immigrants to settle in the state.

    Environmentalists are Destroying California

    Conservatives obviously need to watch and study California carefully. But most true conservatives don’t really need to be convinced. What conservative politicians, writers, bloggers, and anyone involved in any way in public-opinion sharing or shaping need to do is point-out to non-conservatives the obvious fact that the State of California has become a “mirror” and is reflecting disastrous governmental policy.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Note that California was Republican as late as 1988, and remained somewhat competitive for a while after that (Pete Wilson was elected governor in 1990 and re-elected in 1994). But over time the state degenerated into Mexifornia, and became a reliable stronghold of the Plunderbund. Much of what happened to the state resulted from that. It would be unfair to say that this is what the pro-amnesty Establishment wing of the GOP wants for the whole country (they’re too stupid and/or corrupted to see this), but it will be the result if they get their way.

  14. Jerry Richardson says:

    Timothy,

    It would be unfair to say that this is what the pro-amnesty Establishment wing of the GOP wants for the whole country (they’re too stupid and/or corrupted to see this), but it will be the result if they get their way.
    —Timothy Lane

    As you wisely said somewhere earlier, “Willful Blindness” and plain ignorance (or stupidity) may yield the same results.

  15. Jerry Richardson says:

    Pope Francis correctly depicts the “mirror” that God’s creation provides of Him.

    Pope Takes on Feminists, Gender Theorists, Gay Activists

    Starting from the biblical passage that reads “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,” the Pope went on to say that both men and women are necessary to truly “image” God.

    “Not only the man taken in himself is the image of God; not only the woman taken in herself is the image of God, but also man and woman together, as a couple: they are the image of God,” he said.

    Just last week, a New York Times op-ed suggested that the Bible can be interpreted to read that gay relationships are just as much a part of God’s plan as marriage between man and woman. Citing gay activist Mitchell Gold, the op-ed declared that church leaders “must be made to take homosexuality off the sin list.”

    Pope Francis seems not to have gotten the memo, since he continues to proclaim that God intended the covenant between men and women to reveal Him in a distinctive way.
    —-
    “I wonder,” he said, “whether the so-called theory of gender is not an expression of frustration and resignation, which tries to erase sexual differences because it doesn’t know how to handle them.”

    Removing sexual differences, Francis declared, “is the problem, not the solution.”

    Acting as if these differences didn’t matter means “taking a step backwards,” he said.

    “God has entrusted the earth to the covenant between man and woman,” Francis said. Its failure “dries up the world of affection and darkens the sky of hope.”
    —-
    It is the job of Christians, the Pope concluded, and especially married couples, to help society “rediscover the beauty of the creative design that inscribes the image of God in the covenant between man and woman.”

    “The earth is full of harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived well,” he said.

    The Pope takes them on

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The liberal fascist notion that churches should be “made” to cease regarding homosexual behavior as sinful is a good reminder that this demand for forced approval has long been the homofascist goal. Given a choice between the Saudi approach (stoning homosexuals) and the homofascist approach (destroying — perhaps eventually by stoning — those who dissent in any way from any aspect of the militant homosexual agenda), I unhesitatingly choose the former.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Timothy,

        this demand for forced approval has long been the homofascist goal.
        —Timothy Lane

        Exactly. I have had to try and school several relatives that opposition to the homosexual agenda, i.e., “forced approval” does NOT mean that a person or group hates individual homosexuals.

        This however is an intentional misunderstanding that the gay-mafia and their useful idiots continue to push.

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