Random Thoughts and McCarthyism is a Good Thing

RandomThoughtsThumb2by Brad Nelson
Zen usually means liberal-flaky. Never mistake me for a so-called “crunchy con.” But when you’re surfing the web, are you as tired as I am of websites that basically mug you as you enter them? Instead of a Zen-like experience, it’s more like Mortal Combat as you fight back all the things that get between you and where you want to go.

Things pop up and won’t shut up. Images and ads float around the screen as you sometimes have to chase them down. Sometimes sites open a new window which auto-plays some horrid ad and you suddenly wonder where the hell that noise is coming from. Dismiss. Attack. Confront. Blow up. It becomes like that scene from “Airplane” where Robert Stack is just trying to get from Point A to Point B in the airport and has to run a gauntlet of pop-up interruptions.

But Zen is how I’d rather surf the web, not have to beat back the ads. I think of the web more as an extended encyclopedia. It should be passive. It should not fight me. But web sites typically do all they can to throw as much in your face as they can all for the holiest of holies, the click count.

You may beat me over the head with a wet liberal before I ever introduce any of those obnoxious elements here. Mark my word. What brought this subject to mind was surfing American Thinker this morning on my Android tablet. I was suddenly assaulted by a floating add at the bottom of the screen that kept returning like a bad penny. And as good as some of their articles are, I may not return because of it. One must filter out the announces in one’s life to some extent.

Andrew McCarthy is King

No, not the actor from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” I mean Andrew C. McCarthy, one of the finest conservative writers today. He’s back with another good article, The Art of the Impossible.

I consider National Review to be a lost cause. It has become like the Republican Party: apologists for statism and inherently dishonest in its ongoing prevarications. It really does effect me that Jonah Goldberg, that former bastion of wit and common sense, has sold out. To what, I’m not sure. But the man has lost it.

But Andrew in his latest article gives you a much-needed dose of sanity. I had a friend call me up the other day and he said, “Brad, I just needed to call someone who wasn’t insane.” And then he proceeded to tell me about the local political hijinks of the Republican operatives, full of double-talk, dishonest machinations, and anything but sanity.

And that’s part of the reason I started this site, so I could have somewhere to go where I could converse with sane people. Oh, we don’t have to agree on everything. But we must at least agree that the sky is blue, a multi-trillion dollar debt is a bad thing, and that there is no such thing as “priming the pump” unless you’re actually watering the cattle.

Socialism will Kill Jesus a Second Time

Those few not lost in the fog of our detached and narcissistic culture may have noted (as Dennis Prager regularly does) how much of Christianity and Judaism have been given over to Leftism. As Dennis says, many Christians, and most Jews, have replaced their traditional values for Leftist ones. Instead of emphasizing “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not covet” you get “social justice” (a coveting notion if there ever was one) or mindless lip service to “diversity.”

I think it’s difficult for Christianity to exist in the face of socialism. Europe is proving this. They are now proudly a denuded and shrinking “secular” people while the churches remain mostly empty. I have personally witnessed otherwise hardcore fire-and-brimstone religious fundamentalist have their heads turned by entitlements. How can people who believe in Eternity be so easily swayed by “free stuff” that isn’t even free and that certainly won’t last forever?

As I say, socialism corrupts both the state and the citizenry. And there is no room for having one’s sites set over the horizon while one fixates on gaining (from others, via the government) worldly entitlements. Jesus is relegated to just another entitlement in a mix of them. We are being turned by government from spiritual creatures with sites set on Cosmic things to mere groveling animals with a lust for earthly “free stuff.”

As Glenn has noted in several of his fine articles, secularism puts an emphasis on eternity being measured in how long you can stay alive in this world. Think about what it means when the state now owns your body more and more through socialized medicine. They are now god. And people have little room for another.

Maybe Women Shouldn’t Vote

I’ll mention no names. But this one lady that I know has been a buzz in my ear for some time now over negatives advertisements being put out by (or for) a local Republican candidate for office. She is absolutely incensed that this candidate has flooded her mailbox with negative assertions about her opponent. I asked her if these assertions might be true. But for her, for some reason, this was quite beside the emotional point.

I haven’t seen any of these mailers. But the point is that this lady doesn’t care if the information is true or not. She’s only annoyed that it is being put out there. Yeah, I get that some don’t like negative advertising. But I still don’t understand what’s behind this purely emotional reaction, particularly when the opposing candidate is doing the same thing. I therefore did a little digging into the candidates for the benefit of trying to get to the bottom of this. And I know which issues are paramount for this one voter.

Well, as it turns out, the Republican candidate is against abortion, against gay marriage, and is a Christian. I couldn’t confirm if this candidate’s Democratic opponent was a Christian, but he is endorsed by NARAL, believes in late-term abortions, is endorsed by the Washington State Communist Party, and, last but not least, is endorsed by NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association).

You will, I hope, trust me when I say that this lady I have been referring to, after having been informed of this information, still was as incensed as ever against the Republican candidate — even those this person is typically a one- or two-issue voter (abortion and gay marriage).

Yes, yes. There are men who are this daft as well. But I think the ladies take the lead in this kind of irrationality. And I think it is primary in terms of how much debt we are running up and why nobody dares put a stop to it. After all, any attempt to simply stay within our means is called “starving the children.” Ladies, you need to man-up a little. • (1590 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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17 Responses to Random Thoughts and McCarthyism is a Good Thing

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I know what you mean about pop-up ads. Usually there’s a place you can go to turn it off, but it’s still annoying when the ad is a video and I’m either playing music or listening to the radio (i.e., Rush Limbaugh) or even have the TV on. Even worse, lately I’ve come across a few that pop up that have no way of getting rid of them, save exiting and coming back in — and making sure to avoid whatever generated the pop-up. So far that’s worked.
    I recall the specific McCarthy article, which is still up on NRO (and which I briefly commented on). One point I’ve made in several places recently is that the problem with the Republicans’ handling of the shutdown “crisis” wasn’t that their strategy was bad, but that their tactics were atrocious. They seemed to act as if they thought the synoptic media would actually report events honestly, and they should know by now that this will never happen as long as Barack Screwtape Obama is their Leader. If they had communicated loud and often, they probably could have accomplished something because the Kleptocrats’ own numbers would have declined badly. By now, they should realize that BSO is a thoroughly evil ruler — callous, dishonest, ruthless, spiteful — and that his media accomplices happily defend him anyway.

  2. Kung Fu Zu says:

    ” There are men who are this daft as well. But I think the ladies take the lead in this kind of irrationality.”

    Does this mean the Paulbots are almost all women?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. Most Paulbots are actually men, from what I can see. And human irrationality is certainly not limited to any one sex.

      • Kung Fu Zu says:

        “Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) put his daughter, grandson, daughter’s mother-in-law, grandson-in-law, granddaughter, and another relative—six family members in total—on his campaign payroll. The Paul progeny received a combined $304,599.”

        The hero of the Paulbots seems to be for a little nepotism himself.

  3. I really connected with the section on the attack on the Judeo-Christian world view. The church today is riddled with so much tomfoolery that it takes my breath away. It seems that 21st century Christians are under the impression that they can have all the benefits of a Christianity without having to deal with pesky little things like scripture, or truth, or God. This is, I believe at the heart of our problems.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Deana, my head just about exploded this morning when I read another excellent article from Mark Tooley at Spectator.org: Amazing Graceless.

      With all these ridiculous shenanigans going on, either there is no God or it is true that Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.

      God is now government to many people. Narcissism is rampant, even among nuns. You’d think that if these nuns were driven by true compassion that they would have some concern for the generations not yet born who will own this debt, the many hard-working people who are thought of as a bottomless pit for the redistribution of wealth, and the fact that if one wants to eat, one must work. There is little to no appreciation among these nuns of the harm that welfare typically does.

      If I was a Catholic, I would scream. But for many Catholics this liberalism has become Jesus. I strain on my best days to retain a positive belief in a good many things. And these mindless socialist nuns really are cause for alarm. We’re drowning in debt and anytime someone wants to address it you have these self-righteous nuns throwing a temper tantrum and demagoguing in the worst way.

      Not only Western Civilization, but the idea of Christendom itself, has so many good things in its heritage. And you see these silly people throwing it all away in pursuit of an earthly Utopia with more thought given to the teachings of Karl Marx than to Jesus.

  4. Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

    So much to touch upon here Brad, but my dull knife has its limitations.

    Navigating through the internet is indeed like threading the waters between Scylla and Charybdis, and I wish it were not so; but the Capitalist model requires its pound of flesh or the beast succumbs. The game has made me a wily opponent, for the clever trap hones a craftier mouse. I should not begrudge you your economic day in the sun…especially since you lay it all on the line with sweat and tears to furnish access to some very nimble minds……myself exempted.

    But you are altogether tarring our Mothership with too broad a brush. There are some who would term NR a bit long in the tooth and sclerotic at times, but they are not a monolithic bunch in weltanschauung as the Progressives reckon homogeneity. And if there is a whiff of scholasticism from Catholic censers or the affectations of highbrow iconoclasts that litter her august cyberhalls, then even a little stale air is more than balanced by her erudition. In contradistinction, one need only peruse the Stalinist lockstep of The Nation or any amalgamation of Deconstructionist/Marxian flotsam and jetsum whose thin gruel moves the faithful to impale themselves on the West’s outer ramparts. Forgive me if I wax partisan, but being discipled under NR men and the academically radioactive Straussians (Harry Jaffa and Charles Kesler) at Claremont has bred in me a fondness for the old girl.

    While as a writer I am not worthy to tie the latch of NR’s sandals, American Thinker has sought fit to give me a forum, as has your site, Catholicism USA, and a few others who are less discerning in who they let in the door. So I got that going for me.

    As for the state of Christianity in these latter days, we were warned by our Great King of a coming apostasy, and though it grieves us to watch the City of God bartered for the City of Man and for the Transvaluation of Values that upends the moral polarities of the human heart, The Christian has always walked as a Stranger in a Strange Land. And as the tectonic plates shuffle beneath our feet at an accelerating cadence, we should look up…for our redemption too draweth nigh. As Lucifer Fell, so will the City that raises his hand against The Most High.

    As for women and the vote. There is little doubt that the ends of the masculine and the feminine spirits are not altogether congruous, all things being equal. As the feminine node of being is the civilizer who brings life and nurtures, she seeks safety and continuity and is zealous for her own…perhaps even at the expense of natural justice, reason, and the Virtues that animate the City. The City requires a harshness that makes distinctions of praise and blame—those moral undercurrents of Justice and Courage. One need only consider Aristophanes’ “Assembly of Women” in order to learn a subtle and wry lesson of just what pillars ground the City. It is not the interests of women that ruin the polis, it is the unnatural interests that arise when men and women are not bound together in mutuality. When the state becomes a dissembler who knowingly breeds faction between the natural and utilizes the artificial as a means to usurp power by using fear and dependence to sway the balance of power in the City, then we have imbalance and a devolution of the regime into a state where freedom is eventually the vanquished.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There is indeed a lot to touch on, Glenn. And I appreciate your thoughts on the matters. Let me summarize and improvise a bit on all three subjects:

      1) The Web: I’m a big proponent of the free market and generally am the last to reach for the “There oughta be a law.” But the fact is, many websites have become obnoxious in the way that they present their information. It is typical these days, when doing some kind of list (top ten list, best movie list, whatever), to have each entry be on its own page. That means clicking through a deluge of ads — if you are clever enough to find the “next page” link amidst all the clutter…and if you have a computer strong enough to literally make it through the clutter. All that clutter tends to choke the best of browsers and fastest of CPUs.

      This site is not about getting the maximum hits, although as I’ve said before, I’m still looking for a volunteer publicist. I want a large readership. But there’s just not enough hours in the day for me to maintain this site and do my day job.

      And are there enough people interested in truth? Today we seem to live in the age of the “narrative.” I think there’s some truth to the idea that we’ve become such an idiot-box, entertainment-based culture that caters to every craving, no matter how insipid, that we’ve simply come to expect to believe whatever the hell we want to believe…perhaps as some kind of new “right.” But this site is based on the bizarre notion that there is such thing as objective truth. And never let that be misunderstood as having a fetish for “reason.” Reason has its place but tends to pale in comparison to mere integrity and reasonableness. But facts, and just reality itself, do matter.

      This place should be the natural accompaniment to a warm cup of coffee. It should be a place to pleasantly read the subjects of one’s choice without being assaulted by pop-ups or obvious trolls. In that spirit, you may hang me before I ever pop up an ad or do something obnoxious such as that. That is not the ingredient to go with sitting down with a warm cup of coffee. Such tactics are more amenable to sitting down with a fly swatter.

      2) Women. I would be more than happy if Deana, Sarah Palin, or a clone of Margaret Thatcher were to rule the world. As I read in an excellent book, “The Tragedy of American Compassion,” women didn’t always used to be so gullible. And it was actually men, to a large extent, who championed “Progressivism” and brought us all the ills we live with today.

      I think feminism had a lot to do with women’s sometimes inability to think things through — along with the other things that are impediments to all of us: the Leftist media, the generally “Progressive” (if not outright Marxist) education system, and just the Left in general. As Dennis Prager notes, everything the Left touches, it makes worse. And that would obviously include women.

      But I think there’s no doubt that the 16th Amendment (the income tax) and the 18th Amendment (women’s right to vote) opened the floodgates for the socialist state. Men also have their bad sides. As Dennis Prager describe it, men have the responsibility of overcoming their propensity for violence, and women have the responsibility of overcoming their propensity of emotionalism over reason.

      Frankly, I’ve seen no shortage of goofy, uninformed, zealous, emotional, and just plain whacky men. But the one example I witnessed just the other day of this woman was too big to pass up. 🙂

      3) National Review: This site has become a wasteland in regards to its initial purpose: Standing athwart history yelling stop. It has now become the mouthpiece for Establishment Republicans, not truth. Andy McCarthy is one of the noted and wonderful examples of a conservative voice there. But he is in the minority. Simply stating that one is fond of the site (as I am as well) because of its historical significance, or some of the good writers who have been there, is neither here nor there.

      And NRO presents us all with a very important choice. Do we bend like a reed to the fashionable winds or, as conservatives, do we actually believe that there are timeless truths regarding government, human nature, economics, and politics itself? Jonah has bent. McCarthy has not. I think the truth requires that we state some things plainly no matter whose feelings may be hurt. We are now running toward a cliff because so few people (not including yourself) are afraid to speak the truth. They are more interested in staying with their own self-anointed herd.

      There are still some good writers there. But the direction of the place is lost. It’s as lost as the Republican Party. Andy McCarthy is NRO’s Ted Cruz. And that is good. But it’s also not enough.

      • Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

        Perhaps we are reading a different NRO. Making such a blanket assumption is really unfair. As conservatives, sometimes prudence dictates that we take a longer look downfield. The internet is chock full of Tea Party oriented sites that are more emotion than reason and geared more towards buffeting the wind. Conservatism is by nature a state of mind that relents from storming the barricades. Your quarrel with Jonah should not lead you to discard so weighty a site. We will always as thinking men disagree as to our common ends, but we are enmeshed in a war just as bloody as the Somme for the minds of men.

        As the Berserkers make their jihad through the ranks of our institutions, unless we are prepared to lock and load and meet them with violence, sometimes it is best to take a long term view while holding high the sacred flame while the enemy implodes by virtue of his own passions. If the people are too corrupt and drunk with change and rebellion, what can we reasonably expect to occur anyway?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Two words: Avik Roy. 😀

          Really, to find a weighty conservative opinion at NRO I find to be rare. To find articles that weakly parse the events of the day through “We’ll get them next time” is rather easy.

          Tanner, Cooke, Williamson, and a few syndicated others (Sowell, Prager), make NRO still worth visiting. But the heart and soul of the place is pretty much gone.

          Conservatism is by nature a state of mind that relents from storming the barricades.

          I’m not talking about storming the barricades. I’m talking about being frank and truthful. I still think that one of the best and most frank educational short videos is Bill Whittle’s “The Vote Pump.” Few at NRO (especially Jonah Goldberg) have acknowledged the elephant in the living room. And that elephant is the nature of entitlements to buy statist loyalties and instill a “Progressive” mindset.

          It has been noted that the Roman leaders themselves understood what their bread-and-circuses had entrapped them in. So have ours. And yet it’s almost impossible to find a writer at NRO or elsewhere who will admit this. (One of the few who does is Mark Steyn.) That elephant has the ability to change consciousness and viewpoints. Many is the “conservative” I have met who has said “But hands off my Social Security.” So it tends to be with the writers at NRO. They tend to rationalize where the culture is rather than standing athwart.

          Rush Limbaugh has noted himself that there is something going on in the background at NRO, although he wasn’t specific. But he has been specific about the faults of the Republican Establishment which he says has more interesting in simply running the state, not reducing it. And that Establishment tends to be embarrassed by its base.

          That’s one reason that Thomas Sowell remains my hero. Here is a man who understands just how corrupt the human can become by “intellectualism.” This is the vibe I get from NRO. It’s an intellectual bastion. Clever minds are very good at rationalizing. And Jonah (and not just Jonah) typically offers a regular diet of this.

          • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

            I hate to pile on and make it two against one, Brad, but I have to agree with you – I’m not sure what Glenn is reading at NRO, but its soul seems gone. I just posted over there in response to an article that basically advocated tweaking Dodd-Frank instead of repealing it and abandoning its regulation-heavy approach. Sound familiar? It reminded me of those Establishment Republicans who want to “fix” Obamacare instead of discarding its state-control approach.

            As for Jonah Goldberg, I’ve been trying to understand what happened to him also, and this much is plain: he’s absorbed too much of some modern poison, either the valueless pseudo-liberty of Libertarianism or the movies and television of the cultural Left.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I didn’t read that article, probably because I expected what you encountered. But, playing devil’s advocate, I will point out that getting rid of Dodd-Frank won’t happen (at least before 2017), so I can understand someone who wants to come up with some tweaks in the meantime that would at least mitigate the damage it does.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          “Conservatism is by nature a state of mind that relents from storming the barricades.”

          But it is a state of mind that will pick up the musket in defense of rights and traditions inherited from our ancestors.

          Simply becoming Left Light, does not constitute a conservative mindset. Simply giving in because the fight is going to be difficult doesn’t constitute a conservative mindset. And if one’s mindset wanders into the same regions which are inhabited by the Left then one is not a conservative. David Frum is an example of this. Perhaps Jonah is following.

          As to NRO, they have definitely moved toward the Establishment Rep side since Buckley sold them to a Wall Street type financier. Furthermore, since letting Disqus take over the control of comments after the various articles, the place has become a fever swamp of Leftists trolls.

          There is also the problem of having to fill the figurative reams of paper needed to keep the consumers of the 24/7 news cycle and political commentary junkies satisfied. It is inevitable that a fair amount of rubbish is published.

          I think “The New Criterion” is a much better site.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            …a fair amount of rubbish is published.

            That is my point, exactly, Mr. Kung. And I do thank you for bringing “The New Criterion” to my attention. And I’ve noticed that two of NRO’s most noted writers regularly publish there: VDH and Andy McCarthy. Both (I think) also regularly write at PJ Media.

            VDH is interesting because he really is a Democrat at heart, and admits it. But because the Democrat Party has moved so far Left, having simply remained where he is, he’s more conservative than most conservatives (or Republicans).

            And McCarthy is just one of those few writers willing to call a spade a spade and who has a good conservative mind. I didn’t side with him in regards to the NSA issue, and don’t always agree with him when he stirs the pot against Rand Paul. But the rest of the time I’m in that supplicated Wayne-and-Garth “I’m not worthy” posture. I’m still trying to find an email address for him so that I can contact him and see if I can get a few scraps to re-publish here. Given how so many “conservative” writers have gone a bit wobbly, McCarthy is a huge asset to the right.

  5. Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

    “Left Light” is a bit hyperbolic, sir. I glanced at the site today and I saw no instances of what you would describe with the above epithet. Certainly the departure of the founder has changed things somewhat, and I do agree that New Criterion is a very good site along with a host of others. Perhaps we can add this site to that august list!

    Conservatism is both a temperament and a political philosophic movement, although it is not a philosophic system in its own right. Conservatism will not of its own direct us to pick up muskets, but it will evangelize us to its peculiar apprehension of truth and right reason….it will be a reawakened patriotism that sets that drama into motion. It is the educative nature of Conservatism that informs and focuses the fire–leading us to a proper veneration of Constitutional and Judeo-Christian principles and ultimately, our understanding of the Good Life.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      “Left Light” is a bit hyperbolic, sir.”

      “Sir?”

      Please reread my post. That particular paragraph was not referring to NRO as you will note by reading the next paragraph. It was referring to the mindset to sit back and go with the way things are going.

      As to the question of NRO being “Left Light”, I will simply say this. NRO was in the bag for Romney from day one. Now the Romney who ran for president presented himself as a “serious” conservative. But the Romney who was governor of Mass. was all for Romneycare, which is the model upon which the Left based Obamacare.

      I don’t care whether you call it Left Light, or Establishment Republican or Statist. It ain’t conservative.

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