The West Is Doomed

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu7/1/15
I had originally meant these thoughts to be the last in a series of short essays on Christianity, and the West. But I have decided to go ahead and publish this piece, as its conclusion is what prompted me to start writing about this subject in the first place.

As I previously made clear, Western Civilization is based upon Christianity and Christian thought. This has given the West its strength, but it is also the West’s major weakness.

Christianity made the claim of being based on universal truth. It answered the important questions which always perplexed mankind. The answers Christianity gave were absolute and firm. But Christianity’s most important aspect was that it was based on divine revelation from God. Specifically, the message was given to humanity by God Himself, Who became flesh in the form of Jesus Christ.

Once this premise was accepted, there was little room for doubt as to the meaning of everything. Having been accepted, this truth was interwoven into all aspects of life throughout Western history.  It gave our civilization a certainty and power of conviction, which helped unify thought and lead the West to great things.

Unfortunately, in the claim of the revelation’s divine nature lay a great weakness. The moment people began to question the Word, the culture itself began to weaken. Once any part of the divine message came into question, every other aspect of the Bible started to be questioned.  And when the foundation upon which a culture is built fails, the whole edifice begins to crack and crumble.

The questioning of the Bible’s origins started with the Western elites. But it has continued uninterrupted for over two centuries spreading throughout the population. This has created a situation in which all aspects of Western Civilization are questioned. That, in turn, has led to many asking if our culture was built on a lie. Once such questions arise they will not go away and must be addressed in a way which supports the existing paradigm. Otherwise, a vacuum will develop and once such a vacuum occurs it must be filled in by something.

Leftist wreckers hate the Christian narrative and hold it in contempt. They have always been arrogant enough to think the “crutch” of religious faith could easily be replaced. And many have tried to replace this crutch with humanism, communism and materialism. Sadly for them, the large majority of people seem to need something bigger than “Das Kapital” or the latest TV sitcom to inspire them to greatness, goodness and morality. In fact, not much of anything has filled the vacuum left by Christianity’s contraction. Tragically, those ideologies, which have been used in an attempt to fill the void, resulted in the slaughter of close to 200 million people in the last century alone.

So we are here today, watching our society and culture collapse around us. Lacking traditional moral and cultural sustenance, many are simply leading lives of stupefaction immersing themselves sex, drugs and rock-in-roll and their equivalents. These people exist with such a poverty of spirit that they can only react to events with “feelings”. Thought and structure are foreign to them. They believe in nothing except the latest propaganda spouted at them on Twitter, Facebook or some idiotic reality show. And they only believe such until the next bit of rubbish is spewed forth from the same sources. Perhaps this would not be such a bad thing, but these drones are spread throughout our society and influence us every day, whether we like it or not.

There was perhaps a theoretical line at which the balance between skepticism and belief could be maintained without irrevocable damage to our civilization. But if such a point ever existed, we crossed it long ago. The West, which was once special, has lost faith in itself and its founding institutions. We are close to the point where Christianity is defunct, without meaning. And once Christianity is finally destroyed, the Occident will not have any spiritual, and little cultural, structure to fall back on.  Reason will be cold comfort.

That is why I believe the West is in a death spiral from which there is no escape. • (3367 views)

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90 Responses to The West Is Doomed

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Like you, I’m skeptical about America and the Western civilization of which it’s a part (and a crucial one). But I can’t bring myself to give up. Edward White has an article on Town Hall today reminding us that America has faced worse challengers before, and that a good conservative doesn’t give up on his country. We are not “sunshine patriots”. The link is:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/edwardwhite/2015/07/01/a-time-for-resolve-not-sunshine-patriotism-n2019994

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I am not giving up, but I am not very confident that we will be able to turn things around.

      Nevertheless, like English captains of old, I plan to go down with the ship, fighting.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One of the clear aspects of our culture is that what most people learn about religion — Christianity, in particular — is simplistic and often just false, often willfully so. It’s one thing not to believe the various faith elements. Okay. One is free to do so or not. It’s another thing to be boxing against various false constructs. And if you’ve ever read any Richard Dawkins, it’s embarrassing how the man has reduced a grand and great tradition down to a few stereotype bullet points. The man is either a liar or woefully uninformed. Given the harsh dogmatism of atheism, I don’t think he gives a rat’s ass about knowing it for the only legitimate thing in his eyes is to vandalize it to the point where it loses its power.

        I wonder as well, given the general vibe in our culture (that is, wherein most things are dumbed-down) if many Christians have the kind of understanding of their own tradition that they should. My experience is that many don’t have the slightest clue, and most have been mindlessly stamped-out by various pseudo-Christian ministers…with Pope Francis as a near perfect example of this.

        It’s one thing to reject one’s culture because one disagrees with it, and as you note, Christianity is intertwined with Western Civilization. It’s another thing to reject a mere constructed and false stereotype. And that’s what most have done. But then I wonder what version of Christianity those who say they believe have actually picked up. I admit to being skeptical.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Remember that student radicals used to attack courses on Western civilization. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western civ has got to go.” The left hasn’t changed a bit; that’s still their goal, and not just in college curricula.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This has created a situation in which all aspects of Western Civilization are questioned. That, in turn, has led to many asking if our culture was built on a lie. Once such questions arise they will not go away and must be addressed in a way which supports the existing paradigm. Otherwise, a vacuum will develop and once such a vacuum occurs it must be filled in by something.

    That’s very well stated, Mr. Kung. I’ve understood that as well and have been drawn to the question for quite some time…if only because of the Colonel Klink Rule. I may not know the answer, but when I see all these people who’ve come out the other end of the university mill convinced that religion (perhaps except for Islam) is all bullshit, I smell a skunk, I know something is rotten in Denmark. I know what the answer is not.

    Maybe it is all a lie or, more accurately, Christianity is a faith built upon things believed 2000 years ago that we obviously are somewhat remote from. That doesn’t make it a lie, however.

    To understand the fascistic little minds being developed, one must understand that skulls-full-of-mush are being taught that “science” is the only way to know anything. And that if something doesn’t fall under the purview of science, it’s not legitimate. It’s not real. And it’s quite likely a lie. I call this a fascistic way of thinking because atheists, in particular, are known to be nasty little buggers. If you believe, as I do, that man is at the very least an intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual being, to shrink that all down to just a physical being is to turn people into, in practice, antagonistic axe-grinding grunts.

    This is what Obama is, for example. If he’s not a Muslim he’s an atheist. But he’s certainly not a Christian. Mankind is reduced when he adopts the polarizing mindset that unless something can be measured or glimpsed under a microscope, it isn’t real or important. And this is the reduced man of modern times. And this man, as we see, is not less prone to superstition but more so. As I think G.K. said, those who don’t believe in God will believe in anything — including global warming.

    So whether Christianity is true or not, I take it as axiomatic that a man reduced to the merely physical is a incomplete and stunted human being. I’ll gladly acknowledge that our attempts to understand the Creator are often indistinguishable from flights of fancy. But we did not create ourselves. And if someone can demonstrate how order, information, and ontological “oomph” can arise from nothing, I’m all ears and will give your atheism/naturalism a fair hearing.

    But doubt has been drip, drip, dripped into our culture by the Left like water through an old coffee filter. We’ve intentionally been fed doubt about our own culture by people who simply want to vandalize the current one, and not because they’re looking for truth. This is something that most people don’t understand. To question aspects of Christianity because you’re looking for a deeper truth, if any, is one thing. To do so in order to be a vandal — and the Left is comprised of nothing but vandals — is quite another thing.

    Leftist wreckers hate the Christian narrative and hold it in contempt. They have always been arrogant enough to think the “crutch” of religious faith could easily be replaced. And many have tried to replace this crutch with humanism, communism and materialism.

    Amazingly, the current pope is leading that charge, reducing Christian thinking to a mere stilted warmed-over Leftism. I find it difficult to believe that Christianity will survive as a cultural force if there are few who will defend it. And few apparently will.

    The West, which was once special, has lost faith in itself and its founding institutions. We are close to the point where Christianity is defunct, without meaning.

    If Christianity is real, then it’s not going anywhere. If it’s nothing but a cultural effect, then it could disappear tomorrow. Whatever the case may be, you can gauge the belief of people in the permanence of Christianity by how willing they are to follow the various Leftist pseudo-Christians sects. For them, Christianity *is* nothing more than a cultural affectation. They can integrate any modern fad or bone-headed thought…including homosexual marriage.

    How does one promote and defend Christendom and the Western World? Perhaps that will be amongst your series of articles. I wonder sometimes if any of the Christians here can make a case. Sometimes all we get is crickets chirping when we talk about this stuff. Did we forget to use deodorant or something? But Rosalys has certainly been a welcome exception.

    • Pst4usa says:

      I will not claim to have any ability to make a good case, (especially in writing), but I try to make that case face to face on a regular basis lately Brad. The Constitution coarse that I have given, well 8 of them so far, have had little to do with the actual Constitution and far more to do with the Biblical foundation of it, and that same foundation as the basis of this nation. And to some extent, (in complete agreement with Mr. Zu), all of Western Civilization.

      I can only speak for myself, but I will use the tools that God has given me, but like others here have said, I too,will fight till the end of the country and beyond if necessary.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Pat, I know you can make a good case. And I know it’s really bad form to say “This person is a Christian” and “This person is not.” But due to the fact that many people have been hiding their pseudo-Christianity behind this bit of what I’d call “religiously correct,” let me state for one and all that I consider you a beacon of light in regards to Christ. You are the kind that I say “I want to be like that.” But I don’t want to be like Pope Francis or Joel Osteen.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Maybe it is all a lie or, more accurately, Christianity is a faith built upon things believed 2000 years ago that we obviously are somewhat remote from. That doesn’t make it a lie, however.

      Brad,

      That is the beginning of a discussion which could be used to defend Christianity and its place in our civilization. But to continue the discussion, one must have some idea of our culture, history and Christianity. Clearly, many who call themselves Christians lack this combination.

      Frankly, sometimes I feel that you or I deserve the title, “Defender of the Faith” more than many who call themselves Christians. I find this somewhat depressing.

      And don’t think for a minute that the anti-Christian Vandals have not noticed this spinelessness in many Christians.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        “Defender of the faith” can be a title of uncertain value. The Pope gave that title to Henry VIII when the latter attacked Martin Luther, and we know how that worked out in the end. Oddly, he continued to use the title, as do his successors.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        And don’t think for a minute that the anti-Christian Vandals have not noticed this spinelessness in many Christians.

        Oh god, yes. And the Muslims have noticed how absolutely vapid the response has been to their demands. And the blacks have noticed. And all this playing “nice” will ever get anyone is continued feeding of the most vulgar, violent, or sociopathic.

        As long as we’re talking frank, Mr. Kung, I’m inspired (sometimes enlightened, always enthralled) by Glenn the Greater, Deana, Pat, Annie, Rosalys, and some other Christians here (anyone I haven’t named, I didn’t mean to exclude anyone…but my memory is quite less than photographic). I doubt they always appreciate my frankness that verges on the kind of secular vulgarity you get from the mainstream culture. But I’m long past giving a rip if someone out there is offended. To their credit, they are not thin-skinned.

        I was calling the Pope a Marxist fraud long before the mainstream commenters were doing so. So sue me for being cutting edge. But I was listening to Dennis Prager the other day and, Holy Moses, let’s just say he and I are on the same page. So is Rush. And the page is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

        Christ actually stood for an idea and a purported Cosmic reality. You can accept that or reject that. It’s a free country. But to turn Christ into Hugo Chavez ought to be deeply offensive to all Christians.

  3. Pst4usa says:

    Excellent article Mr. Zu, very well written.

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    Mark Steyn has a good piece today on the subject, dealing with why most people will hunker down and decide to be good little modernists rather than resist the Leftist destruction of traditional culture and Western civilization. It made me realize that the play conservatives need to teach today may be Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s an interesting take by Mark Tooley. I don’t necessarily agree with his broad definition of gnostic. It creeps too much into the reality of individual spirituality. Everyone talks about having a “relationship with God,” so name one relationship that is anywhere meaningful if it is based on strict one-size-fits-all doctrine. That said, the part I quote is particularly savy:

    Justice Kennedy’s Pursuit of Gnosis

    Gnosticism has always been around and certainly long a partner in much of American hyper-individualism. But its special moment may be now arriving in American culture. Same-sex marriage and transgenderism, joined now by post-genderism, insist individual thoughts, yearnings, and self-identities trump physical realities and universal truths. Instead, there is primarily the naked will.

    There is another Christian-related theology that is partnering with old-fashioned Gnosticism in creating a new spiritual politics and view of government. It is the idea of governance as therapeutic affirmation rather than the more traditional and much more limited view of government as primarily for protection and civil order.

    Christianity has historically taught that magistrates are divinely ordained to provide the police, military, and judicial functions of society, to ensure peace and safety for civil life. Other important needs in civilization were met by the church, families, commerce, charity, guilds, and other components of civil society. The state chiefly defended these actors from internal disorder and foreign attack.

    In contrast, the therapeutic view of government is not so interested in these core hard functions of statecraft, which are punitive and often absolute in their judgments. Therapeutic government focuses instead on providing the essential material needs of its population and providing spiritual affirmation. Justice Kennedy emphasized the law’s obligation to provide “dignity” to all sexual orientations, without which “full liberty” cannot be guaranteed . . .

    . . . As administered by Justice Kennedy, the state is now a powerful partner in search of Gnosis, divorcing individuals from tradition, law, and organic communities outside government. Each person now has a virtual right towards self-divination. The question now becomes, how can society function with several hundred million unique, self-willed deities, each seeking its own lordship?

    Mr. Kung, I’m not sure which one of your article to attach this to. But since they all ring doom, this should do.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      how can society function with several hundred million unique, self-willed deities, each seeking its own lordship?

      This line makes me think of your “precious snowflakes” analogy. Let’s see how all those atomized Leftists and Libertarian snowflakes fare when a big bad warm wind from the East, or elsewhere, blows this way. It won’t take much wind, warmth or time to get rid of all those individual snowflakes. And as they evaporate, many of them will wish they had gathered together to make an iceberg which is not so easy to destroy. But it will be too late.

      Justice Kennedy emphasized the law’s obligation to provide “dignity” to all sexual orientations, without which “full liberty” cannot be guaranteed

      In my book, dignity is something one earns or displays. And when I think of the word, a picture of the homo erectus monkeys one sees at gay pride parades in San Francisco does not come to mind.

      But at a more fundamental level, the idea expressed by Kennedy is complete rot. By Kennedy’s definition, nobody is free unless he or she receives the world’s approval of every act he or she performs. So is Kennedy a fool or a knave? I’m guessing Kennedy is a lying scumbag. And must say, I have long had the suspicion he is a closet queen himself.

      As to whether or not one must have dignity to be free here’s a thought. Otis on “The Andy Griffith Show” had very little dignity, but he certainly had full liberty. He had so much liberty that he could come and go as he pleased.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Given the number of people wearing large implanted rings in their ear lobes, who are painting their bodies to look like a Marvel comic, or who let their pants hang down, I don’t think dignity is a universal value.

        And “dignity” has a special meaning among the Christian Left. It’s another word for flattery. The haves look at the have-nots, and if they can’t or won’t do anything to actually help improve their situation they can at least bestow “dignity” onto them.

        However, it seems to me, what a lot of people most need is to be shown the indignity of their various beliefs and actions. But that requires adults and we are running out of them.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung pointed this article out to me. It’s required reading. It could be called the manifesto of StubbornThings: Going with the Flow by Mark Steyn.

    I made a quip here a few days ago to “State your opinion while you can.” And a couple people said, “What?” Well, read Steyn. Get with it. I don’t expect that it will be that long until our service provider bans us. Three years, tops.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That’s the article I was referring to (sorry I didn’t mention it by title, but Steyn usually has only one article each day anyway) when I mentioned that we might need to become more familiar with Ionesco’s Rhinoceros.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You can always cut-and-paste a link into the comments. More elegant is to use some markup code. You can find a pdf guide for that in the “Archives” menu under the “Text Formatting Help” menu item.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung, because this conversation seems to be mostly between you and me (and I have no doubt that we can carry that weight), the whole idea of the vapidness of “dignity” reminds me of a famed episode in the life of my favorite Catholic, Francis of Assisi.

    Francis took about a year or two (at least) to convert from where he was (an all-about-town playboy and party guy) to “everything for Jesus.” He was ill for a time and bed ridden. This seemed to change him a bit, steeled him for what was to come. He began dabbling with fixing up an old abandoned church. He felt the longing for something more than partying until it’s 1999.

    This culminated in him taking a LOT of money from the family business and giving it away to help others. His father had alway indulged him, but this was too much and he locked Francis inside a closet. His mother eventually let him out and Francis took off and lived in hiding for a while, fearing retaliation (and for good reason) from his father.

    This all came to a head when Francis’ father basically made a public demand in the crowded square of Assisi that his son return the money he took from him. Francis took off the clothes he was wearing and handed them to his father presumably saying something like “All I have now I give to the lord.” The Bishop of Assisi, who had witnessed all this, wrapped his cloak around the butt-naked Francis.

    Francis began wearing a pretty rough flaxen tunic from thereon out as well as taking for his bride his beloved spouse, Lady Poverty.

    First off, is this anywhere near describing the same guy who, as Pope, borrowed Francis’ name for his own prestige? No. Pope Francis is like the LBJ of popes. Everything to him is an eternal anti-poverty program which is actually an Alinsky-like anti-Western type of vandalism. This current pope hasn’t met a dumb idea from the Left that he couldn’t embrace fully.

    But in Francis we see the real deal. And he puts to shame all those fakers and frauds who obsess on “dignity” while missing the forest for the trees. What could be more undignified then stripping your clothes off in a public spectacle and then later donning a cheap brown tunic? Apparently there are other and higher values than “dignity” and certainly more worthy goals than “anti-poverty.” And this used to animate the Christian message. But no more. It is dead, or at least it is dying a rapid death if only because too many people are Going with the Flow.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Mr. Kung, because this conversation seems to be mostly between you and me

      I can understand the hesitancy to tackle the subject, because it is not very cheering. But I believe we are far past the point of putting on a happy face as far as our culture goes.

      If someone wishes to worry only about his soul and drop out of the culture, I can understand that, but must then hold that person equally responsible for the decline of our culture.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s another example of why we are doomed. Organized mob (of no particular race, according to media) ransacks a Walmart, attacks handicapped man in motorized cart.

    Every incident like this proves John Derbyshire right when he said that you should avoid places where there are a significant number of blacks, at least in certain general areas. Look at how an ugly mob is fostered by telling people that they are excused from the normal rules of civilization because they are victims. Every feel-good rock-n-roll Christian out there who stumps for “diversity” and is non-judgmental needs to take a look at what they are fostering.

  9. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I found the quote below, on Mark Steyn’s website. It was written by someone who attended the recent Munk Debate between Steyn and Nigel Farage and Louisa Arbour and Simon Shama. The debate was about mass immigration.

    This brief statement lays out what conservatives understand, and the Left either doesn’t understand, or as I believe, does understand and has worked toward, i.e. the destruction of our culture.

    A civilized culture, which takes centuries of painstaking collaborative work to create, can be easily destroyed, and quickly. This is a reality conservatives understand, but liberals, consumed by guilt for past collective sins, and morally disarmed before the Other, choose to ignore. The Munk debate illuminated this important distinction

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Steyn continues to write about the debate and the response. So many liberals, facing the reality of mass rapes in Cologne etc. and the gang rapes of Rotherham etc., simply deny it and mock those who are concerned. Race trumps sex for them, even if this leads to a genuine “war on women”. But what do liberals care about ordinary people, after all?

  10. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    An interesting piece which shows, in a small way, why the West is slipping and the East is rising.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/two-transgressors-milos-yiannopolous-yuja-wang/

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, there probably are Western artists with comparable discipline, at least in terms of their craft. I’m no judge of acting or musical talent (not to mention the hard work that can develop and maximize latent talent) and know little of the young performers of today, though.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I think the bigger point is:

        East Asia values discipline, concentration, long years of practice and utter mastery; with an exceptional head start and rare talent, ….. The West values offhandedness, improvisation, luck and self-made celebrity, the qualities that make Milos Yiannopoulos a figure of admiration….

        I have personally seen the difference, and broadly speaking, Asians understand life is not fair and in order to prosper one must dedicate oneself and work to attain one’s goals.

        The products of our self-esteem society appear to believe that the good life should simply fall in one’s lap.

        Guess which philosophy will prove more correct?

  11. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    So we are here today, watching our society and culture collapse around us. Lacking traditional moral and cultural sustenance, many are simply leading lives of stupefaction immersing themselves sex, drugs and rock-in-roll and their equivalents. These people exist with such a poverty of spirit that they can only react to events with “feelings”. Thought and structure are foreign to them. They believe in nothing except the latest propaganda spouted at them on Twitter, Facebook or some idiotic reality show. And they only believe such until the next bit of rubbish is spewed forth from the same sources. Perhaps this would not be such a bad thing, but these drones are spread throughout our society and influence us every day, whether we like it or not.

    One of the themes at ST has been the fact that the Left has developed and controls the public discourse so completely that even "conservatives" have taken the Left's memes to heart.

    If further proof were needed of this, then one need only link to the below article by Kevin Williamson and note not only what Williamson writes, but the content of the posts to the article. The chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at ST made a few rational comments, which would have been considered quite normal just a few short years back. The attacks made on him by, even Williamson, show the country truly is lost.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448087/tiger-woods-dui-everyman

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thank you for the notice, Mr. Kung. I had fun engaging that topic.

      I read an article yesterday (I forget where) about the Manchester Jihad attack by Islam. It mentioned the lame reaction from all quarters. It noted that this kind of passive reaction had long been taught in the West. The point the author made was about some conference in the EU he attended where professors got up and spent a good deal of time saying nothing. Being content-free is the way of things today.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Interesting. So even many conservatives now agree that we should never be “judgmental”. Of course, those who came up with this admonition are (of course) very judgmental themselves — but of opinions, not behavior.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        No kidding, Timothy. The peanut gallery was, except for a couple of people, all too ready to judge me harshly. It’s a smokescreen all this “non-judgmental” baloney. They love judging and, as you noted, their “non-judgmentalism” is just another judgment, even if they try to hide it via verbal gymnastics or other subterfuge.

        That’s why I called this particular brand of non-judmentalism a form of moral narcissism. The disingenuous (or at least un-selfaware) accusation is that by forwarding the idea that making some judgments can be a very good thing indeed that all that I want to do is get my jollies out of condemning people. And some do that. I explicitely distinguised between what one might call “recreational” judgmentalism and “due judgments and penalties.”

        The fact is, these people, not me, are lined up getting their jollies out of their moral exhibitionism, showing everyone how supposedly “open” and “tolerant” they are. My purpose in entering that discussion was to state a point of view that was being forgotten in the hallelujah choir of back-slapping Kevin. And I have no beef with Kevin other than I think his is a very shallow article in terms of giving a better perspective on all this. As others (including myself) pointed out, he has no problem bashing Trump. (And I very much agree with his bashing.)

        There is a time and a place for being more accepting and letting things slide off you like water off a duck’s back. But do these people not discipline their children? Do they not expect some penalties from speeding on the freeway or stealing from their boss?

        And consider the context of both this article and the internet which I view as having devolved (assuming it was anything much more) to a place for people to spout their grievances. Without shaming and judging there would arguably be no conservative media to speak of. Even Buckley’s advice to George Will about Will’s reticence about having enough material for a weekly (or bi-weeklly) column was, to paraphrase Buckley, “Think of something that annoys you and then write about it.”

        Damn me for being wrong on this entire subject. But I hope I added more to that discussion than just bitching and moaning.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Here’s a surprisingly good mix of reporting and opinionating from Ian O’Conner from ESPN, of all places (a company that has become a politically correct cesspool): Tiger Woods is lost, in every literal and figurative way

      The gist of the story is that Tiger was reckless then when pursuing his string of hookers and such when winning all those tournaments and that he’s reckless now while in his slump. But he wishes the golfer well and hopes he cleans things up.

      There. Was that so hard? Who in his right mind wishes anyone ill unless it is Hitler on his death bead? But Kevin Williamson found a clever way to deflect from reality and insist “Hey…we’re all schmucks.”

      This is ghastly, particularly from a conservative writer, because it assumes that whether you turn out to be Hitler or Mother Teresa, it’s all just a matter of chance. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no moral element of choice.

      Who doesn’t wish Tiger Woods well? These entertainment stars tend to become beloved figures that we emotionally attach to (and sometimes detach from when they are bad boys which is the inevitable other side of the coin and no “Hey…we’re all schmucks” formulation can escape this). But, goodness, at least point out the reality that the man has been reckless. Thank goodness he didn’t wipe anyone out on that road while driving under the influence of too many pain killers.

      The vibe from all this that is most disturbing is the idea that anyone who criticizes Tiger Woods is just piling on. Really? Did it seem like that ESPN writer was piling on? Maybe Tiger is on Kevin’s speed dial list. I have no problem with someone defending a friend if that is the case.

      But what this whole interaction in that National Review article reveals once more is how yucky it can be to interact with people. I don’t mind disagreement. I don’t mind, say, our own Steve saying “Brad, you idiot, libertarianism is obviously the way to go. You conservatives are all closet authoritarians wanting to run everyone’s life through government.” It’s not disagreement as much as a mild insanity that I find upsetting. The people in that National Review thread were just a little creepily insane. It ought to be obvious from day one that apologizing for and excusing bad behavior can be a destructive thing. The irony is, these people take this attitude because it makes them feel morally superior — while at the same time condemning me for being a moralist.

      But the hard work of wisdom and being an adult looks much more like that ESPN writer who did not flinch from reality, while still wishing the guy well.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There are some interesting wrinkles developing in the Tiger Woods story. He had no alcohol in his blood (and blames things on a bad reaction from one of his prescription medicines). and wasn’t even driving at the time — he was asleep in his car by the road. It seems it was not in a pull-off zone, so he could be charged with that. Proving he actually drove while drug-impaired may be a lot harder, though it probably happened at least for a bit.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That ESPN article above reports that and more. Sounds like they’ll find a trail of dented things along his path if the look for them. How he got a couple flat tires I don’t know.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        This is ghastly, particularly from a conservative writer, because it assumes that whether you turn out to be Hitler or Mother Teresa, it’s all just a matter of chance. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no moral element of choice.

        It ought to be obvious from day one that apologizing for and excusing bad behavior can be a destructive thing. The irony is, these people take this attitude because it makes them feel morally superior — while at the same time condemning me for being a moralist.

        Another thing to consider it that it requires much less effort, both emotionally and physically, to be non-judgemental. Think about it. Is it easier to ignore a friend’s bad behavior or to actually try to help a friend turn his life around? Is it easier for a mother to give in to a misbehaving child or to take the time to explain things and discipline the child and prepare the child for life?

        I am convinced that most of these “non-judgemental” types are actually a bunch of egotists who, in fact, care little about others while professing universal love for mankind.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I don’t disagree, Mr. Kung. I don’t pretend to understand this completely. But there is a widespread cultural trend of Civic Salvation whereby if I give you a pass for your stuff, you’ll give me a pass for mine. And we all get to feel good about being so “tolerant” and “forgiving.”

          Even so, there is a long list of “thou shall nots” in this liberal mindset. Somewhere between harsh judgmentalism and Kumbaya there is a happy place called “wisdom.” Not many are finding it these days.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            They’re very forgiving — as long as only misbehavior is involved. It’s clear that even past disagreement can never be forgiven by liberals, as we saw in the barking over the Democrat mayoral candidate in Omaha.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              In terms of Tiger and larger-than-life, vicariously-lived entertainment stars, I wish him well. I’m the kind of person who still thinks of these people as people. They all put their pants on one leg at a time. And one of the downsides of being an entertainment star is that your every flaw gets broadcast coast-to-coast.

              Sucks. But the money is good. And that’s what the job entails. And Tiger can hire a fleet of chauffeurs instead of driving around impaired.

              So am I a harsh judgmentalist to say that he needs friends who will be critical and figuratively kick him in the ass instead of coddling him with this “We’re all schmucks” baloney? If you care for Tiger, remember the sycophantic chorus of hangers-on who enabled the bizarre behavior of Michael Jackson. Maybe your best friend in the world (whether personal or in the media) is the one who applies the proverbial tongue-lashing.

  12. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    So am I a harsh judgmentalist to say that he needs friends who will be critical and figuratively kick him in the ass instead of coddling him with this “We’re all schmucks” baloney? If you care for Tiger, remember the sycophantic chorus of hangers-on who enabled the bizarre behavior of Michael Jackson. Maybe your best friend in the world (whether personal or in the media) is the one who applies the proverbial tongue-lashing

    According to the study mentioned in this article, you judgemental SOBs are, in fact, real friends. This meshes with my belief that all those non-judgemental types actually don’t give a flying-f*@k about others. It’s the old saying, “He loves humanity, it’s people he hates.”

    http://nypost.com/2017/05/26/your-meanest-friend-just-wants-the-best-for-you-scientists-say/

    • Timothy Lane says:

      An interesting reversal on that last saying is Jonathan Swift. It has been said that he hated humanity (this is especially evident in certain scenes from the second and fourth voyages of Gulliver as well as “A Modest Proposal”), but he liked individual people. I have often found myself sympathizing with that attitude.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        A a liberal is one who he loves humanity, but hates people. A conservative is one who hates humanity, but loves people.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      So I was right. Don Rickles really was the patron saint of compassion.

      However, I’m not sure that insults can be so easily categorized as helpful. I would distinguish between an insult (scornful abuse) with “tough love.”

      But I do think those who really care about people (good parents, good teachers) spend a certain amount of time on correction. I would tell Tiger Woods, “Love ya, man, but you’re a fool for putting other drivers at risk while you’re galavanting around at 3:00 a.m. high on pain killers.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Self-discipline is a necessary component of mature adulthood, and it has to be developed with the assistance of authority figures such as parents.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I’m not sure that insults can be so easily categorized as helpful.

        True enough. I thought the writer could have articulated the idea somewhat more precisely.

        That being said, I can much more easily envision a male trying to get a friend back on track by saying something like, “Listen you dumbass,…” as opposed to, “I feel your pain and …”

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That’s the function we provide here. University studies are usually worth the paper they are printed on, at least regarding this sociological stuff.

          Certainly in male-male interactions (and outside of criminal/tribal gangs), ridicule assumes a regular role…both for pricking large egos and for minor corrections. And, of course, because normal guys find it odd to speak like The Scarlet Pimpernel. There is a healthy side to male crudeness. Youo are establishing that you are not a girl (sorry, ladies, but this is true…men are not girls). Unfortunately, I think “guys being guys” these days is more likely a sign of “little uncouth monsters being little uncouth monsters.”

          What people also need is encouragement. And few are willing to do this. It is hard for several reasons. But some are good at it. Most now just blow smoke up the asses of the Snowflakes and call this “encouragement.”

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Of course people need encouragement as well as tough love. We have forgotten or simply ignore ancient wisdom. There is a reason we have developed sayings like, “This calls for the carrot and stick approach.”

            • Timothy Lane says:

              An interesting historical note: The SS, when it was put in charge of occupied countries, preferred a carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot was good treatment of workers; the stick was ruthlessly pursuing resistance elements. Heydrich largely broke up Czech resistance with this approach, and that’s why the Allies sent in a couple of Czech agents to get rid of him.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              And sometimes this is the kind of love you need.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I haven’t heard that song in years. I think the drummer is excellent.

                From the zombie-like behavior of those kids sitting around the stage, I guess this was in Germany.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Somebody in the comments section of that YouTube song noted that very zombie-like thing. Odd.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I just checked, and Golden Earring is a Dutch band, so I guess the kids are a bunch of Cheese-Heads. Close enough to Germans.

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    FYI, contained in this article is a pretty good takedown of Dennis Prager’s latest and lame “Love Trump no matter what” article. I think he bravely hit on the Jewish component of this as well:

    “We are not so different, you and I,” Prager might say to Democrats. His position, after all, is Always Trump, a demand to ignore every scandal and fumble for the greater good. In his column, Prager asks Republicans to “please report for duty.” He says: “I have concluded that there are a few reasons that explain conservatives who were Never-Trumpers during the election, and who remain anti-Trump today. The first and, by far, the greatest reason is this: They do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake.”

    If the survival of the United States hinges on the competence of the Trump administration, then the civil war is lost, I’m afraid. If, however, it hinges on a set of ideals and laws — which is what I have always understood Prager’s position to be — then there is no obligation to follow any man, and certainly not a man with malleable principles. And I’m sure if Trump were sending pallets of cash to Iran, Prager wouldn’t be insisting on this level of support for him, even if his tax plan were better than President Reagan’s.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      My view of any president is simple: support him when I think he’s right, and oppose him when I think he’s wrong. Naturally, as a conservative, I will rarely consider a Demagogue right — but Obama, for example, was right to launch the raid that got bin Laden (even if he did so reluctantly). I agree with a lot of what Trump has done, maybe even most of it. But not all.

  14. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    It is interesting that the head of an East European nation which spent decades under the thumb of the Soviet communists, is one of the few who will come out and state we have a Christian culture.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/austrian-wing-govt-welcomes-hungarys-orban-162849205.html

    He is fighting the secularist left i.e. everyone in government, in West Europe.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is a good part of why Orban is so unpopular in the synoptic media throughout America and (presumably) western Europe.

  15. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    More from Mr. Orban, that wonderful man who outlawed “Gender Studies” at Hungarian universities.

    Here are “5 Pillars” upon which he says Central Europe and the Carpathian Basin should stand on.

    1. All Central European countries have the right to protect their Christian culture, and to reject an EU imposed multiculturalism.

    2. All of these countries have the right to protect their traditional family model, all children should have the right to a mother and father.

    3. All countries have the right to protect the main sectors of their economies.

    4. All countries have the right to protect their borders and reject immigrants.

    5. All countries in the EU should have the right to follow the “one nation, one vote” principle.

    Orban says that “liberal Democracy has become an un-liberal Democracy. And “We Central Europeans maintain that their is a life after Globalization.

    What the man said would have been considered common sense just a few decades back. Now, it verges on heresy.

    Europe is looking for more Orbans.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The second part of #2 is a bit flawed. It’s fine as a goal, but no one can have a “right” to a father and mother. What happens when one of them dies, for example? Individual rights represent things government can’t do to you or take from you, not things you have a “right” to have. Who supplies them?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I do believe he was using no. 2 as a polemic against having two daddies or two mommies, as well as a statement against the rampant illegitimacy which condemns children to one-parent households and exposes them to poverty and violence from non-parent males.

        As such, I don’t have a problem with no. 2. Most slogans need to be pity. Clarifications can be made later if people ask questions.

  16. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    It has been confirmed that Islam is the official religion of the European Union.

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/defaming-muhammad-does-not-fall-under-purview-of-free-speech-european-court-rules

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, no, the religion is political correctness. But it’s true that Islam is of higher status than Christianity. And we all know why: offend Islam and you face violence (and maybe an oil embargo), offend Christianity and you don’t.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      On another forum a friend of mind (we’re debating religion) said “Fuck Jesus.” I told this open-minded diverse guy that he ought to try saying “Fuck Mohammed” amongst his liberal bubble pals and see just how the ground lays regarding things.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Your friend sounds like a mental midget. One who is easily swayed and influenced by the babbling of other idiots. Perfect for a leftist mob.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Mr. Kung, I don’t know why I engage. I do like to poke and prod the beast once in a while. Plus, it’s quite true that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. I think it’s important to make the case and to be shown to be making the case.

          And we should always remember to remove the plank in our own eye. We (royal “we”) are not so perfect. But there is a poisonousness and hatefulness to the Religion of Leftism that is very distasteful, far exceeding my own worst faults.

          And getting on the right side and banging on the keyboard in angst and earnest about how screwy the other side is isn’t much better. I caution all to tame one’s passions. As Harvey said, “Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.”

          I find that very hard to do. But it’s worthwhile to keep in mind. And it’s one reason I got rid of Facebook. It’s just so conducive to pointless bickering. There is a well-indoctrinated Progressive Left out there who are smug, self-righteous, hateful, and think they know it all.

          Well, I don’t know it all (although I can certainly be smug, but I try to pick my spots for effect). But I do know that there are poisonous ideologies out there. And there are those who think they are the height of “diversity” and compassion but — whether they realize this or not — are not on the side of the angels.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Brad,

            For mental health and moral reasons, it is always good to consider that we might, sometimes, be wrong. But that doesn’t always mean others are right. Sometimes our way of thinking might have to explore new ground.

            That being said, in the present political climate, I can see considerations of “right and wrong” becoming less important and those of “your side vs. my side” becoming paramount.

            We discussed this leading up to Trump’s election and I believe you agreed with me that Trump was the manifestation of something very bad happening in American politics. This sorry state was forced on the country by the immoral and corrupt actions of the left and D.C. elites which included RINOs and the bureaucracy.

            Where this will end up, I don’t know, but if one studies Bolshevik Russia, Nazi Germany, Mao’s China and other recent regimes, one will note that being moral and right counted for very little.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Tribalism has been a leftist tradition for some time, as we can see from the low votes for GOP SCOTUS nominees from Thomas on. Under the Black God the GOP began to respond in kind.

              It would be better if neither side were tribalist in their ethics. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible, and hasn’t been for 30 years. Two tribalists facing off against each other isn’t as good as no tribalism, but it’s better than one tribe against another “reasonable” side that always loses.

              Or it is if your side is the “reasonable” one, anyway.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Two tribalists facing off against each other isn’t as good as no tribalism, but it’s better than one tribe against another “reasonable” side that always loses.

                I have to agree with you.

                We are regressing to the old way of thinking and doing things. The West, particularly the USA and U.K., had a golden age during which we moved somewhat away from tribalism. I think that age is long gone.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Two tribalists facing off against each other isn’t as good as no tribalism, but it’s better than one tribe against another “reasonable” side that always loses.

                Let me chime in with Mr. Kung. That’s a good thought. I think that explains otherwise good and decent people reflexively siding with Trump.

                I don’t mind the practical aspect of it for the very reason you stated. But I was always bothered by the delusions and rationalizations people used to do so. I say just be honest: He’s a bum but he’s our bum.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              That being said, in the present political climate, I can see considerations of “right and wrong” becoming less important and those of “your side vs. my side” becoming paramount.

              This is why the metaphysics matter, Mr. Kung. It’s worth talking about God, for without God there is only opinion. Without the idea of (or acknowledgement of) objective values beyond mere party or passion, we are condemned only to “my side/your side”. And then it’s merely about who can shout (figuratively or literally) the loudest.

              I’m quite sure this is what I’m running into when there isn’t the barest attempt to engage the issues at hand. Mere soundbytes are shouted. Shibboleths and stereotypes are shouted. Reason, facts, and plain reasonableness are silent.

              Plus, when one is coming at an issue from a purely partisan point of view, one assumes that one’s opponent is doing the same. Therefore you assume your opponent is being just as narrow-minded and dishonest as you are and thus there is no point at all to engage an issue honestly or with the thought that there are more objective or higher principles that can be brought to bear.

              A university education used to be the means to expand the mind and to consider such thoughts. Not anymore. Now a university education instills closed-mindedness.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                An interesting point about one consequence of tribal thinking. This probably explains why leftists don’t actually discuss issues. And of course a regrettably accurate point about modern college miseducation.

                Incidentally, if people rely on shibboleths rather than God, you might have some fun pointing out that “shibboleth” comes from the story of Jephthah in the Book of Judges.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Of course, we all know why he won’t. His tolerant, skeptical friends would never accept mocking Mohammed as they do mocking Jesus or perhaps Moses. But even more so, he might attract attention from a deranged jihadist (if you’ll pardon the redundancy).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          “Tolerance” is highly selective indeed.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Here is a brief piece at TakiMag.com which seems to basically agree with my comments re Islam becoming the religion of the EU, plus many other humorous tidbits.

            http://takimag.com/article/the-week-that-perished-11/

            Taki is sometimes hilarious.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Sine-Aid is real good example of political mental illness. She hated the pope (JPII at the time, I think) and tore up his photo on SNL (I think it was). But the butcher, Mohammed, is good enough for her.

              I don’t mean to single out Sine-Aid. It would be a mistake to do so. Although she is an extreme case, she represents the baseline attitude indoctrinated into Western yutes for decades now. Many perhaps stay with Jesus (if they stay with religion at all). But Jesus then is turned into an almost unrecognizable thing, a la the current fraudulent pope.

              This stuff runs deep. Like I said, it’s easy to dismiss Sine-Aid as a kook (which she is). But this kind of stuff is sort of the new normal. People really do believe Islam is a religion of peace and that Christianity only ever has been an oppressor.

              Like I said, I can find it hard to believe in a benevolent god, but find it much easier to believe that there is a Satan guiding the lives of many into perdition.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                From the moment I saw her somewhere on TV, I thought Sine-Aid was a crackpot. But there was nothing unusual in that as the entertainment industry attracts and is full of crackpots.

                The dangerous thing is that with modern social media, the whole world is becoming the entertainment industry and the crackpots are multiplying at an exponential rate. Even worse, they are listened to by tens of millions.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I remember someone showing the “fight the real enemy” scene. I’ve never seen her perform, and evidently haven’t missed anything. I know her most from Pat McCray’s cultural parody, Elvis Shrugged, which has a lot of fun with various actual characters (“These directions are as useless as a sense of humor at a NOW convention.”) — including Frank Sinatra in the role of Hank Rearden.

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    the whole world is becoming the entertainment industry

    Really, a profound thought, Mr. Kung. I’m not sure if it’s more –

    + Prager-like

    + Beck-like

    + Steyn-like

    Or maybe I’ll just have to put this one down to being ahead of the curve yet again and being Kung-like. We could do a whole symposium on the implications of the entertainment culture.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I don’t know. There are limits on what I can stomach all at once. I’ve gotten a bit squeamish physically in my old age. It did help me lose a good bit of weight when I was heaving a lot some months ago. On the other hand, I doubt I’ll ever get my laptop fully cleaned off. This may even be why the left and right clickers don’t work anymore. Fortunately I found a workaround for the former, or I wouldn’t be able to do anything on the computer.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I would like Steyn and Prager to be at that symposium. Not so much Beck. Make sure there is plenty of coffee as the discussions could go on late into the night.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        You veto power is implicit in being this site’s only living StubbornFellow.

        The more I think about “What’s wrong with this culture?” the more I also realize the truth of the Kungian rule which (appropriately) harkens back to Ecclesiastes 1:9:

        What has been will be again,
        what has been done will be done again;
        there is nothing new under the sun.

        Granted, an idea like this shouldn’t be taken too literally. At least on our earth, the microprocessor is something new under the sun. There are plenty of things new under the sun. What is old is perhaps the central issue here that made itself abundantly obvious in the Roman Coliseum: the mob demands to be entertained, screw morality.

        One could also say “The highest morality is ending my boredom.” I would also assert that the more people fall into the expectation of being entertained, the more hollowed out they become and thus the more easily they become bored. Think of the drug addict who, we must confess, does experience a tremendous high when on his drug of choice. But when he comes down, normal life can become intolerable. He may have taken the drug initially to escape pain (or perhaps even boredom), but the drug takes over bodily and the addiction becomes physical and mental.

        I won’t say that smart phones, video games, and social media are quite that bad. But they do have an obvious tilt toward a drug-like addiction. Certainly I think boredom is more easily induced in those who become acclimated to (addicted to?) never-ending small stimuli.

        You’ll surely note that I love watching movies and reading books. I do like to be entertained. But you’ll also surely note that I’m a harsh critique of these things. And this criticism is almost never in terms of whether the special effects are good enough or there wasn’t enough blood, sex, or car crashes, etc. It’s regarding, ultimately and specifically, whether there is enough meaning and depth to these things. It’s never a measure of how well I’ve been distracted.

        So already I’m out of sync with 90% of the culture (and the other 5% remaining are just pretentious, aesthetic-signaling snobs).

        Look at your typical American church. It is now geared toward entertainment, obsessing on the quality of their sound system and big presentation audio-visuals. To some extent, the ministers are doing a form of stand-up. The mob are not to be actually challenged. They are to be placated and coddled. The same in schools. Yes, part of this stems from the racism of non-whites who view holding their children to standards to be “racism,” so teachers let things slide and the emphasis turns to fluffy subjects and feelings. But I believe much of this dumbing-down of the system is the heavy expectation of being entertained. And if you visit any elementary school these days, you’ll see how much they are affected by the entertainment expectation.

        What is news now but entertainment? The Daily Drama is but the trivialization of important issues as one tribe bashes the other like a workout at the gym with a punching bag.

        Maybe this is behind my inherent affinity for John Adams. He had such a distaste for the mob, he defended the British soldiers at the so-called “Boston Massacre” — and won.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Granted, an idea like this shouldn’t be taken too literally. At least on our earth, the microprocessor is something new under the sun. There are plenty of things new under the sun. What is old is perhaps the central issue here that made itself abundantly obvious in the Roman Coliseum: the mob demands to be entertained, screw morality.

          Your comment illustrates why I am not one who claims “history repeats itself.” That idea is false because while human nature remains the same, other specifics can and do change all the time. To learn from history one must try and understand what happened in specific situations and apply such lessons to a variety of possible future situations, which may appear likely to come about. Sounds easy, but isn’t.

          It is a huge subject. Life is complicated.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Mr. Kung, you sound like someone who knows the utility of an analogy but also its limitations. This is rare, in my opinion. Not just blowing smoke up your butt. It’s just rare.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Thanks. I find analogies are best used to get people focused on a general idea. Once that occurs, you can go into more detail.

              Of course, analogies can also be used to move mobs in the direction one wishes.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Incidentally, today is John Adams’s birthday, as noted in a historical facts update I receive daily. They also select a few quotes from someone, usually born that day, and today’s choice was Adams. They concluded with his “facts are stubborn things” quote, so I’ve been thinking about a good place to mention it.

          My high school American history text took your stance on Adams defending the British soldiers, contrasting his stance with that of his cousin Samuel the sometime brewer. But as it happens, John discussed the matter with Samuel, who agreed that they should get a good defense.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Woo hoo! I did not know that it was Mr. Adams’ birthday. Here’s another good quote from one of most non-namby-pamby presidents:

            Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.

            However, speaking of the ills of the entertainment culture, I don’t agree with this quote from him:

            We ought to consider what is the end of government, before we determine which is the best form. Upon this point all speculative politicians will agree, that the happiness of society is the end of government, as all Divines and moral Philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of man. From this principle it will follow, that the form of government which communicates ease, comfort, security, or, in one word, happiness, to the greatest number of persons, and in the greatest degree, is the best.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              That second quote sounds like the somewhat disagreeable Utilitarian John Stuart Mill. It is either not well thought out or it is diabolical.

              I am pretty sure that the greatest number of Muslims would be happiest eradicating the Jews. Or the greatest number of Communists were quite happy getting rid of the Capitalists. One can’t make an omelet without breaking a few egg shells. And that omelet is what will make me happy, so I want it.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              That first one, though not in such a long form, also made it into the list of quotes — maybe as a pair of entries, though not including the last sentence or two. KFZ may be right about the second quote, which I don’t recall seeing in anything about Adams (and I’ve read at least one biography of him, as well as one of his cousin the occasional brewer and frequent rabble-rouser).

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