Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picking a Winner

I don't have much to say about Okenya's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for SCOTUS, except that I'm unsurprised. A president who has nothing but contempt for the U.S. Constitution has chosen a person who has nothing but contempt for the U.S. Constitution as a Supreme Court judge. Next news at 11:00.

And don't let anyone kid you: That she's female, Hispanic, and leans left are the sole reasons that you've ever heard of Sonia Sotomayor.


It seems our beloved Ms. Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, according to the American Bar Association. This is like discovering that Clarence Thomas is a Black Panther, or that John Roberts is a Klansman.

It speaks volumes about Obama that he has nominated a woman who supports unfettered legal and illegal immigration, as well as the consumption of America's southwest into Mexico.

We're now quite literally tolerating traitors in our midst, in positions of high office.

A Recipe for Perpetual Failure

The conservative vs. moderate split threatening to rupture the Republican Party played out across the airwaves Sunday, with Colin Powell and Tom Ridge denouncing shrill and judgmental voices they say are steering the GOP too far right. Karl Rove challenged Powell lay out his vision and "back it up" by helping elect Republicans.

At stake is the GOP's status as a major party, Powell and Ridge suggested.

Yes, let's "stay the course" in the middle of the road, or perhaps swing left, because it has worked so well for the GOP. Here's what ignoring the party base (those dreaded right-wingers) did for the Republican Party:

1. Lost the 2008 presidential election.

2. Lost both houses of Congress in 2006 and 2008.

3. Created a trend of declining polling numbers for Bush before he left office.

4. Won two presidential elections by narrow margins, in which the Republican candidate faced weak opponents.

5. Ushered in some of the worst fiscal irresponsibility and creeping government power in U.S. history.

6. Ensured that our national borders remained insecure, and that criminal aliens went unpunished.

What a winning combination. By the way, a man who voted for Obama for no other discernible reason than his skin color is the last person to whom Republicans should be listening for advice on keeping the Party relevant. As for Ridge, the man's spineless; he's more concerned about not rocking the boat than anything else.

"If we don't reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on the base," Powell said.

Powell seems unaware that the people who outrage him so are the party base. This is not leadership. This is cluelessness. And as long as Republicans in high positions keep ignoring or belittling their base, they can expect to continue losing elections even as they slip further and further into insignificance.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Atheist Objections Part I


Someone called "Travis" emailed Vox Day with five points made by atheists that he finds convincing enough to urge him on the dead man's walk toward agnosticism. Vox intends to respond to all his points; and I thought to myself: "Heck, why don't you give it a shot, as well?"

So here we are. Pull up a chair and sit a spell.

Let me begin by saying that hundreds if not thousands of Christians over a period of centuries have addressed and answered each of Travis' enumerated points -- satisfactorily, by my lights.
If you find yourself wondering why people still wake these assertions, despite copious writings putting them to rest, the answer is simple:

That is not dead which can eternal lie
Till aroused by he who spits in God's eye.

In other words, in a siege against the battlements of unbelief, the ballistae and mangonels and trebuchets of reason and elaboration may pockmark the very keep itself, but they cannot bring it to earth.

I question the good faith of these points -- for their old - hat aspect, as well as their evidence - free assertiveness. I don't find them trying of my faith in the least, and I suspect that only one unacquainted with -- or uninterested in -- the Christian body of apologetics could become distressed by this effort.

I'll quote the first proposition, followed by my comments:

1. Biblical Ethics are below par at best. The Christian must believe in objective morality, for God is the source of morality. If God is the source of objective morality why do we see ethical commands justifying rape and the harsh treatment of foreign slaves? If Biblical ethics is the objective standard than Wilberforce was a sinner for trying to eliminate slavery, for the Bible certainly does not decree the abolition of slavery? If we take a progressive approach to scripture we all could still certainly agree that the movement toward a better ethical system could have certainly moved faster.

Sam Harris brings this up in "Letter to a Christian Nation"

I agree with the notion of objective morality, with God as its source. However, the idea that biblical ethics are "below par" is a naked assertion, as it stands unsupported by the rest of his commentary. First, Travis assumes that an objective standard for judging biblical ethics exists, that he is conversant with this standard, and that the Holy Bible fails in living up to its lofty heights. Alas, he nowhere demonstrates this assumed truth in his discourse, nor does he reveal whence he derived The Ultimate Ethical Standard. The sole proper examination of biblical ethics entails comparison/contrast with the unbiblical societies surrounding the purveyors of God's Word at the time in which scriptural authorship occurred. Anything less is an unfair and incomplete assessment. So when we delve into that cultural mire, what do we find? Child sacrifice, chattel slavery, demon and idol worship, wanton violence, necromancy, witchcraft, astrology, and on and on in a veritable litany of horrors. Life came cheap and miserable.

Biblical ethics changed all that. They elevated the status and worth of women; put a higher value on human lives as personages created in God's image; and called the highest goods loving the one true God with all of one's being, and loving one's neighbor as oneself. From personal hygiene to sexual relationships, from the treatment of animals to stewardship of our planet, biblical ethics existed -- and exist -- on a higher plain, unreachable by the godless or devil - haunted ethics of contemporary pagan societies. So needless to say, I find the concept of kicking back in one's easy chair and expressing dissatisfaction with God's ethics an exercise in hubris, in a civilization whose comforts derived from the ethical foundation under attack.

Next, the issue of slavery. Bondservanthood under the Jews was unlike slavery experienced by blacks during the trans-Atlantic slave trade era. Think indentured servitude, rather than being worked to death in a cotton field under an overseer's whip. Regardless, the biblical ethic explicated better treatment of slaves or servants than in times before. In an age when slaves toiled until they dropped, with their corpses rolled unceremoniously into a ditch or shallow grave when they expired, the biblical ethic was a giant leap forward. As for the harsh treatment of foreign slaves, many got their just desserts; their bondage came as God's judgment of the sin of infanticide. One item that cannot be overstressed is this: biblical context is important. When you pay attention, you learn more than the what; you also uncover the why. If Travis believes that all forms of involuntary servitude are immoral, no matter the reason for that state, then it behooves him to explain his position, rather than accepting it as self-evident. If a man incurs catastrophic debt and refuses repayment, I see no evil in making him the servant of his creditors until he makes good the debt he owes. It's called justice. By the way, it does not follow that Wilberforce was a sinner for attempting the abolition of an institution that ignored biblical regulations against the mistreatment of slaves. I see no scriptural conflict with his admirable and righteous cause.

Regarding rape, I see no justification for it in the Bible. What I do see is condemnation and punishment for the act. See Deuteronomy 22. Would that Travis had proffered evidence of the sunny view scripture takes of ravishing the maidens fair.

When Travis talks about moving toward a better ethical system at a faster pace, I assume he means that God should've delivered the goods via bullet-train. This is another glimpse of his arbitrary ethical standard, rearing its cloistered head for but a moment, before he pummels it back behind its boudoir's secure doors. How much faster? What is the proper speed? Will 186,000 mps do the trick? He forgets that God passed his standards to certain segments of humanity, then charged them with the task of sharing his morals with the world - at - large. That's what the Bible is all about. Remember, it was humanity's rebellion against God in the beginning that required the tortuous process that Travis finds so unsatisfying and glacially slow.

The blame lies with fallen humanity, not God.

God has shown us His grace -- we who are unworthy of his loving kindness. Critically judging and rejecting his timing is not just biting the hand that feeds.

It's spurning the hand that saves.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Help Me, Y'all

I'd like to get in touch with our friend Triton, from Triton Unleashed. If you have his email address, and if it's OK with him, let me know, so I can drop him a line.

Thanks in advance, guys.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

All Is Vannity

I was listening to Sean Vannity's radio program a few days ago, just passing the time as I waited for my wife to do some shopping.

A man called in and mentioned Vannity's persistent attacks on Okenya for his multitudinous verbal gaffes. He asked Vannity where he was for the past eight years of Duhbya's misstatements, misunderestimations, and malapropisms.

I'm assuming the caller was a supporter of Our Savior from the Serengeti; regardless, his question was a legitimate one.

Here's where the situation became problematic. Rather than answering the question with an explanation of his seeming hypocrisy, Vannity instead launched into a paean of praise for Bush's leadership qualities, calling them "second to none." I suppose this meant that if Bush stood in comparison with someone with zero leadership skills, our illustrious former president would come in second place.

Anyhow, when Vannity had finished Vannitizing the caller, the inquiry remained unanswered.

Such evasions supply the reason why a growing number of conservatives and libertarians consider Vannity a partisan hack. When faced with his own double standard, he blows smoke and breaks out the mirrors; forget providing a specific refutation of a pointed charge.

This is inappropriate behavior for someone who portrays himself as a leader in the conservative vanguard. In fact, his actions paint him as a party animal, first and foremost.

Look at Vannity's recent record: First, let's start with Duhbya. He has a love-affair with Señor Bushandez, the man who dons a sombrero and clicks his castanets every time the immigration issue arises. His response to the American people's disapproval? Try something along the lines of "Olé!" He never met a spending bill he didn't want to take home to momma; he presided over enlarging the federal government's scope and power; and he thought the home mortgage and subsequent bailout scam was a delightful joke on the populace. None of this is conservative in nature, yet Vannity considers Bush's leadership "second to none."

Vannity also endorsed Tooty Frooty Giuliani for president -- you remember, the philandering, pump-wearing, queen-loving metrosexual from New Yuck.

Worse, he dismissed Ron Paul in a post-debate interview, treating him as an eccentric kook. This is a rather odd tack for a self-proclaimed conservative, since Paul comes closer to the conservative ideal than anyone else who ran on the GOP ticket.

All of the above indicates one who puts party loyalty above principled conservatism. It also implies that his oath of fealty primarily lies with the party's "neoconservative" elements; think less "conservative" and more "con."

Vannity's attitude of "party first -- everything else is just gravy" may sound great to some Republicans, but I don't see how it's a boon for the country, or a manifestation of true conservatism.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Exorcise the Demonrats-at-Heart

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, one of a few remaining GOP moderates in the Senate, called Specter's decision another sign that the Republican Party needs to move toward the center."

Ultimately, we're heading to having the smallest political tent in history, the way events have been unfolding," she said. "If the Republican Party fully intends to become a majority party in the future, it must move from the far right back toward the middle."

Our Founders envisioned a Senate peopled by older men who already had made their fortunes in life and gained the wisdom that comes with age and experience. They hoped for an august body of those who surpassed the general populace in morality and discernment. Those with "horse-sense," if you will. But somehow we managed to rope ourselves a whole herd of foolish, braying jackasses -- people who have less circumspection or ethical insight than the average fast-food worker or housewife.

Case-in-point: the bubblehead above, Ms. Snowe. The party needs to move to the center, because a liberal fled its ranks? Can anyone follow her non sequitur logic? "Far-right?" Is she hanging out with Cheech and Chong? When in the past twenty years has the GOP done anything properly classifiable as "far-right?" Oh, she must mean the proper care and feeding of Big Brother: skyrocketing spending increases, massive federal intrusion into private life, porous borders, a "War for the Glorious Democracies of Shariastan," and socializing various industries, such as the home loan organizations. You know, typical "far-right" tactics. Not to mention the sparse ground gained in fighting homosexual redefinitions of marriage, and abortion. Ms. Snowe wouldn't know a representative of the "far-right," if he strolled up and crammed a Gadsden Flag down her throat.

Rather than "far-right," let's call it true: Democrat-lite.

I'm sure you're familiar with Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result, each time. Ms. Snowe's living out that little equation. After all, being the "big-tent" party has worked so well for the GOP thus far, we'd be crazy to forego expanding it into a full six-ring circus. Barnum and Bailey would be proud.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, head of the Democratic campaign committee, called the development "proof positive that the Republican Party is so out of touch with Americans that they're losing one of its most prominent leaders."

Another senatorial sage weighs in. I can think of no better way of replenishing the GOP than listening to opposition advice. He's right that the GOP is out of touch, but not for any reason he might imagine. Specter used the Republican Party platform as a diving board into the Demonrat pool. Gosh, I'm gonna miss him.

Specter's betrayal is the culmination of a career of knifing others in the back. The GOP is a better party for his absence. Now it's time to clean house: take out all the garbage. People like Snowe should be driven from the Party, if they won't leave on their own accord. I'm sure the Jackasses will make room for them in their big tent. They'll never turn away one of their own.

Just watch where you step.

Adding insult to injury, Specter grew animated as he blamed conservatives for helping deliver control of the Senate to Democrats in 2006, a result he said made it impossible to confirm numerous judicial appointees of Bush.

"They don't make any bones about their willingness to lose the general election if they can purify the party. I don't understand it, but that's what they said," he added.

Whew! Good thing they didn't make that mistake when they helped you win reelection.

Monday, May 4, 2009

"We'll Not Give Up the Ghost!"

Sometimes, it's fun to rub people's noses in a big, steaming pile of I Told You So.

Nearly five years ago, I said this about Bush endorsing and campaigning for Arlen Specter against his more conservative GOP opponent (Pat Toomey) in his Senate campaign:

For the staunch Republicans out there, here's a question to ponder: If Bush is a conservative, and if he has the nation's best interests at heart, why in the world would he vehemently fight against someone who is pro-life, while championing someone who diametrically is opposed to doing away with abortion?

In the comments section, I added this:

Perhaps Toomey would've made a much better showing, though, if Bush had publicly campaigned for him. My problem with this--& other situations like it--is that it seems the Republicans almost always put pragmatism (keeping the party in power) ahead of principle. This bothers me to no end.

Furthermore, why is keeping a Republican in power important, if he's the sort who will stonewall and be a burr under his own party's saddle?

I was told that backing Specter was needed for the simple reason that Toomey had no chance of winning, among other issues. Yet all was for naught, because Specter ghosted away to the Demonrat Party last Tuesday.

So I hope those who defended Bush, et. al.'s actions are proud of themselves. You went to bat for those who gave us not just a Demonrat in temperament, but a Demonrat in literal fact. It's a perfect example of pragmatism over principle backfiring and blowing up in your faces, and it comes as no surprise at all.

Go, team, go!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Twilight of Okenya

Two weeks before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security penned its controversial report warning against "right-wing extremists" in the United States, it generated a memo defining dozens of additional groups – animal rights activists, black separatists, tax protesters, even worshippers of the Norse god Odin – as potential "threats."

Fools! Dost thou stoke the flames of Odin's wrath? Woe unto thee, for he shall stalk from the halls of Valhalla and clamber o'er the walls of Asgard, descending with your dooms upon his smiling lips! Quail before his mighty hand! Thou hast reaped thine own personal Ragnarok from a field of folly!

And when he fells thee and spurns thy cloven carcasses, the Choosers of the Slain shall sweep in and spit into the vacant eyes and wipe their feet upon the useless clay, even as thy souls are cast gibbering into the bowels of Nifelhel -- there to stumble through the mists of thine own idiocy for an eternity of eternities!

Thus spake Snorri Snorersson, Harbinger of the Valkyries and Caretaker of Odin's Chamber-pot!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spectral Morality

I'm sure you've heard that Arlen Specter has abandoned Sauron and dived into the willing embrace of Morgoth. (For those who snub Tolkien, It's like disassociating oneself from Stalin to spoon with Satan). In other words, he left the Repugnicruds and joined the Demonrats.

Philosophically speaking, this poses no long-term problem for the GOP, since Specter's loyalty to the party platform is as genuine as an abortion doctor's to the Hippocratic Oath. He's the quintessential RINO; it's logical that he's now coming out, as it were, and revealing his true self. Let's face it: losing a big-government liberal from one's ranks is never a bad thing.

But his Benedict Arnold approach to politics indicates a man of less-than-sterling character. How many people voted for him--at least in part--because he was a Republican? This brand of party loyalty sounds silly to those of us who believe principle trumps the letter after one's name, but we know that a significant percentage of voters cast their votes according to political affiliation, however misplaced such dedication seems.

Specter's "switch" is the political equivalent of giving those people the finger. His attitude may be summed up thusly: "I don't care if you idiots voted for me because I was a Republican. I don't care if you would have withheld your vote and given it to someone else, had you known that I would later turn to the Democrat side. I don't care if you would have shunned me, if I had been a Democrat in the beginning. I have your vote, and I've put it toward obtaining and retaining power. Thanks, suckers."

His decision leads us to this inevitable conclusion; such a dishonest tack is far removed from constitutional notions of representative government. Imagine Samuel Adams' disgust with this brand of turncoat politics.

Other possibilities for Specter existed--stepping down from his position, or waiting until the next election cycle to disengage from the GOP, becoming an Independent, etc. All would have stood as more honorable measures than abandonment of his consituents mid-term. But hoping for common decency and integrity from those devoted to power above all else is a pipe dream.

In further confirmation of his righteous Messiahship, Okenya said he was "thrilled" with Specter's decision to jump ship. "Thrilled?" Really? You're ecstatic that Specter betrayed the voters and created an unfair advantage for the Jackass Party by subverting the people's will?

Mr. President, when conservatives and libertarians classify you as evil and power-hungry, remember how this situation exemplifies and confirms their belief.