With all due respect to Mr. Klavan, the public figure that Bernie Sanders most reminds me of is Pope Francis:
1.Both are socialists with very little work experience in the private sector.
2.Both are popular on college campuses with kids who have very little experience of life.
3.Both are in favor of extremist environmental policies while decrying the lack of job opportunities.
4.Both seem to believe that governments can endlessly conjure wealth out of thin air.
5.Both enjoy great press at The National Catholic Reporter. Continue reading
Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge. Many politicians deceive people with false promises to win election. With Trump, he tells his followers, if they would only listen, that he is feeding them a line of hooey that he has no intention of carrying out if elected.
Andrew Klavan’s beloved dog is dying and he springboards that sad fact for a powerful meditation on a media that mourns a dead lion while attempting to conceal the deeds of
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc., that traffics in the body parts of some of its victims:
Narcissism should not be confused with self love, no matter what the dictionary tells you. Narcissism grows out of a sense that the self is fragile, that it will shatter in the presence of hostility or even bland contradiction. True love of self, used wisely, is a virtue. True love of self is the school of our affections. The Gospels tell us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves because it’s in true self love that we first learn forbearance, tolerance and kindness to someone very dear to us. With true love of self as a guide, our love for our pets can be a perfect training ground for a love of others.
In this, the love of animals is very like another kind of love: the love of a mother for her baby. That love, too, has a measure of narcissism in it. That love too attaches itself at first to a creature with no inner consciousness of its own.
But a good mother knows that people don’t just live in space, they live in time as well. (This is the great point Peter Singer misses, by the way.) You are not just who you are, but also who you’ve been and who you will be. Likewise, a fetus is not just the creature it is, it is also the child it will become, and likewise the child is the adult it will grow into. A mother who lets the love for her baby grow as the baby grows, who learns to release her child into its own consciousness and yet loves it still even on into adulthood — she is the nearest exemplar to the gospel commandment we have this side of heaven. That’s why — no matter how many female soccer stars and talk show hosts and corrupt senators the media hold up for our veneration — the Good Mother remains our chief human image of love, sacrifice and virtue.
Narcissism or the golden rule; Cecil the lion or America’s murdered babies; to dance round the golden calf of our own egos or to worship in the temple of true love. In the media these last couple of weeks, we’ve seen what choice the powers-that-be would have us make. Let’s make another. Continue reading
THEY’RE NOT SCIENCE DENIERS, THEY’RE SCIENCE FAKERS: What is it about progressives and their manipulation of scientific data? It’s not just
global warming climate change; now it’s social science on gay marriage.
According to the study, people from communities hostile to gay marriage could have their opinions shift dramatically after spending just a few minutes speaking with a gay person who canvassed their neighborhood promoting gay marriage. . . .
The study, among other things, lent support to the notion that those opposed to gay marriage simply don’t know or interact with open homosexuals. More broadly, it was seen as an important development in the science of how people can be convinced to change their minds on ideologically-charged issues.The study began to fall apart when students at the University of California at Berkeley sought to conduct additional research building off of it, only to find major irregularities in how its research was apparently conducted. . . .
Donald Green, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the paper, made the decision to retract it after having a confrontation with co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA. While LaCour maintained that he hadn’t fabricated the data, he was also unable to produce the original source files supposedly used to produce it. When he failed to write-up a retraction, Green took the initiative and did so himself.
As in most abusive relationships between adults, the abuser is the chief villain while the abused shows a severe deficit of common sense. That basically sums up American history since 2008.
A nice spoof by Andrew Klavan of the demonization of white Christian men that seems to be an essential feature of the contemporary left in this country. What was started by the Founding Fathers, as pointed out by Lincoln in the stirring quote below, was to free us from looking at people as groups instead of as what we truly are: children of a loving God who endowed each of us with unalienable rights:
These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858
The absolute worst I have ever been treated, the worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, are by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.
Justice Clarence Thomas
A popular tactic on the left today, and for the past several decades in this country for that matter, is to strong arm adversaries and shout them down. Faithful readers of this blog will recall the “feminist studies” professor Miller-Young who went berserk when confronted with a group of young pro-life women peacefully presenting information on abortion at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Go here, here and here to read about it. The following is an account by one of the pro-lifers present, Mairead McArdle, a student at Saint Thomas Aquinas College:
When the incident began I was using the sign in the “free-speech zone” to start conversations with people passing by. I began a calm, rational conversation with Professor Young, asking her what her thoughts were on our position and our sign.
Each time I tried to speak to Miller-Young, she would interrupt to yell at me. I also talked to at least three of the students who had gathered around. Because the situation was already hostile, however, and they threw insults me. Continue reading
When someone tells you the debate is over, that is usually a good sign that it hasn’t even begun.
Fine Klavan, just so long as it doesn’t involve beating on drums and eating half done steaks prepared by other men! My sainted Mother, and what a formidable lady she was, had an interesting response to feminism: “Why on Earth would I want to lower myself to equality with men!”
Andrew Klavan, the mystery writer and humorist I have often quoted on this blog, is a big fan of the Pope:
Pope Benedict, as I’ve said before, is the Last European, by which I mean the last great man and mind who fully comprehends the beautiful but now dying culture that produced him. It’s appalling to me–though not surprising–that the only thing the mainstream media ever covers about him is how often he apologizes for the abuses of some priests or how politically incorrect his view of gay people is or whatever. I have now read a good selection of his writings and when the work of Foucault and Derridas and de Man and the rest of that benighted lot has toddled off to the obscurity it so dearly deserves, Benedict’s writings will stand. They may be the final flares of genius to fly up from the continent he loves before darkness closes over it.
I’m not a Catholic. My views on authority and sexual morality are too individualistic. But when I see the level of thought coming out of Anglicanism – especially the low and despicable crypto anti-semitism in the cowardly guise of anti-Zionism – and then read the grace-filled, spirit-inspired work of Big Ben, well, I’m embarrassed.
B-16′s greatness doesn’t lie in his papacy. Or that is, if it does, I wouldn’t know. It’s his writing, his theology, his thought that elevate him in my mind. When I was but a youngish dude, pounding my way through the great works, it seemed to me that the wisdom of many of the great German thinkers of the 18th and 19th centuries had been thrown aside for no good reason. Kant and Hegel had philosophically rescued the essence of Christianity for the scientific age, and had been ultimately left behind by mainstream thinkers not because they were wrong, but because they were just sort of out of keeping with the atheistic spirit of the day.
As Nietzsche understood, that God-is-dead zeitgeist would perforce lead to moral relativism. And so it has. But Ratzinger, shrugging off the zeitgeist like the cheap suit it is, humbly went on tilling the Kantian and Hegelian fields, making his way back not just to the essentials of Christianity but to the sacred person of Christ himself. Continue reading
Andrew Klavan writes a column and notes reasons for optimism in our winter of discontent:
1. Fracking. As I’ve said before, Obama and the EPA will ultimately be splatter on the windshield of this progress. There’s energy in them thar hills and eventually we’re going to get at it, whether these luddite environmental knuckleheads like it or not. That means wealth, energy independence, jobs, power and a reboot of Dallas. Obama may be choosing decline, but the rest of the country may well choose prosperity and growth in spite of him.
2. Federalism. Around the country, conservative governors are taking action that could galvanize reform nationwide. Right-to-work laws, state budget cuts, reduced property taxes and creative approaches to education. As prosperity follows these practices — and abandons California and Illinois and other lagging states — they will gain credence with the general population and make political stars of the governors who supported them.
3. Reality is on our side. When I call Obama a reactionary, what I mean is that he adheres to a grievance-based socialist ideology he learned in college from professors who were probably old even then. As these academics die and go to hell for all eternity, up-and-comers may begin to notice that the poor suffer under left-wing programs and rise under the free market, that education improves under conservative guidance and gets worse under liberals, and that big business actually gets more entrenched and powerful under the left while the right helps the little guy thrive. That, after all, will be the off-beat, radical position, and academics love to be off-beat and radical as long as everyone around them is being off-beat and radical too. A new generation is already on the rise that understands entitlements are unsustainable and that freedom works. It won’t be long at all before we begin to hear their voices in the mainstream. I hope. Continue reading
Ah the next four years are going to be so enjoyable. When it comes to crony capitalism Adam Smith said it well:
“The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order [that is, ‘those who live by profit’], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”
Milton Friedman was eloquent on the subject of government supporting private enterprises:
Andrew Klavan at City Journal explains how the media creation Obama ended with the debate this week:
The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment. Now, with the White House on the line, they’re waging an ongoing battle against the undeniable evidence that he has never been, in fact, that man. The result in these quadrennial autumn days has been media coverage of a fantasy election, an election in the news that may bear no relation whatsoever to the election as it is. Polls consistently skewed to favor Democrats in percentages beyond any reasonable construct of reality have left us virtually ignorant of the state of the race. Orchestrated frenzies over alleged gaffes by Mitt Romney have camouflaged an imploding Obama foreign policy, an Obama economy threatened by a new recession, and an Obama campaign filled with vicious personal attacks and lies.
Governor Romney’s unprecedented dismantling of the president in their first debate—an encounter so one-sided it reminded me of the famous cartoon in which Godzilla meets Bambi, with predictable results—was surprising only for Romney’s warmth and clarity. Obama’s hapless fumbling, bad temper, and inarticulate inability to defend his record were actually thoroughly predictable. They were simply facets of the man as he truly is, unfiltered by the imagination of his media supporters: a man who has succeeded, really, at almost nothing but the winning of elections; a man who cannot distinguish between his ideology and life; a man who does not seem to know how the machinery of the world actually works.
Fantasy is a powerful thing, but reality will out. Perhaps by Election Day, the public will have awakened from the media’s dream. Continue reading