Dreams and Dragons

 

Headlines daily declare man’s beastly behavior. Here are just a few of today’s headlines:

From the AP: “Indictment: Woman poured toilet water in roommate’s drink”

From ABC News: “Husband who had blamed cold medicine pleads guilty to killing his wife, stabbing her 123 times”

From Chicago Sun Times: “Saturday shootings kill 2-year-old boy, wound 8 other people”

And, “Man, 36, shot during argument in South Austin”

And, “2-year-old toddler dead, 18-year-old wounded in Hermosa shooting”

 

Going back in history, a Babylonian Times headline might have read:

“King Nebuchadnezzar Loses Mind, Lives with Beasts of the Field”

King lives like wild animals, eats grass like the ox

Nebuchadnezzar – William Blake

 

We read in Daniel chapter 4 of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and of Daniel’s God-revealed interpretation of the dream. We find out that the king, depicted as an enormous tree in the dream, has grown in pride and presumption and power over many. He will be cut down. We further learn that the king will become beast-like until he acknowledges God as sovereign. Those who walk in pride God is able to humble (Daniel 4:37).

In Daniel 7 we read of Daniel’s dream. In his vision he sees four great beasts. Daniel is able to describe them in detail. There are disturbing images of the earth’s rulers as terrifying unearthly monsters. These beasts rule over four kingdoms.

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

Daniel goes on to describe a protruding animal-like horn: “This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.” He then describes heaven’s court room where thrones are set up and books are opened and where the Ancient of Day presides. And where a human figure comes into the vision:

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7: 13-14 (emphasis mine)

Take note. A “son of man” designation is another way of saying a human. Ezekiel the prophet used this form of address (93 times) to remind Israel of their place: that they are not God but mere humans accountable to God.

In apocalyptic literature, Daniel is called a son of man, a human, in chapter 8 vs.15-17.

While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man.
And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”

Where am I going with all this talk of beasts and kings and kingdoms and humans? To stop the presses. This will require an explanation.

The “Son of Man” title is used by Jesus throughout the Gospels. Mark records the title 12 times in his account. What we are to understand when Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man? That Jesus represents the human that God intended when he created the universe.

To clarify his ministry of redeeming fallen and often beastly humanity, Jesus, the Real Human, talked about servanthood and sacrifice and about his relationship with the Father. He talked about justice, and about the means to nourish the true human in each of us: “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

 “…and just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

And He said to him [Nathanael], “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:51

“For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27

So, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. John 6:53

You see, only a True Human – the Son of Man and Last Adam – who has been given all authority in heaven and earth, can redeem and restore humanity from its “red in tooth and claw” ways and from its beastly rulers. And, that reminds me.

C.S. Lewis, in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, describes the agonizing redemption process the boy Eustace Clarence Scrubb goes through after Eustace became less than human. Eustace was selfish, whiny and cruel. Such a boy had turned into a beast – a dragon.

With Eustace’s permission, the lion Aslan claws off Eustace’s think scaly dragon skin until Eustace’s humanness is uncovered. The de-scaling has left Eustace raw and in a lot of pain. Aslan provides him a cool bath to recover in.

You see, being Son of Man human is the destiny of the sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. We will be like him when we see him as he is (1 John 3:2).

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. Revelation. 1:12

 

Roll the presses: “Dragon Skin Found Among the Ruins”

The Final Protest

 

The whole world is watching” was a chant by antiwar demonstrators outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel the evening of August 28 during the 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago

-Wikipedia

“Prologue, August 29, 1968”

 

If you lived through the 60s as I have you will remember the numerous protests across the nation. If you lived in Chicago during that time you will remember the local newscasts showing nuclear armament protests, civil rights protests and antiwar protests. At the time of the DNC Convention in August of 1968 downtown Chicago was flooded with protestors. The violent confrontations between anti-war protestors and the police and the responses of Mayor Richard J. Daley were shown on our family’s black and white with rabbit ears every night.

The national and local protests appeared to me, a teenager, to be a release of anger, frustration, hatred and anarchy. The protests, in a way, looked familiar. They appeared to a be a rebellious teenager’s emotional response to the authority in his life.

The signs, the shouts, the shoves and the protest songs were captured on tape for the whole world to watch and to listen. I said all you got to do is listen. Ironically, as witnessed in Chicago, many antiwar protests turned violent, as protestors incited a civil unrest to make their point about wanting peace in our time.

Protests have been around since day one. And many if not most of those protests focused fault for an objectionable situation away from the protesting party and outward onto a larger amorphous party – The Man. The Man is typically God or government or a boss or “the system”.  Any authority figure can be in the index finger’s protest sights. Here’s Adam (the man) protesting God (The Man) questioning him (the man):

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3: 9-12 (emphasis mine)

Behind many protests today there is an “It takes a village” mindset that says everyone is responsible while making no one personally responsible except for The Man – an authority figurehead. Making every one democratically responsible then puts the onus for change dangerously into the hands of those elected – the political and religious elite – and away from personal accountability. When those in power are offered more power, totalitarianism follows. The State – The Man – then confiscates your liberty to control those situations and people you want controlled.

There are protests that hamstring or hamper others. These protests are meant to cause others to feel the protestor’s pain. One such protest happened in Chicago recently. Protestors shut down Lake Shore Drive on a Thursday afternoon. They carried signs decrying the ongoing violence on the west and south sides of Chicago: No More Violence Black Lives Matter, Help My Community and Enough is Enough.

Violence should be a matter of concern. Yet, in my view, the LSD blockage protest was a redistribution of responsibility for the choices the protestors had made. Consider that most of those protesting were the same people who voted for Chicago’s mayor and city council. And, if you recall, those elected officials made Chicago into a “Welcoming City” allowing in a criminal element composed of drug lords, MS-13 gang bangers, sexual predators, molesters and pedophiles, to name a few generators of imported violence. Consider also that most of those protestors are Democrats who continue to vote for programs that foster government dependence and not self-reliance and responsibility. The pols these protestors vote for offer to assuage fears by throwing money at a problem. And that means raising property taxes, which creates more poverty and more dependence on government, which, by lack of ownership and responsibility, creates more gang violence in neighborhoods. Therein is a Self-Induced Catch 22 for the protestors.

There are protests as marches which are meant to be a show of strength, and perhaps intimidation, in numbers. Union protests, the Million Man March and The Woman’s March in DC are these types of protests. In the end the marchers have had their fifteen minutes of fame and then often go on with nothing changed but their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts.

Many protests are about perceived injustices, inequities and intolerable conditions. As I see it, the cries for “equal rights for all” is often conditional on others being treated unequally.

Did you know that there is a Chicago protest website called Chicago Protest? Today you will find the following protests scheduled:

All Out – the Jason Van Dyke Trial

Rally to #End Money Bail

MeToo MacDonald’s

SayHerName: A march to end the violence against trans women

There are protests against personalities which represent The Man. The #Resistance protests against Trump. As they do, have you noticed that many of those who protest Trump’s behavior act as bad or worse than Trump as if by projection of their own immaturity? The #Resistance appears to justify its jejune behavior by saying Trump is The Wrong Man and anyway he should be a better-behaved (but not like those of the #Resistance). Of course, such personality protests are egged on by deep political and ideological divides which are stoked by media personalities who have their own following. Like all else regarding human nature, personality protests are not new under the sun.

In Paul’s day there was such a protest within the young and immature Corinthian church. The protest involved personalities Paul, Cephas and Apollos. It seems that these three each represented to the Corinthians a unique style presentation of the Gospel. The Corinthians, eager to take sides, had lined up behind the personality who was the most pleasing to their ears. Some chose Cephas, the hands-on fisherman who had walked with Jesus and could tell tales of his time with Jesus. Some chose the didactic deep thinker and talker Paul and others chose the polished speaker with the locally familiar Greek god name – Apollos.

Paul, writing to the church, reprimands the Corinthians for their partisan protests based on worldly wisdom.

In my own case, my dear family, I couldn’t speak to you as spiritual people, but as people who were all to obviously merely human, little babies in the Messiah. I fed you with milk, not sold food, because you weren’t able to take it—and you still can’t, even now! You’re still determined to live in the old way! Yes, wherever there is jealousy and quarreling, doesn’t that mean you’re living in the old way, behaving as any merely human being might do? When someone says “I’m with Paul!” and someone else says “I’m with Apollos!” are you not mere humans?

– 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

Personality protests are self-serving protests. They derive from a person’s worldly human wisdom which generates errant expectations about how things should be – for me.

In Mark’s gospel account (Mark 8: 31-33) we read of Peter’s protest of Jesus announcing his coming suffering and death. Peter was expecting a Messiah who lived out Israel’s’ covenant hopes.

Jesus now began to teach them something new.

“There’s trouble in store for the son of man,” he said. “The elders, the chief priests, and the scribes are going to reject him. He will be killed – and after three days he’ll be raised.” He said this quite explicitly.

At this, Peter took him aside and started to scold him. But he turned around, saw the disciples, and scolded Peter.

“Get behind me, Accuser!” he said. “You’re thinking human thoughts, not God’s thoughts.”

How should we frame our thinking about protests? With human thoughts? Or, with the “mind of the Messiah” (1 Cor. 2:16)? After Jesus protests Peter’s mere human wisdom, Jesus, the Messiah, goes on to tell the crowd his mind: what protest should be about and about the Final Protest:

“If any of you want to come the way I’m going,” he said, “you must say no to your own selves, pick up your own cross, and follow me. Yes: if you want to save your life, you’ll lose it; but if you lose your life because of me and message you’ll save it. After all, what use is it to win the world and lose your life? What can you give in exchange for your life? If you’re ashamed of me and my words in this cheating and sinning generation, the son of man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:34-38

Jesus calls us to a protest that is personal, self-effacing and not world attention-grabbing. In fact, it is the opposite of the social media-grabbing, exploitive and often violent protests occurring in the world today. The violence of the Jesus protest is directed toward one’s ego and fleshly desires and even to one’s self-esteem. We are to sever all claims to self and all protesting rights from our thinking.

Be warned if your worldly human wisdom has you say “I’m behind the person that gives me the gospel the way I like it”. Be warned if your worldly human wisdom has you say “I will march for and demand my rights because my rights define me.” Be warned, also, if you protest the Lord’s claim on your life. Jesus, as we read above, warns of a Final Protest where he reveals his total displeasure with your cause to gain the world of self-interest and his embarrassment to be seen with you in the company of heaven.

 

 

~~~
Here is how the Apostle Paul understood the Jesus Protest:
“…I didn’t come and proclaim God’s mystery to you by means of a superior style of speaking or wisdom. No: I decided to know nothing in my dealings with you except Jesus the Messiah, especially his crucifixion. I came to you in weakness in great fear and trembling…” Paul’s first recorded letter to the church at Corinth, 2: 1-3
And…
“As for me, God forbid that I should boast – except in the cross of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, 6: 14

Radical Secularism Won’t See Us Through

 

“If we are so troubled and perplexed, if we search for the right words and bite our tongues, this is because these three elements are constitutive parts of our situation and the great fact of Islam that is at the center of our struggles, for Muslims and for non-Muslims, together or separately.” Pierre Manent, Beyond Radical Secularism

 

~~

 

Manent, in his book Beyond Radical Secularism, suggests that the Islamic phenomenon presents three distinct and yet interdependent elements which must be addressed by Europe and, I suggest, ultimately by the U.S.: Muslim immigration, Muslim settlement and mosques financed by Gulf States, and Islamic terrorism.

How do we as a nation begin to address the three elements? Do we call others “Islamaphobic” or “Xenophobic” and content ourselves with pointed fingers and huffing? Do we act like a Jesuit I know and parse out isolated Scripture from the Bible to push the Progressive notion that to be a good country one must have Open Borders and welcome all comers with no conditions placed on refugees/immigrants while hoping things will all work out, while not taking into account the unintended consequences for both parties and without accruing any personal cost? Or, do we as a people living within the Kingdom of God on earth address the complex issue at hand? Do we acknowledge who we are as a nation and our Christian heritage and also acknowledge Muslims?

 

I suggest Manent’s Beyond Radical Secularism is a good place to begin looking at the matter before us.

Several months have passed since I read though Pierre Manet’s twenty essays, essays encapsulated in his book Beyond Radical Secularism. Before too much more time passes I wanted to record what I learned from the essays along with my reflections.

This is not a book review. Rather, this post is me trying to understand the Islam situation facing the U.S. and doing so through the eyes of French academic and political scientist Pierre Manent whose own country of France is having to come to terms with the Muslims. My thoughts are interspersed with Manent’s words.

From the book’s Introduction by Daniel J. Mahoney:

“In this, his latest book (originally published in France as Situation de la France), Manent brings together his considerable theoretical and practical concerns with rare spiritual depth. He reveals the failure of Europe’s humanitarian civil religion and pleads for a restoration of prudent judgment, rooted in a searching exploration of the theological-political problem. He reveals just where the de-politicization and de-Christianization of Europe has led the continent and his native France. Refusing to despair, and not content with literary politics and facile criticism, Manent lays out a practical philosophy that shows Europe and the West that deliberation and action remain as available to us as they were to Pericles and St. Paul.” (Emphasis mine)

 

As noted above, Manent writes from a French perspective. Yet, his home turf insights can provide significant direction for U. S. immigration policies addressing the “three elements” noted above.

In Manent’s assessment of the current political situation, he sees both France and the West looking weak:

“As rich as we still are in material and intellectual resources, we are politically without strength. Doubtless this has not escaped the attention of those who now attack us.” (From the Preface)

France and the West, Manent points out, are capitulating to radical secularism–a stripping of the national landscape of political and Christian milestones, earmarks and boundaries. Both are refusing to either fight their enemies or to love their enemies. Both are handing out subjective rights which further divide the nation state into individuals against one another. In so doing, the political regime

“…makes every constraint appear to be useless and arbitrary, in a word vexing, whether civic or in private life. As each letting go justifies and calls forth the next, governments are motivated to tout themselves no longer by the guidance and the energy they give to common life, but by the “new rights” they grant to individuals and to groups.” (From the Preface)

 

Though not mentioned by Manent in his book, it seems to me that the French philosopher Foucalt’s deconstructionism has gone a long way in educational circles toward emptying words and historical narratives of the meaning they once held. This vacating of meaning has led to intellectual and moral paralysis. We no longer know what to do because we no longer know what to think, Manent posits.

At the end of his Preface, Manent elaborates:

“Our irritated and vacant souls are full of a jumble of historical references, positive or negative, which our experience no longer shifts or orders, and of which we make use in the most frivolous or self-interested manner.”

Later, in essay seven, he writes about France,

“The major fact of our situation, one that has important consequences in all domains that concern us, is the radical loss of authority by the main and decisive instrument of modern politics, that is, the State, or if you will, in the specifically French context, the Republic. One might say, in the language of political physics that the republican State no longer has the power either to reduce the constituent groups of France to citizen-individuals, those primordial elements of modern politics, nor to offer these individuals something to hold in common substantial enough to allow them to be true citizens, that is, members of a larger whole…we tend to return to the pre-modern situation… One of the distinctive features of the situation was the absence of any border between the interior and the exterior.”

 

Here in the U.S. Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America was by many accounts a proclaimed and implied look-down-his-nose disdain for America’s history, its Constitution and its ways of life. Obama even apologized to other nations for America’s ‘faults’ as he saw them. As we are finding out, Obama’s administration didn’t just disparage America it also colluded against America and its ally Israel with a South American drug cartel to help Iran advance their nuclear program. Obama along with the likes of Noam Chomsky and a host of “intelligentsia” sought to shame and deconstruct America and to remake it in their own Progressive promise-of-the-future image. Enter a carnival mirror reflection.

Donald Trump comes along and promotes an uber-nationalist fundamental retransformation after his own ribald image. But neither administration has addressed the Muslim situation other than making polarizing comments.

 

Manent, as he views France, sees their common life dissipating from the loss of State authority due to the people’s lack of faith in government’s trustworthiness and also a loss in faith in Providence, a special concern for a nation with a Christian mark. Add to these weakening influences globalization–the absence of borders within and without, the purposeful loss of historical meaning and context, the placation of individuals and groups with subjective rights by the government, and the neutralizing of the mark of Christianity on a nation. All such effects of degeneration on the common life undermine “a stable and coherent disposition” toward Muslim immigration. You shouldn’t welcome someone into your common life if your common life is on life support. More degeneration occurs.

Our own common political life is being redefined as the ‘indeterminate and limitlessness of individual rights” and interests, just as Manent described France’s political life. Our nation, already fragile, is questioning its identity as it sees itself through the media lens of “fundamental transformation” pushed by Progressives. Our education systems, Progressivism’s training grounds, focus on identity politics and refuse to reinforce a national common life, seeing it as a formulation of power structures from the past that must be done away with.

We are weak and getting weaker and we are inviting in a people, some of whom are at war with us.

 

Manent talks about the effects of the transformative “equality”, values” and “secularism” criteria in his own country:

“I have emphasized repeatedly… — that our political regime has progressively brought about its own paralysis by the ever narrower and more unilateral way it has understood its principles. The rights of man have been separated radically from the rights of the citizen and, instead of freeing members of society in order to make them capable and desirous of participating in what is common, they are now supposed to suffice to themselves, and public institutions are nothing more than their docile instrument. We are probably the first, and we will surely remain the only people in history to give over all elements of social life and all contents of human life to the unlimited sovereignty of the individual.”

 

 

A solution and warning;

Manent writes that France has the tools to deal with the influx of Islam: a history of a neutral secular State coupled with a people with a “Christian mark.” Yet, France and the Europe Union are in depoliticizing mode with their eager acceptance of globalization and open borders. Even more debilitating, they are negating, via radical secularization, all religion from public life and particularly Christianity. Manent warns that these divesting actions will cripple and paralyze any proper response France must take in accepting Islam into the common life of France.

 

Manent talks of a “politics of the possible” between French Muslims and the civic body. Two principles would apply. First, Muslims are to be accepted “as they are” without seeking to modernizing them or conforming them to others in the society.

Second, preserve and defend the sanctuary of secular government and the characteristics of its regime which holds them as citizens first, Muslims second.

 

For a shared life Manent suggests that acceptance of Muslims into French society would need to be balanced by elements of France’s “ancient constitution” in order to prevent a Muslim transformation of France. And this acceptance must not advance as “secularism.”

There is a need to address who we are when speaking to those who a seeking to live with us. There is also a need to address Muslims as who they are and then to go forward together, each recognizing the other.

Beyond the foundation and bulwarks of an “ancient constitution” Manent suggests that France (rightfully) impose two restrictions on entering Muslims: no polygamy and no burqa. Such parameters, he posits, would protect the social fabric of the nation and the political freedoms in place.

For the U.S. I would impose the same restrictions along with not allowing sharia law to become law. Muslims immigrants must submit to the laws of our republic. They must not ‘rule’ themselves separately in opposition to a common life. They also must understand that we are a nation with a Christian mark and one which does not impose its Christian beliefs onto others via the government. Here, the individual is self-governing within the full extent of the law. Here the Christian influences government but is not authoritarian, despite Leftist characterizations to the contrary.

 

As I see it, we must define our relationships beyond individual rights. We must define who we are in common. A neutral secular State will support groups which support the common life of the State. It will respect each group and allow each group to function on its own without imposing laws specific to a particular group.

 

A Radicalized secular state, on the other hand, will, by its vacuous nature, delegitimize its people and their religion. But don’t expect Muslims to become secular and that tensions will float away. They won’t (though many Progressive Christians have) and the tensions won’t magically dissolve because you opened your borders. Radical secularism pretends that we are just citizen-individuals with nothing to offer but our individuated ‘diverse’ presence. The State only has authority and powers we give it. If we give it nothing but demand only rights we suck the life out of our common life.

An open border de-politicized nation will continue to splinter off. A de-Christianized nation will have no means to influence and support the neutral State. And, Christianity has for centuries fostered and supported secular authority. But Islam, as you know, is theocratic in its politics. To live in common, Islam must separate political and religious life in its citizen contract with the State.

And that State? I see the government’s primary responsibility as promoting the common good by maintaining the rule of law, and preserving basic duties and rights. A neutral secular government offers protection, security and the motivation for the common good. A radicalized secular nation has nothing but individual ‘rights’ to offer a people who then become increasingly alienated.

With more than just rights to offer, a shared life in the U.S. is possible–and desirable–if we remember and “they” learn who we are and why we are – a nation with a Christian mark seeking a common and secure life. It is within this context that the Islamic phenomenon’s three distinct and yet interdependent elements must be addressed.

 

I recommend Manent’s book, Beyond Radical Secualrism to you. 

Pierre Manent is a French political scientist. Or, as they say in France…

Pierre Manent est directeur d’ etudes a l’ Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, membre fondateur de la revue Commentaire.

~~~

 

 

 

English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton also has something to say about the above:

More of Less?

You have a choice in November.  You could choose more of the same deficit leadership or you can choose wisely. 

You can choose Obama’s anti-capitalist Marxist socialism which seeks to “materialize” everything in its path including you.  Obamacare is only the beginning of this dehumanizing process. You can choose to exalt redistributive materialism to the neglect and hurt of your own soul.

You can choose more bureaucracy and more IRS agents and less control of your own life and property. You can choose to increase government’s monopoly and its power grab of the private sector.  You can choose to be just another cog in the collective. You can choose sameness for the sake of egalitarianism.

  You can choose Obama’s class and race warfare, a malignant stratifying of people into special interest groups. One civil war in this nation wasn’t enough, right?  One nation under Obama?  It will never happen!  Obama works to polarize the nation, to make some people more favored than others thereby tossing justice by the wayside.  You can choose more rancor and strife and less community. 

You can choose more voter fraud, more Black Panther intimidation.  You can choose more Eric Holder and his Fast and Furious lying.  And you can choose more injustice and less rule of law. 

 You can choose Obama’s devotion to special interest groups such as the environmentalists and his own circle of friends (Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s Solyndra’s buddies, etc.).  You can choose favoritism over equal opportunity.

You can choose more homosexuality and with it bullying disguised as “Diversity.” You can choose less family values when you vote for Democrats.

 You can choose his “You didn’t build that” rhetoric and decide that you really are too stupid to build anything on your own.  You can choose Obama’s shaming you into submission and less his offer of incentives to even try to succeed.

 You can choose more abortions and more food stamps and more bureaucracy and more people telling you what to do, what to eat, what to drive and how to spend your money.  You can choose endless higher taxes, more casinos, ever-increasing debt.  That’s the Obama way.

 You can choose to pay for Obama to play more golf so that he can relax while he’s thinking about the millions of people who are out of work.  (BTW: Obama has played more than 100 rounds of golf in three and one-half years compared to Bush’s 25 rounds in eight years! And, Obama has had only one cabinet meeting so far this year.  It is now the end of July!) You can choose more of same insipid leadership and less vision. Or, you can choose wisely.

 Per the unspoken rhetoric of Obama and Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi they are counting on the rich to succeed.  They hope the 1% will provide enormous tax revenues to pay for all of their Great Society gambling debts. These Democrats promote class warfare against the very rich believing that the middle class will benefit. But nothing happens in isolation.  The middle class will suffer if the very rich are no longer able to invest their money. This type of over-arching economic thinking is lost on the Democrats.  They are only looking for the short-term power and money grabs.

 These political fat cats want to control free enterprise thereby keeping individuals from creating wealth which aids human flourishing.  In so doing they can keep their hands in till.  They gain access to their “fair share” in the pea and shell game of government. This is called “Progress” but “political corruption” is its true name.

These snake-oil salesmen, the Democrats, will tell they have a cure for society’s ills:  higher taxes.  They believe that if they can just throw more money at a problem that the problem will magically go away.  This “lets-be-reasonable” irrational thinking is exactly the same type of thinking behind the extensive guns laws passed by the City of Chicago, the strictest gun laws in the nation.  Their shot-gun approach to passing guns laws has not resulted in a decrease in violent gun-related crime in this city. Rather, Chicago’s murder rate is the highest in the nation.  But the Democrats of the state of Illinois aren’t saying much about that.  No. Now they want to throw more gun laws at the bullets. More of less. That is the Democrat’s answer to our dying culture.  Maintaining political power is more important than the people on the streets. They march in your parades while backtracking on your best interests.

 The only tools in Obama’s “community organizer” bag are raising taxes and blaming others. That’s all you’ll ever get from Obama and the Democrats. That, and more casinos.  You can vote for more of the same anemic leadership, more scapegoating and less vision. You can vote for more economic stagnation, more radicalism, more of less.

You can also choose European style top-down government and place yourself at the bottom of another list.  You can choose a culture of dependence for yourself and your kids. Our national debt is the insurance policy of our nation’s ongoing slavery to debt.  Obamacare is just the name on one of the policy brochures.

  With your vote you can choose Democrats and the decline of America. You can choose more of the same devastation to individual liberty. You can choose the monopoly of government.

 The Democrat party is the party of less liberty.  You can vote for less liberty but in doing so our nation, without your individual dynamic of liberty put to good use, would soon implode and become the vacuum that totalitarianism rapidly fills without ever asking for your vote.

  I’ll leave you with this interesting statement from Chairman Mao on April 30, 1971:

 “China should learn from the way America developed, by decentralizing and spreading responsibility and wealth among 50 states.  A central government could not do everything.  China must depend upon regional and local initiative.  It would not do [spreading his hands] to leave everything up to him [Mao].

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/writers/harris/1973/02/sincelin.htm

You can choose more of this:

Obama in focus:

Depends On You

The 2012 Presidential and congressional elections will be reflections of who you are.  You will be deciding whether you want to be represented as a slave under a bigger more intrusive government with its plantation inducing mentality or whether self-government and self-determination will best speak for you.  The former is easy – show up and do nothing except what the master tells you to do.  The latter requires blood, sweat and tears.

 Let me ask you straight up:  what would provide you with more self-esteem?  A government welfare check for subsistence or a check handed to you by your accountant after your company succeeded and made a profit? Or equally, a check handed to you by your employer because the company you work for succeeded to make payroll for another week because of your input? The former just pays the bills (and likely buys several lottery tickets).  The latter provides for yourself, your family, your grandchildren and much more.

 Another question:  With those same checks in hand would the person with the government welfare check be more willing to give to charity or would the person who was handed the profit-sharing dividend or a paycheck be more willing to give to charity? (A Christian would have to be the second kind of person.  King David once said, I will not offer to the Lord something that costs me nothing?”)

 You don’t have to think hard about this.  The answer is obvious to most right thinking people, the vision is clear, but it is hidden from those who vote for Obama and the Democrats.

Progressives and their “Lean Forward” campaign (funded with monies from foreigner George Soros) want the U.S. government to dole out cradle-to-grave entitlements thereby making Americans utterly reliant on the political ruling class and their condescending “we-the-government-know-what’s-good-for-you” pseudo-altruism. In reality, these two-armed bandits want more gambling revenue to throw at money laundering schemes like Solyndra.

 Thomas Sowell in his book of articles and essays The Thomas Sowell Reader describes the Big Government vision promoted by the ruling class “anointed” …

 The anointed want to eliminate stress, challenge, striving, and competition.  They want the necessities of life to be supplied as “rights” – which is to say, at the taxpayer’s expense, without anyone’s being forced to work for those necessities, except of course the taxpayers.

Nothing is to be earned.  “Self-esteem” is to be dispensed to school children as largess from the teacher.  Adults are to have their medical care and other necessities dispensed as largess from the government. People are to be mixed by race and sex and whatever else the anointed want to take into account, in order to present whatever kind of picture the anointed think should be presented.

This is the vision of human beings as livestock to be fed by the government and herded and tended by the anointed.  All the things that make us human beings are to be removed from our lives and we are to live as denatured creatures and directed by our betters. (emphasis mine)

Those things that help human beings be independent and self-reliant – whether automobiles, guns, the free market, or vouchers – provoke instant hostility from the anointed.

Below are two contrasting videos:  one video depicts a life on government programs ala The Life of Julia.  The other describes you as a self-governing self-determining free person.  I ask you, who is more empowered? You already know the answer. Vote the answer and not what the plantation’s political ruling class is promoting via the main stream media (MSNBC‘s Lean Forward Campaign, Media Matters, etc.).

 Is the future of America you holding your DMV issued health-care card and food stamps?  Or is the future of America (you and me) dependent on our own self-government and our own self-determination while holding on to our self-esteem and liberty? For a while fascism’s authoritarianism feels safe and secure but that quickly changes.  You soon become a slave or an automaton in the system. Liberty on the other hand is scary good. As I have said liberty requires responsibility on your part but liberty is supremely worth it.

Yet, if the Obama plantation feels safe, if you see yourself as dependent on the master for your life then go with that but please don’t vote to take others with you.

Others have made freedom and choice their life: 

http://demetriuspeaks.com/2012/07/06/what-it-means-to-be-a-black-conservative/

 Thomas Sowell notes in another article, “Entitlement is just a fancy word for dependence.”

The full article here: 

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/267898/dependency-and-votes-thomas-sowell

Who represents you in Washington is a reflection of you.  Do you like what you see?

 Democrats and the plantation:

Independence Day:

All Bets Are Off

Barack Obama is “Betting On America.”  That’s right.  Like most Democrats (Illinois Democrats are a prime example) BHO has made America his favorite slot machine.  The gambling analogy is very apropos. He wants to gamble away our earnings, our future.

People,  just keep giving BHO your money (or other people’s money) and he will keep pulling the lever for you until something good comes out. Expectations are big. Hope and Change are full tilt. This is Progress for Democrats: spend more, tax more, build more casinos.

But what comes out when the lever is pulled?  Excuses. Joblessness. Cronyism.

 Have you heard of the person who keeps doing the same thing while hoping for a different result? Insanity accounts for the actions of BHO the politician. Insanity also accounts for the votes of those people who continue to elect Democrats:  “We keep hoping something good will come out of this – that we will win big in this Grand Casino of life.” “If only we could win without putting any of our money in.  That would be all the better.”

 Has our good money been thrown into the government slot machine?  It wasn’t your money to lose?  Oh well, there’s more where that came from right?  Heard at the buffet table:  “The 1% need to do their fair share so we can keep playing the slots.”

 Your vote matters. 2012:  Vote insanity and excuses out and reality in, if not for yourself then at least for your children and grandchildren. Don’t gamble with our future.

When you wish upon Obama…

On higher plane:

The “American, You Can’t Handle Your Liberty” Rap

 

American, You Can’t Handle Your Liberty

 

American, you can’t handle your liberty,

Drunk with democracy you flirt with tyranny;

You whine and you cry about your life’s lot –

Not what the providential Constitution sought.

 

Our people are now lacking in self-government,

Living relativism that’s not heaven-sent,

Lacking all self-restraint, thinking they’re “free”,

They will tolerate anything but liberty.

 

Though free and equal, born with rights inalienable,

You whine and pine for freedom more palatable;

Unjust laws disguised as “social justice”,

Such religion of humanity does thwart us.

 

Myopic history sees the lie you so need,

“A People’s History…” makes bleeding hearts bleed;

Our nation’s true exceptional-ism,

In college taught as just cause for derision.

 

How are we the most generous nation on earth?

It is because of what our Founding Fathers birthed!

Take a look at the world around and see,

We as a nation donate most charitably.

 

Yet you squander democracy onto yourself,

While pure opportunity is put on the shelf,

Cradle to grave you whimper and pine,

“Hoping” and “Changing”, charging the taxpayer’s dime.

 

All men are created equal yet there are some,

With hubris bang the affirmative action drum,

And so betray our common good,

To play favoritism as any injustice would.

 

American, you can’t handle your liberty,

You want politicians to give you to what you please,

You clamor for “rights” thinking you’ll be free

While working the calculus of felicity.

 

Why is it that we fear our country’s liberty?

Because the rigors of responsibility,

We “Hope” and “Change” to be rid of the strife,

So we vote for someone who will pay for our life.

 

Wake up America and smell the flag burning,

Your “Hope” and “Change” are both lacking in discerning,

You whine and you pine and act all distraught,

While ever mocking what our Constitution taught.

 

© Sally Paradise, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Mia B. Love Finds a Way

  From a National Review article linked here:

 Daughter of Haitian Immigrants Is GOP Congressional Nominee in Utah

 “If she makes it to Congress, expect her to shake up the Congressional Black Caucus à la Florida’s Allen West. “I would join the CBC and try to take that thing apart from the inside out,” she told the Deseret News in January.

She explained that the current CBC membership is steeped in “demagoguery.” “They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t,” she said. “They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.”

 LegalInsurrection:

“Love was the first black woman elected mayor in Utah’s history, is the first black woman nominated for Congress in Utah, and if elected to Congress, would be the first black Republican congresswoman. “

Running On Empty

No, I am not talking about Obama’s campaign war chest.  The “class warrior” who recently made a jab at Mitt Romney with a silver spoon reference regularly charges “regular folks $1000 for a handshake at fundraisers” (see the Sunday April 22, 2012 Chicago Tribune column by John Kass linked in blue below). Class warfare depends on the treasure of the rich in so many ways!

 From Kass’s Sunday Trib column, Obama Ladles Up Hot Bowls of Class Warfare:

And, Obama is of the people, so please forget that presidential media guru David Axelrod just dropped $1.7 million on a gorgeous Chicago condo.

In America, only snobs and fools look down upon someone born poor.  It’s un-American.  But if your father’s poverty isn’t your fault, then, why should your father’s wealth be a sin?

The opportunity to seek wealth is why our people (Kass is Greek) came here, why they left their villages overseas to ride in steerage, seasick, eating black bread and spooning out the stew with wooden spoons, just on the chance that their grandchildren might hold a silver spoon someday…

Romney, of course, took great umbrage at Obama’s silver spoon crack, saying it was aimed at his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, a former president of American Motors.

“The president likes to attack fellow Americans,” said Romney on Fox News.  “He’s always looking for a scapegoat, particularly (those who) have been successful like my dad, and I’m not going to rise to that.”

I find both of them flawed.  Romney as the ring bearer for all that’s wrong with the corporatist Republican smothering of the conservative spirit, Obama as the keeper of the federal leviathan, feeding it as it grows larger, squeezing the life out of entrepreneurship.”

 There are two kinds of politicians:  those without personal wealth, and those with personal wealth.  Those with money don’t need politics to make more.  Those without money need friends as they climb the ladder of public service.”

Michelle Obama had such friends…

And the President had such friends.  One is named Tony Rezko.  He’s rotting in a federal prison, although it was Rezko and his wife who put together the strange deal that helped Barack and Michelle buy their dream house in Kenwood that they never seem to visit anymore.

In prison, Tony Rezko doesn’t use a silver spoon.  He uses a plastic fork.”

 Obama, via his constant “fair share” campaign speeches, relates opportunity directly to having money and not to liberty and self-determination.  How strange and how short-sighted this is. 

What Obama is really telling inner-city people is that they are not going to make it, they will not have opportunity until and unless they other people’s money in their pockets. This is “in your face” class warfare, blatant materialism and an obvious trashing of the human spirit.

Underlying Johnny-one-note-Obama’s fair share speeches is the same inane logic of the Left:  if someone has more that means that there must be less for you. But, life is not a zero-sum proposition.  Everyone can benefit from hard work and self-determination and not just those who already have done so and have earned money. 

It is those on the Left who spend all of their time trying to slice the current pie into exactly equal “fair share” pieces.  It is those on the Right who want to make a bigger pie so that everyone can have a big slice of it and can eat it in peace, free from the tyranny of big government.

 Obama’s implied message:  Forget contentment, you must have what others have or you are missing out, otherwise your treasure chest is empty.

 Now with White House silverware in hand, Obama spoons out the parasite-laden bread pudding of class warfare to those standing in the food lines willing to pay a $1000.00 a plate. He lectures to those anxious for any crumbs that may fall from the table of the Dear Leader and to those of the liberal media anxiously waiting another feeding frenzy.

I ask God for my daily bread and He provides.