Guess Who Came to Dine on You?

The Ruling Class Cannibals!

Who are these Kulakovores?  They are Ruling Class America and the minions who do their hunter-gatherer bidding.  They are the Democrats and Republicans who accrue power unto themselves.  They are the bureaucrats, the administrative state, the regulators, the social engineers, the ones whose careers are dependent on the government, the ones with secret servers, the “saviors of the planet”, those in the “know”, Progressives, the entitled, the “living Constitutionalists”, the “settled science” purveyors, the “green agenda” evangelists, the #SJW, #BlackLivesMatter, the gerrymandering, the eminent domain Dishonest Johns, the union bosses, the public school educators, the “It takes a village” people…the Hannibal Lecturers.hannibal

Obama finger gun

The power-hungry…

They came for your family:

“The ruling class is keener to reform the American people’s family and spiritual lives than their economic and civic ones. In no other areas is the ruling class’s self-definition so definite, its contempt for opposition so patent, its Kulturkampf so open. It believes that the Christian family (and the Orthodox Jewish one too) is rooted in and perpetuates the ignorance commonly called religion, divisive social prejudices, and repressive gender roles, that it is the greatest barrier to human progress because it looks to its very particular interest — often defined as mere coherence against outsiders who most often know better. Thus the family prevents its members from playing their proper roles in social reform. Worst of all, it reproduces itself.

Since marriage is the family’s fertile seed, government at all levels, along with “mainstream” academics and media, have waged war on it. They legislate, regulate, and exhort in support not of “the family” — meaning married parents raising children — but rather of “families,” meaning mostly households based on something other than marriage. The institution of no-fault divorce diminished the distinction between cohabitation and marriage — except that husbands are held financially responsible for the children they father, while out-of-wedlock fathers are not. The tax code penalizes marriage and forces those married couples who raise their own children to subsidize “child care” for those who do not. Top Republicans and Democrats have also led society away from the very notion of marital fidelity by precept as well as by parading their affairs. For example, in 1997 the Democratic administration’s secretary of defense and the Republican Senate’s majority leader (joined by the New York Times et al.) condemned the military’s practice of punishing officers who had extramarital affairs. While the military had assumed that honoring marital vows is as fundamental to the integrity of its units as it is to that of society, consensus at the top declared that insistence on fidelity is “contrary to societal norms.” Not surprisingly, rates of marriage in America have decreased as out-of-wedlock births have increased. The biggest demographic consequence has been that about one in five of all households are women alone or with children, in which case they have about a four in 10 chance of living in poverty. Since unmarried mothers often are or expect to be clients of government services, it is not surprising that they are among the Democratic Party’s most faithful voters.

While our ruling class teaches that relationships among men, women, and children are contingent, it also insists that the relationship between each of them and the state is fundamental. That is why such as Hillary Clinton have written law review articles and books advocating a direct relationship between the government and children, effectively abolishing the presumption of parental authority. Hence whereas within living memory school nurses could not administer an aspirin to a child without the parents’ consent, the people who run America’s schools nowadays administer pregnancy tests and ship girls off to abortion clinics without the parents’ knowledge. Parents are not allowed to object to what their children are taught. But the government may and often does object to how parents raise children. The ruling class’s assumption is that what it mandates for children is correct ipso facto, while what parents do is potentially abusive. It only takes an anonymous accusation of abuse for parents to be taken away in handcuffs until they prove their innocence. Only sheer political weight (and in California, just barely) has preserved parents’ right to homeschool their children against the ruling class’s desire to accomplish what Woodrow Wilson so yearned: “to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.” — The Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution by Angelo M. Codevilla

They came for your children and their “privilege. They came to put them on the menu:

Here is what is going on in social engineering social studies.

Privilege Quiz

Hey kids, how much privilege do you have? Quiz riles Florida parents

They came for your wealth:

Ruling Class Cannibals (RBC) Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump et al, all have a taste for power. And that means that your hard-earned tilled-the-earth money is on the menu so as to whet the appetites of would be RBC voters.

Oh sure, these social warriors will tell you that they want to make things “fair and equal and right”.  But, these Kulakovores are bibbed up and ready to devour you and yours at a power lunch trough feeding.  Their mere mention of “Wall St.” has already marinated your tender #Occupywallstreet minds.  Hannibal Lecter power lunch

Raising the minimum wage by coercive law is an injustice done to business owners and stockholders.  Such increases steal the owner/investor’s income. Period.

It is immoral for someone to take my wealth and give it to someone else.  Only when there is an injustice between two parties should there be restitution. (Being born black is not an injustice unless you are deemed unworthy of being born by the Ruling Class. Welfare and Domination are the perverted restitutions offered by Democrats).

The Ruling Class Cannibals are at the gate!

They came for your…  Hold on!  Don’t do me like that! Time for a bit of truth telling. The following will give the Ruling Class indigestion!

This New York Daily News interview was pretty close to a disaster for Bernie Sanders

GE CEO: Bernie Sanders says we’re ‘destroying the moral fabric’ of America. He’s wrong.

Swedish Economist Schools Sanders On the Ravages of Socialism

And now for the Big Gulp!

Lynn Stuter — Common Core – New Name, Old Agenda

Source: Lynn Stuter — Common Core – New Name, Old Agenda

If Its True Its Not New OR Don’t Stick Your Head in the Oven

Following on the heels of my previous post “The Vision of the Anointed is Our Nightmare; Ivy league Progressives and Their Creeping Racism” I offer the following video discussion. And, once again real adults are involved. No trigger warnings or pacifiers issued here.

 The discussion led by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute centers on the current state of liberal arts education. Joseph Epstein and Andrew Ferguson both share from their extensive experience. The participant’s credentials, included in the video, won’t be repeated here.

 “We may fairly ask, could any field other than liberal arts yield as broad and as significant an introduction to life’s comparisons and choices; could any other provide a more vital classroom experience for the development of men who are free not primarily because of birth, but because they have learned to use their birthright to chose a way of life? Quoting from Dartmouth College President John Sloan Dickey’s Convocation Address,1954, as recorded in the Dartmouth Review, March 13, 2013, page 11

Considering my birthright to be that of an autodidact liberal arts student, I look at the world from both ends of a telescope. And, though my pay-the-bills ‘FT’ job is in the field of engineering I seek out all manner of wonderful going beyond the rote of everyday life. From my posts you’ll see that this includes and is not limited to quantum physics, genetics, theistic “old earth” evolution, philosophy, psychotherapy, Christianity, music, art, poetry and both non-fiction and fiction literature including Shakespeare. I say this not out of braggadocio but to let you know that I was taught early on to seek wisdom, knowledge and a good understanding. I have an insatiable appetite to learn.  I need clarion answers and I also need a universe full of space, time and matter to ponder.

An old preacher once told me, “If it’s new it’s not true.  If it’s true it’s not new.”  This adage applies especially to a liberal arts education wherein one can unearth ancient wisdom, dust off traditional values and compare them to today’s instantly gratifying, mostly politicized and ‘Democratic-ized” popular icons of ‘knowledge” (e.g., global warming is a man-made crisis, crime originates from poverty and poor government institutions, etc.). This adage aptly applies to the physical sciences as well since what is being discovered has been around since the beginning of time

 Knowledge-wise I cut my teeth, so to speak, sans ‘higher education’ when I began questioning common knowledge, spitting out popular ‘wisdom’ and seeking to rid myself of the scourge of acid-like sentimentality that eats away at the protective enamel of wisdom. The dentist told me to floss every day. And, Socrates told me that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” They share the same Hippocratic Office, I think.

 Some of my liberal arts ‘findings’ are presented in my posts. I write the posts to remind myself of what I have read, to reinforce the content in my mind and to learn to parse, focusing only on what is true, good and worthy. And, then, there is also this reason… 

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
– William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

 Some thoughts on the most important aspect of a liberal arts education-gaining wisdom:

Hopefully by now you have noticed that science’s data collection and life’s growing empiricism do not counterbalance the super-sized questions of life weighing you down. Please don’t “scien-tize” your life as Joseph Epstein coined in the video or meta-data yourself into boredom. Wise-up your life.

 And, even though the wisest, most circumspect and ‘experienced’ man in history, King Solomon, writes his direst thoughts in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, telling us that life is …

 

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.

Everything is meaningless!”

 

…we are reminded that Solomon asked God for the gift of wisdom yet Solomon did not use all of the wisdom given to him. That led him to…

 

The Conclusion of the Matter

 

Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.  The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

 

The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

 

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

 

There is just too much of life to be taken in to ever be bored with life or to find time to despair. No head in the oven for me.

~~~

Allan Bloom, American philosopher, classicist, and academician, in his 1987 book “The Closing of the American Mind How Higher Education Has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students” writes about how liberal arts education became impoverished and the consequential effects.

 Here is a previous post with quotes from Allan Bloom: Fear and Loathing In America

Worker Bees, Outcome Based Education and Our Little Ones

The US education reform system creates…”Worker bees—cooperative, collaborative, team players, not too well educated but willing to work for a pittance for the good of the collective whole (ie, the state). Knowledge is power! A culturally illiterate nation will not long remain free. William Pearson Tolley, Chancelor of Syracuse University, wrote, in 1943,

“In a slave state, vocational training may be education enough. For the education of free men, much more is required. “”

As parents look at education reform, little do they realize that education and the purpose of education are being transformed. No longer is education to produce an innovative, creative, intelligent child, who has a broad but intensive liberal arts background such that he or she can reach for the star of stars of his or her choice. The purpose of education, under this transformation, this paradigm shift, is to mold the child to meet the needs of the global economy of the 21st Century, to produce a world class worker with the attitudes, values and beliefs wanted by big business.” Lynn Stuter (emphasis mine)

Above quotes from: http://www.learn-usa.com/education_transformation/~education.htm

The following quotes are from Lynn M. Stuter’s The Psychology of Becoming:

Some might look at this title and think, “This sounds like something from Abraham Maslow or Carl Rogers.”

The world view of systems governance is humanism, a religion immersed in the concept that “no deity will save us, we must save ourselves” (Humanist Manifesto, 1973). To that end, systems governance has been developed and fine tuned over a period of several decades, the purpose being to “create the future;” to decide what the world is to look like at a designated future time, then design and align everything to achieve that vision. The ultimate goal is to attain and maintain the global sustainable environment.

The concept that we must save ourselves finds basis in the humanist principle that man has no spirituality or self-determinism, that man is merely a product of his environment and must, therefore, be “conditioned” to the perceived environment of the “created future” as one system of many systems.

Conditioning necessarily requires the change of one’s existing world view — one’s existing attitudes, values, and beliefs, one’s existing behaviors. In book after book written by those advocating systems education, that it is the behavior of the individual that must be changed is apparent:

“… a large part of what we call ‘good teaching’ is the teacher’s ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students’ fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues.” (Bloom, 1964)

“The individual acts consistently in accordance with the values he has internalized at this level, and our concern is to indicate two things: (a) the generalization of this control to so much of the individual’s behavior that he is described and characterized as a person by these pervasive controlling tendencies, and (b) the integration of these beliefs, ideas, and attitudes into a total philosophy or world view.” (Bloom, 1964)

“Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students’ patterns of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statement of the objectives … should be a statement of changes to take place in the student.” (Tyler, 1949)

“… education, as now conceived, leads to demonstrable changes in student behaviors, changes that can be assessed using agreed-upon standards.” (Conley, 1993)
The question becomes how to achieve the change in behaviors … world view … attitudes, values and beliefs.

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel developed a process known as the Hegelian Dialectic in which opposites (thesis and antithesis) are brought together in compromise (synthesis) to form a new thesis which becomes the view of the group participants, individually and as a whole. Hegel theorized that through a continual use of this process, small groups would evolve to a “higher plane” signified by their becoming part of an ever larger group, until “oneness of mind” in a society theoretically would occur.

Today, this process is known by at least three other names: the Delphi Technique, the Alinsky Method, and the facilitated process of consensus building. It is also the process of the “guide on the side, not the sage on the stage” ~ the teacher (now called a facilitator) in the classroom. It is the process of critical thinking, conflict resolution, peer mediation, focus groups, consensus circles … The process has the effect of forcing the individual, in order to be a member of the group (which is aggressively encouraged and pursued), to give up his individual beliefs for the beliefs of the group.

Building on Hegel’s theory, Marx came to the conclusion that religion, with its authoritarian principles and higher authority, caused alienation of the individual from the group. As such, Marx wrote, religion is antithetical to the cohesion of the group and must be eradicated.

The Hegelian Dialectic is about compromise ~ the bringing together of opposites, and from those opposites, theoretically, a new truth emerges. In this environment, there is no right or wrong answer, only differences of opinion ~ how people “feel” about an issue. In this setting right and wrong stand on equal footing.

What happens when you synthesize right (good) and wrong (evil)? Which will prevail, right or wrong?

If you believe that man is inherently good (humanist world view), you will say that man will choose right over wrong, good over evil. But if you believe that man has a sin nature (Christian world view), then you will say that man will, unless he has been instilled with a moral compass of right and wrong in obedience to the teachings of a higher authority, choose wrong or evil.

 

So it is, in consensus building, that right does not prevail, but wrong does prevail in the name of synthesis. As stated in one conflict resolution curriculum, “conflict resolution is rarely about honesty or establishing truth~it is more about unifying perceptions.” (Bodine, 1994) If you have a bully and his victim in conflict resolution or peer mediation to achieve consensus (compromise), who will prevail in such an environment? Obviously, the bully will prevail.

Returning to the concept that man must be conditioned to the perceived environment, one proponent of the New Age world view wrote:
“You can only have a new society, the visionaries have said, if you change the education of the younger generation. … Of the Aquarian Conspirators surveyed, more were involved in education than in any other single category of work. … Marion Fantini, former Ford consultant on education, now at the State University of New York, said bluntly, ‘The psychology of becoming has to be smuggled into the schools.'”

At this point, it is imperative that we remember what the new basics are: “team work, critical thinking, making decisions, communication, adapting to change and understanding whole systems” (WTECB, 1994)
As noted above, in book after book, advocating systems education, it is made very clear that behavior must be changed to achieve the wanted outcomes or exit outcomes defined at the state level, benchmarked to the national goals for workforce development, and implemented at the local level. Assessments are the tool used to determine if the wanted behaviors are being achieved.

This is occurring in the classroom via teachers (facilitators) and paraprofessionals (facilitator aides); in the counselor’s office; in the school psychologist’s office; on the playground and in the hallways via social workers who watch students and note their observations (called “profiling”).

 

What is happening in the classroom, in the name of education reform, amounts to medical malpractice. What is even worse is that the created future cannot be achieved unless a majority of children in the government school acquire the wanted belief system. That psychological manipulation is the only route (because the philosophy is not normal or natural to the human condition) from present to future should serve as a wake-up call to parents and citizens.

But many parents are going along with this, believing their child(ren) actually needs psychological help. Very few children really need psychological help, and those who do certainly do not need the type of psychological help they are getting in the government school.

The name that has been given this non-directive, feelings based education system is “psycho-education.” Psycho is right. It is destroying or badly damaging young lives and leaving children ill-equipped to meet the realities of the world beyond the classroom.

Some Christian parents send their child(ren) to the government schools, believing that in so doing, they are following the commandment of God to “go forth and witness.” The bible also says, in three consecutive chapters;
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin … to stumble … to be offended, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (KJV)
Can we surmise that Christ commanded us to protect these “little ones” from harms way? Most adults could not withstand what these children are being subjected to on a daily basis in the closed environment of the government school. How could any Christian parent believe their child(ren) could withstand the same?

Quotes from Lynn M. Stuter – The Psychology of Becoming (February 26, 2003!!!)

Now a few chilling words from Cynthia Weatherly:

 

 

 Education:

Logocentrism

A Landscape With Dragons; Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself

The Higher Education Bubble (Encounter Broadsides)

 

Educators:

The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

Five Years of Faithfulness

Wordpress anniversary-5Yrs

You Registered on WordPress 5 years ago!

Sally, you registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago!

So, Sally Paradise you are five years old!

 Born in the Year of the Dragon (the author, that is), Sally has fire in her belly.

 A lot has happened during the past five years: A lady friend from church went to be with the Lord last month. Over a thousand people came to her Memorial Service last weekend to remember her and to rejoice in her work in the Lord.

 And, it was almost a year ago, almost Father’s Day that my dad went to be with the Lord. He was 85. There were others lost, both physically and spiritually.

 Beyond the losses there have been multiple gains and blessings from God.  One of which has been there has no no change in my job status ~ I am still working, though many around me have been out of work since Obama (the Greatest Income Unequalizer of all time) took his second oath of office. 

My first post, Jun 4, 2009 @ 17:59, a short story:

Almost Like Praying

Since this is a party of sorts I thought I should drudge up some Sally snapshots ~  some forgotten posts ~ which over the five years have gained the most attention and have also been some of my favorites. I’ll pick. You decide.

 I’ve written posts on many topics, topics which piqued my interest. Most topics originated from a book, an essay or an article that I read on the train to and from work. Here are a few posts born out of those many miles on parallel tracks.

 Political Commentary:

 Sally, not to be outdone by the late night comedians, joked when administrations changed hands. There is always a new supply of fodder for the Animal Farm of politics. And, with cogent insight, Sally has shared reflections upon our country’s state of mind.

Obama’s First Christmas Album

The Ebony Calf

 Here goes. Start the bubble machine.

 Politics:

Course Correction Needed: 2012, I’m Shovel Ready 

Human Rights Repository

 

Social Commentary:

Tear Down That Anthropocentricity

Boy, Are You in Trouble!

Label Me “In Christ”

The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

America’s ‘DeValued’ Moral Currency

 

Human Evil (Sally recommends KingdomVenturers blog):

Hell is Empty and All The Devils Are Here”

 

Human Interest:

tête-à-tête

History as Cynicism

 

Poetry:

Resurrection Doesn’t Stop There

The first snow of the year fell last night

How Do You Know Its Christmas?

When I Think of Christmas

Earthquake Day

 

Short Stories: 

Work 

Wild Horses 

Afternoon Aliens

 

Science:

God Saw That It Was Good – All Along (Theistic Evolution)

Envision

God Saw That It Was Good and So Do I

Man-Made Panic: Climate Change & Anti-Industrialism

Climate Apocalyptic-ism & The WannaBe Oppressed

Cooler Heads Will Prevail 

Cartesian Circle

 

Free Market Capitalism/Economics:

The Good News and Capitalism All Under One Tent

Feral Gov’t Debt Limit Explained

A Tale of Two Waitresses

The Taxonomy of The No-Class Warrior’s Obamanomics

Exactly!

Depends On You

Minimum Wage Or The Price We Pay For Stupid

Looking Out for Number One and Finding Zero

 

Book Reviews/Situation Ethics:

Ritual Meet Entropy: A Father’s Story

Crooked Letters Come to Terms Among the Kudzu

 

Education:

Worker Bees, Education Reform and Our Little Ones

Logocentrism

A Landscape With Dragons; Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

 

Gender Issues:

The Church and Gender

What’s “Biblical” About It? 

Good Company – He Chooses You

 

Apologetics/Philosophy:

Atheism in Retreat

Alvin Plantinga & atheism’s arguments

Wrestling with God?

Saving Leonardo and Modern Man From Himself

The Faith Based-Materialist Myth & Baron Muchausen

 

Christianity/Character: 

So God Gave Them Up

Enter In His Gates

The Catch of The Day

Pretense, Part 1: A Look at Evil, Pretense and Suffering

Life Lessons I Will Pass On to My Kids

The True Gospel

The Road Less Traveled By – To The Solidification Zone

Beginning to Imagine the Kingdom of God

Exclusion & Embrace in the Garden of Good & Evil

“Doubly Dead and Uprooted” 

“All who are thirsty come”

 

 This is sum of Sally: “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

Boy, Are You in Trouble!

Let it be known that I am a Christian & a handgun owner. The handgun is for my protection and it’s fun to shoot at a target.  Now…

No doubt you’ve heard reports across the country concerning certain school teachers and school administrators suspending, expelling, punishing, guilt-shaming, tyrannizing and otherwise verbally torturing young boys just for being boys.

This extreme behavior has been formed in college, where the ‘educators’ are taught, indirectly, to dismiss males as being off point and always domineering, with way too much get up and go and not enough “sit there and listen to me.”

In other words, guys are a pain in their collective ass, even for the male ‘educators’.

Often, at elementary schools where these ‘educators’ are unleashed to vent their disrespect and begin their over lording of young males the teachers submit to a form of groupthink which easily takes over.

Like the gun free zones stickers which serve no purpose other than to disarm law-abiding citizens so that they are now totally dependent on a 911 call made hopefully by someone who is not shot dead by a criminal who could care less about the sign, a boy’s signed ‘civility pledge’ is most likely meant to inform him of the ‘order’ he is supposed to keep and the consequences of his failure to rightly align his behavior with Teacher’s emotional mood-at-the-moment code of conduct – it basically informs the boy that a teacher can freak-out at will and there will be swift ‘justice’ and without due process. More importantly, though, it is meant to cover asses in the future.

These ‘educators’ prefer the student who hangs on their every spoken word, who does their assignments in perfect cursive and also languishes after class to see if the teacher approves of their work.

Are there kids who do bad things? Absolutely. A small percentage of a school’s population are kids who do ‘bad’ things. Girls will bully other girls verbally. Teachers will bully students verbally (as witnessed by the overreaction of now, nationally known ‘educators’ who have placed themselves on the cusp of being all- wise in the eyes of their pay grade.

Boys will bully other boys physically. But a picture, drawn by a boy, of a handgun, is not a felony, a misdemeanor or a crime. It is boyishness played out on paper. No one and I mean no one has been bullied or hurt by such a drawing.

It was the teacher, in fact, who gave the boy a loaded pencil. But, the pen being mightier than the sword, a chestnut well-known to the ‘cultured’ ‘educators’, the teacher should have known: boys will be boys and the hand drawn gun was not loaded except with a teacher’s perverse ‘educated’ angst.

A drawn picture of a gun or a cracker bitten into a shape of a gun absolutely destroys a teacher’s female Victorian sensitivities. Immediately, they flip out and go way over the top in their reaction to the ‘militant’ boy. The boy is to be wounded emotionally, scared to within an inch of his life. This is purposefully done by the Gestapo school Admins.

As ‘educators, they are clueless as to HOW to teach boys. They were taught that female learning is the best way to learn – via emo.

I have Zero Tolerance for these ‘educators’!!!!

It is time, RIGHT NOW, to end the War on Boys!!!!!!

Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship And The End Of the American Debate by First Amendment lawyer Greg Lukianoff

More at Legal Insurrection:

Forecast: Cloudy, with a certainty of Zero Tolerance Insanity

America’s ‘DeValued’ Moral Currency

Pervasive throughout our land is the avoidance of asking the hard questions.  We shun the real questions about life and death and about God.  We do not want to talk “good and evil.”  We glibly talk about body and soul, about reason and revelation, about eternity and time. 

 The other day I happened to watch The Lord of the Rings (LTR):  The Return of the King.  Putting the above statement into LTR terms, we want to live peaceably in the shire without ever having to venture out and deal with the Ring, a Ring which has consequential power over us. We may say to ourselves, “Why destroy the ring when we don’t know for sure it exists? We may have thoughts that all that the shire presents to us is all there is to life. We will go on with our quietude in order to avoid conflict and to live peaceably. We choose society’s ‘safe’ surroundings and its costly ‘insurance’ policies to avoid the dangerous quest that truth demands of us. We fear what it might take to make the journey.  We fear we will lose ourselves on the way and never return to the shire. We fear, we fear and we fear again.

   We fear conflict.  And this is because inherent in conflict are the morals or ethics that each of the disparate parties brings with them. Conflict is the evil we most want to avoid.  Our “dialectics” begin with opposites and often end in synthesis or in the exclusion (or boycott) of the ‘other’.  We will seek out the ‘no-fault divorce’ of our language from its historical meaning. We give a pass to “Political-Correctness” (PC) because PC talk bypasses truth and goes straight to a word originally devoid of any value in and of itself but now given full political power: “diversity.”  

With the acceptance of “diversity,” also a code-word for “whatever” or “it-depends,” moral relativity’s child, lawlessness, increasingly becomes a de facto way to govern and self-govern. Yet, “Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city She utters her sayings…”

As we go on and find more and more moral conflicts and in order to avoid angst we find it easier to believe nothing of import so that we do not have to fear disagreement, ostracism or even death for what one believes. And because we do not believe in anything then we cannot be responsible for outcomes. Nihilism’s union with materialism begets the DNA of nihilism – lives drained of any meaning other than the moment. In fact, we are told duplicitously “to live in the moment.”

 To choose to believe nothing means that absolute truth is discharged from our lives.  Its voice is no longer heeded.  In fact its voice is now being drowned out.  The commotion that you hear daily is man’s raucous resistance to leaving the shire ~ his tweeting and texting of empty words, the ever streaming pop/rock music filling the void, the Surround sound of ubiquitous blaring entertainment.  It is as if men and women were walking around in the dark calling out to each other and never finding the light switch. They have chosen to stay in the purgatory of their fears.

 The avoidance of pain and conflict has become our primary goal in life.  This is seen in the young voter’s desire for Obamacare.  The health care reform is seen by them as in line with their “values”.  The reform is also seen as providing a sense of self-esteem in that it affirms the young voters wish to avoid pain and insecurity at all costs. On the surface Obamacare appears to provide security for themselves and for others while in truth it is a compromise of what is good and what is evil – the good being the desire for your well-being and the well-being of others and the evil which is the lie that Obama and the government will somehow provide self-esteem and security for you and others and do it with altruism. Remember, God has now been replaced by social science, social science based on rationalism and egalitarianism (think John Rawls, Laurence Tribe, etc.) all under the banner of “Social Justice.”  Rationalism’s,’ “Social Justice” trumps God every time.  Social science is now becoming the creator of society’s values, e.g., God is not to be talked about in public but homosexuality must be.  All of this in spite of the fact that rationalism without revelation could never create value. As Benedict XVI said in 1969:

“What is essential is that reason shut in on itself does not remain reasonable or rational, just as the state that aims at being perfect becomes tyrannical. Reason needs revelation in order to be able to be effective as reason.”

 The avoidance of truth with its inherent conflicts with other than the truth affects our relationships, our sexuality, our creativity, our culture. In place of absolute truth Americans, as mentioned, have latched on to “values.” And our new “value” system has a new way of talking:  “lifestyle”, “Be Yourself;” “Be original;” “Let go and be;”  diversity;” “I have my rights.” But now “rights” are no longer the natural inalienable God-given rights “of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Now “rights” have morphed into feelings worn on our sleeve.  We demand that others accept what we feel and that others be open and tolerant. This is what we value above all else. Right and wrong (and love (read not sex)) no longer have a place in our psyche. “Values” – a synthesis of good and evil dominates our diseased culture. And when we ignore serious questions we create words with synthetic meanings to describe our lives.

 “Charisma” is one of those words often heard today. Charisma was once considered a God-given grace but has been used as cover for the “banality of evil” as Hannah Arendt, political philosopher, notes when talking about Hitler’s appeal.

  Allan Bloom, another political philosopher, notes in his 1987 book The Closing of the American MindHow Higher Education Has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students,Charisma both justifies leaders and excuses followers.  The very word gives a positive twist to rabble-rousing qualities and activities treated as negative in our constitutional tradition.  And it s vagueness makes it a tool for frauds and advertising men adept at manipulating images.” Consider that both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have both been called charismatic leaders.

 In the introduction to his book, Bloom writes about what he sees in the classrooms of higher education: 

“There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of:  almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes that truth is relative….They are unified only in their relativism and their allegiance to equality….They have been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society…The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance.  Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating.  Openness ~ and the relativism that makes it only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and various ways of life and kinds of human beings ~ is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger.  The study of history and culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism.  The point (now) is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all.”  (emphasis mine)

  In a later chapter titled The German Connection, Bloom relates how Nietzsche, Heidegger, Hegel, Weber, Freud have influenced American thinking.  Americans, within a “pro-choice” democracy, have assimilated this German thinking sometimes turning it on its head.   Bloom writes, 

“…there is now an entirely new language of good and evil, originating in an attempt to get “beyond good and evil” and preventing us from talking with any conviction about good and evil anymore.  Even those who deplore our current moral condition do so in the very language that exemplifies that condition.”

“The new language is that of value relativism and it constitutes a change in our view of things moral and political as great as the one that took place when Christianity replaced Greek and Roman paganism.” (empahsis mine) …

“Value relativism can be taken to be a great release from the perpetual tyranny of good and evil, with its cargo and shame and guilt, and the endless efforts that the pursuit of the one and the avoidance of the other enjoin. Intractable good and evil cause infinite distress – like war and sexual repression – which is almost instantly relieved when more flexible values are introduced.  One need not feel bad about or uncomfortable with oneself when just a little value adjustment is necessary.  And this longing to shuck off constraints and have one peaceful, happy world is the first of the affinities between our real American world and that of German philosophy in its most advanced form, given expression by the critics of the President’s speech.”

 Here Bloom is referring to the clamor arising when President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire.”  When yet at another time Reagan said that the Soviets had “different values,” this statement was met “at worst with silence and frequently with approval,” thus revealing our loathing of absolutism in the former statement.

 At the beginning of the chapter Values, Bloom, relates, “We have come back to the point where we began (in the book), where values take the place of good and evil.” (emphasis mine)

And so like Gollum we place the utmost value on the ring of power, becoming blind to its tyranny over us. Along with the ring we call our values “My Precious.”  Under the yolk of temporal “values” and without facing the serious questions of life we lose ourselves, we lose the real.  We lose love, romance, culture, art ~ everything that gives meaning to life.

 Love or charity, a virtue which must be constantly worked at, is replaced with ‘sexual rights.’ Consider that in our culture sexual activity is not to be repressed or self-controlled but rather it is to be given preeminent unrestrained “value.” Think Sandra Fluke and contraception. Think in-your-face homosexuality. Does America “confirm her soul in self-control” or not?

 Romance, apart from truth is portrayed in movie after movie as just a response to nihilism. Nowhere to be found is the expectation, the unrequited desire and the hoped-for revelation of real romance. Without absolutes there can be no true romance.

 We are a culture that seeks therapeutic counseling.  Yet modern psychology, the sworn enemy of shame and guilt, refuses to talk about good and evil and therefore offers nothing for the soul. Freudian psychology only brings the patient back to repressed sex.

 Modern art has nothing of consequence to offer. Consider the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

 Deafening music, pop or rock, pummels our ear drums daily evoking barbaric passions and depriving the soul of its senses.

 Tattoos deface our bodies so as to reveal our disdain for the discipline that purity of mind and body requires. Inking is given the (non-)value of counter-culture and rabble-rousing.

 Religion, wherein serious questions are faced, is being replaced by positive thinking as preached from the temples of TV.

 In view of the fact that our nation is becoming increasingly devoid of absolutes and truth while at the same time becoming increasingly laced with relativism and sliding scale “values” consider this:

 Jesus, the Son of the Living God and The Way, the Truth and the Life says, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Free from what? Free from fear.  All fear:  the fear of the unknown, the fear of facing ultimate accountability, the fear of death, the fear of loss and personal suffering, the fear of evil.  Jesus’ perfect love casts out all fear. Because of this we can face the serious questions of life head-on knowing that God ~ Father, Son and Holy Spirit love us, that They stand with us and that Jesus has gone before us through the same difficult places. Seek Him and He will be found.

 Going back to the LTR analogy do you remember how Frodo and Sam and the rest rejoiced that the ring had been destroyed, that their arduous life and death journey had been accomplished? Their courage and resoluteness saved the shire, themselves and Middle Earth even while the others in the shire had no clue as to what was going on.  You and I must do the same.

God Be With You – Kids

School started this past week. Last Sunday the Rector asked the school kids to bring their backpacks up to the altar during the Eucharist.

Today, surrounding the altar were dozens of deposited backpacks. Our rector prayed a prayer of blessing and protection over the school gear and the children who were watching closely.

The music playing:

Closing the American Mind: Censorship

statue-of-liberty-crying315

I have just finished reading Unlearning Liberty:  Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate by Greg Lukianoff.  This is an incredibly succinct and well documented (plenty of chapter notes) accounting of the disavowal of First Amendment Rights on college campuses. You will be horrified by what you will read.  If you are considering college or currently in college or if you have been to college and wondered what had happened to you during that time then you MUST read this book.  Your First Amendment Rights are everywhere being crushed by the thought police. 

Greg Lukianoff is a self-described liberal, atheist and First Amendment rights attorney.  He is the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).  His book details the censorship going on college campuses for many years now.  As a student your free speech rights may likely have been violated.  Read this very accessible book and find out how this is possible. In fact, anyone who cares about free speech and the First Amendment should absolutely read this book.  I highly recommend it to you.

 Today the graduates of such schools are now the ones most desirous of shutting down free speech:  they will call you “homophobic” or “right-wing nut” or any of a host of dismissive names.  There are “journalists” (and I use that word loosely) who would have you think that there can be no discussion because they have the correct answer and you don’t.  They don’t want to hear from you. There can be no discussion.  This type of censorship emulates exactly what professors and college administrator have been practicing for several years.  This book reveals the unbelievable censorship that has and is now taking place.

 One would think that college and universities would be the one place where a student could hear diverse opinions and then choose the soundest and best ideas to build a premise on. But the opposite is happening.  “Higher education” is clamping down on any thought outside their politically correct viewpoint.  Not good.  And, because of this censorship, students are learning less and less while paying more and more.  They are not learning to think critically. Instead they are taught to whine, to complain, to be outraged.  If they disagree with the campus thought ‘regulations’ then they are told to shut up, sit down and be quiet.  They are then told to wait for the school’s adjudication of the matter by the thought police.  The penalties of non-conformity as you will learn in the book are severe. They are also learning to silence and punish other students who make them angry or hurt their feelings.  “Outrage” is all the rage today on college campuses and also in the politically correct “journalism” of the main stream media.

 From the Introduction, The Dangerous College:

 “It may seem like a paradox, but an environment that squelches debate and punishes the expressions of opinions, in the very institution that is supposed to make us better thinkers, can lead quickly to the formation of polarized groups in which people harbor a comfortable, uncritical certainty that they are right.”

 Sound familiar? From the intro:

 “…The result is a group polarization that follows graduates into the real world.  As the sociologist Diana C. Mutz discovered in her book Hearing the Other Side (2006), those with the highest levels of education have the lowest exposure to people with conflicting points of view, while those who have not graduated from high school can claim the most diverse discussion mates. In other words, those most likely to live in the tightest echo chambers are those with the highest level of education.  It should be the opposite, shouldn’t it?  A good education ought to teach citizens to actively seek out the opinions of intelligent people with whom they disagree, in order to prevent the problem of “confirmation bias.”

 Further:

 “…campus censorship poses both an immediate threat to all of our freedoms not just because free speech is crucial to every other freedom, but also because it teaches students wrong lessons about living in a free society.”

 Is our society polarized?  You bet.  We can thank colleges and universities for a great deal of the divisiveness in our nation today.  There are no longer debates but blatant and intense censorship of differing opinions.  I don’t have to tell you this.  Turn on the main stream media (MSNBC for one) and listen to journalism grads spewing “self-confirming” biased opinions on current issues.  They will shout over the dissenting opinion in order to shut it down.

 Numerous real-life examples of college censorship are presented in Unlearning Liberty.  There are too many to mention here.  So, I will just head over to the Conclusion, Unlearning Liberty and the Knee Jerk Society:

 “Taken together, the threat of punishment for expressing the wrong thoughts, the omnipresence of codes warning students to be careful about what they say, and the politicized, self-serving redefinition of tolerance and civility all reinforce the social pressure to either half-mindedly agree or avoid vigorous debate altogether.  Analysts of higher education have noticed this reticence in the “millennial generation,” but they often characterize it as a historical peculiarity, sometimes attributing it to more “collectivist” ethic that somehow materialized among today’s younger people.  Few have considered that this hesitance to debate had been habituated in part through coercion by those in charge ~ through a perfect storm of feeble free speech rights in K-12 schooling, a lack of meaningful civics education, and a collegiate environment that makes dissent too risky.”

 And finally, from the Conclusion:

 ”Unfortunately, too many educators today are ambivalent about free speech, imagining that if they really did allow all opinions to be expressed, the result would nightmarish landscape of nonstop bigotry and ignorance.  I think this apocalyptic point of view, which masquerades as sophistication, is a childish oversimplification of the actual interaction of people everyday life and especially in an academic setting.  But perhaps more importantly, the advocates of benign censorship fundamentally miss the simple truth that Buddhists have known for millennia:  life is pain.  Most Americans find this statement jarring at first, but when you think about it for even a moment and accept that there is nothing strange or odd about challenges inherent in being alive, life becomes less painful.  As philosophers and popular writers have argued, much of our unnecessary pain comes from our obsession with pain.  The sometimes painful process of intellectual growth and living in the world needs to be accepted, not fled from, and that acceptance needs to be taught.” (emphasis mine)

 Currently the question of our Second Amendment right to own a gun is at the front of American minds.  This is due to the recent shootings of innocent people by mentally ill people.  Subsequently there has been a lot of talk in the media that Obama wants to stop the conversation and pursue strict gun control via Executive Order. Don’t let our rights be taken away.  Read this book and speak up.  Exercise your rights with proper self-government.  Otherwise you may be forced to hand those rights over to those who would gladly have you sit down and shut up.

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Followup:

If you think that your First Amendment rights are being assaulted then check out this website for recourse:  Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

 Eric Holder and the DOJ’s Unfairness:  prosecuting bullying cases under civil rights laws

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