Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Squeeze Is On

Here's a graph demonstrating the present-minded obsession of Americans. In 2007, 18% of 401K plan participants took out a "loan" from their plans, effectively stealing from themselves, presumably to pay for something that they don't actually need.

Keep in mind that these are relatively wealthy people with high incomes. If they are in a bind, what about the average schmo on the street?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Buchanan on Obama

Pat Buchanan provides a "Brief for Whitey":

This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks—with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas—to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks...

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

Krauthammer on Obama

Charles Krauthammer is a monster. He is, however, a frequently insightful monster. Though any neocon critique of Obama, or anyone else for that matter, is suspect, Kruthammer's summary of the main thrust of Obama's speech is on the money:

The question is why didn't he leave that church? Why didn't he leave -- why doesn't he leave even today -- a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) "God damn America"? Obama's 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence, and (b) white guilt.

This contextual analysis of Wright's venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It's the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That's why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt, while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

Our Election Choices

From Lawrence Auster:

"A great nation that elected as its leader a man of such questionable and marginal background and upbringing as Barack Obama, Jr., a man who has no real identity, but who, like a mixed-race Zelig, is constrained to go through life manufacturing new identities for each situation, would be a country that had lost its way. Of course, a country that elected as its leader a brainless embittered 72 year old wreck of a man whose only two ideas were to open America's borders to the Third World and keep our troops in Iraq for a thousand years would also have lost its way."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gerson on Obama and Theonomy

One fairly typical commentary about Barack Obama’s “race” speech came from neocon Mike Gerson. Gerson, an evangelical who graduated from Wheaton College, was formerly the wordsmith of that fine rhetorician, George W. Bush. From his perch at the Washington Post, Gerson is what passes for a Christian in the public square.

So to whom does he compare Jeremiah Wright? Greg Bahnsen and R. J. Rushdoony. According to Gerson’s sharp theological mind, theonomy is comparable to Wright’s crackpot assertions that the CIA is filling urban America with crack and created AIDS to destroy Black America. Writes Gerson,

The better analogy is this: What if a Republican presidential candidate spent years in the pew of a theonomist church -- a fanatical fragment of Protestantism that teaches the modern political validity of ancient Hebrew law? What if the church's pastor attacked the U.S. government as illegitimate and accepted the stoning of homosexuals and recalcitrant children as appropriate legal penalties (which some theonomists see as biblical requirements)? Surely we would conclude, at the very least, that the candidate attending this church lacked judgment and that his donations were subsidizing hatred. And we would be right.

Let’s forget the stoning of homosexuals and discuss Gerson’s claims regarding recalcitrant children. Here is the passage from Deuteronomy:
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

The law serves, first, as a limitation on family authority. In pagan antiquity, fathers had absolute jurisdiction and authority over their children and could kill them, leave them victim to exposure, etc. Here the Mosaic Law establishes a limitation on family authority, and civil authorities enter the picture only at the behest of upholding God’s law.

Second, the law requires that a family line up with law and order, God’s order, even against flesh and blood. In other words not blood, but law is to govern.

The point is that no Hebrew could be a professional criminal. This law is not meant to apply to small children. The purpose of this case law was to eliminate those whose way of life was systematically and habitually criminal.

How might this work in the real world? Take for example the recent murders of Abhijit Mahato and Eve Carson (pictured above). They were murdered by two “incorrigible delinquents” named Laurence Lovette and Demario Atwater.

Lovette’s career as a criminal was quite productive despite his youth. Here is a newspaper blurb:

Lovette turned 17 last November. Within weeks, he was on probation. Within months, authorities allege, he embarked on a crime spree that started with the slaying of a graduate student at Duke University and ended with the fatal shooting of the University of North Carolina's student body president.

Police charged Lovette with first-degree murder Thursday in the January death of Abhijit Mahato, just hours after Lovette surrendered in last week's death of North Carolina student body president Eve Carson.

In between those killings, court records show, the teenager from Durham was arrested several times and charged with felonies ranging from burglary to car theft to resisting arrest.

Trials were pending on nine charges. He paid a fine for a traffic violation. And the whole time, he was on probation for a pair of crimes committed ten days before his 17th birthday: misdemeanor larceny and breaking and entering, pleaded down from felonies.

Atwater’s criminal resume included convictions for larceny, drug possession, breaking and entering and felony possession of a firearm.

Instead of dealing with these thugs in a manner befitting their crimes, the “criminal justice system” saw fit to send them back into society repeatedly so that they could ultimately murder two young people to steal their Ipods. The “fanatical” theonomist would simply have purged the evil from our midst before it was allowed to engulf and snuff out the lives of two innocents.

May God give us fewer Mike Gersons and more "fanatics."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Review of "Day of Reckoning"--Part II

Aside from his able discussion of the unsustainability of American foreign policy, in Day of Reckoning, Pat Buchanan predicts the dissolution of America. “It is the belief of this author and the premise of this book,” writes Buchanan, “that America is indeed coming apart, decomposing, and that the likelihood of her survival as one nation through mid-century is improbable—and impossible if America continues on her current course. For we are on a path to national suicide.”

The existential crisis identified by Buchanan is largely a byproduct of the immigration invasion unleashed by elites enthralled by the dual ideologies of homo economicus and multiculturalism.

Before 1965, immigration was shaped by the national origins quota system, which granted visas primarily based on an immigrant’s country of birth. As a result, 70% of visas went to three countries--Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany. Modifications to the 1965 law established family reunification, and to a lesser extent employment preferences, as the new criteria for admission and led to a demographic tsunami that is changing the political, economic and cultural landscape.

Coupled with a falling birthrate among American whites and the wholesale slaughter of a generation as a consequence of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. is undergoing an epic demographic transformation. Writes Buchanan,

According to the U.S. Census Bureau…our minority population rose 2.4 million to exceed 100 million. Hispanics, 1 percent of the U.S. population in 1950, are now 14.4 percent. Since 2000, their numbers have soared 25 percent to 45 million. The U.S. Asian population grew by 24 percent since 2000, as the number of white kids of school age fell 4 percent. Half the children five and younger today are minority children.

Apologists for mass immigration point to the assimilation of prior waves of immigrants. The Wall Street Journal rhapsodizes, “These newcomers by and large aren't listening to the left-wingers pushing identity politics. Mexican immigrants, like their European predecessors, are assimilating. Their children learn English and by the end of high school prefer it to their parents' native tongue. They also marry people they meet here. Second-generation Latinos earn less than white Americans but more than blacks and 50% more than first-generation Latinos."

Likewise, political whiz Michael Barone, who ought to stick to politics, said, "I believe the likelihood is strong that Latinos will eventually become interwoven into American life. With luck, it will take less than 100 years."

But immigration from Mexico is an entirely different animal. "Mexican immigration," writes Samuel Huntington, "differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration [in the American Southwest], persistence, and historical presence... Demographically, socially, and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway."

The happy twaddle that “diversity is our strength” is recited by editorialists and politicians sounding like a five-year-old reciting a catechism. But it is in unity that strength resides and an excess of diversity goes hand in hand with Balkanization, social isolation and the breakdown of community.

Buchanan suggests terminating birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens who become anchor babies, eliminating subsidies for illegals in the form of welfare, health care, and education, and punishing lawbreaking employers with steep fines and jail terms.

What will be the consequences of failure to stem the tide? Tyranny-- for immigration and multiculturalism are inextricably tied to statism. A social order constructed on the sure foundation of broad ethnic and religious unity provides a framework for trust, fraternity, and security, but syncretizing ethnicity and culture produces collectivism and imperialism, a bureaucratic order governed by social engineers and meddlers. States with diverse populations ultimately require authoritarian governments as the only alternative to anarchy. Hence, mass immigration is welcomed by those who manage racial, ethnic, and religious conflict.

“History teaches,” writes Buchanan, “that multiethnic states are held together either by an authoritarian regime or a dominant ethnocultural core, or they are ever at risk of disintegration in ethnic conflict.”

The post-Christian West is in the process of committing suicide. Is it too late, or can we yet save what remains of the common culture and destiny we have inherited from our forefathers?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tyrants in Black Robes and Messianic Educrats

I know that I’m late to the party, but I wanted to proffer a few thoughts on the decision of a California court forbidding parents who lack teaching credentials from educating their children at home.

"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in his opinion on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."

According to the court, your children belong to the state, and it is the purpose of professional, accredited, and certified educrats to turn little Johnny into a shill for The Man.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," Croskey wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

Those shocked by the totalitarian premises and presuppositions of the court are laboring under the delusion that such tyrants have infected the public square only recently. In California, there is a longstanding tradition of undermining parental rights in the sphere of education in furtherance of a totalitarian and godless social order.

California has always been filled with rootless and displaced residents, and when it became a state in 1850 its constitution called for a state superintendent of public instruction. While private schools existed, there was neither an established tradition nor deep roots, as opposed to states in the east where private and church schools were typically the norm before the machinations of Horace Mann and his satanic spawn.

The third state superintendent was a dedicated educator named John Swett, who presided in imperial fashion over California’s schools from 1863-1868. Speaking to a group of teachers in 1863, Swett spoke of two fundamental axioms of statists everywhere:

"...early in the history of our country these two fundamental principles were enunciated and adopted: That it is the duty of a Republican Government, as an act of self-preservation, to educate all classes of the people, and that the property of the State should be taxed to pay for that education."

There are, of course, numerous problems with Swett’s careless remarks, but lets consider his statement that, "The property of the State should be taxed to educate the children of the State" (see page 115 at this link). Note the language; these are not children living in the state, but children that are the property of the state.

Swett went on to affirm that indeed he was not joking, "But children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country." Ostensibly what Swett was saying is that the state has the right to reach into the home and claim jurisdiction over its property—children.

Swett went even further in his 1864 Biennial Report, where he wrote that the state accredited teacher should be the locus of authority:

In school, where the mind is first placed under care to be fitted for the grand purposes of life, the child should be taught to consider his instructor, in many respects, superior to the parent in point of authority.

Likewise, parents have no rights as against teachers:

It is true that the school officers have certain rights in the schoolhouse; but the law will not allow even them to interfere with the teacher while he keeps strictly within the line of his duty. Having been legally put in possession, he can hold it for the purposes and the time agreed upon; and no parent, not even the Governor of the State, nor the President of the United States, has any right to enter it and disturb him in the lawful performance of his duties…The vulgar impression that parents have a legal right to dictate to teachers is entirely erroneous….Parents have no remedy as against the teacher.

In Swett’s view, schools are extensions of state sovereignty rather than parental authority. Kids are simply wards of the state and parental rights in the ambit of education are forfeited except in private schools. Swett, incidentally, did recognize the existence of private schools. Unfortunately, others did not, and in 1874 California law was rewritten to make it a penal offense for parents to send their little ones to private schools without the consent of local school trustees.

What Rushdoony called the Messianic Character of American Education is not a new phenomenon (please, please read his book with the above title published in 1961). Indeed education being necessarily religious, the fight for control over the future, children, is an ongoing struggle in each generation.

Revolutionaries from Jacobins to Nazis to Bolsheviks have sought to control the future by controlling children. American liberals, and their ideological cousins, the Neocons, are no different with their propagandizing on behalf of universal daycare, expanded Headstart, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind, and the whole panoply of statist programs looking to supplant mom and dad and become the universal parent.

Christians ought to think long and hard about a collective exit from the public schools. As Christian parents, we ought not hand our children over to the enemy, and can anyone argue persuasively that these ignorance centers, spewing vile anti-Christian propaganda, are anything other than godless?

Some Christians argue that we must send our precious children into these Temples of Atheism so that they can be salt and light to a dying world. We must, they say, sacrifice our children to Molech in order to fulfill the cultural mandate. The problem with this argument is that the evangelism process usually works in reverse. The Nehemiah Institute and the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life have and continue to document the ongoing destruction of Christian children, whose faith is shipwrecked as they are unable to sweep past the Scylla and Charybdis of American culture, caught up in the siren song of liberation from family and faith. Are we to assume that this sad state of affairs has no connection to the fact that secular public education divorces God from creation and science, history, mathematics, and philosophy?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Immigration and "The Church" in Indiana

A group of "Protestant ministers" stepped up to the podium to oppose a bill in the Indiana legislature that would punish businesses and employers who are utilizing the services of illegals. One minister, Mark Powell, said "Christ is clear in the Gospel: Love your neighbor." Actually, Rev, what you are asking me to do is hate my flesh and blood, my two brothers, both real men who do real work and see themselves undercut by law-breakers.

The ministers were part of an organization called Disciples Justice Action Network, which describes itself as "a multi-racial, multi-ethnic grassroots network of individuals, congregations, and organizations within the Christian Church, all working together for greater justice, peace and diversity in our churches, our communities, our nations and the world. As an organization, they are committed to "social justice issues" (a misnomer if ever one existed) and are pro-choice and supportive of gay and lesbian rights.

Senator Mike Delph, the author of the immigration proposal, did not attend the news conference and issued a short statement: "Jesus obeyed the law."

Delph's simple eloquence in defense of law in the face of an antinomian onslaught by clergy preaching the heresy of unconditional love speaks volumes.

Who Caused the Housing Collapse?

Well, Alan Greenspan is surely one culprit. But here is an interesting article by economist Stan Liebowitz, arguing that government mandated political correctness, all in the name of preventing "discrimination" and "redlining" is largely to blame.

The Bush Legacy

Approaching the conclusion of the Bush Era, we have 150,000 troops tied down in a war we can't win, oil prices have topped $106 per barrel, foreclosures are at record highs and for or the first time the amount of debt tied up in American homes now exceeds the equity homeowners have buil. On the politcal front, come this fall we could have 60 Democrat legislators. Meanwhile, the trade deficit in 2007 topped $700 billion and the dollar collapsed against the Euro and Yen.