Category: politics

Jaffe Memo: Part 7, Religion, Politics, Scientism, Climate Change, and Secular Humanism

This series began as a reflection of the contents of the Jaffe Memo, a Planned Parenthood document from 1969 that discussed ideas for handling the ‘population’ crisis.  This memo succinctly lays bear an agenda that has been in play since before the Civil War, and as I have demonstrated in previous parts of this series […]

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The truth about who pays taxes: Everyone and No One Simultaneously

Everyone pays taxes even when nobody pays them; nobody pays taxes, because everyone pays them. You cannot target just one ‘group’ because that group will ultimately diffuse that tax to some other group. Hence, every tax becomes a tax on everyone, and never a tax on any particular group. Solution?

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Reflections on the ‘Jaffe Memo’ and why ‘Religion’ and ‘Politics’ should Mix- Part 1

It is has never been more important to carefully examine what one believes and why they believe it. If you do not carry out this work, you may end up being nothing more than a useful idiot of the worst sort: directly bringing about the goals and ends of those you specifically repudiate as wicked and evil… condemning the communists, nazis, and eugenicists, while carrying out their work.

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Proper Response to Genuine Social Injustice: Reflections on Obama’s Student Loan Proposals

Thomas Paine said: “is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies; some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.”

Exactly. But it would appear that some modern ‘political physicians’ specifically wish to create systems that are ‘so exceedingly complex.’ Keep the patient sick seems to be the order of the day. Otherwise, he won’t need a doctor.

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Reaction to Cain’s 9-9-9 and a Different Way Forward

Herman Cain is in the category belonging to “I can stomach voting for him” and the subset of that category, “I can even speak a kind word about him and am comfortable advocating for him- and will.”

His 9-9-9 proposal has a simple and important premise: the elimination of the Federal tax code and starting over. Amen, brother. Preach it.

However, the notion of a national sales tax is abhorrent to me. I do not feel reassured by assurances that the 9% tax will not in later years be increased. If we know anything about how the US governments work (and the plural is intentional; I am counting local and state governments as well), a tax will always go up. It never goes down and it never goes away. This is the real world, not fairytown. We know what is going to happen. We know it.

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Occupy Wall Street, Martin Luther, and Reason prostituting as the Devil’s whore

if anyone is actually concerned about the plight of the poor and oppressed and the abuses by corporations, banks, and politicians- no doubt inspired by genuine concerns arising within a decent heart- I would challenge them to rely on more than their hearts and emotions, which can and do deceive and will co-opt the mind if it needs to. We must use our brains. We have to be thinking people. And we must be thinking people within the proper boundaries and context for thinking, that is… our thoughts must actually conform to reality the way it is.

All else may very well simply be self-deception.

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Why Sticking it to Big Business Sticks it to the Little Guy

for most of us, when faced with a burdensome law, we do not have the flexibility to simply pick up and leave. Indeed, since most of us are busy just living out our lives, minding our own business, we are rarely even aware of a burdensome law until after it is too late to do anything about it, and frankly- if we’re honest- we usually couldn’t do anything about it, anyway. Why not?

Again, the facts of reality set in. We’re busy. We have jobs. We have families. We have obligations. We don’t have the time and resources to keep track of everything our local municipality is up to, let alone the state and Federal government. Ah… but our wealthy business owner, if he is sufficiently wealthy, can position himself to be aware of what is happening to him legislatively, and more than that, can hire people whose sole jobs are to attempt to influence that legislation.

Come on, admit it. If you had the money, you’d do the same thing. But since you don’t have the money, you chafe at others doing it. But the business person is only doing what a human in that situation can be expected to do.

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Christianity and Libertarians, the Republic, and the Consent of the Governed

This is why I led off with the John Adams quote. ‘Moral and religious people’ will continue to be ‘moral and religious’ whatever freedoms or restrictions are placed on them by the government. I might say: “Libertarianism was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the [government] of any other.” There are any number of forms of government that can work with a ‘moral and religious people.’ For an amoral or immoral or anti-moral or non-religious or anti-religious people, no kind of government is going to work for the long haul.

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Drafting our legislators randomly better than current process

Worldnetdaily.com published one of my columns this weekend.  In the column, I argue that what we really need in political office are people who have no interest in political office.  Moreover, we do not need people who believe that the government is the solution to all problems, but in fact believe that government has a […]

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Demanding Extraordinary Evidence for Extraordinary Claims Can Render You an Extraordinary Dupe

if one applies a higher standard of inquiry against claims that they might deem extraordinary, then claims they find to be ordinary will ordinarily be accepted- without demonstration at all. Here again we see skepticism turned on its head: the skeptic is not skeptical about the things he is prepared already to believe. It is only the things he deems unlikely that he is skeptical about- God alone knows how the skeptic determined something was ‘unlikely.’

It is a fact of human nature, I think, to quickly accept things that one is already prepared to accept. If I am told tomorrow that some Democrat in high office has failed to pay his taxes- again- I will pretty much accept it as a fact because I have become accustomed to Democrats doing such things (eg here, here, here, and here). We should expect nothing less from the people who believe that we should all pay higher taxes; by ‘we all’ it is known they mean us all. I am prepared to believe it as a pretty ordinary claim in the realm of things and therefore will demand very little evidence to support it. So you see, I am not exempting myself from this human tendency.

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Why I became a Conservative

When I was in college there was this guy 2 1/2 times larger than me… a philosophy major, as I recall… appropriately named ‘Animal.’ I remember having a debate about pain with him. I argued it was all in our minds- just a brain state- and not real. Animal said, “Come here, and I’ll show you unreal pain.”

While I was of the mindset that there were just “brain states” or just “subjective opinions” or just “one’s political views”, I was a liberal. When my mindset changed, so did my ‘political’ stance. This is a realization that congealed more than ten years after the change had happened. Was it just me? Correlation does not prove causation, and yet I see the same ingredients in the conservatives and liberals I meet. What made my mindset change?

I wouldn’t say it happened over night but there was a singular ‘event’ that proved the catalyst. One should understand that at the time, I was a Christian, an apologist, a Christian religion teacher. But I still entertained many viewpoints we’d call ‘liberal.’ The catalyst arose out of my never ending quest to make sure that when I talk about something, I actually know what I’m talking about. In the general course of that, I read a great many writings of Communists, Nazis, and to a lesser extent, the ‘fascists.’ Here I discovered something frightening: these people were advocating many of the same things I was advocating, and for the same reasons.

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The Courage of Their Convictions: Jared Lee Loughner, James Jay Lee and the Power of Belief

We live in a curious time. Good people who are otherwise sane entertain the notions that Lee and Loughner embraced and acted on. Over against those notions they have some memory of the bloodsport of the 20th century and are keen to avoid it a second go around. What they don’t ask is: “Maybe it isn’t just one particular application of these beliefs that ought to be discredited… maybe the beliefs themselves should be chucked?”

To illustrate.

Let us imagine that someone believed that all people with red hair should be killed because they aren’t really people. You talk to him. He’s a perfectly pleasant fellow. Very sane. “So, you aren’t going to actually kill any red haired people or advocate that others do?” you ask him. “Of course not,” he says. That’s a relief, of course. “Why believe it if you won’t carry it out?” you persist. “That would be horrible. I would feel terrible,” he says. “Hmmm,” you might say, “Perhaps the fact that you are deeply uncomfortable with wiping out those with red hair is because even though you say they aren’t people, in fact, you think they are. Why not then dispense with your belief that they aren’t really people?”

Something very much like this is at the root of much thinking among secular humanists. They don’t really believe what they’re saying. If they did, we’d all be in a lot of trouble and they’d probably go a little nuts.

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What Does Atheism Become?

About five years ago I published a collection of essays that is no longer available for purchase. The collection is titled after the essay below. It is not, as far as I know, something I’ve published elsewhere. I was thinking of it recently and decided it should be dusted off. It seems as relevant today as when I first wrote it.

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That Which Atheism Becomes

Some might say that I just like to argue. The truth is that I believe that ideas have consequences and some consequences are more severe than others. Arguing, or more precisely, debating, these ideas helps everyone on all sides of a position understand a position better. In theory, if you could of got Bin Laden to sit down to have a nice debate you could of aroused for him some of the critical consequences of his beliefs and demanded that before he acted on them he had a much firmer basis. According to many Muslims, such a basis does not exist. I will leave that issue to them to sort out. But Bin Laden does have this going for him: he takes a belief to its rational conclusion. There are many dangerous beliefs out there that people consider harmless simply because they aren’t taken to their rational conclusion.

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Apologetics is the Answer to Abortion and Euthanasia and other Life Issues

Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.

There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.

Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.

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