Children shall lead them….uh oh.

The prophet Isaiah gave us a hint about how to know your nation is under God’s judgement. “And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. Isaiah 3:4-5. The future rulers of Australia demonstrate this prophecy:

video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cknS23hRvIU

Tim Andrews, from Australia, had this to say on Townhall.com: “Not only will any new carbon tax do nothing to help the environment, it will carry a profound human cost borne by the most vulnerable in our society. I have seen this all happen before. Despite having the world’s richest deposits of coal and uranium, my native Australia has the highest power prices in the world as a result of strict environmental mandates. 

“The human cost has been tragic. One in four Australian families are unable to adequately heat their homes, which, in the middle of winter, can be a literal death sentence. Retirees are unable to even afford to run their refrigerator and resort to using candles instead of electric lighting. The number of people who have had their power cut off is soaring. Blackouts are becoming increasingly common as “renewables” simply lack the reliability of traditional power. During heatwaves, hospitals are turning off lights and air-conditioning, issuing “Code Yellow Alerts” to ensure backup generators can power life support. Families don’t only suffer through higher utility bills. They also suffer via higher prices, as businesses face increased costs to bring an array of goods and services to market. Businesses large and small are increasingly being forced to shut down due to skyrocketing electricity bills, resulting in waves and waves of layoffs. Last  year in South Australia, a plastics recycling facility was forced to shut down last year as their power bill soared from $80,000 to $180,000 in just 18 months. 

I think it’s safe to opine that the kids taking off school to protest are not from low income families.

“In Australia, the lowest income households in Australia spend more than 10 percent of their incomes on spiraling energy costs. Meanwhile, more affluent households spend less than 1.5 percent  on energy. Any tax on carbon dioxide or any attempt to increase renewable mandates is nothing more than a regressive tax on the poor. It is an immoral move by those rich enough to afford moral grandstanding to penalize those worse off than they are. To make matters worse, all this suffering would do nothing to help the environment. Even if the United States eliminated all domestic greenhouse-gas emissions, it still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.  For example, China alone is currently building more coal power plants than the entire energy output of the United States.”


“Hate crimes?” So you can read my mind?

making an omelette…

One of the best lines in any movie was that of General Jack Ripper, portrayed by George C. Scott, in Dr. Strangelove. When informed of the massive casualty estimate of going to war with Russia, he said, ……..

Image result for dr strangelove meme

What does this have to do with hate crimes? I will admit, the connection is tenuous, but mentioning it serves two purposes. I get to include one of my favorite all times lines with a meme, and the “hair mussed” phrase calls to mind a similar euphemism, “can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs”. These two euphemisms are used to minimize and excuse the “collateral damage” of lost lives, trashed reputations, false prosecutions and imprisonments of innocent people who just happen to be in the “line of fire” or the “wrong place at the wrong time”–more euphemisms–when a more powerful entity decides to pursue it’s, or his or her, agenda.

The more powerful entity can be one with superior force or, in the case of hate crimes, the designated victim classes. Rather than trying to name all the classes of designated victims, a futile endeavor, since a new group may be added even as I write, I will simply say that only heterosexual white males will not be qualified to enter the victimhood sweepstakes, even when they are falsely accused by a designated victim. The group I have called Perfectionist Progressives, to which I can add Intersectionalists, or maybe they are the same, trades in victimhood, which is like currency to them. So called “hate crimes” are, by definition, an act of violence, either physical or verbal, against a member of a designated victim class, by someone who is heterosexual and/or white, and generally male. While that exact definition is not written into the statutes, it is operationally true. The accusation by Jussie Smollett is a case in point. He, being black and homosexual, is automatically a member of two victim classes, and accusing two people of targeting him specifically for his race and sexuality, and adding the “MAGA country” flourish, guaranteed he would be believed by the intersectional media. Therefore, he functioned as if he was the more powerful entity.

Hate crime is extremely rare in this country. According to 2017 statistics from the FBI, in a country of almost 326,000,000, there were 8,828 hate crimes in 2017. Over half, or 4,922 of these crimes, were property crimes or intimidation that did not rise to the level of simple assault. This means it is highly improbable any one person is the victim of a hate crime. Even more improbable during a polar vortex. The fact that the Mediated Reality establishment, the Perfectionist Progressives and other assorted Intersectionals rushed to condemn the attack, the presumed class of attackers, and Trump (MAGA presumption) is evidence that something much bigger than one presumed assault is at play. Some more sober commentators are now saying Smollett is guilty of a “hate hoax.”

I am going to paraphrase Doug Wilson’s blog about sexual abuse at a church and apply it to my thesis, because as usual he nails the principles. The “horror story” can be any incident, from verbal abuse to a school shooting, and the principles are the same.

“When a Horror Story happens, and someone tries to minimize the Horror of it by means of contextualizing it (“look at all the Southern Baptist kids that this didn’t happen to”), they deserve all the derision they are going to get. But when a Horror Story happens, and someone starts using it as a lever to introduce some systemic changes in line with their agenda, and someone else responds to this proposal for systemic change with a reminder of the broader context, this is fully appropriate and necessary. This goes double when it is obvious that the Horror Story was broken with an agenda in mind. For example, if there is a school shooting, and someone tries to comfort us by reminding us how many schools weren’t shot up that day, then he is a blockhead. But if there is a school shooting, and the first thing that happens is a full court press for gun control, and someone responds with some contextualizing data, that is just what ought to happen.”

This is the WHOLE Thing with hate crimes! That category only exists because an agenda is being pursued, which is to portray certain classes of individuals as perpetual victims, others as perpetual oppressors, and to defend the idiotic notion that someone is injured more badly when they are attacked for their race or sexuality, than when they are attacked for their money or for revenge. How do you know if someone was attacked because they were “hated”? You can’t possibly know what someone is thinking, but the existence of hate crime laws says you can read minds. “What if they shouted a slur?” So what if they did? That proves nothing. If I shout a slur at you and then smack your cheek, it’s a hate crime. If I say, “give me your money”, and then proceed to disembowel you with a knife, it’s not a hate crime. Which would the victim prefer???

The false accuser and the malicious witness

f.a.?

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. – Exodus 23:1

If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. – Deuteronomy 19:16-19

“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. – Deuteronomy 19:15

Have you heard of or read the Jussie Smollett incident? His story has changed a few times, details either left out at the first telling now coming into focus, or details given at the first telling now appearing to be false. Is he, or was he lying then, or now? Or is this how it usually goes when someone reports an assault to the police? Is he a false accuser, or did it really happen the way(s) he said? Is his manager a malicious witness or a truthful one? I don’t know the answers yet, but I do know what should be done. His story is being investigated by the Chicago police. If it is found to be true and the attackers are identified and arrested, they should be tried for first degree assault and, if found guilty, should receive the penalty under the law.

What if there was actually no assault? Then we have a false accuser/malicious witness. ….if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. That’s what should happen, the false accuser and malicious witness, in this case two people, should be tried on the proper legal charges. I wish they, and all false accusers, could be tried on the same charge they leveled and if convicted, given the same penalty, but our laws are too mild in this regard. That’s why we aren’t purging evil from our midst. Here are actual charges that can be prosecuted:

If the case had gone to court and the two accused arrested and charged, they might be able to sue in civil court for the intentional tort of malicious prosecution, but they will face some challenges in proving their case. Malicious prosecution lets you hold someone else civilly liable (meaning you can get compensation in the form of financial damages) when they initiate (or cause to be initiated) a criminal or civil case against you, while knowing that the allegations are not true (or without any reasonable grounds to believe they are true), and with a wrongful purpose. Finally, you also must receive a judgment or ruling in your favor in the case, in spite of all those things. That’s a lot to prove. But the trick will be to show that there was an improper motive behind the initiation of the original proceedings (and not merely a lack of sound evidence.) You probably don’t have much in the way of recourse against the county prosecutor who tried and convicted you, since district attorneys and other officials are typically entitled to immunity even when someone winds up being proven innocent after having been convicted of a crime. If the false accusation doesn’t go as far as arrest or trial, there’s still defamation, in the case where someone is accused by name. While the two “attackers” were not named by the “victim”, or false accuser, as the case may be, had they been, it would be defamation.

There are the two main types of defamation cases: libel and slander. Both involve harmful, false statements that cause damage someone’s reputation, but libel requires that the statement be in writing or somehow “published.” With slander, all that is required is that the defamatory statement be spoken to a third party (someone other than you). In many cases, damages (the harm you suffered) are handled differently depending on whether the statement at issue is considered libel or slander. Under defamation laws in most states, falsely accusing someone of having committed a crime is considered “defamatory per se” or “actionable per se.” That means harm is taken as a given in the eyes of the law, and harm to your reputation is presumed. 

Depending on your state’s laws, you may only need to show that the false accuser made the statements, and that the statements were false. This isn’t usually all that easy, but since the statements appear in a police report, that part may be established. I say “may”, because you and I know about times defense attorneys have undermined even such reports. Again, depending on your state’s laws, the false accuser might be liable for any resulting actual damages stemming from the statements — money lost as a result of losing your job, damage to ability to secure new work, and harm to your reputation because of the false accusations of your having committed a serious crime. You may also be entitled to compensation for things like embarrassment and mental anguish.

The latest police response, as of Feb. 18, 2019: Police spent much of Thursday interviewing two persons of interest in the case, who are believed to have been seen on surveillance images on the night of the attack. Rob Elgas, a reporter at ABC 7 in Chicago, reported Thursday afternoon that “multiple sources” said that Smollett and the two men staged the attack because his character was being written off the show. Brad Edwards, a reporter at CBS Chicago, cited a source who said that investigators believe the “non-cooperating 2 witnesses are co-conspirators in a potentially staged attack.” Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that police now believe Smollett paid two men arrested previously and spoke to investigators, adding that police have records of the two men purchasing rope that Smollett said was tied around his neck at a Chicago-area Ace Hardware store.

If all the facts show that the whole thing was a hoax, what, in  my opinion, should be done to Smollett and the two co-conspirators, and his manager (if he was part of the hoax)? If we truly wanted to purge evil, all the parties should be tried and hopefully convicted of assault. Then they should receive the proper prison sentence. But that won’t happen, I’m just saying IT SHOULD!

Love has no pride.

Sounds heavy, but this will be a fun post. I have been listening to my Linda Ronstadt playlist over and over this week. Some of my favorites are: Love has no pride, Long long time, Desperado, Faithless love, Silver threads and golden needles. Her voice and arrangements are superb, sublime and, in my humble opinion, the best out there. Just for fun, I decided to listen to other renditions of Love Has No Pride. There was Bonnie Raitt, a close second, Rita Coolidge and Lynn Anderson tied for third, and the rest: Rod Stewart, Adam Wakefield, American Flyer, Tracy Nelson, Michelle Wright, Libby Titus (wrote the song), Jessica Vosk, Jane Monheit, Paul Kantner (formerly of Jefferson Airplane!), Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks wife) lots of others, even a group called Disorder On The Border.

All this exercise did for me is remind me of how great Linda and Bonnie are! Also, the women were mostly very good, and the men pretty much butchered it with arrangements that sounded like a different song. So I thought, who is the modern “incarnation”, in the sense of singing talent and beauty, of Linda Ronstadt? I settled on Katharine McPhee. I put together a playlist and listened a couple of times. She has a voice, that’s for sure, but the songs were so insipid and monotonous in comparison with the Linda and Bonnie playlists I compiled. Both lists were my favorites of each singer. I can hardly say my conclusion is definitive, but here it is: Something must have happened to songwriting in the interim between Linda/Bonnie and Katharine. Whatever it was, there’s no doubt I will be listening to older songs. Just found a YouTube video of Linda and Bonnie together, singing Blowing Away. one of the comments said “Ronstadt was an arena class superstar at this point. Bonnie was still playing clubs. Linda as generous of spirit as always helped arrange this tribute to Lowell (George) for his wife and children.” 1979.

I welcome the opinions of other Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers. 

Oops, writing this a few days after posting. Just listened to Carrie Underwood/Vince Gill duet. How could I forget Carrie Underwood in the “modern incarnation” of Linda  Ronstadt?

NOT dangerous at all….

“Randomized, controlled experiments conducted with more than 10,000 people from 39 countries suggest that one company alone — Google LLC, which controls about 90 percent of online search in most countries — has likely been determining the outcomes of upwards of 25 percent of the national elections in the world for several years now, with increasing impact each year as Internet penetration has grown.” – Robert Epstein

 “The YouTube algorithm that I helped build in 2011 still recommends the flat earth theory by the *hundreds of millions.* This investigation by @RawStory shows some of the real-life consequences of this badly designed AI…. So basically we have the two best AIs of the world, on Instagram and YouTube, competing to convince people that the earth is flat. Because it yields large amounts of watch time, and watch time yields ads. This is a #raceToTheBottom….Flat Earth is not a ‘small bug.’ It reveals that there is a structural problem in Google’s and Facebook’s AIs: they exploit weaknesses of the most vulnerable people, to make them believe the darnedest things.” — Former YouTube and Google employee Guillaume Chaslot

“The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will. If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on. If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?” – Former Google strategist James Williams

“Social networking sites might tap into the basic brain systems for delivering pleasurable experience. However, these experiences are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st-century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.” – Oxford professor Susan Greenfield

“Twice as many teenagers now have depression as a generation ago. This high rate of depression has no biological explanation. Instead, it appears to be caused by engagement with social media on smartphones. It’s now clear that there’s a strong association between use of social media and depression in adolescents. The more depressed adolescents are, the more they use social media; the more they use social media, the more depressed they are. Which causes which is unclear, but whatever the cause, it’s a vicious cycle.” — Dr. Nassir Ghaemi

“Just before July fourth, for example, Facebook automatically blocked a post from a Texas newspaper that it claimed contained hate speech. Facebook then asked the paper to ‘review the contents of its page and remove anything that does not comply with Facebook’s policies.’ The text at issue was the Declaration of Independence.” — Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

“Cosmetic surgery procedures have increased 137 percent since 2000, according to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with young people contributing to the rise significantly. In what scientists have called ‘Snapchat dysmorphia,’ young people are increasingly getting plastic surgery to look like the versions of themselves they see in social media filters.”

“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains. The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them… was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you… more likes and comments. It’s a social-validation feedback loop… exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”– Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker, on social media.

Keep it up: don’t read books, don’t debate ideas, just keep pressing the dopamine dispenser “like” button, “send” button, checking your feed! Guaranteed, you’ll be easy pickins’. 

True love exists…

true love!

Just not the kind of love portrayed in Hallmark cards, Valentines and sloppy sentiment. There are perhaps three types of true love that remain in the world. The meme above, my kind of gratuitous, irreverent humor, represents the third kind of true love, which I will get to. The second true love is the self sacrificial love of spouses for one another, or parents for their children. That love reflects the kind of love Christ has for His people, the Church, which, when reciprocated even imperfectly, is the first kind of true love. Notice I didn’t include the love of children for their parents. That’s not quite so enduring, since duty and guilt gets mixed in.

It is the third kind of true love I want to deal with here. A recent lecture sponsored by Hillsdale College and printed in their marvelous free publication, Imprimis, given by Roger Kimball (editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books), speaks so eloquently to that third kind of love:It is an attack on the past for failing to live up to our contemporary notions of virtue. In the background is the conviction that we, blessed members of the most enlightened cohort ever to grace the earth with its presence, occupy a moral plane superior to all who came before us. It represents not the blunt expression of power or destructiveness but rather the rancorous, self-despising triumph of political correctness. The exhibition of wounded virtue, of what we now call “virtue-signaling,” is key. Consider some recent events at Yale University, an institution where preening self-infatuation is always on parade.”

What is “it” that he refers to? Specifically, the hunger to eradicate evidence of past sins by covering or destroying monuments of the past—portraits or statues of famous people and the like, but the driving force of this self-righteousness is the third type of true love, love of one’s own virtue.

For the common run of mankind, I suspect, the highest earthly pleasure is self-righteous moral infatuation. Like a heartbeat, moral infatuation has a systolic and diastolic phase. In the systolic phase, there is an abrupt contraction of sputtering indignation: fury, outrage, high horses everywhere. Then there is the gratifying period of recovery: the warm bath of self-satisfaction, set like a jelly in a communal ecstasy of unanchored virtue signaling. The communal element is key. While individuals may experience and enjoy moral infatuation, the overall effect is greatly magnified when shared.” That paragraph helpfully sums up the pleasure and symptoms of love of one’s own virtue. In the western part of the world of today, that’s the most persistent kind of love.

I say “western world” because so much of the rest of the world is too engaged in the daily struggle for existence to think about, let alone advertise their virtue. But what does the Bible say human virtue? “Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish.” Jeremiah 10:14-15. Self Virtue is the modern idol.

Pride kills…..

There is such a thing as being proud of a job well done, and that is emphatically NOT what I mean by “pride” in my title. I will talk about the deadly kinds of pride, and fully expect to offend a lot of people. I know I know, what else is new? When you saw the title of this post, what was your immediate reaction? Other than “curmudgeon is at it again.” The word “pride” reminded you of….what?

There is good pride and bad pride. Proverb 22:29 of Solomon was, “do you see a man skilled in his work, he will stand before kings, he will not stand before obscure men.” That’s someone who takes justified pride in his work. More proverbs about pride:

“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver..the mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.”

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

“A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than 100 blows into a fool.”

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, only in expressing his own opinion.”

“Before destruction a mans heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears the matter it is his folly and shame.”

“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.”

“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes, there is more hope for a fool than for him. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.”

My favorite theme in life is summarized by Proverbs 19:11: Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. The culture of outrage and grievance is the expression of the bad kind of pride, the kind that kills!