Thursday, April 23, 2015

Methodist deans on death of Freddie Gray

By Donald Sensing

The deans of 13 United Methodist seminaries have joined in signing an open letter to, well, that's not exactly clear. We'll just call it an open letter and leave it at that: "Race and the Fabric of Faith: A Timely Letter From Universities and Seminaries."

I have no dispute with the UM deans and support the thrust of their position even if I might tinker with it here and there.

My discomfort is that the deans think that this sort of police misconduct and even deadly criminal conduct exists in a vacuum. It's just bad cops and not much more.

But it is not the police who create a police state. The deaths rightfully decried here took place in a much bigger context than cops and robbers.

These events are the inevitable result of the leftist-progressive state because the leftist-progressive state wants nothing so badly as to expand the scope, reach and power of government into as many aspects of people's lives as possible.

If you want to give people more government, more government will more frequently be given in the form of 9mm hollow points from police guns. Or more beatings or more harassment.

If you want less police violence against black people or anyone else, you must repeal laws and roll back government intrusion into how people live. But this is so antithetical to absolutely everything that progressives stand for that they won't even consider the possibility that their dogma leads to these events. Instead, we who say this will labeled as a "haters" or extremists or the like.

The police state is the creation of the Political Class, and they do it by piling up as many laws and regulations as they can think of. If the laws and regulations  contradict each other, so much the better.

From Atlas Shrugged:

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”
And that is exactly where we are today.

Update: Glenn Reynolds cites the CS Monitor, "Freddie Gray paid the ultimate price for the crime of clipping a common knife to his pocket."

His closing line is what I've been saying for months: "Hey, lefties: Want more government? This is more government." Remember Eric Garner from last December, whose case led to my post, "Why the size of government matters"?
If we want the government to use less force, then we have to get less government. It is useless and futile to think that diversity or other kinds of training will reduce police violence.

The fact is that for every law on the books, no matter how minor or inconsequential it may seem to you or me, whether felony or misdemeanor, from mass murder to jaywalking - for every law, there can come a time in its enforcement when a cop can legally kill you. There is no exception to this.

The only way we can reduce these kinds of deaths - I say again, the only way - is to shrink government and strike laws from the books. For the real question to ask here is just why was what Garner was doing illegal at all?
Yes, the same question we ask of Freddie Gray's death.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Attacking the very idea of freedom of speech

By Donald Sensing

George Will explains why and how the Left is denying not merely this example or that of speech, but is attacking the very idea that freedom of speech is even an admissible or valid concept at all.

Update: This, too:

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A note to readers and correspondents

By Donald Sensing

Thank you for reading. And many of you have sent emails with links, tips and even well-mannered arguments. I thank you for all of them, too.

However, posting here will be very rare for a considerable, undetermined time to come. As I have explained before, this site had always been only a hobby for me and like all hobbies, it is a spare-time activity. Spare time is what I have decreasing amounts of and what I do get I will devote mainly to family and other things.

God's grace and peace to everyone!

However, in honor of the day, my annual posting:

Don't you wish?

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

This inventor will be a multi-gazillionaire

By Donald Sensing

An electronic keyboard that duplicates the feel and sound of an old-style typewriter. It connects to your tablet or computer via USB port.

I. Want. One. Now.

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Unlimited energy source developed!

By Donald Sensing

Ready to go after Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Henry, et. al., survey the wreckage of the Obama administration on the Constitution.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"The Catastrophe of Postmodernism"

By Donald Sensing

The Catastrophe of Postmodernism--John Zerzan

A long but essential essay to understand what havoc postmodernist philosophy has wrought in the West, of which the propaganda evoked from the UVA frat-boys gang-rape that did not happen is only the latest example. Paired with linguistic deconstructionism, the damage has been severe indeed.

If deconstruction's contribution is mainly just an erosion of our assurance of reality, it forgets that reality -- advertising and mass culture to mention just two superficial examples -- has already accomplished this. Thus this quintessentially postmodern point of view bespeaks the movement of thinking from decadence to its elegiac, or post-thought phase, or as John Fekete summarized it, "a most profound crisis of the Western mind, a most profound loss of nerve."
Since the basic - and by basic I mean a truly foundational - tenet of pomo-decon is that using language is nothing but exercising power, then the point of of pomo-decon is power, too, especially that of the politically-connected classes. George Orwell understood this quite well in his novelistic but prophetic concept of Newspeak:
"We are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." -- 1984
This has become known as “revolutionary truth,” in which a narrative, or world view that is to be promulgated and accepted as governing, not necessarily as true. That is, persons are encouraged to act as if the narrative is objectively true, whether they believe it or not. They are rewarded for doing so and penalized for defiance.  In this sense, the concept of truth is, as Orwell foresaw, power directed.
See also, "How Campus Progressives Ruined Liberalism for the Rest of Us," which explains, 
The contempt for Fox [News Channel] I hear coming from liberals coupled with a lack of criticism towards MSNBC suggests that many within the liberal movement don’t want factual journalism at all, but rather opinionated journalism with a liberal bent. In fact, though they would have you believe they merely support truth in journalism, many liberals openly disregard the truth – and criticize those who don’t – when it conflicts with their worldview.
We are living in a political society where facts and truth now have no necessary connection to one another.

Update: Thanks to Michael Smith of the FB group Fans of Best of the Web Today for this Hayek quote he posted on 4/9:
A further point should be made here: Collectivism means the end of truth. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the ends selected by those in control; it is essential that the people should come to regard these ends as their own. This is brought about by propaganda and by complete control of all sources of information.
~ F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, 1944
I think that Hayek was a little off here. In fact it is not "essential that the people should come to regard these ends as their own," only that they act as of they do. It is behavior the Left seeks to govern to the smallest detail. Read what the old Soviet dissidents wrote, and especially what some of the USSR's spies wrote after the Cold War. Almost none of them believed in Marxism-Leninism because it was so abjectly obviously a total failure. But they knew they had to act as if they believed, so they did.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dem proposes profit program for "assault weapon" owners - Yeah!

By Donald Sensing

Dems: Pay gun owners to hand over assault weapons

The legislation would provide up to $2,000 in tax credits for gun owners who voluntarily hand over assault weapons to their local police departments.
Note that this is a tax credit, not deduction. That means the government will actually pay me $2K to turn in such a rifle.

I absolutely support this! Down at the local WalMart I can get an "assault weapon" for less than $600. Thanks to the Dems, I'll make $1,400 profit per gun, and assuming there is no limit on how many gun credits I can take, I will make a huge amount of money.

Go on, Dems, make my day!

Friday, April 3, 2015