Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hell and Heaven

Have you ever wondered about Hell? Frequently we – or at least some of us – are told to “go to Hell”, but precisely where is it? How do you get there? Well – of course we all know how you get there – you do bad things like stealing someone’s lunch, or accusing your sibling of taking the cookies, or even voting for some idiot, and for these crimes you are condemned to Hell. It is worth noting that you don’t have to devote your life to doing bad, you just have to slip once and – boom – there you are surrounded by fire and a bunch of not very nice people with tails and fangs – and pitchforks. Heaven on the other hand is a little more difficult to get into. Outside of your mother you generally don’t hear anyone tell you that you are heaven bound, and even your mother will sometimes tell you that you are Hell bound, “if you do that again!”. To get to heaven you have to spend your whole life being painfully good and all it takes is one little slip and – bang – there you are Hell bound. In fact, this problem led the Catholics to create Limbo and Purgatory as sort of way stations on your way to greet the Great Satan (who may or may not be George Bush or Hillary Clinton). But where in Hell is Hell?

As it turns out Hell goes back a long way – maybe not back to the big bang but if God did indeed create the Heavens and Earth (aka Big Bang) then when did he create Heaven and Hell? As it turns out these creations seem to have coincided with the advent of man and not only are these man made, they appear to have evolved over time. We know that primitive man provided flowers and implements to the deceased, so presumably even Neanderthal considered that there was an afterlife. But the first documentation we have relative to the dark side of the afterlife comes from ancient Egypt, but it seems clear that these concepts came from even earlier people. But even the Egyptians took time to polish and improve the afterlife. The new and improved version had the Egyptians going immediately to Taut (precise meaning and location unknown), but this was not a place of punishment reserved for the evil, but it was a place where everyone went -- sort of like Fl;orida, but only the evil were made to suffer -- exactly like Florida in the summer. Probably by being forced to listen to Rap Music, politically correct lectures, or having to watch senior citizens in Speedos and thongs, but the specific tortures are not specified so they could be worse.

Eventually Taut gave way to other forms of Hell and the term itself seems to be rooted in the concept of a hole or cavern or a dark and unpleasant place. This view of "helan" or "behalian", morphed into the Greek Hades and the Hebrew Ghenna. Eventually these dark and dismal places came to viewed as a place where a person’s moral qualities were measured with the good being rewarded and the evil punished. However, the location of(the upgraded and improved) Hades or Hell remained a little vague, but generally Hell was viewed as being far away on the other side of the Earth – like San Francisco or Los Angeles(very likely candidates), but as the world was explored and the unknown became known-- Hell had to be relocated and eventually landing “somewhere down there” meaning below the surface. Of course Heaven was never in doubt – it was always “up there” precisely where no one actually knew but it was generally acknowledged that Heaven was not anywhere on Earth, perhaps housed in a large puffy cloud. However, with the invention of air power, Heaven too had to be relocated to somewhere other than a cloud, but precisely where is also rather vague, but San Francisco and Los Angeles were definitely eliminated.

So Hell languished for a long time, gradually taking on more and more details reaching a climax with Dante, who very neatly constructed a Hell that everyone could relate to, but whether this was with God’s blessing is unclear. However, the precise location of Hell continued to elude everyone and the Catholic Church prudently took no position although it was generally considered by theologians at the time that according to Christian scripture Hell was “within the Earth”. Of course this is really not as precise as it first appears but the Bible states that the wicked “descended” into Hell which automatically defined Hell as a place that was within the Earth. An alternate interpretation might be that life on Earth is in fact Hell and any attempt to converse with a Frenchman in French is evidence of this, but then so is dealing with any government bureau.

It seems clear at this point that Hell may or may not be real, but whatever and wherever it is, it is certainly a creation of Man and God’s involvement seems miniscule if He was involved at all. So what about eternal suffering? The Christian God is a forgiving God but the architects of Hell condemn the wicked to eternal suffering, but does this reconcile with the “forgiveness” position of God? According to the Christian Bible the joys of heaven are ever lasting but Jesus said “go into the Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched”. Apparently this is interpreted to mean that once you go into the fire you are there to be tortured for eternity, but the actual statement indicates that it is the fire that is eternal and nothing is said about the occupants remaining there for eternity. Of course this eternal fire is special, since it is unquenchable and has no requirement for fuel, so Hell-Fire is not governed by the laws of physics but is limited only by man's imagination. But religion by its nature is not logical and its tenets not necessarily subject to empirical proof – sort of like modern day liberalism.

Heaven, which is “up there” someplace, is a place of ever lasting joy, apparently an eternal Disneyland. Somehow spending eternity with a group of eternally happy saints, who are not just happy, but eternally and perpetually good, doesn’t see like a prospect that is something to look forward to and a better prospect than spending eternity being toasted. Since Heaven, like Hell, is largely a creation of Man one would think that they would have put a little more thought into it. Maybe a little sin -- here and there -- not big ones, but a little tintillation would be good, something to gossip about. Sort of like who is sleeping with which Archangel. At least on Earth there is some belief in diversity but once dead – the good are separated from the wicked, which seems rather odd because here on Earth it is the wicked who seem to be having all of the fun, while the good people are nice but --- well dull. Perhaps a new and improved version of Heaven is needed, where a few of the more interesting people might be allowed in, if no other reason than to provide something to talk about other than the weather, which in Heaven it is probably like Los Angeles – nice.

So in the final analysis the precise location of Heaven and Hell remain a mystery even though they appear to be man made and each appears to be in need of a makeover.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Liberalism in Review

It seems self evident that Liberalism – as distinguished from what remains of the Democratic Party – is actually a belief system rather than any coherent political philosophy. Essentially Liberals believe that Capitalism is evil, that Marxism is good, appeasement of belligerents is the best foreign policy, and America is wrong. This Liberal belief system has been wrong throughout the 20th Century and its fallacious reasoning continues even today, if you doubt these statements let us review some statements and positions taken by well known Liberals.

Robert Heilbroner, the author of “The Worldly Philosophers” made this statement following the collapse of the Soviet Union; “the collapse if the Soviet system, hailed as a victory for human freedom, was also a defeat for human aspirations”. You wonder if the thousands of Ukrainians starved to death by the Communists or the thousands who died in Soviet Labor Camps lament this failure of Marxism to fulfill its Utopian promises. But liberals live in an Orwellian world where facts are ignored or re-interpreted to show that the Liberal position was correct. The New York Times columnist Tom Wicker, following the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the Communist yoke wrote; Freedom is not a panacea; and that communism failed does not make the Western alternative perfect, or even satisfying for millions who live under it”. Presumably it is satisfying enough for Mr. Wicker so that he continues suffering under the yoke of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and capitalism.

But these are just recent views expressed by the denizens of shallow end of the intellectual pool. In 1921 Lincoln Steffens pronounced – after a visit to the Soviet Union, “I have seen the future and it works”. This statement was made during the period of famine and mass murder conducted by the Communists, but then data gathering, analysis, and critical reasoning has never been a hallmark of Liberals, they rely on their fundamental belief in the sanctity of government, the evils of individuality, and the need for people like themselves to rule over everyone else.

However, even as rumors regarding the failures of Communism began to creep out, George Bernard Shaw, spent 10 days in Russia and stated on his return “Russia flaunts her roaring and multiplying factories, her efficient rulers, her atmosphere of such hope and security has never been seen by a civilized country on Earth”. This was a typical statement made by the Western Intellectuals who could never be brought to believe that Communism was a failure and the Soviets were murderers. That disbelief continues even today as Western academics and pseudo-intellectuals like Michael Moore continue to extol the glories of Marxism and the evils of capitalism.

Perhaps the best example of how the Liberal establishment ignores facts and relies on their faith in left wing causes and icons, is the Alger Hiss case in 1947. Hiss was another of the East Coast Patricians who had been educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard University. He joined the State Department in 1936 and attended the Yalta Conference. He was a leading diplomat but he was also a Soviet Spy, accused by Whitaker Chambers. Chambers was a nobody, a flunky, a common civil servant who accused a darling of the left, Hiss, of being a traitor and part of the spy ring of which Chambers was part. Naturally the left wing media launched into a full scale attack on Chambers, accusing him of being a liar, a spy, and a homosexual. The possibility that Chambers was telling the truth was never even considered.

After a sensational trial that included papers hidden in a pumpkin, Hiss was convicted. However, even after his conviction the liberal press viewed him as a political martyr and not as a convicted spy. It was Chambers who was castigated by the press and it was not until 1995, after the fall of the Soviet Union that papers from the Russian Secret Police revealed that indeed Hiss was a spy. This failure of the liberal press to accept incontrovertible proof that one of their own is an enemy is a vivid example of how the liberal establishment is faith driven and functions independently of facts.

Harry Truman – a Democrat – and perhaps one of the greatest American Presidents had the temerity to view the military expansion of the Soviet Union following WW II as a threat and in response created NATO. As enduring and as important of a deterrent this has been, the “intellectual” elite in 1949 condemned the President as a war monger. These intellectuals included Aaron Copeland, Clifford Odets, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, et. al., who accused Truman of “warmongering against the Soviet Union” and that the Truman Administration was comprised of the “enemies of man” and that the Truman policies would lead inevitably into a third world war.

So several things can be drawn from these Liberal attacks on things and people whom they believe do not hold the politically correct views. First, Liberals are not necessarily Democrats and the true Liberal is essentially anti-America, anti-capitalist, and anti-nationalist. Secondly, Liberals cannot be persuaded what ever they believe in is false even when presented with proof. Thirdly, that any action taken to preserve the safety of America is intrinsically wrong because it could cause people to dislike us. And fourthly, socialism and Marxism are superior to any form of government based on capitalism and the Soviet Union’s failure is not significant.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are Liberals Unfair and Unbalanced?

Recently we were treated to a Liberal Spectacle that caused me to seriously question whether the Liberal Elite was capable of thinking or did they simply react to a stimulus much like Pavlov’s dogs. It seems the University of Illinois Dental School discovered the 46 of their students were caught cheating. In an incredible display of liberal logic the Dean of the Dental School excused the students conduct with this statement “What can you expect from students when the President of the United States lies about WMD’s?” This came from the DEAN of the dental school – a person one would think who was educated and capable of even an elementary level of reason, but alas – apparently not. Presumably he remains Dean and life goes on as his liberal colleagues nod their heads in agreement like little bobble heads. Does anyone in the Liberal Community THINK? Can these people REASON or do they simply react to trigger words like Rove, Coulter, Bush, Cheney? Once any one of these words is put into a sentence the Liberal is rendered unconscious and incapable of assimilating or understanding what was said. Hence the Liberal Community is convinced that President George Bush knew about the 9/11 attack but failed to prevent it so his oil buddies could gain control of the Iraqi oil fields. These people do not seem to have even the reasoning ability of a cockroach.

The visceral anger aimed at President Bush has reached a point of such psychological disorder that serious therapy is needed to bring these people back to even a minimum level of rational conduct. If you doubt this consider some of the statements made by these pea brains. Harry Belafonte – a noted singer but not intellectually gifted – called President Bush “the greatest tyrant in the world”. A tyrant is an absolute ruler – a despot – who rules brutally, so Mr Belafonte considers President Bush to be equivalent if not worse than Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, and any number of African Leaders who merrily go about slaughtering their citizens. Is this a fair assessment of the President? Is he a cruel depot who has absolute power or is Mr. Belafonte unbalanced

However, this irrationality of the Liberal mind isn’t limited to the President, it focuses on almost any person, cause, or entity which they perceive to deviate from their ideology, and one of these is Fox News. Mention Fox News to any Liberal and they immediately get the vapors and lose their grip on reality. One would think that Fox News is not just the evil empire but an active threat to the country, whose sole objective is to destroy Liberalism and to install a fascist state. The Liberal establishment controls ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NPR, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and in fact the Liberals have a virtual monopoly on the information being meted out to the American Public. Of course the operative word here is “virtual” because that wee small voice of Fox News dares to deviate from the revealed truth of the Liberal Elite.

The irony here is that out of 300 million people only about 2 million watch Fox News on any given night – that is less than 1% and that number doesn’t seem to include any of the Liberals, because if you ask one if they watch Fox, they are dumbstruck. “Of Course not” is the reply. They know that Fox News is evil incarnate because all of their fellow liberals tell them so, so it isn’t necessary to actually watch it. They know that Fox is run by Roger Ailes who used to work for Ronald Reagan so there is no need to go any further – it is a conservative propaganda machine – case closed. The real irony is that if they were to actually watch Fox they would find a lot of liberal voices on Fox and many of these are extreme. Frequently you will see Susan Estrich, Juan Williams, Lanny Davis, and other liberals and even Michael Moore -- that leading light of liberal lunacy has been seen on Fox. However, the liberal network monopoly would never provide a platform for the likes of Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, or Rush Limbaugh – that would betray their dedication to the truth – or least as the revealed truth of liberalism.

The one thing about Fox that drives the liberal establishment into orbit is the Fox slogan of “Fair and Balanced”. Mention this slogan to the average liberal and they begin to froth at the mouth and yell how it isn’t FAIR and it certainly isn’t BALANCED, because they present BOTH sides of an issue. Of course the operative word here is “fair” because it isn’t fair for anyone to present a counter argument or an alternative view to any liberal belief. And “belief” is the right word because Liberalism is at its core a faith based belief system where empirical data isn’t required.

A recent and excellent example of “faith based” liberalism is “Global Warming”, That intellectual beacon Al Gore, has sounded the alarm (and founded his own business on this belief) that the planet is warming and we are all in imminent danger of being incinerated, unless we immediately rape American Industry, pour billions of dollars into Africa (to line the pockets of dictators no doubt), sign the Kyoto Treaty, and stop driving SUV’s. To support this claim a whole gaggle of liberal scientists have lined up to acknowledge the reality as described by Gore. These scientists run the gamut from Astronomers to Zoologists but alas – endorsements from Climatologists seem to be sadly lacking. It seems that Climatologists acknowledge that the planet is going through a warming cycle but they don’t know why and they certainly aren’t ready to attribute it to human activity. However, liberals don’t need any proof that global warming is being driven by American’s; they believe it is and THAT is all of the proof they need. Yet this group has the temerity to view themselves as “intellectuals” when Goofy displays more sense than they do, and he is a talking dog.

And this brings me to San Francisco – the only city in the United States with a foreign policy but no defense budget. This city prides itself on being “tolerant” but then I guess so were the Nazi’s and Saddam Hussein as long as you agreed with them. San Francisco is actually one of the most intolerant cities in the country. This is a city that has banned military recruiters from the high schools without even considering that might be a violation of “Freedom of Speech”. To the average liberal San Franciscan “Freedom of Speech” cannot be applied to any situation in which they don’t believe and they certainly don’t believe in the military. To carry this insanity even further they had a city wide referendum on the war in Iraq. The “withdraw the troops immediately” won hands down – establishing their own foreign policy. In case of attack I suppose they would greet the invading Islamofascists with flowers, placards, and gay pride advocates dressed in sequined Tutu’s. Certainly they wouldn’t want to call on the American Military for help – after all they have been banned from the city by the anti-war liberals.

It seems to me that the term American Liberal is actually an oxymoron because you cannot be American and a liberal at the same time. Liberals do not believe in America, they think that we are a fascist power led by the “greatest tyrant in the world” and are bent on world domination. These people are neither fair nor balanced and one wonders if they are even capable of thought much less critical thinking.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Are Liberals Literate

Is it my imagination or has the Political Left gone completely crazy? I read books, think about what they say, then comment, but from my recent observations this is not how the Political Left operates. It seems that they look at the author and then dismiss the book as trash without ever actually reading it, if you doubt this look at the reviews on Amazon. You will notice that any book written by any known Conservative like Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, or Bernard Goldberg is automatically trashed. Even books written by recognized authorities but whose contents do not follow the revealed wisdom of the left, are also dismissed as trash by Liberal reviewers who did not actually read the book. Apparently Liberals know how to write but have not mastered the art of reading and certainly have not mastered the art of critical thinking.

Another example of the inability of the Political Left to grasp or even understand an alternative point of view is their attitude about Fox News. Ask any of the Political Left if they watch Fox News and their automatic response – once they have caught their breath and wiped the froth from their mouth – is of course not!! It is simply a Conservative Propaganda machine whose motto of “Fair and Balanced” is a joke. Apparently, these same people view NBC, CBS, PBS, and ABC as voices that provide the only real truth about those idiots in the White House. What is really interesting is that you never see any real Conservative voice on any of these networks, whereas, Fox makes a real effort to give the Political Left a voice. However, most of the more radical lefties won’t appear on Fox News – why is that? The only logical conclusion is that they and their political beliefs cannot withstand scrutiny.

In fact on close examination it seems that the Political Left is short on facts and long on beliefs, it is sort of a faith based political party bordering on a religion. For example, the current flap over Global Warming is being pushed very heavily by the Liberals, ignoring the positions of real Climatologists and their facts. They confuse the undisputed event – Global Warming – with the very disputed cause – Human activity. Then the Liberals rage on and on about Evolution and the Yahoos who insist on viewing this as a Theory rather than a fact. Any one who questions Evolution as a fact is immediately labeled a “Creationist” and relegated to the nether world ignoramus, in spite of the growing evidence that Evolution as described is not totally accurate. Clearly it is OK to believe in Evolution because this means you have “faith” in science but not OK to doubt it because this means you have placed your faith in religion, God, or even in some agnostic system requiring empirical proof.

This contempt for empirical data seems to lie at the very heart of Faith Based Liberalism. Rachel Carson wrote a book titled “Silent Spring” that postulated that the widespread use of DDT was killing the environment. Carson had no credentials and her book and its conclusions were later to proven to be totally false – in effect a hoax, but that book drove the banning of DDT – worldwide. J. Gordon Edwards a Professor of Biology at San Jose State would actually eat spoonfuls of DDT to prove it was not harmful to humans much less animals. In spite of all of the empirical evidence to the contrary DDT remains banned and is costing millions of people their lives due to the resurgence of Malaria, which was almost wiped out from the usage of DDT. Liberals distrust facts and empirical evidence that challenges any of their beliefs. In effect the Liberal establishment places their faith in the unsupported conclusions of a woman dying of cancer who arbitrarily blamed her cancer on DDT to the scientific evidence indicating she didn’t know what she was talking about. To the Liberal mind – people are less important than the environment.

Perhaps a more recent egregious example of Liberalism at work is the recent case of the three Duke University Lacrosse Players, who were accused of raping a black – exotic dancer. Even in the face of documented evidence that cast doubt on this accusation from the very outset, eighty eight Professors (Liberals and Marxists) held public lynching of these young men’s reputations. Those professional racists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, raced to site to mug before the TV cameras and accuse the failure to immediately put these boys into jail as an example of the rampant racism prevalent at Duke University. As we now know these boys were totally innocent and falsely accused and their crime was being white and their greatest was having rich parents. Now that these young men have been declared innocent Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have vanished from the scene, never offering any apology, or retracting any of their accusations. The Liberal Professors who raced to condemn these young men without a trial and in the face of evidence that they were falsely accused, have yet to offer any apology. The reality is that the Political Left relies entirely on emotion and a belief system that Western Civilization, White People, the Military, Christianity, and above all Conservatives are evil and any evidence to the contrary is simply ignored because Liberals have Faith in the essential rightness of their position and reject any fact that doesn’t support their beliefs.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blame America

Why do so many Americans seem so embarrassed about being American that they are compelled to apologize and hang their heads over the actions of the freest, most generous, and kindest nation ever to trod the earth? The French go into orgasmic elation over Napoleon and the “Glory” of France. Ignoring the pre-emptive wars initiated by Napoleon, the thousands of deaths, and the failure of France to ever recover its power after his fall. The Spanish reflect with pride on the reign of Phillip II, without regard to the rape of the New World or the Armada, which marked the beginning of the decline of Spain as a world power Even the Mongolians, leap to their feet and cheer at any mention of the “Great Khan (Genghis)”, who is noted for his barbarism as much as his generalship. But to mention George Washington or the founding fathers and we are immediately reminded that they owned slaves, they were hypocrites, and just a bunch of old white guys protecting themselves – hail academia!!

The fact is that since its founding, America has consistently been the freest and most welcoming nation in the world. While it took a while to free the slaves and even longer to accord the Negro the equal rights promised to all men, it was done and today everyone is assured of equal protection under the law. The United States has attempted to remain free of the entanglements of foreign treaties advised by George Washington, but modern technology has rendered this impossible. America has consistently been labeled a colonial power while systematically eliminating colonialism. It was America that wrested the Spanish Colonies of Cuba, Philippines, and the Caribbean Islands from Spain. These have all been freed but not necessarily for the better.

The real tests came with World War I, where the Germans were intent on dominating Europe and were ably supported by the Ottoman Empire and were well on their way when the United States entered the war on the side of the British. Had the United States maintained its isolationist policies Europe would be a far different place today. But this was the first taste Europe had of the awesome power of the United States. Not necessarily military power but industrial might. However, once the war was over, Europe returned to its old colonial ways and merrily began creating arbitrary countries and re-establishing their empires, while the US returned to its internal affairs, rendering the League of Nations totally impotent.

Following WW I Lenin overthrew the Czar and founded the USSR, a communist nation based on Marxism and glorified by the western intelligentsia. It is this same intelligentsia that is still attempting to establish the moral equivalence between the Soviet style Communism and the American Style Capitalism. The University of California Press in 2004 published titled “The American Gulag and then in 2005 published another book titled “The British Gulag”. The latter was written by a Harvard (no surprise there) Historian named Caroline Elkins. To equate these to Soviet Gulags is outrageous because the people in these prisons are there after being convicted in a court while those in the Soviet Prisons were commonly sent there without any trial or even informed of their crime.

During the 30’s and 40’s the Western Intellectuals couldn’t get enough of communism and George Bernard Shaw visited Russia in 1931 and wrote a panegyric upon his return – denying rumors at the time of mass starvation. In fact there was a systematic suppression of the growing evidence of mass starvation in Russia by the Western Press. The New York Times between 1921 and 1934 actively suppressed the truth about the Ukrainian famines and in 1932 won the Pulitzer Prize for a report that stated “any report of famine in the Ukraine was exaggerated or malignant propaganda, even thought the author (William Duranty) had been there and personally knew of the millions dying of starvation. These are the same people, the same intellectuals, and the same media that are still attempting to demonstrate the bankruptcy of capitalism and the evil empire of America.

Then came WW II which was the direct result of the failure of France and England to grasp their aspirations for territorial expansion and their crippling punishment of Germany. When it became obvious that the neither the French nor the British could withstand the onslaught of Germany, they turned to the United States of help. This actually marked the turning point in world history where the New World – the United States – became the world power – the hegemonic power – and Europe started its ongoing decline into irrelevance. But it was the awesome power of America – both military and industrial power – that ultimately defeated the Axis Powers of Japan, Germany, Italy, and the turncoat French.

The great tragedy in the aftermath of WW II turned out to be the creation of the United Nations. The League of Nations was thought to have failed because America failed to join so the belief was that if America joined the United Nations it was sure to succeed. It has been an unmitigated disaster for America. It has failed in every endeavor it has undertaken. It has not prevented any war, has not prevented or even alleviated poverty; it has become a highly corrupt and ineffectual organization whose only purpose seems to be to thwart America, while expecting America to pay for everything. Worse, the American Left as well as the leftists the world over seem to think that the UN has the moral authority over America so America should not act in its best interest without UN approval. The real irony is that the UN ignores every other country that acts unilaterally but castigates the US.

Another irony is that the political left continues to wail about the poverty in the US without actually understanding the realities. The reality is that being poor in America is a far cry from being poor anywhere else. In America 46% of the “poor” own their own homes, 72% have washing machines, 60% own microwave ovens, 92% have color TV’s, 76% have air conditioning, and 66% own one or more cars. Two thirds of poor households in America have two or more rooms per person and the average poor person in America has more living space than the average person in Paris. In spite of all of these advantages and contributions to the world, the American Intellectuals still view America as oppressive. However, I note they don’t move to Cuba, Russia, or even to North Korea so I guess America isn’t as oppressive as they maintain. Can you spell hypocrite?