Merry Christmas to All …

nativity scene

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Oh Church, Wherefore Art Thou?

As I have previously stated, we all have witnessed ongoing assaults upon our cultural institutions, and if you have read the previous essays in this series, you should understand not only why it has happened, but also the extent of the damage so far.  We know that part of the assault has been to force citizens to “conform” to the standards established by the communist left.  Now we will undertake to understand how the most important pillar of all is the target of leftist assaults.

Liberalism [progressivism] in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another… It teaches that all religions are to be tolerated, for all are a matter of opinion. Revealed religion [biblical Christianity] is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste, not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy.  —Rev. John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Money_Church-780892And so, it is.

In the quest for inclusion —a wider audience, as it were, western churches have adopted extreme liberalism, many policies of which place them in direct contravention of biblical teachings, and out of touch with their congregations.  As examples of this, one only need to look at the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches, whose hierarchies are becoming radically progressive.  Added to this, the National Council of Churches (NCC) overtly supports socialist and Marxist causes, including those in Cuba and other communist regimes and movements in South and Central America.  Viewing the website of the NCC, one cannot help but to notice the adoption of these liberal politics and causes, including their acceptance of the global warming/climate change scam.  Liberal church leaders are now influenced by progressive politics, academia, and media; they no-doubt believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a committed socialist and now present Him in that context.  Mark Tooley, of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, charges that the National Council of Churches is no more than a surrogate for George Soros’ Move On organization.

“Bob Edgar has declared his personal support for same-sex marriage. He and other NCC leaders repeatedly criticize fellow Christians who defend the traditional definition of marriage.  In thus fostering the impression of an evenly split U.S. Christian community, the NCC serves the interests of its ‘progressive’ yokefellows who are campaigning for the legitimization of same-sex marriage,” …

normal familyAs I wrote last week, “Marriage equality was never about social inclusiveness.  It was about abolishing marriage as one of America’s most valuable social institutions.  It was an assault on the American family.”  From that landmark judicial decision, homosexual organizations have exerted extreme pressure upon the churches to conform to this new socialist ideal.  Today, or so it appears, there are but three hold-outs to this assault: The Catholic Church, Southern Baptists, and Mormons.

Several of our church conventions have continually struggled with the homosexual contentions at their national conventions, and have so far stood by the teaching of the Bible that sodomy was a sin. But the local activities have worked out differently.  As but one example of this, one Methodist church hired a lesbian minister, who in turn officiated homosexual marriages.  Neither local parishioners nor the national convention sought to remover her from the pulpit.  The move toward liberalism in both Methodist and Presbyterian churches continues.

Both Anglican and Episcopal churches in the USA and Canada remain at odds with one another over whether to accept sodomy, the hiring of homosexual ministers, and the question of homosexual marriages.  There are even liberal movements to re-write the Bible to remove proscriptions on such things as sodomy —but the situation is actually more severe than this: some “Christian” churches have completely forsaken every aspect of the Christian faith.  They more align themselves with the Islamic belief that Jesus was a prophet, not the son of God.  They also deny the teaching of miraculous conception and embrace Darwinism as a scientific fact.

The leftist assault on religion includes removing from parents any responsibility for teaching their children about sex; this is better done, they feel, in public schools beginning in kindergarten.  Added to this, young children are now taught that homosexual unions are normal; they encourage children to engage in masturbation; they argue that oral sex isn’t actually sex.  We can thank Bill Clinton for this revelation, but unhappily, such religious organizations as the United Churches of Christ and Unitarian Universalist Churches have become willing adherents to such nonsense.

The communist assault upon American institutions continues in full force.  We now understand why so many Americans have stopped attending church on a regular basis and for the progressive left, this has become a win-win situation.  Yet, most Americans are not even aware that it’s happening.

Series Summary

  • The ideological assault on traditional American values and our institutions is evident when a large number (perhaps, even, a majority) of Americans no longer trust their governments (federal, state, or local). True, the government still works —but not for or on behalf of the American people.  It is absolutely corrupt —and politicized far beyond anything imagined by our founding fathers.  One priority of government and politicians is self-preservation, accomplished by dividing us rather than to uniting us.
  • American citizens no longer trust a judicial system that fails to hold to account illegal aliens who murder our daughters, turns a blind eye to honor killings perpetrated by Moslem parents, ignores rampant polygamy within Islamic communities, and fails to prosecute egregious political corruption.
  • Mindful taxpayers no longer trust public educational institutions to properly educate their children, or prepare them for a fruitful, meaningful life as adults. Every public funded educational facility is now a brainwashing center, a fact the American left no longer denies.
  • Physicians and psychiatrists, in cooperation with leftist policy and programs, mindlessly over-medicate our children so that, as they progress into adulthood, they become the most-useful tools for leftist propaganda and ideology. Our children’s Ritalin-infected brains are no longer able to distinguish between chicken salad and chicken shit.
  • Our churches have assimilated the leftist mantras and no longer meet the spiritual needs of our people; as a result, Americans have withdrawn from regular church attendance in increasing numbers. The result of this, not surprisingly, is an increasingly immoral society —one in which neighbors no longer have empathy for one another.  We are today more divided than at any previous period in American history; our land is filled with hatefulness —ours has become a society within which we may not even express an honest opinion without being berated into silence.  Unable to engage in a meaningful dialogue, all of us are being led down the leftist path of awfulness to a place where the communist left desperately wants us to be.
  • We have for too long accepted the notion that the federal government is in a better position to administer charitable efforts than ourselves working through local community chests. The effect of this is the distancing citizens from one another at their most desperate time.  This separation leads many Americans to conclude that charity is no longer their concern: someone else will do it —the government will do it.  The result of this is that Americans have become less self-reliant and more dependent upon federal bureaucracies whose chief aim is to maintain their well-paid positions.  Among those of us who seek to maintain our independence and liberty, which is to say, to pursue our unalienable rights, we face one challenge after another.  The complexity of our society, or rather, where we have allowed the body politic to take us, causes many of us to throw up our hands in disgust —to withdraw into ourselves, even away from our loved-ones.  The new opium of the masses isn’t drugs; it’s social media and technology, where there is never any good news.

In furtherance of the foregoing, we are able to observe several striking parallels between modern America and the greatest Republic to precede us: Rome —which, as everyone may recall, collapsed upon itself.

  • As before, our society has become immoral. Our younger generations have far too many vices, lack virtue, and, in such things as their refusal to serve their country in some capacity, demonstrate cowardice.  Even at a young age, our citizens demonstrate petty envy of their peers, lack self-discipline and control —and this becomes worse beyond middle age. We have no time for our neighbors; whatever their problems are, it’s a government problem, not ours.
  • As before, our political system is irreparably corrupted; it has become the roadway to extraordinary personal wealth and its focus is no longer the people who sent them to govern, but on the enrichment of themselves at the people’s expense.
  • As before, this nation has placed itself on a continual war footing; we are either initiating conflict, recovering from conflict, or preparing to engage in another. This is not criticism of self-defense, but the fact is that since World War II, no conflict in which the United States has become involved was waged in the defense of its people —rather, it was waged in defense of flawed government policy and interests.  It is no more than a complete waste of our country’s limited resources.
  • As before, foreign powers and interests lavish great sums of money on our Republic’s leaders; national policy has been shaped to facilitate these fortunes and few of these interests serve the American people. Even our primary sources of “news” are shaped by international corporations and what we learn from these sources is what these foreign interests want us to know.  Few in America today are wise enough to see beyond the glitter of young news readers who possess the power to shape our emotions —and do.
  • As before, our middle class has collapsed, facilitated by cheap foreign labor and a never-ending stream of illegal immigrants. The loss of jobs in modern America under Democratic administrations is unparalleled in our long history.  Politicians and their corporate cronies are the primary beneficiaries.
  • As before, the power of the American people has been significantly reduced by the gerrymandering of state and federal legislative districts, large-scale voter fraud, and special interest groups.
  • As before, our system of checks and balances, our trust in our traditional institutions, our willingness to compromise on important issues, and government’s refusal to follow the US Constitution and Bill of Rights leaves the American people angry, frustrated, and dreadfully divided.

Is there anything we can do now to save America?  The judgment is not mine alone; it is ours.  We may be able to save our institutions from systematic destruction, but only by exhibiting thoughtful analysis of what politicians say to us.  We have to vote responsibly, put the right people into positions of leadership.  The bane of America today is our political party system —it must not be allowed to rule us further.  If we are to correct this infestation of corrupt politicians and equally dishonorable citizens, we must resolve to do only those things that is right for the nation, what is right for our neighbors, what is right for our loved-ones, and only then, what is right for ourselves.  These, I believe, are the only virtues that will restore us.

Posted in Society | 10 Comments

A Sleepy America

sleepingAmericans are now waking up to the realities of the progressive politics, but is it too late?

If we are to save our unique American culture, then it will take more involvement by almost everyone.  A first step must begin among those of us who never accepted communist ideology —we must begin to push back as never before, albeit intelligently and peacefully.  It won’t be easy.  The second step will involve convincing, through rational dialogue, those who have acquiesced to the assault upon our culture.  Conversion may be possible for those who fully accepted communist tripe, but that task will be extremely difficult —not impossible, just difficult.

All of us have witnessed the assaults upon our cultural institutions, and if you read previous essays in this series, you also understand why it has happened, and the extent of the damage so far.  We know that part of the assault has been to force citizens to “conform” to the standards established by the communist left.  Here’s one quick example of conforming behavior: technological addiction to social media, where the purveyors of leftist ideology inform us, and reinforce to our children, that everything that goes on inside the cloud is okay because there is never any accountability.

How does one force another person to “conform.”  Peer pressure is one example, but one of the most successful techniques is through what Laird Wilcox[1] calls ritual defamation.

“Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character, or standing within a community by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication.  The central element is defamation in retaliation for real or imagined attitudes, opinions, or beliefs with the intention of silencing or neutralizing an individual’s influence.  It is essential to “make an example” of the target so as to discourage similar expressions by others.  It goes beyond simple criticism in that it is aggressive, organized, and skillfully applied—often by an organization or special interest group.

“The power of ritual defamation lies entirely in its capacity to intimidate and terrorize. It embraces some elements of primitive superstitious belief, as in a “curse” or “hex.” It plays into the subconscious fear most people have of being abandoned or rejected by the tribe or by society and being cut off from social and psychological support systems.

“The weakness of ritual defamation lies in its tendency toward overkill and in its obvious maliciousness. Occasionally a ritual defamation will fail because of poor planning and failure to correctly judge the vulnerability of the victim, or because its viciousness inadvertently generates sympathy.”  —Laird Wilcox

Who might become the victim of such tactics?

Essentially, the likely target of ritual defamation is anyone who disagrees with the political left on such cultural issues as the preservation of traditional marriage, anyone who supports merit-based immigration, anyone who calls for an end to illegal immigration, someone angered by Islamic terrorism, or anyone who doesn’t think that the American taxpayer should pay for transgender medical procedures.  These people would be classified and berated as a “—phobe” of one kind or another, which is to say an “unreasonable fear of (fill in the blank).”  We thus observe a growing trend toward ritual defamation, evident by the number of times the left accuses any conservative American of racism, Islamophobia, transphobia, or fascism.

Let’s avoid vagueness here.  There are numerous examples where the leftist press suddenly becomes aware of the alleged sexual misconduct of prominent persons seeking public office.

  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas comes to mind, wrongfully accused of sexual assault and the political left pulled out all stops in order to accuse him of disgusting conduct. It didn’t work in Thomas’ case, but it did leave him with a deep and enduring scar.
  • Three young men at Duke University were wrongfully accused of raping a black stripper; after months of pre-trial publicity, they were eventually found not guilty of the charges, but their reputations were forever stained as the result of spurious allegations and the prosecutorial misconduct of a leftist district attorney who wanted to demonstrate that American society is a racist society.
  • More recently, Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore stands accused of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred 40 years ago. Whether there is any basis for such allegations has yet to be substantiated, but it is remarkable that the claims only surfaced a few days before state-wide elections.

For too long in this country, allegations of misconduct have been used to sully the reputations of good people.  These are examples of ritual defamation.  A just society would have laws to protect people from spurious allegations.

In an essay titled The Final 3 Phases In The Slide From Freedom to Communism, writer Stella Morabito[2] explains how the field of psychiatry has been effectively used as a weapon to force social conformity.

“Although such widespread abuse is not the case in America today, we can see signs that the political weaponization of psychiatry is growing.  Consider the LGBT lobby’s drive to outlaw any conversations in a therapist’s office that do not enforce the LGBT agenda, including imposing transgenderism on any child who claims to be transgender.  Laws that have been enacted against reparative or “conversion therapy” aim to prevent people from changing their minds about living out a homosexual orientation or a transgender identity.” —Stella Morabito

Psychiatric weaponry is a one-way street, of course, because while special interests protecting the rights of the LBGT community were able to restrict therapists from asking questions about a lesbian’s sexuality, these rules do not apply to the American Left.  CASEL’s[3] agenda toward Social Emotional Learning proposes mental health screening to school-aged children without their parent’s knowledge or consent.  Similarly, leftist politicians are demanding mental health screening for anyone who wants to purchase a firearm.  We have even witnessed leftist media declaring that Donald Trump isn’t mentally fit to serve as President of the United States.  But it is true that Mr. Trump is a white man.  Can anyone even imagine the consequence should anyone have accused Barack Obama of the same thing?

By now, all of us should begin to wonder how American society ever arrived at this position.  The answer, of course, is that most Americans are unaware of the scope and depth of policies and programs undertaken by government agencies and special interest, to change society from its cultural origins into something most desired by advocates of the progressive agenda.

In essence, Americans have been asleep.

This is no indictment of hard working people who have not the time (or inclination) to look below the surface.  Few parents today attend PTA meetings on behalf of their children above elementary school level, and so, unless their children tell them about such things as mental health screening, they simply wouldn’t know.  The political left knows that most families today include either two full time wage earners or a single parent raising children —and they’ve taken advantage of such opportunities to invade space previously reserved for families.

Nevertheless, now may be the time (or long past the time) when conservative-minded parents begin to reclaim their rights as citizens.  Less government means more freedom —and what is needed is for parents to reassert their right of self-determination —for themselves, on behalf of their children, and for their communities.  It is also time for churches, as one of our most important social institutions, to make themselves heard.

If you will return next week, I’ll pull the curtain back a little further.  Thank you for reading Thoughts from Afar.

Notes:

[1] Wilcox is a scholar/archivist of extremist movements in the United States.  His books include The Practice of Ritual Defamation (1990), Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe (with John George) (1992), and Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America (1994)

[2] Stella Morabito is a senior contributor at The Federalist. Her essays have also appeared in the Washington Examiner, American Thinker, Public Discourse, Human Life Review, New Oxford Review.

[3] Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, which states as its mission the introduction of a process through which children acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions —which I imagine originates from the perspectives of the progressive left.

Posted in History, Society | 13 Comments

Farewell Dear Family

Marriage equality was never about social inclusiveness.  It was about abolishing marriage as one of America’s most valuable social institutions.  It was an assault on the American family.  It was a door opened to the intrusion of the state into matters that were once within the purview of parents.  A short review: in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is granted to same-sex couples.  It was a 5-4 decision.  Who on the court formed this majority?  Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion, joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan —all of whom have adopted Saul Alinsky’s predicate for social progress, and are joined by such activists as journalist Masha Gessen who declared war on the concept of marriage.

Broken FamiliesThe systematic assault continues through the adoption of policies within school districts that dictate to parents what they must allow in terms of sexual education, when courts dictate to business owners the limits of their religious expressions, and when scouting organizations adopt new-gender ideology.  One begins to wonder, then, what parent would allow their child to involve themselves in scouting organizations —and the answer is the kind of parent who has surrendered to the notion that government knows best — about everything.

Most conservatives would argue that an adolescent deserves to have a childhood, but this isn’t the view of the progressive left.  American communists now insist upon such things as social emotional learning, the product of the Consortium for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), which intends to dictate how our children should feel toward others: gay is natural, and an eight-year old has the right to become a member of the opposite sex.  What feeds such programs is identity politics, where there is no room for unique personalities and independent thought.

Now let me turn to the place where marriages take place —our churches and synagogues.  Dr. Bella Visono Dodd was a member of the Communist Party USA during the 1930s and 1940s.  Bella defected from the Communist Party in 1949, and later testified before the House Un-American Affairs Committee that one of her duties within the Communist Party was to encourage young radicals to enter Roman Catholic Seminaries.

We can associate several ideologies with this movement, including “liberation theology” and “black theology.”  Dodd’s testimony included the affirmation that high ranking church officials were targets of this Communist assault; she claimed to have encouraged 1,200 men into various seminaries.  That such efforts were (and continue to be) successful seems apparent in the attitudes and sermons associated with Jeremiah Wright, who famously preached, “God Damn America.”

But Dodd told us more than this; she identified widespread communist infiltration of labor unions, congressional staffs, presidential advisory posts.  These efforts, she asserted, including dialectical materialism, was intended to demoralize the American people to such an extent that they would one day no longer feel any sense of patriotism.

Today we find that the LGBT agenda has taken control of the Episcopal Church beginning the late 1980s; clergy adorning themselves in rainbow-clad vestments tell us an interesting tale about the success of these leftist efforts.  I would not be surprised to hear anyone from these pulpits declare that Jesus of Nazareth was himself a homosexual —and they’d no doubt get away with it because of their success so far in damaging theology and church doctrine, while concurrently undermining the American family.

The assault upon Church and family is a perfect plan; alternative theology either coopts the church community, or it has the effect of driving people away from God, and we can see the effect on families that have not raised their children to believe in God.  It is a win-win situation for leftists seeking to destroy our cultural institutions.  America is well on the way to a totalitarian state.

Return here again next week and I’ll pull the curtain back a little further.  Thank you for reading Thoughts From Afar.

Posted in History, Society | 11 Comments

Institutional Assaults

Antonio Gramsci became the founding father of the Italian Communist Party.  Born in 1891, he founded a newspaper in 1919 called L’Ordine Nuovo (The New Order), wherein he stated that socialism didn’t go far enough because it lacked western appeal.  What was needed, he argued, was a robust communist movement focused on changing western culture—one that would require a long march through the institutions of society.  The goal would be to destroy these institutions from within society so that communism might fill the void.

Raised FistSaul Alinsky, self-styled community organizer, writer, and activist, may be best known for his work Rules for Radicals.  We may not agree with much of what Alinsky had to say, but we cannot deny that he profoundly influenced such politicians as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer.  As with these identified politicians, Saul Alinsky was no patriot.  The only way to change American society, he argued, was to seize and hold all of America’s institutions.  Radical takeover has been going on now since the 1960s —and there is good cause to say that this conquest is nearly complete.  It is not hard to see the result of Alinsky’s and his followers’ efforts in the US military, national intelligence agencies, top law enforcement, American judiciary, media outlets, entertainment industry, and at every level of the American education system.

No American foundation has been more vigorously attacked than these institutions: family, church, and community service organizations … and it is because of the successes in destroying these foundations, American society has never been closer to achieving the so-called Mass State, which is itself needed in achieving a communist state.

We may look around us today and make the argument that communism in Russia and China was a complete disaster—and indeed, it was that— and if it was, then why should anyone fear its reemergence today?  Let’s take a look at that failure, shall we?

The creation of centralized planning required by socialist ideology necessitated an enormous concentration of power.  It would not be possible to allow the “old order” to wither on the vine; communists would require the authority to move the process forward.  Along with this authority came the ability to coerce people into giving up their private property, and then control the production and distribution of goods and services.  Famine and mass murder was the result of this authority.

The power necessary to establish and maintain communism in Russia and China in the early to mid-twentieth century attracted unscrupulous people; people not unlike any number of American politicians today who are working overtime to establish communism in the United States.  These American politicians, like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, are willing to do whatever it takes to establish their odious ideology here in America … such as confiscating firearms so that the people cannot resist abhorrent policies.

Today’s brand of communist radical, which is to say those who are leading the assault upon America’s institutions, is one who argues that modern communism can be far different than its 19th and 20th Century model.  For example, such reasonable-sounding people will tell you that communism can work so long as a planned economy is democratic —and if the people do not like the communists who they previously elected to office, why— they can just toss the bastards out.  We might pause at this point to ask, “How’s that working out so far in American politics?”  How easy is it to get rid of someone like Senators McConnell and Schumer, or Representatives Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi?

A vibrant democracy requires effective resistance from the general population and from opposing political parties.  There can be no effective democracy in a one-party state —but a one-party state is precisely what American leftists are working toward.  It is not an accident that every established communist regime has suppressed opposition parties immediately after achieving power, and it is no happenstance that every communist government has stamped out its most valuable social institutions.

Return here again next week and I’ll pull the curtain back a little further.  Thank you for reading Thoughts From Afar.

Posted in History, Society | 26 Comments

American Transition

At one time, we Americans were part of a society noted for its self-evaluation and correction.  That time is long past; we have now morphed into a society that readily accepts such abhorrent behaviors as totalitarianism, thought policing, and identity politics.  We no longer value individual integrity, responsibility, or accountability.  No longer do we have the capacity to look upon others as individuals with value, or judge them according to their character.  We instead give latitude according to skin color, ethnic identity, or sexual idiosyncrasy; and should we not succumb to these superficial aspects of the human condition, then we must be castigated and labeled ourselves as miscreants.

Big BrotherSo, here we are just over one-hundred years since the Russian revolution. The revolution was a momentous occasion that led to the formation of the Soviet Union, which in turn became responsible for the murder of over one-hundred million people. Today, we have citizens who tell us that they would rather live in a communist country than in the land of the free, which is America. Our young people idolize the murdering thug Che Guevara, the man who served as Fidel Castro’s chief executioner. Joseph Stalin has become a hero to some of our young people —he orchestrated the murder of 20 million people. Prominent members of the Obama administration elevated Mao Zedong to hero status, a man who killed 45-million people in just four years. What is the attraction to our younger generations of these totalitarian regimes?

The answer is that such nonsense is what many of our people were taught in public schools and at universities by their ideological teachers and professors.  It is also a matter of what they choose to believe about our nation’s history.  But idolizing totalitarian leaders simply isn’t who we are as a people.  Our nation was founded on principles that every human being is entitled to certain unalienable rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We live in a constitutional republic that guarantees these rights to our citizens.  We have institutionalized separation of powers in government, restricting government so that we may more fully realize the merit of individual liberty.  Despite these guarantees, including the freedom of expression, Americans today have become all-to-willing to destroy the Republic in order to protect themselves from views they disagree with, and/or shield themselves from opinions that may hurt their feelings.

Here is where we are today: the American left have been busy little bees laying the ground-work for popular ignorance. They employ a rather sophisticated propaganda campaign that transforms disinformation, distortions, and outright lies into facts. A lie repeated often enough will eventually become a verifiable truth, a notion set forth by none other than Vladimir Lenin. The left is also busy agitating the masses along racial/ethnic lines, their socio-economic status, or their differences in gender. Part of their success for this is that today, most of America’s important institutions are controlled by the American left —the hippies of the 1960s now control Congress, the judiciary, and over the past eight years, the White House. Finally, leftist media now perpetuates coerced conformity, and if one does not want to conform to leftist ideology, they become “–phobes” of one kind or another.

President Ronald Reagan once told us, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” We are closer to that extinction today than at any other time in our entire history —not from a foreign enemy that threatens our liberty, but from a domestic enemy that seeks to replace our republican form government with one founded on foreign ideology: Marxism, which appears to us in several forms.

A free civilization will seek to create and maintain the kinds of institutions that lead us toward an energetic society, or for a better description, one in which free people freely exchange ideas. Totalitarian societies seek to control ideas, where government institutes mechanisms to monitor and control its conventions. In second-world nations, all institutions must serve the state, not the people. Take families, for example. Who should raise children: their parents, or state agencies? In America today, leftist governments have systematically undermined family unity, and it seeks to mediate such other institutions as churches and voluntary civic groups. Is this because the government can address these tasks better, or more efficiently —or is it because government seeks to control every facet of our increasingly populous society?

Return here again next week and I’ll pull the curtain back a little further. Thank you for reading Thoughts From Afar.

Posted in History, Society | 20 Comments

Leftist Propaganda and Modern Society

Recent themes have been to inquire into how it is that American society is so easily convinced to support political policies, even when such policies work against the long-term benefits of the American people.  The answer is sophisticated campaigns of propaganda.

By propaganda, I mean programs designed to systematically disseminate information, disinformation, distortions, and outright lies to achieve ideological advantages.  Everyone does this, but it in the past 20 years, the narratives have become increasingly damaging to American society.  Truth doesn’t matter in political campaigns; what matters is what people have been led to believe —nor does this only pertain to political differences[1].

Overall, America’s capitalist society is far better off economically than in almost any other country in the world.  In spite of this, 40% of American voters believe that most Americans are poor, that most Americans are racist, most are homophobic, most are Islamophobic, and that every gender-confused person deserves a taxpayer funded remedy.  Why so many people believe this is because these claims have become the propaganda mantra of the Democratic Party.  It is not only a deliberate lie, it is a blatant lie told often.

Having thus established a lie as their underlying predicate, Democrats continue their campaign of propaganda by convincing these 40% that the underlying problem in America today is white society, rich people, Christian ethics, or those who simply do not care about the condition of their fellow man.  Interestingly, if you are a racial or ethnic minority, an immigrant, welfare recipient, or one of those gender-confused persons, the lie is believable because it suits the so-called oppression narrative.

The facts tell us a different story.

  • In many other countries, poor people do not have access to institutions whereby they may change their circumstances. Eighty percent of the world’s population lives on $2.50 per day.
  • In the United States, everyone has access to public education, yet the percentage of people who do not finish high school include 33% of Hispanics, 13% of blacks, and 6% of whites. People living below the poverty level include 22% black, 20% Hispanic, 13% Other, 9% white.  In terms of the total, 13% our people live at or below the poverty level (established by the government at $20,160 per year), or on $55.23 per day.

These statistics appear to suggest that 87% of the American people live above the poverty level —and if this is true, then what in the world are Democrats talking about when they argue that blacks, for example, are victims of white society?  If most poor Americans have refused to avail themselves of free education, if black single-parent families are the new normal, if a large percent of Hispanic children are unable to answer the question, “Who’s your daddy,” then how are these circumstances caused by white Christian Republicans?

According to New York State Crime Statistics, 83% of all gun assailants are black.  Together, blacks and Hispanics account for 98% of all gun crimes.  Forty-nine percent of all murders are committed by blacks —many of these crimes perpetrated against other blacks.  Forty-nine of every 50 muggings are carried out by blacks or Hispanics.  We have not even discussed drug use, teen pregnancy, cultural myopia, or laziness, and if we were to assume that the leftists are correct in demanding “equal outcomes” for everyone, do they suggest that more white Christian college graduates should also begin campaigns of murder and mayhem?

It should surprise no one that nearly all of America’s poor people are dedicated Democrats, so it is no wonder that leftists continue to perpetuate myths of oppression —it is how they maintain their voting bloc.  Taking from Peter to pay Paul has never worked, but these realities do not matter.  What matters is getting elected or reelected.

Democrats have no problem perpetuating social entitlement programs (it is, after all, a form of bribery and a major hook for voters), and there is no hesitation arguing vehemently for the redistribution of wealth.  What is lacking in their platform are policies and programs that provide a constructive environment for economic success—but again, real financial success isn’t the goal of the leftist party.

Nevertheless, the DNC has developed an amazing record of successes since the 1920s.  Theirs is a carefully crafted ideology that has become omnipresent in modern society.  Leftist educators have produced citizens incapable of independent thought, leading them to accept at face value all of the lies told them about our past and present.  Joining the cabal are the media and film moguls dedicated to leftist dogma, who reinforce the Democrat’s assault upon individual responsibility, accountability, and social morality.

This is no accident.  What is the likely consequence of exposing young people to cinematic violence and explicit sex?  We are already seeing its result in modern American society, and what we are seeing isn’t pretty.  Is there not enough violence in our society today?  Are we not disturbed by the development of unrealistic attitudes about human relationships, objectifying women, and the expansion of self-indulgent behavior?  Are we unable to connect the dots between people such as Harvey Weinstein and those who enable his kinds of behaviors?

I am always amazed by people who, in looking back at what happened in Germany from 1929 to 1945, ask, “How were such things even possible?  How is it possible to convince so many millions of Germans into accepting or ignoring such atrocities?”  Yet, it was only after the war, when the entire world shunned the German people, that these citizens felt any shame for what had transpired under National Socialism.

How dare any American ask such questions?  What happened in Germany leading up to World War II is exactly what is happening in America today[2].  Current events reflect mind-boggling assaults taking place on our sidewalks.  Police officers are murdered while taking lunch in their squad cars.  Encouraged and funded by the so-called Open Society Foundation, agitated blacks have burned down large sections of our towns and cities.  In the 1930s, we called such thugs Brown Shirts; today they call themselves BLM or Antifa —and they are entirely the product of an extraordinarily well-oiled DNC propaganda campaign.  This crusade is so pervasive and so successful that I do not believe it is possible to return to a time when America was a great place to raise a family.

Notes:

[1] According to a recent study by the Victims of Communism Memorial Fund, one-half of millennials and one-third of the American people would prefer to live within a socialist or communist country.  Twenty-three percent of people between 21 and 29 years of age consider Joseph Stalin a hero; he murdered more than twenty million people.  Twenty percent of millennials have a positive opinion of Karl Marx.

[2] The anger displayed in social media is palpable; platforms such as Face Book and Twitter are being cleverly manipulated by Russian hackers to fuel this anger and resentment.  This too feeds into the leftist propaganda campaign.  It was never the intention of Saul Alinsky or Cloward-Piven to make America better … it was their intent to destroy American society.  From the leftist perspective, this goal seems to be working out quite well.

Posted in History, Society, Truth | 32 Comments

Corruption in the DNC

Donna Brazil served as the interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was tossed out on her ear.  She recently wrote a piece for Politico wherein she revealed how Hillary Clinton’s machine seized control of DNC finances long before she had even received the Democratic Nomination.

Brazil wrote:

“Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books.  Obama left the party $24 million in debt —$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly.  Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016.  Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

“The [Hillary] campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house.  Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign.  But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.

“Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund —that figure represented $10,000 to each of the thirty-two states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement —$320,000— and $33,400 to the DNC.  The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that.  Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

“Right around the time of the convention, the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races.  A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win.  That’s what will happen.”

“Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August.  When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady.

“When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

“The agreement —signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias— specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.  Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff.  The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

“I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn.  Well, here was the answer.”

Full article here

My entire point in re-printing the foregoing is this: given that the Clinton’s seized control of the DNC financing mechanism as early as 2015, there is NO WAY that Hillary Clinton was unaware of the $10 million paid to Fusion GPS for the Trump Dossier.  I should also note the skill set of “money laundering” that becomes evident in Brazil’s revelations; we now understand the entire purpose of the Clinton Foundation.

Posted in Justice, Society, Truth | 21 Comments

The Politicians We Deserve

I do not intend for this post to be a partisan rant; please bear this in mind as you read what follows.  I want to address American politicians generally, to explain how we have ended up with such a large number of people elected to serve our country and its people, but who always end up prioritizing their own self-interests.  To illustrate this, however, I must highlight recent revelations about the Clinton campaign’s efforts to destroy the character of their opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Last week, I wrote, “No candidate for the presidency in either of these years was “good for America,” but it is what the American people were left with after years of reelecting to high office the likes of Al Gore, John Kerry, George W. Bush, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and along with them, all of their affiliates and surrogates.  The net effect of this is that at some future time, all of these glaring mistakes will lead us to a national crisis, and when that happens, the indisputable loser will be the American people.”

Hillary Clinton’s transition from First Lady of the United States has been nothing short of mind-boggling.  She became a New York senator, Secretary of State, and a two-time candidate for the presidency.  There is nothing in our previous history that even comes close to this; Hillary Clinton has become the poster-child for such organizations as the National Organization of Women (NOW).  Yet, in spite of all her successes, there is nothing that Hillary Clinton covets more than this title: Madam President.

Today our country is more polarized than ever before.  Has that time of national crisis already arrived?

Recent news informs us of evidence that during her campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) paid for an investigation targeting Donald J. Trump, then her opponent for America’s highest office.  As a result, a dossier was prepared and delivered to Clinton campaign surrogates.  I haven’t seen the dossier, of course, but journalists tell us that it makes salacious allegations involving Mr. Trump’s involvement with prostitutes, and his collusion with the Russian government to affect the outcome of the presidential elections.

In over a year of looking into these matters, there is no evidence to suggest that either allegation is true, but the real significance of the dossier is that the Clinton Campaign was doing exactly what it accused Trump of doing: to wit, colluding with a foreign government to affect the outcome of the 2016 general election.

It is hard to know where this story begins, but even more difficult to imagine where it will end.  So far, the Clinton campaign has pursued an expected strategy in “crisis management.”  Silence, denial, and obfuscation.  It has worked in the past, although I’m not quite sure it will work in the future.  But if we hope to understand even part of it, common sense must prevail.  Today, we don’t know the answers to dozens of questions, but I have to ask this: does it make sense that Hillary Clinton, arguably one of the most astute characters in national politics, never knew that her campaign spent nearly $10 million for an investigation intending to smear the character of her political opponent?

Years of Bill and Hillary Clinton instruct us that they are both skilled in layering —which is to say, distancing themselves from allegations of corruption, but I believe that no reasonable person can at this point suggest that Hillary Clinton knew nothing of these shenanigans.

We must not overlook the effect of the dossier —not so much on Trump, as he did win the election, but that the document provided outright lies and distortions that were ultimately used by the FBI to secure FISA warrants to investigate the Trump campaign.  It was also used by members of congress to attack the Trump presidency, and led to the appointment Robert Mueller as special prosecutor.

These revelations, by the way, do not surprise me; they only reinforce my belief that the US federal government has become politicized; to me, this means that no American can have confidence in our most preeminent institutions, which includes the Congress of the United States, and such important agencies as the FBI.  We must ponder the likely consequences to our country when or if its people no longer trust their government.

We know that the individual who hired the firm to investigate Trump was Clinton attorney Marc E. Elias.  Here’s what else we know:

  • The firm preparing the dossier was Fusion GPS.
  • Fusion GPS hired a former British spy to conduct the investigation.
  • British agent Christopher Steel, paid Russian sources for information.
  • Information provided by Russian agents was scandalous and fictional.
  • The 35-page dossier was provided to Democratic members of Congress and the FBI.
  • The FBI used the dossier as a road-map to conduct its investigation, including a FISA warrant to tap the Trump campaign’s phones.

So then, who or what is Fusion GPS?  Its website tells us only this:

Fusion GPS is based in Washington, DC and provides premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services to corporations, law firms, and investors worldwide.

We offer a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets.

Leading the company are two former journalists of the Wall Street Journal, Glenn Simpson, and Peter Frisch.  Previous news reports from July 2017 identify Simpson as one of several who helped Mr. Steele compile the Trump Dossier.  Fox News Investigative journalist Catherine Herridge provided the information summarized, below:

Fusion GPS is a self-described “strategic intelligence” firm.  It is well-known for employing disinformation, misinformation, intimidation, and smear tactics against the targets of their clients.

Venezuelan Alek Boyd provided first-hand testimony, stating that he was targeted by Fusion GPS in 2012 on behalf of a power company.  While working as an investigative journalist, Boyd was in the process of demonstrating that the power company had a corrupt relationship with President Hugo Chavez.

British police records reveal that Boyd reported a break-in, with two laptops stolen from his London apartment in November 2014.  The stolen computers contained evidence about corruption and scandals in Venezuela compiled over several years.  After the break-in, Boyd said his sources were attacked.  Boyd believes that Fusion GPS was involved in a defamation campaign against him, which began shortly after the apartment break-in.

Boyd further claims that Fusion GPS employed social media to intimidate him, published photographs of him and his children, and accused him of pedophilia, extortion, and drug trafficking.  He also claimed that Fusion GPS threatened harm to his children if he did not back-off his investigation of the power company.

Boyd’s claims have been verified by human rights activist Thor Halvorssen, who also has ties to Venezuela.

If there were any questions about the veracity of Alek Boyd or Thor Halvorssen, Bill Browder offered similar testimony about Fusion GPS.  Browder is a businessman who told members of the US Congress that Fusion GPS used smear tactics to discredit him and his late attorney, Sergei Magnitsky.  Magnitsky was subsequently tortured and murdered while being held in a Russian jail.  What followed this testimony was the so-called Magnitsky Act, which levied US economic sanctions against Russia.

In 2016, Browder filed a complaint against Fusion GPS with the US Department of Justice alleging that Fusion was working on behalf of foreign governments.  To my knowledge, the Justice Department has taken no action against Fusion GPS.

American politics have almost from the beginning been low and crass —but this revelation takes the game to an all-time low.  The dossier’s accusations are the worst, but this kind of smear campaign has been used previously, and to our national shame, it has been effective.

It is perhaps fair to say that even in spite of all the claims made about Clinton corruption, beginning with the Arkansas land deals years ago to the more recent accusations about pay-for-play arrangements that enriched the so-called Clinton Foundation, there are other noteworthy examples.  George Soros’ Open Society Foundation has had a far-reaching impact on our political institutions; there are claims that Soros has funded, among other things, the election of Barack Obama, race riots in Missouri, and numerous progressive organizations designed to influence US foreign and domestic policies.  There are also questions about the corruption of President George H. W. Bush involving the use of Kuwaiti money to build his presidential museum; his son, former President George W. Bush is reputed to be involved with the globalist (and some say, anti-American) Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller.

What kind of people are these who crave power so much that they are willing to do “whatever it takes” to win, to enrich themselves to unbelievable levels of wealth and influence?  What kind of people (in the media) are so ideologically driven that they would readily accept without question outlandish accusations, or fail to demonstrate even a casual interest in the origin of salacious allegations?

Forty years ago, it was possible to read imaginary works about the Cold War era by such great writers as Frederick Forsyth; today, truth has become stranger than fiction.  For example, would anyone even imagine in 2006 that the Russians would dare to murder by radioactive poison Alexander Litvinenko in a London restaurant?

The case of the Trump dossier is a far cry from Litvinenko’s termination, but there clearly was an intent to assassinate Mr. Trumps’ character.  If it is conclusively shown that candidate Hillary Clinton, her campaign, or any of her surrogates hired or employed foreign agents as a means of achieving the presidency, then we should expect anyone associated with such a campaign to face serious federal charges.  But this isn’t what Americans are hearing from the DNC talking heads.  The argument I heard from a Democratic Congressman last week was this: it doesn’t matter who paid for the dossier if any of the allegations are true.

But it does matter.

It matters because if the American voter is no longer able to make a clear distinction among hopeful politicians based on who they really are —if the foundation of our entire electoral system is based on no more than “all is fair in love and war,” or if the winner of important elections is always the fellow who is willing to stoop to the lowest level, then we have arrived at the beginning of the end of America’s grand experiment in democracy.

Posted in Society | 32 Comments

The government we deserve

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.  —Joseph Marie Comte de Maistre

De Maistre (1753 – 1821) was a lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher.  He was influential in the court of hierarchical authoritarianism following the French Revolution, but in spite of his intellectual ties to France, he remained loyal to Sardinia and served his king as a member of the senate, an ambassador to Russia, and minister of state to the court in Turin.  As a monarchist, believing such to be divinely sanctioned, de Maistre argued for the restoration of hereditary monarchs and for the authority of the Pope over temporal concerns.  He also believed that only Christian constitutions could avoid civil disorder in the face of the passions of nationalism.  I presume that he believed this because Christianity is not simply a religious affiliation, it is a foundation of ethical values.

The translation of his statement is simply, “Every country has the government it deserves.

If the people of the United States truly believe this, and I think that many people would agree with the statement, then we should ask ourselves why we continue to elect representatives to Congress who place self-interest over the interests of the nation, and its people.  We should similarly wonder why we elect powerful executives who correspondingly appoint government officials who are driven more by a political agenda than by our country’s welfare.

Perhaps it all boils down to a matter of one’s own point of view, but here we must question the logic and wisdom of any political agenda that is consistently inefficient and has proven harmful to the United States and its people.  Alternatively, I suppose we could question the political understanding of voters, who have turned out in record numbers to elect George W. Bush and Barack Obama —neither of whom ever believed that the priority of the American government ought to be, and must be, the people of the United States.  In the final analysis, what the American voter gave us was this: sixteen years of Mr. Bush’s clever twisting of the characterization of the term compassionate conservatism, and Mr. Obama’s globalist anti-American rhetoric.

When George Bush left office, the American economy was a disaster; we definitely needed an “America First” candidate to step forward to lead us out of difficult times.  Instead, we were offered two globalists: John McCain and Barack Obama.  McCain’s reputation is one of a failed navy officer and a corrupt politician; Obama had no political bona fides whatsoever —but he was black, and well-spoken, so that anyone who questioned Obama’s political legitimacy was promptly accused of being a racist.  It was an effective strategy in two presidential elections; the Obama presidency became a fixed game.

What was the state of our country when Mr. Obama left office?  To begin with, America has returned to the angry racism of the 1950s; Obama’s legacy includes the sudden rise of activism and black supremacists (funded in large part by George Soros) (with an anticipated “push back” by white nationalists).  What happened over eight years is exactly what the American voter should have expected from a community organizer and acolyte of Saul Alinsky.

Second, the Obama presidency repressed economic growth in the United States.  How amazing it is to realize that a sitting president would direct his energies more toward global affluence than the development of prosperity in his own country —particularly since the United States is the engine of the global economy.  The annual GDP of the United States was 1.6% when Obama left the oval office; his claim that the US had the strongest economy in the world was pure falsehood—that ensign goes to China’s GDP of 6.9% in 2015.  Obama claimed that under his presidency, the US experienced the first sustained growth in manufacturing since 1990; in fact, manufacturing had declined 2.2% from when he assumed office and manufacturing employment waned 35,000 jobs.  Taxation and Obama-Care harmed the American worker; the programs contributed to a decline in disposable income 7.3% at a time when Obama was touting economic recovery.  A reasonable person might ask, “recovery for whom?”

Next, even a cursory examination will reveal that Obama’s foreign policy was an unmitigated disaster for the United States and its partners around the world.  Whether one wishes to discuss Russia, China, North Korea, or the Middle East, the Obama presidency has left the world in a much more dangerous position than at any time since the Soviet Era.  While George Bush opened the door to an emerging Iran, the Obama presidency shattered stability in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  Were it not for Obama, there may never have been ISIS and the accompanied horror they impose on the innocent.  Obama’s policies created and then fueled Arab-Spring; it was Arab-Spring that triggered the migration crisis in Europe.  In effect, what Obama bequeathed to Western Europe and the American people was increased global intrigue, transient alliances, political instability, and a seriously weakened American military.  Russia, China, and Middle Eastern nations have not hesitated to fill the voids created by Barack Obama.

I suppose the time is right for a full stop; I’ll end by asking this question: who is most responsible for the election of George W. Bush?  Hint: it’s the same folk who are most responsible for the election of Barack Obama —the American voter.  The American electorate is a large and disparate group of under-educated, easily led, non-thinking citizens (and in some cases, non-citizens) who in 2000 marginally elected a self-styled compassionate conservative over a bona fide socialist, and then in 2008 elevated a socialist[1] to the presidency.  No candidate for the presidency in either of these years was “good for America,” but it is what the American people were left with after years of reelecting to high office the likes of Al Gore, John Kerry, George W. Bush, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and along with them, all of their affiliates and surrogates.  The net effect of this is that at some future time, all of these glaring mistakes will lead us to a national crisis, and when that happens, the indisputable loser will be the American people.

We must therefore agree: Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.

Notes:

[1] The purpose of socialism is communism.  — Vladimir Lenin

Posted in Society | 14 Comments