Monday, July 1, 2019

Where We're Headed

I'm on the run this morning, but I'd like to recommend two articles I've just read. 

In a comment yesterday I maintained that the Russia Hoax isn't about financial corruption primarily. That is always a component, of course, when the Left is involved in something, but it really does come down to ideology. Compare these two article and see if you see how they hang together.

The first is by Rod Dreher (NeverTrumper): Seminary Confidential. It's basically a long email from a student at an elite Protestant seminary in which the student describes the state of intellectuality there. In brief, it's "social justice with a thin veneer of Jesus." It's much more detailed, and well worth reading.

The second is by Thomas Lifson, describing Antifa's activities in Portland: Left wing thuggery: The battle lines are being drawn in Portland, OR. Here there's no veneer of Jesus, but I think it hangs together. For example ...

The student writes regarding the Marxist form of "Christianity", a "new religion" "with a thin veneer of Jesus":

This represents the instrumentalization of Christianity to social justice ends. Routinely, the discussion of Christianity’s value comes down to “can Christianity help liberate me and others who share my identity from oppressors?” Christianity is not good because it is true; Christianity is adopted if it is useful.

Lifson writes:

My impression is that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is heavily staffed with left wingers who see African-Americans and sexual minorities as the only legitimate objects of their protection. They need to be tasked with protecting the rights of all Americans, and if they refuse, they need to be replaced. It’s time to focus on an urgent need to ensure peaceful politics before the streets get even bloodier. 
Antifa is part of an interstate conspiracy to deny civil rights to conservatives. Thanks to the civil rights movement, there are established procedures for dealing with such malign groups. It’s time to start using those tools.

Do you see how Antifa activisim flows from the "theology" (really, ideology) that the student is being indoctrinated with at this seminary? Is it such a stretch to justify violence as the legitimate expression of the grievances of the oppressed--as defined by the Left?

And of course the same is true at all universities, and of course law schools. The indoctrinated graduates of those law schools now largely populate the FBI and the DoJ--and not just the Civil Rights Division. But I point to the seminary because religious institutions still retain some vestiges of social prestige and influence in the post-Christian West. Nor am I pointing only at Protestants or liberal Judaism. For Catholics, just look at the documents relating to the Amazon Synod, upcoming in October, to see the same thing.

The student is concerned that ordinary people will find themselves deprived of the intellectual means of expressing their opposition to these movements, which have coopted traditionally Christian and Liberal terminology for very different purposes.

That constitutes a crisis, of which the Russia Hoax is one, albeit important, expression.


  1. Nations are built and sustained with high social trust, which allows for safe association and freedom of action to be productive more-so than perpetually on-guard. And religion is fundamental to sustaining high social trust. The decline of religious affiliation is at the root of our current distress.

    The psychological pressure has been building for many years now as the US population Balkanizes politically and ideologically. And we are now entering the hot summer months when temperature discomfort may trigger emotional outbursts, both verbal and physical.

    There is a lot of pent up stress that needs relief, and for many, the mechanism of relief can be unhealthy acts of confrontation (picking a fight). On a large enough scale, you get the Yellow Vest movement in France.

    1. America has lagged behind the social disintegration of the Euro countries, but we seem to be catching up. It's the goal of the NeverTrumps.

  2. Eric Felton at RCI is another good read.

    1. Looks very good. Will get to it now that I'm back.

    2. That article by Eric Felton is superb.

    3. It's very well written, as well as incisive in exposing the underhandedness of it all. The only more amusing article I can recall off hand is Mark Steyn's Tinker, Tailor, Clapper, Carter, Downer, Halper, Spy.

    4. Agree with Forbes, Mark and Mike: the Felton article is excellent. At least to the extent that an article which makes one nauseous also be excellent. I hope and pray the Republicans questioning Mueller will coordinate their efforts and take the man down. No self-important TV grandstanding. Just take the man down.

    5. I hope to have more to say later. I keep getting sidetracked.

    6. I'd like to add one more thought. Given the brazen dishonesty of Hurricane Crossfire/the Russia Hoax, why didn't Mueller and Weissmann double down and find a criminal conspiracy between Trump and Putin? It would have been no less dishonest than the claims (insinuendo) they do make...I suppose they concluded that the obstruction gambit was less risky and just as likely to succeed...

    7. I have often wondered what combination of various circumstances over the past four centuries caused my ancestors (and yours and all of our ancestors) to give up their homes and families and whatever security and prospects they had and move, often penniless, three or more thousand miles to a new place filled with uncertainties and risk. I understand refugees who have come here from war-torn homes and places controlled by dictators, but many others simple concluded this place was sufficiently better to mitigate the many risks. I am proud that my earliest 'American' ancestor was a passenger on the Mayflower -- a celebrated passage which during the first winter of 1620-21 resulted in the deaths of forty-five of the 102 passengers. Imagine the horror! Subsequent immigrants suffered similar high rates of death as well as innumerable other hardships. And yet they came.

      While I am retired now and am secure enough to amuse myself somewhat indefinitely in the company of my wife, and in the garden with my clippers and push mower and in my study among dozens of still-to-be-read books, I am thoroughly undone by the utter and pervasive dishonesty and corruption of which Mark and you commenters write. I am no naif but I honestly never thought what we are witnessing unfold could happen in this country...but it did and it is! And the bad guys are still lying, colluding and obstructing...all the things they accuse Trump and conservatives of doing. Not to mention the horrifying spectacle of the unfolding Democratic 2020 platform. When does all of this amount to just too much? And what does one do? How does one fight back? When does one go? And where? Can it be that all may be lost?

    8. Very eloquent! We fight back with the truth.

    9. I agree with Mr. Wauck.

      I think that it's the slippery slope or the put a frog in the water and gradually raise the temperature.

      A lot of this wouldn't have flown even ten years ago. The hate from the left is tiresome and tiring. Honestly, it's exhausting.

      When I saw the attack on Andy Ngo, I was furious. And if you're so inclined to depress yourself, go read the fake news headlines from USA Today, NYT, etc. Update, many of the fake news headlines are not at the top of Google's search results; maybe the blow back was so intense.

      USA Today headline is "Right-wing protesters, 'antifa' clashes bring chaos to streets of Portland ..." See how "right-wingers" are always the lead? Other mainstream outlets were just as bad.

      This stuff infuriates me. Antifa, the Dems and the fake news are attacking the very foundation of our nation.

  3. Since we're recommending current articles, here are two excellent ones by the indispensable Don Surber:

    Hunter Biden is Rick James

    Surber relates a New Yorker article about Biden's truly appalling son. Apparently the idea was that the New Yorker would do an info dump and get it all--and I mean ALL--behind the Biden campaign. Re the article, Mollie Hemingway says:

    "This is a successful attempt to dump all of Hunter Biden’s baggage with one of the friendliest/reporter/outlets available. But holy cow is the scandal per paragraph ratio high, despite reading like pro-Biden propaganda. My mouth was agape through much."

    And then back to Antifa:

    Sanctimony in politics leads to violence.

    Surber quotes Byron York re the state of public life:

    "Shunning, shaming, doxxing, attacking. As the 2020 campaign reaches full speed, would it surprise anyone to see all of it increase? And all from people who congratulate themselves for standing against hate."

    1. I caught a bit of the Hunter Biden story on ABC News last night, while visiting my elderly mother (I don't watch TV/cable "news"), sourced from the New Yorker article.

      The tone was entirely sympathetic--to the point of maudlin--portraying Hunter as a victim of drug and alcohol addictions as an explanation for reckless and unconscionable behavior.

      In the current zeitgeist, once declared a "victim," no one is responsible for their behavior, or any decision that might have contributed to the questionable conduct. That would be victim-blaming--and we can't have that.

      But the cherry on the sundae was the offered narrative that Hunter's business dealings and financial arrangements in the Ukraine were entirely of his own doing, as his vice president father had nothing to do with any of it. What Hunter was paid for was of no consequence for the report. Apparently the quid pro quo arrangement is standard protocol for the offspring of high government officials--so long as you're a Democrat.

    2. The corruption of the MSM is really stunning. Beyond anything I could have imagined just a few years ago.

  4. Take the two articles that you mention and then consider the deplatforming of conservatives. This is an attack on our civil rights and an effort to make us into second-class citizens.

    1. Totally. I'd like to see Trump really talk this up.