Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ideology and Politics

There are two articles at American Thinker that are worth your time to read. They both discuss, in different ways, today's ideology and how it came to be and how it affects American politics. I believe that we need to be aware of what various groups believe in and are pursuing if we want to protect our freedoms and maintain America as she began.

The first article is "The Misnomer of Conservatism" by Bruce Walker. In his article, he discusses the terms "liberal", "conservative", and others and what they mean or don't mean. He writes about where these terms came from and says:
Why, then, do we have so many problems identifying what conservatism is in American politics? There is an easy, though not simple, answer to that question: What we have come to call "conservative" or the Right is a group of principles whose definitional names have been invented by those who hate those principles.
Intriguing, yes? I found the article thought-provoking. Mr. Walker also says:
What those of us who believe in the importance of liberty in human affairs, the vital goodness of America, the necessity of personal honesty in any healthy society, and the necessity of a Blessed Creator to any noble concept of life is to define ourselves and also to define our enemies. We who have been called "conservative" (because we somehow have not accepted the Marxian idea of progress) are ultimately just people who believe in truth. Many "conservatives" came to conservatism (whatever that is) because the Left is so permeated with lies and self-delusion (Exhibit A: Global Warming.)

How do we define our enemies? Some of us might like to call them "socialists," but that is using a vacuous Marxist term to describe a very real attitude. They do not really believe in anything, except power. Why is Hillary running for president? She wants power -- it is her turn. Why did Democrats lust to regain Congress in 2006? Power is the answer (have they even tried to do anything but harass President Bush?)
It's an article worth reading with an open mind and it's worth serious consideration as we look at America's future, and at a hope for the world's future, if there are those who can be influenced for good.

The second article is called "The Materialist Faith of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism" by Linda Kimball. Ms. Kimball begins by writing:

For over eighty-five years, America has been incrementally conquered by the same madness-inducing demon of hatred and violence that earlier took over Russia, China, Germany, and Italy. Rabbi Aryeh Spiro concurs,"There is a madness in today's liberal thinking. It insists on policies that tie our hands to defend ourselves while given free reign to the jihadists intent on killing us. It is dangerous because it is becoming the law, and thinking of the land in the western world. (Liberal Madness is Deadly (1/24/08) This demon is embodied in "enlightened" Liberals and the West's transnational "elite," both of which are deeply infected by materialistic Communism (Cultural Marxism) and the delusion that the true enemy of America is always on the Right. Having rejected God and the religious heritage of our civilization, they embrace instead a new order of beliefs of which Communism and Socialism are logical expressions. A new world order is what they seek, but in order that it can emerge, the existing culture must be completely destroyed.
Rather startling, isn't it? As Ms. Kimball goes on to explain what she means and to give a little background, you come to understand what she means and why it is important that we be aware of what is going on in our country.

It is not too late to reclaim America, but Americans need to wake up to what is going on around them. Gradual erosion of all our country stood for from the beginning is still erosion.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is Science Really the Answer to Everything?

It seems that for a century or more, some people have had the idea that science is the only source of truth and therefore, is the answer to every human problem--from disease to poverty and beyond. While science can provide helpful facts and ideas, there is much more to life than science alone. I found an article at The Heritage Foundation that should be required reading for all. It provides a common sense view of science's limitations and why we cannot and must not treat science as the be all and end all of the world and the universe.

The article is titled "The Abolition of Man? How Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science". It's by John G. West, Ph. D., who is "a Senior Fellow at the Dis­covery Institute, Associate Director of the Institute's Center for Science and Culture, and author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (ISI Books, 2007)."

Dr. West starts by writing:
"An age of science is necessarily an age of material­ism," wrote Hugh Elliot early in the last century. "Ours is a scientific age, and it may be said with truth that we are all materialists now."

One does not have to look far to discover the con­tinued accuracy of Elliot's assessment. Scientific materialism--the claim that everything in the uni­verse can be fully explained by science as the prod­ucts of unintelligent matter and energy--has become the operating assumption for much of American politics and culture. We are repeatedly told today that our behaviors, our emotions, even our moral and religious longings are reducible to some combination of physical processes interacting with our environment.
He later says, referring to what his book is about:
My book Darwin Day in America explores the impact on American politics and culture of the mate­rialistic abuse of science Lewis warned about so many years ago. Contrary to its title, the book is not just about Darwin. It is about how modern science--a very good thing--has been misappropriated by scien­tific elitists who want to offer a materialistic explana­tion of every part of human culture.
Here is what he says scientific materialism was supposed to do and introduces how it has failed:
Such comments embodied perfectly the optimis­tic vision offered by scientific materialism at the dawn of the last century. During an era when science seemed to be uncovering the material basis of all human problems, it was widely believed that science with a capital "S" could lead to the transformation of society, bringing about greater human freedom, dig­nity, and happiness in the process. In short, scientific materialism was supposed to be a great engine of human progress in politics and culture.

It was not. Human nature was not reformed; crime did not disappear; and scientific materialism did not usher in a new age of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Instead, the excesses of scientific materi­alism have continued to influence American public policy in at least five important ways.
The five important ways, of which his discussion makes up the body of the article, are technocracy, utopianism, dehumanization, relativism, and stifling free speech. Dr. West offers some valuable perspective as to what science can and cannot do and he concludes with this statement:

Contrary to the assertions of some, robust public scrutiny of claims made in the name of science does not constitute a "war against science." Indeed, it may be the very thing that saves science from its own excesses.
Science, in and of itself, is a good thing, but it is not everything. In addition, science, properly conducted, often leads to new information that negates previous ideas and theories. To be blind to science's gifts and limitations is, in itself, unscientific.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

What's a Conservative to Do?

It has been a great disappointment to me that the apparent Republican nominee for President of the United States is John McCain. While I greatly admire Senator McCain's service to his country in Vietnam, his political positions are not always admirable. I do think he will be a fine Commander in Chief, which is one of the more important roles of the President in these times. I don't have confidence in McCain on economics, the Constitution, and assorted social policies that are also important. So what are we conservatives who are genuinely concerned about the future of our country supposed to do?

I hear that a number of conservatives plan to either not vote for a president, or plan to vote for the Democrat nominee. While I understand their frustration, I cannot accept that as a reasonable solution. It only makes things worse for America if we hand the presidency to Clinton or Obama.

Whatever a conservative might decide to do about voting or not voting for a president, though, there are other avenues that need attention. One is to elect the strongest possible conservative Senators and Representatives to send to Washington, D.C. Another is to look at local/state elections and elect the best conservatives available. Still other avenues are to freely contact your government representatives to remind them that they are representatives of the people and to tell them what is important to you and why. Contribute to or volunteer for conservative candidates and for movements that address important issues in conservative ways.

Some articles that I recommend are:

"The failure to nominate a true Republican unifier does not spell ideological defeat" by Michelle Malkin

"For Conservatives, What's the Next Move?" by JB Williams

"Stepping Back from the Conservative Abyss" by Frank Salvato

These articles offer some good thoughts on what we can do to help the United States of America survive and prosper in the ways that are truly best for people.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day when we will find out how much more winter we have to put up with. Information Please has an article about Groundhog Day and its history.

A groundhog is the same thing as a woodchuck, subject of my favorite tongue twister (How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck would chuck wood?). Because it is a hiberating animal, people began watching for it, as well as other such animals, to appear as a sign of spring.

The story is that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, there are six more weeks of winter. The basis for this is that if a winter day is sunny, it is very cold because there are no clouds insulating the earth (this according the Info Please article linked above).

The USA has its official groundhog in Punxsutawney Phil (try spelling that without looking!). We'll be watching for you, Phil!