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Monday, December 30, 2002

Fare Thee Well.

Here is a good roundup of the many famous or influential people who died in 2002. I remember the passing of many, like Lonnie Donnegan, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney and the like. I was surprised to learn of other deaths, like Harold Russel and Gordon from Sesame Street. This one stopped me dead in my tracks:

“Norbert Schultze, 91. German composer whose song "Lili Marleen" struck a chord with World War II soldiers. Oct. 14.”

First, I thought he died in the Great War, in some tragic, romantic sort of way. I just never thought that the masterpiece that is the “Lili Marleen” could have a living author. Time goes by, good old days, never equalled, I guess. To be honest it is a bit stunning to think “Lili Marleen” is the work of human hands. It is more fitting that it be played by angels from on high. That song stopped two world wars. Second, I can’t believe the “Lili Marleen” was written by somebody named Norbert.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 30, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol.

What is the role of the university, to research or to teach? While students and parents would say “teach,” most academics say “research.” There is nothing wrong with research, in fact it is necessary to intellectual growth. Yet the fundamental purpose of any university is to teach its students. Teaching must take precedence over research. Why research anything if you are not going to teach somebody what you’ve discovered? I think the best split for a university is 60-40 teaching-research. Thomas Sowell addresses the problem of no teaching at state universities. Sowell says, and I agree, that if state schools claim to be teaching institutions they should be just that. He also proposes that the bulk of research be transferred to research foundations that would exist on campus but be not be supported by state funds. The university professors could concentrate on teaching (with some research) and the researchers could concentrate on research (with some teaching). That sounds like a good plan to me.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 30, 2002 | link

History Unbound.

This nifty little article from the Wall Street Journal takes a peek at the historical tomfoolery indulged in by the keepers of the Kennedy Cult. Thomas Reeves runs down all the reasons why the recent release of information on JFK’s illnesses (see the Atlantic Monthly) is nothing more than a spin campaign by the Kennedys and their courtiers. The documents were shown to a JFK devotee, are not available to the public or even to other historians, and the media has kept any rebuttal to the “JFK as heroic martyr” myth off the radar screen. Well, the Kennedy Cultists better drink their Kool Aid now because Camelot is going to get sacked before too long.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 30, 2002 | link

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Sunday, December 29, 2002

Football Roundup.

The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots did it again. They pulled out a win. How I will never know. The offense was good and the defense actually showed up. Amazing. Too bad the Fish outplayed them all game long. The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots got trounced. Yet they won. The marched down the field twice in the late fourth quarter and tied the game. Then they won the coin toss. Then the march down the field and Vinitieri knocks in a chip shot and wins the game. The game was heart attack city. I was sure they’d lose, then they go and win. They are out of the playoffs anyway. For a team that has not played up to their abilities, they have a ton o’ testicular fortitude. Now for next year, get an offensive line, two linebackers, a defensive tackle, rework the secondary, and maybe get some new coordinators. At the very least a new offensive coordinator. Bad play calling killed the Patsies this year, along with lousy defense. What really bites me is that if it weren’t for last year, I’d be jumping for joy at a 9-7 season. Especially one that ended in a Fish Squish.

The Green Bay Packers choked. Choked like Mama Cass, if Cass had choked on that sandwich. They stank like they were the Patsies. Their defense forgot they were playing today and stayed home. The offense just puttered along in that let’s-make-lots-of-dumb-plays-and-hope-Favre-can-score-5-touchdowns-in-the-last-three-minutes sort of way. They do not get home field advantage, which means that the playoffs will not be played where God intended them to be played: Lambeau, outdoors, in a blizzard. The Pack will not get to the Super Bowl.

In other random NFL predictions, the Eagles will go to the Super Bowl. Whether they win depends on who they play. I will be forced to insert the phrase “Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots” into unrelated posts because I will not get to say that phrase again for 31 more years. The Patriots cannot help being the Patsies. Parcells will go to Dallas. Holmgren will get fired. Jake Plummer will flee Arizona like a Pompeiian fled Vesuvius. The Snake may end up in Dallas too. I personally hope he gets picked up by the Patriots to be a backup and mentor for Brady. Actually, I’m torn. I want him to be behind Brady, but he’s a great quarterback who has suffered from his lousy team and deserves to be another Rich Gannon.

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, December 29, 2002 | link

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Friday, December 27, 2002

Clone Ranger.

Okay, so the Raelian alien worshipping freaks have announced they have cloned a baby. Little Eve is alleged to be a clone of a 31-year old American woman. No independent confirmation of Eve exists. Whether she exists or not, I’m against it.

Human cloning is the ultimate renunciation of unconditional love and the end of humanity as we know it. Human cloning is the reduction of human life to the status of a consumer good. A human baby becomes a thing to be customized to its owner’s specifications, much like a car. Cloning makes parental love dependent upon conditions and will fundamentally alter human relations for the worse.

I have already ranted about the inherent evil of the Subject-Object relation between humans. To sum up, the Subject-Object relation between humans is inherently evil because it makes the value of the Other dependent on the whims of the viewing Subject. Basically, if I the subject view you as an object, I reduce you to a less than human state because I am asserting that your value is not that of a Subject but of an Object. An Object’s value is determined by the Subject. You see that object over there, say, a table, as a valuable antique. I see it as firewood. The Object’s value depends on the Subject doing the valuation. While this is a great system for deducing the market value of tables, it is evil when applied to humans. Humans have inherent value and reducing humans to objecthood marks them as untermensch and we know where that leads. Your inherent value as a human does not change no matter whether I like you or not. Only a Subject-Subject relation between humans is morally tenable because only that relation gives fair and equal valuation to each person. Human cloning is the enforcement of the idea of other humans as objects.

Up until now, when babies are born, their parents utter some variation of “whatever God gives us, we will love.” Whether religious or atheist, the idea that whatever they are given will be loved has been the basis of the parent-child relation throughout all time. That sentiment is a recognition of the essential separation between the persons of the parents and the person of the child. The child is recognized as his own being, complete morally and physically in and of himself. The idea of the baby as a human being whose value is independent of his parents is rejected by cloning. Cloning sets absolute conditions to the parent-child bond. Cloning asserts that the child is not a full human but an appendage to the will of the parent.

Instead of loving what they are given, the clone parents are asserting that they have the right to set conditions for their love. The clone parents will not love any child. They will only love a child who meets the conditions they have set. A clone is a thing purchased by its parents just like they would purchase a CD player. Just as you would only accept a CD player that has the functions you want and the features you specify, a clone will only be acceptable to its parents if it has the features and characteristics they have negotiated for. Clone parents, by the very act of cloning, have stated that they will only accept and love a child that matches the physical, emotional, and intellectual attributes of the clonee. A clone that does not conform to the desired attributes is not wanted. That’s why they cloned!

A cloned child is the definition of the unwanted child for that very reason. Hold your horses, you say. Cloning is very expensive and you have to want the kid to go through the expense. Wrong. The clonee is wanted. The clone-child is just the medium used to achieve the replica of the cloned person. The clone knows, and the clone-parents know, that the child himself is not wanted. The child is not valued as an individual human being, with his own personality, mind, and soul. The clone is valued only as a reflection of the person cloned. The child is not wanted, a double of the parent is.

Parents who do not want the child for love of the child himself cannot truly love that child. The clone child who knows that they are not wanted or loved for themselves cannot love his parents. That tautology is what will change human relations forever. By cloning we create an entire class of people who are never intended to be seen as people. The clone, Eve, is not suppose to be Eve, she is supposed to be her mother, “Jane.” Eve is not Eve, she is little Jane. Jane is wanted; Eve is not. What happens when the Eve decides to be herself and nobody else? When Eve asserts her Eve-ness and rejects her identity as Jane, Eve has violated the warranty. The only reason for Eve’s existence is for her to perpetuate the person of Jane. Eve is not supposed to be “Eve.” By failing to be Jane, Eve is not the child purchased by Jane. Will Jane still love Eve when Eve refuses to be what she was created to be?

People are people. They are not objects who exist to stroke our egos or serve our convenience. They are individual people, who are valuable and worthy because they are people, in and of themselves, contingent upon nothing and no one. Cloning is slavery of the soul.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 27, 2002 | link

We’re From the UN . . .

And we are here to help. Peru’s family planning program, funded by the UN, was really a forced sterilization for profit plan. “Family planning” operatives were paid a bounty (UN funds, remember) for each sterilization they performed. Women who sought help for any ailment were routinely sterilized against their wills. Some died from the “treatment.” But hey, they were poor women, who are not UN sort of people, and mostly Indian too. Notice the difference between the response of the US under Clinton and then under Bush. Now compare that to the response of the UN. As for the UN,

“They are pursuing the sort of bureaucratic control over women's bodies that led to the death of Magna Morales, who was as much as murdered because she wanted to have children.”

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 27, 2002 | link

Read Me.

Theodore Dalrymple dissects the latest British crime tsumani and sums it all up:

“At the root of the British inability to confront the problem is snobbery. There is a reluctance on the part of the upper echelons of society to believe that the lower echelons are fully human, and therefore responsible for their own acts and decisions. No discussion with a British liberal about the growing incivility, criminality and violence of British life is complete without reference to Hogarth's Gin Lane, the implication being that 'twas ever thus. This, of course, is nonsense. But it does establish that the British liberal intelligentsia believes the lower classes are genetically and irredeemably, utter scum.”

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 27, 2002 | link

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Thursday, December 19, 2002

Check Them Out.

I am adding the Arts and Literature Daily and the Arts Journal to the blogroll. The Daily is required reading for any thinking person. It links to a wide range of articles covering the spectrum of art, philosophy, literature, culture, etc. My only complaint is the anti-religious bias of the editor. It’s not major, but it is noticeable enough to be annoying. Every week or so they post some article ridiculing critics of Darwinism, which I normally wouldn’t object to. First, the site covers no other science issues and thus the Darwin stuff comes across as pretty random. Second, the editor does not differentiate between loony Creationists and legitimate scientific criticism. Also, they frequently link to articles ridiculing or “debunking” God or religion but never link to any article reflecting a positive view of religion or its influence. Theology, a vibrant and culturally important field, is nowhere to be found. That wouldn’t bother me if the anti-God view didn’t get such naïve boosterism. Religion is the lifeblood of culture and it just seems weird that the Daily would take the rather uncultured view that it does.

The Arts Journal is not as comprehensive as the Daily, but it is much more fruitful. It covers art, architecture, music, etc. It is more though-provoking and just better. I really love this site. It is updated 6 days a week and archives every day. Check often.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, December 19, 2002 | link

Utterly Feudal.

Has modern America instituted legal feudalism in the guise of race and gender preferences? Paul Craig Roberts makes an interesting argument. While I wouldn’t have thought of feudalism, I do think that the system of government enforced racial preferences that we call affirmative action reestablishes the same system of racial privilege and superiority that the Civil Rights movement was supposed to abolish. We spend huge amounts of time and money pounding the idea of absolute racial equality into the heads of young people, and then turn around and say “just kidding” by using race quotas. So are the races equal or are some superior and thus entitled to preferential treatment? Or are some races inferior and thus in need of preferences?

Either way racial privilege and quotas are racist. Affirmative action is just a progressive code for segregation. Separate and never equal. I think that is evil and wrong. God made all men equal and they should be treated as such. This is not 1860 nor is it 1960. This is 2002 and blacks are at no artificially imposed disadvantage to other races. The disadvantages suffered by blacks, where existent, are self-imposed. They are either imposed by a complete social breakdown within the black community (see Detroit, South Central or any other such inner city hellhole) or are imposed through corrupt politicians elected by the very blacks they prey upon. Yes, welfare and other misguided liberal policies have greatly contributed to the rot at the core of inner city black society, but it is that black society that has embraced those failed programs and refused to save themselves. Those same Liberals have pushed those same failed programs on other minorities with far less success. Affirmative action “corrects” a problem that no longer exists. I would have no problem with a program that, say, focused extra education money on poor minority districts, but only if that money was still available after the needs of all the other districts had been filled. Giving extra programs to minorities by taking money away from others is wrong.

Granting privileges based on race is an ideal way to birth and nurture racism. Take the education money problem I just mentioned. The students in the districts that had money taken from them will resent the students who benefited from that money. Take college admissions quotas. I know many people whose MLK-worthy colorblindness turned to David Dukedom when they realized that their “spot” in college was going not to them (who busted their butts and earned their way in) but to some affirmative action mediocrity who goofed off instead of studying. Middle-aged politicians think affirmative action is a program, but people my age know that it is the reason they didn’t get hired or promoted or maybe why they had trouble getting into college. They had the brains, grades, and skills; they just didn’t have the melanin.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, December 19, 2002 | link

Hate Hoax.

With all the racial posturing about Trent Lott going on, it’s amazing that the media hasn’t picked up on the epidemic of “hate crimes” sweeping our college campuses. Well, no it isn’t. The “hate crimes” are fake and are being used to forward the media’s pet segregationist, I mean, diversity programs. Michelle Malkin breaks it down.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, December 19, 2002 | link

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Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Mascot Vote.

Now is time when all good Weevils are called to render service to the Wonderland of their birth. It is time for Weevil sympathizers to take a stand for principle. Yes, my friends, you are called to expand Alabama’s cultural hegemony by voting for Big Al for Capital One Mascot of the Year. If goodness and righteousness are not enough to persuade you, here are some other reasons to discard the other candidates:

Buzz the Yellow Jacket (Georgia Tech) – A bee? A killer bee? Sure, he wants you to think he’s a harmless mascot, until he turns on you and harpoons you with his poison-filled stinger! That’s biological warfare. Smooth move, Saddumb. Voting for Buzz would just be letting the terrorists win.

The Nittany Lion (Penn State) – What the heck is a Nittany anyway? The unknown factor here is just too dangerous.

Otto the Orangeman (Syracuse) – He’s a big frickin’ Orange. Take it to Florida where it belongs pal. Unless you are one of those William of Orange partisans who are always getting into it with the IRA. Don’t make me say the T-word. Just say no.

Victor E. Bull (University of Buffalo) – They ought to be ashamed of this bad a pun.

Albert the Gator (University of Florida) – Gators are dangerous to pets, small children, and people who like to race air foils through nature preserves. Also, Alligator I and II were horrible movies.

Sebastian the Ibis (University of Miami)Sebastian? What the heck kind of mascot is named Sebastian? Way to instill fear in the opposition.

Monte the Grizzly (University of Montana) – Come on, you can thnk of a more creative name than this! What else do you have to do when you’re snowed in all winter?

Seymour the Eagle (Southern Miss) – Seymour. ‘Nuff said.

Smokey the Hound (Tennessee) – Visualize triumphalists wearing neon orange. Don’t let it happen.

The Bird (U. S. Air Force Academy) – Everybody knows about the Bird, everybody knows that the Bird is the word. But not the mascot.

Big Red (Western Kentucky) – What is that thing and will Raid kill it?

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 | link

Search and Diva-story.

Matt Labash of the Weekly Standard knocks J. Lo on her fairly sizable booty. In doing so, he writes on of the most disturbing paragraphs on the web:

“For instance, when my boss, Fred Barnes, nonchalantly bops around the office in his distressed-denim, low-cut lace-up jeans, he probably has no idea that they come from Lopez's Sweetface Fashions. Likewise, when my other boss, Bill Kristol, helms editorial meetings smelling of sandalwood, soft amber, jasmine, and musk, he likely hasn't a clue that he is wearing Glow by J. Lo, a real steal at $50.00 for the 3.4 ounce spray.”

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 | link

Football Roundup.

There was no college football this past weekend. The Bowl season starts tonight. If Saturday was a trial run of the off-season, I don’t think I’ll make it.

The Buffalo Bills lost. I guess this means everyone in the league has Crudsoe’s number now. Good. After 8 years of his lead-footed, long bomb interceptions, I love watching him get what’s coming to him.

The Green Bay Packers won, narrowly defeating the San Francisco 49ers. It was a good game. Green Bay looked much better than they have. Ahman Green was back but Tony Fisher got about 40% of what would normally be his carries. They almost blew the game in the fourth, but held on. Terrell Owens did a stupid end zone dance with pompoms, leading to many rude San Francisco jokes. The Pack just may get home field advantage in the playoffs, which would be a great thing for the game. Football should be played outside in the elements. There are no fiercer elements than at Lambeau. In any case, the road to the play-offs will be ugly for the Pack.

The SuperBowl Champion New Englan’ Patriots can be summed up in three words: stink, stank, stunk.

Three suggestions for the Super Bowl Champion Patsies (Sorry, but I won’t be able to say those blessed words too much longer):

1. Draft an offensive line. Brady cannot throw flat on his back with a linebacker implanted in his chest.

2. Draft on defense: 2 linebackers, 1 defensive tackle.

3. Everybody sing: Big Fat Rohan! This isn’t actually a suggestion. It was just nice to see BigFatRohan Davies in the game.

Oh yeah, the Brady bullet between the eyes on the UmpCam was great. ABC puts a camera in the umpire’s hat and Brady threw a laser that hit it dead on. Amazing footage of what an NFL pass looks like before it kills you.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol.

Thomas Sowell, Intellectual Deity, has been thinking randomly. I love it. Here’s something for you to love:

“Incessant preoccupation with statistical disparities is one of the luxuries of an affluent and sheltered life. Do not expect someone who has ever had to go hungry to get upset because some people can only afford pizza while others can afford caviar.”

“Just as any moron can destroy a priceless Ming vase, so the shallow and ill-educated people who run our schools can undermine and destroy from within a great civilization that took centuries of dedicated effort to create and maintain.”

“Filters are often used to filter out things that do us harm. But what if the filter itself is dangerous? Increasingly, information filters are allowing us to learn only those facts which fit the prevailing preconceptions in the media, in academia, and wherever the intelligentsia are dominant.”

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 | link

Free Fall.

This isn’t exactly a joyous read, but like everything Theodore Dalrymple writes, it is required reading. It is about induced dependency and the failure of freedom.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 | link

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Friday, December 13, 2002

Danger!

Run Mighty Marsupial! Run for your life!

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 13, 2002 | link

Just The Facts Ma'am.

Jack Webb rules!!!

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 13, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Literarium.

The Literarium has been updated. Nothing serious, but what more do you expect at this time of year?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 | link

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Monday, December 09, 2002

East Germany On My Mind.

I think East Germany has become the political analogy du jour. I have several times heard the phrase “the East Germany of the soul,” the first time being during the brouhaha over the bowlderization of the NY Regent’s Exam. Well, Peter Hitchens (who, with his brother Chris stars in the Hitchens Brothers’ Comedy Hour) is using it to describe the increasingly one-party state of Britain.

“Of course, Britain isn’t East Germany — or not yet, at any rate. But the dwindling number who can remember the Warsaw Pact are increasingly haunted by bizarre and jarring similarities between that lost world beyond the wire and the ugly New Britain that is being built around us. Here, where we least expected it, the old slogans and ideas have come to life again, slightly modified to suit our modern times. Citizens are being arrested for holding the wrong opinions — on homosexuality, Islam or the countryside. The state is waging a spiteful war against the middle class, through the tax and schooling systems. We have a Ministry of Culture and a government broadcasting service. But disquiet over these things is confined to a few, and even they tend not to discern a pattern. Our opponents know better than to act too swiftly or too crudely. Crabwise and subtly, they charm and diddle the voters into embracing a one-party state while pretending to maintain our balanced democracy. In the name of tolerance, they use the law to persecute the thinkers of unacceptable thoughts.”

This thing is just jam-packed with goodies. The soft slavery of socialism gets a careful treatment. The mindset behind creeping statism is nicely illustrated:

“Good people are corrupted by totalitarian regimes so gently and slowly that there is never a single moment of actual choice, just a belated and guilty realisation that we have gone too far to turn back. There is always a good reason for making that little accommodation with a power which is now absolute and likely to remain permanent.”

Try this too:

“In this cotton-wool tyranny, those who make trouble are embarrassing nuisances, while those who make understandable accommodations are, more often than not, forgiven.”

I love that phrase, “cotton-wool tyranny.” That’s just it, isn’t it?

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 09, 2002 | link

Football Roundup.

Navy Beat Army! Now that the important game has been covered, I’ll go on to politics . . . Just kidding. This is the only Navy game I watch. The Notorious G.U.P. is a Navy man, which explains why I watch a game between two reliably awful teams.

The Packers won, but it was ugly. Now, any game at Lambeau in December with the temperature in the single digits qualifies as a good game, but this one was up for grabs until the very end. The Vikes lead most of the game, with the Pack pulling ahead in the fourth quarter. Green Bay didn’t even seem to start playing until late in the third. Mistakes piled on mistakes. Yes, I’m allowing for the cold. The defense was wobbly and the offense was out of sync for most of the game. I don’t think the Pack will be winning pretty for the rest of the season. On the bright side, Tony Fisher is putting on a parade and Ahman Green better be nervous.

The Super Bowl Champion New Englan’ Patriots defeated the Bills. So much for Crudsoe’s homecoming. The Drew I know and love was in his glory, standing like a lead-footed sentinel, throwing easy picks. Eight years of this I suffered through, and finally the Patsies are benefiting from Bledsoe’s skills. I have no real complaints about the play of the offense, but I have serious anger regarding two offensive things. First, the penalties. They play great when they aren’t handing over yards on penalty calls. The Pats had to give back three, count ‘em THREE, touchdowns due to penalties. One was a beautiful direct snap to the receiver, who passed to Brady who ran in for a TD. Called back. Argh! The second dumb Patriots trick is the play calling. The offensive coordinator keeps calling long balls. Brady can’t throw a bomb to save his life. He’s got the arm, but he hasn’t yet got the control. If it ain’t working, stop calling it. The defense was bad, but not as bad as usual. Bruschi was out and missed. The coverage was loose and the tackling was poor. Actually, the tackling was nonexistent. The Pats just flung their bodies against the running back, apparently using the “Pinball” formation. Use your arms! Wrap ‘em up!

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 09, 2002 | link

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Friday, December 06, 2002

Sorry.

Sorry to be so scant in my posting but it’s the hectic holiday season and I get behind. I also haven’t found a whole lot of things I want to post on. It’s been a funny sort of week. I did eat at McDonald’s today, in solidarity with my splattered Indonesian brethren. Finally, a worthy reason to snarf fries like they were free crack.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 06, 2002 | link

A-Bove It All.

Robert Bove is back and is reviewing books this time. What will that wild and wacky humanoid think of next? He reviews Peter Lawler’s Aliens in America. It sounds like a seriously good peek at human nature, human happiness, and a Walker Percy/ Carl Sagan smackdown. Best of all, it starts with a quote that appeared in my Bartlett’s Tweak-a-thon!

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, December 06, 2002 | link

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Monday, December 02, 2002

Theory or Theology?

This article from First Things examines the adversarial relationship between modern Liberalism and religion. I use the capital “L” Liberal for a reason. He’s not talking about classical liberalism, but Liberalism as pseudo-religion. Here are some good quotes from the article, interspersed with my comments.

“Liberalism, too, tends toward hegemony. Not content to serve as a theory of organization of the state, it has grown into a theory of organization of private institutions in the state. If the state itself cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race or sex or religion, then private institutions, it seems, should not do so either. One need not support any of these forms of discrimination to see the obvious conceptual difficulty: a theory that developed in order to explain the organization of the state (from which there is no simple exit for dissenters or subjects of discrimination) becomes a theory about the organization of everything. And that, I think, is the true source of the supposed conflict between liberal theory on one side and religion on the other.”

Thus:

“Democracy needs diversity because democracy advances through dissent, difference, and dialogue. The idea that the state should not only create a set of meanings, but try to alter the structure of institutions that do not match it, is ultimately destructive of democracy because it destroys the differences that create the dialectic. Yet the idea is a popular one—and religions, precisely because the meanings they offer can be so radically different from those proposed by the state, often bear the brunt of hegemony”

Essentially, the modern Liberal state sees religion as the competition and tries to suppress it, or at least restrict it to state-approved areas of nonpublic life. This rings very true to me. I’ve often been struck by how “theological” much of Liberal doctrine really is. Extreme Liberals often seem more like religious converts than political thinkers. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them ringing my doorbell offering me copies of the Watchdog-Tower. Most Europeans I know, having been raised in socialist states, have been educated to be very dismissive of religion. They will usually claim to have been baptized or be otherwise affiliated with a church, but only for the traditional social reasons. Their functional atheism is a social construct. They have never thought seriously about religion because it was “not done.” The schools teach them the proper thoughts to have and they dutifully think them. American Liberals can be much the same. Religion is just “not done.” God is last year’s pashmina.

“No state is truly interested in preserving independent communities of meaning. States, historically, have been interested in preserving themselves. The liberal state should be different, because of its supposed neutrality among competing conceptions of the good; but in practice, and more and more in theory, the liberal state is just as insistent as any other that everybody should believe the same basic things . . . as long as they are liberal things.”

Again, religion is a rival to the power of the State. God exists in defiance of the god-state of Liberalism. That which is in defiance must be destroyed. That is why liberalism is so repressive of religion.

“If the language of public debate must be secular, religious citizens are required, as Michael Perry has put it, to ‘bracket’ their religious selves, leaving behind, before entering the public square, the very aspect of personality that lends meaning to their lives. The idea that religious citizens must remake themselves before joining debate might have an abstract logical appeal, but in practice it simply represents another form of official pressure on the religious to be less than their full selves.”

Actually, forcing religious persons to deny or suppress their faith before they are allowed to participate in the public debate is tantamount to denying that the religious person is a full citizen. It is an assertion that there is something unquestionably wrong and destructive in religious faith itself. It is an automatic privileging of irreligion. Religious people have the right and the obligation to fully participate in the public debate as religious persons. The state has the obligation to respect its citizens, as anything else would be a de facto establishment of the state-god.

“Why should anybody be surprised? It is hard to build a liberal public order (or any official public order) in the face of powerful sources of resistance. Despite liberal disclaimers, I have always believed that this is one of the reasons that liberal theory worries so about religion: it might indeed seek to destroy the state. Better to destroy religion first. The destruction may be subtle, as in the morally nonsensical idea that it is possible for schools to teach sex education without moral content, even though few if any religions teach that sexuality is amoral. (Certainly the Christian tradition does not.) Or the destructive urge can be quite direct, as in the notion, presented by a growing number of political theorists but really going back to Dewey, that the state should wean children away from any illiberal religions their parents might try to teach them. Liberal theorists seem to believe that deep faith commitments pose serious threats to the order they are trying to create. I hope they are wrong. If they are right, then the order is not worth preserving.”

It is the intellectual hegemony of Liberalism that I object to. Liberalism blithely tramples on individual rights in order to establish a social order that its citizens have never agreed to live in. The idea that the state, in the guise of education, has a sacred duty to mentally and spiritually sever familial ties is totalitarian in its origins and fascist in its functions. State schools inculcate an “oh so very natural” atheistic statism in order to consolidate the power of the state itself. Once children get immersed in the idea that certain things are universally accepted, they are unlikely to question what they have learned. Even when they do question the Liberal worldview, they are unlikely to question all of it. You just don’t realize how many of the things you’ve accepted as done deals are more than up for grabs. Even if you do challenge some of your received notions, you won’t challenge all of them. You won’t even realize what is up for challenge. It is from this educational base of cultivated Liberal universalism that Liberalism builds it power.

“And this is at the heart of liberalism’s notion that committed religionists are dangerous in the public square because it is hard to do business with them: what is meant is, they may be hard to persuade and, therefore, we might not get what we want.”

Note the last part, “we might not get what we want.” Notice there is no concern for what the rest of us want. Only “we,” the enlightened ones, the Anointed, the Liberals, know what everyone should want. Only “we” get and only “we” decide what is gotten.

What’s this “we” stuff, Liberal?

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 02, 2002 | link

Football Roundup.

Notre Dame lost. They more than lost. Let’s just pretend it never happened. Well, it did happen because it affects their chances of getting a Bowl bid. A bid looks doubtful but don’t count them out. Notre Dame tends to get bids whether they deserve them or not. Bowls are primarily interested in audience and ratings and ND provides both. If they get a bid, it will be to a lousy Bowl.

Alabama won in Hawaii. Did you notice how every time Bama knocked down Tim Chang, the Hawaii QB, they pulled him up by his injured hand, squeezing all the while? Welcome to the SEC.

The Super Bowl Champion New Englan’ Patriots won on Thanksgiving Day. For that I do give thanks. The offense did pretty well, but they wasted several Red Zone opportunities. The defense actually held. I was shocked. It appears they play only when the offense puts points on the board. Bruschi made an incredible interception for a touchdown, but later left the game with an injury. One thing of note: at the very end of the game, when the Patsies were on the 1 yard line, they took a knee and ran out the clock as opposed to going for the end zone and running up the score. That was classy. Good for them.

The Packers won against their arch-rival Chicago. The Bears had their number in the first half, but the Pack turned it on in the second. Favre was shaky during much of the game but finally got his head on straight late in the second quarter. Ahman Green is definitely sweating for his job after the great performance Tony Fisher put in. Did you see that play that ended the first half? That was wild! The Bears had the ball around their own 30, but the running back fumbled. A Green Bay player recovered the fumble and ran with it. As the GB guy got tackled, he attempted to lateral to Favre. One of the three Bears surrounding Favre snagged the toss instead and started running down the field towards the end zone. The Pack’s Javon Walker had to run 50 yards down field to make the tackle and save the touchdown. If he hadn’t I think the Bears might have kept the Big Mo and won the game. What a play!

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, December 02, 2002 | link

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Contact Spinster Lee Ann at calhounista_at_hotmail

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Two Babes and a Bob! Opinion, insight, commentary, sarcasm, scathing polemic, and wit by Lee Ann, Carol, and Robert. Featuring the spectral presence of Gena.
Contact the Spinsters at: brodskii@yahoo.com (Gena) calhounista@hotmail.com (Lee Ann)

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