Islam, Terror, & Our President

Here’s what we know thus far about the murderous rampage in San Bernardino yesterday: the murderers were a Muslim husband-wife team; it was well planned, not spur of the moment; their home was booby-trapped and was like an IED factory.

But we can’t call this Islamic terrorism, you understand. No, that doesn’t fit the Obama administration’s narrative. We must maintain the double standard that both the administration and its media allies have constructed:

Complicit in Murder

As with the Ft. Hood shooter and the massacre he carried out, we must instead call this “workplace violence.” That’s already the theme being pushed by Obama and his people. That, and the real cause of this violence: citizens owning guns. Yes, our commander in chief’s first response to yesterday’s terrorist attack was to call on Congress to rein in gun purchases. They’re the problem, not the people committed to a genocidal religious ideology.

Our president’s own radical ideology doesn’t allow him to admit that Islamism is the actual problem. He’s still wedded to the concept that America has caused all of this by its own braggadocio and interventions in the world. Consequently, this is why he has no genuine plans for combating the terrorism—in the deepest area of his heart, he somehow thinks they are right to be outraged and we deserve what we are getting.

It just so happens, before yesterday’s attack, I had been compiling some excellent political cartoons showcasing the Obama approach to terrorism. Here are a few that pretty well summarize it:

More Boots on the Ground

Not Who We Are

Twitter Attack

After all, he knows who the real enemies are:

Radical Republican Terrorists

Yet has the media ever confronted him about his worldview and where it leads?

Tough Question

What was truly funny—well, I don’t know that “funny” is the proper term—was to see him in Paris, where 129 people were recently killed by Islamic terrorists, proclaiming that those kinds of events only happen in America.

Huh?

And why was he in Paris? Why, he was dealing with the one issue that causes all this terrorism and that is going to destroy the entire world: climate change. Yes, Islamic terrorism is nothing compared to this danger:

Terror Climate Change

How are we going to send those so-called terrorists a message? By attending a climate change conference, of course.

Powerful Rebuke

If our president had his way, the evening news would look like this:

First the Weather

One can only speculate how America would have handled the Pearl Harbor attack if FDR had subscribed to the Obama perspective. Well, one cartoonist did speculate:

InfamyWe’re going to have to put up with this until January 2017—if we last that long.

Lewis & the Omnicompetent State (Part 3)

Last month, I presented a paper to the C. S. Lewis Foundation’s Academic Roundtable at its fall retreat. This is the third installment of that paper, which focuses on Lewis’s concerns that an elite would create a totalitarian state. This installment shows how Lewis portrayed that in his novel That Hideous Strength.

That Hideous StrengthEnter That Hideous Strength, first published in 1945, one year after the appearance of The Abolition of Man. The centerpiece in the novel of the unholy alliance between science and the omnicompetent state is the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments, or N.I.C.E., a rather clever way of demonstrating how totalitarianism can put on a humane face. In a sentence tinged with an understated sarcasm, Lewis describes the N.I.C.E. as “the first-fruits of that constructive fusion between the state and the laboratory on which so many thoughtful people base their hopes of a better world.”

As the rather vain and eager-to-enter-into-the-inner-ring Bracton professor Mark Studdock is introduced to the goals of the N.I.C.E. by the devious Lord Feverstone, he is informed that someone needs to take over the human race and re-condition it. Techniques will include sterilization, liquidation of backward races, selective breeding, and psychological conditioning leading to biochemical conditioning and direct manipulation of the brain.

Playing to Studdock’s desire to be part of the new age that is dawning, Feverstone entices him with this promise: “Man has got to take charge of Man. That means, remember, that some men have got to take charge of the rest—which is another reason for cashing in on it as soon as one can. You and I want to be the people who do the taking charge, not the ones who are taken charge of.”

Studdock’s role is to be one of the propagandists for the organization, writing untruths to win over the general public and also to influence the House of Commons. Lewis doesn’t seem to see much difference between the two audiences—both are equally and easily led by the nose.

When Studdock questions how they can pull off a “newspaper stunt . . . without being political,” and wonders whether it’s the newspapers on the Right or the Left that will print his articles, Hardcastle [the head of the institution’s police force] schools him on how to manipulate politics:

Don’t you understand anything? Isn’t it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and a fierce Right, both on their toes and each terrified of the other? That’s how we get things done. Any opposition to the N.I.C.E. is represented as a Left racket in the Right papers and a Right racket in the Left papers. If it’s properly done, you get each side outbidding the other in support of us—to refute the enemy slanders. Of course we’re non-political. The real power always is.

As the N.I.C.E. goes forward with its agenda, it engineers riots, getting the government to declare a state of emergency. Then it maneuvers itself into the position of being given the authority to make the rules for the state of emergency.

To top off the plan, the hope is that Lord Feverstone, who already is a Member of Parliament, will receive the post of emergency governor. Then the N.I.C.E. will, in effect, become the new civil government as its power and influence expands. Totalitarian government will then carry out the nefarious plot of re-conditioning the human race.

How did Lewis see the beginnings of this totalitarian state in his own time? That will be the subject of the next installment.

The Media vs. the Truth

Journalists can do a lot of good if they take their calling seriously. I’m certainly in favor of trained journalists who understand the need for fairness in reporting. But what do we get when most journalists are schooled in a university atmosphere of progressivism and either cynicism or outright hostility toward traditional Christian beliefs and/or cultural and political conservatism?

We get what has happened to Ben Carson recently—an all-out attempt to destroy an individual who doesn’t fit the progressive mold. In Carson’s case, from the mainstream media’s point of view, he is such an anomaly that he must be taken down.

A black Christian conservative, in their world, cannot exist, and if such a person does exist, he must not be allowed to succeed. Nothing must stand in the way of the progressive agenda, so while journalists mouth the platitudes of their profession—objectivity, etc.—the reality is something else:

Conjoined Twins

And if there’s nothing bad to report, they will create something themselves:

Pant on Fire

Nothing that they have “uncovered” about Carson’s past has any credibility, yet they somehow find a way to ignore another candidate with the greatest history of lies and corruption imaginable:

Media Trash

Did anyone in the mainstream media follow up on the whoppers Hillary has told about Benghazi, for instance—even before a congressional committee? No, they were too busy concentrating on really important matters:

Lies

Carson, to his credit, fought back, boldly contrasting the treatment he has received with the kid gloves used against Hillary and Obama. I love this picture that has been finding its way around social media:

Ben Carson Congratulations

It’s not just Carson, of course, and the attacks don’t come solely from “professional” journalists. Carly Fiorina has had to counter the snide comments from the ladies women on “The View” who decided to attack her personally. She handled them quite well:

Fiorina on the View

I applaud the steadfastness demonstrated by both Carson and Fiorina in the face of this onslaught. For the sake of truth, those who foster the politics of personal destruction must not be allowed to go unanswered.

The Debate Fallout

I did watch the GOP debate last week before embarking on my trip to Texas for the C. S. Lewis Foundation retreat. Normally, you might expect I would comment on it before now, but I hope these belated few comments will suffice.

As many have noted, this was a landmark debate in the sense that it brought to the surface once and for all the biased nature of the questioners. CNBC’s moderators (hardly the correct title this time) were about as hostile as one could find. The experience caused the GOP to cancel NBC’s sponsorship of one of the later debates.

Even though I have drawn attention often to the lopsided politics of the mainstream media, I was stunned by the manner in which these questions were asked and the remarkable double standard when compared to the kinds of questions Hillary Clinton has received:

Questioning

The moderators couldn’t have been more obvious about their own political views. As Ted Cruz noted, he didn’t expect any of them would be voting in a Republican primary. They probably just should have made it clear from the start:

Debate Rules

I wasn’t at the debate in person, of course, but if I had been, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the parking lot outside might have offered some clues as well:

Media Van

What this ham-handed approach actually accomplished was to unite all the GOP contenders; it was them vs. the media throughout the debate. If the goal of CNBC was to humiliate the presidential hopefuls, it boomeranged on them:

Bad Shot

So the loser in the debate is clear. Who won? Everyone has their own opinions, of course. I think the following candidates helped their cause the most: Rubio, Cruz, and Christie. A high honorable mention goes to Fiorina, who always comes across as articulate and firm in her convictions. Carson held his own, as did most of the others.

Some of those instant online polls taken after such events are about as unscientific as they come. One, for instance, said Trump won. Well, he didn’t do anything to stand out and, as more than one commentator said later, this was the first debate in which he was not the center of attention.

Maybe the next debate, moderated by Fox Business Network, will be more worthy of our time.

The False Benghazi Hearing Narrative

Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Benghazi Committee has been declared a “win” for her by the mainstream media. They report, almost breathlessly, how calm and collected she was. At the same time, they paint a picture of Republicans on the committee as out of control and frustrated by the answers offered by the smartest woman in the world.

Well, that’s the narrative from the usual suspects. In fact, that narrative wasn’t anywhere close to the truth.

Benghazi Narrative

What we got was a performance without substance. Sadly, performance is what counts in the media. Never mind the truth—or lack thereof. It would have been better, I think, if the scene had been set up differently:

Polygraph

“No new discoveries.” “No smoking gun.” Really? How about the e-mail Hillary wrote to her daughter and the other one to the Egyptian government official in which she admitted the attack had nothing to do with some obscure video? Is that not newsworthy? Is that not some kind of gun emanating massive amounts of smoke?

Of course not, we’re assured. Nothing to see here. The real story is that she made it through all those grueling hours. Why, she is the real victim, not those who died in the terrorist attack. After all, Ambassador Stevens knew what he was getting into, right? Again, never mind all those appeals he sent for more security that she apparently never saw. Why, she is the real story here.

I Survived

Unscathed

The outright dishonesty and lack of integrity shown by both Hillary Clinton and her media supporters is becoming legendary. It’s almost as heinous as the love affair between the media and Barack Obama.

You see, the true villains in this drama are those who are seeking answers and demanding that documents be turned over so that the truth can come to light. Such tactics are pure evil, we’re told.

Stop Asking

Fortunately, there are some with integrity who will keep on asking. They deserve our thanks and appreciation as they continue to contend with the stonewalling and the false media narrative.

The Atrocity Known as Planned Parenthood

The House Judiciary Committee is holding another Planned Parenthood hearing today. This one will focus on the details of abortion procedures, with much of the attention on late-term abortions, as well as a medical analysis of the ramifications of altering abortion techniques to acquire intact, usable organs.

Cecile RichardsAt its last hearing, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was grilled on the ghastly practices of her organization and the way in which taxpayer money has been spent on those practices, along with the exorbitant salary she receives for being the public face for Planned Parenthood’s selling of body parts of aborted infants.

Richards claimed that she had never heard of any baby being born alive during an abortion. If that’s never happened, why did Barack Obama, as an Illinois state senator, fight against a bill that would have provided medical care to children who “accidentally” showed signs of life after an abortion? Why fight against something that never happens?

She also had to admit, under this public scrutiny, that the oft-repeated claim that Planned Parenthood performs valuable services such as mammograms just isn’t true. One might ask why the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on that whopper, but there’s no need to ask—the mainstream media supports Planned Parenthood, being ideologically joined at the hip.

Democrats have pushed the lie that the videos showing the gruesomeness of abortion procedures and the callousness of conscience that allows for selling those body parts were “doctored.”

Videos

Bottom line: they aren’t interested in the truth.

Life is a sacred gift of God. We need to treat life with the greatest of respect. We’ve already seared our national conscience on abortion. Where are we headed next as a society?

Planned Elderhood

Don’t think this couldn’t happen. I applaud all those who are taking a firm, principled stand for life. May their efforts roll back this tide of depravity.

Gleanings from the Second Debate

I loved the setting of the second Republican presidential debate: the Reagan Library with Air Force One in the background. I was there almost a year ago; it’s an impressive place.

Fourteen Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R), U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, former New York Governor George Pataki, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Governor John Kasich and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pose before the start of the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United States, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS1HC6

Not as impressive was how CNN conducted the debate. Jake Tapper, the moderator, attempt to be the whole show; the other two questioners, when allowed a stray question or two, were no more than window dressing, virtually non-existent.

It also became evident from the very start that Tapper’s goal was to create as much divisiveness, bitterness, and “good television” as possible by trying to make everyone attack Donald Trump. For CNN, this was just a moment to try to relive its glory years when people actually watched this news channel rather than Fox News.

Overall, reaction to CNN’s ploy has been largely negative.

But enough about CNN. My aim today is to provide whatever analysis I can of the candidates. Let’s get Trump out of the way first, since he has been the headline grabber now for weeks.

His petulance showed immediately. Upon getting his first question, he decided instead to turn to Rand Paul at the far end of the line and tell him that he didn’t deserve even to be on stage with everyone else because of his low poll numbers.

What did that have to do with anything substantive? It was Trump being Trump, annoyed because Paul has been one of his most vocal critics, and he will never let a criticism go without response. His thin skin won’t allow it.

I’m not a Paul supporter, but this was patently unpresidential and rude. Paul’s rejoinder was that Trump was revealing his “sophomoric” attitude. I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps I might change the word to “juvenile” or “childish.”

The most cringeworthy moment was when Trump attempted to walk back his insult of Carly Fiorina’s face by shouting into the microphone that she really is beautiful. The only reaction from the assembled crowd was a groan because it was so obviously a fake comment. Fiorina, for her part, didn’t even look at him and retained her dignity.

Beyond that, when one looks at whatever Trump offered as substance, one might ask, as in the old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the beef?” No specifics on foreign policy except to say that he will get along with everyone and will be respected. Putin, apparently, will be so overwhelmed with Trump’s personality that all Russian aggression will cease. I seem to remember that being Obama’s approach in 2008.

Trump wasn’t any better on domestic policy. All we can do is believe grandiose promises that everything will be great once he’s in charge.

Unscientific polls afterwards indicate he was the runaway winner of the debate. Those are the kinds of polls that Ron Paul always won. I don’t recall his presidency.

Let’s go on now to the real candidates. The field, of course, is much too large. How to begin? How about Mike Huckabee’s comment later that he felt like he was waiting in line at the DMV? Huckabee and Scott Walker received the least time to speak than all the rest, yet they are two of the governors who have shown how to be an executive.

Life isn’t fair, right?

Rather than go down the long list and say something about everyone, I would like to provide my view that only candidates with strong conservative/Christian principles be allowed to participate in the next debate. I know, that’s a pipe dream. But given complete dictatorial power, I would immediately suspend the campaigns of Paul, Kasich, Bush, and Christie (and Trump, of course).

Half the Candidates

Ben Carson I put in a special category. He is a wonderful man, thoroughly Christian, with whom I would love to sit down and talk and enjoy his presence. However, I don’t see him as the next president. His answers on minimum wage and foreign policy, for example, are not clearly thought through; I just don’t believe he is ready to be president. Few successful neurosurgeons can make that leap, no matter how pure their intentions and impeccable their character.

For me, that leaves, in alphabetical order, Cruz, Fiorina, Huckabee, Rubio, and Walker. I would love to add Bobby Jindal to that list if he ever breaks out of the lower tier.

Ted Cruz was forceful, as always, and principled in his answers. I don’t doubt his commitment to constitutional concepts and his bravery, shown by his willingness to buck the system and tackle his own Republican leadership. The only down side to Cruz, for me, remains his rather speechified way of talking, as if every answer is an invitation to go into speech mode. I would prefer someone who comes across as more human and less robotic.

Carly Fiorina certainly benefited most from this debate. She was sharp, knowledgeable, and courageous. Many commented that, at times, she seemed to be the real adult in the room. She was the anti-Trump, full of specifics and well informed on all the issues. Regardless of what happens in the future, I will always fondly remember her masterful takedown of Planned Parenthood and the complicity of Democrats in supporting its atrocities.

She was eloquent in her defense of the unborn in a way that few have been. Some have questioned her real views on abortion, but I don’t see how anyone can have said what she said—and with the kind of vehement conviction with which she said it—without her pro-life stance being genuine.

I agree with others who have concluded that she was the standout speaker of the night. Whether that translates into the presidency is still another matter.

Mike Huckabee was, as usual, an effective communicator. I was particularly pleased that he came out and said he would definitely have a litmus test for judges. He called out the hypocrisy of the Democrats who say they have no litmus test when, in reality, they would never vote for a pro-life nominee or anyone with even a hint of constitutional principles.

Huckabee was strong in his condemnation of the Iran deal and how the consequences of that deal can lead to the destruction of Israel and undermine the security of America. He deserves to be heard.

Marco Rubio was, like Fiorina, well versed on the issues and effective at communicating his views, particularly on foreign policy and national security. Even though he damaged himself with conservatives by his dalliance with the Gang of Eight immigration reform plan, he clearly knows we need to tackle that problem, and I believe he has learned a lesson about attempting some sort of comprehensive plan.

The weakest part of Rubio’s evening was his defense of his voting record in the Senate. He’s missed votes, he said, because nothing would have been accomplished by being there since the measures he would have voted for were doomed anyway. My response is that he was elected to represent, so he should be there as the representative of his (my) state whenever possible.

Finally, there is Scott Walker, the candidate who was given the least amount of time to speak. Many have now written Walker off since he doesn’t come across as strong in these forums as others. I think that’s a mistake.

Walker was better this time than in the first debate, but he had to try harder to be heard. He is the only candidate who has come up with specific plans to replace Obamacare and reform the federal government unions. Tapper never asked about those; he was interested only in controversy.

I refuse to dismiss Walker because he has an outstanding record as governor of Wisconsin. He not only has manifested courage in standing up to opponents who wanted to take over the Capitol building and remove him from office, but he has succeeded in getting his reforms through his legislature. In other words, he has been an effective governor.

If conviction and competence were the only factors that Republican voters were to consider, Walker would be the nominee.

I feel like I’ve been writing forever here. I don’t claim any special insight that others haven’t offered, but I hope my thoughts will spark a fresh perspective for some who read these words.

May God extend His mercy to our distraught nation once again as we move forward to make what might be the most crucial political decisions in the history of this nation.