The Dalai Lama vs. Pope Francis on Immigration – Dr. Steve Turley on YouTube

Source: The Dalai Lama vs. Pope Francis on Immigration!!! – Dr. Steve Turley | YouTube

Dr. Steve Turley is a YouTube personality (I guess if you have 67,000 followers you can be counted as one of those!), a conservative vlogger who is both prolific – posting two videos a day, each tending to run between ten and fifteen minutes, plus or minus – and relentlessly optimistic regarding the future of the West.

The latter is actually rather refreshing, in an atmosphere where many (myself included, on my worst days) tend to be prone to gloom-and-doom pessimism on the present cultural civil war, which constantly seems on the verge of slipping over into a “hot” war between the militant Left and those on the right who are becoming increasingly “mad as h___, and aren’t going to take this any more,” in the words of the famous 1978 movie scene.

At any rate, Turley seeks – in his own words – to “analyze current events in light of awesome conservative trends, so that you can personally and professionally flourish.” A bit of a “Renaissance man” (a direction in which I tend, myself), Turley’s PhD is from Durham University; he is the author of more than 20 books, teaches theology and rhetoric at Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, DE, and serves as Professor of Fine Arts at Eastern University, a Christian university near Philadelphia, inter alia.

All of which is by way of a lead-in to say that he has the academic and professional chops to back what he says, and what he says is often interesting, and sometimes enlightening.  This video is certainly worth watching, and listening to.

“We are indeed living in bizarre times when a major Buddhist world leader is actually sounding more Christian than the Pope!”

We are indeed…

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The Revolutionary War Animated Map | American Battlefield Trust

See the Revolutionary War unfold, from Lexington to Yorktown and beyond, on our animated map, produced by Wide Awake Films in partnership with the Revolutionary War Trust (formerly Campaign 1776), a division of the American Battlefield Trust.

Source: The Revolutionary War Animated Map | American Battlefield Trust

The entire Revolutionary War (American War of Independence) in 19 minutes!

If you’re not quite familiar with the overall sweep of events during this crucial period of American history, it’s a terrific introduction! If you’re like me, and have a pretty good general grasp of events, but a few of the details of how it all fits together have gotten hazy over the years, it’s a great refresher.

It’s more than just an “animated map,” making use of video clips of reenactments along with historical maps and artwork, but it certainly does make use of animated maps to show how the various forces maneuvered, in attack, defense, advance, and withdrawal. Excellent overview!

How political correctness ate itself | UnHerd

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The consensus on political correctness was that it was a way of expressing things that everyone – or at least all the right people – took for granted. For progressives it was the same thing as good manners, an argument that was often presented in just those words…

Source: How political correctness ate itself – UnHerd

Worth a read.

It is said that revolutions always devour their own children. That does seem to be true, but understandably, their children resist being devoured, and the resultant thrashing about can cause a lot of mayhem, and often a lot of injury to innocent (or at least, not unduly culpable) bystanders.

The sooner political correctness thrashes itself into oblivion, the better, as far as I’m concerned! Then we can get on with simply being decent to each other, unless of course we have a good reason not to be. And in that case, we can be at enmity honestly, without the need to disguise it with PC cant, or to pretend that we are not, in fact, at enmity after all…

A generation plans an exodus from California | Orange County Register

Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the “California model” national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas.

Source: A generation plans an exodus from California – Orange County Register

Some of us do not find it surprising that California is, as this article puts it, continuing to “hemorrhage” people at a high rate: “Since the recovery began in 2010, California’s net domestic out-migration… has almost tripled to 140,000 annually. Over that time, the state has lost half a million” of its residents to out-migration – people leaving the state.

More significant than mere numbers, though, is the demographic those numbers represent:

“The key issue for California, however, lies with the exodus of people around child-bearing years. The largest group leaving the state — some 28 percent — is 35 to 44, the prime ages for families. Another third come from those 26 to 34 and 45 to 54, also often the age of parents.”

Many, in other words – in fact most, almost two-thirds – of those leaving California are those of family-rearing age: that is to say, those who are most important for the future of the state.

There is no question that a lot of this is due to, as the article again points out, the high cost of living there, and particularly the high cost of housing:

“Over 90 percent of the difference in costs between California’s coastal metropolises and the country derives from housing. Coastal California is affordable for roughly 15 percent of residents, down from 30 percent in 2000, and 30 percent in the interior, [down] from nearly 60 percent in 2000. In the country as a whole, affordability hovers at roughly 60 percent.”

It’s hard enough to afford housing here in Maryland (also a coastal state, of course); the situation is much worse in California. But housing costs alone might not tell the whole story; indeed, this article itself hints – cautiously – at the likelihood that California has got its priorities screwed up, and many Californians (or former Californians, or soon-to-be-former Californians) know it.

The author – Joel Kotkin, R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism – notes that (in the quote with which I opened this),

“Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the ‘California model’ national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas,”

and continues,

“California’s media and political elites like to bask in the mirror and praise their political correctness. They focus on passing laws about banning straws, the makeup of corporate boards, prohibiting advertising for unenlightened fundamentalist preaching or staging a non-stop, largely ineffective climate change passion play. Yet what our state really needs are leaders interested in addressing more basic issues such as middle-class jobs and affordable single-family housing.”

So long as California’s leadership continues to value political correctness over improving the practical quality of life – indeed, the ability to live in the state at all – of ordinary folks, the more California seems likely to to continue hemorrhage people.

This should be a wake-up call for the “chattering classes” in other (currently) “blue” states. It should be. But will it? Or will they continue to be blinded by an ideological agenda that is at best irrelevant, and often off-putting, to the majority of ordinary people?

True believers will continue to be true believers, no matter what, of course. Ideologues are ideologues because it is their mentality to be so. But there have to be at least some adults in the crowd, don’t there? Don’t there…?

“An Act Concerning Religion”

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A later (18th C.?) printed broadside of the Maryland Toleration Act.

“An Act Concerning Religion.” That was the original title of what is colloquially known as the “Maryland Toleration Act of 1649,” the same year in which King Charles I (known by many Anglicans of an Anglo-Catholic and Royalist bent as King Charles the Martyr, or simply The Royal Martyr) was shamefully executed in an act of regicide by the so-called “Rump Parliament,” under the despicable Oliver Cromwell.

An attempt (only partly successful) to assure protection for Catholics in the proprietary Colony of Maryland in the wake of this act of regicide and England’s subsequent interregnum under the Puritan Parliament, later Protectorate, the Act – passed by the General Assembly of the Maryland Colony – sought to provide equal protection under law for all Trinitarian Christians, and at the same time, provide legal protection for Trinitarian Christianity (*) itself.

As such, it might, in retrospect, have been a better model (with some adjustments, discussed below) for our national view on the subject than the relevant clause of the First Amendment, which has since been stretched beyond all intention of the Founders, through what I cannot help but see as a perverse and willful misconstrual of Jefferson’s “wall of separation” comment. That appeared in a letter to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptists, and was originally intended to assure religious people of their protection from the government, not the other way ’round.

The full text of the Maryland Toleration Act, in the original (rather archaic) form of English in which it was originally written, appears below. Its most salient section is reproduced here, in slightly updated language:

“That whatsoever person or persons within this Province and the Islands thereunto belonging shall from henceforth blaspheme God, that is Curse him, or deny our Saviour Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, or shall deny the holy Trinity [to be] the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost, or [who shall deny] the Godhead of any of the said Three persons of the Trinity or the Unity of the Godhead, or shall use or utter any reproachful speeches, words or language concerning the said Holy Trinity, or any of the said three Persons thereof, shall be punished with death [yes, it really does say that!] and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands and goods to the Lord Proprietary and his heirs.”

In other words, anyone who publicly blasphemes or denies either the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity (*) or any portion thereof is to suffer both the death penalty, himself, and the seizure of his property and assets! There is also a clause prohibiting, basically, “talking smack” about a) the beliefs and practices of any particular branch of Christianity, or b) insulting practitioners of any form of Christianity not one’s own.

In other words, to put it in relatively simple and modern terms, you will not publicly denigrate Christianity, Christians, or Christian doctrine, and you will – at least publicly – be nice to other Christians. It is, frankly, hard for me to argue with either of those.

[The Act also includes a section prohibiting the profanation of the Christian Sabbath (Sunday, a.k.a. the Lord’s Day) “by frequent swearing, drunkenness or by any uncivil or disorderly recreation, or by working on that day when absolute necessity doth not require it.” I am old enough to remember the days of the “Blue Laws,” as they were called, when most places of business were closed on Sundays and other restrictions on secular activities (including sales of alcohol) were in place; and although at the time, I found it frustrating, as I have gotten older – and hopefully, more mature – I have come to realize the wisdom, both spiritually and practically, of keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest.]

Now, mind you, I am not suggesting the death penalty for anyone who fails to hold to or publicly confess the Trinitarian Christian faith! Not at all. In particular, what people believe in private is precisely that: private, and it is not the business of government to be snooping behind closed doors.

But under this system, you are not allowed to publicly assert that Christianity is a crock of bull, whatever your private opinions may be, and you must accept the basically Christian character of the society of which you are a member, if you wish to remain a member of that society. That seems entirely reasonable to me. Continue reading ““An Act Concerning Religion””

HMS Queen Elizabeth deals with Hurricane Florence on way to F-35 trials | Business Insider

HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth was delayed by waves and winds caused by Hurricane Florence on its way to Norfolk, Virginia.

Source: HMS Queen Elizabeth deals with Hurricane Florence on way to F-35 trials – Business Insider

Maryland – my home state – represents!

“The British Royal Navy’s £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion) aircraft carrier had left the UK for America on August 18, to start September training with F-35B jets based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, the Royal Navy wrote on its official website.

Video clip of HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth:

“The stop in Norfolk, the second after a pit-stop in Florida on September 5, is the aircraft carrier’s last before it goes to Maryland for F35B jet training.

The journey was not all smooth sailing, thanks to Hurricane Florence:

“[The Royal Navy] said HMS Queen Elizabeth passed to the south of the Hurricane’s eye but still met four meter swells, five meter waves, and winds of 46 mph.”

An earlier article (“Britain’s newest and most powerful aircraft carrier is headed to America to train with F-35s for the first time“) had noted that

“Britain’s newest and most powerful aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is on its way to America to train with F-35 jets for the first time,” and that “The deployment is significant because it will mark the first fighter jet landing on a British aircraft carrier in eight years.”

Video of F-35 vs the earlier, British-made, carrier-based fighter, the AV-8B Harrier II:

“The first landing on the HMS Queen Elizabeth will happen at the end of September, according to the Portsmouth News. The jets are expected to perform 500 take-offs and landings over an 11-week period, the Royal Navy said…”

“HMS Queen Elizabeth is the third largest aircraft carrier in the world at 280 meters long and a weight of 65,000 tonnes. In total, there will be about 1,500 people on board, the Portsmouth News reported.”

“It is expected to be on active duty in 2021.”

Additional information, from the “Save the Royal Navy” website:

“Carrier heaven” – US Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia – the world’s largest naval base, and home to six of the US Navy’s ten super-carriers

“Barack Obama’s return just reminds us how he fueled the distrust that led to Donald Trump” | James Bovard in USA Today

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Who cares if Obama belatedly cheers for transparency and accountability? He should admit that he made the government more dangerous at home and abroad.

Source: Barack Obama is back and showing us how he helped elect Donald Trump | USA Today Opinion – James Bovard

James Bovard’s short but detailed and meticulously-sourced essay should be a must-read in every high school and college political science class – and since that’s not going to happen, it deserves to be shared, forwarded, and otherwise spread as widely as possible. Doing my bit, here!

Bovard is no cheerleader for the current President, no rider of the “Trump Train” – he comments that “Americans should be alarmed at Trump’s power grabs” (in one of his few failures to cite-and-source, he gives no indication of what those are), and reminds us that “Obama is correct that Americans should be on guard against any ‘absolutism’ from the Trump administration.”

But he also reminds us that “Obama declared Friday that Americans are ‘supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them.’ But Trump won in 2016 in part because many Americans considered the federal government the biggest bully in the land.” And he cites example, after example, after example of how Obama either maintained or, in many cases, increased government power and intrusiveness, at the expense of transparency and freedom.

Here are a few of the examples that Bovard cites (sources linked in the op-ed itself, which I strongly encourage you to read):

  • the Transportation Security Administration became far more punitive and intrusive during Obama’s presidency
  • Obama expanded federal secrecy and prosecuted more journalists and whistleblowers than any previous administration
  • he campaigned in 2008 on a peace platform and then proceeded to bomb seven nations
  • he flip-flopped on illegal surveillance and unleashed the National Security Administration to target anyone “searching the web for suspicious stuff”
  • When Obama took office, the United States had the 20th-most-free press in the world; by 2016, it had fallen to 41st

And these are only some of the examples he cites – and, as I say, carefully sources. And after all this, Obama presumes to lecture us on Trump, or to present himself as some sort of moral leader? It’d be a joke, if it wasn’t so un-funny. The truth is, as Bovard accurately notes, “Nothing that Trump can do or say should be permitted to expunge Obama’s derelictions.”

I am in complete agreement! And as for Obama himself, he should do what nearly every former President has done, which is ride off into the sunset – or sit quietly on his porch, enjoying his substantial Presidential retirement income – and cease and desist his attempts to undermine a sitting President.

 


 

P.S. Needless to say, the Obamacrats in the public square were less enamored of Bovard’s conclusions. As he pointed out in a follow-up on his personal blog,

“I am chagrined that not everyone liked  yesterday’s USA Today oped, ‘Obama Fueled the Distrust that Led to Donald Trump.’ I expected the piece to spur thoughtful exchanges by folks with different perspectives.”

If so, I fear he was either hopelessly naive, or at least excessively optimistic. He continues,

“Alas, my hopes for a rebirth of civility have been mercilessly crushed. Here’s some responses generated via Twitter, email, and elsewhere online.”

https://i1.wp.com/jimbovard.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/JPB-USA-Today-Obama-collage-of-angry-responses-september-2018555.jpg

As I commented, both on his blog and on his Facebook page, I suspect that most of the above “respondents” (if one can even dignify them with such a title) failed to read past the headline. And if they did, they clearly failed to comprehend what they were reading – or, just as likely, flatly refused to do so, lest their preconceived notions be disturbed by facts.

[Bovard’s] op-ed piece is spot-on, and (as I mentioned above) should be required reading in every high school and college-level political science class in the nation.

If Democrats dislike Trump, they should reflect on the fact that they have only themselves to blame, by tolerating Obama and nominating Clinton.

But frankly, I doubt that most of today’s Democrats are capable of that level of reflection. Sad to say!