Friday, October 06, 2006


Below is an amused comment on a recent Leftist attack on the "Religious Right" from Assistant Village Idiot. He scores himself on being able to predict what the Leftist will say. Excerpt only:

Randall Balmer has an essay in the most recent Chronicle of Higher Education entitled Jesus Is Not A Republican. Balmer is a professor of religious history at Barnard College. The Assistant Village Idiot puts his fingers to his temples and makes some guesses: (Full disclosure: I read the opening one-sentence blurb, so I did see the phrase "drunk on power." Therefore I made no predictions about what would be written about that, figuring I had an unfair hint.)

1. Balmer will use black-and-white rhetoric to decry the black-and-white thinking of the Religious Right. Their approaches will not be criticized for being unwise or inadequate, they will be condemned as completely without merit. Other sides to any religious argument will simply not exist, because he knows the Bible better than you.

Arggh! I missed one right at the beginning: raised as an evangelical. Minus 1 point Otherwise, perfect score (The Bible I read.) 9 out of 10

1A. Oh, and we're closed-minded, too. Perfect 3 bonus points

2. Ballmer will note that God loves the poor. Therefore, we know the Religious Right has perverted the gospel, because they are in favor of cutting the poor off without a farthing. There will be no mention in Ballmer of what conservative evangelicals want to do for the poor, because it is so obviously a sham that it doesn't bear mentioning. The RR doesn't want to do what the liberals want, therefore they don't care about the poor.

Too easy. 10 out of 10

2A. He will believe every liberal spin of economic statistics as if they are unassailable. Tax cuts for the rich and corporate greed will both be mentioned at least twice each. This will prove that the Religious Right hates the poor.

Perfect 3 bonus points

3. He will complain how today's public Christians are rotten, not like the Christians in the Good Old Days when he was a boy, and were involved with the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war protests.

I was pretty much wrong on this one. There are only hints with the McGovern reference. 1 out of 10 points. Ouch

3A. The 50-50 chance of mentioning the abolitionists will rise to 90-10 because he's a religious history professor. "City on a Hill" will be mentioned. perfect 3 bonus points

4. He will explain that the war in Iraq is unjust because it doesn't adhere to "just war" doctrine, by which he will mean "We didn't get final approval from the UN." The extended examinations of Just War doctrine by other Christians who reached different conclusions, such as over at First Things, will not be mentioned. Conveniently, they won't have to be refuted, either. ".would not meet even the barest of just war criteria."

Score! He doesn't mention the UN (I suspect it's in his head though), which keeps me off full credit. 8 out of 10 points



Florida GOP names replacement candidate: "Disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley sought treatment for alcoholism and 'other behavioral problems' as Republicans on Monday picked a new candidate to salvage the seat Foley abandoned after disclosure of lurid online messages he exchanged with teenage boys. State party leaders chose state Rep. Joe Negron to replace Foley in next month's election. Negron will receive votes cast for Foley, although Foley's name will remain on the ballot in the West Palm Beach district, which is largely Republican."

Partners in plunder: "I keep reading that big business wants government off its back. But that's a myth. Here's the truth: [B]ig business and big government prosper from the perception that they are rivals instead of partners (in plunder). The history of big business is one of cooperation with big government. That's Timothy Carney writing in a recent Cato Policy Report. He's the author of a new book, The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money. Carney's book shows that government and business are not antagonists but allies. They've always been allies. Politicians like it that way because they get power and prestige, and businessmen like it because they get protection from competition."

Growth is good: "David Cameron says, 'It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB -- General Wellbeing,' by which he means happiness. With Cameron's endorsement, the cockle-warming politics of happiness has officially become a multi-partisan affair, no longer the property of Labour peer Richard Layard and other social democrats. And why shouldn't it be? Certainly no one disputes that there is more to life than money, or more to politics than the size of the economy. However, Cameron's contrast implies that increased GWB might have to come at the expense of GDP growth and economic liberalisation."

A game plan on gas prices: "As we recover from the summer season gasoline price highs, its time for cooler heads to prevail on U.S. energy policy. Despite a lot of grandstanding from the political class about 'Big Oil' and 'price-gouging,' we have seen little effective action from Washington. The laws of supply and demand still govern our energy markets -- the problem is that our tax and regulatory framework for energy is outdated and even counterproductive. There is so little margin for error in the current system that news of unexpected corrosion in the Alaska pipeline instantly sent global oil prices up 2 percent." The most important thing to understand is that gasoline prices are a signal of market supply and demand; Congress should not attempt to control prices directly but should instead address the underlying tax and regulatory factors that affect prices.... The United States should at least allow motorists and refiners the right to source Brazilian ethanol, which is made from cane sugar, or to refine cane sugar into ethanol here in the America. (Refining ethanol from cane sugar is far more efficient than from corn.) But the federal government charges American consumers a 54 cent per gallon penalty on imported ethanol, largely pricing it out of the market. And entrepreneurs interested in refining cane-sugar into ethanol in the United States. are prevented from doing so by the federal sugar program’s import quotas. Corn and sugar corporate welfare programs should not be allowed to stand in the way of our energy security; these tariffs should be repealed to create a competitive market for ethanol."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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