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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For September 21, 2016

Sept 19

To Bruce Fronen and his blogpost on whether the mainstream media is trying to control Public Opinion. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative.

It seems that the real, but unexplored, issue here is what is causing the polarization in our nation. That the media and government have played a role in this are legitimate concerns that merit further investigation. In fact, Manufacturing Consent, by Chomsky and Herman, attempted to objectively determine whether the opinion of masses were being directed. That the government had put resources into controlling opinions seems to be a historical fact. And that there is physical evidence indicating that the media uses filters and has realistic motives for controlling public opinion should move us to at least consider the possibility that public opinion is being at least partially controlled.

But, again, what is up with the ongoing polarization of Americans? Here we should note that part of polarization is an intolerance for other views. And one cause for such intolerance is authoritarianism whether the authority figures consist of charismatic leaders, ideologies, or groups. Those who are passive authoritarian have trouble tolerating a lack of submission to their heroes. And here we should note a charge often made by the Left about today's educational system. That our educational system's first goal is to produce compliance and conformity. And a heavy hand is sometimes wielded against those who fail to submit. If this is difficult to believe, consider the different offenses that can cause children to not just be removed from the classroom, but to even be arrested. One such example was when a child was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense for burping in class (see http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/student-arrested-for-burping-during-class/  and  http://thefreethoughtproject.com/child-arrested-burping-police-state/  ). Such shows authoritarianism and tells us that the smallest, however natural, offense is potentially punishable by our justice system. It also tells us how fragile the position some authority figures in public education see themselves having.

The growing intolerance for the views of dissent is a possible result of the growing authoritarianism we have seen in our society. The increase of that authoritarianism saw a significant spike a while ago with our President's response to the 9/11 atrocities. And what is driving that authoritarianism is the desire of key groups in our nation to control others rather than to cooperate with them.


Sept 20

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on 5 facts about The Constitution. This appeared in the Acton blog.

There is at least one of the above facts that needs correction or modification.  In addition, there are some other facts that need to be included. Point or fact #3 is difficult to find  the documentation for. Yates' notes on the Constitutional debates never indicate a quota in terms of the number of troops nor does The Constitution. That doesn't imply that a quota was being considered. But we do know that the only limitation for a standing army is the 2 year term of its funding. A standing army cannot be funded for more than two years. In addition, it was the Militia, under the command of the President and whose funding is provided by Congress that should be used to repel invasions as well as put down insurrections.

And the putting down of insurrections leads us to a fact not included in the above list. That fact is that The Constitution was written as a response to widespread dissent and Shays Rebellion. Thus, The Constitution was written to strengthen the Federal Government so that it could better respond to future rebellions. And on further examination, what we find is that The Constitution was written to help preserve the position of America's financial elites in society. The events of the time as well as statements made about the militia point to this, so do both the structure provided for the Senate as well as documents like Henry Knox's  letter to George Washington about the then current discontent support this point. And it was James Madison who described government's job of protecting the rich from democracy after talking about opposing the opening of election to all classes of people.


To Kyle Hanby and his blogpost on how, according to an article by Dylan Pahman, our current approach to industrialization and free trade is the best answer to the Pope’s concern over climate change. For, according to Pahman, it is in our economic approach that we can best meet challenges to the environment while lifting people out of poverty.  This appeared in the Acton blog.

One of the problems with this article is that it deals too much with vague references. The same applies to the reference immediately cited. For example, how has the world economy grown? Well, that depends on where in the world one is. In America, our economy has shifted from a manufacturing based economy to a financial one. Thus growing a financial economy will have less of a physical impact on the environment than a growth in a manufacturing based economy. And where we see poverty being reduced, that is reduced from a standard based on around $1.35 per day, we see an increase in manufacturing. But how much poverty has one escaped when one is living on a little bit more than the bare minimum? In addition, we might want to ask what the economic impact on other parts of the world have been with the growth of industrialization in the areas where poverty is being reduced the most.

We could measure the social changes that have occurred with the growth of industrialization in nations like China, but such is not the subject of the article above. What is the subject is using a study on human footprint where industrialization is increasing dramatically to answer the Pope's concern with climate change. According to the cited article, as the world's population and economy have grown 23% and 153% respectively, the human footprint has only gown 9%. But if we note the title of the article Pahman cites for his data, the human footprint measured in terms of terrestrial effects only. The impact on air quality as well as changes in the atmosphere are not included as part of measuring the human footprint. Thus, the question becomes this: What good is the information Pahman is citing in answering the Pope's concern with climate change? For the name of the article Pahman is Sixteen Years Of Change In The Global Terrestrial Human Footprint And Implications For Biodiversity Conservation. And again, the Pope was saying how climate change is a sin. Thus how can the study that Pahman cites answer the Pope's concern with climate change?

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