THE HOLY BOOK OF UNIVERSAL TRUTHS,
K. U. P.
(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)
3. "Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right, you meet the same idiots coming around from the left."--Clint Eastwood, responding to critics of his film "Million Dollar Baby."
I have noticed the same thing; right-wing and left-wing extremists shake hands more often than one would expect. Examples of extremists with unlikely allies include Lyndon LaRouche, the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the Westboro Baptist Church, conspiracy theorists in general, and those liberals who think Pat Buchanan isn't so bad since he left the Republican Party. All these folks can be described as being "to the right of Attila the Hun, and to the left of Alpha Centauri."
5. For a long time I thought that the entertainment industry's principal god was Mammon, meaning that if a particular movie or TV show brought in lots of money, they would make more like it. After all, isn't that why they have ratings services? I was wrong; most of today's directors seem willing to forego a profit to push a leftist political/cultural agenda. Just look at which films get nominated for awards. One of the biggest box office hits of 2004 was "The Passion of the Christ"--it attracted quite a few people who otherwise wouldn't set foot in a cinema--but on Oscar Night, it wasn't nominated for anything, nor have the studios shown much willingness to make more movies based on Bible stories. About the only movies since then with a Biblical theme are "One Night With the King" and "The Nativity Story"; if allegories count, there is also "The Chronicles of Narnia." Even Mel Gibson lost interest, going from "The Passion" to "Apocalypto."
Now I for one don't like getting preached at when I go to the movies; I'm there to escape the real world for a little while. Maybe that's why I always enjoyed science fiction. Apparently a lot of folks feel the same way, judging from box office receipts. Make a movie that promotes family values, or at least doesn't offend them, and the public will reward you by coming in droves; I heard those kind of movies generated 85% of all the revenue Hollywood earned in 2005. That's also why most of the animated features from Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks do well.
When people vote with their wallets that strongly, why doesn't Hollywood get the message? For the 2006 Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations, they ignored big moneymakers like "Star Wars," "Harry Potter," "Napoleon Dynamite," "King Kong," and "The Chronicles of Narnia." Instead, the candidates were films like "Syriana," "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Transamerica" and "Paradise Now"--films that promote unnatural lifestyles or leftwing politics, and which few people have bothered to see, except in the big cities of the "blue states." If they expect me to enter a cinema more than once a year, and pay the ridiculous prices they charge for tickets and refreshments, that isn't the way to do it. It looks like I'll be sticking with the Internet and DVDs for the foreseeable future.
6. Calling someone a Nazi, or comparing him to Hitler, has been so overdone that it has become the lame response to any argument. Nowadays when I see somebody do that, it tells me the accuser has lost the argument, because they can't think of anything else to say. It happens often enough that the Urban Dictionary has a name for this tactic: Godwin's Law.
The most absurd thing about the Nazi-Hitler connection is that it is usually applied to American conservatives or to Israel, when other groups, like Islamist terrorist organizations, show more of a resemblance. Finally, such behavior shows a lack of understanding for modern history. If you include the European phase of World War II, the Third Reich is responsible for somewhere between 40 million and 55 million deaths. In terms of suffering and killing, only the Soviet Union under Stalin and China under Mao have matched that; Neo-Conservatives and Israelis are not going to come close, even on their worst days.
The Nazi accusation reminds me of a silly incident involving William L. Scott (R-VA), not the brightest member of the US Senate. One day in 1976 he had an argument with the ambassador from the Soviet Union, Anatoly Dobrynin. The debate wasn't going his way, and Senator Scott got so mad that he said something he considered a dirty epithet: "You're a communist!" Dobrynin answered, "Of course I am. How do you think I got this job?"
7. After living in Florida for more than thirty years, I realized I had finally become a Southerner, because of an incident that happened in 1998. I was driving home from work one day, and I happened to see a young blonde woman walking on the sidewalk, wearing Confederate flag shorts. When I was a kid, it was considered disrespectful to use a flag as a piece of clothing, so the first thought that went through my head--honestly!--was: "That isn't very patriotic, is it?"
8. In the fall of 2006, I was in an online forum where one lady posted a wild conspiracy theory, claiming that the Queen of England was a space alien; supposedly the Queen looks like a lizard when not disguised as a human. Apparently this theory is being promoted in a book written by David Icke. From previous messages, I knew the person posting was a Hawaiian, so I wrote back to her, "Now I know in Hawaii they grow some excellent coffee, but after lunch you really ought to switch to decaf! You will sleep better at night, too." That got a laugh from her, but afterwards I thought that because other folks in that forum know I recently moved to Kentucky, it's only a matter of time before somebody accuses me of overindulging in the drink this state is best known for!
Hint #1: For any Kentuckians reading this, I'm not talking about Ale-8-One, the very light ginger ale bottled in Winchester.
Hint #2: I was only in the state for a few hours, before I found out where Bourbon County got its name.
9. Moral equivalency is a cop-out. It is the lazy alternative to making a judgment on an important issue, simply by saying, "This side is no better than that side." I'm tired of it, because there seems to be an awful lot of people these days who prefer this easy way out, rather than standing up for what they may believe is right. It's not an ideology so much as an anti-ideology, rejecting the idea of drawing distinctions between your beliefs and anybody else's. Well, let the record show that refusing to make a decision is really just another kind of decision, and it's not likely to be the best one. To use Edmund Burke's immortal words, "For evil to triumph all that is needed is for good men to do nothing."
Playing the moral equivalency game has weakened us in the fight against terrorism, and the struggle will probably last longer because of it. We see it in movies like "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Munich," when they portray heroes and villains as having a disturbing amount of things in common. We see it when multiculturalists claim that all religions are equally good, or when atheists claim that all religions are equally bad. In the Middle East we see it when critics denounce Israel's measured response to terrorism, calling it just as bad as the random killing of innocents that terrorists are known for. And I have pointed out in my blog the cases where Rosie O'Donnell asserted that fundamentalist Christianity is no better than fundamentalist Islam, or the August 2007 CNN special that spent three nights comparing Jewish, Christian and Islamic terrorism. To hear these hysterical folks, you'd think Christians are still shooting doctors who perform abortions, or that the fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland could resume at any time. It doesn't matter that both of these forms of violence ended a decade ago, and when they were happening, the vast majority of Christians, including myself, opposed them. As for the CNN special, it tried to put Judaism in a bad light by dwelling on four acts of Jewish terrorism for an hour, going all the way back to 1980 to find one of those acts. In order to appear "objective" or "impartial," media organizations like CNN have become mentally dishonest.
"Anyone in doubt should note that the number of Jewish terrorists can be counted on one hand with a missing digit, whereas a list of Muslim terrorist names would take as long to compile as it took Yad Vashem to compile the list of Holocaust victims. Indeed, a Muslim terrorist list would read like a Jewish Nobel laureate list, whereas the Jewish terrorist list reads like the Muslim Nobel laureate list."--Julia Gorin
We also see moral equivalency in the United Nations, where democracies rub elbows with dictatorships because no nation or government is considered better than others. A few years ago, this lead to the absurd situation where notorious tyrannies like China, Sudan, Cuba, Syria, Libya and Zimbabwe were members of the UN Commission on Human Rights, but the United States was not. Maybe that's the real reason why the UN can't seem to get anything meaningful done these days. Columnist Mark Steyn once wrote a piece about UN corruption, and his analogy was that if you combine equal amounts of ice cream and dog poop, what you get is going to resemble the latter more than the former.
As a Christian Zionist, I feel that Judaism and Christianity have done more to make the world a better place than all the other creeds out there. As a citizen of a republic, I'm also inclined to believe that most people would be better off if they were free. It may seem a bit contradictory because I have called my website "The Xenophile Historian," since I founded it in 1997. I gave it that name because I look for the obscure bits of history (mostly from abroad) that most students of history ignore, and most of my papers have tried to look at the peoples and cultures they cover with a sympathetic light; my African history series is a recent example. But I draw the line when the group/religion/culture in question is trying to conquer or kill everybody else. Unlike those who play the moral equivalency game, I'm not tolerant of the intolerant. If we've reached the point where we can't win because we can't tell the difference between good and evil, there's a grim future in store for us.
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."--Cicero
Along that line, the traditional party symbols are out of date; both the Republicans and Democrats need new political animals. Now that the leftists are in full control of the Democratic Party, the barking moonbat (a term introduced by columnist Michelle Malkin) should replace the donkey, while for the GOP, the rhino (as in RINO, meaning Republican In Name Only) is more appropriate than the elephant.
11. While a lot of people may think the Republicans are stupid, the Democrats can act pretty dumb themselves, when it suits their purposes. Consider these examples of political cluelessness:
12. For the Democrats, the name "crazy party" fits. To start with, in every election their platform can be summarized as:
For some reason they think a majority of the voters agree with those issues. Well, they'll never have me back if that's the case. And since 2000 they have gotten worse; it shows in their unreasoning hatred of Republicans, especially George W. Bush. By my standards, Bush wasn't very conservative, but to most Democrats he could do nothing right, even when outspending his predecessors (see #14 below), supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, or increasing foreign aid to Africa. They saw him as a "fundamentalist," a "right-wing zealot," who could not even have good intentions. Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a former psychiatrist, defined this behavior as a mental illness and called it BDS, "Bush Derangement Syndrome." Then during the 2008 election, we saw the same behavior become "Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome," and finally "Joe the Plumber Derangement Syndrome." I have a feeling that the typical moonbat Democrat sees conservatives like myself as looking something like this, now that both major parties have exiled us to the wilderness:
"Whom the gods destroy they first make mad."--Euripides
13. The two previous messages were directed at the Democrats, but that doesn't mean the Republicans will get off easily. My problem with the GOP is how it keeps wimping out to the Democrats, again and again. What a bunch of girlymen; in 2004 I expected the Democrats to be poor losers, but the Republicans were even poorer winners! We elected them to cut spending, make the country more secure, and destroy the other party, but instead, they acted as if Washington politics was some sort of game. We also see them insist on playing by the rules, rules which the other side doesn't follow. They are like the proverbial fellow who brings a knife to a gun fight, or a poker player who complains about being dealt too many aces, and proceeds to give them to the other players.
For example, on George W. Bush's judicial nominations, and the confirmation of John Bolton as UN ambassador, the Democrats resorted to an unprecedented filibuster, refusing to allow a vote on most of the candidates. The Republicans were in the majority until the 2006 elections, so they had the power to tell the Democrats to go suck eggs! Instead, they let the Democrats get away with behavior that was never permitted in the past, whining that if they ordered an immediate up or down vote to fill the increasing number of vacancies on the bench (the so-called "nuclear option"), the Democrats might someday do the same thing to them. For Bush's second term, the Democrats took up a strategy of perpetual anger; they accused those around Bush (e.g., Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzalez) of various crimes, when none were committed, and the Republicans meekly apologized for the appearance of any wrongdoing.
A more recent example was the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota, which pit a Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, against Al Franken, a failed comedian and talk show host. For Coleman it shouldn't have been a contest; Franken is so moonbatty that even the Minnesota Star Tribune, a newspaper known for its liberal tendencies, endorsed Coleman. Instead, the results were too close to call, so the Democrats blatantly stole the election, in a recount that dragged on longer than the notorious 2000 Florida recount. Except for a lawsuit from Coleman himself, there were far fewer Republican protests than you'd think. I don't know which is worse: that half of Minnesota voters think Franken is fit to be a senator, or that the Republicans let Franken and the Democrats get away with it. A party which allows that to happen does not deserve my support.
14. When it came to budgets, George W. Bush outspent every previous president. Maybe FDR and LBJ increased spending by a larger percentage, but I'm too young to know for sure. Here are the figures I have for how much the federal budget increased every year, on average, under the past six presidents:
I know, we had a recession and a war less than a year after the 2000 election, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security added an expense our grandchildren will probably be paying (government agencies do not willingly disappear when they're no longer needed), but there are also quite a few spending increases that had nothing to do with these things, stuff I would only expect to see if a Democrat was in the White House. Hundreds of billions for Medicare to cover drug prescriptions. The largest agriculture subsidy in history. An education program ("No Child Left Behind") so generous that only Teddy Kennedy wasn't satisfied with it. A $286.5 billion highway spending bill loaded with 6,371 pet projects, in a volume so big (1,752 pages) that I doubt anybody ever read the whole thing. One appropriation in the bill that did get attention was $460 million for two bridges in Alaska, one of them connecting the mainland with an island that only has 50 inhabitants (the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere"). When Ronald Reagan vetoed a highway bill like that in 1987, one that earmarked money for only 157 projects, he said, "I haven't seen this much lard since I handed out blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair." Bush, however, found it extremely difficult to say no; he didn't veto a bill of any kind until July 2006, when he got one requesting funding for embryonic stem-cell research.
15. The Republicans have also dropped the ball when it comes to illegal immigration. In fact, neither of the two major parties is serious about protecting our nation's frontiers. The Democrats want illegal immigrants as new voters (presumably because their birth rate is so bad), and the Republicans want illegal immigrants as cheap labor (modern-day helots, as Victor Davis Hanson called them). Therefore they allow a flood of undocumented aliens to come in. Our borders with Canada and Mexico are still mostly unfortified, and in some areas unpatrolled. In the pre-9/11 world that symbolized more than a century of good relations between the three largest nations of North America. Today, however, neither Canada nor Mexico is allied with the United States in the War on Terror, so at least we ought to be sure that no terrorists are sneaking across the Rio Grande or the 49th parallel; Lord knows it is easy enough to do if the Mexican and Canadian governments aren't watching their side of the lines. In April 2005 the "Minuteman Project" went to Arizona and simply watched, alerting the Border Patrol when they saw people sneaking across. They showed that our borders can be controlled, but the government largely ignored this news. It's a crying shame that ordinary folks feel the need to take a primary function of government into their own hands, when the government itself will not do it.
Now let the record show that I am not against immigration; I am all in favor of legal immigration. You've heard that the United States was built on legal immigrants, from the Irish and Germans of the early nineteenth century to the Vietnamese of the 1970s and 80s. For that matter, my wife is a legal immigrant, and she came from an area the federal government sees as a danger zone (Mindanao, Philippines). Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most famous example right now of an immigrant who came to America with almost nothing and made good; we can always use more people like him. What I want to see is that we have a record of everyone coming in, so we can more easily track the bad guys. In addition, illegal immigration raises the cost of government all around; the bill goes up for law enforcement, social services, education, health care, etc, putting a severe strain on many state and local budgets. Finally, when those who come in illegally can receive amnesty simply by staying here long enough, it's an insult to those who took the time and did the paperwork to become legal immigrants.
Mexico lost Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California in the nineteenth century because it wasn't willing to settle those places, but the United States was. Now with Mexicans pouring in, it looks like the trend is going the other way; indeed, Hispanic racist groups like MEChA and La Voz de Aztlan talk about taking back the southwestern United States for Mexico. Michelle Malkin has called the illegal immigrants from Mexico "reconquistadors." When you look at them this way, they aren't just jobseekers jumping across our border, but an invading army. Don't be fooled because these invaders are unarmed; in today's society, an unarmed crowd can occupy land, too (e.g., Morocco did it with the "Green March" in 1975). If they were willing to assimilate into American culture, I would not have cause for alarm. Instead, these newcomers don't want to learn English. At rallies they fly the flags of their home countries instead of American flags. They say things like, "With all due respect, Los Angeles is ours." Finally, they don't want to learn the civic values that made this country more successful than the countries they left. In other words, they are reversing what John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address; instead of asking what they can do for America, they ask what America can do for them.
Apparently there are too many undocumented aliens in this country to lock them all up or send them back. Some people don't want to do anything about the problem for that reason. I have read columns which offer various solutions, like increase the penalty on American employers who hire illegal immigrants (so that the illegals will go back if they can't get jobs in the states), or raise up Mexico's economy until that country is rich enough that it will want to keep its workers from leaving. Whether or not these are good ideas, let's secure our borders first, and then we will have time to decide what to do with the illegals already here.
For the people living in the border states, illegal immigration is a big issue, in some cases the most important one, so if either major party took a tough stand, I venture it would win over these people, and that party would make considerable gains in the next election.
To put it in a nutshell, when Democrats act like Republicans, they win. When Republicans act like Democrats, they lose. Gosh, you'd think more Republicans would have figured that out by now!
Saying "So-and-so Republican isn't as liberal as the Democratic candidate" won't do, either. That negative approach may keep the hard-core Republicans in line, but if you want the "swing" voters, you need to offer a positive message. Just look at how it worked for the Democrats in 2004. Throughout that whole campaign, I never found out what John Kerry stood for. Heck, I don't think even Kerry knew what he stood for, except to oppose whatever George W. Bush stood for. And though I was in one of the "battleground states" at that time (Florida), I never met a real Kerry supporter. All the people I met who had a political opinion were either Bush supporters or Bush haters; I didn't consider "Bush haters" to be Kerry supporters because if the Democrats had nominated a baboon to run against Bush, most of them would have voted for the monkey anyway. See point #4 above for more on negative campaigning.
So what did the Republicans learn from 2004? Not too much! In 2008, the Democratic slogans of "Change" and "Yes we can" were some of the vaguest we have heard since Thomas Dewey ran for president ("You know that your future is still ahead of you."), but it seemed that all the Republicans could say was "Vote for McCain, because he's not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama." Why not some good reasons to vote for the Republican, instead of reasons to vote against the Democrat? As the old saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Of course a good roadkill will beat both honey and vinegar hands down, but that's another story!
The Republicans were at their best when they captured Congress in 1994, and they did it by issuing the "Contract With America," a list of ten bills they promised to bring to a vote, during the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. What I'd like to see is a program for America like that, from whatever party I support in the future. Along that line, here is the sound-bite version of the promises I wanted from a presidential candidate in 2008:
"Those of us who believe in the two-party system regard voting for a third party as throwing away your vote. However, we could use two new parties to replace the Democrats and Republicans."--Thomas Sowell, 07/14/2005
Now Barack Obama is being called the first black president. I guess the above examples mean he will be an Uncle Tom. During his campaigns, he showed no signs of doing that, but now I'm wondering who is putting words on the teleprompters he always keeps around, even for minor speeches. Is it Rahm Emmanuel, Bill Ayers, or Valerie Jarrett? I hope it's not the ghost of Saul Alinsky or Frank Marshall Davis.
19. Back in the days of Jimmy Carter, homosexuality in the military was illegal. Under Bill Clinton it became optional, and under Barack Obama it became legal. Will the next Democratic president make it mandatory?
20. Once upon a time, your social and ethnic background were expected to shape your political views. If you belonged to a minority, for instance, you were likely to have liberal views and become a Democrat. Nowadays, however, if you don't have the expected opinion, your ethnicity is questioned. The best example is how black conservatives are called "not black enough," when they succeed on their own merits, without claiming to be a victim. For instance, a leftist may view Thurgood Marshall as a black Supreme Court justice, but not Clarence Thomas, though the skin color of Thomas was always darker than Marshall's. This allows liberals to get away with treating Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, Herman Cain, etc., the same way that racists used to treat blacks in general. It never fails to amaze me how much "conservatives of color" are detested by "progressives of pallor."
21. If I wasn’t already a Christian, I would probably make a good Zoroastrian, because I don't care much for folks whose lives and careers are built on lies (see points #11 & #20 above). This includes fake Native Americans, fake reverends, and self-proclaimed "black leaders" whose skin color is about as light as mine (and I'm a W.A.S.P.!). Accordingly, one of my fantasies is to have a reporter or talk show host interview Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, and ask him only questions about spiritual issues -- no politics. For example, we could start with "Of all the baptisms, weddings, and funerals you have presided over, do any stand out?" And then maybe some doctrinal questions, like if he believes in the pre-Tribulation or post-Tribulation Rapture. When Jackson/Sharpton cannot give coherent answers to those questions, he will be revealed for the phony man-of-the-cloth that he really is, and his head will probably explode when he realizes that the whole country knows he has never been part of the solution, just part of the problem.
22. I think I know why the media is obsessed with Bruce Jenner. Many reporters have probably never seen a transgendered person before. They may be too young to remember Dr. Renee Richards, a transgendered tennis player back in the 1970s. How many transgendered people exist, anyway? I can only remember meeting one person in my life that I thought was a tranny, so my guess is that in our population, they are less than one in ten thousand. So meeting one is like finding the proverbial "purple squirrel." And yet they are getting all kinds of special treatment and attention, starting with their own bathrooms in schools!
Myself, the only reason why I paid attention to Bruce Jenner is because he proved that you can become an Olympic champion and still not find happiness. After years of seeing his picture on cereal boxes, I guess we'll now see it on tampon boxes instead.
By the way, here in central Kentucky, if you call someone a tranny or a transy, it doesn't mean they had a sex change operation. Maybe it does everywhere else, but here it means they went to Transylvania University! Kentucky was called Transylvania when the school was founded, in 1780.
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