So we remove corporeal punishment and now bring in the police because order cannot be maintained in our nation's classrooms.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
On an episode of South Park taking aim at the airline industry, Mr. Garrison (still a man at that point) invented a mode of transportation where riders had to have a metal prod inserted into their backsides in order to avoid falling off the vehicle. The response of those enduring such discomfort and humiliation was that it was still less than what passengers had to endure at the airport. While the bit might have been a bit over the top in terms of propriety, it was pretty much on target in terms of how most Americans feel regarding the bureaucratic procedures implemented in the name of “transportation security” since September 11th.
As fairly good natured people content with the social order even if they don’t like the way the process is handled, most Americans deciding to utilize this form of transportation simply keep their comments to themselves and bear with the frustration. However, according to a McClatchy newspapers article titled “New Airport Check For Danger In Fliers’ Facial Expressions“, it may no longer be enough to stoically endure these indignations but one must also have a smile on one’s face about it.
A new specialty within the Transportation Security Administration known as Behavior Detection Officers (one could not devise a more Orwellian sounding division of the government if one tried) has been given the mandate to scrutinize those exhibiting unapproved facial expressions
If proponents of the theory get their way, certain facial expressions revealing whether an individual is feeling anger or disgust and, when taken together with heart rate, body temperature, and verbal responses, will be enough to get passengers shunted aside for further forms of interrogation such as having their baggage rifled through or being asked where they are going.
While one may make a case as to why some voyeur with a badge may need to run his hand through your underwear bag, beyond the destination on the ticket it is no security officer’s business where anyone is going. Frankly, such intrusions into private affairs are enough to get anyone’s heart rate rising and a look of disgust scowling across their brow.
Though this technology is promoted as a way to make terrorism prevention more foolproof, from comments made as to its accuracy, it sounds as if it will be yet another tool to curtail the liberties of everyday Americans while doing little to catch real terrorists. The article notes, “Different cultures express themselves differently.”
In other words, 86 year old grandmothers holding their heads a certain way as they are ordered to hold their arthritic arms over their heads will get pulled aside for additional harassment even if they don’t make a single peep. However, if certain minorities more prone to violent geopolitical outbursts comport themselves in the same manner it can be dismissed with a “that’s just the way those people are anyway”.
If the government is intent on stopping terrorism, there are signs to look for other than whether or not people have a giddy brainwashed look on their face. However, since political correctness has been deemed more important than survival, it is doubtful this great nation will survive much longer anyway.
by Frederick Meekins
Just as old episodes of Sesame Street are now being classified as adult entertainment because Oscar the Grouch use to smoke a pipe, I guess eventually a big fuss will be made about Jabba the Hutt for being mordidly obese.
Students to pay nearly $500 to pay for the privilege of being tracked by authorities.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
In most science fiction stories, extraterrestrial technology is unveiled to the world when it is piloted to earth by proverbial little green men or bug eyed monsters. However, in Saucer, Stephen Coonts presents a scenario where man’s initial exposure to a civilization from beyond the earth does not occur overhead but rather from beneath our feet.
In Saucer, Coonts details the account of a spacecraft unearthed in the Sahara desert and the international intrigue that results as various nations conspire to acquire the vehicle from an egomaniacal Australian industrialist.
Though the novel focuses primarily on the actions of the factions jockeying to acquire the saucer, Coonts brings up a number of intriguing questions that he raises even if he does not answer them directly.
Scattered throughout the novel are a number of comments examining the philosophical ramifications of evidence suggesting life beyond this earth.
Some seem to be more the opinions of the characters themselves. For example, in discussing the saucer with the President, an advisor says, “You have to do something about these saucers. The Bible thumpers were freaking out yesterday...Already some evangelicals say we are at the end of the world. In Revelation...” The passage continues: “’All right, all right’ the President said, cutting Willard off. He hated it when people quoted the Bible (166).”
Other comments are made as well regarding the epistemological ramifications of extraterrestrials. One character remarks, “The college professor says it is time to acknowledge the presence of other life-forms in the universe. The religious types are going nuts. There’s a mob of a thousand or so across the street in Lafayette Park, waving signs and making speeches talking about the imminent arrival of the Antichrist (187).” An advisor to the President responds, “This is another rightwing conspiracy.”
Such an exchange adequately reflects the dismissive and condescending attitude secularists would enunciate concerning the reaction of religious conservatives to nonhuman intelligent life. However, it is through the more altruistic protagonists that one must consider that Coonts is elaborating his own convictions regarding this highly speculative topic.
If so, the reader is led to believe Coonts is predisposed to the theory of panspermia, the idea life came to earth from outer space. According to the novel, the saucer was flown to earth by beings not all that considerably different than ourselves in terms of appearance or physiology.
Rather, the craft was sent here as part of a mission the occupants knew was a one way trip because a society complex enough to produce a vehicle capable of interstellar travel would have to transport nearly its entire civilization if the occupants hoped to replicate the accomplishments of their home world not to mention being able to make a return trip (195).
But even some wanting to get out from under God’s direct gaze still long for an origin a bit more meaningful than slime oozing up onto some rock even though a number of them still can’t seem to break free from the grip evolution has over the minds of those predisposed to a more mechanistic explanation.
When asked if humanity’s arrival from among the stars discounted the perceived legitimacy of the fossil record, Professor Soldi (the character brought forward to make the grandiose pronouncements pertaining to man’s place in the cosmos) responds that even though mankind might have replaced the earth’s original hominid occupants there is no need to worry that the entire Darwinian enterprise being one colossal scam since, to invoke the tautologies for which this theory of origins is noted “..evolution follows similar courses when similar conditions exist (270).” Basically, even though man might have moved in from elsewhere and never arose from the apes found here, we should still accept the scant fossil evidence that is claimed to exist anyway.
Yet this plot element raises more questions than it solves. For example, if mankind did not originate on earth but rather on another planet, who’s to say humanity originated from this proverbial planet X either but rather having migrated from planet Y or Z as the human race plays interstellar flip this house skipping from planet to planet across the cosmos. Apparently, Coonts doesn’t have that high of an opinion of the cosmological argument. For not only does the origin of man stem back through a potentially unending regression of planets, Coonts tosses in a bit of Eastern mysticism as well.
Apart from the saucer’s hardware, especially valuable is the spacecraft’s computer which contains more than directions on how to operate a flying saucer. Believed to unlock nearly infinite knowledge, one character asks another character that accessed the database through the telepathic interface how the universe ends, Coonts writes, “ ‘It will be reborn,’ Egg Cantrell told her, ‘again and again and again....’ (311).”
Overall, Saucer by Stephen Coonts is a very engaging book. The action will titillate the reader’s sense of adventure while speculation about man’s place in the universe will intrigue the imagination even if one does not accept the worldview underlying it.
by Frederick Meekins
Friday, November 09, 2007
With what the naive considered the end of the Cold War and the fall of Communism, it was assumed the world would become a much safer and more peaceful place. Nothing could be farther from the truth as the danger has increased since the alleged demise of the Soviet Union. In Providing For The Common Defense: Thoughts Concerning The Nation‘s Enemies, political thinker and social theorist Frederick Meekins examines a number of these threats and exposes a number of the deceptions lulling Americans into a false sense of security.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Granted, while they did emphasize that the woman could theoreticaly get out of the house, the made it known that it was up to the church to decide whether or not the couple was to remain together.
If the woman (or the man for that matter) is required to remain with such a scumbag of a spouse at least technically on paper, what is to protect the credit rating and finances of the innocent party since usually the debt incurred by one mate is also to be shouldered by the other.
Frankly, while one spouse for life is an ideal worth aiming for, I am not so sure I want a church body exercising that much control over my life or that of my loved ones.
by Frederick meekins
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Libertines (not libertarians mind you) will snap how dare you get into other people's private lives.
Maybe so, but their fornication stopped being a private matter when the rest of us had to start digging into out pockets to pay for it.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
In classical Lutheran theology and homiletics, a two part approach is often taken referred to as Law and Gospel. For it is through this dynamic duo that the individual is made to realize that he is a sinner in need of salvation and what the solution is for this vexing dilemma.
In old detective movies and police shows, when a suspect was interrogated often a tactic was used referred to as “good cop/bad cop”. In this approach, the suspect is at first confronted by a seemingly harsh officer whose task is to bluntly tell the suspect what the suspect is alleged to have done, that the evidence as to such is overwhelming, and that the best thing the suspect can do for their own sake is to confess to what they have done. Once the suspect has been worked over psychologically, the good officer arrives on the scene to offer the best deal possible in terms of the suspect’s interests in exchange for cooperation.
Though the analogy is not perfect, one can roughly think of the Law as the bad cop and Gospel as the good cop.
Used of the Holy Spirit, the purpose of the Law according to John 16:8 is to reprove of sin, righteousness, and judgment. As the codified precepts of a just and holy God, the Law represents the standards we are expected to adhere to but they also serve as a reminder of just how pitifully short we fall as a result of our own sin natures. Romans 7:7 says, “Indeed, I would not have known what sin was except through the law.”
Despite reflecting the goodness of God and the embodiment of the ideal by which man was intended to live, since man is in such a wretched state before he is regenerated, the Law actually points out to us the extent of our sin. Romans 7:10 says, “I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.” Of this predicament, Paul writes in Romans 7:22-24, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Fortunately, God does not leave us in despair and the consequences of failing to keep His law in its entirety. And that is why this hope is called the good news or the Gospel.
The Gospel is succinctly summarized by I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” And whereas the Law requires that the individual must fulfill its every requirement if that is the contract through which one wants to seek entrance into the Kingdom of God (something no mortal human being could possibly hope to accomplish since to break one aspect of the Law is to break all of the Law according to James 2:10), under the terms of the Gospel, all that is required in terms of salvation is for one to believe on Jesus and be saved.
It is tempting to draw sharp distinctions between these concepts as diametrically opposed approaches. It must be remembered they are more like a team working together to cause the individual to realize that he is in need of a Savior, and once saved the principles behind the Law can prevent liberty from degenerating into license. Christ says in Matthew 5 “Think not that I come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
by Frederick Meekins
In the BBC series Hex, in the last season viewers were essentially given an interpreration of the Antichrist as a high school teen.
Though it's not quite the same, students at one British secondary school, according to a Yahoo News story, are getting a taste of what it will be like to live under that fabled tyrant's heal as a pilot program is being tested where uniforms have been fitted with RFID transmitters.
by Frederick Meekins
Thursday, November 01, 2007
As the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell at one time (whether deservedly or not) had a reputation as a voice of sober realism in the arena of American foreign policy. However, as he ages and heads into his sunset years, he is so increasingly muttering to himself about assorted forms of appeasement that he is coming to remind the citizen cognizant of the efforts to undermine this great nation more of Neville Chamberlain than as a soldier the statesman most perceived him to be throughout the early 90’s.
During the 1930’s, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed a pact with Adolf Hitler granting the German tyrant Czechoslovakia as part of what Nazi doctrine referred to as Lebensarum or “Living Space”. For his part of this deal, Chamberlain has from that point forward pretty much been branded a coward for thinking such a policy would appease aspiring despots and those out to undermine individual liberty.
As disappointing as he was, at least it was some lesser power’s real estate Chamberlain was giving away. For today, his globalist descendants are such proponents of policide that they are no longer content to carve up the helpless corners of the earth but rather long to dismantle the strong nation-states in which they themselves reside in the hopes of accruing more power into their own hands and control over the lives of those under them.
Like the Pan-Germanists of previous eras seeking to expand their territorial claims into adjacent holdings, the Hispanosupremacists of today seek to infiltrate the United States in the hopes of subverting this geopolitical prize away from its primarily Northern European cultural base. And to the elites, since one group of slaves is pretty much the same as the other, many wishing to expand their power have decided to back these migrants as a way to bring about the end of the middle class and to reduce living standards to Third World levels.
As one of its most prominent mouthpieces and charismatic members, Colin Powell is reported as saying in a September 10, 2007 post on the USAToday.com On Politics Blog titled “Colin Powell: Terrorists Are Not The Greatest Threat To Nation” as saying, “America could not survive without immigration. Even the undocumented immigrants are contributing to our economy...That is the image we have to portray to the world: kind, generous, a nation of nations...That’s what people still want to believe about us... We’ve lost a bit of the image...And we can fix the image by reflecting a welcoming attitude and not by taking counsel of our fears and scaring ourselves to death that everybody coming in is going to blow up something.”
In other words, tolerance and diversity are more important than safety and survival. That is rather easy for someone probably with their own security detail to say.
Often concerns about immigration are couched in terms of preventing terrorism as often Americans have been so browbeaten in the name of preventing racism and the like that they are too afraid to raise other issues that hit even closer to home. For example, in his propaganda, Powell waxes on and on how America could not survive without illegal aliens referred to by the former warrior with the coward’s euphemism “undocumented immigrants”. One must ask if Mr. Powell would be as beaming about this demographic trend if it was his own standard and quality of living on the line.
For example, as a political superstar, Powell demands speaking fees of around $200,000 as he was paid in 2001 for a speech at Tufts University. How would Powell feel if orators were imported from abroad just as pivotal to events of the 20th and 21st centuries as he has been, just as entertaining, but who were willing to impart their perspective for considerably less? Are you going to tell me Powell is not going to want his standard of living protected if this is the only way he knows how to make a living?
Bigshots such as Powell do not care if property values are driven down or neighborhoods made less desirable by piling four or five families into single family homes with Mariachi music blaring well after midnight accompanied by conversation in a foreign tongue spoken so loudly that it sounds as if people are shouting it back and forth at each other across the Rio Grande.
One reader posted the following comment on the USAToday.com website about the article: “I think General Powell should publish his own social security number and let it be stolen by an illegal alien. Let his children be mugged, raped, and robbed by an undocumented worker. Let his neighborhood be overrun by flophouses with 45 people in one house and 15 stolen cars. Let his family members be killed by an unlicensed undocumented illegal drunk. Let his military retirement pay be taken from him and given to someone that did not earn it. It is amazing a man who supposedly respects federal law is encouraging the actions of those who violate our laws. Powell has been losing it since the Iraq War, but now he is total lunatic.”
America is, as they say, at a crossroads. Though a minimal level of human rights must be respected at all times, as a whole the nation must decide whether it wants to appear nice by the standards of grubby bums pandering for a handout or it can survive. Attempting to pursue both paths is an option whose time has about run out.
by Frederick Meekins