cipher - key to a cryptographic system.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Path to National Insanity

When I was growing up, I got by believing simple truths like one plus one equals two and if you jump off a tall building without a parachute or a giant air bag you'll die. As I listen to the litany of absurdities being propounded by so-called "experts" and believed by their devotees today, I feel the need to take cognitive leaps that would make Eval Knieval faint. Unfortunately, in today's politically correct culture, accepting the premise is a prerequisite for entering the discussion.

Someone will insist that Elvis is alive, that Sasquatch is real, that the Loch Ness Monster has been sighted again, that evil is good or that good is evil. Is it me, or is the society around me off its rocker? Most of the time I shrug it off and move on, but lately I find myself straining to understand, not the absurdities, but why so many people are so utterly stupid in their devotion to them.

I may have discovered one possible explanation this loopiness when I googled "examples of logical absurdities" and stumbled upon the Uncyclopedia. According to the website,

"Uncyclopedia is driven by a global community of more than 100,000 volunteers - 98% of whom are dedicated to vandalizing and destroying things for the remaining 2%. Over almost four years, these volunteers have vandalized, slandered and vanitized more than 11 million articles in 265 languages. More than 275 million [emphasis added] people come to our website every month to make our lives difficult, free of charge and free of advertising."

Sounds like the mission statement of today's mainstream media. But I digress. Two Uncyclopedia examples should suffice:

"Cows are unable to swim for anything but very short periods of time. This is due to the fact that they don't have complete control over their sphincter, so they 'leak.' When left in the water for even as short as 15 minutes, cows will fill up with water and sink."

"Because of an increase in carbon, a gas naturally present in great quantities in the atmosphere, the Earth mother will try to evict us by raising water levels 80 feet within the next two months and putting out the sun ... and creating a black hole that will engulf us ... and destroying all Wal-Marts."

Don't laugh; people actually believe this stuff.

After a few minutes surfing the Uncyclopedia, a light went on; someone must have misspelled Uncyclopedia as Encyclopedia and distributed millions of print copies to every educational and media establishment in the country.

A cursory review of current mental health statistics in the United States indicates an alarming epidemic. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorder, a common form of mental illness, affects 40 million adults in the US age 18 and older. If mental illness were a contagious disease, we would be facing an apocalyptic pestilence. The numbers continue to skyrocket.

If you think “people have gone crazy,” be encouraged; at least you aren’t oblivious. A society’s systemic mental state will deteriorate as its citizens become hostile toward truth and moral absolutes. As a society grows more hostile toward truth, it will become more hostile toward people and institutions traditionally associated with absolute values and standards of truth.

When a nation abandons love for the truth, it will spiral into cultural insanity and eventual cultural demise. Insanity indicates late-stage deception. Cultural death always follows metastatic deception. How is it that the people of Germany, a nation possessing enough scientific and technological intelligence to field some of the most sophisticated military technology in history, could be deluded into following Adolph Hitler, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, into national ruin? Deception eventually left Germany in a heap of rubble. The moral of the Third Reich is that superior intelligence and vast amounts of knowledge will not save you from stupidity born of deception.

History is replete with similar examples of megalomaniacs who rose to power on a throne of lies, out of a citizenry left defenseless by ambivalence toward the truth. During many years in professional and volunteer Church work, I have had countless opportunities to spend time with people who would be considered mentally unstable. Not one of them possessed a healthy grasp of reality or the truth.

Only nations whose citizens fight for absolute moral standards and possess a love for truth will survive the tsunami of moral equivocation and situational ethics that is already undermining the nations.

Cultivate love for the truth! If you are unsure what is true, join the quest. Do not relax your grip. Do not yield. The way that leads to individual and societal stability and longevity is narrow; few find it.

Monday, April 14, 2008


At The Compassion Forum held at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania on Sunday night April 13, both Democratic presidential candidates were presented with a simple, but profound question, “Does life begin at conception?” Their answers are telling.

Senator Hilary Clinton: I believe that the potential for life begins at conception. I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out. But for me, it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved.

Senator Barack Obama: This is something that I have not, I think, come to a firm resolution on. I think it's very hard to know what that means, when life begins. Is it when a cell separates? Is it when the soul stirs? So I don't presume to know the answer to that question. What I know, as I've said before, is that there is something extraordinarily powerful about potential life and that that has a moral weight to it that we take into consideration when we're having these debates.

There was so much side-stepping, some attendees might have thought their GPS guidance system had led them to a western line dance instead of a Democratic presidential debate. The obfuscatory answers remind me of the song, The Witch Doctor, by Alvin and the Chipmunks, “Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah, ting-tang, walla-walla-bing-bang, oo-ee-oo-ah-ah, ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang.”

Truthful answers to simple questions favor brevity. Complicated answers tend toward concealment. While evasive, both of these answers tell us a lot about each candidate. Senator Clinton's and Obama's answers were essentially the same; I will use Mrs. Clinton's statements here.

“I believe that the potential for life begins at conception.”

The potential for life begins well before conception, even before sexual intercourse, assuming a fertile man and a fertile woman. Indirectly, Mrs. Clinton answered the question in the negative. Since, by definition, potential life is not life, Mrs. Clinton does not believe life begins at conception. I infer that she believes it is okay to end a potential life.

Next, Mrs. Clinton spoke of her denomination’s position,

"My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction and the challenge of trying to sort that very profound question out."

This statement implies it would be unreasonable to expect Senator Clinton to adopt an unambiguous position, especially since her own denomination can’t come to terms with the issue. It sounds like she is "passing the buck" by deferring to a higher authority than herself. I believe there were some Nazis in World War II who used a similar argument to justify their actions.

Incidentally, there is nothing profound about the question, “Does life begin at conception?” The fact that life might begin at conception is the profundity staring back at any soul choosing between life and abortion, whether to continue with an inconvenient or embarrassing pregnancy.

Since we can't be certain the fetus isn’t a life, including abortion on the list of possible "solutions" is automatically unethical and represents the worst kind of deviant presumption against God's design. Would it not be unethical to demolish an abandoned building if we thought there might be a homeless person inside, unwanted though they might be? It is equally unethical to abort an unwanted pregnancy if it might be a life.

Finally, Senator Clinton says, “But for me, it is also not only about a potential life; it is about the other lives involved.”

I understand about the life and well-being of the mother. But what other lives is she talking about? The father? When did he start getting a say? The parents? I didn’t think they were allowed to know. Let’s cut to the chase. The life and “well-being” of the mother argument has been used to trump all other considerations, including the unborn child's life, and make it okay to terminate a pregnancy, at any time, for any reason.

Senator Clinton's answer implies that the moment a potential life's head pops out of the womb, thus certifying it's status as a life, the mother's future is shipwrecked and her pursuit of the American dream abruptly ended. With only nine abortionist-shopping months in which to choose, the mother will just have to keep her fingers crossed that her fetus is only a potential life. Sadly, Mrs. Clinton's perspective no longer rouses a failing national conscience too weak to respond.

A good follow-on question might have been, “Is it okay to end potential life?” Or, “When does a ‘potential life’ become a life?” Or, “If we can’t be sure when a potential life becomes a life, when and on what basis does it become okay to end a pregnancy?” Or, “What is life?” Does “not knowing” grant absolution?

Here’s a simple set of principles for evaluating candidates:

Principle 1 - If you can’t be trusted to “get it right” on human life, you can’t be trusted to “get it right” on anything less important.

Principle 2 - Everything else is less important.

Principle 3 - If you are wrong on life, you are not fit to lead a nature hike, much less, a nation.

If these principles make me a “single-issue voter,” then I’ll wear that awareness ribbon proudly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Editorial Pablum or "Hijabs at a Harvard Gym?"

In her March 26, 2008 Washington Post opinion, "Hijabs at a Harvard Gym," editorial writer and columnist Ruth Marcus describes accommodations made to Muslim believers by Ivy League university administrators as “a measure of America’s multicultural journey over the past half-century.” Marcus compliments Harvard's decision to close “one of its gyms to men for six hours a week so that Muslim women can exercise comfortably” and permit “broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer from the steps of Harvard’s main library during Islamic Awareness Week.” If these are merely innocent expressions of America’s "multicultural journey" then the frog in the kettle is almost cooked. (NOTE: "Multicultural journey" is a euphemism for “cultural death march.”)

Multiculturalism is canonical in liberal ideology. No one is so lost that they can’t be helped to see the light or integrated into our society. We just need to “try a little kindness.” Certain their magnanimity will placate their mistaken aggressors, liberal elites, as crewmembers of the Starship Enterprise did whenever they met aliens for the first time, begin every encounter with, “We mean you no harm.” Then, quicker than you can say “Beam me up Scotty!” a well-meaning "multi-culti" blurts out, “Look! We’ll even let you on the bridge of the Enterprise!” Any Trekkie will tell you that aliens on the bridge always ends badly. This blog entry would be too long if I tried to describe the disastrous effect this line of thinking is having in the European Union. If reading The Wests Last Chance by Tony Blankley or America Alone by Mark Steyn doesn't alarm you, then you may be on the verge of converting to Islam.

Somehow, broadcasting Adhan (Muslim call to prayer), "Allahu Akbar [sic “God is great”]. There is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” outside Harvard’s main library doesn’t strike me as “the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” or the proper setting for a dogma that flies in the face of “academic freedom.” I’m stumped. Where is the inclusivity in “There is no God but Allah?” Maybe I recently awoke from a lengthy coma but what became of all the concern over separation of church and state-funded universities?

Islamic Awareness Week? If this isn't a practical joke, then I'd like to know who among earthlings (besides Rumpelstiltskin or Sleeping Beauty) is still not aware of Islam? Maybe a few of us are having difficulty embracing an “awareness” of Islam that asks us to believe that everything we’ve seen and heard, including the deafening silence from most of the Ummah Wahida (Islamic community) since 9/11 is not really Islam.

If they are paying attention, Harvard administrators may be aware that Islam in America will become a cultural and political force to be reckoned with if current trends continue. Start making concessions now. Feed the beast; maybe it will become sated and leave before eating you. This is where 'progressive' thinking is dangerously regressive and unaware about Islam. This beast will eat every appetizer you toss at him, but make no mistake; you are the main course, the pièce de résistance. There’s always room for dessert.

Marcus suggests that “the wisdom of the Framers” will guard us against going too far in making cultural accommodations to Islam. What a relief! You mean the way the wisdom of the Framers kept us from going too far as in Dred Scott v. Sandford (legitimizing slavery in America) or Roe v. Wade (50-million abortions since)? And I wonder how I got the notion that the "wisdom of the Framers" may not hold as much sway these days among liberal Ivy League university administrators. Silly me.

It is interesting to note that Harvard University Press, in a project that spans decades, is publishing The Adams Papers which chronicle the family histories and writings of Framer and second President of the United States, John Adams and those of his son, sixth President, John Quincy. John Quincy Adams, himself a Harvard Law graduate, wrote the following about Islam:

"In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar (Mohammed), the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic Law, the doctrine of one omnipotent god; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE [emphasis added] ... Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant ...While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon the earth, and good will towards men." (From "Unsigned essays dealing with the Russo-Turkish War, and on Greece,” written while Adams was in retirement, before his election to Congress in 1830; originally published in The American Annual Register.)

Call me Pollyannaish (like those Age of Aquarius folks), but I doubt JQA ever imagined that Adhan would one day reverberate from the steps of the main library of his alma mater. Unfortunately, with so much animus today toward the Framers' original intent by those in higher education and in our own Government, the Adams family would get less recognition than The Addams Family (monsters, all of them) and after his remark about Islam, John Quincy wouldn't pass Congressional scrutiny for a job as Lurch the butler.

Granted, Marcus says “accommodation has its limits.” Ok, what are the limits? Shouldn’t we know what “the limits” are before we start accommodating? And, when do we infidels start getting some accommodation from our (we’re certain) multicultural Muslim friends? Marcus advocates a “regime of reasonable accommodation,” but she doesn’t define “reasonable.” Shouldn’t we know what is non-negotiable before we start making concessions?

Making cultural accomodations (a.k.a special favors) to Islamists is not progress, but capitulation and belies a lack of confidence in our own culture and way of life. Hopefully we will realize this before it is too late.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Deciphering AP/CNN Spin of Kenyan Church Massacre

Reported AP this morning: "At least 50 bodies have been found in a burnt church, the Associated Press has reported the Red Cross as saying, as tribal (italics mine) tensions simmered following the contested election of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki." (Link to CNN article here.) The key point CNN failed to mention was that Kibaki's (Kibaki is Catholic) opponent in the election, Raila Odinga, had pledged to enforce strict sharia law in Kenya. (Link to reference article here.)

CNN's customary "head-in-the-sand" (to put it politely) mischaracterization of the violence as "tribal" disguises the true nature of the conflict which is Islamists murdering infidels. It also belies an unwillingness to do the hard journalistic work necessary to excavate the underlying, disturbing motivation behind such an act.

Some Kenyan election polls had suggested an Odinga win. Clearly, the Kenyan Islamists could "almost taste" a sharia government and are not responding well to the disappointment. What better target for their ire than a church full of one of the (their) worst kind of "infidels," Christians. Don't expect the situation to improve any time soon.