Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why November 2016 does not matter

By Donald Sensing

US Senator Mike Lee is completely correct, but his FB site merely illustrates why the name and party of whoever take the inaugural oath in January 2017 will not change the decline of the country and can but barely change the direction. The executive and Congressional career bureaucrats are not just running the government. They are the government. They are not promoted for maintaining the status quo or rolling back their functions.

As Steven den Beste wrote years ago, "The job of a bureaucrat is to regulate, and left to themselves they will regulate everything they can." The only way to get less regulation is to fire massive numbers of regulators.

In 2014, 3,291 pages of new laws were passed by Congress – the branch of government with the constitutional authority to make law – and signed by the president. During this same period, unelected bureaucrats at dozens of federal departments and agencies issued 79,066 pages of new and updated regulations. These rules – many that are are inefficient, ineffective, and excessive – continue to limit the ability of small businesses and workers to succeed, rig the system to benefit connected insiders, and hurt hardworking American families through higher costs and limited options in the marketplace. Yet, despite the very real negative effects on our economy, the American people are unable to hold the unelected bureaucrats who make these rules accountable. Congress cedes far too much lawmaking authority to the executive branch. I look forward to turning this trend around in the 114th Congress to ensure that the ones making the laws are the ones who can be held accountable by the American people. 
In 2014, 3,291 pages of new laws were passed by Congress – the branch of government with the constitutional authority to make law – and signed by the president. During this same period, unelected bureaucrats at dozens of federal departments and agencies issued 79,066 pages of new and updated regulations. These rules – many that are are inefficient, ineffective, and excessive – continue to limit the ability of small businesses and workers to succeed, rig the system to benefit connected insiders, and hurt hardworking American families through higher costs and limited options in the marketplace. Yet, despite the very real negative effects on our economy, the American people are unable to hold the unelected bureaucrats who make these rules accountable. Congress cedes far too much lawmaking authority to the executive branch. I look forward to turning this trend around in the 114th Congress to ensure that the ones making the laws are the ones who can be held accountable by the American people. Visit to share your ideas for regulatory reform.
Posted by United States Senator Mike Lee on Monday, January 26, 2015

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Lincoln myth and political trickery

By Donald Sensing

There are is some good information here, but overall this is not very good history. Watch the video, then keep reading.

The idea that Lincoln changed the emphasis of the war from preserving the Union intact to freeing the slaves because of elevated ideals is highly problematic - in fact, rebutted using Lincoln's own writings. Abraham Lincoln was a racist whose personal bigotry was barely this side of CSA Vice President A. Stephens, who was probably Lincoln's closest friend when they both served in Congress.

Lincoln changed the focus of the war effort to emancipation because Northern support for the war was melting away. Its costs in lives, treasure and time was magnitudes more than anyone ever imagined. By the end of 1862 there was already an active peace movement in the North that grew stronger even after the Proclamation was issued.

There was serious (though ultimately unfounded) concern in Washington that Britain would openly side with the South because of the Union blockade's cutting off of Southern cotton to the backbone of England's economy, textiles. The Jeff Davis's government made the same miscalculation, but at the time both North and South thought the threat was very possible.

The deadliest political trickster
in American history.
The issuing of the Proclamation was a purely political act that was first of all intended to signal Great Britain that to side with the CSA was to ally with a slavery state and take sides against the slaves' proclaimed, but not yet accomplished, liberation. This Britain would never have done (and economically did not need to do anyway).

The second thing the Proclamation did was turn the North's casus belli from political to holy. Lincoln did not become an abolitionist until he understood that the the North would never suffer the abattoir of the Civil War merely to preserve the Union, but it would bleed profusely "to make men free," as Julia Ward Howe's hymn urged.

In July 1862 the first draft of the first emancipation proclamations was written. (There were two proclamations, this one released on Sept. 22, 1862, the other released on Jan. 1, 1863. That is the one usually thought of as "the" Emancipation Proclamation, and that is the one counted as such by the National Archives. But the first was months before.) 

Having accepted counsel that the proclamation needed to be released from a position of military strength, lest it be seen as desperation to shore up the war effort, this draft was parked until a battlefield victory of note could be made. The relevant part of this proclamation to this discussion is that it specifically said that the purpose of abolishing slavery was to restore the Union. In it, the federal government promised to help states pay for the "gradual abolishment of slavery within such State or States---that the object is to practically restore, thenceforward to be maintain[ed], the constitutional relation between the general government, and each, and all the states ..." (link).

The month after the drafting of the first proclamation, Lincoln wrote to influential New York editor Horace Greeley. In it, Lincoln explained (emphases are his):
As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
Remember, Lincoln wrote this letter to Horace Greeley actually after the first proclamation had been written, which spins it somewhat differently than Lincoln the great humanitarian liberator. Clearly, considering both the first proclamation and the letter to Greeley, written so close together, Lincoln saw abolition as an instrument to achieve his never-changed goal: the Union of states must be preserved. It was not abolition for the sake of abolition nor even for the sake of slaves! 

In the movie Gods and Generals there is a scene where Union Col. Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) tells his brother, also a Union officer, that if they both have to die to free the slaves, then so be it, even though abolition was not an original aim of the war.

It is the Northerners kind of war that Americans have waged more utterly than any other. As military historian T. R. Fehrenbach wrote in This Kind of War, "Wars fought for a higher purpose must always be the most hideous of all." War is such an awful thing that it must be entered into for only the most transcendental purposes. Hence, any war - as opposed to a punitive expedition, such as Panama, 1989 - that Americans engage in must be a crusade, because only crusades can justify the costs and the suffering. War is to be waged only reluctantly, even sadly, but when waged, done so ferociously.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, "In war there can be no substitute for victory," because when war is entered into for supreme purposes, to stop short of victory is to betray that purpose. In American Holy War, the political end is secondary to the military victory. Political structures are imposed by Holy War's victorious conclusion, they do not determine the conclusion. The role of politics is to pick up the pieces when total victory has been won.

This was Lincoln's insight: that absent a morally transcendent cause, the North would not continue the war. He provided the cause, but to him it was all smoke and mirrors, indeed it was politically-calculated trickery.

To Lincoln slavery was not even the point politically. In his inaugural address he explicitly supported of the "Corwin Amendment" to the US Constitution, which had passed both houses of Congress shortly before. The proposed amendment to the US Constitution stated simply,
No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.
Observed John A. Lupton, Associate Director and Associate Editor for The Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project, 
By tacitly supporting Corwin's amendment, Lincoln hoped to convince the South that he would not move to abolish slavery and, at the minimum, keep the border states of Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina from seceding.
There is some good analysis in the USMA professor's piece, but ultimately it is just not very good history.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

The Three Stooges clown show of Kelly, Wallace and Baier

By Donald Sensing


Just read it, it's not long.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Unborn Democrats

By Donald Sensing

Now that we know Planned Parenthood basically see unborn infants basically as a parts-bin Soylent Green, maybe it's time for a simple, new tactic by Republicans and others who know that if abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

PP refers to unborn infants either as "products of conception," fetuses or embryos, depending on how long has elapsed since conception. And we know that the official Democrat political platform supports abortion on demand without limits.

Who exactly are the women who abort their babies? Well, consider that in New York City, more black babies are killed in the womb than are born. In second place for abortions are Hispanics.

On Friday [in 2014], the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Vital Statistics released a report titled “Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes.” As expected, the report showed an exceedingly high number of abortions and an exceedingly low number of births.

But the report also showed something more disturbing: a vast majority of the abortions came from the black and Hispanic communities – and in the black community, births were outnumbered by abortion by 6,570. Overall, 42.4% of abortions in the city were of black children; another 31% came from the Hispanic community.
Eugenicists Rejoice: More Black Babies Aborted Than Born in NYC

So, henceforth, all Republicans and others who oppose abortion should start calling aborted babies, "Unborn Democrats." After all,
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, some 30% of all abortions in the United States are performed on black women, and another 25% are performed on Hispanic women. Rev. John J. Raphael of Howard University has calculated that approximately 13 million black children have been killed before birth since Roe v. Wade, representing a population decrease in the black community of nearly one quarter. Almost 40% of all black pregnancies currently end in abortion.
So: "Did you know that altogether 55 million unborn Democrats have been killed before birth since Roe v. Wade?"

Then let Debbie Wasserman Schulz explain why her own party wants to kill its future voters.

I will believe "black lives matter" when the people who say black lives matter start actually acting like black lives matter.

Update: Like the Germans compelled by the US Army in 1945 to tour the concentration camps, we, having seen the videos, now have no excuse.

Update: P.J. O'Rourke explains, at least partially, why Democrats support abortion so concretely among the party's strongest demographic: "A fetus is an individual who might grow up to be anything, even a Republican."

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Slavery, abortion and Planned Parenthood

By Donald Sensing

In an letter in 1864 to A.G. Hodges of Frankfort, Ky., President Lincoln began,

My dear Sir: You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally said the other day, in your presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon. It was about as follows: 
"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. ..."
If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

What then would Abe say about this?

When the buyers ask Ginde if “compensation could be specific to the specimen?” Ginde agrees, “Okay.” Later on in the abortion clinic’s pathological laboratory, standing over an aborted fetus, Ginde responds to the buyer’s suggestion of paying per body part harvested, rather than a standard flat fee for the entire case: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Federal law also requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1). 
From American Digest.

And now we learn Why Planned Parenthood Can’t Donate Tissue Harvested From Babies:
In the second video, we find out explicitly from Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter that abortions performed with feticides aren’t viable for fetal-tissue donation. If digoxin is used, it renders the fetal stem cells unusable. (See the footage and the transcript.) Knowing this, Nucatola’s graphic explanation of how to “crush” unborn babies to maximize organ retrieval requires a clarifier. These babies are being strategically maneuvered, crushed, and dismembered under ultrasound guidance—while still alive. 
And remember: you and I are paying for this via Planned Parenthood's tax subsidies. It's exactly as if the federal government in 1850 was sending subsidy checks directly to Southern slave traders. 
On second thought, it's not like that. It's worse. Slaves were valuable only living. To Planned Parenthood, babies are valuable only dead.

The platform of the Democrat party, adopted in 2012 and unchanged since, is unequivocal: The Democrat party supports abortion on demand for any reason, including partial-birth abortion, without restriction by law for any reason. Read it.

If abortion is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

There is a lot more to be said than this

By Donald Sensing

But this says a lot: American decline may be irreversible - Atlanta Conservative |

I cam to this conclusion a long time ago. Someday I'll post more reasons why.

Honesty About Islam

By Donald Sensing

Speaking Honestly About Islam - Crisis Magazine:

Here, I am interested in talking about Islam’s truth. Almost every public, academic, or media talk of Islam goes something like this: “Most Muslims are peaceful. The violence comes from terrorists.” This approach is premised on two positions: 1) The original Muslim conquests of Africa, Spain, the Near-East, the Balkans, and all to way to India were “peaceful,” like they were the results of free elections and not, as was in fact the case, success in battle. 2) Those whom we identify as “terrorists” are not “true” Muslims. “Terrorism” becomes a kind of free-floating cult with no relation to anything but itself. Thus, terrorism is best explained in economic, cultural, psychological, or ideological terms that have little to do with “religion.” This view allows us to state the politically correct view that Islam is a religion of “peace” with no connection to “violence.”

Here I propose a counter-cultural position. I want to defend the integrity of the “terrorists,” as we insist on calling them. I want to grant them the “dignity” that they deserve. That is, they are not mindless products of poverty, ideology, ignorance, psychological mania, or any other excuse to avoid calling them what they claim to be, namely, loyal and devoted believers in the Qur’an, the real followers of Mohammed. It is senseless to pretend that a jihadist vision is not found in the Qur’an.
Jihad is the actual means of eternal salvation in Islam, and hads been since Muhammed himself.
The root of jihad is judh, Arabic for "striving“ or “struggle.” Jihad in Muslim theology is striving to defend or advance Islam or increase one's faithfulness to Islam. Jihad is not peripheral to Islam. It stands at its very center. Jihad is central to Muslim soteriology (its theology of salvation).

Jihad is theologically joined at the hip to sharia, Islamic law, for it is sharia that both commands and justifies jihad.

Muslim scholars and jurists distinguish between "greater jihad" and "lesser jihad," a distinction going back to Muhammad himself. Jihad, says, has been conceptually corrupted in modern years both by Western usage to mean only holy war and by numerous Islamic groups, contending for power and influence, who have also overemphasized its military component.

According to Farida Khanam, the Arabic word jihad, by itself,
... does not connote the sense of reward or worship in the religious sense of the word. But when the word jihad became a part of Islamic terminology, the sense of reward or worship came to be associated with it, that is to say, if struggle is struggle in the simple sense of word, jihad means a struggle which is an act of worship, the engagement of which earns reward to the person concerned. As the Quran says: "Strive for the cause of God as you ought to strive" (22:78).
In historic Muslim theology, jihad more generally means striving toward equilibrium of Islamic character both within individuals and among the Muslim umma (the people of a Muslim society). It is therefore both individual and communal, both personal and social.

Says al-Islam,
Muslims as both individuals and members of Islamic society must carry out jihad, that is they must exert themselves at all moments of life to fight a battle both inward and outward against those forces that if not combatted will destroy that equilibrium which is the necessary condition for the spiritual life of the person and the functioning of human society. This fact is especially true if society is seen as a collectivity which bears the imprint of the Divine Norm rather than an antheap of contending and opposing units and forces.
Greater Jihad is similar, then, to what Christians call the spiritual disciplines, the need and effort to balance the competing demands of worldly living and religious duty, including the active avoidance of sin and doing of good. Muslim thought has historically considered Greater Jihad more difficult and more important than Lesser Jihad. 

Lesser jihad

Lesser jihad is the use of authorized, righteous violence to defend Islam. In historic Muslim thought, lesser jihad can be waged only in accordance with the terms of a fatwa. A fatwa is a declaration by a recognized Muslim authority that can be on any topic. A fatwa for lesser jihad is a call to arms for Muslims to destroy perceived enemies of Islam.

Fatwas may be general or limited in scope. In 1979, the Saudi government endorsed a Palestinian professor’s fatwa against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but the fatwa was limited to Soviet forces inside that country. It did not include the whole Soviet military or the Soviet Union.

Within Sunni Islam, the status and renown of the fatwa issuer directly affects how well it is obeyed and heeded. There is no official hierarchy of clerics among Sunnis, so a Sunni Muslim gains renown by scholarship, study, exampling, authorship, preaching and being recognized as a cleric (and boasting, but this is more Arab than Muslim). This means that any Sunni Muslim may issue a fatwa, but others can just ignore it.

Shia Islam defines who may issue fatwas. Unlike Sunnis, Shias do have a hierarchy, culminating in the office of ayatollah (“sign of Allah”). Ayatollahs are experts in Islamic studies. However, the office of ayatollah is new in Shia Islam, dating to only about 1840. And there is rank among ayatollahs, too, with Grand Ayatollah being the summit.
Whether peaceful or violent, jihad is a form is Muslim worship. Tajuddin B. Shu`aib explains Jihad’s association with warfare:
[F]or Muslims to wield weapons in a war in which Islam itself is defended - as the [Saudi 1979] anti-Soviet fatwa declared - is literally an act of worship. The Muslim jihadi has the right to expect reward proportionate to his sacrificial worship. In military jihad, the ultimate sacrifice is to die, which deserves the ultimate reward, immediate entry by the slain jihadi's soul into Paradise. This doctrine springs from the words of Mohammed himself, who during the battle of Badr told his soldiers, "I swear by the One in whose hand Mohammad's soul is, any man who fights them today and is killed while he is patient in the ordeal and seeks the pleasure of Allah, going forward and not backing off, Allah will enter him into Paradise.“
Hence, to be honorably killed in a recognized jihadist war is to gain immediate entry into paradise. 

Salvation in Islam is entirely other-worldly, that is a state belonging solely to the afterlife. There is no equivalent in Islam to the Christian “Kingdom of Heaven,” that is partially realized and actual in the here and now, awaiting its final fulfillment in the eschaton. There is no Holy Spirit even conceptually in Islam; there is no presence at all of Allah on the earth. Allah is solely in heaven. 

All there is between now and judgment day is the Quran and Sunna, Sharia law,  and the umma, the Muslim people. But in no sense is salvation achieved, even marginally, in this life. Salvation is earned here but not accomplished until the day of judgment. 

Muslims affirm that there will be a final day of judgment and that salvation or eternal damnation will be adjudged at that time. 

Unlike Christianity, Islam has no concept of original sin - a stain of sin innate to human beings, present in each person even at birth that can be remitted only by God, not by anything mortals can do. In Islam, remission of sins can be done and salvation attained, but only by the believer's deeds in submission to Allah through Islamic confessions and obeying Islamic law. If a Muslim carries out Islam's commandments, then judgment day will be lightly borne. If not, disaster. Islam thus hold that salvation is solely achieved through works. “Grace” is not a concept in Islam. 

Islam says that every person is born with a sound nature and provided by Allah with a true religion that enables them to have fullness of life through close communion with Allah in this world and the next. Each human is a religiously grounded person, created and endowed with a fitra, a ‘sound constitution’ that acts as a kind of internal guidance system and way to God.

The purpose of Islamic law, or Sharia, is

  • to form a society in which disobedience to Allah’s commands are difficult because everyone alike is oriented toward keeping them,
  • Hence, forbidden material or practices are (ideally) simply unavailable, so
  • Avoidance of sin is facilitated. 

At the same time, there is unity of effort in doing good, according to the tenets of Sharia, such as everyone stops to pray five times per day, everyone plans or conducts the hajj, and so forth.

Avoiding sin and doing good is therefore both individual and social. Sharia lays out what is necessary to keep the commands of Allah (usually in great detail) in terms both negative (what not to do) and positive (what must be done and what is permitted though not necessarily required).

Obedience to Sharia is, in fact, what jihad is. Islam claims it is the only true religion and the only the way to God. Jihad is achieving "close communion" with God, and there is no other way. Jihad is literally the only way to paradise.

Jihad’s purpose is to earn the believer a place in paradise and is entirely dependent on deeds in this life. However, "loners" can't keep Islam’s commandments because Islam is "not a personal faith," according to Muslim jurist Sam Solomon. Earthly "close communion with God" can take place only within the Muslim community, the umma.

Muslims require the support and encouragement of a broader Islamic community living together just to be Muslim at all. That is exactly the basis on which a Muslim friend at Fort Sill, Okla., an Egyptian lieutenant colonel, justified his nightclubbing, drinking and womanizing. "This is not a Muslim country," he told me, and only later I learned this was a serious answer, not a dodge.

The fundamental basis of what Muslims believe is thus:

  1. No one but those faithful to Allah's commandments can be admitted to eternal life in paradise. Everyone else, without exception, spends eternity in the flames of Hell. Islam teaches and Muslims take this dichotomy very, very seriously and literally. 
  2. There is no way to be faithfully obedient to the commands of Allah except through jihad.
  3. The commandments of Allah are so difficult to follow that it is not possible except through the unity of an entire society all devoted to submission to Allah, called the Muslim ummah
  4. The only way that the ummah can be ordered to facilitate submission of its people to Allah is through Islamic law, sharia, which makes some commandments of Allah obligatory and makes others difficult to disobey. 
Hence, sharia and jihad are conceptually inseparable.