Monday, December 19, 2011

A Tale of Two Leaders

One was a portly, pompadoured shrimp of a man whose ubiquitous, round-faced image adorned every public space and private home. Kim Jong-Il, devoted to his Hennesy cognac and pleasure girls, inflated himself into a god like his father before him. Omnipotent, he starved, beat, imprisoned and tortured his people into total submission.

Upon news of his death, they in turn have reacted as abused people often do, revealing by their ritualistic wailing that an entire folk can suffer from the Stockholm syndrome-reacting as slaves with craven acceptance and adoration of a relentlessly vicious master, mourning on cue.

The darkness that is North Korea is abstractly but truly revealed viewed from outer space. To the South of the Korean peninsula is a land bespangled with galaxies of star lights; to the North, the land is a black hole with one dim twinkle representing the capital city of Pyongyang. Other lights are extinguished or never lit.

But a down to earth, closer view of the hereditary regime has continually revealed what a view from outer space could never reveal; namely, the incredible suffering of the North Korean people under the tyrannical leadership of Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Jung Il. The establishment of a national cult characterized by mind control, enslavement and imprisonment reaches its nadir in the North Korean gulag. The cult’s leaders and devotees have continually threatened the entire populace of the country; and now, with the nearly certain development of nuclear weapons, destabilization of the entire far East, if not the globe.

The hellish country, complete with tortures straight out of Hieronymus Bosch’s scenes of Hell is what a godless communist society-to use a much ridiculed but accurate phrase–looks like. The fact of the matter is that the leaders of North Korea have routinely stamped out Christianity as well as other faiths in order to establish the cult of Kim, viciously and systematically martyring or imprisoning anyone who worships a God other than the Dear Leader.

But that is what communist regimes do. They create a Hell on earth.

The second world leader who died this week was Vaclav Havel. Havel, his heavily lined face ravaged by smoking, health problems and long periods of imprisonment, was a Czech playwright, renegade Christian and first president of democratic Czechoslovakia.

He knew something of the hell that is communist oppression, living as he did for decades under a relentless Stalinist regime. His ambitions quashed during the 1968 Soviet invasion of his homeland, he was driven underground, becoming a symbol of resistance who suffered imprisonment, broken health, and the silencing of his voice.

Nonetheless, due to him, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa and others, Soviet communist domination collapsed in 1989. From thence forward, Havel devoted himself to the proclamation of the need for establishing a public morality eroded by communist tenets, starting with his opening speech as the new president of Czechoslovakia:

“We have become morally ill because we are used to saying one thing and thinking another,” he said. “We have learned not to believe in anything, not to care about each other. . . . Love, friendship, mercy, humility, or forgiveness have lost their depths and dimension. . . . They represent some sort of psychological curiosity, or they appear as long-lost wanderers from faraway.”

Havel articulated the moral rot which is communism and presented the healing way of faith and morality so despised by communist leaders like that of Kim Jong-Il. He spoke to our own country, warning it about its desertion of God, saying, “The only genuine core of all our actions-if they are to be moral-is responsibility to something higher than my family, my country, my firm, my success.”

Our ultimate responsibility, he concluded, is to the transcendent realm above us.

The contrast between the two leaders could not be greater or more instructive as we regard the state of our own nation and its need for moral clarity.

As always, the choice represented by the two leaders is not a matter of mere words, but a decision fostering either life or death.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/a_monstrous_ramshackle

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fed Buys a Ticket on the Titanic

My latest post for American Thinker:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/fed_buys_a_ticket_on_the_titanic.html

A Kentucky Funeral

Glenn Roland Voshell was buried on a hill on his Kentucky farm the day after Thanksgiving.

“We can still do that here in Kentucky,” his wife Gayle said.

And so my brother was laid to rest on the land he loved.

His Amish neighbors volunteered horses and wagons to carry him to his final destination. The horses chuffed and snorted as they plodded up the hill with their cargo of grandchildren, who momentarily had forgotten the reason for their ride up the hill. As all little ones do, they seized the moment, laughing with pure joy over an unexpected hayride.

We adults trudged in silence behind the wagon loaded with Glenn’s body as a kindly sun warmed our shoulders, a soft breeze blew across our faces and the vaulted blue sky looked down. The jingling of harness hardware and the soft thud of the horses’ hooves were the only sounds. A hawk wheeled overhead.

The wagon came to a halt at the top of a hillock surrounded with rolling hills turned blue-grey by the late morning mist. A gaping wound had been dug into the side of the hill to receive the body. A mound of earth was heaped beside the gap.

The Amish neighbors standing slightly back, respectfully apart from the family, who stood immediately in front of the pine casket. The brethren were all dressed somberly in black, the men with white shirts, the women with carefully pinned blouses and snow white bonnets. No one spoke.

“I want to be buried in a pine box,” Glenn had said.

His son Jaret honored his dad’s wishes, spending three full days constructing his father’s casket. The wood was fresh with an unvarnished hue of light gold, the lid carved with a mansard curve, the rails for the pall bearers made smooth. It was a thing of beauty. A small crystal vase filled with white carnations was set on the coffin lid. The slight scent from the flowers drifted out, dissipating over the green hills.

The preacher spoke briefly of the Christian faith that had animated Glenn’s life. He preached the hope of the resurrection, life everlasting. He spoke the gospel truth.

One by one, family members came forward and tossed a single flower on top of the lowered casket. The grandchildren clung to their parents and grandmother in uncomprehending grief, some not sure what was happening. One had wondered if her grandfather’s heart was still beating. “Were they sure his heart stopped?” she said, as she asked to put her hand on his chest at the viewing. Now she knew his heart had truly worn out.

The mourners followed the wagons back to the house, where church folk and the brethren had lovingly prepared a meal for us mourners.

“I am hungry,” my sister Nina said. “Isn’t it just true that life for the rest of us goes on? We get hungry and we have to eat.”

“I know,” I said.

We ate.

I sat across the table from the Amish neighbors and thanked them for helping, adding I thought the burial was the simplest, most beautiful and deeply profound I’d ever seen. “That’s all right,” they said. “We wanted to help.” They seemed a little embarrassed to be thanked with such flowery language. “Well,” I said, trying to match their simple kindness with equally simple words, “Thank you.”
“You are welcome,” they said.

We talked.

Nina, with her gift of connecting with people, found the Amish woman sitting next to her had been one of eighteen children and had had eight of her own. When asked, the woman confessed she had made all the pies for Thanksgiving, including the raisin cream pie we had wolfed down. And, yes, the pie crusts were all homemade. She smiled shyly, her kindly blue eyes lighting up. She offered to give Nina her recipe.

I reflected on how miraculous this gathering was. Here was community, family, neighbors and church folk all bonded by love and Christian faith.

Here, gathered at my brother’s funeral, was an America fast vanishing, often overlooked and sometimes openly despised. Here were works of the hands, works of the plow and works of faith. Simple things. Profound things. Things of the heart. Things my brother loved.

Here, too, I thought, was the heart of our country. If it were to stop beating forever, the land will perish.

God, I prayed. Don’t let the heart stop beating.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The American Revolution of 2012

From the American Thinker:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/the_american_revolution_of_2012.html

PETA Sues SeaWorld

My article on PETA's suit against SeaWorld can be found at: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/11/peta_sues_seaworld.html

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Judaism

My recent article form American Thinker:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/10/occupy_wall_street_occupy_judaism.html

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jerusalem No Longer in Israel, According to US State Department

One of the favorite tactics of Stalinist Russia was the re-writing of history, including completely erasing certain facts and figures from the historical slate. Down the "memory hole" went uncomfortable facts such as the Ukraine famine of the early 1930's. Power players once photographed with Stalin suddenly vanished, their visages photo-shopped out of existence.

While all administration are afflicted with a certain amount of revisionism designed to keep their legacy secure, it appears our current administration takes the cake.

According to a recent article in the Weekly Standard, the state department has been busily expunging the words "Jerusalem, Israel" from all photo captions and articles.

Spokesmen say they are only following the example of the Bush administration, but as it turns out, they have also gone back and eliminated the words "Jerusalem, Israel" from the records of the Bush administration. So all erasures are of their own doing during this present administration.

Aside from the utter gall it requires to place the blame for the erasure of the words on the back of the Bush administration, what can this strange obliteration of the location of Jerusalem possibly auger?

You may well ask.

What it probably means is that the Obama state department has caved in to the demands of the Palestinians, who insist Jerusalem rightfully belongs to them, not to Israel.

It also means that Israel, having no legitimacy as a nation in the eyes of Palestinian leaders, has no city called "Jerusalem."

It's just one demand from the Palestinians which enables them to actualize their ultimate goal; namely, the extinguishing of Israel itself.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bwahahaha

The cynical snickering over the failed denouement of Reverend Harold Camping’s May 21st predicted rapture may be somewhat justified, for—sadly--he joins the ranks of hundreds of other preachers throughout history who thought they knew more than the Messiah they professed to follow.

Ersatz prophets throughout the ages have failed to heed the words of the Christ, who said the secret of his return was hidden even from him, secreted in the Father’s heart. But still the irresistible urge to proclaim The End has afflicted cultists from time immemorial.

One need only think of the founder of the Jehovah Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, who predicted Christ’s invisible return in 1874 and who predicted a more noticeable appearance would occur in 1914. Russell’s successor, undeterred by the failure of Christ to appear on command, visibly or invisibly, determined the year 1925 was when Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets would return to earth.

But before we break out into maniacal laughter at Reverend Camping’s and others’ notions concerning the Rapture, Second Coming or Apocalypse, perhaps it might be a good idea to take a look at why Camping’s ill-fated predictions aroused such intense interest and ridicule.

First, there is an interest among those on the Left, particularly among left media types, in ratifying their contempt for religion and people of faith by selecting the most absurd examples of Christianity run amok. That way the hard intellectual endeavor of studying faith traditions is neatly avoided while one satisfies one’s penchant for setting up paper tigers which may be shot down with one good cynical laugh. Isolated incidents and fringe doctrines are taken as the sum and substance of the whole of Christianity. Thus any story of a televangelist’s adultery, a priest’s molestation of a child, an out to lunch interpretation of scripture, or a failed prophecy become fodder for an anti-Christian feeding frenzy. There go those embittered people with their religion and guns again. Bunch of crazies, perverts and hypocrites.

Bwahahahaha.


Historically, we can see a similar tendency in the treatment of the Jews, who time and again have been saddled with stereotypical and vicious smears of blood libel, among other dangerous absurdities. As late as 1840, Jasper Chasseaud, American vice-consul to Lebanon, wrote:

“A most Barbarous secret for a long time suspected in the Jewish nation…at last came to light in the city of Damascus, that of serving themselves of Christian blood in their unleavened bread…a secret which these 1840 years must have made many unfortunate victims.”

Chasseaud appears actually to have believed the blood libel calumny, extant from medieval times and resurrected in the still popular Protocols of Zion, whose vile attacks against Jews are believed by credulous millions.

The point being, how easy is it to despise and laugh at people who believe and practice such insane and/or dangerous absurdities? Very easy.

But aren’t enlightened secular sophisticates are so much more reasonable and, well, sane. Well, are they? Are leftist secularists immune from attacks of apocalyptic craziness?

No.

One has only to think of the range of End Time, apocalyptic scenarios cooked up by the extreme environmentalists, Gaia worshippers, and Pachamama devotees, along with other crazies who have left the realm of reality and rushed headlong into prophecies based on their ideas of what is infallible; be it “science” (actually pseudo-science) or pantheism. The End by asteroid; The End by violent explosions of the sun; The End by dried up energy sources; The End by global warming; The End by ice age; The End by evaporation of the ozone layer; The End by human predations. Or, even more colorful: The End by mutating viruses; alien invasions, human made robots run amok, or evil, conscienceless human clones rebelling against their creators.

Bwahahahaha.

Thus proving the religious impulse is not only ineradicable, but also not confined to overtly religious faith based entities such as Judaism and Christianity.

But there is yet more to the story of Mr. Camping and his ilk. There are at least two more things to consider.

As formerly referred to, paying attention to and trashing Mr. Camping and other earnest but plainly wrong fundamentalist and charismatic Christians whose prophetic instincts have proved erroneous is a way to avoid intellectual and spiritual encounter with the deeper beliefs of a great faith which has its roots in a history some 4,000 years old, and which has played an irreducible role in the shaping and building of Western civilization.

It is a way of avoiding encounter with some of the greatest minds and achievements of Western civilization. It is a cheap way of bypassing the immense and incalculable contributions of Christian thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, St John of the Cross, Luther, Calvin, Barth, Niebuhr, Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis and countless other theologians who have grappled with the spiritual and intellectual problems of their and our own age within the context of Christianity.

It is a way of trashing the Christian art, architecture and music which has informed and elevated the mind, heart and soul of countless millions: Chartres, Notre Dame; Giotto, Cimabue, Van Eyck, Rembrandt, El Greco; Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak, Stravinsky—just a partial list.

But most critically, the sarcastic and cynical focus on Mr. Camping’s failed prophecies is a way to avoid the historic claims and person of Jesus Christ, whose example and work have transformed millions of followers whose depth of faith and loyalty increases over the years.

And while Christ himself exhibited humility by refusing to predict the day and hour of his return, he did speak of an Apocalypse, of a time when all wrongs will be addressed, all false prophets proved wrong, and all that is right, all that is good, true and perfect re-established.

And last but not least, he spoke of time when scoffing and ridicule will fall away, every cynical and mocking tongue is silenced and every knee bowed in acknowledgment that he is Lord.

That is what his disciples said. That is what his disciples recorded. That is what millions—now billions-- believe, based on Christ’s life, his testimony and his sacrifice.

Last, though even Christians are unaccustomed to the idea of a God who laughs in derision at the follies and foibles of the human race, such a God is depicted in Psalm 2, a poem of David, the King of ancient Israel.

Cynics may scoff and people may imagine all kinds of vain things, probably including false prophecies. Jokesters may imagine themselves both funnier and more knowledgeable than God himself, but “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

And He has the last laugh.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Tale of Two Sex Scandals

For a while, it was the best of times for both men.

One was fat, fair skinned and balding, sitting on the throne of the IMF and heir apparent to the French presidency. The other was tanned, handsome and tall and sat in the governor’s chair in Sacramento.

One was from a country imbued with the idealized image of the sophisticated seductor, a moneyed heir of the Enlightenment and the ideals of the Revolution of 1789—the essence of all that is French, with the brutal sexuality of the Marquis de Sade providing a titillating dash of perversity.

The other, born to a poor family in post WWII Austria, immigrated to the United States and later married into Kennedy royalty after having achieved his American dream of a body building and movie career, culminating in a Mr. Olympia winning streak and the cult classic Terminator series. He eventually muscled his way into a starring role in California’s governor’s mansion.

By now all know the strangely simultaneous stories of their worst of times. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of the brutal sexual assault of a hotel maid; while Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted fathering a love child with a household staff member some ten years ago.

Two sad tales. Two sad endings.

What happened to bring matters to such a pass?

Both Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger apparently became victims of the modern idea that one’s sex life is separable from one’s professional life; that indiscriminate mating doesn’t interfere with effective and moral governing or the management of the global economy; that one can be a smooth (or rough) operator in the bedroom—any bedroom with any given person--while still being a clear headed, dispassionate and moral arbiter, be it in the boardroom or the chambers of governance.

But the Golden Rule, which summarizes the moral bases of all fidelity, personal and societal, cannot be compartmentalized so easily. Any attempt to do so results in a schizophrenic division of morality similar to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As the fictionalized good doctor and now the real life Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger, along with countless others, have found to their sorrow, the lack of moral probity in one sphere leaks steadily and remorselessly into all other spheres of life, perhaps even most especially when it concerns sexuality. Sexual corruption seeps into and stains the soul, radically altering the whole person, proving that no one is ultimately free of the consequences of unrestrained sensuality.

Roger Simon, screenplay writer and CEO of Pajamas Media, writes about his affair with a married woman, describing the lies and subterfuge involved as ultimately emotionally unendurable as well as corrupting of character:

“I won’t get into the sad details, but some time ago I had an affair with a married French woman — I was single then — that went on for a couple of years.
I’m not proud of it in the least. It was stupid, immoral (yes, that) and eventually sheer emotional Hell. Besides hurting other people, most of them innocent, it drastically affected my work in a negative way and made me a liar on frequent occasions. In sum, I was despicable, weak, selfish and destructive of myself and others to do it.
But I did learn something about the French. Pace Edith Piaf and Yves Montand, there is nothing chic or hip about their adultery. After all the shared Gauloise and baiser volĂ©, it’s just cheating. People don’t respect each other. People don’t trust each other. Indeed, they begin to hate each other. Life is wretched. It’s like a game of ritual self-and-other torture played out by a significant sector of their society — particularly in the elite classes — into oblivion.”

C.S. Lewis, the great twentieth century thinker whose works are still read by millions, wrote about the results of continual surrender to sexual desire and the deleterious consequences in his small book Christian Behavior:

“In the first place our warped natures, the devils who tempt us, and all the contemporary propaganda for lust, combine to make us feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural,’ so ‘healthy,’ and so reasonable that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them… [But] surrender to all our desires obviously leads to impotence, disease, jealousies, lies, concealment, and everything that is the reverse of health, good humor, and frankness. For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary…Every sane and civilized man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others.”

Lewis follows in the Christian and classical Greek philosophical traditions which see all desires, including sexual desire, as requiring moderation and containment if a person is to retain balance and attain the maturity necessary for a good life and good leadership. Adolescent lack of restraint of desires winds up either diminishing or completely destroying both the person and society.

Sadly, too often we get a glimpse of how unrestrained sexuality destroys a person. Sometimes we get to see the insanity which is the dead end result of promiscuous sexual “freedom.” Sometimes, alas, there is a close up view of a person who for decades has chosen not to reject any of his sexual desires.

Away from the sexual propaganda of Hollywood, the seduction of air brushed porn queens, the photo shopped fantasies of Playboy and Hustler, we find an example of a man driven for over half a century by sexual excess in the ancient, wrinkled and pathetic Hugh Hefner, an American heir of de Sade’s championship of the unrestrained libido.

Hefner, the self-promoted architect of the sexual revolution, has dealt out and reveled in lies about uninhibited sensuality all his life, profiting handsomely from its relentless promotion. Would any sane and civilized person seriously contemplate the prospect of someone like Mr. Hefner leading a country—in fact, would anyone seriously think such a person fit to lead anything? And, not incidentally, who among us does not also feel a profound pity for and sorrow over the clone-like, pneumatically enhanced Barbie doll wannabes clinging to the old Viagra-driven lecher’s arm? Is theirs the sort of life that produces the great leaders our country so desperately longs for?

The answer, of course, is “No.”

For all the ravages of the sexual revolution Mr. Hefner claims as his gift to the Western world, and for all the victims of the de Sade and Hefner sexual “freedoms,” for all their own personal failings, most Americans still cherish the ideal of fidelity--fidelity to one’s spouse and children; fidelity to one’s church; fidelity to one’s nation. They believe it is important to trust, to believe--to know the persons to whom we entrust governance and leadership possess and practice the virtue of fidelity.

There is an expectation, even a moral necessity, that powerful leaders of states and international organizations exhibit uprightness and personal sacrifice in all areas of life, especially in view of the perilous and demanding times in which we live. It is important for us to know our elected representatives and the leaders of international organizations as powerful as the International Monetary Fund will be faithful in the managing of monies; faithful in crafting law; faithful in dispensing justice.

In sum, instead of the relentless promotion of emotion over reason and restraint, always a characteristic of the Left, there must be a concerted effort to demolish the philosophies of de Sade and his ilk and more promotion of the ideals that led Sidney Carton, hero of A Tale of Two Cities, away from his life of alcoholism and debauchery to supreme love and sacrifice; more of the attitude that it is a far, far better thing to exercise sobriety, restraint and consideration.

But such a renewal of spirit requires a turning away from unrestrained sensuality to a renewed allegiance to God and the Golden Rule, the bases of fidelity to humanity and the heart of civilized society.

Monday, April 25, 2011

UN Endorses Mother Earth Worship

World governance and world worship of a new "god," was once regarded as a wacko conspiracy theory of the far right. But UN's endorsement of Gaia/Pachamama worship has become a reality prophetically warned about by an unlikely character; that of Carl McIntire, fearless Cape May crusader against the "Fairness Doctrine." Written by yours truly, and linked here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_un_and_one_world_worship.html

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Return of the Pharisee

Return of the Pharisee

For most, the term “Pharisee” is seen as synonymous with “hypocrite.” The Pharisee is the preacher who talks about marital fidelity yet secretly views porn and visits prostitutes. It’s the politician who talks about reducing global warming and going green yet drives a gas hogging SUV and lives in a multi-million, energy consuming mansion. It’s the woman who piously speaks of being untied with the “sisterhood” yet viciously tears down any woman she sees as competition.

In other words, common usage of the term indicates a Pharisee is a person who presents a moral persona to the public, but whose hidden persona does the exact opposite whenever he or she can get away with it—a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde morality.

But while the people who belonged to the original sect often were hypocrites, according to Christ’s assessment of them in the four gospels, they were especially known for their love of minute rules and regulations which they believed if followed, led to righteousness and favor with Jehovah.

As far as the Pharisees, who along with the Sadducees were members of the upper classes, nothing was off limits as far as regulation was concerned. They were legal extremists, studying and making laws and following them scrupulously.

Examples of their devotion to legal minutiae abound, but a few will suffice to illustrate the rigidity of their lives. If they ate common foods, they washed to the joints of their fingers; but if they were eating offerings or were at an official banquet, they washed to the elbows. As a ten percent tithe was required, they even tithed the leaves of herbs such as mint or cumin. Even the yeast used to make bread rise was proscribed. Only one formula could be used. All other yeasts were forbidden.

The Sabbath was the particular focus of legal minutiae, loaded with hundreds of decrees restricting how far one could walk, what one could carry and what one could wear or eat on the Sabbath.

They regarded themselves as so holy they never needed to repent, nor would they converse, much less eat or drink with, anyone they thought were sinners. Worse yet, they regarded the common people as unclean, refusing to have anything to do with them.

Ah, the poor commoners. So burdensome were the laws of the Pharisees the regular folk of Israel simply couldn’t keep them. They were too busy trying to scratch out subsistence from the soil and tend their meager flocks to pay attention to all the regulations intended to make them holy. Trying to survive and to pay the onerous taxes of the corrupt ruling class, they were hampered by the fact they were desperately poor, having neither the wealth nor the servants necessary to lead the life of leisure necessary to adhere to the truly religious and sanctified life recommended by their rulers. The lower classes complete inability to follow all the rules meant they were always guilty of infractions and thus, according to the superior classes, worthy of dismissal and contempt.

No wonder the good Rabbi characterized them as “whitewashed tombs, pretty on the outside but full of the dead bones of legalism on the inside.

It is easy to condemn the Pharisees of Christ’s day, but pharisaical overreach is characteristic of political as well as religious zealots--legalistic zeal is not always overtly religious, as our present day political scene demonstrates. Anyone can recognize the pharisaical tendencies of today’s insufferable ruling classes, which are determined to force their politically correct, religious observations on the masses, come hell or high water. They supposedly, like the Pharisees, know the law is the way to produce a truly righteous society.

The suffocating number of rules and regulations, not just on businesses, but on every citizen’s life, is truly numbing. Whether it is the pettifogging Seattle school teacher who rules out the term “Easter eggs” in favor of “spring spheres;” or the draconian decree of the Chicago school system forbidding homemade lunches for students; be it the forced removal of basketball hoops because they are not the appropriate number of feet from the road; be it the arrest and incarceration of a young adult for the minutest possession of marijuana; the list goes on and on.

In the meantime, as countless regulatory bodies such as the EPA, larded with some 18,000 employees and a multi-billion dollar budget, are busily designing ways to control and regulate businesses, the ruling class of today looks and lives much like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day—high on the taxpayer’s hog. Average income for a government employee far exceeds the pay and benefits of those in the private sector, being almost double the amount a worker in the private sector makes.

And then there’s the way the ruling Pharisee classes live. The President and his wife are exceedingly conspicuous examples of what Thorsten Veblen termed “conspicuous consumption.” Mrs. Obama preaches monkish diet habits to you and your children while dining with impunity on fast food favorites while she and her husband serve Wagyu beef at $20,000 per carcass to voracious hangers on at White House banquets. Mr. Obama goes on lavish trips to places like India, trailing an entourage and indulging in tastes which would make a nineteenth century’s maharajah’s excesses pale in comparison.

Those who endlessly attack churches as harboring Pharisees might try to stop looking at the local Baptist church in order to find premier examples of hypocritical, rule making hypocrites. Not smoking, drinking or dancing are voluntary choices made by religious folks who don’t force their devotional observances on Joe Citizen. They are scarcely the equivalent of the bloated bureaucracy vomiting out a constant stream of rules and regulations designed to make Everyman’s life “better.”

Citizens might want to take a look at where the real Pharisees reside and ask themselves if they want to continue to support the ruling class and all its onerous regulations with their hard earned tax dollars.

In brief, the Pharisees have returned with a vengeance; but, actually, they probably never really left.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on SB17: Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Delaware

Thoughts on SB17: Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Bill

Whenever Mark, aged three, touched an object he shouldn’t, his mother would make him go into the kitchen. As soon as he saw she would drag him there, he would begin a chilling banshee scream, yelling, “Mommy, I won’t do it again. I promise. I won’t do it again.”

But his sobs were useless. His mom would turn on the stove’s gas flame burner and hold his hand over it until his palm blistered. As he screamed in agony, she would yell, “Will you touch that again? Will you? WILL you!!”

“No, no, NO.”

Finally she would let go.

Mark spent his toddler years afraid of everything. He’d wander aimlessly around the house with tears running down his face, sobbing his heart out with no one to comfort him.

A wasted childhood turned into wasted school years and wasted young adult years. Mark drank himself to death by age thirty-eight. In a bitter irony, not just his hands, but his entire body was burned to ashes via cremation and scattered to the four winds.

Was it alcohol that killed Mark? “Yes” and “No.”

“Yes,” in that technically he died of alcohol poisoning; but, “no,” in that Mark was killed long before he turned thirty-eight.

That’s the way it is with substance abuse. Abuse of alcohol and drugs is a sure indicator of a spiritual problem, a soul signal that a life has gone badly awry; that someone is in need of help.

Mark’s problem was not alcohol itself, for what can be used for good can be used for ill. A champagne toast at a wedding is a happy event, an acknowledgement that joy prevails, at least for a fragile and fleeting moment. That toast is a very different thing than starting out the day with a Bloody Mary and topping it off with a bottle of Scotch, as my friend Dick Scholl, convicted of grand larceny and dying of AIDs did until the day he died. But that’s another story with other lessons.

The point is: that is how it is with the human condition and the tragedy and hope of human choice. It’s not the alcohol, not the marijuana, not the opiate that is evil. Out of the heart come all manner of bad things. It’s the choices that are made and why the choices are made that are at the heart of alcohol and drug abuse.

Anything that can be used for good can be used for ill, as the site found here states:

“…there are more than 1000 household products that teens can use to get high: typewriter correction fluid, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, various types of glue, gasoline, deodorant spray, fabric protector spray, whipping cream aerosols, hair spray, and household cleaners. Not only are these items available in the home, teens can walk into any grocery store, hardware store, or pharmacy and purchase them with no questions asked.”

And, frankly, no questions should be asked of people who buy household products designed to do good but which are sometimes used for evil, self destructive and deadly purposes.

That brings us back to the point of this small essay. If marijuana, which can be used for evil, can also be used for good, then let it legally be used for the limited but obvious good it can provide for those in pain.
Sadly, like Mark, there will always be those who smoke to avoid life or who shoot up their veins to escape the heartlessness of this world, who get into the drug culture out of a foolish notion of sophistication and the literally high life, or who, out of sheer greed, determine to take advantage of fellow human beings, even children, for profit.

At the heart of the abuse is a person, a priceless life to be salvaged, a soul to be redeemed. The substance is almost incidental.

Here is where the attention and resources presently given to the War on Drugs should go: to people; to the Marks of this world--the self-punishers, the spiritually crippled, the emotionally dead—not to a useless war on substances.
And in the meantime, to that person who would rather have a gun put to their head and their brains shot out rather than live with continual and unremitting pain--have a joint.

“Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
weep over the erring one, lift up the fallen,
tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.”

For God’s sake, have mercy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Asia, Quaking

The shoreline of Japan is not the only shift that will have been caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

As significant as the material damage, which appears to be almost incalculable, and as worthy of attention as the economic damage, also titanic, is a potential shift in the international alliances and strategies in the Far East, particularly among China, Japan and the US and its allies.

For the grim truth is that Japan, already beleaguered by a stagnant economy, a pitiless demographic and a fate filled geographic location now has been hit with devastation the equivalent of total war, including the threat of nuclear disaster. One look at the satellite photographs reveals devastation that makes Sherman’s march on Georgia and the Nazi blitz of London seem restrained.

Japan has been critically wounded, and it will not be long before her ancient enemies China and North Korea, along with their opportunistic allies, move in to take advantage of her present weakness, as enemies always do.

Japan’s situation is not at all like a nation such as France, which is ensconced amid European allies with empathetic governments and favorable economic alliances like the European Union. Never has there been any particular inclination by China and North Korea to hammer out mutually agreeable agreements such as are characteristic of the Western democracies, regardless of their unique national distinctions and rivalries; for China and North Korea are not democracies but authoritarian governments who see economic strategies in terms of war, not mutually satisfying cooperation.

Japan is flanked on the East by the vast and geographically quixotic Pacific, which can arbitrarily wreak devastation at a moment’s notice. To the West, she is bordered by nations with long memories and persistent antipathies. Just as bad, even friendly allies such as the United States and Australia, unless they act swiftly, will be forced to revise their long term Far East and Southeast Asian strategies in light of Japan’s new weakness coupled with the increasing strength of China’s military and China’s already strong economic presence within Japan itself. This is to say nothing of North Korea’s steadfast and intractable hatred of her ancient nemesis.

It is sometimes hard for Americans, who are always among the most magnanimous, forgiving and generous of nations, to grasp how ingrained and intractable hostilities among the Far East nations are. It is equally difficult to comprehend how those hostilities continue to play out among the ancient rivals. That is because we in America do not have the long, long history of internecine conflict that has characterized the chief antagonists of Far East. Japan, China and Korea have been entangled in wars and occupations from time immemorial; wars which are not forgotten and in many cases not forgiven because of the immense brutality doled out by Japanese occupying forces.

Japan may generally have escaped the both the odium and the klieg lights which have kept the Nazi atrocities under continual scrutiny, but her behavior as conqueror and occupier of China and Korea was as horrific as the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe and the Barbarossa campaign against Russia. Japanese cruelties such as the “Rape of Nanking,” the brutal occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945 , and the Japanese atrocious medical and biological warfare experiments in the infamous Unit 731 and elsewhere are still living memories for the Chinese and Koreans. Despite the attempts of Japan to apologize for past transgressions and despite the fact that both China and Korea have been guilty of atrocities, neither country would be sorry to see vengeance heaped on their former tormentors; nor would either of those nations hesitate to take advantage of Japan’s present and probably lingering weaknesses. There are old scores to be settled with Japan.

The reaction of China and its quixotic and undependable ally North Korea will probably not yet take the form of overt military action because of the presence of the United States military and America’s strong alliance with Japan. However, both will move, though not necessarily in tandem, to strengthen their already growing hegemony in the Far East and beyond, seeing the catastrophe as an opportunity to take portions from Japan’s economic pie by moving in to replace Japanese influence, already diminished by its two decades long economic malaise. The accompanying result could be a diminution of US influence in the Southeast Asian region.

While the leaders of North Korea may well continue to hold their cards close to their chests, what might China do next in view of ancient antipathies she now sees as having the possibility of being rectified? What goals will she seek to achieve in view of Japan’s and America’s weakened positions in the Asian theatre?

The most likely possibility is that China will attempt to achieve some long term goals more rapidly than previously thought possible.

One accelerated goal will almost certainly be to achieve the quiet and “peaceable” reintegration of Taiwan into the Chinese mainland, absorbing it in much the same way Hong Kong was quietly absorbed in 1997. We may look for one of the many conditions to include the return of the imperial treasures presently in the Taiwan National Museum. For one of the memories still very much alive in the minds of China’s present day rulers is the fact that when Chiang Kai Shek and his wife retreated to Taiwan, they took with them much of their nation’s exquisite and irreplaceable art; art which represented the very soul of China and the essence of its rich artistic heritage. Mainland China now, as then, wants the art back.

The watching world may also expect increasingly strengthened ties between Australia and China with diminishing ties to US and its ally, Japan. That is because regardless of Australia and New Zealand’s cultural ties with the Anglo-sphere, they also are isolated and vulnerable islands whose proximity to China necessitates realignments not necessarily in favor of its present allies. China’s increasing hegemony over the seas surrounding Australia, waters once firmly dominated by Western powers, may be cause for a new pragmatism on the part of both Australia and New Zealand.

In fact, Japan’s accelerated weaknesses may tempt China to increase its already considerable presence in countries such as Burma, where it seeks easy access to the Indian Ocean; and in Vietnam, which despite a thousand year long Chinese cultural hegemony, has sought to retain its influence in the South China Sea, despite the hot breath of the Red Dragon down its long neck. Just recently, Vietnam protested February’s Chinese military maneuvers near the disputed Spratly Islands, whose surrounding waters are rich in minerals the Chinese economy demands. The maneuvers will doubtless continue and multiply now that Japan is down and out.

There will also be increased pressure on China’s growing rival India. Like Burma, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and other southeastern nations, India will feel the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami, as minus Japanese strength and the preoccupation of the US with the Middle East, China will seek to strengthen her control over the South Sea, thus diminishing through military threat India’s ancient trade routes, routes which are critical to her continuing economic success. India’s and the West’s hegemony over the South Seas is threatened as China will seek to derail both India’s and the US alliances and dominance of the South Sea.

How must the US and her allies react to the Japan’s weakness and China’s attempts to take advantage of that weakness?

First, the US must, together with its allies in Europe, despite our and their economic troubles, launch a Marshall Plan to help Japan regroup and get back on her feet. Next, Japan must increase her own military strength in order to balance increasing Chinese belligerence in that region. Further, the US and her allies must immediately form and strengthen a coalition of Eastern nations who will, even if it is only for immediate pragmatic concerns about their survival, be a firewall against increasing Chinese influence and domination of the region.

Next, America must increase its ties with India, whose empathetic government and growth as an economic power are capable of being a counter balance to China’s antidemocratic authoritarianism, drive for dominance of the Southeast, and increasing belligerence on the world stage.

Also among the necessary domestic strategies for counterbalancing Japan’s current weakness: beefing up rather than cutting the US military, rapidly decreasing debt obligations to China by dealing with runaway government spending, reassessing the US stance concerning trade imbalances, and rectifying the US/Chinese currency difficulties.

If the US and her allies act now, Japan’s current weakness will be shored up and the effects of the devastation brought on by the earthquake and tsunami will be mitigated if not entirely rectified, while Japan’s ancient enemy China and her odious ally North Korea are at least contained and prevented from accelerating China’s goals in Southeast Asia and beyond.

In conclusion, the US must see its role as more than helping out a stricken ally. It’s imperative to develop and implement strategies which will contain the inevitable increase in belligerence from China and North Korea.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Delaware Protects Abusers

My neighbor Christopher (not his real name) is five years old. All five years have been really difficult. For Christopher, who when born seemed perfectly fine, has had grand mal seizures from infancy. The seizures left him physically and mentally impaired, so much so he now is in a special needs kindergarten class.

His adoring parents will be moving from Wilmington because they do not trust the educational system to take care of Christopher properly. They are worried about possible neglect and abuse.

They have good reason for their concerns, as Pat Maichle, the executive Director of the State of Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, acknowledges. She has stated children with disabilities are disproportionately victims of abuse, including sexual abuse.

She, along with Tania Culley, the Child Advocate for the State of Delaware, supports State Representative Greg Lavelle’s determined and multiple efforts to allow victims of abuse in public institutions the same redress as those who are abused within private institutions such as private and parochial schools.

Representative Lavelle has on four separate occasions introduced legislation that would give the 125,000 children in Delaware’s public school system the same redress as is presently afforded to children who attend private institutions. Four times he has been shot down, and Delaware’s children continue to be unprotected from sexual predators.

Evidently not one to give up, Representative Lavelle has introduced yet another bill aimed at leveling the playing field, HB 12, which also seeks to waive the state’s sovereign immunity in child sex abuse cases.

Lavelle stated, concerning a previous attempt, “This bill is about doing what is fair and just for all victims of childhood sexual abuse in Delaware. Under Senate Bill 29, victims who were abused in the private and nonprofit sectors…have had access to recover damages. Yet children abused while attending a public school in the state…are not granted the same legal access. To say that those victims are at an unfair disadvantage would be an understatement.

Indeed.

The question arises: Just why is it that abuse in public schools goes unaddressed? Why are public school teachers immune to the sort of prosecution we have routinely seen doled out to pedophiles within private and parochial schools? After all, millions have been given out to victims of abuse within private schools, witness the case of John M. Vai, who was awarded $30 million in compensatory damages for abuse which happened at St. Elizabeth’s parochial school.

Perhaps the answer is that the teachers union protects their own.

As James Hudnell pointed out in this eye opening article “Teachers Unions: The Child Molester’s Best Friend” (February 9, 2010), teachers’ unions in states like California and New York have coddled criminals within the school system for years.
Hudnell cites an example of such protection.

From a New York Post piece:

“At the beginning of his 32-year career as a math teacher in Queens, Francisco Olivares allegedly impregnated and married a 16-year-old girl he had met when she was a 13-year-old student at his Corona junior high, IS 61, the Post learned.
He sexually molested two 12-year-old pupils a decade later and another student four years after that, the city Department of Education charged. But none of it kept Olivares, 60, from collecting his $94,154 salary.

He hasn’t set foot in a classroom in seven years since beating criminal and disciplinary charges. Chancellor Joel Klein keeps Olivares in a “rubber room,” a district office where teachers accused of misconduct sit all day with nothing to do.

That would be $94K a year for sitting around drinking coffee and reading the paper.”

California is even worse, as accused teachers are paid to stay home.

“About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered around the sprawling [Los Angeles Unified School District]…the housed are accused…of sexual contact with students…Nearly all are being paid. All told, they collect about $10 million in salaries per year—even as the district is contemplating widespread layoffs of teachers because of a financial shortfall.”

While New York’s infamous “rubber rooms,” where accused teachers sat around all day while collecting full salaries, are now supposedly gone, the fact is that protecting teachers who abuse their students is “a common practice in many states where teachers’ unions hold sway. Then they can’t fire them, in some cases schools have had to offer instructors cash payments to quit.”

Hudnall concludes, “Unions and public sector jobs are the most unholy alliance of our times…and many victims have been left in their destructive wake.”
It surely looks as if Delaware is following in the footsteps of California and New York: Protectionism of the worst sort plus a perversion of law in that some get redress for abuse while others have no recourse at all.

Lavelle’s legislation would rectify the glaring inequities, but continues to languish while strongly opposed by those who are indebted to and protecting the teachers union.

So much for equal justice for all of Delaware’s children.

Who can blame Christopher’s parents for wanting to get out of Delaware?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Courting Disaster

My article on Obama and the courts.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/courting_disaster.html

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Back Alley" Backfires

One of the chief talking points by those in favor of legalizing
abortion was the “back alley” argument. The claim was that if abortion wasnt legalized and women not given the oportunity to abort in sanitary, well regulated environments, they would be forced into back alley, illegal hell holes filled with filth and danger.

It was a powerful argument, as was the “coat hanger” argument, the substance of which was that the woman would use dangerous instruments to abort herself, risking her life with complications such as perforation of the uterus, damage to the cervix, and the possibility of leaving fetal remains within the uterus– a complication leading to toxic shock and death.

Alas, all the horror stories cited by the pro-abortion Left–and more–have come to pass. they have come to pass in perfectly legal clinics, witness the gruesome stories attendant to the Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia as well as the Elkton Maryland abortion clinic in which one young woman nearly lost her life and thrity-five late term, viable infants were found on site in a freezer.

Yet do we see women from NOW or NARAL marching in the streets in protest against the conditions they deplored and cited as a reason for the legalization of abortion? Do we see massive outpourings of rage concerning the lack of regulations? Do we see a push for legislating even minimal health standards for abortion clinics?

On the contrary, all we’ve seen from the pro-abortion advocates is resistance to regulations and hostility toward organizations which provide alternatives.

We don’t even see from the pro-abortion Left much, if any, outrage over the infanticide committed in Gosnell’s clinic.

Heartless.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Evil of Banality

It’s no secret the political left has continually demeaned and vilified the Tea Party and other rising conservative groups ever since their inception a mere one and a half or two years ago. So it is ironic to see that in the most recent attacks on the Right, the Left has accused the conservatives of creating a “climate of hate” so potent it infected the crazed brain of the killer responsible for the Tucson massacre. The solution to such violence, conservatives are assured, it a renewed effort guaranteeing civility of discourse in order to temper the hateful political climate. The thermostat of political discourse is to be set at a serene 70 degrees; or, like Goldilocks preferred porridge, neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

Lofty calls have gone out for all parties to rise above the passions of political partisanship, to elevate discourse to a more dispassionate and reasonable plain. But the new manifesto of the Left calling for dispassionate discourse is either a deliberate and calculating gloss whereby its true intentions are withheld so that its real agenda may be implemented without opposition or even detection; or it is a serious, debilitating inability to recognize and articulate the bases of one’s policies and the execution of those policies. In either case, the pretense of those who call for all to become dispassionate observers and commentators when it comes to politics (and religion) is just that: a pretentious charade of calculated banality which merely conceals ulterior motives and goals.

Simply put, there is no possibility American politics can be dispassionate, so the calls for toning down or eliminating passion are a cover for something else.
That “something else” is as follows: radical progressives’ tactics of vilification combined with calls for civility and peaceful bipartisanship are twin prongs of a strategy meant to discredit and ultimately to silence the opposition.

Conservatives do well to pick off charges of hate mongering and disassociate themselves from linkage to carnage such as the Tucson massacre; demanding evidence as well as refuting false accusations. At the same time, such charges must not succeed in their chief mission, which is to vitiate the opposition by putting it continually on the defensive while allowing the Left to set the agenda, linguistic or otherwise.

Conservatism must not lose the impetus of their offensive strategies such as attention to the debt, out of control spending, increasing socialization of the US, the erosion of federalism and the rest of the Leftist agenda.

Conservatives need to recognize the diversionary tactics employed by the liberal Left are meant to keep the conservative movement constantly on the defensive. They need to realize the attacks meant to keep them on the defensive are coupled with a more subtle strategy; namely, the most recent call to civility. The goal of radical progressives, who seldom--if ever-- follow their own advice, is to vitiate the conservative protest against the overreach of the federal government, to water down the recent victories in the election of 2010 and to keep conservatives constantly responding to the accusations of the Left, thus vitiating conservatism’s attempts to reform the US political system. The idea is to rendering conservatism so meek and mild, so intimidated, soft spoken and banal that it becomes utterly ineffective as a political reform movement.

In short, in the end, the constant calls for "civility" are a thinly disguised means for silencing protestors.

At this point, it is important to make a distinction between gratuitous incivility and moral outrage. Human discourse, if it is to be meaningful, abides by generally recognized rules of civil behavior. Such rules exclude profanity, name calling, and unjustifiable personal attacks. Also excluded are slander, rumor mongering and sexually and racially charged innuendoes.

But the left, and sometimes "moderate" or liberal Republicans, have sought to extend the rules of generally recognized civil behavior to include strong expressions of moral outrage. Many times the attempt is made to define genuine moral outrage as incivility; or worse, racism. To that end, members of the opposition from the left often have sought to silence conservatives by attempts to make the Tea Party and other conservative groups speak the language of the left, to accept the left’s terms of debate, which are almost always put in the context of race, victimization, political correctness and multi-culturalism.

To put it another way, progressives have certain doctrinal assumptions as the bases of any dialogue and seek to rope in and corral opposition by requiring the opposition to speak the language of the Left and to define moral issues according to progressive priorities. That is one reason, for example, the left most often resorts to the constantly repeated and by now often the merely rhetorical trope of racism. [A caveat: The reduction of the term by making it ubiquitous and all encompassing has been tragic for minorities, as the dilution of racism’s true meaning weakens justifiable attempts to confront and eradicate genuine cases of racist behavior.]

Limited linguistic tropes combined with attempts to control and neuter language are hallmarks of radical ideologues. Linguistic limitations characterized by banality can be as sure a means of repression as permitted inflammatory rhetoric characterized by faux rage and canned reactions to “insults.” Both are linguistic mechanisms designed to enforce conformity by molding thought patterns according to ideological tenets. Make everyone call each other “citizen” or “comrade,” and you’re already half way there to thought control. Enforce a stiff arm salute every time the dear leader’s name is evoked, and you have already pacified the public. Make everyone in the congregation use God neutral terms, and you have already succeeded in conforming established church doctrine to your agenda.

Ultimately, the Newspeak language of a given ideology becomes the advance sub-military attempt to enforce conformity and to achieve the banal egalitarianism ideologues desire.

It is therefore imperative for conservatives to refuse to accept the Left’s attempts to define political dialogue by linguistic manipulation which seeks to expunge language of “hostile” terms, thus re-defining political debate. Conservative groups must not allow genuine moral indignation to be redefined as incivility. Moral indignation arises from recognition of evil. In turn, recognition of evil requires strong language, strong confrontation and strong action.

It’s worth noting the prophets of ancient Israel and Jesus Christ all used strong language to define and to confront the injustices and societal ills of their time. Conservatives should encourage one another to follow those illustrious examples. By so doing, they will avoid falling prey to scurrilous attacks which keep them always on the defensive and to attempts to silence them or force them into conformity by false charges of “hate speech” and hypocritical, spurious calls for "civility."
 
Conservatives must speak boldly and truthfully to the evils of society, refusing to abide by the Left’s terms of debate. They must articulate clearly and precisely their short and long term goals, realizing that vigorous articulation and proclamation of truth is the first and most necessary requirement of any political movement pushing for reform.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hierarchy

The most important thing that can be said of hierarchies is that once established, their tendency is to hold on to power.

But the second most important thing to be said is that hierarchies are never eternal, never truly static, as there are always continually uprising currents of change either influencing the hierarchy to return to its roots or seeking to annihilate it altogether.

Sometimes established hierarchies don’t notice undercurrents of change soon enough to incorporate them into their established ways. Such seems to have been the case with the aristocracy of France before the Revolution, which though cognizant of and even catering to the Enlightenment and the radical new ideas of the intellectuals of the time, thought their status as arbiters of power would remain unchanged.

And, such seems to be the case within the Republican Party, albeit with some notable exceptions.

Within a mere year and a half, the Tea Party movement has shaken American politics to the foundations. However, some within the Party hierarchy still remain oblivious to or distinctly dismissive of the significance of the political revolution happening under their noses. They maintain a Louis the XVI posture of, “What? You say the Bastille has fallen and peasants with pitchforks are at the gates of the palace? Nonsense! Tell the guards to shoo them away.”

Too many within the established Republican hierarchy still expect matters will go on as usual, with elderly statesmen who’ve duly waited in line a lifetime for the opportunity to be nominated expecting their due anointment. But those who have been waiting in the wings may never get their cue to enter stage Left, never be that “poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more,” much less fill their long expected central roles.

As Richard Land, a prominent leader within the powerful southern Baptist church has said, “We’re not going to do what we normally do, nominate the steady beau. As the grassroots Tea Party movement showed in state after state in the 2010 congressional elections, this is no longer a hierarchical party. And the field of contenders doesn’t overwhelm anyone. All the major candidates have significant problems.”

Land gets it.

Old hierarchical political models will no longer work. That’s because the rising revolutionaries have crashed the gates.

Certainly the new (actually, quite traditionally conservative) revolutionary principles have been brought to bear in Delaware, where Tea Party, conservative favorites overthrew establishment candidates. While the results were not, to state the obvious, what the conservative movement desired; nonetheless, the hierarchy cannot remain what it was, should not expect to maintain old ways. It has to change if it is to remain relevant. It has to move toward the new conservatism.

There are positive signs some respected Republican leaders in Delaware “get it.” For instance, the appearances of Pete DuPont and Charlie Copeland at the Tea Party rally last year at least indicate an acknowledgement of Tea Party power and principles.

But diehard “moderates” within the hierarchy continue to resist, expecting conservatives to continue their old patterns of behavior, believing conservatives will fall into line with their votes and money.

Resistance, however, will ultimately prove futile, as the burgeoning power of the conservative movement nationally and within the state continues to grow. “Moderates” must join the emerging revolution or permanently be left out in the cold.

All the above doesn’t mean the conservative upstarts should put the members of the old hierarchy into tumbrels headed off to the guillotine, but it does mean the momentum is with conservatives, not with the “moderates” who have dominated the party structure for so long. It means “moderates” will have to, well, “moderate” according to conservative principles if they are to remain relevant to the Party. To put it another way, the ancien regime run by “moderates is done for. It’s time for them to move with the new political currents or be left behind, consigned to near irrelevancy while holding on to an ever shrinking power base.

In the meantime, rising conservatives should use every power of persuasion to bring moderates into the conservative camp; not vice versa.

Conservatives also should extend olive branches whenever they can—but without compromising or abandoning principles as they have done so often in the past.