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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why We Are Done For

So, if you read the conservative political class today, they tell us we don't have much to worry about. The US is still center-right. Elections come, elections go, we will soldier on. Lost a battle, haven't lost the war, etc.

Mind you, these are the same people who told us this was the most important election in our lifetimes, perhaps in the history of the Republic. But now that we've lost, we're apparently supposed to say "Ah, well. We'll getcha next time."

And here is where we part ways.

Two by Two

There are two kinds of conservatives: economic conservatives and social conservatives.

When the Tea Party formed, it was formed from equal parts of the two. The fight within the party was over which one would win out. The Republican party stalwarts hated the Tea Party, but they hated the social conservative wing a lot more than they hated the economic conservative wing. Most of the major Internet libertarian and Tea Party bloggers have been economic conservatives, not social conservatives. So, the Republican stalwarts and the libertarian economic conservatives joined forces to give us ... Mitt Romney.

Social conservatives hated Romney, but we hated Barack more, so everyone held their nose and voted for Romney.

Well, not everyone.

As we found out Tuesday night, conservatives, whether economic or social, are in the minority. We are in round two of FDR's interminable reign. More on that in a bit.

What I want to focus on right now is the dissonance from the economic conservatives. We have, on the one hand, people like Glenn Reynolds and Ann Althouse - supporters of gay marriage, not particularly opposed to abortion, libertarian economic conservative types - who tell us not to worry.
And as Andrew Breitbart often reminded us, the most important battles must be cultural ones, because culture and media inevitably shape the political choices we make together.
That war must begin anew. And it begins now. 
 But when these people use phrases like "the most important battles must be cultural", they don't mean by the word "cultural" the same thing that social conservatives mean. We mean "no sodomite marriage, no abortion, no euthanasia, no contraception, return to Christ". That is not what the economic conservatives mean. By "culture," the economic conservatives mean "no socialism. no government control," i.e., they mean economic culture, not moral culture. As one economically conservative commentator so concisely put it:
I’m not religious, and my political beliefs don’t rest on a religious foundation. Gay marriage (to pick one example) doesn’t bother me much. I did, though, find the various bizarre comments about rape from Republican candidates to be stupid and offensive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they helped to cost enough potential Republican votes to sway the election.
We know how well economic conservatives are doing politically.
So, how are social conservatives making out?

To take one example, every exit poll in every state where exit polls were conducted showed majority support for abortion. Three of Sarah Palin's pro-life picks went down to defeat shortly after they announced pro-life sentiments. Given Palin's phenomenal success in picking winners, that's a substantive, significant loss. It is worth noting how the establishment Republicans reacted to these pro-life comments: repudiation, dismissal, abandonment.

Pro-lifers can mewl about how the majority of the population is pro-life. It may even be true on some level. But pro-lifers didn't show up to the polls. In fact, most people didn't show up to vote.

If pro-lifers won't vote against Barack Hussein Obama, pro-lifers won't vote. If pro-lifers won't vote for pro-life candidates, they aren't pro-life.

In short, we do not have a pro-life majority in any meaningful sense, no matter what the polls may say.

FDR Redux

I mentioned above that we are facing FDR redux. That has implications as well.

FDR stacked the Supreme Court.
Obama will too.

He may replace as many as four justices in his second term. The new SCOTUS will make the Warren Court look like Jerry Falwell's ice cream social club. Gun control, homosexual marriage, pedophilia, bestiality, sharia law, speech censorship - the new SCOTUS will have 20 years to implement the left's agenda, and they will put that time to good use.

The moral culture, what's left of it, will be shredded.
Obamacare will rip the belly out of the American economy.
It isn't coming back.

FDR bought his majorities. He used tax dollars to put people on the dole, thereby buying votes. Once on the government dole, people were afraid to leave it. He reigned 16 years because he turned Americans into beggars. People stopped believing they could succeed on their own, create small businesses on their own, and regulations prohibited them trying. He controlled the culture through government regulation.

The battlefields of WW II destroyed FDR's beggar mentality. America's men learned, quite literally, to innovate or die. Those who couldn't innovate fast enough did die. Only the lucky and the smart survived. Many people attribute America's post-war dominance to her lack of competition in the world market, the fact that her factories were not destroyed. All true.

But there is something else. American casualties were not as high as that of Russia, Germany, Japan, Britain, or France. For America alone, the war killed off our lousy innovators without cutting deeply into the ranks of the superior innovators. For most other nations, the men who came back from the war did so in body bags, and were buried. For America, the men who came back from the war were alive, they were the ones who could think on their feet.  These were the men who built the Apollo program, the electronic revolution, the age of passenger jets.

That generation is gone.

Obama's win demonstrates that the United States has again descended to the beggar mentality of FDR's America. But this beggar mentality has something new. This beggar mentality combines with the morality of the alley cat and the stray dog, the morality of the animal that eat its own children when hunger gnaws. This is the morality of the rich pagan elite, who gleefully kill each other for a chance at power.

For the entire life of the Church, there have been generations plagued by evil priests and bishops. Many Catholics, not just in this generation, but in many that came before us, have spent a lifetime waiting for bad priests, bad bishops to retire and/or die. Nothing else could be done but wait.

In this political situation, while white Catholics voted against Obama, Hispanic Catholics voted overwhelmingly for him. The populace, both Catholic and non-Catholic, has been beggared in both economics and morality, where the population affirmatively chooses murderous despotism, there is nothing to do but wait. Such a generation will have no children, of course.

The future belongs only to those who do have children, to those who manage to keep their children unstained by the muck of the rabid culture that surrounds them.

The wise man does not get into hand-to-hand combat with a rabid dog. If he lacks a rifle or a bow - and we lack both - then he just stands off in the distance, and waits for the dog's inevitable death. America will not survive this election in any recognizable form. At this point, we can preserve only the ideas she once stood for, preserve them in our children, and wait for the dogs to die.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 is for sale

Given events, I have decided to put up for sale.
Anyone interested in purchasing that domain, please contact me at

Thank you.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Wearing my various hats, in addition to running Bridegroom Press and Best Catholic Posters, I am an adjunct professor in math, history and religion. As a result, I am able to do interdisciplinary studies without leaving my chair. And in the course of looking at the ways people approach these various disciplines, I am struck by a thought.

If mastering the material in a class means that you either know the answers to a question or you know where to go to get the answers necessary, then students who can demonstrate these two abilities have mastered the class material.

So, what counts as mastery of the material?

Consider the world of the math instructor, for instance. For years now, lower form arithmetic has been taught with calculators, to such an extent that you can now ask college students what 9 * 7 is, and they won't know the answer if they don't have their smart phone calculators with them. As any college math teacher can tell you, I am not making this up. Every semester, I see college students count on their fingers when asked to multiply two single-digit numbers. Even simple addition and subtraction stumps many of them.

Now, these same students can and do pass their math classes. It is not at all difficult for them to do so, given that "best practices" (this is the phrase used) now virtually require math teachers to allow calculators in the math classroom. So, when these same students pass the math course, what does that mean?

Is the innate knowledge of multiplication tables central to math or is it extraneous, rendered as unnecessary as knowledge of how to use a slide rule? Or are we "dumbing down" the math curriculum in order to accommodate people who have been ripped off by a degenerate educational system?

If you argue that it is virtually impossible not to have a calculator at your side now, then you would say they passed the math class on their own.


If that's the case, then what counts as knowledge mastery if the ubiquitous internet puts the information for your humanities course at your fingertips without a trip to the library? Is the e-book now the same as the calculator - an acceptable tool on tests? If not, why not? For example, if MS Word or the Internet will happily format your footnotes and bibliography for you, of what use is it to grade someone's ability to adhere to MLA or APA footnote style? Am I grading the student's grammar abilities, or am I actually grading the grammar abilities of the programmer who devised the word processing software the student used?

Why can't the humanities student access digital resources while taking a test? Math students do. If we insist that group work is important, and we're grading them on group work during the course, then why can't they e-mail or text each other for answers during the final exam? What if there's a chip implant to the body that allows instant Internet information recall or instant student intercommunication? Do you really think this won't happen in the near future?

And when it does, then what does it mean to say that we "know" something?

Humanities instructors around me complain about "cheating" on humanities tests, when the students are really just doing what they have been taught is perfectly acceptable on math tests.

Plato used to complain about books because he felt they were crutches that would ennervate future generations. Men who did not learn to develop and rely on their memories would be weaker for it. I'm not sure he was wrong, but when "memory" has been electronically redefined and expanded, I'm also no longer sure I know what I mean when I quote him.