Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cultural Destiny

I've been using the phrase “feet on the ground” and linking it to the question of where our nation and culture are headed. “Feet on the ground” is just a short cut for saying that the direction of western civilization (i.e. all that we here in the west take for granted as a given regarding our laws, cultural mindset, and liberty) will be decided by those who actually make up the population of the west. And as the cultural markers of a population change, so changes how that society stands in relationship to truth, human dignity, law, and liberty. This isn’t theory. It is the story repeated, again and again, throughout many centuries of societies rising and falling. Our society is built upon the foundation of Judeo-Christian thought as developed over the years via the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the founding ideals of our own nation. To ignore these foundation stones or take them for granted (i.e. they’ll automatically remain our society’s underpinnings) as relates to demographics is shortsighted. This is why the immigration debate is an important one, especially in light of the U.S. birthrate being barely above replacement levels (and less so in Europe). Added to my concerns is the war being waged on a philosophical level regarding the place of truth, morality, and religion in today’s culture. Some would argue that the “old” truths and morality no longer apply in a multi-cultural and diverse society. But that leads to another discussion for another day.

That brings me to Mark Steyn who, in my opinion, is one of the clearest thinkers concerning the demographics and culture of the West, its intersection with immigration trends, and the implications for the future. These excerpts of his words from an interview entitled, Is Demography Destiny?, over at The American Spectator highlight just a few of the things he has to say on demographics, the west, and the challenges we face as a culture.

“Clearly, the West shows all the classic signs of exhaustion. Americans are part of a continuous trend afflicting Western Europe. It's these subtler incremental changes that are of biggest concern as opposed to the guys flying planes into buildings…

“Whether or not Muslims are a statistical majority within society is not the major issue. They only need to make up 20 percent of the population for the nature of our society to be entirely changed…

“When Muslims in the West are polled, 40 to 60 percent wish to live under Sharia and wish to reside in the United Kingdom and the United States as opposed to Saudi Arabia. They may disagree with the means but they entirely support the ends…

“Well, I do believe that eventually the nanny state turns us all into children so when grown ups become children then it is not astonishing for them to become disinterested in having children of their own. One of the striking features of the modern socialist state is the prolonged adolescence of its citizens….One of the results of this mindset is a collapsing birthrate, but those communities who think differently from us are the ones who will shape the future. Is there any denying that the future belongs to the people who show up for it?”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Myth of the"jobs no one else wants..."

Check out this "undercover video" at Redstate.

I have been a contractor since 1974. First as a licensed painting contractor in CA, then later a licensed tile and marble contractor in Florida. These are not jobs that no one else wants! Currently, living in CA again, I am amazed at how many illegal immigrants there are operating either as unlicensed contractors or actually working regular jobs in construction... earning in the $15.00 to $25.00 an hour range. Jobs Americans don't want?!

Feet on the ground will ultimately determine the course of this society's future. And controlling the flood of illegal aliens over our porous borders will go a long way to determining whose feet are on the ground. The mindset that minimizes the importance of protecting and enforcing the laws regarding our borders and elevates the "needs" of the illegal aliens via, what I see as, misplaced compassion or expediency simply encourages a disrespect for the laws of this country the day they enter. This, in turn, fosters the belief system of "whatever works for me is good." What is right (legal), over and opposed to wrong, no longer predominates. Not the stuff solid communities are based upon. So unless something is done to change the status quo of the sovereignty capitulation at the borders by our government, not just jobs but culture, law, and (yes) the very underpinnings of the American democracy are at risk.
An exaggeration? I really don't think so.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Duke News Sense

"Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all"
- Edmund Burke

This whole sordid affair began with a falsehood...

Kudos to those students at Duke University who, not cowered by the prevailing cultural foul winds, respond to the "Social Disaster" advertisement of April 6, 2006 signed by 88 of Duke's professors who were ostensibly concerned about justice being done. These were the faculty who, to further their own political/social agendas and in the absence of any actual evidence, took the accuser's lie in hand and crowded onto the band wagon to railroad the accused (and completely innocent) Lacrosse players in the infamous Duke rape case. Check it out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A New Feature

Over on the side bar -----------> I have added something new. Music. My music to be specific. This falls under that part of the blog "and other things that interest me." Well I have been playing music most of my life. And over the last seven years I have been writing songs and recording. Some are strictly my own work. And a number are collaborations via the internet with other musicians. So I will be posting a new song every now and then. You can listen, if you'd like, through the QuickTime audio player.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Something is happening here"

"But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?"
... from Ballad of a Thin Man by Bob Dylan

Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, has some further thoughts on that Pew Research poll regarding Muslim-American attitudes. Hanson is one of the most articulate and clear thinkers writing about the Iraq War and the changes occurring in our society today. Changes many aren't picking up on.
You can visit his website Here. The following are his comments of today found at National Review Online on The Corner blog:

"I think someone should make it clear to the Muslim-American community that despite all the spin following the disturbing Pew Poll, most Americans are appalled at the findings for a variety of unspoken reasons.

"The findings reflect a successful minority, at income and educational levels indistinguishable from the American majority—despite 40% arriving since 1990.

"Yet, one in four young adult Muslims supports the idea of suicide bombing to "defend Islam" and only four in ten think Arabs had anything to do with the 9/11 suicide bombing.

"Despite explanations from academics and religious figures—youth sound off, war is increasingly acceptable to Americans, Black Muslims may be a different subset of the polled, etc—one could interpret this as very bad news: the US just recently welcomed in tens of thousands of Muslims from the failed states of the Middle East, offering them an opportunity for a vastly different life, which apparently they embraced with open arms. And the views of some of that community to the most devastating attack on American shores in its history apparently include that 25% of its youth approve of suicide tactics, and only 40% on the entire community accept that Arabs carried out the mass murder.

"Polls are unreliable. But one cannot praise them on the one hand for showing real signs of Muslim success, and then not be more candid that well over 1 million Muslims here don't believe Arabs were involved in destroying the World Trade Center, and several hundred thousand apparently approve in theory of the generic tactic of suicide bombing.

"Yet for any to confess that reality, or to worry that the 25% number might explain oddities like those arrested in the Fort Dix conspiracy, is usually to be found guilty of "Islamophobia" or some such illiberal prejudice by CAIR.

"Why such disturbing news from such a successful minority? No doubt the globalized hatred flowing on television from the Middle East, and on the Internet from the Islamists.

"But there is also a sense that there are no social or cultural consequences to expressing such radicalism. And why should there be?

"At a time of war, our senators compare our troops to Nazis or claim they are no different from Saddam's. Conspiracy theory about 9/11 is embraced by a large minority in the Democratic party, and dreams of shooting the President are the topics of novels and docu-dramas. That lends a climate or reassurance to go one step further and approve of blowing someone else to "defend" Islam.

"But why worry about 25% of Muslim youth in America when you can go to the moronic "View" and hear Rosie et al defend jihadism through moral equivalence and argue that because someone blows himself up he must de facto have some sort of legitimate reason (akin to Nathan Bedford Forrest's logic that superior Confederate zeal was proof of the inherent righteousness of being left alone to hold slaves.)

"That's why the "View" is so valuable, because it is our window on the moronic affluent American mindset, the perfect result of abject ignorance colliding with unchecked affluence."

- Victor Davis Hanson

"Hilarious Inconsistency"

Tony Blankley in the Washington Times has written an excellent opinion column on the folly and incongruous reasonings that are put forth as wisdom in our political culture and specifically in the current immigration legislation. To paraphrase, with wise men like this who needs idiots? The proposed immigration bill in Congress is a labyrinth of dazed reasoning wrapped up in mind numbing legalese that only a D.C. politician could love.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cultural Trend... not my friend

And speaking of cultural change as demographics change, a disturbing bit of information in a just release Pew Research poll... One in four younger Muslims in the United States believes suicide bombings to defend Islam are justified in at least some circumstances. It is estimated that there are 2.35 million Muslim Americans.

Feet On The Ground, Amnesty, & Law

The Immigration Bill... the solution or making a problem worse?... Amnesty?... Too strict on illegal aliens now in this country? Below are links to a couple of articles that reflect some of my thinking on this. The whole issue goes beyond the currently proposed bill in Congress. It touches on a number of questions and considerations. Can a culture/society exist in the long run while allowing its borders to be open doors (despite laws to the contrary) to almost any and all? What role does multi-culturalism in the mindset of Americans play in this topic? Should citizens view protecting their borders as a harsh response (feeling guilty) to members of poorer societies wanting into the American system? The demographics of the U.S. are changing due to changes in the immigration laws over the last 40 years. Ultimately "feet on the ground" determine the direction and destiny of any culture or society. This phenomenon needs to be understood and taken into account when talking about immigration and border security. There are long term (but getting shorter all the time) and potentially irreversible ramifications as to how Americans approach and deal with this. I don't have a lot of trust in most of the politicians on this issue. I don't think they are looking at the long term. Too many, President Bush included, seem to just want a bill that attempts to please everybody a little, while pushing the bigger problems down the road.

Thomas Sowell's Amnesty Fraud
Selwyn Duke's Why They Won't Assimilate

And I haven't even brought up The Costs per newly legalized immigrant. We're talking in the neighborhood of $390,000 per newcomer for the new benefits that will be doled out in the form of Social Security and Medicare, etc. That weighs in at about 2.4 trillion dollars. Hmmmm... I wonder how that impact's our other huge unsolved crisis... the unfunded entitlements of the above mentioned programs!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Moral and Spiritual Issue?

This just up... Christian leaders from many mainline Christian denominations, as well as other churches are urging action by the Bush administration on global warming, calling it a "moral and spiritual issue." The Church, just one more advocacy group? The much debated (non-consensus) scientific and political issue of global warming threat now taken to the level of moral sin requiring action by the Church?" Sad.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Christianity Without Salvation

To kick off The World's Ruined blog here is a link to an article that was recently in the Wall Street Journal by Joseph Loconte. Some thoughts of mine: traditional Christianity... the faith once delivered... seems to have gotten lost to a large extent in the mix of all the many economic and social agendas claiming legitimacy in the name of Christ. Various voices in the Christian Church readily add their endorsements to and, in some cases, lead these causes. But are these attempts to be more relevant and responsive to the surrounding cultural mindset and needs of the day merely evidence that the Church is wandering from the path to which Christ calls his followers. Is this a new challenge? Or has this been a recurring battle these past two thousand years as the Church, like Christ, is to be in the world but not of it? To be conformed to the image of His Son and not to this world.

A related article by the same author, expanding on the topic is aptly entitled "They All Want Him."

Neither of these articles are meant to fully address these questions. But they have led to some interesting discussions on the state and mission of the Church in today's world.

"...Even today, nearly everyone wants Jesus on his side of an argument. But the babe in the manger, the man worshipped as Deity by millions, goes his own way — and bids that we follow."
-Joseph Loconte

Says Corry Breslin

Growing up, my family used to travel to Lansford, PA for a family reunion on my Mom's side every now and then. This is where the Irish side of the family lived... the coal mining region of Pennsylvania. It was my Mom's Uncle Corry who was the curmudgeon of the crowd as we picnicked all day at Lake Hauto. His standard reply to the question, "How are things going, Uncle Corry?", was invariably, "The country's ruined!"**

**I think he was on to something, so I've expanded on his insight...

"The world's ruined!"

** as corrected by my Dad and Corry's great grandson John. I had originally remembered the expression as "the world's ruined."