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Month: November 2015

Number 409

…the public ferment over how to read the biblical creation story is relentless — and understandably so, for the dispute is about nothing less than what it means to be right. The Discontents This is a time of high anxiety. “Terrorists”, inspired by the perception that Western Civilization can no longer compete with its antithesis, are…terrfying. Common sense dictates a realistic view of religiously motivated murderers, but the media distort the truth. Return, for just a few moments, to reality: read two specific Numbers of this newsletter: 001, and 176. They clarify the role of the media in weakening the US public’s resolve to demand, and then rely on, the best defense against homicidal insanity: a resolute constitutional government. With that background information in place, you are ready to consider the current distress. Islamic “extremists” (that is, people who have read, understood, and accepted the Koran and hadith) are doing battle with the civilization that has, since the Crusades, set Islam aside as toxic. Eventually oil wealth exacerbated tribal competition, and customary Islamic violence increased. Iran emerged as one of the most incendiary faith-based communities in Islam, and its humiliation of Jimmy Carter’s USA was a signal event, even for Sunnis. Latent antagonisms grew and evolved, and the West found itself targeted by “asymmetrical” violence. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was a plus that quickly devolved to a minus...

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Number 408

The most pervasive myth about (college) campus censorship and free speech is that this war was fought long ago and free speech won. The USA’s Federal Government Versus The Constitution This newsletter’s review of Professor Hamburger’s book is an attempt to alert you to the unconstitutional nature of much of the US federal bureaucracy. (If that sounds odd to you, do examine the case against the “administrative” powers of the USA’s federal government; begin with that review). Obviously virtually everyone has ignored Hamburger’s meticulous scholarship. That is a tragedy. As this brief report indicates, federal agents have discovered that they can issue “administrative subpoenas” that are honored by individuals and private businesses. Using those utterly invalid documents as if they were genuine warrants, federal agents are able to obtain the medical records, including the social security numbers, of everyone in the USA. Yes: that does mean that constitutionally unauthorized authority is being illegally used to coerce or deceive people into agreeing to cooperate with “officials” who are acting outside the law. Warrants are supposed to be issued by judges, not by agencies. Nobody seems to remember that simple truth when an authentic-looking document demanding information is presented by this or that bureau. Congress might even have passed a law that is claimed to give a bureau judicial power; that is not, however, legitimate, as all judicial authority is constitutionally...

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Number 407

…as repressive as Arab dictators generally are, they tend to be more liberal than the people they oppress. “Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life” Muslims who believe in and understand the charges found in the Koran know that the recent murders in Paris were commanded by God. That literal truth is half of what you need to know. For the other half, ask your leaders what they plan to do. (By the way, the quote that is the headline of this Item comes from here. That commentary is worth reading. Thanks go to reader JY for recommending it.) The masthead includes a quote from the works of Sam...

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Number 406

The average person, seeing that we can predict tides pretty well a few months ahead would say, why can’t we do the same thing with the atmosphere, it’s just a different fluid system, the laws are about as complicated. But I realized that any physical system that behaved nonperiodically would be unpredictable. Republicans, Democrats, The Past, And The Prospects Newt Gingrich is trying to reassure Republicans that their party is neither dying nor a minority. His desperate attempt to breathe new life into an enervated faction is interesting, but in this newsletter’s view, the “Progressive” mindset has two powerful candidates named Clinton and Warren, both of whom cast long — if puzzling — shadows. Their populist/reformer/revolutionary stance is a success. In fact Democrats define the terms of the political debate in the news media. The predominant “memes” that determine how people categorize and evaluate events damn Republicans as inhumane, miserly, and stupid. All significant discussions of government spending, domestic policy, benefits, the environment, foreign policy, human rights, social structure, and the distribution of wealth are fertile soil for the Democrats. Those subjects all come within the scope of the government’s activities — everything from sheltering endangered species to curing disease is today handled by an omnipresent government. The issues have co-opted the Republican Party; everybody might as well be a “Progressive” now. Accordingly, the GOP simply does not have...

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Number 405

…by condemning Israel for responding to its opponents’ repeated terrorist acts, the UN has complicated the West’s ability to defend itself against the new wave of global terrorism. A Transformative Experience This video interview is essential viewing for all who take any interest in US politics, literature, and values. Of course an explanation is in order, and it must begin with the insistence that the conversation on display is a direct assault on many of the assumptions and judgments of both collectivists and individualists. “Progressives” will be offended by the heterodoxy, and “wingnuts” will be upset by heresy. Those reactions remind that the truth is dismissive of propriety, and that facts often arrive camouflaged. Too, a degree of shock can be the hallmark of a discussion that abjures ideology and proceeds honestly. Steel yourself, therefore, for an exposé of some of the myths the rulers and the ruled consider sacred. Naturally anything formatively significant seldom appears comfortable at first. Press on regardless! View the video a second and third time, as needed. The rewards of effort here are insight and a degree of liberation from intellectually barren slogans that masquerade as obvious truths. This video deserves this newsletter’s highest possible recommendation. A Constitutional Convention For The USA? No, But… To put this commentary into a rational perspective, you should read this newsletter’s review of Mark Levin’s book advocating a...

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