Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Mexican American Talks Trump: You’ll Be Surprised

This Mexican American explains why Donald Trump is getting his vote. He is deeply rooted within the Mexican culture, and says that when he said he would vote for Trump, he got ostracized and told he wasn’t really Latino. Not all people think the same, he says.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mailvox: how to eject the Cult of Nice - Vox Day

JB asks how to go about restoring the worship of Jesus Christ to the nominally Christian church where the Cult of Nice has taken root:
My own church is not infested by SJWs, but it is solidly in the Church of Nice camp.  There have never been any horror story sermons such as those described by Dalrock on his blog, but the big ministry push is to send as many people to Mexico on "mission trips" as possible... and sometimes they bring natives back with them.  Also, the pastor expressly avoids "politics" in his teachings but routinely uses examples such as Jackie Robinson and Holocaustianity in his sermons.  I've never heard anything outrageous from the pulpit, but neither have I heard anything truly inspiring.  The best word I can think to describe my church and its leadership is "lukewarm."

I used to think my congregation was fully Churchian, but in a weekly class on Christian Ethics I decided to stop being "Nice" myself.  We talked about standard political issues like economics, abortion, environmentalism, etc.  The leader was a well-meaning man but in his research prior to our discussion on immigration he apparently could find little Biblical support for immigration restrictionism.  At the beginning of the immigration class, he explained to everyone that he was originally anti-immigration but his research forced him to conclude that the Bible mandated open borders.  Fortunately, I reread Cuckservative the night before and (thanks in large part to you and John Red Eagle) systematically demolished his argument and built a Christian case in favor of immigration restrictionism.  My case was not "Nice" by any stretch.

However, rather than being excommunicated from the class because I dared say that Christians can morally support borders (a heresy in the Churchian mindset), I was invited to explain my position in more depth the next class and many people congratulated me and wished to learn more after the class was over.  Even the class leader seemed relieved to hear that a Christian case for immigration restrictionism was possible.  If there had been an SJW in the class, I would have been ejected.  Instead, I became a thought leader for the rest of the course and the class as a whole became less "Nice" and more "Christian" in the true sense.

This event led me to conclude that my congregation wants to be Christian but is Churchian out of ignorance and timidity.  This ignorance is shared at the top of our leadership.  No one appears to be fully SJW, but many do seem to believe that Churchianity is Christianity whether they like its repercussions or not.

I've been asked to help teach a discussion course next semester on why children raised in the church tend to leave it as they get older.  Of course, I believe the "Christian alt-right" explanation that modern Churchianity is poison and that a true Christian church would draw everyone back into the pews.  But I'm not sure using pure red meat such as Cuckservative immediately as a main text is as solid a strategy as using some softer stuff to build the students' tolerance for alt-right theology.

How would you bring an ignorant, but apparently receptive, congregation back into the Christian fold from a surface-level Churchianity?
 Alt-right theology, now there is a simply terrifying term! Anyhow, I would start with a private meeting with the pastor first, and if he is supportive, with the elders next. It's important to determine if you have an amenable authority or a hostile one before taking action, as that will significantly effect the way in which your campaign proceeds.

The next step would be to develop a program called "Back to the Biblical Basics" which the pastor could draw upon for his sermons and the Sunday School teachers and Bible Study leaders could utilize for their weekly activities. These subjects should be selected for undermining the various Churchian and Cult of Nice concepts that have gradually crept in over the years. Each topic should be based around a single Bible verse that contradicts or otherwise destroys the Churchian narrative, such as the way Matthew 15:25-28 destroys both the equalitarian and the immigrationist aspects of that narrative.

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

“O woman,” Jesus answered, “your faith is great! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. 

I would welcome similar suggestions in the comments; I expect 10-12 would be the minimum to provide a foundation for the "Back to the Biblical Basics" program.

And JB's instincts are correct. Christians steeped in the Cult of Nice should not be encouraged to readSJWAL or Cuckservative, much less the relevant Alt-Right sites. They are not ready for it. Instead, they should be asked, relentlessly, if the narrative position they are upholding is one of which the world approves or not, and if worldly approval of its positions is the primary objective of a Christian Church. For every argument they make, from "we must be welcoming" to "everyone is equal", have a verse to hand that demonstrates it to be the extra-Biblical, non-Christian nonsense that it is.

The third step is to embrace the consequences. Some church members will acknowledge Scriptural authority. Help them grow in understanding, conviction, and courage. Other members will reject Scriptural authority, cling to the Cult of Nice, and will probably threaten to leave the church. Don't try to talk them out of it, but rather, help them go, as per the example of Gideon. If church members are more of the world than of the Church, then they belong in the former, and not the latter. The Church has no need of numbers; just 12 Apostles were all that was required to shake the world.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

CAP – Study 9 – Institutions – Family – Children

CAP – Study 9 – Institutions – Family – Children

This study addresses the parents’ responsibility for their children, especially their education. The Bible is not vague on this subject. It is very clear and specific.
It is my personal belief that this issue is the primary reason why the church is ineffective in America, the country is in deep trouble and the Kingdom of God is not being advanced as we would expect. Sadly, our public education system is making disciples for the religion of humanism with the tax money extracted from Christians – apparently with their full approval.
The items covered are:
·         Children are a blessing of God.
·         The family is a training ground for leadership in the church.
·         Education is the MORAL responsibility of parents.
·         The modern State has arrogated to itself the education of all children.
·         Most Christians have approved ‘tithing their children to the State’.
The following narrative is from Gary North’s “Unconditional Surrender”.


Children are a blessing of God. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5). The enemies in the gate are opponents who have come before the judges of the city, who in Old Testament times sat at the gate, to bring a charge against a man. Men with large families have confidence in themselves, and so are not afraid of such enemies. This appears to indicate that the self-discipline involved in being the head of a large family carries over into other human relationships. Large families produce heads of households who are better fit to lead in the community.

One of the requirements for holding the offices of elder or deacon in the church is for a man to be married (I Timothy 3:2,12). He is to rule over his household effectively (I Timothy 3:4-5, 12). The family is a training ground for leadership in the church. One of the obvious failures of almost all denominations and local churches-a failure which goes back to the early church- is the unwillingness of church authorities to write into their denominational handbooks guide lines defining successful rule over a family. The modern churches place great emphasis on where a man went to college or seminary, on whether he can raise money, or on whether he can deliver a red-hot sermon. The Bible puts little or no emphasis on any of these factors. It puts emphasis on the leader's abilities as the head of his household.

Children are a tool of dominion. They are to be sacrificed for in their youth. They are to be instructed carefully and continually in the law of God. "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up* (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). The time spent in training children in God's law is time well spent, for it is a capital investment. It does produce the next generation of godly, dominion-minded families. The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

This leads us to an extremely significant conclusion: education is the moral responsibility of parents. They are the ones who must determine whether or not their children are being taught the truth. They are responsible before God for the rearing of their children. They are held responsible even for the content of their children's education. This is why it is a great responsibility to bring children into the world.

The modern State has asserted its responsibility to educate children. This is the means by which the modern State has arrogated to itself the position of the established god on earth. The government schools have become the established religion of every nation on earth. Humanism, which is the worship of man and his works, rests on this crucial institutional foundation: the tax-supported, State-regulated, hypothetically neutral, deeply religious humanist school system. There can be no neutrality, yet the government schools have almost completely stamped out Christianity and the law of God by means of the neutrality myth. The State forces Christians to finance schools that teach a rival religion, the religion of humanism. The State has also attempted to regulate Christian and independently financed schools. At every point, the State has substituted tenured bureaucrats who are virtually impossible for parents to remove from authority, while it has removed parents from the seats of power in setting curricula or any other standards. The modern State-which is a messianic, supposedly man-saving institution-has used the tax-supported, compulsory schools as the primary means of stealing children from God, by removing them from parental control.

Christians complain about taxation, but they have tithed their children to the State. They have abdicated their financial responsibilities "Let the State finance my children's educations" and in our day, they have abandoned almost all other aspects of their instructional responsibilities. They have turned the production of citizens over to tax-financed, state directed schools. The priests of the religion of humanism have been able to enlist the support of many generations of Christian parents, who have decided that it is easier to transfer the responsibility for educating their children to bureaucrats hired by the State.

Naturally, parents have to delegate responsibility to someone. Few parents have the time or skills to educate their children at home. But the fundamental principle of education is the tutor or the apprentice director. Parents hire specialists to teach their children along lines established by parents. The private school is simply an extension of this principle, with several parents hiring a tutor, thereby sharing the costs. But the parents, not the tutors, are institutionally sovereign. Since sovereignty must bear the costs, education should be parent-financed. Anything else is a transfer of authority over education to an imitation family.

Children are to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12). It is the first promise which is attached to a commandment: "... that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12b). So the parents owe their children educations, food, shelter, and care, but the children owe their parents honor. This means financial support. There are mutual obligations based on personal bonds. No one in the transaction is to become an endless giver, and no one is to become a perpetual recipient.

The modern messianic State has intervened here, too. The State promises to uphold men from womb to tomb. The State promises to become the new father. The impersonal, bureaucratic State has substituted its rule for the father's rule, and its children-perpetual children-are to remain obedient to it all the days of their lives.

The Bible tells us that children grow up and begin new families. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 1:24). There should be no perpetual one-way obligations. Parents are to train their children to be obedient, but also independent. They are to foster maturity in their children. The State wants perpetual children, complete obedience. The State is a sad imitation of a family. It is a pseudo-family which threatens human freedom.

Why Morality is the Only Thing We Should Legislate - By Selwyn Duke

“You can’t legislate morality!” is a common battle cry today. It’s thought to be a quintessentially American idea, even though the Founding Fathers never expressed such a sentiment. Nor did the early Americans who would unabashedly enforce a biblically based code of morality in their localities, both via social pressure and governmental laws, with transgressors sometimes spending time in stocks — or worse. No, our common battle cry is a modern idea, and one of modernism. It also betrays a fundamental, and dangerous, misunderstanding of law’s nature.

In reality, the only thing we should legislate is morality. The only other option is legislating whims or immorality.

One problem with addressing this issue, which I have done several times, is that many readers have a reason-clouding emotional reaction induced by the assumption that I’m advocating big government. So I’ll preface what follows by saying that even if we enact just one law — let’s say, prohibiting murder — we have legislated morality. The only people who could credibly say they wouldn’t legislate morality are those who wouldn’t legislate at all: anarchists.

I’ll start by putting this simply. Could you imagine a legislator saying, “This law doesn’t prevent something that’s wrong, but I’m going to impose it on you anyway”? What if he said, “This other law doesn’t mandate anything that is a good, but I’ll compel you to adhere to it simply because I feel like it”? Would you suppose his legislation had a sound basis? Or would you think that, unlike a prohibition against murder or theft, the imposition of something lacking a moral foundation (“rightness” or “wrongness”) was the very definition of tyranny?

Generally speaking, a law is by definition the imposition of a value (which can be positive, negative or neutral), and a just law is the imposition of a moral principle (good by definition). This is because a law — with the exception of laws for naming post offices and such (which don’t constrain us and which won’t be included henceforth when I speak of “laws”) — states that there is something you must or must not do, ostensibly because the action is a moral imperative, is morally wrong, or is a corollary thereof. If this is not the case, again, with what credibility do you legislate in the given area? There is no point imposing something that doesn’t prevent a wrong or mandate some good. This is why there will never be a powerful movement lobbying to criminalize strawberry ice cream or kumquats.

As an example, what is the possible justification for speed laws? Well, there is the idea that it’s wrong to endanger others or yourself, and, in the latter case, it could be based on the idea that it's wrong to engage in reckless actions that could cause you to become a burden on society. Of course, some or all of these arguments may be valid or not, but the point is this: if a law is not underpinned by a valid moral principle, it is not a just law. Without morality, laws can be based on nothing but air.

One cause of the strong negative reaction (generally among libertarian-leaners) to the above is the word “morality” itself; as with “capitalism” in liberal circles, the term has taken on a negative connotation. Yet this is partially due to a narrow and incorrect view of what morality is. Use the word, and many imagine the Church Lady or a preacher breathing fire and brimstone; moreover, reflecting our libertine age’s spirit, people’s minds often automatically go to sex. “Stay out of the bedroom!” we hear, even though the only side legislating bedroom-related matters today is the Left (e.g., contraception mandate, forcing businesses to cater faux weddings). It’s almost as if, dare I say, some people are worried that others may ruin their fun.

Morality encompasses far more than sexual matters, however. Yet it is narrow in one way: it includes only correct principles of rightness. And, again, when these are not the stuff of laws, elements of wrongness will be.

Speaking of which, everyone advocating legislation seeks to impose a conception of morality or, as modernists are wont to put it, a “values” set. For example, the only justification for forcing bakers to service faux weddings is the (incorrect) notion that it’s “wrong” to deny such service. ObamaCare could only be justified based on the idea that providing medical care for those who can’t afford it is a moral imperative. And “transgender” bathroom laws would have to be based on the fancy that it’s wrong to disallow someone from using facilities associated with his “gender identity.”

A common argument I’ve heard in response to the above is “No, I don’t legislate morality; something should only be illegal if it harms another.” Other arguments are that we should merely prohibit “force” or protect “property rights.” Leaving alone the deep matter of what constitutes “harm,” these assertions are, with all due respect, dodges. Is it “wrong” to harm another, use unjust force against him or violate property rights? If not, why trouble over it?

People making the harm, force or property-rights argument are almost universally sincere, except with themselves, as it’s self-deception. It’s a way of preserving a mistaken ideological principle (“Don’t legislate morality”) by obscuring what it is you’re actually doing when making law. It’s also dangerous because it keeps things on a more superficial level. It’s a way relativistic moderns can avoid dealing with something they consider inconvenient, messy and divisive: determining “What is good?” But when you don’t work hard to settle what is good, you end up with what is bad.

Another reason many people are oblivious to the morality underpinning their conception of law is that many moral principles are now woven so seamlessly into our civilization’s fabric that we don’t recognize them as “morality.” 

Yet a moral does not cease to be a moral because it becomes a meme. Consider that while we take for granted that theft, murder and slavery should be governmentally prohibited, most pre-Christian pagans would have found such an idea foreign. Pillaging for a living, Viking-style, was common and accepted; might made right. And while you might not murder or enslave your fellow group members (one problem Athenians had with Spartans was that the latter enslaved other Greeks: the Helots), outsiders were fair game. In fact, if there had been such a thing as a libertarian Roman, he just might have said to Christians endeavoring to outlaw the brutality of the arena, “You can’t legislate morality!”

There can be no such thing as a separation of morality and state. That is, unless we want to regress to man’s default, the immoral state.

Russia, Solzhenitsyn, and the Reset Button - By Fay Voshell (A truly profound article)

In 2009, Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, presented her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, with a “reset” button she thought symbolized a new era for Russian and American diplomacy.

Lavrov pointed out the word the Americans had chosen, “peregruzka,” meant “overcharged,” not “reset.” Though the two leaders laughed off the mistake, the mistranslated button was a symbol of persistent misunderstanding between the two nations.

Russia has long been characterized by many in the West as enigmatic; indeed, almost beyond understanding. It was Winston Churchill who in October of 1939, mere weeks after the invasion of Poland by Nazi armed forces, speculated on the role of Russia in the war, famously depicting Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

He added: “…but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest. It cannot be in accordance with the interest of the safety of Russia that Germany should plant itself upon the shores of the Black Sea, or that it should overrun the Balkan States and subjugate the Slavonic peoples of south eastern Europe. That would be contrary to the historic life-interests of Russia.”

In other words, Churchill could not envision the dismemberment of the Soviet Union by the German war machine without Russia fighting for her “life interests.” History proved him right. Russia survived, though gravely wounded.

The claims of Russia to her unique, historic life interests again came to the forefront when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s and Russia the nation and empire appeared on the verge of total disintegration. Russia found itself in desperate need of a Weltanschauung that would replace the communist ideology that had held the nation in its grip for seventy years. If she did not, she might even face the prospect of radical shrinkage back to the proportions of Kievan Rus, her empire absorbed into Eastern Europe and the Far East. For some, if not most, of Russia’s political and intellectual leaders, the prospect of seeing the Russian empire virtually disappear was unthinkable.

Discerning that a U.S. Marshall Plan was not in order for Russia, several main figures came forward with ideas for a Russian reset button, one which they saw as including the “historic life interests” of Russia in the post-communist era. One, of course, is Vladimir Putin, whose embrace of Russian Orthodoxy has been a reason for the elevation of Christianity to a place of influence it occupied for over a millennium.

One of the spiritual and philosophical influences behind Putin has been Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Partly due to Putin’s influence, Solzhenitsyn’s master work The Gulag Archipelago is now required reading in Russian schools.

Solzhenitsyn openly rejected the secularist and leftist liberal political philosophy dominating the cultures of Europe and America. Russia, he said, had her own unique spiritual and historic heritage, a heritage that clashed with the dominant ideology of the West. Though he admired the spirituality of the American heartland, he saw the West in general as drowning in a vortex created by moral degradation, anti-religious sentiment, and extreme individualism.

Perhaps the most succinct and prescient analyses of the errors of the liberal democratic West and the failure of the West to understand Russia and Russian spirituality is found in his speech at Harvard University, given in 1978 some eleven years before the collapse of East Germany and the Soviet Union.

Solzhenitsyn reminded the Harvard graduates that the West was not the one and only advanced culture. Russia also deserved high regard as an ancient and autonomous entity:

“Any ancient and deeply rooted, autonomous culture… constitutes an autonomous world, full of riddles and surprises to Western thinking… For one thousand years Russia belonged to such a category, although Western thinking systematically committed the mistake of denying its autonomous character and therefore never understood it…”

In other words, if Russia was an enigma, it was due to Western blindness, a blindness that was largely due to spiritual cataracts. If Russia seemed inscrutable, it was because American and the rest of the West failed to understand the Russian soul and the Russian nation. No reset was possible unless the West returned to its own Christian spiritual roots. Until spiritual eyeglasses provided vision, the materialistic but powerful West would remain blinded by its sense of total superiority.

The West, he went on to say, thought of itself as possessing the most attractive system, and regarded other nations as culturally inferior entities that needed to come up to speed, rejecting their “wicked governments” and “their own barbarity” in order to take “the way of western pluralistic democracy and adopting the Western way of life. 
Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction. However, it is a conception which develops out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick.”

Russia had its own ancient and autonomous character and was in some ways more advanced than the secularist West, which he saw as declining in courage, and as inclined toward overemphasis on individual rights seldom ameliorated by a corresponding emphasis on individual obligations. Such was the emphasis on individual rights that “destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space.” The result was that evil had boundless freedom to expand in every part of society, expressing itself as individual “rights,” be those rights exhibiting themselves in pornography, violence, and even anarchy. A firm belief in the basic goodness of human nature coupled with an almost complete misapprehension of the evil inherent in human nature had led the West to embracing what amounted to spiritual and moral anarchy.

The spiritual condition of the West meant its system was not the ideal model for Russia, which Solzhenitsyn characterized as possessing spiritual strength the West had once possessed, but which it had rejected. The West was spiritually exhausted due to the repudiation of the Christian principles on which it was based. As Russia was, even in the midst of the communist regime, gaining her spiritual strength, a vitiated West had virtually nothing to say to her beyond advocacy of runaway materialism and out-of-control individualism.

Solzhenitsyn went on to point out the basic error that led to the decadence of the West; namely, the assumption of the Enlightenment that mankind has no higher force above him, but is autonomous -- mankind as the center of everything that exists. In effect, the West, including America, which at its inception believed quite differently, rejected the idea that all “individual human rights were granted because man is God’s creature.” Freedom, he said, is conditional in that it has grave religious responsibilities, an idea that had roots thousands of years old.

He concluded any commonality between Russia and the West had to be spiritual:

“[If] the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge: We shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era. This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropologic stage. No one on earth has any other way left but -- upward.”

For Solzhenitsyn, Christianity, specifically the Russian Orthodox Church, had informed the Russian soul and Russia since the end of the first millennium, with roots going back to the Eastern Roman Empire. The path leading to restoration of true greatness lay in a return to God and a repudiation of the dark inheritance of a so-called Enlightenment that fostered atheism and sought to tear down Christianity.

Having experienced firsthand the brutality of a regime motivated by atheism, Solzhenitsyn saw a similar deleterious influence at the core of the crisis of the West. Once again, runaway atheism was revealing its inherently destructive nature. In his Templeton Prize Lecture of May 1983, “Godlessness: The First Step to the Gulag,” he said:

“And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God. The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.
“…the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.
[In the West] …the concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system.”

The West, including America, was sliding toward an abyss of its own making. The young were deliberately being taught godlessness and hatred of their own society. The subsequent corrosion of the human heart and hatred was fast becoming the signature of the contemporary free world, which appeared anxious to export to the rest of the world its own philosophy of godlessness and immorality.

The solution, he concluded, was repentance and return to God:

“…[W]e can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing… If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.”

Solzhenitsyn’s powerful insights hold much truth. If there is to be a reset between the West and Russia, it must be based on the mutual and ancient Christian roots of both entities. Here in the United States, there is a Christian commonality that still exists, but it desperately requires fostering and revival.

In the meantime, Christianity in the West and in Russia remains a key to the relationship between the two.
Therein lies a way to rapprochement.

Therein lies a possibility of a “reset button.”

The way will not be easy, as the present leaders of the West have largely bowed to the forces of a spiritually arid and atheistic secularism.

But there is hope that some will seek to hear and to heed the voice that says, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she received the seminary’s prize for excellence in systematic theology. Her thoughts have appeared in many online magazines, including Russia InsiderNational Review, CNS, RealClearReligion and Fox News. She has also presented her views on radio and television. She may be reached at

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Productivity gains don't explain the demise of US manufacturing jobs - By Sierra Rayne

At the Financial Times, Martin Wolf purports to provide a prescription for "How to defeat rightwing populism."  Beyond the all too typically mindless bashing of Donald Trump (see, e.g., "This is why Mr Trump is so danger
us: he has no notion of the foundations of US success" and other quotes therein), Wolf provides the following insight:
If rightwing populism is to be defeated, one must offer alternatives. In a forthcoming article Dartmouth College's Douglas Irwin notes that protectionism is quack medicine. Productivity growth accounted for more than 85 per cent of the job losses in manufacturing between 2000 and 2010.

This is very wrong.

The Federal Reserve has kept records of real output per hour of all persons in manufacturing since 1987:

If productivity growth between 2000 and 2010 accounted for 85% of all job losses in U.S. manufacturing, then we would expect to have seen some type of break (aka a tipping point) in the historical trend of productivity growth in 2000, signifying a transition to a much faster rate of productivity growth that then links to a historical relationship between employment losses and increased productivity.
Instead, we see nothing of the kind.

From 1990 to 2000, the index of real output per hour increased by 25 units, and manufacturing sector employment was relatively constant (technically declining by only 3.9%, but there was effectively no substantive change in the number of manufacturing employees from the mid-1980s to 2000).
And then, from 2000 to 2007, the index of real output per hour increased by another 25 units.  What happened to manufacturing employment over this time?  It declined by a massive 20%.

If we take the entire period from 2000 to 2010, the index of real output per hour increased 36 units, and manufacturing employment dropped more than 33% – trends entirely out of step with the productivity-employment relationship during the 1990s.

We see the same trends, even more clearly, for real output per person in manufacturing.

The fatal flaw in the productivity argument comes from looking at just two years: 2000 and 2001.  From 2000 to 2001, real output per hour was unchanged, and real output per person actually declined slightly.  And yet, the U.S. lost 824,000 manufacturing jobs (or nearly 5% of total sector employment) between 2000 and 2001.

What happened between 2000 and 2001 – and subsequent years – that is a more likely cause of most of these job losses?  China's accession to the WTO.

Looking back at the historical data for American manufacturing just doesn't support the notion that modest gains in productivity will lead to the type of large-scale sectoral layoffs seen since 2000.  Certainly some small numbers of job losses are due to increasing productivity, but not 85% of them.

The United States was founded on manufacturing protectionism and became wealthy off it, owing much to Alexander Hamilton's Report on Manufactures.  Many of the most prosperous periods of American history are labeled protectionist periods, including the 1980s economic boom under Ronald Reagan.
Theodore Roosevelt was clearly not a fan of free trade:

Thank God I am not a free-trader. In this country pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce fatty degeneration of the moral fiber.

Neither was Ulysses S. Grant, who made a prescient prediction:

For centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, Gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade.

Nor was William McKinley:

Under free trade the trader is the master and the producer the slave. Protection is but the law of nature, the law of self-preservation, of self-development, of securing the highest and best destiny of the race of man.

Efforts to rewrite history will inevitably fail.  The only question is how much damage the free traders will be allowed to do in the meantime.  If protectionism is quack medicine, then all of well established U.S. economic and political history is quackery.

Losing Ground In Flyover America - By David Stockman

The cowardly dithering in the Eccles Building is sucking Wall Street punters into a vortex. And it promises to be the mother of all bubble implosions.
There is no other possible outcome for a stock market that is trading at 24X reported earnings in the teeth of an enormous headwinds ever accumulated.
The intensifying global deflation/recession lapping upon these shores gets more ominous by the day. Yet that’s only the half of it.
When you take an unvarnished look at the domestic economy, the real recessionary skunk in the woodpile becomes apparent. Yet the casino is falsely capitalizing earnings as if recessions have been outlawed and the nirvana of Keynesian full-employment has become a permanent condition, world without end.
Today’s bubble vision meme that all is well because the Fed judges the economy to be strong enough to absorb 1% money market rates sometime next year is just a manifestation of that permanent full employment delusion. After all, earnings always collapse during a recession—–so implicitly there is not one in sight as far as the eye can see.
Then again, why would anyone credit the Fed’s insight into the future or even its grasp of the present? In its April minutes, for example, it noted that the world financial dangers that caused it to pause in March have now eased.
No, they haven’t. As detailed below, the only thing that changed is that China went through another flash bubble in the commodity space that is already done and gone.
In fact, the Fed has never, ever anticipated a recession——even when we were in month 118 of the 1990s technology and dot-com bubble.
Likewise, it had no clue that the housing collapse was coming and was shocked by the September 2008 Wall Street meltdown. And now it has had to revise sharply lower every single GDP forecast it has made in the years since the crisis........

Book review: - The Essential Malady reviews Cuckservative: How "Conservatives" Betrayed America - Comments by Vox Day

One of the most ferociously written (and critical) broadsides hits what Day often calls “Churchianity”. It is well known by those who care to find out that church groups have a huge hand in assisting mass immigration – often absurdly of non-Christians that have no intention of converting. This is facilitated by the state and as I understand it, quite lucrative for all involved except the native population. This chapter deals more with the perversion of Christianity towards earthly ends than with this fraud though and the generally touchy, feely and ultimately suicidal niceness of committed Christians especially of the Evangelical persuasion. This has hopefully reached peak insanity with this couple but I’m not so sure. Christ wants us to bring other nations to him not other nations to us.

On a personal level, I can relate to the term and I would say that for a long time I was myself a “cuckservative”. I knew deep down in my gut that what I wanted to preserve as a conservative was white Christian society but knew that openly stating such would get me called a racist and worse. Part of the reason for this is I was cultured to think so and the only mainstream voices available tripped over themselves often embarrassingly to avoid being called racist. Yet, if they’re honest with themselves, that’s where the conservative instinct should lead.

The racial equalitarians, particularly in the Christian churches, need to be called out and held accountable for their treason. If you're going to claim "there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither American nor Chinese, in Jesus Christ" means that no one has any more right to live in the magic dirt of the United States than anyone else, that's fine from a free speech perspective, but you should probably also be considered an open and avowed enemy of America and of the Christian church.

You're also a liar. The Churchians who sell that line are perfectly happy to welcome the immigration of animists, Muslims, demon worshippers, Hindus, and every other form of religion under the guise of Christian equality. Like all deceivers, they rely on bait-and-switches, they hide behind rhetorical fogs, and they deny the obvious consequences of their actions.

If you are an elder in a Christian church, you must expel the churchians and cuckservatives from your midst whenever they reveal themselves. They are deceivers and destroyers, and they do not serve that which they claim to serve.

Ron Paul's Online Summer School

Subject: Ron Paul's Online Summer School

Summer is a good time for high school students to study for CLEP exams and also enroll in Ron Paul's summer school program.

After an academic year of political correctness, your teenager deserves a break. Here is the break:

My recommendation: take my business course. But I'm biased.

Note: if you enroll your child in my business course, you get to take it, too.
For free.

This includes your invisible child, Harvey.

Gary "Grindstone" North


Friday, May 27, 2016

Progressives Just Made the Best Argument Possible for Voting Trump - By Tim Dunkin

Progressives and others on the radical Left are not very intelligent people.  This is something we should be very thankful for, because were they actually competent, they would have completely overwhelmed the spineless, feckless Republican Party and established total control decades ago.  As it stands, because progressives in the United States have so little foresight and self-control, they end up damaging their own cause through their own foolish behavior and inability to moderate themselves for the sake of more broadly appealing to the masses. 
This was shown most recently in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where a crowd of left-wing hooligans—including a large contingent of Mexican flag-waving illegal immigrants—attempted to shut down a Trump rally in the city.  They failed, of course, as people on the Left nearly always do, but not before they demonstrated to the rest of the country why we desperately need President Trump to clamp down on people like them.  In the course of the riot (not “protest”), they burned American flags, fired pellet guns at people, threw rocks and bottles, attacked a man in a wheelchair, destroyed police vehicles, and even critically injured a police horse.  To date, the Left has not condemned, or even apologized for, the violence committed by these thugs.  By all appearances, the Left seems to approve of the attempt to use violence to stifle free political expression and to coerce its opponents into silence……
(Full text at link below)
……………..The choice is clear
Trump, now having secured enough delegates for a first ballot win, and has ever-increasing momentum in his up-and-coming contest with Hillary Clinton, specifically because he is the one candidate out of all of them who actually takes seriously the average American citizen’s concerns about illegal immigration.  It’s sad that out of 17 starting Republican contenders, only Trump came out strongly against the globalism and open borderism that a majority of Americans have now come to reject.  His victory is a testimony to the impression that issue has made on the average American’s psyche.  This, in turn, is because people, even if subconsciously, recognize what I said above—illegal immigration as we are seeing it today is an invasion, not just an economic phenomenon.  It has grave social, cultural, and demographic ramifications that the majority of Americans don’t want to see applied to this nation.  Events like we just saw in Albuquerque hammer these facts home.  If the sort of thing we saw is what will happen if America becomes Mexicanized, then we don’t want America to become Mexicanized.  If we wanted to live in Mexico, we’d move there and deal with all of the (much more) onerous laws they have which apply to foreigners living in their country.
The choice is clear—allow the radical Left to continue to have access to millions of anti-American street thugs who can be used for Nazi-like street violence and campaigns of coercion with the design of overthrowing our consensual, orderly political system, or bite the bullet and do the things necessary to send those people home and keep them out.  What’s it going to be, America?

Gospel, Sanctification, and Theonomy - by Dr. Joel McDurmon

A thoughtful reader emailed a question regarding Theonomy and “law and Gospel.” Specifically, in light of Theonomy, the call for Christians to acknowledge the law of God as the pattern of our sanctification, both personal and social, and the call to obedience to that law, “What place does the gospel have in the believer’s life moment-by-moment?”
This is an excellent question for more than one reason. One reason is that those who are new and first developing a foundational understanding of such theological issues often come from a background of general evangelical theology. This theology generally neglects the role of God’s law almost entirely, except as a tool to drive us to Christ and the Gospel. The law is rarely spoken of in its role of providing a guide to godly behavior for Christian good works (Eph. 2:10). Even though the Reformed Confessions acknowledge this role of the law, and even though many Reformed and Evangelical theologians mention this role, it is rarely developed even for personal life, and even more rarely developed for social life and institutions.
The reader who sent this question understands Theonomy well enough to know that it is “not just about reconstructing a society where the glory of the Lord is displayed in toto, but at heart it is the flip side of justification, i.e., sanctification,” and “that through sanctification we are being conformed to the image of Christ.” Great! But there is a lingering issue regarding what role the Gospel plays “moment-by-moment” in conjunction with this “in toto” sanctification.
The first thing we need to acknowledge is that this is hardly an issue pertaining to Theonomy or Reconstruction alone. It is an issue that needs to be developed and emphasized by all Reformed theology (indeed, all theology, period). Readers should acknowledge that even if Theonomy were incorrect, this question would still persist for all general Reformed theology, for all general Reformed theology asserts both the constant need for the Gospel and the abiding progress of sanctification—even if that sanctification pertained only to personal piety.
I addressed these issues in reference to Theonomy somewhat elsewhere in a certain polemical discussion. The relevant meat of that discussion is how the relationship between “being saved” and ongoing sanctification is nothing more than basic Confessional Reformed theology. I’ll repeat the points in more general (non-polemic) form in what follows.
The Confessional view of santification
Rushdoony once made the comment: “The purpose of Christ’s atoning work was to restore man to a position of covenant-keeping instead of covenant-breaking, to enable man to keep the law by freeing man ‘from the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2), ‘that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us’ (Rom. 8:4).” The thing to note here is a necessary connection between the believer’s personal relationship with Christ and his or her ongoing sanctification. This is a Gospel-filled, Spirit-filled life which, because of these things, goes on also to be an obedient life filled with good works.
Is this a novel teaching? Hardly. The London Baptist Confession (LBC) teaches exactly the same thing. LBC Chapter 13 on “Sanctification” makes clear that as the saints grow in grace, they also grow “in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them.” Obedience? Obedience to commands? What could this mean? Let a more traditional Reformed Baptist commentator, Sam Waldron, answer this for us: “In general good works are those which conform to the law of God as revealed in the Scriptures (see chapter 19).”1
See Chapter 19 indeed. Consider sections 5, 6, and 7 of Chapter 19:
The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
Contrary to zealous critics who presents this view of the law’s binding obligation for the life of the believer after the Gospel as being “under the law,” the LBC teaches the exact opposite:
Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; . . . [M]an’s doing good and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law and not under grace.2
Section 7 goes on to speak in the exact same terms as Rushdoony:
Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done.3
Remember what Rushdoony said? “The purpose of Christ’s atoning work was to restore man to a position of covenant-keeping instead of covenant-breaking, to enable man to keep the law by freeing man ‘from the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2), ‘that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us’ (Rom. 8:4).” It is without any surprise, then, that we find among the LBC’s scripture proofs for this section none other than . . . Romans 8:4.
Here again, Sam Waldron’s comments, coming from a more mainstream Reformed view, are helpful. He concludes this section with a statement almost identical to what Rushdoony said above: “The very purpose of the gospel is to deliver men from lawlessness and cause them to obey the law of God (Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 36:27; Rom. 8:4; Titus 2:14).”4 Note also not only the same exact sentiment and language, but the same reference to Romans 8:4.
I have found Waldron’s extended comments on this section very helpful, particularly in providing a more traditional Reformed alternative to the idea that it is “insidious and dangerous” to suggest that believers are somehow bound to the law after having received the Gospel. For example, Waldron comments:
Some apparently were saying that while we ought to do what the law says as to its content or matter, we should not do it because the law says it, but simply because of gratitude to Christ. Several serious problems may be pointed out in such a sentiment. It is unscriptural (James 2:10-11; Matt. 5:17-19; Rom. 3:31; 1 Cor. 9:21). This is a subtler form of the error that justified persons are not bound to obey the law, since ultimately it is not the authority of the law they regard, but only their gratitude to Christ. Its practical effect is to convey to the popular mind a lessened sense of the majesty of the law of God and of the seriousness and absolute necessity of law-keeping. It makes faithful exhortation to duty difficult, because those who hold this teaching always object that you are bringing them back into slavery. If anyone speaks to such people of duty and obligation, their response is that such exhortations are legalistic. Christ strengthens the original authority of the law. He does not put the content or the matter of the law on a new foundation. He does not eliminate the obligation to obey our Creator, but adds the obligation of gratefully obeying our Redeemer.
Waldron’s point is that a diminished view of law-keeping for the believer leads not only to complacency, but to the type of complaints against Theonomy we have heard from critics for some time: it is legalism, slavery, “under the law,” etc.5
What this “under the law” error does is illustrate the dangers of overreacting to the claims of Theonomy. In something that is actually quite common, people overreact to “the law” so much they end up arguing like liberals, or even antinomians. When one carries their anti-theonomic critiques—especially in straw man form—to their logical extremes, they actually start speaking against the basic Reformed theology of sanctification, and thus, become like antinomians.
Or, looked at from the positive side of the argument, there is as direct and organic a relationship between salvation in Christ sola fide and Theonomy as there is between salvation in Christ sola fide and general, personal sanctification according to the Confession. Answer the more fundamental question, and you’ll answer the question in regard to Theonomy as well.
The “moment-by-moment” role of the Gospel
So how does the Gospel of God’s saving grace in Christ Jesus relate to all of this? I think answer lies right there in the Reformed Confessions (particularly, the Westminster Confession and the LBC). Chapter 13 of the LBC (to which the WCF is substantially the same), addresses the nature of our Sanctification:
They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them. . . .
Section three concludes that “although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed them.”

For our purposes here, we need to make three observations. First, the means by which we are sanctified is the exact same means by which we are saved in general. The confession is at pains to note that our sanctification is “through the same virtue” as our union with Christ, effectual calling, regeneration, and renewal. This virtue includes Christ’s “death and resurrection,” as well as “His Word and Spirit dwelling in them.” It is by His finished work and by His Word and Spirit dwelling in us that we are brought to believe the Gospel, and it is by these same means that we are brought to believe, love, and seek to obey the Law.
Whatever differences theologians have posited rightly between “law and Gospel” for all of history, the role of Christ, Word, and Spirit in animating and empowering the believer in both cannot be one of them. By the same token, then, we must acknowledge that Reformed theology affirms obedience to the Law as a Gospel-driven, Spirit-filled reality.

Second, we deduce, therefore, that the very reason for which we need the Gospel “moment-by-moment” is also the very reason we strive to grow more faithful in obedience “moment-by-moment” (and perhaps the same could be said, vice versa). There is no separating the faith by which we apprehend forgiveness for our sins through Christ’s atoning work and that by which we mortify the flesh and conform our lives to his standards of living—even though we distinguish between them for several reasons.
Again, the reason for confusion on this issue is most likely because of a failure to teach on the sanctification and obedience side of the equation. Indeed, it is very likely that all the recoil against application of God’s law has left a vacuum in Christian teaching that begged to be filled with something theological, or theological-sounding. Some quarters have returned to various liturgical niceties to fill this void. Some have created a type of neo-hyper-confessionalism. Some have turned to church growth tactics of all sorts. Others—probably most of conservative Reformed circles—have been left to do nothing more than continually emphasize only justification by faith and our need for the Gospel every moment of our lives.
I believe this latter emphasis, which I hear from many non-Theonomic and anti-Theonomic Reformed Christians, is what has created the difficulty for people like the reader who asked this question. The continual drumming of our continual need for the Gospel combined with the continual neglect of applying God’s law (i.e., sanctification), has created a dissonance in the minds of people who begin to contemplate what sanctification is and how it works. The moment they begin to ask the sanctification question, and thus the Theonomy question, they begin to fear they may be departing from that which they have been taught (rightly) is the all-crucial doctrine: our continual need for the Gospel. The obvious answer does not appear readily as it should: both Gospel and law are processed in us by the same power, virtue, agency, and means, and that is Christ, His Word and His Spirit dwelling in us.

Third, our obedience (sanctification) must be to “all the commandments” Christ has given us, and this means sanctification has a much larger scope than just our personal devotions and prayer closet. This is where Theonomy begins to get real, because this is where sanctification begins to get real. What happens when we contemplate radical obedience in the areas of education or business? Debt?
This is not even to ask about the so-called “civil” use of the law which applies to society and non-believers also. That is also a major Theonomic topic. But here we consider only “all areas of life” concerned with the personal and social aspects of believers. This is a huge category, but it is no less confessional than any other, and we must embrace it just as much as we embrace salvation by grace alone through faith alone, as well as the basic understanding of sanctification through those same means and power as described above.
So, for a Theonomist, “What place does the gospel have in the believer’s life moment-by-moment?” The answer to that is simple. It has the same place, moment-by-moment, as it does for any general Reformed theologian, and as it should for any Christian. It has a central, crucial, and absolutely necessary place in our life of saving faith in Christ. But our sanctification unto obedience has exactly the same requirement. We need affirmation of the forgiveness of sins and full, free, gracious acceptance by the Father because of Christ’s finished work every moment of our lives. We also need the outlook, direction, and corrective influence of God’s law every moment of our lives. And we require Christ’s Word and His Spirit every moment of our lives for either to have even one moment’s effect in us.

  1. Waldron, Samuel E (2013-03-27). A Modern Exposition 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Kindle Locations 3526-3527). Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.
  2. Waldron, Samuel E (2013-03-27). A Modern Exposition 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Kindle Locations 3958-3975). Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.
  3. Waldron, Samuel E (2013-03-27). A Modern Exposition 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Kindle Locations 3981-3983). Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.
  4. Waldron, Samuel E (2013-03-27). A Modern Exposition 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Kindle Locations 4127-4128). Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.
  5. See Waldron’s further comments at Waldron, Samuel E (2013-03-27). A Modern Exposition 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Kindle Locations 4088-4128). Evangelical Press. Kindle Edition.