A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

The Juggernaut

By 10.8.14

The Supreme Court’s decision this week to let lower courts impose gay marriage on the states is one more blow to what is left of the traditional family in America. The unwillingness of the justices to defend the obvious constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage signals the imposition of gay marriage on the entire country. The court’s avoidance of the issue is an illustration of its contempt for the people and its support for elitist change by judicial revolution.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that the lesson of Roe v. Wade is not that the court ignored the Constitution but that “it moved too far, too fast.” In other words, the job of a justice is to invent constitutional rights at politically opportune moments. The liberal justices are content to let lower courts do their work for them and then ratify that judicial activism at a safer time.

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A Further Perspective

Swords About the Cross?

By 10.6.14

Bill O’Reilly’s idea of a mercenary force to defend what used to be called Christendom has some very old, if not exactly similar, precedents.

Many of the Orders of Chivalry — the Knights Templar and the Orders such as the Knights of St. John and St. Lazarus, originated to give both military protection against Muslim fanatics and medical care to Christian pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land.

They helped beat back Muslim raiders who had established strongholds in France and Italy, as part of a pincer movement to conquer and destroy Europe, and who had even sacked the Vatican.

The order of the Knights of St. John was originally established to set up outposts along the route to the Holy Land. One of the knights’ main tasks was to provide hospitals, and today their eight-pointed cross is seen on ambulances and first aid organizations. However, their military wing grew in importance and they became primarily a military order.

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A Further Perspective

‘A Workplace Violence Story’

By 10.1.14

Not so long ago the Left was mocking Oklahoma for joining the “anti-Sharia movement,” treating its worries about creeping radical Islam in America as paranoid. Liberals chortled over the silliness of the state’s measure to prevent judges from considering Sharia law in any of their decisions.

Last week those concerns looked considerably less idle. The state witnessed one actual beheading by a Muslim and another threatened one. The latter involved a Kenyan-born nursing home worker who was arrested after he reportedly told a co-worker he was planning to cut her head off, saying that he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians.”

The FBI is treating the beheading of a co-worker by Alton Nolen at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, as an act of “workplace violence.” This has met with the approval of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, for whom the story contains no connection to radical Islam. “It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story,” she said.

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The Past Cleverness of President Obama Is Finally Starting to Catch Up With Him

By 9.30.14

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.

The biggest issue in this fall’s election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama’s contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?

Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.

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Marijuana Cookie Monsters

By 9.29.14

It was all high fives on New Year’s Day in Denver’s marijuana shops. That was the day sales began under Colorado’s voter-approved measure to make legal “recreational” use of marijuana.

More than a few state bureaucrats, on the lookout for new revenue sources, must have looked on with warm smiles. After all, proponents had said often that legalization would give a boost in tax receipts to the state’s treasury.

Not to be left behind, the Colorado Symphony announced it would play a series of “cannabis-friendly” concerts to be called “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” With dwindling audiences and a deficit, the orchestra’s CEO, Jerome Kern, told the Associated Press, “The cannabis industry obviously opens the door to a younger, more diverse audience.”

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It Is What It ISIS

By 9.26.14

“It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,” Bill Clinton testified in 1998. Or did he?

Instead of ridiculing him as a gauche concealer of past sins, perhaps we should embrace the 42nd president as a prophet revealing future sinners. Might we have mistranscribed a cryptic verbal warning about the “the meaning of the word ‘ISIS’”?

One of Clinton’s successors won’t say “ISIS” — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, preferring “ISIL” — Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Some journalists, who Barack Obama often plays ventriloquist to, now say ISIL, too, as though the president referring to the UK as Grape Britain might similarly alter their use of language.

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Climate Worship at the Cathedral

By 9.26.14

Hundreds of thousands marched in New York recently for climate “justice” in “The People’s Climate March,” convinced that human industry is heating the earth to apocalyptic levels.

Naturally there was a religious auxiliary to the Global Warming jamboree in the form of the Interfaith Summit on Climate Change, sponsored by the World Council of Churches, among others. And of course it included earth-friendly worship at the flamboyant Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, whose theologically provocative services some critics have labeled earth worship.

Those critics would have found vindication at the cathedral on Sunday, where “The Religions of the Earth Multi-faith Service” paid homage to Mother Earth by asking worshippers to pile stones on the altar to confirm their climate commitment. Over a thousand concerned religious activists filled the pews, praying for and at times seemingly to the earth, beneath two giant sculptures of feathered phoenixes that soared overhead in the huge gothic worship space.

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Sorry, Senator Durbin

By 9.25.14

The last few months a consulting job in the Chicago suburbs has taken me out of my writing rhythm. At the same time my Miami-Chicago commute has me traveling the Sotloff-Foley axis. In South Florida, where Steven Sotloff’s family are prominent in the Jewish community, his grim fate is the subject that most engages the man and woman in the street. In greater Chicagoland the talk is of James Foley, who was an alumnus of Northwestern University. The beheadings of these two journalists by the murderous band known as ISIS have sparked a fierce debate over the level of response such barbarism should draw. In my travels I hear passionate presentations by the advocates of the vying views.

There is a far-left approach that argues for no action to be taken at all. Our behavior should be dictated by our own conscience, not by provocateurs goading us into radical reactions. We should protect our citizens to the extent possible but retaliation in the form of violence is never warranted by the brutality of those who do not share our enlightenment.

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This Marine Does Not Belong in a Mexican Prison

By 9.24.14

Mexico is about to do something both vindictive and pointless. It’s close to sending a U.S. Marine reservist named Andrew Tahmooressi to prison for the crime of crossing the border with a loaded shotgun, pistol, and assault rifle—all three of which were licensed in his name. Officials south of the Rio Grande want to make a statement: Mexico is sovereign! 

Only they don't mean it in a "hey, we're a place, too" kind of way. What they mean is: Wrath to the uttermost! How dare ye quarrel with the mysterious administration of the sovereign! 

Now, it’s true that the object of this sovereign wrath likely violated the law, but he says he wound up at the border checkpoint where he was apprehended after making a wrong turn. The case against him could have been dropped long ago, but Mexican officials press on, that the rest of us may marvel that their legal code does in fact exist, and that it can be enforced with no bribes changing hands. Only we can't witness that, of course, because judicial proceedings in Mexico are secret, a mysterious administration rather more corruptible than the one Jonathan Edwards had in mind. 

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Polo Jazzes up the Summer’s Last Days

By 9.24.14

The thought of watching a polo match in the twilight of a fading summer’s day while turned-out in the sort of attire that made Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age girls come and go “like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars” made my sister and me feel as we should.

And then it rained.

An announcer on the loudspeaker said casually that the storm would pass over us quickly, and the match would start a fashionable twenty minutes late.

An hour went by.

The sudden summer shower had turned into a veritable monsoon, but it was polite enough to wait ’til we were all in our cars. There we picnicked, and discovered that sangria doesn’t taste the same inside a Subaru Forester as it does on the verdant floor of the Northern Virginia countryside. It may taste better. Consider how the intense sweetness and complex flavors of the infused fruits can be better appreciated when they aren’t mingled with the distracting fragrances of fresh fauna and flora.

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