Those Who Can’t Do, and Don’t Know How, Govern

The other day, the jidrool in the White House said America is way better off since he took office–only the poor stupid people “don’t feel it” because, you see, wages and incomes haven’t gone up, but prices have.

Duh… let’s see. Your income stays the same, or even decreases, while your food and fuel and rent keep on going up and up and up–and you’re better off?

How big a nincompoop is this guy?

The point is: so, here we have this dangle, this stunata, coming up with public policy vis-a-vis the economy, and he knows absolutely not a bloody thing about it. The man has never worked at a job, let alone tried to start and operate a business. You would be better off having me come over to repair your computer, than to have this ignoramus tinkering with the national economy. And believe me, you do not want me tinkering with your computer.

But it’s not just President *Batteries Not Included. We have a whole political class that knows nothing but politics, and a whole Academia that knows nothing but the classroom. Because they’re rich, tenured, or both, they don’t have to experience the consequences of their ignorance; but we do. We do! What they don’t know about economics would fill an ocean basin.

Is there anybody else out there who thinks that government by the totally ignorant is not a good thing? I mean, really–what do you suppose would happen to a business created, owned, and operated by the likes of Barack Obama, John McCain, Sheila Jackson Lee, or some daft professor of Queer Studies at Dunderhead U.? How long do you think it would take them to lose their shirts?

And don’t forget–they want to run our health care, too.

Devil Wannabe Convicted of Triple Murder; or, Why I Read Tolkien

Do you ever get the idea that reality ain’t what it’s cracked up to be?

Like, for instance, this news story ( ): Convicted of murdering three men in 2011, a jerk with “devil horns” implanted in his forehead vows revenge against the jury… No, it’s not a Kolchak episode.

Just as an afterthought, somewhere out there is a plastic surgeon who needs his ethics looked into.

Imagine if the news was all we had to read. True, we get the good news from the Bible–and boy, are we in need of it! All the same, mired down here in this fallen world, sometimes faith comes hard to us.

I first read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in high school, and it blew me away. I’m reading it again now, and I like it even more.

Now that I know the Bible better, I can more clearly see what Tolkien was doing in that book. I can recognize the sections of the Bible by which various aspects of the story must have been inspired. (Like me, Tolkien seems to have drawn much inspiration from I Corinthians, Chapter 1.)

Tolkien sets up a world whose inhabitants face destruction and doom. Their enemy is not only evil, but vastly more powerful than they are. But the resolution of the story becomes clear–and spiritually elevating!–in light of this:

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. (I Cor. 1:27-28)

I have read a lot of fantasy since I first read Tolkien. His work has something which most of the rest of fantasy doesn’t have. It has vision, deep vision. It has conviction, and solidity. It has an element of stateliness.

And although it is not Scripture, I believe it was–as, alas, so much of art is not–God-breathed.

By the unseen but irresistible hand of God, the world of The Lord of the Rings is redeemed in the end.

As shall be our own–perverts with horn implants notwithstanding.

The Hardest Thing About Writing a Book

For me, the hardest thing about writing a book is that, sooner or later, you’re finished and you don’t have it to write anymore. You want to keep on, but the story’s over. (Hint: if you can’t wait to be done with the freakin’ thing, and are overjoyed not to be writing it anymore, you have probably done something wrong and the reader will probably feel the same way about it.)

OK, I do have my share of the editing to do on The Glass Bridge, plus many other things to keep me busy. But I’m done writing The Temple and already I miss it. And I know it’ll be months and months before the beginning of a next book takes shape in my mind.

A reader from Australia has been helping me with casting suggestions for when my books are made into colossal hit movies. He came up with Richard Attenborough for Ashrof–not bad!–and F. Murray Abraham for Lord Reesh. I have added Robert Shaw for Roshay Bault and Wes Studi for Ysbott the Snake. There’s got to be a part for Martin Shaw, but I haven’t found it yet.

No, I do not want to make Bell Mountain into a Lego movie, or even a movie starring marshmallow peeps. As long as I’m gonna daydream, I may as well dream big–and totally ignore reality.

If they ever did to Bell Mountain what they did a couple years ago to C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I’d be after them with a baseball bat.

An Enigma from the Book of Judges

Among the portions of the Bible which challenge my understanding, there is the next-to-last story in the Book of Judges (Chapters 17-18).

For those who don’t know, a quick summary: A man named Micah steals a lot of silver from his mother. When he repents, and gives it back to her, she’s so pleased, she takes a bunch of it and has an idol made, which they install in their house. Soon Micah persuades a Levite to stay with him and be the priest to this idol.

Along comes a force of Danites looking for a new place to live, and they persuade the Levite to come with them and be their priest. This fickle Levite not only agrees; but he also steals Micah’s silver idol so it can be worshiped by the Danites.

The story is introduced and concluded by the same formula: “In those days there was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Except we know from the rest of the Bible that this kind of behavior didn’t stop, once Israel had kings. Indeed, it got so bad, God had to punish Israel severely.

This subtly grim story of Micah and his idol is in the Bible for a reason. We are meant to learn a lesson from it. But what lesson?

I have held back from seeking out commentaries: because I find the story so elusive, so tantalizing yet forbidding, that I want to see what the Holy Spirit will teach me if I devote a lot of thought to it.

It should be noted that, when the Tribes of Israel are listed in the Book of Revelation, Dan is not among them.

God did make Himself quite clear, didn’t He, when he declared the Ten Commandments? Idolatry is one of those things that the Bible condemns without a trace of ambiguity.

Then again, so is homosexual behavior: and there are plenty of renegade churchmen today who teach otherwise.

Kind of like that Levite in the story.

A Really Lousy Vision for America

I just can’t get over how smart I feel, now that I know the purpose of government is “to help people change their behavior” ( ).

The Bible (Romans Chapter 13, and elsewhere) says we have governments to restrain and punish evildoers, and to protect our lives and property. Our Declaration of Independence ascribes to government a lofty purpose: to safeguard inalienable rights given us by God Himself. And in the Constitution, government’s function is to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

Obviously government isn’t doing any of those things anymore. Restraining evildoers? The evildoers up on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue don’t seem the least bit restrained. They chop away at our liberties and, by their fiscal incontinence, beggar our posterity.

But when it comes to helping us to change our behavior–hey, they’re all on board for that.

Laws used to tell us what we couldn’t do. Now, more and more, laws tell us what we must do.

We must buy health insurance. We must embrace same-sex pseudomarriage. If we’re kids in public school, we must eat “healthy” foods as defined by the government, even if it’s tasteless pap. And there are laws just waiting to be passed that will tell us what kind of dwellings we must build, and where to build them, how much electricity we can use, what kind of cars we must drive, what kind of vaccines our children must receive, and even when we’ve lived long enough and must now sign up for “end of life counseling.” And so on–no end to it in sight.

Could anything be farther from securing the blessings of liberty?

Look, you can’t fundamentally transform the country if you can’t order the citizens’ behavior. For that, you’ve got to have “human rights” commissions, speech codes, Climate Change legislation, and amnesty for a flood of illegal aliens to keep Democrats in power until they can finish their transformation project.

Why aren’t people angrier about all this?


Cover for Book 7!


Seattle Will Inspect Your Garbage

Remember when James Madison wrote, in one of the Federalist papers, that the purpose of government is to “help people change their behavior”? What, it wasn’t Madison? Who was it, then, who first articulated this profound philosophy? Benjamin Franklin? Locke? Aristotle?

None of the above. It’s the Seattle City Council, that’s who.

You know your city government has way too much money when it can afford to have unionized municipal employees check residents’ garbage cans to make sure they aren’t throwing away too much food ( ).

You can be fined if “food and compostable material” makes up 10% or more of your trash output. Now hear this:

The fine will be $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings.

The purpose of this, says the Council, is to get people to do more recycling.

Coulda fooled me! I would’ve thought the purpose of this law was to demonstrate that the city of Seattle is governed by escaped mental patients. I mean, really–does the city have so freakin’ much money, that they can get public employees to do extra work, for which they will insist on being paid, and not make the fines high enough to pay for it?

Oh, but that’s beside the point! The point is to “help people change their behavior.”

Even as you read this, former New York Nanny Michael Bloomberg is smiting his forehead and saying, “Why didn’t I think of that!” Bloomberg, who banned indoor smoking in NYC but got his hand chopped off when he reached for a ban on large sodas, pioneered the practice of using fines and taxes to help people change their behavior.

What if we don’t want our behavior to be changed?

What we want is some way to change the government’s behavior.

School Punishes Boy for Sharing Lunch

So you’re absolutely, positive sure you want these idiot public schools “educating” your children? You’re really confident you can’t do just as good a job yourself?

Out in California, the Weaverville Elementary School punished an eight-grader with detention for sharing his lunch with another kid ( ). The 13-year-old shared his chicken burrito with a friend who didn’t like the cheese sandwich slapped on his plate by the school cafeteria staff.

As usual, the brain-deads running the show took refuge in the “we have a policy” mantra, yatta-yatta. You never have to think about anything, if you have a policy.

But, see, they have thought about it! You’re not gonna believe me, so read up on what the founders of “public education” have to say for themselves. Check out R.J. Rushdoony’s The Messianic Character of American Education, which is mostly quotes from leading “education” theorists going back 150 years ( available from The Chalcedon Foundation, ). Their goal has always been the same: to turn schools and teachers into “change agents” to re-engineer human society along the socialist lines always proposed by left-wing moral imbeciles.

“Oh! But that happened out in California! They’d never do that in one of our town’s schools!”

Wise up, people. The same teachers’ unions run public education in all 50 states. Being in Texas won’t help you; your kids will get the same rubbish that they’d get in Massachusetts.

School officials in Weaverville say they forbid food-sharing because it might lead to kids dropping dead from allergies, or what have you.

Nah. They want to train the kids to accept without question whatever they are given, whether it’s a cheese sandwich in the cafeteria, or Global Warming and “Barack Hussein Obama, Mm-mm-hmm!” in the classroom.

Please, get your children out of there.

Ezekiel Emanuel: We’re Living Too Long

Mr. Obamacare, Charlie Death Panels, better known as Ezekiel Emanuel, has raised a stir by suggesting that we should all die at 75 (for his original article, see ).

Let me be fair. Ol’ Zeke, 57–oh, to be 57 again!–hasn’t come out and said the government ought to bump everybody off the day they turn 75. No, what he’s writing about is “living too long… this manic desperation to endlessly extend life is misguided and potentially destructive.” So he’s talking about spending millions of dollars to exist in some kind of vegetative or demented state for as long as possible. He says he’s against euthanasia and assisted suicide. And he promises that, once he turns 75, he will not seek medical attention to prolong his life as it winds down naturally.

Meanwhile, George Sauron is  being shot full of Human Growth Hormone so he can stay alive and keep on doing mischief for the next 200 years, and “scientists” are talking about “merging man and machine” so people can live forever, blah-blah…

What Ol ‘Zeke has said is frightening because we don’t trust these Experts and wise men as far as we can throw them. We don’t trust them not to set up some new government authority, staffed by the criminally insane, to tell us when we’ve lived long enough, bye-bye, we don’t have any money to spend on you, it’s all going to the president’s vacations, your time is up, etc.

It’s one thing to say, “I’ll go when God calls me.” But I will not go when Obamacare calls me. They may overpower me and murder me, but I am not going to sing We Are the World and take their little pill.

There are people who have lived too long. But there are many who did not live long enough. Who is fallen man, to decide which is which?

More Religious Neutrality: NY Times Bans ‘Jesus on Trial’ from Best Seller List

Let our secular friends explain why the New York Times has arbitrarily banished David Limbaugh’s Jesus on Trial from its best seller list ( ).

The book (which I will be reviewing for Chalcedon as soon as I can get some other things out of the way) attempts to apply a lawyer’s reasoning to Christian faith. It’s also a book by a Christian about Christianity, which is probably all we need to know to explain the Times’ animus against it.

According to Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, Jesus on Trial recently was No. 1 on, and had posted sales numbers that would make it No.4 on the New York Times list.

Now, what do you want to bet the NYT Book Review staff would deny any accusation of anti-Christian bigotry, and claim to be strictly neutral in matters of religion?

That’s what they all say, isn’t it?

Ironically, the Times made its decision during the howling-at-the-moon-far-left American Library Association’s annual “Banned Books Week,” during which the ALA celebrates crappy books that were supposedly banned by narrow-minded Christian prudes–the implication being that it’s a secular sin to withhold 50 Shades of Grey from your 12-year-old.

Well, who’s in the book-banning business nowadays?


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